NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/27/14

June 27, 2014

For more, please visit

TV Alert: Amy Poehler is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Lewis Black and Kevin Spacey are on Jimmy Fallon (repeated from 5/2)

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:

[SUPER-MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 5:30 pm Friday-1:00 am Monday ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 16th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon will run continuously from 5:30 pm on Friday June 27th, 2014 until roughly 11:30 pm on Sunday June 29th. Improv groups from all around the US and Canada—and a few places further away—will perform over 400 shows, typically in 15- or 30-minute blocks, for over 50 hours. Tickets will be $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain.

As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, which will cause long waits to get into UCB Chelsea (307 West 26th Street), which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by seven additional venues; for details, please click here.

For the complete schedule, please click here. To view shows organized by performer, please click here. To view the list of premium shows (which cost an additional $20 each), please click here. (Please note that if any premium show doesn’t sell out and you have a marathon pass, you can receive a remaining seat free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.)

DCM is pure comedy magic. I won’t be doing my traditional intensive three-day coverage (I recently got a book client a $1 million deal, and we’re on too tight a publishing schedule); but like every year, I highly recommend this greatest improv festival in the world. Don’t miss it.

[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 for one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Abigoliah Schamaun

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 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 Ted Alexandro, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Dan Soder, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show; Ben Bailey, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Rachel Feinstein, and Dov Davidoff at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Dov Davidoff 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

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot: Vern and Royals

8:00 pm ($10): Improv duo Nathan Phillips & Joe Schiappa, plus guests, make stuff up using unusual improv structures at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Nathan & Joe Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups aiming to slay audiences at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Destroy All Humans

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 & 10:30 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who just barely missing winning a $1 million prize by coming in second in last year’s America’s Got Talent competition on NBC—and who’s an exceptionally funny and great guy, and I’ll personally be going to see—headlines tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Taylor Williamson

[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

9:30 pm ($8): 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 ($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), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Christian Finnegan, and More

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

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 10:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[TOP PICK]11:00 pm ($10): Wonderful comedy talents David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet) and Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) team up for the first time to perform a play-like sketch show at The PIT downstairs lounge: David and Katie Get Re-Married

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($12): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

[FREE] Midnight: NYC comics & storytellers (not announced) share holiday-themed tales of love and/or horror at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Brandon Wetherbee: You, Me, Them, Everybody Live

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

6:00 pm ($5): Hour-long open mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic. Check-in is at 5:45 at the new Comedians Club of New York (158 West 72nd Street), which was formerly The Triad Theatre: Comedians Club Open Mic

[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)

(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