NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 12/31/14

December 31, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

New Years Eve

Happy (almost) New Year! Ring in 2015 with laughs at one or more of the comedy venues below.

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $15 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($25, which includes a glass of champagne—and, if you guess right, a t-shirt; this is probably sold out, but you can call (212) 989-9319 and/or arrive early to get on a waiting list, because some reservations will be no-shows): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko), Ed Gavagan (Moth Radio Hour), Richard Greene (Forbes, Redbook), and Martin Dockery (five-time Moth GrandSlam finalist). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you on New Year’s Eve at The Liar Show

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:30 pm ($30 plus 2-drink 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), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Caroline Rhea Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Comedy Central), and Jared Fried performing stand-up at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY New Year’s Eve: Judah Friedlander, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Caroline Rhea, and More

[$] 6:30 pm ($25; no min.): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Paul Virzi, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club at 239 Third Avenue & 20th Street. (Please note The Stand has two other shows tonight, at 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm, but those are both sold out): The Stand’s Early NYE: Dan St. Germain, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 8:30 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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Jordan Rock (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 plus 2-drink min.) and 10:00 pm ($92.75 plus 2-drink min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Gary Vider (fun deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), and Ricky Velez performing at the Carolines Comedy Club: Carolines New Years Eve: Mark Normand, Michelle Wolf, Dan Soder, Joe List, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 plus 2-drink min.) and 10:30 pm ($60 plus 2-drink min.): Terrific stand-up Pete Correale (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central one-hour special) headlines at the Gotham Comedy Club: Gotham’s New Year’s Eve with Pete Correale

[$] 8:00 pm ($40 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Zainab Johnson (Arsenio Hall, Last Comic Standing, BET’s Comic View), and Modi (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show): Comedy Cellar New Years Eve: Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Jessica Kirson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award) performs and hosts what’s likely to be an off-the-wall comedy extravaganza at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Murderfist’s New Year

[$] 9:00 pm ($30; includes open buffet and glass of champagne): NYC stand-ups David Lester, Evan Jones, Kerry Coddett, Stephen Bolles, and Joanna Briley performing at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Alex Babbitt & Elsa Waithe and followed by partying through 2:00 am: New Year’s Eve Comedy Jam

[FREE; plus free champagne at midnight!] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) hosted by Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central) at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop): Broken Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($80 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Strong line-up of Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Comedy Central’s Comedy Underground, Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn, Comedy Central’s Insomniac, and two Comedy Central specials; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Dov Davidoff (Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, Chappelle’s Show, Chelsea Lately, Whitney, The League), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and Kevin Brennan performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show): Comedy Cellar New Years Eve: Dave Attell, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and More

Midnight ($13.41 in advance online—please arrive by 11:45 pm for guaranteed seat): NYC comics perform stand-up in the nude (audience members can choose to be clothed or naked) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Naked Show

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 the Stand 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] 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

[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

 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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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/30/14

December 30, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Chris Rock is on David Letterman (repeated from 12/11)
Nathan Lane, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Garry Marshall
are on Seth Meyers (repeated from 9/30)

Gary Gulman

Star stand-up Gary Gulman…

Adam Newman

…and adorable stand-up Adam Newman each perform 30 minutes of ace material at UCB East’s Big Long Sets

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, 7:30 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 pm ($12 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s star-studded shows include Judah Friedlander, Tom Papa, Dave Attell, Gary Gulman, Mark Normand, Todd Barry, Jeff Ross, Joe Machi, Nikki Glaser, Artie Lange, Russ Meneve, Pete Correale, and more, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, six of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Comics with “weird talents” display them at The PIT upstairs theatre: The PIT Factor: New Year’s Eve Eve Edition

7:00 pm ($5): Nine-member musical improv group Bee Hammer makes up story, song, and dance on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bee Hammer

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Apollo, Side Piece, and The Enemy at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), 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), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Janeane Garofalo, Jen Kirkman, Dan St. Germain, Nikki Glaser, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two 3-man Improv groups—Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, and Michael Kayne, and Dru Johnston, Josh Patton, and Ben Rameaka—perform at the UCB East theatre: Thrice Twice Once

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Taylor Ketchum, Nick Maritato, Evan Williams, Joon Chung, and Kristin Manna performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, John Szeluga, Sue Smith, and JF Harris: Amazingtown

8:00 pm ($5): Musical improv group Bankrukt makes up a theatrical tale with singing and dancing on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bankrukt: Alive!

