NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/11/14

October 11, 2014

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TV Alert: Bill Hader hosts Saturday Night Live at 11:29 on NBC


A free panel on women in comedy at 1:00 pm, and Murderfist at 11:00 pm, are among the highlights of Day #3 of The PIT’s Sketch Festival


…and Kevin Maher presents an amazing array of pop culture SF/fantasy/comic book lectures…

Kevin Geeks Out About Comic Con

…which you can see free if you present the image above at the door: Kevin Geeks Out About Comic Con

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] 1:00 pm-Midnight ($8 per show or $60 for festival pass): This third day of a four-day sketch comedy festival is 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. Highlights include a free panel about Women In Comedy at 1:00 pm and ace sketch group Murderfist at 11:00: New York City Sketch Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 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): 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), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, 12:15 am, and 1:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, and Jessica Kirson at the 7:00 show; Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Jessica Kirson at the 7:15 show; Colin Quinn and Dane Cook at the 8:45 show; Colin Quinn, Dane Cook, Ryan Hamilton, and Greer Barnes at the 9:15 show; Dane Cook, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Jessica Kirson, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 10:30 show; Dane Cook, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, and Lenny Marcus at the 11:15 show; and Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, Sam Morril, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A short comedic play in which “disgraced journalist Clay Fishman finds out our world is not what it seems and reptile aliens control every aspect of our society. With the help of his teenage daughter Tallie and crackpot conspiracy theorist J.J. Jones, Clay goes on an adventure spanning time and space to save mankind” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Terrible Them

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm (FREE when you present the image in the upper right of this page): Kevin Maher brings back his genius show Kevin Geeks Out in homage to Comic Con, with pop culture guests R. Sikoryak (writer/illustrator of brilliant book series Masterpiece Comics), Nick Nadel (writer for The Onion), Rusty Ward (YouTube’s Science Friction, redneck comic Jeff Balrogworthy), screenwriter M. Sweeney-Lawless, Professor Geoff Klock, and more performing at The Studio at Webster Hall (125 East 11th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues): Kevin Geeks Out About Comic Con

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Choice film clips and live performances pay homage to Wonder Woman, featuring Cyndi Freeman, Geoff Klock, Ariel Italic, and host Tom Blunt, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Bullets and Bracelets: A Tribute to Wonder Woman

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Sue Smith, Correy Reppond, the show’s producer Lukas Kaiser, and more, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Ian Fidance & Lizzie Martinez: Showcasey Jones

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Brendan Eyre, Evan Davis, Luke Thayer, Justin Williams, Naomi Karavani, Noah Savage, and Trey Galyon performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre guest-hosted (while Peggy O’Leary’s out of town) by Lucas Connolly: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[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] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): T.J. Miller (red-hot comedic actor & hilarious sketch comic; David Letterman, co-star of HBO’s Silicon Valley and former ABC sitcom Carpoolers; co-star of numerous movies including Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Cloverfield, and Get Him to the Greek; for video samples, please click here), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): T.J. Miller, Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, and More

[$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[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 Nick Kanellis & Elana Fishbein make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford and Noah Gardenswartz are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

11:30 pm ($5): Jim Santangeli and Charles Gould are guests, while Anthony Apruzzese and a mob of other comics perform sketch at this hybrid variety/talk show co-hosted by Josh Sharp (GUMP) at the UCB East theatre: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Genius storytelling from Elna Baker (bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), stand-up from Mike Drucker (Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s) and Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central), and characters from David Ebert (sketch group Alamo), all performing at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

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”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evanshost: 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 the Comedy 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)

(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