NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/7/14

June 7, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Colin Quinn

Colin Quinn and other stand-up stars form tonight’s exceptionally strong lineups at Comedy Cellar

Jim O'Grady

…and Jim O’Grady is among the storytellers attempting to deceive you at Andy Christie’s The Liar Show

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($10 cover plus $10 drink min.; 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 Jim O’Grady (The New York Times, NPR’s This American Life, WNYC Radio, Moth GrandSlam Champion), Steve Zimmer (The Moth Radio Hour), Meliora Dockery (Moth StorySlam champion), and host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) at the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) attempting 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 exceptionally strong lineups include Colin Quinn, Ted Alexandro, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Colin Quinn, Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Kyle Dunnigan, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:15 show; Colin Quinn, Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, Kyle Dunnigan, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show; Colin Quinn, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Kyle Dunnigan at the 9:15 show; Neal Brennan, Dave Attell, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, and Russ Meneve at the 10:30 show; and Neal Brennan, Dave Attell, Nick Griffin, Big Jay Oakerson, and Damien Lemon at the 12:15 show, 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

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Improv from performers in their underwear—Julie Sharbutt, Shaina Stigler, Tim Racine, Langston Belton, and Michael Greene—make up scenes based on tales spun by fully clothed guest monlogist Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Instamacy

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Six improvisors make up scene while all playing Christopher Walken in this unique show at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Walkens Welcome

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom), Phil Hanley (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Kelly Fastuca, Will Miles, and more NYC stand-ups “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” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matt Wayne & Doug Smith: See You in Hell

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($20; 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Derek Gains performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glaser, Ari Shaffir, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Joe Rumrill, Julio Torres, Body Dreamz, and Young Sherlock Holmes Jr. & Court Stenographer, and DJs Emilio Airhorn & Kurt Life performing at Brooklyn’s The Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Avenue) hosted by Rose Luardo & Andrew Jeffrey Wright: Comedy Dreamz

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12): For one night only, brilliant improvisors Dan Hodapp, Micah Sherman, Natasha Rothwell, Jodi Lennon, Greg Kotis, and Evan Kaufman reunite to make up three one-act plays on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Scene

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]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), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), and more form an improv group 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] [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

10:00 pm ($5): “Lucas Hazlett & Joe Schiappa present to you the best of last month’s news today. Featuring some very special guests. If you haven’t read, listened or watched anything in the last 30 days, this is the show for you” at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): And Now, Old News

[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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “Join 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 guest comics TBA at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Connor Ratliff & Shaun Diston: The George Lucas Talk Show

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with NYC comics (not announced) plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: Battlicious

11:30 pm ($5.45 in advance online, $10 at the door): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Frank Liotti, and Lauren Vino performing stand-up at the City Winery (155 Varick Street) hosted by Laura Prangley: Late Night Uncorked Comedy

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sasheer Zamata (star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), and more 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.