NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/5/14

October 5, 2014

For more, please visit

Mike Lawrence

Mike Lawrence spearheads a comic book related stand-up show at The Stand

The Cowmen

…and a day-long celebration at The Creek is capped by mind-blowing musical dark comedy from The Cowmen

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] 3:00 pm-Midnight: The Creek’s Cave Comedy Radio celebrates its fans all day with “a big ole sausage and brat cookout, and then a two-stage comedy show, with all your favorite CCR podcasts downstairs and CCR performers doing stand-up and sketch in the upstairs theater; and then at 10:00 pm musical group The Cowmen do a full set” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Creek Cave Radio Sausage Party, Mac & Cheese Cookoff, and All-Day Comedy

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

7:00 pm ($10): Improv spinning off the mythic TV series The Golden Girls at The PIT upstairs theatre: Four Broads and Cheesecake: Golden Girls Improv

[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): Comedy groups Action Park and Stockton perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[$] 7:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.) Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Graham Kay, plus hosts Sam Morril (Comedy Central) & Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), perform stand-up at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Sam and Joe Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Theatrical improvisors make up a complete play on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Colin Quinn and Ryan Hamilton at the 8:00 show; great lineup of Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Keith Alberstadt, Donald McEnery, Kevin Brennan, and Zainab Johnson (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Kurt Metzger, Marina Franklin (hosting), Sam Morril, Zainab Johnson, Joe List, and Damien Lemon at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Part of Comic Con Super Week, Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium) spearheads a comic book related stand-up show featuring such other top comics as TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Byron Bowers performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Comic Book Stand-Up: Mike Lawrence, Kurt Metzger, Dan Solder, Janeane Garofalo, Rachel Feinstein, Joe List, and More

[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): Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Dive Comedy), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out), Jacqueline Novak (Comedy Central, College Humor), Brian Frange, Ricky Gonzalez, and Mike Lebowitz performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), Ariel Elias, and sketch group Math, Science, and The Humanities, plus comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

9:00 pm ($7): Eight improvisors jointly contribute to the creation of two-person scenes, and then work to refine and morph these scenes together over time at the Magnet theatre: The Blob

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors 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), Ashley Ward (Big Black Car), Sarah Nowak (The Baldwins), Morgan Phillips (Diamond Lion), Gary Richardson (Annoyance Theatre), and Brett Wean (Wean Shay) make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A jaw-dropping dark comedy group, which includes members of ace sketch troupe Murderfist, will terrify and delight you for an hour at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Cowmen

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 PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

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) at The 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)

(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 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