NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/11/14

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Marc Maron and Melissa McCarthy are on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 6/30); Jenny Slate is Seth Meyers (repeated from 6/19); Julian McCullough and Moshe Kasher are on Chelsea Lately (repeated from 6/30)

Trevor Noah

South African comedy star Trevor Noah headlines through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club

Aidy Bryant

…and SNL’s Aidy Bryant performs improv with Tami Sagher and Shannon O’Neill as brilliant trio Aidy/Tami/Spo

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, 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 Hannibal Buress, Gregg Rogell, Kevin Brennan, Matt Lamp, Lynne Koplitz, and Robert Kelly at the 7:00 show; Hannibal Buress, Ben Bailey, Kevin Brennan, Matt Lamp, and Robert Kelly at the 8:45 show; Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, Kevin Brennan, and Dov Davidoff at the 10:30 show, and Dave Attell, Jeff Ross, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Big Jay Oakerson, 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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), Dean Edwards (Saturday Night Live, MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, HBO’s The Sopranos, feature film Scared Shrekless), Doug Smith (co-host of See You In Hell), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…” featuring Mallory Schlossberg, Claire Yale, and Nicole Dellert performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch group CA$H performs for an hour at The Magnet theatre: CA$H Prize

7:00 pm ($10): Musical improv from the group that hosts the weekly Pitch jam performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: [title of team]

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Three improv giants—Tami Sagher, Shannon O’Neill, and SNL star Aidy Bryant—make stuff up for a show that quickly sold out at UCB Chelsea (but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Aidy/Tami/Spo

[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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min): The head writer of Saturday Night Live headlines tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Colin Jost

[TOP PICK]8:00 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), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Wyatt Cenac, Gary Gulman, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): A mix of storytelling, stand-up, and characters from Julia Wiedeman (host of UCB East’s Happy Hour Story Hour), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Tim Ellis (co-host of Manifesto), Corinne Fisher, Kate Greathead, and Tiana Miller for a show providing advice from actual relationship experts Marc Gerber and Sara Armour at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Relationshit!

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Comedy trio Eli Sairs, Joel Walkowski, and Jeff Wesselschmidt performs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Wildcats

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($26 plus two-drink min.): A huge star in South Africa who’s also performed on Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, off-off-Broadway, and at the Edinburgh Festival headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Trevor Noah

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($12): Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone), Naomi Ekperigin, and Nathaniel Cocca-Bates tell tales about this month’s theme of Wedding Season, and then powerhouse improv musical guest Rebecca Vigil and her band The Vigilante will sing a song on the spot based on those stories at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anna Rose Roisman: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

8:30 pm ($5): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout), Dave Rosinsky, Simmons McDavid, and Brian McLoughlin performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Fort Useless (36 Ditmars Street) hosted by George Flanagan: Spit Take Friday

[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

[FREE—plus FREE DRINKS! Reserve seats by emailing lukaskaiser@gmail.com with subject LEVER2000] 9:00 pm for free drinks & snacks, 9:30 pm for show: Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), John Early (Ars Nova’s Showgasm), and Shakir Standley performing stand-up at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Hoff Matthews & Lukas Kaiser: HP5000 Live Comedy

9:30 pm ($10): A sketch comedy troupe performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel: A Sketch Show

[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), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Wyatt Cenac, Ben Bailey, Big Jay Oakerson, 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] 10:00 pm: Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Amanda Baramki, Alison Leiby, Andrew Short, and a whole bunch of other stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City produced by Peggy O’Leary & Rebecca A. Trent and hosted by Christi Chiello: Creek Cave Live

10:00 pm ($8): All-gal dark sketch comedy written & directed by a guy, Michael Newman, with a troublesome title (chances are it’s either great or really bad) at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Total Babes!

[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): Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), John Harris (Adult Swim, The Onion), and Max Fox 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($12): Kevin Brown (30 Rock), Hoda Mahmoodzadegan (founder of Molly’s Milk Truck), Mehdi Barakchian, and more are interviewed and/or perform at this late night talk show hosted by the spectacular dancing Jamie LeeLo at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Karaoke hosted by Will Winner & Kyle Ayers at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge: Karaoke Night

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): UCBT house manager and tech guy supreme Pat Baer has scoured the Web to share with you its most bizarre and compelling videos, plus a razor-sharp panel of comics to comment on them—Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Jessica Morgan (improv group Big Revival), and Ken Beck (sketch group Ripley)—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: 404ing It: Breaking (Down) the Internet

[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 Ronica Reddick, stand-up from Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets) and Kath Williams, and burlesque from Fem Appeal and Zoe Ziegfeld, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

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: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…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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