NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 11/9/14

November 9, 2014

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Broad City: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, and Amy Poehler

On this final day of a spectacular New York Comedy Festival week, Amy Poehler, Abbi Jacobson, and Ilana Glazer of Broad City are interviewed by Seth Rogen at The Paley Center, available free online at 6:40 via live streaming

Rachel Feinstein

…Rachel Feinstein tapes her new comedy album live at Subculture

Michael Che

…and Michael Che and other stand-ups are psychoanalyzed by Mark Normand & Matt Ruby at We’re All Friends Here

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] [$] 3:00 pm ($12): The debut of “a musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen written by two people who have never seen Wicked or Frozen,” written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

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

[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

6:00 pm ($7): Sharp comics Justin Peters & Kelly Buttermore perform duo improv, plus solo improv from Pepita, atThe Magnet theatre: From Justin to Kelly and Pepita

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:40 pm: Broad City’s Executive Producer Amy Poehler, stars Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer, and director Lucia Aniello are interviewed by Seth Rogen at The Paley Center. Tickets at the venue are sold out, but you can watch free online via live streaming by clicking Id Isn’t Always Pretty: An Evening with Broad City

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15 at the door or $16.50 in advance online): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour) performs a live taping of her new comedy album at Subculture (45 Bleecker Street, right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop): Rachel Feinstein

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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!), Brooks Wheelan (former cast member of Saturday Night Live), Luke Cunningham, David Angelo, Rajiv Satyal, and Logan Guntzelman performing stand-up at UCB East guest-hosted by Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC): 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 & 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 one last night at the CarolinesComedy Club: Sommore

[$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): No notable headliners officially scheduled tonight, but you can go in hope of drop-ins at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Max Bernstein and Andy Farnsworth, sketch from Tim Girrbach, improv from Diddler on the Roof, palm reading from Alyssa Potter, and comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Bar None(98 Third Avenue) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15 at the door or $16.52 in advance online): Michael Che (new SNL Weekend Update co-host; former star correspondent for The Daily Show and staff writer for Saturday Night Live; David Letterman,Comedy Central, VH1), Kaytlin Bailey, and more TBA perform stand-up sets and then are interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

9:00 pm ($7): Two one-man sketch shows from Jarret Berenstein (about rich people) and Shawn Wickens (reenacting classic SF movie Zardoz) at the Magnet theatre: Eccentric Billionaires and One-Man Zardoz

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jess Salomon, Joe Zimmerman, Ross Parsons, and Bill Stiteler 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 David Carl, Julie Sharbutt, Ashley Ward, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8 at the door or $9.53 online): “Eliot Glazer, a classically trained vocalist-turned-comedian, takes some of pop music’s most infamous songs and turns them into highbrow, sweeping ballads. An intimate night of bad music made good” at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street): Haunting Renditions with Eliot Glazer

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Adrienne Iapalucci, 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

[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)

(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