NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/13/14

May 13, 2014

TV Alert: New Inside Amy Schumer at 10:30 pm and 2:30 am on Comedy Central (for highlights of the red-hot Season 2 to date, please click here); Weird Al Yankovic and Mamrie Hart are on @midnight

Ashley Brooke Roberts

Ashley Brooke Roberts debuts a new monthly stand-up show: Sweet Tooth Comedy

Blaine Swen of The Improvised Shakespeare Company

…and Blaine Swen spearheads the finest improv troupe in the world performing for its final night in NYC: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($26.87 online or $25 at the door with discount code MAY FB; please note this show has SOLD OUT of chairs, but the theatre can often squeeze people in to sit on stairs or stand): Genius improvisors from Chicago—including Thomas Middleditch (star of HBO’s Silicon Valley)—delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the finale of a three-night NYC run at at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), with every evening utterly different from the last. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:00 pm ($8): Comedy duo Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil perform sketch at The PIT downstairs lounge: Keith & Jesse

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Higgins, Grammer, and GoodGirl at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK][$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink 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), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), and Leslie Warren (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Anthony P. Devito, and musical improv group Pop Roulette performing at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street) for this new monthly show hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts: Sweet Tooth Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, tonight features screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are “canceled” at Channel 101

8:00 pm ($10): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: National Scandal

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Emily Winter, Matt Donaher, Tim Duffy, Alex Ryu, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up or sketch for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific NYC stand-ups (for an updated lineup, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Mark Normand (rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Luke Cunningham (monologue writer for Jimmy Fallon), Dion Flynn (plays President Obama on Jimmy Fallon;, LOGO’s Big Gay Sketch Show, VH1’s Best Week Ever, improv group Big Black Car), and “special guests” performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome), Clark Jones, and Alyssa Wolff performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Kevin McCaffrey, Robert Dean, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): “Katie Haller may be small, but her jokes will kick you hard in the shins. Watch her do 20 minutes on what life is like as a small White African British American Jew riddled by dating & social media anxiety” headlining at the only comedy club in the East Village: Katie Haller Headlines at Eastville

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Graceland, The Regulars, and Namaste at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): A mash-up of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and HBO’s Girls in a critically acclaimed 50 minutes that’s reportedly “brilliant” and “hysterical” at The PIT upstairs lounge: Women

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Catie Lazarus (The New York Times, host of Employee of the Month), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), and Leah Palmieri share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Exceptionally strong lineup of Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show, comedy album Women and Black Dudes), 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), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Neal Brennan, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; 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), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), and Danny Palmer performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glaser, Barry Rothbart, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups each tell precisely three jokes at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Seth Cockfield: Three Joke Mafia

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open-mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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

[FREE] 6:15 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys Open MIc

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening 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 Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 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-host Koshin Egal: The Dump

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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.