NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/27/14

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Chris Rock is on Jimmy Fallon (repeated from 6/12);
Jennifer Anniston is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Penn & Teller are on Seth Meyers (repeated from 7/28);
Kevin Hart is on Conan O’Brien (repeated from 6/19);
Betty White is on Arsenio Hall (repeated from 5/19);
Emily Heller and Megan Neuringer are on @midnight;
and “Weird Al” Yankovic, John Hodgman, Todd Glass,
Jared Logan, and more are on Kumail Nanjiani’s & Jonah Ray’s
The Meltdown at 12:30 am on Comedy Central

Julia Wiedeman

Julia Wiedeman (above), Jim O’Grady, and more share stories about bad decisions at The Nights of Our Lives

Nikki Glaser

…and Nikki Glaser (above), Myq Kaplan, and more tell tales about erotic encounters gone awry at Awkward Sex…and the CIty

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] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

[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 ($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 Boombox: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers Jim O’Grady, Julia Wiedeman, Adam Wade, John Frusciante, and wonderful host Dave Martin tell tales that are brutally honest and hilarious on this month’s theme Bad Decisions at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Storytellers Mike Doughty, Beth Lisick, Scott Rogowsky, Cassie J. Sneider, and Lauretta Charlton telling true tales about Mixtapes at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned To Make a Mixtape

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly show in which “stand-ups throw their set lists out the window for a night of wild riffing. Comics premiere a story that they’ve never told anyone, improvise a stand-up set based on an audience suggestion, or rant off the cuff. Also expect freestyling and musical improv in an anything goes atmosphere that makes for a one-of-a-kind experience” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), plus powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her band The Vigilante: Rifftown

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Tmor, Corrine Fisher. and Carlos A. Gonzalez performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Katherine Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[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, Paul Mecurio (hosting), Gregg Rogell, and Zainab Johnson at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A burlesque tribute to AMC’s Mad Men at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque: Where the Mad Men Lie

8:00 pm (1 drink min.; FREE CUPCAKES): Magic from Noah Levine, music from The Emily Miele Band, and stand-up from Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Grant Lindahl, and Lance Weiss, all performing at the Sidewalk Cafe East Village (94 Avenue A), hosted by comic Liz Miele and singer/songwriter Emily Miele: The Miele Sisters Variety Show

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.88 online): Storytelling comics Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), 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), and Jen Keefe tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Luke Cunningham (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), Doug Smith, Janelle James, and Cristian Duran 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 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

9:30 pm ($10): Brooks Wheelan, Alan Starzinski, and Sharron Paul performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Rachel Feinstein, Christian Finnegan, Pete Lee, and More

[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): The UCB Touring Company consists of some of UCB’s finest improvisors who show audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For this new monthly show, however, the traveling troupe will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo

11:00 pm ($5): An entire late night talk show pilot built around one comic, with tonight’s starring host Ben Rameaka (Wolf of Wall Street, Alpha House, improv group Airwolf), at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Night Late…with Ben Rameaka

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

10:15 pm ($5): Randomly selected UCBT students perform with UCBT improv veterans at the UCB East theatre: The Lottery

[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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with its 90 minutes split evenly among the comics who throw their names into a bucket, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Eagle Witt: Amateur Night At The Mercury

[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 Bucky 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)

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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