NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 8/17/14

August 17, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 show ratings & rankings, please click here.
For show reviews, please click here. For news about
added performances for sold out shows, please click here.

The Mormon Bird Play

At FringeNYC at 7:00 pm, the oddly allegorical The Mormon Bird Play

Gary Busey's One-Man Hamlet

…and at 2:15 pm, David Carl continues slaying audiences with his incredibly hilarious (see my review here) Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet

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:

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12): Theatrical improvisors make up a complete play on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[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

7:30 pm ($7): The favorite bits from sketch group Baby Shoes plus Toronto-based sketch group The Reception atThe Magnet theatre: Best of Baby Shows and The Reception

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Ben Bailey, Trevor Noah, Lynne Koplitz, and Jermaine Fowler at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Mark Normand, Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, and Zainab Johnson at the 9:45 show; and Todd Barry, Nikki Glaser, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm  ($9.75 online using discount code ALLSTAR; no min.): Trevor Noah (South African comic; Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, one-man show Born a Crime), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Taylor Ketchum, Mike Finoia, and Paul Hooper performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Trevor Noah, Adrienne Iapalucci, Adam Newman, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; includes hot dog & fries!): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and special guest stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks BBQ & Special Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups 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): Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’sAdam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Cannon, Adam Mamawala, and Julia Solomon performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Comics share their social media failures via stand-up, stories, sketches, and/or improv, with guests Katie Haller (“small White African British American Jew riddled by dating & social media anxiety;” co-host of You Probably Think This Song is About You), Anna Roisman (MTV; co-host of You Probably Think This Song Is About You), Shaun Diston (co-host of The George Lucas Talk Show), Lily Du, Sebastian Conelli, Evan Altshuler, Stephen McCarthy, Nicole Pasquale, and Lynn Bixenspan performing at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Aimee Lutkin & Audrey Stanfield: You’ve Got Fail

[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): 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), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[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

9:00 pm ($7): A comedy group named after a New Jersey amusement park performs sketches about that park atThe Magnet theatre: Action Park Goes to Action Park

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Katie Hannigan, Ronnie Fleming, Patrick Schroeder, and Sam Evans 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] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm  ($9.75 online using discount code ALLSTAR; no min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), 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), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Nikki Glaser, 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 PITdownstairs 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) atThe 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.