NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 11/16/14

November 16, 2014

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Katie Hartman

Superb sketch performer Katie Hartman plays “JENGA! Young, sweet and bursting with beats, the Euro-pop Teen Sensation making her USA debut!”…

David Carl

…and brilliant character actor David Carl performs—for better or worse—100 celebrity impressions in 30 minutes. All this and much more on the final day of The PIT’s Second Annual Solocom

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] Noon-1:00 am ($5 per show): Based on what I saw yesterday, this event devoted to comedic one-person shows could alternatively be titled SelfIndulgentCom. That said, it’s the nature of festivals to be a mix of the awful, mediocre, and great, with the latter rare and precious. Of the shows I caught, actor PJ Sosko was far and away the standout yesterday, delivering performances that were consistently charismatic, organic, and mesmerizing. (If you’re a casting director, get to know PJ; he’s a star.) On this final day, running from noon to 11:30 pm, there’ll be 39 more performers attempting to be extraordinary. I’ve no idea how that’ll turn out, but I’m personally looking forward to Andrea Alton at 1:00 pm, Katie Hartman at 8:00 pm, and David Carl at 10:30 pm (closing out the fest), all taking place at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge: Second Annual Solocom

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 smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Bobby Tisdale (senior staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), Matt Porter (half of sketch duo Good Cop Great Cop), UCB sketch group O.S.F.U.G., Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Beth Hoyt (Comedy Central), Colin Burgess, and Carolyn Horner performing sketch or stand-up at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show: Bobby Tisdale, Matt Porter, O.S.F.U.G., and More

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, HBO), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Eliot Chang, Sarah Tollemache, and Gilbert Lawand performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Mike Birbiglia, Greer Barnes, and Carmen Lynch at the 8:00 show; Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, and Kyle Dunnigan at the 9:45 show; and Marina Franklin, Keith Alberstadt, Joe List, 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 Sunday

9:00 pm ($7): Sketch/improv duo Upstate—Dustin Drury & Andrew Yurman-Glaser—perform what may be their last show for a while at The Magnet theatre, as Dustin plans to move to California. “Andrew doesn’t want him to go, so he’s written a show and thinly veiled love letter to Dustin:” Upstate: Please Don’t Move to LA

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nathan Simmons, Jeff Horste, Janelle James, Cristian Duran, and Maria Heinegg performing 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] 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), Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, and host Nathan Rand performing stand-up that rips something or someone deserving to shreds at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Invitation to a Beheading: Ari Shaffir, Michelle Wolf, Nick Vatterott, 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)

(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