NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/4/14

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Chris Rock is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Bill Burr is on Conan O’Brien;
Steve Carell is on Craig Ferguson;
Jack McBrayer is on Seth Meyers;
Bill Murray is on David Letterman (repeated from 10/15);
Andrew Santino, Chris D’Elia, and Brent Morin are on @midnight

Myq Kaplan and David Carl

Wonderful comics Myq Kaplan and David Carl share embarrassing relics of their childhood at Lyssa Mande’s The Bitch Seat

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): Steve Rannazzisi (FX’s The League), Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone, new comedy album Bangs!), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), and Jason Taylor performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Steve Rannazzisi, Ophira Eisenberg, Sabrina Jalees, Rob Cantrell, and More

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Jamie Graham & Amy Larimer blend improv and dance to create theatrical physical comedy and grace on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Raving Jaynes

7:30 pm ($10): “Through audience suggestions of Chapter Title and The First Line of the Chapter, the audience decides what the next chapter will be for the story that the players will create. Will there be glory? Will one of them find their missing cat? Or is death in their future? Come find out as you choose your own adventure” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Writer’s Block: An Adventure You Choose

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Mark Normand, Ryan Hamilton, and Judy Gold at the 8:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Keith Alberstadt, Dov Davidoff, Lynne Koplitz, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Ari Shaffir, Jeff Ross, Big Jay Oakerson, Kyle Dunnigan, Zainab Johnson, and Mike Yard (hosting) 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): 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), brilliant musical performer CornMo, Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), and UK stand-up Maeve Higgins performing at this show for stand-up, music, and sketch 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: Mark Normand, CornMo, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Free music from two of my favorite people, Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko) and Camille Harris (irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, music album Silly Jazz) performing songs at the Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop): Camille Harris and Leslie Goshko at Rockwood Stage 1

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A rare Queens indie comedy show featuring Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Moody McCarthy (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Chelsea White (producer of MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, TLC, co-host of What Else and Call Us Crazy), and Aalap Patel performing stand-up in Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Liz Simons & Jenn Wehrung: Laugh It Up, Astoria

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 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 Blob (eight improvisors jointly contribute to the creation of two-person scenes, and then work to refine and morph these scenes together over time), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from guest storyteller Jed Teres at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($10): Amy Marcs performs a one-woman show about her experiences with breast cancer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Nice T!Ts

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joanna Bradley demonstrates she’s a fine performer who needs a less harsh and angry show to show off her comedic talent at I Am Very Important People

…and in the second half of this double-bill, duo sketch from Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil in The Keith & Jesse Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Storyteller Lyssa Mandel invites guests to “expose their bleeding-heart adolescent artifacts (journal entries, poetry, original songs, and art), then welcomes them to laugh at and with their own flaws.” Tonight’s extra special show features Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot) and David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Bitch Seat: Myq Kaplan and David Carl

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seth Meyers Writers: Crate Night With Set Fires

9:30 pm ($10): A one-hour play in which “Karen is throwing a party, Ellen’s bringing Alec, Merv is the wild card, and Lisa’s on her way. These lovely people who seem to have it all gather for wine, cheese, small tragedies, and the mysteries of Kansas” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Lisa and Her Things

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Mike Guild knows everything about movies and films. He will take you through the landscape of the cinema, along with comic guests to discuss everything going on the weird landscape that is Hollywood—plus everyone in the audience will win a unique prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Movie Night With Mike

10:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by David Craig at The PIT downstairs lounge: Things I Only Do When I Am By Myself

10:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Gary Richardson and Stone & Stone performing 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 ($5): Improv groups Fuck That Shit and Rizzo compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Midnight ($5; no min.): Stand-ups Katie Haller, Emma Willmann, Crystian Ramirez, Allan Finn, and Craig Fox talk about sex at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Week In Sex

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf, Sarah Tollemache, and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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 PIT upstairs 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 Junior Varsity 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 the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): 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 Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith 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
(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.

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