NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/25/14

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Whoopi Goldberg is on Arsenio Hall;
Jack Black is on Ellen DeGeneres

Tom Papa

Stand-up stars Tom Papa…

Whitney Cummings

…and Whitney Cummings perform at the 8:00 pm Comedy Cellar

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:

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 11:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, including a free improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Abigoliah Schamaun (carny stand-up; co-host of Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar and Dick’s Open Mic) hones a 30-minute stand-up set this week every night through Thursday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Abigoliah Schamaun

7:30 pm ($5): “We’ve raided the Awful Sketch Vaults of yesteryear and asked our favorite comedians to bring in and perform their worst sketches live” at UCB East with John Milhiser (SNL), and hosts Justin Michael & Jacob Reed: Before You Were Funny

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups at Solas (232 East 9th Street off Second Avenue) hosted by Michelle Slonim: One Flight Up

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you might be able get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure, by such ace talents as Jeff Hiller and Ashley Ward. BWC is running every night through Thursday at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street). Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include a killer lineup of Whitney Cummings, Tom Papa, and Ryan Hamilton at the 8:00 show, and a strong lineup of Neal Brennan, Dave Attell, Gregg Rogell, and Marina Franklin at the 9:45 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard: Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell’s Comedy Central show Comedy Underground happens live at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly show in which “stand-ups throw their set lists out the window for a night of wild riffing. Comics premiere a story that they’ve never told anyone, improvise a stand-up set based on an audience suggestion, or rant off the cuff. Also expect freestyling and musical improv in an anything goes atmosphere that makes for a one-of-a-kind experience.” Tonight’s comics are Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), and Matthew Maragno performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her band The Vigilante: Rifftown

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storytellers Bridey Elliott, Selena Coppock, Mike Albo, and Robin Gelfenbien telling true tales about Therapy at at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned There Might Be Some Issues: Stories About Therapy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Melanie Hamlett, Adam Wade, Josh Sharp, Christian Capozzoli, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and hilarious, with tonight’s topic Fathers, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), Ashley Morris, Joshua Spear, Rhonda Hansome, Liz Magee, and Mike Boyer performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg, and hosted tonight by Katherine Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match.” On the improv side is team Sandino; while the stand-ups are Aaron Glaser, Christian Spicer, and Matteo Lane, all performing at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Nick Vatterott, Becky Yamamoto, Phil Hanley, Ryan Conner, Jason Kanter, Megan Gailey, Jon Savoy, and Nick Whitmer performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A full-blown musical about “three polygamist pop stars on the hunt for their brother husband,” starring Caitlin Davis, Kaleigh Malloy, and Elizabeth May (with some help from Dave May): Missionary in Manhattan: A Mormon Musical

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch about our national pastime: Baseball is America

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): A wonderful opportunity to spend an hour with one of the best stand-ups in the biz, Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander For The Hour

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced sitcom; MTV) and Gary Richardson hosts a mob of comics—The Reformed Whores, Lukas Kaiser, Matteo Lane, Claire Titleman, Rohit Kohil, Alex Castle, Ethan Stanislawski, Leclerc Darguin, Jason Weitzman, Eric Gersen, Farah Brooke, and Derek Humphrey—packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

Wednesday 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: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

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 Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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-$20)

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)

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

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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