NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 12/10/14

December 10, 2014

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TV Alert: Kevin Nealon is on Jimmy Fallon;
Cameron Diaz is on Seth Meyers;
Bob Sagat is on Craig Ferguson;
Judah Friedlander, Mamrie Hart, and
Brooks Wheelan are on @midnight;
another genius episode of South Park at 10:00 pm on CC

Joan Rivers

The Museum of Jewish Heritage pays tribute to a comedy pioneer at Can We Talk?: Remembering Joan Rivers

Ted Alexandro

…and Ted Alexandro & Jeffrey Joseph host a free town hall meeting at LIC’s The Creek on #BLACKLIVESMATTER

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-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): Friends and comics influenced by Joan Rivers—including Cory Kahaney (Last Comic Standing) and Brad Zimmerman (frequently opened for Joan)—pay tribute via videos, stand-up sets, shared memories, and more at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (36 Battery Place): Can We Talk?: Remembering Joan Rivers

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from seven groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Holiday themed sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Christmas Ham

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Shea Butta Magic (“smooth like a plain bagel with butter”) raps and jokes through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Shea Butta Magic

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Boom Box, Rizzo, and Witch: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Ted Alexandro and Jeffrey Joseph host a town hall and panel discussion on the topic Black Lives Matter at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: #BLACKLIVESMATTER

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Lenny Marcus, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Ahmed Ahmed, and Zainab Johnson at the 9:45 show; and Paul Mecurio, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, and Mike Yard at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The talented folks at website Funny or Die perform a sketch comedy show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Funny or Die: Stay Safe

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): NYC stand-ups perform their A-list material for Comedy Central bookers at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing): Comedy Central Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of theatre, art, and comedy talents hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte (young), with Doug Wright (Grey Gardens, I Am My Own Wife), Stephen Trask (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Admission), Oliver Butler (director of Jacuzzi and Tick, Tick… BOOM), and Duncan Pflaster (creator of The Naughty Jewish Boys Calendar), plus celebrity guest bartender Paul Erik Davis (Satan’s Little Helper, Eden Butz) performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Erin Harkes (Jimmy Fallon), Joe DeVito (Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Lately), Chris Williams (Gotham Comedy), Jay Welch, and Jocelyn Chia performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Liz Magee: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Dive Comedy), Natalie Wall (host of Awkward Sex…and the City), Natasha Rogers, Megan Lohne, Nick Markovich, Angela Perrone, and Rich Templeton performing stand-up or sketch at “a variety show inspired by a poignant evening on NBC’s The Voice in which a contestant found himself going through ‘dark times’ after dropping out of NYU’s graduate program for music business to pursue his true calling: slightly faltering karaoke singing. His parents seemed very disappointed” at The PIT downstairs lounge produced by Melissa Somosky and hosted by Megan Lohne: Dark Times: A Comedic Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($20 at the door or $24.72 online): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country) hosts this special holiday show featuring Bridget Everett (cabaret dynamo who must be experienced), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), 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; co-host of Myrtle Comedy), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Dave’s band Valley Lodge, all performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues; take the R to 9th Street or the F to 4th Avenue): Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and Tell Me All Your Secrets

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Five writers for The Daily Show—Zhubin Parang, JR Havlan, Matt Koff, Adam Lowitt, and Travon Free—plus 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!), Ryan Beck (MTV’s Girl Code), Ricky Gonzalez, Paul Schissler, and Kevin Gootee performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:15 pm ($8): Sketch comedy from groups Pop Filter, Unisex, Grape Dutches of York, and Don’t Touch That Comedy, solo sketch from Paul Valenti, plus stand-ups Harry Terjanian, Jarret Berenstein, and Calvin S. Cato, all performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by producer KL Thomas: December Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but there’ll be standing room tickets on the standby line): For the last time (because Stephen Colbert is retiring his character and ending his Comedy Central show to take over for David Letterman at CBS), the Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

9:30 pm ($5): Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Teresa Lee, and Nick Callas performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm (FREE cover online or by calling 212.757.4100 with code SKETCHY, but there’s still a 2-drink min.): A holiday show from the only sketch comedy group that performs at the Carolines Comedy Club—which includes writing from the brilliant Nicole DiMattei (The Imbible)—plus stand-up from Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Laundry Day

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), and more performing stand-up and/up music at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Sam Haft: The Lemonade Stand: Nick DiPaolo, Jessica Delfino, Rory Albanese, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Typically superb improv couples (not announced) perform at the UCB East theatre hosted by comedy giants Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell (staff writer for Saturday Night Live): Couples Skate

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Sopranos star Vincent Pastore (“Big Pussy”), Ben Sinclair & Katja Blichfeld (High Maintenance), Sean O’Connor (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), and Nick Maritato are interviewed and/or perform at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

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] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil/The Standing Room Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

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: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

[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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with its 90 minutes split evenly among the comics who throw their names into a bucket, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Eagle Witt: Amateur Night At The Mercury

[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

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$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 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