NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/18/14

April 18, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Check out the great set Jamie Lee delivered last night on The Pete Holmes Show and the memorable guest appearance Tracy Morgan made on Conan O’Brien

Jesus the Barbarian

The debut of an epic tale of vengeance, blood, and holy ghosts at LIC’s The Creek: Jesus the Barbarian

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s superb lineups include Hannibal Buress, Ali Wong, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, and Keith Robinson at the 7:00 show; Hannibal Buress, Mark Normand, Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Hannibal Buress, Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show; Hannibal Buress, Ali Wong, Gary Gulman, James Smith, Ralph Harris, and Keith Robinson at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Ali Wong, Gary Gulman, James Smith, and Ralph Harris at the 12:15 show; with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Marc Theobald, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

7:00 pm ($10): A sketch comedy double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Buffet and His Majesty the Baby

7:00 pm ($7): Long form improv that takes the suggestion of a genre and then improvises an entire show in that genre at The Magnet theatre: Genus

[TOP PICK]7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in the industry, hire them.) Enjoy this brand new collection of sketches that are debuting tonight and will hopefully enjoy a long run: Stone Cold Fox Bites the Big Apple

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: The debut of “the greatest story ever told as it has never been told before. This Jesus didn’t come to die for our sins. He came here to kill for vengeance. Featuring goblin queens, evil wizards, three-headed wise men, and blood…lots of blood” starring Billy Prinsell as Jesus, Emily Fleming as Mary Magdalene, Nick Naney as Satanna Goblin Queen of Hades, Christi Chiello as The Virgin Mary, Matt Maragno as Pontius Pilate, David Agyekum as The Pharisee, and David Orshan as Boy Jesus performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Youth Pastor Brad Austin: Jesus the Barbarian

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Keith and the Girl are the guests at both a That’s the Show taping hosted by Danny Hatch and a Bottoms Up with Hennessy taping hosted by Lauren Hennessy at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Keith and the Girl Double-Bill

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.) A cast member for four seasons of Saturday Night Live who’s also performed on Conan O’Brien, MTV, VH1, and feature films, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim Breuer

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Taylor Clark, Dustin Wesley, Kevin Kataoka, Hugh Moore, Chris Locke, and Molly Austin performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show) talks about his love/hate affair with New York City in this blend of storytelling and stand-up at the PIT upstairs theatre: Christian Finnegan’s The Gorgeous Mosaic

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Todd Seavey (host of Dionysium Events), Siobhan Beasley (United Nations), Robert A. George (New York Post), Lucas Zachary Hazlett (MTV), Geoff Grimwood (Fake Church), Whitney Meers (TruTV), Meg Griffiths Anderson (The Baldwins), David Kimball-Stanley (The Last Show), Tim Wainwright (Christianity Today), and host Nate Starkey (Big Black Car, Starkey & Grace) gather to make fun of politics at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK]10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): Daniel Koren (Emmy nominated), Nat Towsen (host of The Moon Show), Boris Khaykin, and Brandon Scott Wolf performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Remarkable comic/filmmaker/event-maker Mark Malkoff (Jay Leno, Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, NPR) and the Emily Danger Band are interviewed at a late night talk show hosted by Jamie LeeLo at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from an old timey show biz perspective at The Magnet theatre: Listen, Kid!

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A hilarious collection of oddball sketch characters posing as “the worst families in America,” plus over-the-top celebrity impersonations, from a small army of comics performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by wonderful comics Riley Soloner & Jason Saenz: Late Night Trash

Midnight ($5): “A live monthly comedy game show in which three contestants participate in a battle of wits and knowledge for the chance to win a grand prize of 20 American dollars” at UCB East hosted by Ryan Simmons: Everyone’s Favorite Game Show

Friday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.