8:00 pm ($5): Vivian Delano, Christi Chiello, Paul Lombardo, and group Flying Vat perform improv at The PIT upstairs theatre: Resolutions

[FREE] 8:00 pm: All-gal improv group Saint Nancy hosts stand-up, sketch, and improv at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Saint Nancy Presents Mostly Handsome

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically superb stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Jon Rineman (head monologue writer for Jimmy Fallon), John Roberts (sketch performer on Jimmy Fallon, Linda on FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Archer, Gravity Falls), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Julia Johns, Katie Hannigan, and Kyle Ayers performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, Clark Jones, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Women & Men, Grammer, and Higgins at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Star stand-up Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special) and Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets) each perform a 30-mnute set at the UCB East theatre hosted by Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever): Big Long Sets

9:30 pm ($5): Colin O’Brien & Michael Wolf perform comedic songs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Nancy: Love Songs in the Key of Life

9:30 pm ($5): A feature film is made up on the spot by a Wednesday night house improv group at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gypsy Danger

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Bridey Elliott (razor-sharp rising star; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Witstream, Fambly), Edy Modica & Brian Fiddyment, Marcia Belsky, Chris Calogero, Marc Philippe Eskenazifor, and group Take Care, Brush Your Hair perform at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis (playing a new character at every show): The Tuesday Special

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “The Rainbow Dancers are a handful of amateur dancers whose faces are painted different colors of the rainbow. Watch as they create improvised and completely synchronized dances to your favorite holiday and pop songs. Guaranteed to be the weirdest holiday comedy show you see this season” spearheaded by the wonderful Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) at the UCB Chelsea theatre: New Year’s Eve with Rainbow Dancers

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday 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 the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host (TBD): The Dump

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv group The Jezebelles to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/29/14

December 29, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Ben Stiller is on David Letterman (repeated from 12/9)
Tracey Ullman is on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 12/16)
T.J. Miller is on Craig Ferguson (repeated from 10/15)

Career Suicide

Comedy genius Chris Gethard tries out exceptionally honest, dark material in his unique blend of storytelling & stand-up for Career Suicide

Cady Huffman

…and Cady Huffman, Tony winner for Broadway’s  The Producers, is among the many stars crashing improv into classic theatre scenes at Gravid Water

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-9:00 pm: All NYC-based gal comics—stand-ups, storytellers, sketch performers, improvisers, character actresses, bookers, producers, podcasters, etc.—are invited to hang out and network at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Selena Coppock & Rebecca Trent: Lady Gathering at The Creek

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) seamlessly blends stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience. Tonight Chris tries out some shockingly honest new material at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Ace gal improvisors Megan Gray, Rosie Whalen, and more springboard an audience suggestion to create a terrible Lifetime TV movie (“come prepared to watch a live film filled with heartbreak, disease, violence, despair, hope, courage, sassy neighbors, murders, heroes, whores, assholes, dumb babies who take up all your time, revenge, love, sex, hate, and chocolate”) at The Magnet theatre: Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Hannibal Buress, Mark Normand, and Zainab Johnson at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Jeff Ross, Hannibal Buress, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Mark Normand, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, and Carmen Lynch at the 8:45 show; Jeff Ross, Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Ari Shaffir, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Monday

7:00 pm ($5): Improv improv groups The Shady Bunch and The Brown Football Helmets make up musicals about the year gone by at The PIT upstairs theatre: A Musically Improvised Reflection on 2014

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation—which include group Holiday at 9:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

7:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups and others “take the stage one at a time and attempt to chill everyone out using whichever techniques they feel are most effective. Audience members interact freely with the speakers and each other in an open group conversation where anyone may speak at anytime” at The Grisly Pear(107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: The Chill Circle

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Top improvisors Scott Adsit, Zach Woods, Michael O’Brien, and Tami Sagher and Broadway & TV stars Cady Huffman (Broadway’s The Producers (Tony Award), The Will Rogers Follies (Tony nominee)), Jonathan Kaplan (Broadway’s Diary of Anne Frank, Falsettos (Tony nominee)), Cristin Milioti (A to Z, How I Met Your Mother, Broadway’s Once (Tony nominee)), and Julie Sharbutt (The Good Wife, The Colbert Report, Shakespeare in the Park) crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Comedic musicians Matt Radlow & Betsy Kenney perform and host other funny musicians (not announced) at what’s likely to be a way fun show at the UCB East theatre: Matt and Betsy Do Music: New Year’s Edition

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), and Doogie Horner performing at Brooklyn’sLittlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train: Jen Kirkman, Jena Friedman, Barry Rothbart, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sketch comedy from five-person group Bleak at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Bleak Comedy: Huge Me

8:00 pm ($5): Host Jonathan Braylock (Amazing Spider-Man 2, one-man show The Black Experience, host of The Lockdown) and friends perform stand-up and more celebrating the birthday of Steve Way, “who has successfully defeated muscular dystrophy for yet another year,” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Steve Way’s Birthday Bash

8:30 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” atThe Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about her the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

