NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/12/14

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Andy Kaufman

Chris Gethard and UCB East celebrate a legendary comic at the Andy Kaufman Festival and The Andy Kaufman Award

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] 2:00 pm-11:30 pm ($8 per show): This final day of a four-day sketch comedy festival is playing at both the upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge of The PIT, with each show costing $8: New York City Sketch Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] 4:00 pm ($15): Comedy genius Chris Gethard honors Andy Kaufman, and hosts performers who he believes are in some way carrying on Andy’s tradition of subversive comedy—including Jo Firestone, Brett Davis, Dan Crossley, Brian Hubble, and Marcus Monroe—at the UCB East theatre: Andy Kaufman Festival

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmash, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm ($5; no min.): Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged) tapes her stand-up comedy CD—preserving your laughs for eternity—with warm-up comics Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1) and Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), all performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Liz Miele Comedy Album Taping at 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm and 12:15 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include a great lineup of Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, and Greer Barnes at the 7:00 show; Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Colin Jost, Lynne Koplitz, and Gina Yashere (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Dane Cook, Keith Alberstadt, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 10:30 show; and Nikki Glaser, Sam Morril, Joe List, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Ben Kissel (MTV, Spike TV; Murderfist, The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen) hones a long stand-up set every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Week at the Creek: Ben Kissel

[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 one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Greatest: Anthony Jeselnik

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15): Comedy genius Chris Gethard hosts this annual show in which finalists for The Andy Kaufman Award perform and a winner is chosen. In past years the judges have often been imbeciles, ignoring such perfect choices as Joe Pera from even being allowed into the competition. That said, Chris’ presence is reason enough to attend; plus TV & movie star T.J. Miller will also be performing, along with the 2014 contestants (in alphabetical order) Lucy Cottrell, Killy Dwyer, Amir Gollan, Alana Johnston, Dru Johnston, Nathan Min, and Pam Murphy. This show is officially sold out, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing at the UCB East theatre: The Andy Kaufman Award

[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): Sketch comedy groups Baby Shoes and Wendigo perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[FREE] 7:30 pm: This monthly show gathers comics that are all from the same New York location, with tonight’s borough The Bronx, and the stand-ups Jawann Carmona, Maribeth Mooney, Debbie Bazza, and Ajani Thompson—plus “token” non-Bronx resident Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central)—performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Calvin S. Cato & Jackie Jax: The Natives Are Friendly

8:00 pm ($5): 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), Jeff Maurer, Brad Austin, Ryan Reiss, Kristin Rand, Tyson Karrasch, and Julia Johns performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Andy Fiori: (Sirius XO’s Comedy by Request), Dava Krause (The Ghost Shrink), Emily Fleming, and Jillian Green, characters from Michael Delisle and Rosie Guarino, sketch from Kokomo, and 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): An all-gal improv group creates visceral scenes on the spot at the Magnet theatre: The Stank

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups attempt to “out-filth each other in this show where no punches are pulled and no topics are off limits” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The Dirt

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm,Comedy Central hour-long special), 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), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), and Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Mike Lawrence, Barry Rothbart, Nate Bargatze, and More

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

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’sLaughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[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 atUCB 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)

The PIT
(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 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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