NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/13/14

July 13, 2014

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Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

It’s a great night at The Magnet, kicking off with improvised Unoriginal Lifetime Movies

Michelle Wolf

…then late night TV writers Michelle Wolf and Matt Koff each perform 30-minute stand-up sets

TV KIds Place!

…and then sketch group Party. puts on a last hoorah for a cancelled faux TV children’s show at TV Kids Place!

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] [FREE] 2:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), 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), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and Anthony Devito performing for a free outdoor show at Tompkins Square Park (at the Old Bandshell Lawn): Laughter in the Park

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmosh, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Ace gal improvisors Megan Gray, Rosie Whalen, and more springboard an audience suggestion to create a terrible Lifetime TV movie (“come prepared to watch a live film filled with heartbreak, disease, violence, despair, hope, courage, sassy neighbors, murders, heroes, whores, assholes, dumb babies who take up all your time, revenge, love, sex, hate, and chocolate”) at The Magnet theatre: Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central, co-host of Live From Outer Space) hones a 30-minute stand-up set every night this week through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Erik Bergstrom

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors create children’s tales on the spot based on an audience suggestion at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): The Improvised Children’s Book

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Two powerhouse stand-ups, Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC) and show host Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), each perform a 30-minute set at The Magnet theatre: Michelle Wolf and Matt Koff

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door or $6.49 online): The spectacular Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this show in which “you represent your single friends onstage in a live dating game! Single friends may cringe and remain as anonymous as they want in the crowd unless their friends are chosen for the match! Then they must come onstage to retrieve 2 drink tickets which they must redeem immediately. The New York Post calls this ‘part roast, part game-show, part social experiment.’ Arrive early to register you and a friend. Open to all orientations. Out of 100 couples matched, 5 couples have managed to develop actual long-term relationships. One couple just moved in together. It’s amazing and defies all odds” at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Friends of Single People

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 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 one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Trevor Noah

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; 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), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), John Moses, and Luis J. Gomez performing stand-up that rips something or someone deserving to shreds at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Nathan Rand: An Invitation to a Beheading

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Kevin Brennan, and Matt Lamp at the 8:00 show; Jeff Ross, Ryan Hamilton, Rachel Feinstein, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Greg Warren, BIg Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril 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 ($12): “Improvised one-acts in the style of prominent playwrights and genres, spontaneously generating an original and hilarious work of instantly important theater right before your eyes” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Ashley Ward, Doug Stoley, and Morgan Phillips, and guest improv groups The Punctual Drunks and Marmalade, 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

8:00 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour), Nate Craig (Tosh.0), Robby Slowik, Lane Piescheland, and Rojo Perez performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sketch group Party. performs a show based on this innovative premise: “One of the last remaining Saturday morning children’s television shows, the long-running TV Kids Place!, is finally cancelled. And there’s only one thing host Pippi Pederson-Morales, Max the Mathemagician, Dr. Cowboy, Cloggo the Janitor, Willy McNilly, and the rest of the gang can do to stop it—put on the greatest show of their lives. Can Pippi and friends save Saturday morning kids TV? Come to a live taping and see for yourself!” at The Magnet theatre: TV Kids Place!

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mike Trainor, Irene Hartmann, Dan Shaki, Chris Calogero, Sean McCarthy, and Owen Straw performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman (The Baldwins), Julie Sharbutt (Gravid Water, Instamacy), Katie Hartman (Hartman & Carl, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), Meg Griffiths (The Baldwins), Matt Catanzano (Simply Unemployable), and David Rysdahl (The Studio System) make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; 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), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Gary Vider, and More

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

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 5:30 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 Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[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 is 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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.