NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/20/14

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jon Stewart is on The Colbert Report;
Stephen Merchant is on Jimmy Fallon;
Russell Brand is on Seth Meyers;
Mike Lawrence is on Carson Daly;
Jason Bateman and Andy Cohen are on Conan O’Brien;
Aimee Mann, Dana Gould, and Nick Offerman are on @midnight

Wicked Frozen

Zoe Farmingdale and friends continue their sold-out run (nab tickets online ASAP) of a mashup musical parody: Wicked Frozen

Jen Kirkman

…and Jen Kirkman joins Todd Barry, Janine Brito, and more at Larry Murphy’s weekly stand-up/sketch party Myrtle 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:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, TruTV’s Friends of the People), Myka Fox, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: “Dressed only from the waist up and ankles down, Adrienne Truscott undoes and does in the rules and rhetoric about rape, comedy, and the awkward laughs in between. With ‘appearances’ from George Carlin, Louis CK, Robert De Niro, ducks, whistles, and enough gin and tonics to get a girl in trouble, she lets her pussy do the talking. Set to pop music. Can you make jokes about rape? She plans to, all night long. Even if you tell her to stop” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City; for a London review, please click here:Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…” sharing tales atThe PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Beloved TV comedy series 30 Rock presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PITdownstairs lounge: We Love TV

[$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A multi-talented improv, sketch, and stand-up comic who’s a long-time comedy partner of Kristin Schaal, and has performed on Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Bob’s Burgers, andChelsea Lately headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kurt Braunohler

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Nick DiPaolo, and Jessica Kirson at the 8:00 show; and Dave Attell and Zainab Johnson at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’sFlight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), and Danny Tamberelli performing for this weekly stand-up plus sketch show at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Storytellers Jen Doll (author of Save the Date), Tara Clancy (The New York Times, The Paris Review, Moth GrandSlam champion), Lukas Kaiser (writer/producer at Spike TV), Andy Ross (writer for The Onion, Mad Magazine), and Michelle Onufrak telling true tales about It’s Not Me, It’s You at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned It’s Not Me, It’s You

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer!): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers friends to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s lineup JR Havlan (7-time Emmy winning writer for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher), Eddie Brill (former booker for David Letterman), and David Konig: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-11:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Love Story (improv that begins with a significant moment in a romantic relationship and explores the characters and relationships in their lives), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes springboarding off improvised monologues from star storyteller Adam Wade at The Armando Diaz Experience: The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joanna Bradley demonstrates she’s a fine performer who needs to work with a tough editor, as her material doesn’t come across as funny so much as harsh and angry—which doesn’t do justice to her genuine acting and comedic talent. But maybe one-woman has improved since I’ve seen it. Find out at I Am Very Important People

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

9:30 pm ($8): Feline-based improv from duo David Frasure & Jenn Welch at The PIT upstairs theatre: CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Amanda Seales, and Nore Davis performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge—”If you like Grindhouse, Kung Fu, Spaghetti Western, Noir, and the entire 1970s, you’ll want to check out:” The Tarantino

[FREE] 9:00 pm: A rare stand-up & sketch show in Staten Island, with Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch groupOnassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Ben Kissel (writer for MTV, MTV2, CMT, TLC; The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen), Alyssa Wolff, and Dan Goodman performing at the Flagship Brewing Company (40 Minthorne Street, near the SI Ferry and the Tompkinsville train station) hosted by Tim Duffy & John Szeluga: Comedy Night in Staten Island

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Tom March, Aaron Kheifets, Ben Phillipe, Sandi Marx, and host Kevin Allison tell daring personal tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s Thanksgiving theme Grateful for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Great lineup of 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), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Giulio Gallarotti performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Jen Kirkman, Cipha Sounds, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Improvisors—who include powerhouse musical improvisor Rebecca Vigil—take an audience suggestion of a band and then make up an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge: PIT Behind the Music

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—possibly performing in a camp tent—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Aaron Friedman: Campfire Comedy

10:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) at this weekly show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.54 in advance online; every performance of this show has sold out, so grab tickets online before they disappear): A fun, lively musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Warren and Glory Days competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday 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] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Joe Galan hosts a clowning workshop & open stage: “Clowns have only one true directive: To play! This is part workshop, part playground where we will use exercises geared towards exploring new voices, bodies and games. Either show off a piece in progress or jump onstage blind and ready to follow your sense of fun. Whether you’re interested in learning more about clown technique and physical comedy or just overcoming coulrophobia, this jam is a fun and safe environment to explore your onstage instincts” at The PITupstairs theatre: No Make-Up: A Clown Jam

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage atThe Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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)

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

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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