NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 1/29/15

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: John Oliver is on David Letterman;
Whitney Cummings guest hosts The Late Late Show;
Phoebe Robinson is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 1/12);
Matt Walsh, Jason Sklar, and Randy Sklar are on @midnight

Leslie Goshko

The irresistible Leslie Goshko celebrates the Six Year Anniversary of her storytelling extravaganza Sideshow Goshko

Seinfeld

…and one of the best UCB parody shows ever returns in Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

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] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show; The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam Champion), Catie Lazarus (The New York Times, host of Employee of the Month), and Martin Dockery celebrating the 6th year anniversary of this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) hosted by the lovely Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) and featuring such charms as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko: Six Year Anniversary

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): 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), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), Michelle Biloon (The Late Late Show), and Robert Dean (AXS TV) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Aparna Nancherla, Ben Kronberg, and More

7:00 pm ($5): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($45.75 & 2-drink min.) The co-creater & co-writer of CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NBC sitcom Whitney, and who’s also performed on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, TBS, E!, and Chelsea Lately, is headlining tonight through Saturday at Carolines: Whitney Cummings

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Joe Machi, Joe Matarese, and Keith Alberstadt at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Dan Soder, Jon Fisch, and Damien Lemon at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a sketch group that promises to give away $100: Awful DJ

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical dark sketch group focuses on a single topic: Legs for Days Presents A Salute to Alcohol

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, 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), Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Rachel Feinstein, Brooks Whelan, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Ilana Glazer (co-star of Broad City), Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), James Patterson, Kenny DeForest, and Will Miles performing at this show for stand-up and sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Ilana Glazer, Larry Murphy, Matt Koff, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by This Is Your Life (eight improvisors make up scenes based on an interview with an audience member), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from guest storyteller Shacottha Fields at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): “Sarah Peele loves recapping movies to her friends. Doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it before, she’ll tell you all about it, including how it makes her feel. Tonight her movie is French Kiss, about a woman who flies to France to confront her straying fiancé, but gets into trouble when the charming crook seated next to her uses her for smuggling” at The PIT downstairs lounge: RECAP: French Kiss

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Martha hosts this variety show featuring Brandon Scott Wolf, Marc Philippe Eskenazi, and Marie Faustin performing at the PIT upstairs theatre: All You Can Eat

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Sketch group Forever Dog hosts guests Amy Leon (poet/musician) and Rahm Silverglade (musician) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Forever Dog Presents The Amy Leon Project

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, “after landing in Munchkinland, Dorothy discovers that she’s a shitty female protagonist. Along with the Scarecrow (a zombie looking for some brains), the Tin Man (a guy who’s looking to get rid of his heart because feelings suck), and the Cowardly Lion (a homophobic homosexual), Dorothy sets off on a journey to Hollywood to find the all-powerful Writer of the movie who can re-write her character into a more dynamic female lead” written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed by the fabulous Laura Grey: Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

…and in the second half of this double-bill is one of the very best shows to grace UCB Chelsea, in which sketch group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($11 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Interview guests Morgan Spurlock (legendary documentarian), Judy Gold (stand-up), Travon Free (writer for The Daily Show), and Desiree Akhavan (HBO’s Girls), plus stand-up from Jason Saenz, and comedy journalist Jeffrey Gurian doing a tribute to Joe Franklin, all at the Carolines Comedy Club: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

9:30 pm ($5): A staged reading of an SF TV pilot script in which “New York City is the center of an alien invasion, but like most New Yorkers, Jake doesn’t really have time for it” written by James III at The PIT upstairs theatre: How Things Are Now

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Giulio Gallarotti, and Ricky Velez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Mike Lawrence, Ben Bailey, Sabrina Jalees, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors remake a blockbuster film (suggested by the audience) in the style of indie filmmaker Wes Anderson at The PIT downstairs lounge: Wes Anderson Remakes Your Favorite Movie

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” directed by Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): It all comes down to this: In this year’s finale, Improv groups Grandma’s Ashes and The Enemy battle for the annual championship by competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “Warren Talbot and his band The Silver Bullets have their first gig! Come join the hateable werewolf sidekick and bandleader of the most popular talk show in Hell, Welcome to Hell with Vincent Welles, as he performs at Dante’s Inferno & Bar & Grill” with Philip Casale, Brian Lucraze, Katie Hartman, Jarrod Bates, Mike Wirsch, Dae Churra, Serena Miller, Zoe Farmingdale, and Josh Krebs performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Silver Bullets

Thursday 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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith 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-$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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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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