NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 12/28/14

December 28, 2014

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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)

(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