NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 7/19/14

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

Colin Quinn

Colin Quinn (above) and Michael Che perform on the same lineup for four shows tonight at Comedy Cellar

D. L. Hughley

…and D. L. Hughley headlines one last night (Sunday’s performance has been canceled) at Carolines

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:

6:00 pm ($10): Two musical improv groups compete based on suggestions from the audience at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Comedy Sportz

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 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 Colin Quinn, MIchael Che, Gregg Rogell, and Kevin Brennan at the 7:00 show; Colin Quinn, MIchael Che, Kevin Hannibal, and Dov Davidoff at the 7:15 show; Colin Quinn, MIchael Che, Carmen Lynch, and Dov Davidoff at the 8:45 show; Colin Quinn, MIchael Che, Kevin Brennan, and Monroe Martin at the 9:15 show; Dave Attell, Kevin Brennan, and Dov Davidoff at the 10:30 show; and Michael Che, Dave Attell, Kevin Brennan, Big Jay Oakerson, and Monroe Martin at the 12:15 show, 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] [$] [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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[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: Storytelling from Cyndi Freeman, Diana Spechler, and Aaron Wolfe at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Nisse Greenberg: Bad Feelings: Barriers

[$] 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 upstairs theatre: Damn Family

7:00 pm ($10): On this political comedy show, Dee Dee Benkie (Republican strategist), Robert George (New York Post), Lucas Hazlett (MTV), Meg Griffiths-Anderson (The Baldwins), Whitney Meers (TruTV), David Kimball-Stanley (The Last Show), Darcy Burke (Rocky Mountain Van Damage), and Kevin Cragg (Junior Varsity) gather to make fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($45.75 & 2-drink min.) A major comedy star (for a sample set, please click here) headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: D. L. Hughley

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

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] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code SUMMER; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), 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), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Adrienne Iapalucci, Marina Franklin, Joe DeRosa, and More

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($26 plus two-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed numerous times on David Letterman and Jay Leno, and starred in a popular Comedy Central special, headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Mitch Fatel

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “”New York’s number one sociophobic Weezer tribute band performs a night of videos, sketches, and songs from the blue album; you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wish they had a bass player” at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: An Evening WIth The Undone Sweaters

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] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Jeff Wesselschmidt, Sue Smith, Eli Sairs, and Naomi Karavani, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Toby Scales & Sean O’Reilly: Showcasey Jones

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE DRINKS!] 9:00 pm: Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live) and Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced NBC series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV) each perform 30-minute stand-up sets, plus music from Lynette Williams and Akie Bermiss, at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Lukas Kaiser. This will sell out, so be sure to RSVP at email address BritPackRentals@gmail.com with subject line Da Half Hour and the number of people in your party: Da’ Half Hour: Sasheer Zamata and Charla Lauriston

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy; in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group; was recently written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times; and is spearheaded by Henry Zebrowski, who’s a co-star of Wolf of Wall Street, performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Murderfist

9:30 pm ($10; includes free drink): Get dressed up and dance with some of the top comics and comedy instructors at The PIT downstairs lounge for this once-a-year event, which includes superb dancer Jamie Leelo: PIT Prom 2014

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code SUMMER; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups 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), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), 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), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, Marina Franklin, Joe DeRosa, and More

[TOP PICK]10:00 pm ($10): Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Tracey Wigfield (former writer for 30 Rock), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and more form an improv group at UCB East that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Nick Kanellis, Peter McNerney, and Julia Hynes make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy trio Trike

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch group Forever Dog seems tempted to try to pull off a musical at The PIT upstairs theatre: Forever Dog: Definitely Just Sketches, Totally Not a Musical

[TOP PICK]11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Women and gay men perform comedy as straight men for this unique show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City produced by L. Maul & Calvin Cato: Dudes Being Dudes Being Dudes

[DISCOUNTED] MIdnight ($9.75 online using discount code SUMMER; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), 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), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Joe DeRosa, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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-$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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