NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/23/14

April 23, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Judy Gold,
and more perform for a medical fundraiser at the Eastville
Comedy Club; nab tickets for only $10 (half off) by clicking here

Tom Shillue

At The Creek, star storyteller Tom Shillue screens a documentary at 7:00 and then makes up jokes at 8:00 in Rifftown

Natasha Rothwell and Dan Hodapp

…and at UCB East, superb comics Natasha Rothwell & Dan Hodapp host improv duos in Couples Skate

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:

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A free screening of a partially-completed documentary about star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller, host of Funny Story, albums Better Stronger Faster, Big Room, and lots more) and friends on the road as comics at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with Tom on hand to introduce the film and chat afterwards: Tom Shillue and The Awkward Chuckle Tour from Flint Michigan

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, plus a free improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups First Lady and Musk: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly show in which “stand-ups throw their set lists out the window for a night of wild riffing. Comics premiere a story that they’ve never told anyone, improvise a stand-up set based on an audience suggestion, or rant off the cuff. Also expect freestyling and musical improv in an anything goes atmosphere that makes for a one-of-a-kind experience.” Tonight’s comics are Tom Shillue, Christian Finnegan, Pat Dixon, Sergio Chicon, and Hadiyah Robinson—plus music from powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her band The Vigilante—performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Carolyn Castiglia: Rifftown

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Michael Antonucci & Yoni Lotan Sharp perform a sketch-based one-act about buddies being on the road: License to Chill

8:00 pm ($8): Veteran improvisors who’ve had children (not announced) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Mamas and the Papas

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Jessika Cutts Chris Williams, Josh Rosen, and Kerryn Feehan performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) hosted by Alison Klemp: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Chris Laker (host of The Show) practices stand-up material for his comedy album taping later this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Chris Laker

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Kaytlin Bailey, Adam Mamawala, and Sam Evans performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Joe Zimmerman, Jono Zalay, and Taylor Ketchum: Hot Crowd: Gary Gulman, Erin Judge, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Nathan Macintosh, Matt Donaher, Taylor Clark, Clark Jones, and Craig Mahoney performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-woman show by Langan Dice Kingsley provides “a sweeping exploration of the challenges of parenthood, the subtleties of literature, the nature of love, the allure of alcohol, the cult of celebrity, the beauty of the store Anthropologie, and the power of dance:” The Dicewoman Cometh

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a musical “based on the true history of the founding of America, in which Jesus Christ embarks on a journey to help build a country that’s courageous, pious, and gun-crazy enough for his precious Constitution…as long as the evil King Barrack Hussein George III doesn’t get in the way,” written by Eric Gersen and directed by John Flynn: Seventeen Seventy-Something

9:30 pm ($5): Shelby Fero (Comedy Central’s @midnight, MTV’s Hey Girl) Jonathan Kesselman (The Hebrew Hammer), Dan Abramson (editor of Funny or Die’s The Occasional), and Jacqueline Novak (Quality Notions) being interviewed and/or performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Scott Rogowsky: Running Later With Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), and Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors pair up for one night only, tonight featuring superb improvisors and hosts Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell, plus Claire Ayoub & Ryan Haney, Brennan Mulligan & Nicole Drespel, and Lydia Hensler & Zack Poitras, all performing at the UCB East theatre: Couples Skate

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced sitcom; MTV) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. Tonight’s lineup includes Reid Faylor and Nore Davis; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

Wednesday 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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. 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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Wednesday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and guest co-hosted by “a random member of the audience:” The Dump

10:30 pm ($3): Biweekly open mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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.