NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/26/14

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.

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