NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/24/14

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

TV Alert: Marc Maron, Sara Schaefer, and Kyle Kinane are on @midnight;
Arden Myrin is on Chelsea Lately;
Wanda Sykes is on Ellen DeGeneres (repeated from 3/14);
NBC’s Last Comic Standing features Jeff Ross roasting Gilbert Gottfried

Reformed Whores

Delightful singing duo The Reformed Whores produce an extravaganza at Brooklyn’s Union Hall

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:

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): An improvised musical made up on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre by  The Shady Bunch

7:00 pm ($5): Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Janelle James, Brian McGuiness, and Emily Epstein White performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[FREE] 7:00 pm: “Alí Bibi is a traditional Muslim woman with a sense of humor. She has been doing stand-up comedy every time she is able to leave the house without her husband noticing” honing a long stand-up set every night this week through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: The Good, The Bad, and the Burka

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) “Chloe” on FOX’s 24 is actually a talented stand-up, and she headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mary Lynn Rajskub

7:30 pm ($10): A new episode of TV’s Power Rangers made up on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Morphin’ Time: The Return of the Power Rangers

[$] 7:30 pm ($20; price includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Storytellers Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Baratunde Thurston (Bill Maher), and Julie Kraut (The Moth) tell true tales at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) with free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Hannibal Buress, Gregg Rogell, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:45 show; Colin Quinn, Hannibal Buress, Marina Franklin, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show; Nick Griffin, Carmen Lynch, Marina Franklin (hosting), Lenny Marcus, and Joe List at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Jena Friedman, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door, $11.59 in advance online): The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors) produce an eclectic variety show featuring Chris McDaniel (world champion trick roper), Carla Rhodes (“rock’n’roll ventriloquist;” for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here; for act with “Keith Richards,” please click here), Jenny Rocha & Her Painted Ladies (unusual dance troupe), and co-host Bastard Keith (burlesque MC and singer), all performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Reformed Whores Present Cirque du Ho-Leil

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), and Sue Smith telling stories about movies at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) hosted by John Murray & Matt Fisher: Low Standards with John & Matt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Story Story (improv that blurs the line between fact and fiction, using stories from the performers’ own lives to lead into a world of pretend and back again), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from Peter Aguero at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central Half Hour), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Jason Lawhead performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Joe List, Damien Lemon, and More

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show about “the ins and outs of the African American experience:” The Black Experience with Jonathan Braylock

…and in the second half of this double-bill, another one-man show: Christian Capozzoli: Nutso Facto

[$] ($12): 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), Moody McCarthy, Ritch Duncan, and Michael Somerville performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Crystian Ramirez, Andrew Tavin, Daniel Tirado, and Kerry Overfab Coddett performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street): FTH Comedy

[FREE; plus FREE CC] 8:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that features free cotton candy (“You will laugh and then have a sugar crash”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Matteo Lane: Free Cotton Candy

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at A Non-Daily Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Katharine Heller (Naked in a Fishbowl), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Shaina Feinberg, and J LaLonde telling daring personal tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s theme Absurd for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), 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), Jamal Harrington (visiting from Seattle), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Jaqi Furback: Big Ups Comedy: Jared Logan, Justy Dodge, and More

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Tim Dillon, and Edison Apple performing at Upper East Side gay bar The Toolbox (1742 Second Avenue off 90th Street) hosted by Kyle Ocasio: Caged Comedy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): This monthly show is dedicated to an artist or a work of art that has had a significant impact on the lives of various performers from around the city. This month features the work of Whitney Houston; “told through their unique point of view, comics will discuss how one song changed their lives forever” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Oscar Montoya: I Will Always Love You… Whitney Houston

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central Half Hour), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Jason Lawhead, and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Adrienne Iapalucci, Joe List, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly comedy variety show featuring sketch, character bits, and stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Comedic Information

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; HBO, trutV, TLC, co- host of Dive Comedy), and Jibz Cameron (Dynasty Handbag) performing at this weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In a shocking upset, last week ace weekend improv team Grandma’s Ashes was crushed by upstart challenger Jimmy Fedora (“New York’s smoothest improv team”) in an audience vote of 109-68. Tonight the new champion will try to hang onto its crown against one of the finest improv groups on the planet, The Stepfathers, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday 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: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday 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 Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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-$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 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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