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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.
7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” at The Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who just barely missed winning a $1 million prize by coming in second in last year’s America’s Got Talent competition on NBC—and who’s an exceptionally funny comic and wonderful person—headlines one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Taylor Williamson
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Mark Normand, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Nick Griffin, Kurt Metzger, Mark Normand, and Marina Franklin at the 9:45 show; and Date Attell, Carmen Lynch, Jon Fisch, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb guest improvisors Micah Sherman, Doug Stoley, and Philip Markle, and guest improv groups Barcelona ’92 and Cats! Cats! Cats! Cats! Cats! Cats!, join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One
[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code SUMMER; no min.): Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Lil Rel, Kyle Grooms, Reginal Thomas, and hosts Amanda Seales (VH1) & Marc Lamont Hill performing stand-at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Smart, Funny, and Black
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically terrific stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago): Comedy Night
Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages
[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic
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] 10:00 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress
[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up’s at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello: Lance Bass Space Mic
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)
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)
Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)
(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.)
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.)
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.