NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 12/14/14

December 14, 2014

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Michael Che

Michael Che (above) and Ted Alexandro perform at Comedy Cellar

Jo Firestone

…and Jo Firestone (above) and Chris Gethard perform at The Macaulay Culkin Show

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] 5:30 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmash, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

6:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Party. and The Misses perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 7:00 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), Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Brian McCann (Conan O’Brien, Parks & Recreation), sketch duo Good Cop Great Cop, Josh Rabinowitz, Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Ana Fabrega, and John F. O’Donnell performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show: Chris Gethard, Jo Firestone, Brian McCann, Good Cop Great Cop, and More

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

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy groups Action Park and Stockton perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro, Michael Che, Rachel Feinstein, Allan Havey, and Seaton C. Smith at the 8:00 show; Michael Che, Greer Barnes, Allan Havey, and Zainab Johnson at the 9:45 show; and Ari Shaffir, Kurt Metzger, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Josh Adam Meyers, and Alex Castle performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which typically includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

8:00 pm ($5): In this unique mix of stand-up, improv, and audience participation, comics Micah Sherman, Sheng Wang, and Ben Rosen perform “improvised stand-up” based on pictures provided by the audience via the Crowd Source app at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Forrest Haigh: Crowd Source

8:00 pm ($5 and 1-drink min.): Maribeth Mooney produces and stars in this comedy show that also features stand-ups Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Blair Socci, Emma Willman Miguel Dalmau, and Chris Williams performing at The Green Room (340 West 50th Street): Reverend Mooney’s Comedy Confessional

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm ($7 online using discount code SAUCE; no min.): Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Paul Virzi, Matteo Lane, and Scott Chaplain performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien): Adrienne Iapalucci, Joe List, and More

9:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Baby Shoes and Wendigo perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mike Cody, Anthony P. DeVito, Shalewa Sharpe, Lance Weiss, and Ben Conrad performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Brigid Boyle, Nate Starkey, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, each month Channel 101 screens new films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. Tonight is the annual awards ceremony for these cinematic treasures that’s “both a send-up and celebration of award shows, with musical numbers, all new original videos, and actual award statues:” Channel 101: The 2014 Channy Awards

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 PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

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

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

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

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

(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil/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