NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/3/14

May 3, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

MIke Lawrence

Only Mike Lawrence and Chris Hardwick could turn the relatively staid Carolines into Comic Con for two glorious hours.

Chris Hardwick

Come experience the joy I did last night, and grab tickets for Chris’ only headlining performance that hasn’t yet sold out @midnight

The George Lucas Talk Show

…or join Chris Gethard, Abbi Jacobson, and more celebrate Star Wars Day with its creator at The George Lucas Talk Show

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] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Ed Gavagan (TED Talks), Christine Gentry (NRP’s This American Life), Micaela Blei (The Moth Unchained Tour), and RIch Greene (author of Inside the Dream). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Judah Friedlander at 7:00, 7:15, 8:45, and 9:15; Todd Barry at 9:15 and 10:30; and Jerrod Carmichael at 10:30 and 12:15, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [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), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($17.50 online using code JERROD; no min.): Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Derek Gains performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Rich Vos, Carmen Lynch, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Joe Pera, Zach Broussard, TJ Young, Sam Evans, Evan Davis, ad Drew Michael “risk getting slapped by Satan himself. Actually, he hosts only bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase”—plus, tonight only, cross-dressing in MIss American Hell—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matt Wayne & Doug Smith: See You in Hell

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group Boy Girl Boy Girl

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

9:30 pm ($10): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and/or Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus free cake!] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—with tonight’s comics (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short, and followed post-show downstairs by free cake: Underbelly

[TOP PICK]10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB East that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($17.50 online using code JERROD; no min.): Jerrod Carmichael (Neighbors, Lucas Bros. Moving Co.), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jerrod Carmichael, Carmen Lynch, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform sharp improv at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up new episodes of a TV classic at The PIT downstairs lounge: Saved by the Bell: The Lost Episodes

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): “Come celebrate the beginning of Star Wars Day with filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick, Jar-Jar Binks, as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema,” with comedy genius Chris Gethard, Abbi Jacobson (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City), Andrew Law (Seth Meyers), and musical guest Emilyn Brodsky (HBO’s Girls) performing what’s likely to be a memorable event at the UCB East theatre hosted by Connor Ratliff & Shaun Diston: The George Lucas Talk Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($38.25 & 2-drink min.; the 7:30 and 10:00 pm shows are sold out, but grab tickets for the final performance @midnight): One of the quickest, sharpest, and funniest hosts ever (@midnight, Talking Dead, Talking Bad; CEO of Nerdist), and one of the warmest and irresistibly likable comics in the biz (it’s a cosmic joke that Chris’ Comedy Central show is opposite TBS’ Pete Holmes, one of the other nicest comics in the biz) headlining one final time at the Carolines Comedy Club (with a brilliant opener from razor-sharp ubernerd Mike Lawrence): Chris Hardwick

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight pm ($12.50 online using code JERROD; no min.): Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Jerrod Carmichael (Neighbors, Lucas Bros. Moving Co.), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Rich Vos, Jerrod Carmichael, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($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), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Maria Heinegg, and Meghan Hanley performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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.