NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/26/14

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Aparna Nancherla and Dave Hill

Aparna Nancherla, Dave Hill, Judah Friedlander, Sara Benincasa, and more celebrate the One Year Anniversary of Brooklyn stand-up show Manifesto

The Art of Teaching and Learning Comedy

…and Micah Sherman, Lucas Hazlett, and other superb comics participate in a free panel discussion on The Art of Teaching & Learning 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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 4:00 pm-6:00 pm: A free discussion among top sketch and improv instructors at The PIT on “Can comedy be taught? Can one learn to be funny? What makes something funny?” Scheduled participants are Micah Sherman (brilliant improv & sketch comic; Myq & Micah, Baby Wants Candy, The Baldwins, Act One, Second City), Joe Toplyn (David Letterman, Jay Leno), Lucas Hazlett (ace improvisor; MTV, Marvel Comics, host of improv jam Improdome), Joe Schiappa (ace improvisor; MTV, Sheeple, Project:Projekt), Peter Michael Marino (head of Solocon Festival, co-host of Cojones), Jenn Dodd (extreme character performer; host of Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout), and Joe Galan (host of No Make-Up: A Clown Jam), and moderators Jewel Elizabeth (Jimmy Fallon) & Chris Booth (sketch group City Hall, interactive off-Broadway show The Awesome 80s Prom), all exchanging ideas about comedy and the development of it at the Pioneers Bar (138 West 29th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues): The Art of Teaching & Learning 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

6:00 pm ($7): Musical improv at the Magnet theatre from troupe Orphan Alley

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal improv group Pin-Up Squirrels performs and hosts other improv groups at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Play Date With the Pin-Up Squirrels

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20): Joe Moses became a YouTube star with A Very Potter Musical. In this show he uses sketch, improv, and music to “share his unique perspective on what it’s like to be a young artist in NYC, and an online celebrity:” The Joe Moses One Man Showses

[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 Party. and The Misses perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the seminal In Living Color headlines one last night at theCarolines Comedy Club: Tommy Davidson

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 in advance online): Blowout One Year Anniversary celebration with 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), Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), 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), Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, author of Agorafabulous), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Sue Smith, Lynn Bixenspan, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up for this weekly show that tonight only is at larger-than-usual Brooklyn venue Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto with Judah Friedlander, Dave Hill, Aparna Nancherla, Sara Benincasa, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Joyelle Nichole Johnson (opens for such superstars as Maria Bamford and Dave Chappelle), John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Aaron Weaver, and Joe McAdam performing stand-up, plus terrific comedic musical group Summer & Eve, all at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[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, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): No notable headliners tonight, but most of the scheduled stand-ups are solid and there’s always the chance of drop-ins, with all three shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased,Glamour Magazine), Robin Montague, Sam J, Rae Sanni, and hosts Amanda Seales (VH1) & Marc Lamont Hill performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Smart, Funny, and Black

8:00 pm ($10): Dion Flynn, a talented impressionist who plays Barrack Obama and other characters on Jimmy Fallon, experiments with a one-man show at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Only Brown Kid in the Trailer Park

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Ryan Beck, Jordan Temple, Suni Reyes, Justin Morgan, and Chloe LaBranche, plus comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

9:00 pm ($7): Halloween-based sketch comedy from Rosie Whalen and more at the Magnet theatre: The Gothic Hour

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Dina Hashem, Ross Parsons, Christian Polanco, Kris Tinkle, and Joe Kwaczala performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson:Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Micah Sherman (mad genius), Chris Roberti (Big Black Car), and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Christian Finnegan, Mark DeMayo, and More

[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

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 PITdownstairs 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’sLaughing 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 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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