NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/8/14

October 8, 2014

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TV Alert: Matthew Broderick is on Seth Meyers;
Carol Burnett is on The Colbert Report;
Ira Glass is on Jimmy Fallon;
T.J. Miller, Sara Schaefer, and Cash Levy are on @midnight;
another genius episode of South Park at 10:00 pm on CC

Nerd Comedy

On this New York Comic Con week, a tribute to pop culture curated & hosted by the wonderful Kevin Maher: Nerd Comedy

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] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($15, $22, or $30 depending on seat selection): This science-based storytelling show tonight focuses on Science Fiction from storytellers and/or scientists Ryan Britt, Mark Gagliardi, Josh Elder, Ali Mattu, Amy Reeder, and Veronica Sanches at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Concert Hall (1395 Lexington Avenue, between 91st and 92nd Streets) hosted by Ben Lillie: The Story Collider

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Laurie Kilmartin (writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1) hones her blend of stand-up and storytelling titled 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad every night through Thursday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Laurie Kilmartin

[TOP PICK] 7:00 ($5): Ace improvisors Shannon O’Neill and Tami Sagher team with guests Brandon Scott Jones, Chelsea Clarke, and Morgan Grace Jarret to brilliantly make up scenes on the spot at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by James III at The PIT downstairs lounge: James III: 3rd Impressions

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 ($10): Kevin Maher (creator of genius show Kevin Geeks Out) honors Comic Con Super Week via this comedy show for nerds and by nerds, starring Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Meghan O’Neill (The Story Pirates), Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Showtime), Manolo Blank (professional clown), Nick Nadel (writer for The Onion), and Rusty Ward (as redneck comic Jeff Balrogworthy), all performing at The Way Station (683 Washington Avenue), which is Brooklyn’s only steampunk bar with a TARDIS bathroom: Nerd Comedy

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 8:00 pm (FREE at the door using discount code CENTRAL; no min.): Stand-ups perform their A-list material for this audition show for Comedy Central, including 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), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and more at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Comedy Central Auditions with Nikki Glaser, Michelle Buteau, Nimesh Patel, Monroe Martin, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander and Ryan Hamilton at the 8:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Jessica Kirson, and Jon Fisch (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, 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] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of art & comedy hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte (young), with Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Virginia Heffernan (The New York Times), Kristen Derek Rippe (illustrator for Nickelodeon), and Isaac Oliver (storyteller), all performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings: Pajama Party Edition

8:00 pm ($10): NYC comics (not announced) performing stand-up or sketch at “a variety show inspired by a poignant evening on NBC’s The Voice in which a contestant found himself going through ‘dark times’ after dropping out of NYU’s graduate program for music business to pursue his true calling: slightly faltering karaoke singing. His parents seemed very disappointed” at The PIT downstairs lounge produced by Melissa Somosky and hosted by Megan Lohne: Dark Times: A Comedic Variety Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Regina DeCicco, Josh Gondelman, Susan Prekel, Del Harrison, Rob Santos, Adam Asher, and Mike Hollan performing at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Chris Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE; plus FREE BACON] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at this show that provides you with both free comedy and free bacon at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kevin Berrey and/or Farah Brook: Free Bacon

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a mini-play about two buddies that’s so stupidly cartoonish I found it unwatchable and left after 10 minutes, but if you like super-dumb sketch aimed at drunk frat boys and four-year-olds then you might enjoy License to Chill

…and in the second half of this double-bill, duo sketch from Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil in The Keith & Jesse Show

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Nore Davis (Comedy Central), Noah Gardenswartz, and Betsy Carroll with host Scott Rogowsky (Running Late) performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Simeon Goodson, Anish Shah, Dan Frigolette, Kenji Lee, Mike Lebovitz, and Vince Phillips 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

9:15 pm ($8): Character comedy from Jillian Thomas, sketch comedy from groups Nerds On Fire, Soap, Positive Feedback, and Unisex, and new videos, all at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) produced by KL Thomas and hosted by Zach Garner: October Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show from Christian Capozzoli: Nutso Facto

…and in the second half of this double-bill, one of the finest sketch groups in the country. Its writers include stellar comics Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya (Brandon also directed this show); and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in show biz, hire them.) This new collection of sketches revolves around the mass shopping experience: Stone Cold Fox Goes to the Mall

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm (NO COVER online or by calling 212.757.4100 using code SKETCHY, but there’s a 2-drink min.): Sketch comedy and musical parody from over a dozen comics at the Carolines Comedy Club: Laundry Day: A Sketch Show

9:30 pm ($10): Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Annie May, and Joe Rumrill performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code GRIFT no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Greg Stone performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Ari Shaffir, Rachel Feinstein, Liz Miele, Joe List, 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

10:15 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Leslie Meisel & Kate Riley chose UCB comics to write sketches for the opposite sex, then cast and directed the scripts. Tonight’s show is the result of this fun experiment at the UCB Chelsea theatre: He Said, She Said: A Sketch Show

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] 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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

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-$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)

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