NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 8/23/14

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added performances for sold out shows, please click here.

This Is Where We Live

A two-hander YA play from Australia that Vivienne Walshe has written to be lyric, real, sexy, and dangerous is performed with electric perfection by Shaelee Rooke…

This Is Where We Live

…and Oliver de Rohan at FringeNYC. Its final festival performance is at 7:00 pm at The Sheen Center Black Box: This Is Where We Live. ((Then again, if you can’t attend tonight, catch this and 15 other top shows at the FringeNYC Encore Series.)

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] 7:00 pm: An annual awards night for the comics who perform at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Creek Awards Show

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Trevor Noah, Gregg Rogell, and Robert Kelly at the 7:00 show; Trevor Noah, Robert Kelly, and Lynne Koplitz (hosting) at the 7:15 show; Trevor Noah, Nick Griffin, Lynn Koplitz, Robert Kelly, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:45 show; Trevor Noah, Ben Bailey, Greer Barnes, and Robert Kelly at the 10:30 show; and Ben Bailey, Russ Meneve, Greer Barnes, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows atVillage Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelseainterview 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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.) A veteran comedic actor in both TV and feature films headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: John Witherspoon

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code BEN; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and Derek Gains performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Kurt Metzger, Adrienne Iapalucci, Big Jay Oakerson, 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: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PITdownstairs lounge: North Coast

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

[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 ace improv group at UCB East that won last 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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code BEN; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and Derek Gains performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Adrienne Iapalucci, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[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 Peter McNerney and Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy trio Trike

11:00 pm ($10): Sketches, rap battles, and improv from the Anthology Players inspired by the life and music of Tupac at The PIT downstairs lounge: The B-Side. A Hip-Hop Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Comics share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($9.75 online using discount code BEN; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer;Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Gethard, Kurt Metzger, Adrienne Iapalucci, 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 theComedy 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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