NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/1/14

May 1, 2014

TV Alert: Louis C.K. and Amy Sedaris are on David Letterman 11:35 pm on CBS.

Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick’s show is sold out tonight, but there are still tickets for Friday at 7:30 and Saturday @midnight headlining at Carolines

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: Star Joy Behar (The View, The Joy Behar Show) practices a one-woman show, with opener 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, numerous albums include Better Stronger Faster and Big Room) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Joy Behar and Tom Shillue

7:00 pm ($5): A long set of stand-up at UCB Chelsea from Terry Withers

7:00 pm ($5): Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show and podcast Risk!, owner of The Story Studio), Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Drew Michael, and Shaun Bedgood performing at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:00 pm ($8): Three improv teams make up scenes as slacker characters at The PIT downstairs lounge: Slackers

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.; sold out tonight, but you can still grab tickets for Friday at 7:30 and Saturday @midnight): One of the quickest, sharpest, and funniest hosts ever (@midnight, Talking Dead, Talking Bad; CEO of Nerdist) headlines tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris Hardwick

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 8:00 pm (FREE online using code FUSION; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Dan St. Germain, Dan Soder, Mark DeMayo, and Aaron Berg

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp prove themselves among the finest writer/performers at UCB with a consistently charming and hilarious version of Forest Gump that covers the entire film in 30 minutes, and features a deliciously funny Jenny played by Brandon Gulya, who also directed, resulting in one of the best sketch shows currently playing on an NYC stage: GUMP

…and in the second half of this double-bill, scenes from a nautical sketch group: BOAT

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Jacqueline Novak, and Billy Dotter 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-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 The Love Story (begins with a significant moment in a romantic relationship, and explores the world the couple inhabits and the characters & relationships in their lives), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from star storyteller Ophira Eisenberg 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): Storytellers Emmy Harrington (Reno 911), Jamie LeeLo (host of Brunch Night), Carly Ann Filbin (sketch group Lady Parts), Jillian Green. and GInny Leise tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

8:00 pm ($8): Two musical improv groups make up song-and-dance-based stories on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Slick Zombie & Hemlock

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Tanael Joachim TJ, Jackie Jax, and Menuhin Hart 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: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Leah Bonnema & Tim Warner: Modern Day Philosophers

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

8:30 pm ($5): Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, FX’s Totally Biased), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), and Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Improvisors aim for “the comedy, drama, and vocal juiciness of a Mozart masterpiece made up on the spot; come hear beautiful arias appear out of nowhere as someone’s beloved is ravaged by a cheese monster, Gary Busey, or anything else the audience suggests” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Opera

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Late Night Snack

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($6 online using code JERROD; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Jerrod Carmichael (Neighbors, Lucas Bros. Moving Co.), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and John Huck performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Dan St. Germain, Jerrod Carmichael, Dan Soder, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, FX’s Totally Biased), and Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men) performing at this 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: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit won its 13th victory in a row by crushing group TOPS! with a score of 96-12. Tonight FTS aims to bring down high-flying UCB East weekend group Airwolf, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

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 PhoningItInMic@gmail.com 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 Hello Laser 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 info@oldmanhustle.com 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)

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.