NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 1/4/15

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

ASSSSCAT 3000

Week after week, UCB Chelsea’s signature show provides some of the smartest, funniest improv in the country: ASSSSCAT 3000

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] [FREE] 5:00 pm: If you have a show that’s a great fit for a fringe theatre festival, this discussion comparing different fests—e.g., FringeNYC vs. Edinburgh vs. Hollywood Fringe—will try to help you decide which one is best for you. Panelists include the wonderful David Carl (smash hit Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet at the 2014 FringeNYC) and host Peter Michael Marino at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Which Fest Is Best For You?

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): “This show is very different. Our audience sits in a big circle where everyone may speak at anytime in a very chill open group conversation. Expect a lot of improv, storytelling, topic discussion, jokes, songs, and great vibes from everybody in a very casual no stress group atmosphere” at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: The Chill Circle

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Fiorito: The Mishmash Mashup

6:00 pm ($7): Duo improv group From Justin to Kelly and one-gal improv from Shacottha Fieldand at The Magnettheatre: From Justin To Kelly and 1 Deep

[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 Shannon O’Neil and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Anarchic improv from nearly a dozen comics at The Magnet theatre: The Stank

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon; breakout star of the most recent season of Last Comic Standing), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Jeff Maurer, Shane Torres, Missy Baker, and Toby Muresianu performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It: Joe Machi, Josh Sharp, and More

[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 Gary Gulman, Keith Alberstadt, Lynne Koplitz, and Kyle Dunnigan at the 8:00 show; strong lineup of Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell and Big Jay Oakerson 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 ($15; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’sLouie, 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), 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), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Mark Normand, Rachel Feinstein, Pete Lee, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Typically superb improvisors (not yet announced this week) make up theatrical scenes atThe PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Get your laughs preserved for posterity as Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion) records his stand-up comedy CD at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Tom McCaffrey Live Album Taping

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($7): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 9:30 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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’sLouie, 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), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Rachel Feinstein, Joe List, Pete Lee, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Bringing comedy back to its vaudeville and cabaret roots, a no holds barred strictly R-rated comedy show featuring filthy stand-up and storytelling sandwiched between some of the hottest burlesque acts in the city” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Charles Stunning and Freddie Heinemann: Raunchy Risque

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] 7:30 pm: Open mic stand-up—first come, first served—at Bar None (98 Third Avenue) hosted by Ali Levin as “Viviana Cortez, a spicy Cuban holistic wellness counselor from Miami:” Open Sessions

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 downstairs lounge 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)

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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