NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 1/13/15

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Seth Green and lots more are on The Late Late Show;
Matt LeBlanc is on Conan O’Brien;
Grace Helbig, Doug Benson, and Hari Kondabolu are on @midnight;
the third season of The Kroll Show kicks off at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

Tonight is your last chance to catch the finest, funniest improv troupe in the world: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

Molly's North Korea Armageddon Family Hour

…and Andrea Alton performs what’s likely to be a hilarious show as Molly “Equality” Dykeman as she tells stories, sings and dances, hits on women in the audience, and much more: Molly’s North Korea Armageddon Family Hour

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] 1:00 pm ($30): There are hundreds of walking tours in NYC, but my favorite so far is this survey of artwork in the New York City subway system. While guide Phil Desiere isn’t in any way a comic, the artwork itself primarily is comedic (and often includes a comic book sensibility). If you’d enjoy having your eyes opened to the whimsical art strewn about heavily traveled NYC subway stations that millions of busy commuters never notice, treat yourself to this 2½ hour expedition happening on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 1:00 pm: New York City Subway Art Tour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($25 at the door with discount code OPHELIA; please note this show has SOLD OUT, but the theatre will be squeezing people in if you arrive early and are okay with standing): Genius improvisors from Chicago—including ISC founder Blaine Swen—delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the conclusion of a three-night NYC run at at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), with every evening utterly different from the last. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:00 pm ($5): Improv group You’re Not My Dad make up scenes springboarding off TV commercials at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Commercial Made Me Do It

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($7.37 online using code BREAKOUT, plus 2-drink min.) El Salvador-based Julio Torres headlines and curates a terrific group of alternative comics: 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), Josh Sharp (half of ace sketch duo Dennie & Sharp), Gary Richardson (host of School Night), and Joe Rumrill, all performing for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Julio Torres Headlines & Presents Jo Firestone, Josh Sharp, and More

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Side Piece, Apollo, and Higgins at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton and Gregg Rogell at the 7:30 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Materese, Dov Davidoff, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Keith Alberstadt, and Joe List at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Comedy club headliner depth for just $5, with tonight’s star stand-ups 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) and Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased) each performing a 30-minute set at UCB East hosted by Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1): Big Long Sets

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($11.30 in advance online, $15 at the door): Andrea Alton tells unsettling stories, sings and dances, and hits on women in the audience as her very funny character Molly “Equality” Dykeman, “the loveable but barely lucid security guard at PS 339 who dabbles in a bit of poetry, a bit of Percocet, and a lot of drink; plus dinosaurs, zombies, giant sink holes, Kim Jong Un, and guests.” The latter tonight are Allen Warnock (The Knick, I Just Want My Pants Back), Rick Younger (NBC’s Today Show), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Athena Reich (Pregnant Gaga), and Moe & Mary, all performing at LES’ 21-A Clinton Street: Molly’s North Korea Armageddon Family Hour

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): John Frusciante performs a one-man show based on John Gray’s iconic bestselling book at The PIT upstairs theatre: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live

8:00 pm ($5): Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Akaash Singh, and Brendan Fitzgibbons performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by Calvin Cole & Sharron Paul that calls attention to its inexpensive price: Cheap Date

[FREE; plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Mike Denny (host of Broken Comedy), Brendan Fizgibbons (The Onion), Maria Heinegg, and Julie Kottakis performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, JF Harris, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

8:00 pm ($5): Christine Holt & Mary Guiteras tend bar for a living, then let off steam by performing improv springboarding off true stories by their guests—who tonight are Claire Yale and Brad Stuart—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bartenders’ Resolutions Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups and musicians drink and perform at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Peele: Party & Bullshit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sketch group Murderfist, Brooks Whelan, Amanda Seales, Andy Haynes, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Comedy Central, College Humor), Andrew Short (co-host of Underbelly), and Griffin Newman-Newman performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) produced by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, Clark Jones, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Grammer, Women & Men, and The Enemy at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Ace stand-ups present lectures about silly topics, with tonight’s guests Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing) performing at the UCB East theatre hosted by Kara Klenk, Jared Logan, and Jim Tews: Homeschooled—A Comedic Lecture Series: Myq Kaplan, Aparna Nancherla, Jared Logan, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), 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), 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), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing)performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Nick DiPaolo, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Chris DiStefano, and Pete Lee

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 10:00 pm: 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), Sean Hart, Steve Whalen, Carmen Christopher, Joey Dundale, and Max Wittert performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis playing a new character at every show—who tonight is an Amish comic: The Tuesday Special: Amish Night

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Seth Cockfield: War On Sadness

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and lesser-known stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at the UCB East theatre: Chemistry

Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv group Legend to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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-$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 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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