NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 4/27/14

April 27, 2014

TV Alert: After Game of Thrones, turn into Comedy Central at 10:00 pm
for Jim Gaffigan’s new hour-long special Obsessed; and then
return to HBO at 11:00 for the debut of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight

Jim Norton

Jim Norton headlines one last night at Carolines

Lauren Olson

…and Lauren Olson (above) and her sketch partner Jana Schmieding perform their funniest characters in Just the Two of Us

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] 3:00 pm ($10): A sketch and stand-up show for kids—with no irony, this is for children aged 4-10—with guest Andrew W.K. (former host of TV series Destroy Build Destroy) hosted by Mark Malkoff at The PIT upstairs theatre: Two Juice Minimum

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:00 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), Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), 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; co-host of Myrtle Comedy), Shannon Coffey, Ken Freedman, Robert Ecks, and Manbooks performing stand-up or sketch—plus surprises—at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Brian McElroy: The Macaulay Culkin Show

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch from group Cool Kid Comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cool Kid Comedy Live

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up veteran who’s appeared on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Last Comic Standing; hosted the HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; was a cast member of the wonderful though short-lived HBO sitcom Lucky Louie, and performed his own HBO half-hour One Night Stand special; has appeared in such hit films as Spider-Man; is a regular on XM Satellite Radio’s The Opie & Anthony Show; and is the author of the book Happy Endings, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jim Norton

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups American Wormholes and The Misses perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ryan Hamilton, Marina Franklin, and Kevin Brennan at the 8:00 show; Gregg Rogell and Lynne Koplitz at the 9:45 show; and Judah Friedlander, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, and and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Guest improvisors Micah Sherman and Abby Sher, guest improv groups Triple D and High Class Hookers, and host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl), make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

8:00 pm ($5): 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), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Mike Recine, and Joyelle Johnson performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Razor-sharp and hilarious sketch comics Lauren Olson & Jana Schmieding perform solo and duo sketch “showcasing some of their funniest, weirdest, most memorable original characters” at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Present Just the Two of Us

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically terrific stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Michael Kosta, Justin Flanagan, and Jessika Cutts performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK][$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), 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), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Paul Virzi, and Monroe Martin performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Mark Normand, Pete Lee, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 5:30 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 Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.