NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/7/14

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TV Alert: Amy Schumer is on David Letterman;
Jay Leno is on Jimmy Fallon;
Jimmy Kimmel is on Craig Ferguson;
Amy Poehler and George R.R. Martin are
on Seth Meyers (repeated from 10/28)

Amy Schumer

Superstar Amy Schumer headlines, with Mark Normand opening, at Carnegie Hall

Big Jay Oakerson

…and Big Jay Oakerson celebrates the release of his comedy album What’s Your F@!?#ng Deal?! at The Stand

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] [$] (11/5-11/9) The New York Comedy Festival features some of the best stand-ups in the world performing headlining sets in such major NYC venues as Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, the Beacon, the NYU Skirball Center, Carolines, and The Stand during November 5-9. Among the stars performing this year are Amy Schumer, Maria Bamford, Marc Maron, Bill Cosby, Bill Burr, Bill Maher, Pete Holmes, Tig Notaro, Dave Hill, Kurt Metzger, Mark Normand, Hannibal Buress, Sasheer Zamata, Aparna Nancherla, Eric Andre, Sommore, Paula Poundstone, and Dane Cook; plus there’ll be interviews with such giants as Jim Gaffigan, and the teams creating TV series Inside Amy Schumer (including Amy), Broad City (including Executive Producer Amy Poehler), and the writers of The Late Show with David Letterman. To explore the entire schedule, please click New York Comedy 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 HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of thevery finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Dane Cook and Mark Normand at the 11:15 and 12:15 shows, 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 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

7:00 pm ($7): Nine sketch comics create an old-fashioned pre-sound era bit of cinema on stage about “love, intrigue, and pratfalls” at The Magnet theatre: Silent Movie

7:00 pm ($10): A sketch comedy group promises to provide you with an insider’s look at topics ranging from male strippers to Superman’s dating habits at The PIT downstairs lounge improv: Backstage Pass

7:00 pm ($10): Musical improv from the group that hosts the weekly Pitch jam, tonight performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: [title of team]

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15; SOLD OUT of seats, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing): One of the very best sketch shows to grace UCB Chelsea this year, group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

…and in the other half of this double-bill, “When Trevor and Craig, two business adversaries, suddenly realize they’re identical twin brothers, they decide to switch places, reunite their divorced parents, and become a family again. But there’s a few problems: Dad is too busy fucking sewer boys, and Mom’s vagina fell off her body and crawled away! Will Trevor and Craig be able to reunite the family they never knew they wanted? Also, it’s a musical. Basically The Parent Trap for horrible, disgusting people:” Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm (limited seats; call 212.247.7800): Amy Schumer (one of the very finest stand-ups alive; star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, great DVD/CD Amy Schumer: Mostly Sex Stuff) headlines, with the wonderful Mark Normand as opener, at the legendary Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at 57th Street & Seventh Avenue): Amy Schumer: Professional

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall) hosts a (mostly) stand-up show featuring her enormously talented and funny friends: Jo Firestone, Janine Brito, Jacqueline Novak, Claudia Cogan, Naomi Ekperegin, Anna Drezen, and Julio Torres at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Aparna Nancherla and Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC) celebrates the release of his comedy album What’s Your F@!?#ng Deal?! with some ace stand-up friends at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Big Jay Oakerson Comedy Album Release Party and Show

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.): An acerbic stand-up star who’s appeared on Oprah, Jay Leno, Bill Maher, The View, and many other TV shows—and several films, to boot—headlining tonight through Sunday at theCarolines Comedy Club: Sommore

8:00 pm ($10): Nationally touring sketch duo Tommy Pope & John McKeever perform at The PIT upstairs theatre:DeerProm

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT downstairs lounge improv groups making up a musical on the spot: Vern and Royals

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15; SOLD OUT of seats, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), 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), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and more performing stand-up or music at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of Battlicious), plus stand-up from Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), and Lynn Bixenspan (Relationshit!), all performing at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Justin Perez: Justin’s Basement Party 1998

9:30 pm ($10): Stand-ups Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show) and Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’sNikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever) each perform a 30-minute set at The PIT downstairs lounge: Matt Koff and Emmy Blotnick

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), and Scotland Green perform stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live: Michelle Wolf, Sabrina Jalees, Chris Distefano, Jeffrey Joseph, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award) celebrates the release of his comedy album For Amusement Only atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Nick Vatterott Comedy Album Release Party and Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craftThe Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15): Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Chris Kelly (Saturday Night Live), and more performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone, new comedy albumBangs!) is are interviewed and/or performs at this late night talk show hosted by Jamie LeeLo and sidekick Mehdi Barakchian at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

11:30 pm ($7): “A multimedia musical kids show for adults that’s part Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and part Sartre’s No Exitexplores what happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring seven additional comics at the Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Top stand-ups “go green” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Turner: The Secret Show

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A raucous laboratory for wacky ideas, in which comics Jo Firestone, Michael Wolf, Dan Glaser, and Cory Palmer create absurd game shows that they try out on the spot using audience members. “After we’ve attempted to create all the game shows, the audience votes on which idea gets to go straight to TV (not really)” at UCB Chelsea hosted by the fabulous Jo Firestone (also host of Punderdome 3000 and many, many other shows): The Incredible Game Show Showcase

Midnight ($5): Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Guy Branum (Chelsea Lately, X-Play), and more at this oddball comedy variety show at UCB East hosted by Sharon Spell: The Sharon Spell Show

Friday 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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge forHappy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: 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-$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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