NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/9/14

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Chris Gethard is on Seth Meyers:
Steve Carell is on Jimmy Fallon;
Todd Glass is on Conan O’Brien (repeated from 8/7);
Grace Helbig & Henry Zebrowski are on @midnight

Anthony Jeselnik

Star stand-up Anthony Jeselnik headlines through Sunday at Carolines

Jo Firestone

…ace comics Jo Firestone (above), Aparna Nancherla, and Amber Nelson participate in Bushwick’s absurdly meaningless Trophy Awards

Chris Gethard

…and comedy giant Chris Gethard performs at Myrtle Comedy, and also appears tonight on NBC’s Seth Meyers

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] 6:30 pm ($5): A small army of UCB performers—Brandon Scott Jones, Keisha Zollar, Veronica Osorio, John Early, Amanda Seales, and lots more—perform comedic characters before Comedy Central casting folk at the UCB East theatre: Comedy Central Character Showcase

6:30 pm-12:30 am ($8 per show or $60 for festival pass): Tonight kicks off a four-day sketch comedy festival playing at both the upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge of The PIT, with individual shows costing $8 and an all-you-can-see festival pass costing $60: New York City Sketch Festival

[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 one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Laurie Kilmartin

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($41 & 2-drink min.) Anthony Jeselnik is one of my favorite stand-ups of all time, with a special gift for crafting dark and shocking short jokes, and a lightning-quick mind that allows him to play with any audience in the moment. This genius Emmy-nominated comic is the star of Comedy Central series The Jeselnik Offensive, former writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon, and has also performed on Conan O’Brien, HBO, a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, and his great comedy CDs Shakespeare and Caligula. Anthony is headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Greatest: Anthony Jeselnik

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn and Greer Barnes at the 7:45 show; Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, Greer Barnes, and Jessica Kirson at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Jessica Kirson, and Dan Soder (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Paul Mecurio, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), Kate Berlant (MTV, IFC, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), and Maeve Higgins (visiting from the UK) performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): An absurd evening of awards for nothing, featuring superb comics 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), Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom), sketch duo Good Cop Great Cop, and more, plus musical guest Guntit, at Brooklyn’s Radio Bushwick (22 Wyckoff Avenue): The First Annual Bushwick Trophy Awards

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): On this opening day of New York Comic Con, hosts Justin Tyler (Comic Book Club) and Michael Hartney (Legs For Days) pay tribute to superheroes with the help of about a dozen sketch/improv performers—including Pat Baer, Abby Holland, Siobhan Thompson, Alan Starzinski, and Brian Faas—plus possibly guests fresh from the con floor, all at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The UCB 52 Now: A Comic Con Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), Laurie Kilmartin (writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), Graham Kay, and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Laurie Kilmartin, Jessica Kirson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and The Boss performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Senses (improv focused on the stimulation and deprivation of taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Chris Duffy at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 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), Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Sara Roan, Tonedeff, Leanne Linsky, Gastor Almonte, and Naomi Karavani performing stand-up, plus music from The Supreme Super Surprise Mystery Crew, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Amanda Seales (VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Smart, Funny, and Black), Shakir Standley, Ahri FIndling, and KC Arora performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) joking about their culture—Jewish, African-American, Asian, geek, whatever—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City : The Black Bar Mitzvah

8:30 pm ($5): Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Julio Julio (“tofu-based comedian”), Nick Flanagan, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[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), Brandon Scott Jones (possibly the finest male comedic character actor at UCBT; top improv group Grandma’s Ashes, top sketch group Stone Cold Fox, and many other shows), Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio), and Darin Patterson perform stand-up and then discuss bad movies at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) hosted by John Murray & Matt Fisher—tonight also featuring a “Low Key T-Shirt Costume Content:” Low Standards with John & Matt

[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), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of Battlicious), plus stand-up from Kevin Iso, Liza Treyger, and Travon Free at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), 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), Laurie Kilmartin (writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1), Crystian Ramirez, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Mike Lawrence, Laurie Kilmartin, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Williams & Akash Bhasin: Death Comedy Jam

10:30 pm ($5): Ben Kissel (MTV, Spike TV; Murderfist, The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen), Shakir Standley (MTV’s Wild N’ Out), and Jason Burke performing stand-up at this weekly show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): After five victories Harold Night improv group The Enemy surrendered its crown last week to team Rizzo, which won with an audience vote of 93-66. Tonight Rizzo faces UCB East Monday night group Improv Nerds, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday 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: 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 Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

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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