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

9:30 ($5): Improvisors (not announced) pair up to create on-the-spot duo scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: It Takes Two-Prov

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), and Casey Balsham performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Dan St. Germain, Nikki Glaser, Joe List, and More

10:00 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla, Leo Allen, or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday 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—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base 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)

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/The Standing Room/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 12/28/14

December 28, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Last to Leave

Five hours of terrible stand-up designed to make audience members flee…

Last to Leave

…hosted by the wonderful Jo Firestone: Last to Leave

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] 5:00 pm-10:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) presents five full hours of stand-up from over two dozen comics who’ve been instructed to deliver “MISERABLE, PURPOSELY BORING, AND UNBEARABLE COMEDY.” The audience member who sits through it all “wins” via some cash and a $50 bar tab (which won’t remotely cover the resulting therapy bills…). All this excitement at Jo’s opposite of Last Comic Standing—it’s essentially Last Audience Member Sitting—happens at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Last to Leave

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups and others “take the stage one at a time and attempt to chill everyone out using whichever techniques they feel are most effective. Audience members interact freely with the speakers and each other in an open group conversation where anyone may speak at anytime” at The Grisly Pear(107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: The Chill Circle

6:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from young foursome Bedlam at The Magnet theatre: Knocked It Out of the Park

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal improv group Pin-Up Squirrels performs and hosts other improv groups at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Play Date With the Pin-Up Squirrels

7:00 pm ($5): An improvised game show “teaming four short-form performers with two special guest contestants ready to ‘yes and’ anything to win” at The PIT upstairs theatre: ShortGameShow

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.)  Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Comedy Central’s Comedy Underground, Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn, Comedy Central’s Insomniac, and two Comedy Central specials; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show) headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Dave Attell

7:30 pm ($7): “Improvisers create scenes inspired by essays written about personal experiences and show that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine” at The Magnet theatre: You Are Not Alone: An Uplifting Show About Depression

8:00 pm ($5): Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), Anthony Devito, Robert Dean, Kerri Lendo, Chris Laker, and Sara Armour performing stand-up at UCB Easthosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It: Barry Rothbart, Nore Davis, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Gary Gulman, and Ruth Gordon at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Ruth Gordon, and Greer Barnes at the 8:45 show; Jeff Ross, NIck Griffin, Nikki Glaser, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 10:30 pm show; and Ari Shaffir, Kurt Metzger, Marina Franklin, Joe List, Sam Morril, Damien Lemon, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane):Comedy Cellar Sunday

[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 ($15; no min.): Jeffrey Joseph, Shakir Standley, and Del Harrison performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Amanda Seales & Marc Lamont Hill: Smart, Funny, and Black

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Dan Hodapp, Julie Sharbutt, Kevin Laibson, Steve Siddell, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’sGirls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Nikki Glaser, Joe List, Seaton Smith, and More

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Classic improv trio Hot Sauce—Gil Ozeri, Ben Schwartz, and Adam Pally—reunite for one night only at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Hot Sauce

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

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: 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)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/27/14

December 27, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Dave Attell

Dave Attell continues his headlining run at Carolines

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:

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Friendship Club, Lack Lobster, Haxo, and Swartzlander performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 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 stand-ups include Tom Papa, Gary Gulman, Ruth Gordon, Robert Kelly, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Robert Kelly, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:15 show; Tom Papa, Ruth Gordon, Robert Kelly, Lenny Marcus, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Tom Papa, Ruth Gordon, and Robert Kelly at the at the 9:15 show; Kevin Meaney, Mark Normand, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; Jeff Ross, Mark Normand, Lynne Koplitz, Sam Morril, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 11:15 show; and Jeff Ross, Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 12:15 show, 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 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Gary Vider (fun deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Marc Theobald (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group His Majesty, The Baby

7:00 pm ($5): Jake Keefe performs sketch—possibly accompanied by some stories from his dad—at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Show For My Parents

7:00 pm ($10): Harold Night improv group Higgins takes over the stage for one evening at the UCB East theatre: Higgins: Come Fly With Us

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Improvisors make up scenes revolving around their heroes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nicholas Feitel: The Hero Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.)  Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Comedy Central’s Comedy Underground, Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn, Comedy Central’s Insomniac, and two Comedy Central specials; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show) headlines tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Dave Attell

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): Terrific stand-up Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents) headlines at the Gotham Comedy Club: Nick Griffin

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Nikki Glaser, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Don Fanelli, Aaron Jackson, Tim Martin, Kate Riley, and more attempt to abandon rules for the sake of achieving new levels of hilarity at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Fuck That Shit

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Improvisors make up a religion based on an audience suggestion—e.g., The Church of the Carrot, The Church of Crime—and then make up hymns, readings, sermons, sacraments, and more on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Fake Church

