NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/24/14

April 24, 2014

TV Alert: Gary Gulman does stand-up on Seth Meyers 12:30 am on NBC.

Captain Kirk screaming

Mark Normand, Carolyn Castiglia, Alison Leiby, and more tell tales of rage at Kevin Allison’s top storytelling show Risk!

Leslie Goshko

…but first go to the thoroughly delightful Leslie Goshko’s free carny-like storytelling extravaganza Sideshow Goshko

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Steve Zimmer (Moth Grandslam Champion), Blaise Allysen Kearsley (host of How I Learned storytelling series), Alex Edelman (BBC), and Kerri Doherty (Geeking Out) performing at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) hosted by the lovely Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) and featuring such charms as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril with hosts J. W. Crump and Jordan Hirsch: Gas Station Horror

7:00 pm ($5): Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Harry Terjanian (Sirius XM Radio, 2013 Andy Kaufman Award winner), Janelle James, and Taylor Clark performing at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): Burlesque stars Cherry Pitz (Cyndi Freeman), Corvette LeFace, Ginger Twist, Johnny Panic, Dulce de Leche, and more “take you on a joyride down memory lane in this burlesque extravaganza celebrating all things Grease–including its underappreciated sequel! Hosted by Broadway Brassy as the easily scandalized Principal McGee, with stage kitten Beelzebabe as xylophone-bashing sidekick Blanche, this cast of Grease superfans will turn themselves into Boobie School Dropouts” at the Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston, between Avenues B and C): Hopelessly Devoted to Boobs: A Burlesque Tribute to Grease and Grease 2

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Lynne Koplitz at the 9:30 show; and Mark Normand, James Smith, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), and Ken Reid (visiting from Boston) performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a one-man show by Corey Johnson, and directed by the wonderful Amy Heidt, about “terrible OKCupid dates, pretentious theatre artists, former child models,” and more: This is the Show?

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sharp comic Alan Starzinski (Sandino, Fat Penguin) performs a clever one-man sketch show in which he plays characters ranging from Aquaman to Gary Busey to the rescue pilot at the end of Jurassic Park at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Guys You Love to Hate

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code CRINGE; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code)Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing “cringe” stand-up—and celebrating this show’s 10 Year Anniversary—at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Cringe Humor Show: Big Jay Oakerson and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.54 in advance online; includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Kelly Kinsella, James Bewley, Ross Hyzer, Dion Flynn, and Ronica Reddick: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Welded (musical improv that takes two seemingly separate scenes and fuses them together), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from extra special performer Armando Diaz himself at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Dan Chamberlain (member of dynamite sketch group Legs for Days), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), TJ Del Reno, and Amy Elizabeth Bennett tell tales about this month’s theme of Join the Club, and then hosts Anna Roisman & Katie Haller sing songs they’ve written pre-show about those stories, at The PIT upstairs theatre: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Chris Laker (host of The Show) is recording his first comedy album. If you’d like to hear his favorite jokes crafted over the past decade, and possibly contribute your laughs to play on his album for eternity, come to The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Chris Laker Comedy Album Recording

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Gabriel Pacheco, Alison Klemp, and Clark Jones performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer The Vigilante), Brandon Scott Wolf, Travis Irvine, Taylor Clark, Reena Calm, and Dava Krause performing stand-up at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by Myka Fox: Class War

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Mark Normand (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, TruTV), Subhah Agarwal, and Omar Shaukat performing stand-up at this free biweekly show at Tammany Hall (152 Orchard Street) hosted by Courtney Fearrington: Cheap Seats Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Mark Normand (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Alison Leiby (host of It’s a Long Story), Greg Stone, and Shaina Feinberg telling daring personal tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s theme Rage for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at A Non-Daily Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly comedy variety show featuring sketch, character bits, and stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Comedic Information

10:30 pm ($5): Weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre, with tonight’s guest comics not announced: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit won its 12th victory in a row by absolutely crushing UCB East Lloyd team Hotspur in a meltdown score of 108-26. Tonight FTS is aiming to top troupe TOPS!, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups (not announced) perform at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jenny Jaffe (former staff writer for MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live): Camp Time

Thursday 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: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email with subject line Phoning Thursday 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 Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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)

(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.