NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/29/14

Want to be on an NBC prime time show?
America’s Got Talent is holding NYC auditions; details here.

TV Alert: Jim Carrey is on David Letterman;
Paul Reubens is on Jimmy Fallon;
Lisa Kudrow and Will Arnett are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Justin Long is on Craig Ferguson;
Bob Odenkirk and Jon Cryer are on Conan O’Brien;
Steve Lemme, Jay Chandrasekhar, and Kevin Heffernan are on @midnight;
another genius episode of South Park at 10:00 pm on Comedy Central

Seth Herzog

Seth Herzog and more tell tales of erotic encounters gone horribly awry at Brooklyn’s Awkward Sex…and the City

Witch Trial

…and Jo Firestone and more improvise a prosecution of an audience member at a Halloween-themed Witch Trial

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

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Animator David Huntsberger hones a long set every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: David Huntsberger

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Buchanan, Astronomy Club, and Big Revival: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch groupAbsolutely) performs a one-woman show about her four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

…and in the second half of this double-bill, AJ Patton and Timmy Wood perform duo sketch comedy as Hype Squad

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storytellers & comics Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Krystyna Hutchinson (co-host of Guys We Fucked), Robin Gelfenbien (host of storytelling show Yum’s the Word; VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC), and Nick Leftley tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon;freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Brittany Sherrod, Bob Hansen, Joe Gerics, and Mike Brown performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Katherine Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), 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), Zainab Johnson (Arsenio Hall, Last Comic Standing, BET’s Comic View), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Nick DiPaolo, Christian Finnegan, Zainab Johnson, and More

[$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Nick DiPaolo and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show, and Dave Attell, Zainab Johnson, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, half of brilliant sketch duo Dennie & Sharp) hosts stand-up, sketch, and acts beyond categorization at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Matt Dennie Experience

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), David Angelo (CBS’ 2 Broke Girls), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), Sammy Obeid (Conan O’Brien), Cory Cavin (MTV), Aaron Kominos-Smith (MTV), Michael Joyce, and Jerrold Benford 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

9:30 pm ($5): Lane Moore (The Onion), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), Neruda Williams, and Brett Osinoff performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Hosts Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here) & Sam Haft welcome comedic musical, sketch, and/or stand-up guests at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jessica Delfino’s Comedy & Music Extravaganza The Lemonade Stand

[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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): An entire late night talk show pilot built around one comic, with tonight’s starring host Nate Smith (co-starring in current off-Broadway comedy Tail Spin!; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer) at theUCB Chelsea theatre: Night Late…with Nate Smith

[TOP PICK] 11:15 pm ($5): UCB improv group Witch (which includes rising star Jo Firestone) prosecutes an audience member accused of being a witch and then passes judgment at the UCB East theatre, “where where nobody leaves on a broom”: Witch Trial

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 theStand 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 DevilComedy 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

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

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)

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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