NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/16/14

July 16, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: Jerry Seinfeld is on The Daily Show;
Mark Normand is on Conan O’Brien;
Nathan Fielder (star of Comedy Central’s Nathan For You,
which I just started watching and at its best is super funny)
is on David Letterman; Whoopi Goldberg is on Jimmy Fallon

Michelle Wolf

At UCB Chelsea at 8:00, delightful & hilarious Michelle Wolf debuts one-woman stand-up show She Needs a Cat

Gilbert Gottfried

…and at 11:00 Scott Rogowsky hosts comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried (above), SNL star Sasheer Zamata, and more at Running Late

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE—but For Gal Comics Only!] 6:00 pm-9:00 pm: A three-hour informal gathering of NYC female comics across the board—stand-ups, storytellers, sketch performers, improvisors, musicians, producers, bookers, podcasters, etc.—at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Rebecca Trent & Selena Coppock: Lady Comedy Gathering/Networking at The Creek

[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

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, including a free improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($10): NYC comics are panelists for this game show in which “four smart, funny people are quizzed on odd and obscure bits of trivia that just might save your life (probably not, though)” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by MIchael FIsher: Pop Quiz Hotshot

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Rizzo, Witch, and Boom Box: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): In this special show, stand-ups take suggestions from the audience and make up an entirely new set on the spot, with tonight’s brave comics 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), Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live and genius improvisor for whom this format may be perfect), Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV, Chelsea Lately), Casey Balsham, and Robby Slowik performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Stand-Up on the Spot with Todd Barry, Sasheer Zamata, Joe DeRosa, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joanna Bradley plays a bunch of characters in her one-woman show I Am Very Important People

…and in the other half of this double-bill, the wonderful Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC) performs a one-woman stand-up show about anything that catches her delightful attention: Michelle Wolf: She Needs a Cat

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Gary Gulman, and Kevin Brennan at the 8:00 show, Hannibal Buress, Gregg Rogell, Rachel Feinstein, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:45 show, and Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, BIg Jay Oakerson, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nick Thune (Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Kate Wolff, Janelle James, and Joe Welkie performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg, and hosted tonight by Katherine Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer The Vigilante), Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Maria Heinegg, Chrissie Mayr, Nate Craig, Brendan McLaughlin, Chris Griggs, Calvin S. Cato, and Joe Gerics performing stand-up, plus sketch group Werewolf Junction, at the Revision Lounge (219 Avenue B, between 13th & 14th Streets) hosted by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Ashley Brooke Roberts, Courtney Maginnis, Bob Hansen, Irene Hartmann, and Sam Taggart performing in this monthly show that “puts comics inside of a video game that plays itself” and offers prizes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Steven DeSiena & Stephen Whalen: You and the Screen

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5; no min.): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Abigoliah Schamaun (carny stand-up; co-host of Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar and Dick’s Open Mic), Ben Kissel (host of Last Podcast on the Left), Kenny Garcia, Jon Rudnitsky, and Casey James Salengo performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Dean Street (755 Dean Street) hosted by Seena Jon: Dean Street Comedy

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), and Kevin Bartini (The Daily Show) performing stand-up hosted by Alex Brizel at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Christian Duguay (Executive Producer of MTV’s Ridiculousness), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Emily Maya Mills (NBC’s Parks and Recreation), Del Harrison (The Wendy Williams Show), Ricky Velez (FX’s Totally Biased), TJ Del Reno, Alyssa Wolff, Brendan McLaughlin, and Alex Fossella performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Joe Machi (breakout star on current season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), and Meghan O’Keefe (VH1) performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Carmen Angelica performs a one-woman show using music, animation, and attitude, with direction by the wonderful Becky Drysdale: Who Am I and What the Hell Am I Doing?

…and in the other half of this double-bill, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): A wonderful opportunity to spend an hour with one of the best stand-ups in the biz, Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander For The Hour

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors pair up for one night only, tonight featuring superb improvisors and hosts Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell, plus the brilliant Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers, Stone Cold Fox) and more performing at the UCB East theatre: Couples Skate

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Great lineup of comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried, Saturday Night LIve star Sasheer Zamata, former SNL cast member John Milhiser, and Daily Show writer Matt Koff performing and/or being interviewed at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

Wednesday 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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. 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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email with subject line Phoning Wednesday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Higgins and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible 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