NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/13/14

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Dave Chappelle is on Jimmy Fallon;
Kumail Nanjiani is on Seth Meyers; Joe List is on David Letterman;
Adam Newman and Tommy Johnagin star in Comedy Central’s Half Hour

Aparna Nancherla

Rising star Aparna Nancherla performs at Live From Outer Space and And I Am Not Lying

The Wizard of Oz

…and improvisors recreate a classic film off the top of their heads at Entirely From Memory: The Wizard of Oz

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] 7:00 pm ($7): Sketch group The Misses performs parodies of various HBO series at The Magnet theatre: The Misses: HBO Sketch Show

[$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, UK’s Jimmy Carr, and Kevin Brennan at the 7:00 show; Neal Brennan, Gary Gulman, and Kevin Brennan at the 10:30 show; and Ted Alexandro, Dave Attell, and Kevin Brennan at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

7:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot: Vern and Royals

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers) does a show based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[TOP PICK]8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Rich Vos, Jessica Kirson, and More

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($53 & 2-drink min.) A TV and movie comic who first earned fame on Chappelle’s Show, and has gone on to star in the hour-long Comedy Central special I WIll Not Apologize and appear in TBS’ Are We There Yet?, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Charlie Murphy

8:00 pm ($10): A one-man show by Desmond Thorne, directed by the wonderful Dan Hodapp, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Desmond Thorne Presents

8:00 pm ($10): Two comedy groups compete based on suggestions from the audience at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Comedy Sportz

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm (8:30 pm show is $26 & 2-drink min.; but for 10:30 pm show, tickets are FREE if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 367-9000 and mention code SHARK, though there’s still a 2-drink min. per person):A veteran stand-up who’s performed on HBO, Comedy Central, and Logo, and won two Emmys as a writer/producer for The Rosie O’Donnell Show headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Judy Gold

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Pete Holmes Show CNN, TBS), Claire Titelman (Chelsea Lately, American Pie: Band Camp), Tim Warner (host of Modern Day Philosophers), Steve Wrigley, Kip Potharas, ad Dustin Wesley performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Rena Zager (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, producer of Dave’s Old Porn), and Vladimir Caamano performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: Nasal Vice Stand-Up

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK]10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Rich Vos, Jessica Kirson, and More

[TOP PICK]10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Liza Treyger (Comedy Central), and Kelly (Tosh.0) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($10): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge: Gentlemen Party

11:00 pm ($5): Improv in the dark at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): BAT Show

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): “Nine performers attempt to recreate the story of Dorothy using only what they can remember from the film. Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience. Performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth. And one lucky audience member will be given a horn that he or she can honk three times. Once honked, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in the story but makes perfect sense given where they are in the tale” at this unique mix of scripted & improv comedy at The Magnet theatre: Entirely From Memory: The Wizard of Oz

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): This monthly stand-up, storytelling, and carny show brings the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, with storytelling from host Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life) and Natasha Rothwell (Hodapp & Rothwell, The Story Pirates, The Curfew), stand-up from Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased) and Daniel Simonsen, burlesque from Sake Fevah, and bullwhip & lasso tricks from Chris McDaniel, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), and Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien) performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

Friday 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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 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 Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

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.

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