NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/28/14

June 28, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Whitney Cummings debuts her hour-long special I Love You
at 11:00 pm and 2:00 am on Comedy Central

Thomas Middleditch

On this second day of the The 16th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon, highlights include Gravid Water (with such stars as Thomas Middleditch) and The Improvised Shakespeare Company (ditto)…

Taylor Williamson

…while if you love stand-up, the wonderful Taylor Williamson headlines at Gotham

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.

[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 includes Tom Papa at every show except 12:15, and Judah Friedlander at the 7:00 and 7:15 shows, and Dave Attell at the 10:30 and 12:15 shows, 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] 7:00 pm ($12): Improv from performers in their underwear—Shaina Stigler, Tim Racine, Langston Belton, and Michael Greene (but not Julie Sharbutt, who’ll be at DCM’s Gravid Water)—make up scenes based on tales spun by a fully clothed guest monologist at The PIT upstairs theatre: Instamacy

7:00 pm ($12): “Every family has a black sheep, but the Damn Family is all black sheep. When they get together, things get weird with not-so-wholesome, not-so-family-friendly sketch comedy fun” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Damn Family

[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

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 & 10:00 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who just barely missed 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 comic and wonderful person—headlines tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Taylor Williamson

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code SUMMER; 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Derek Gains performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Ari Shaffir, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski (Wolf of Wall Street,, HBO’s Girls,, Comedy Central’s Michael and Michael Have Issues, award-winning sketch group Murderfist), Seaton Smith (FOX’s The John Mulaney Show, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and Ron Krasnow performing stand-up sets and then being interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

[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

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

[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

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12): Improvisors make up a religion based on an audience suggestion—e.g., The Church of the Carrot, The Church of Crime—and then make up hymns, readings, sermons, sacraments, and more on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Fake Church

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio’s Last Podcast On The Left  “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the Left Live

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code SUMMER; 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Derek Gains performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, Ben Bailey, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform sharp improv at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($12): Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Monroe Martin (Last Comic Standing), Kevin Iso, and Sara Armour performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey NBC series; MTV): Late Night Stand-Up

[FREE] Midnight: Two sketch troupes (not announced) each perform for 30 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kokomo: Sketch Show

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-$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.