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): A Brit & American married couple performs sketch about “high concept ideas, charmingly absurd characters, and clever verbiage” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Are Thomasse: As American As Fish ‘n’ Chips

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Jamison Guest—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Nikki Glaser, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre, with tonight’s monologues by storyteller Micaela Blei: The Armando Diaz Experience

11:00 pm ($5): A young improv group performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tickle Party: Holiday Magic

11:00 pm ($5): Lucas Hazlett (MTV, Marvel) tells 100 jokes he wrote in 2014 at The PIT upstairs theatre: And Now Old News Presents 100 Jokes of 2014

11:30 pm ($5): Doug Smith, Ahri Findling, Joel Kim Booster, and Andy Fiori share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($15; no min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), James Mattern, and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mark Normand, Joe List, Monroe Martin, and More

Midnight ($5): Two sketch groups (not announced) compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by Alden Ford and Justin Tyler: Backyard Brawl

[FREE] Midnight: Stand-up, sketch, and improv at this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Pinball

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evanshost: The Amateur Hour

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/26/14

December 26, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Mel Brooks is on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 12/18);
Jack Black & Kyle Gass (Tenacious D) are
on Craig Ferguson (repeated from 10/24);
Jay Leno is on Jimmy Fallon (repeated from 11/7)

Dave Attell

Dave Attell headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines

Cage Match - Jews vs Christians

…and Jews compete against Christians in a battle for laughs at Cage Match

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, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Mark Normand, Ruth Gordon, Robert Kelly, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Robert Kelly, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Ruth Gordan, Greer Barnes, Robert Kelly, Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Jeff Ross, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Jeff Ross, Marina Franklin, Sam Morril, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 12:15 am show, with all shows are at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Gary Vider (fun deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Marc Theobald (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group His Majesty, The Baby

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.)  Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Comedy Central’s Comedy Underground, Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn, Comedy Central’s Insomniac, and two Comedy Central specials; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show) headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Dave Attell

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the talented Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely) performs a smart, funny one-woman show mixing sketches about the types of teachers she’s encountered with video tales of her own experiences during 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, superb improvisors Shannon O’Neill (UCB-NY Artistic Director), Natasha Vaynblat (see directly above), and more “gather around the couch to turn each others’ bizarre tales and armchair philosophies into an evening of improv comedy. It’s like hanging out with your friends, except that your friends are really funny and need to suddenly turn their stories into improv scenes” at The Living Room

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors John Murray (Death by Roo Roo), Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger), and more make up scenes revolving around the disappointing gifts you received and bring in to show them—and exchange for another disappointing gift—at the UCB East theatre: Shitty Gift Exchange

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Lou Perez performs a 30-minute set for this tape, plus stand-up from Lukas Kaiser and Charles Gould, at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor): Lou Perez 30-Minute Set Taping

8:00 pm ($5): The highly talented Chris Booth and Kevin Laibson perform duo improv revolving around “absurdism, avant-garde, and alienation—and no shame” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Calvin & Craig: No Shame

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[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 ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:30 pm ($5): Jason Specland performs a one-man storytelling show at The PIT downstairs lounge: If I’m Lyin’, I’m Dyin’

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): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craftThe Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): NYC comics (not announced) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB Easthosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): New Years resolutions are discussed by Justin Perez (co-host of Totally Requesty), Val Roder (host ofStory Time), Adrian Sexton (Unauthorized: The Musical), and host Jenn Welch The PIT downstairs lounge: Be Better: A Self-Improvement Talk Show

11:00 pm ($5): Scott Swayze—playing “Slane McNamara, the Internet’s Best Comedian”—performs a one-man stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre: Deus Ex McNamara

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): In celebration of the holidays, improvised Jews battle improvised Christians for supremacy—via audience laughs and votes—at UCB East. Overall, history favors the Christians. But this is New York, where Jewish comics may well have the edge. There’s no telling what will happen…which is one of the great pleasures of the extravaganza men call Cage Match: Jews Vs. Christians

Midnight ($5): Young improvisors make up scenes revolving around “the weird shit you do every holiday season” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Father, the Son, and the Holy-Day Tradition

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 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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/25/14

December 25, 2014

santa

Almost all comedy venues are dark for Christmas.
Here are the only exceptions I know of worth mentioning:

 [$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.)  Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View) headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: A Jewdy Gold Christmas

[$] 8:00 pm ($15, plus 2-drink min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’sNikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), and Goumba Johnny performing stand-up at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Ari Shaffir, Greer Barnes, Monroe Martin, and More

Thursday Open Mics

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[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

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

If you’re not spending the day home with family, this can be a good night to catch Broadway & off-Broadway comedic theatre for huge discounts.

Full comedy listings will resume tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas!

Wishing you very warm and joyous holidays.

Love,

Hy