NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/28/15

February 28, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Dakota Johnson hosts Saturday Night Live

Gary Busey's One-Man Hamlet

For this afternoon only, David Carl revives one of the funniest shows you’re likely to see this year (before he performs it on tour in Florida): Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet

Demetri Martin

…comedy giant Demetri Martin performs at Town Hall as part of his national tour: The Persistence of Jokes

Natasha Leggero

…and Natasha Leggero continues gracing NYC with her beauty and wit as she headlines at Carolines

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 2:00 pm ($20): Charismatic and hilarious rising star David Carl transforms into Gary Busey—and portrays child-like Busey doing a one-man version of the psychologically complex masterpiece Hamlet. The result is consistently inventive, joyful, and laugh-out-loud funny. This was my second favorite show—out of 196—at this August’s FringeNYC, and is one of the funniest shows in New York, period. David is refreshing his Busey muscles at The PIT upstairs theatre this afternoon for a tour of the show he’ll soon be performing in Florida. If you haven’t seen GBOMH, don’t miss a wonderful and now-rare opportunity to do so. And if you have, share it today with a loved one who’s been deprived of GBONH: Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet (As Performed by David Carl)

[$] 6:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Trick Baby, Robopop, The Ali Fisher Duo and Honey performing at The Magnet theatre:The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), James Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Jessica Kirson, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Ricky Velez, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:15 show; Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Jessica Kirson, Lenny Marcus, Ricky Velez, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 9:15 show; Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, Jessica Kirson, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Judah Friedlander, Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, Sam Morril, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Superb improv group The Enemy—which consists of Sebastian Conelli, Clara Morris, Alexandra Dickson, Dave Bluvband, Anthony Apruzzese, Joey Price, and Jesse Neil—managed the monumental feat of winning the 2014 Cage Match Championship with a thoroughly brilliant performance. Tonight it entirely owns theUCB East stage: The Enemy is Listening

7:00 pm ($10): An improv group making up a musical on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Royals

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from a six-person group at The PIT downstairs lounge: Teen Radio Takes Manhattan

7:00 pm ($5): House improv groups such as Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Improv Teams

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Improvisors make up scenes revolving around their heroes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nicholas Feitel: The Hero Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($58.50): Comedy giant Demetri Martin (star of Comedy Central’s Important Things, The Daily Show, Conan O’Brien) is giving a rare NYC performance for one night only at Town Hall (123 West 43rd Street, between 6th Avenue & Broadway) as part of his national tour: Demetri Martin: The Persistence of Jokes

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) Natasha Leggero is a razor-sharp and irresistible stand-up and actress who stars on E’s Burning Love; was the best judge ever on Last Comic Standing; has performed on Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Adult Swim, and FX, and aComedy Central Presents special; and killed on Comedy Central’s classic roast of James Franco with her witty, biting writing. Tasha will provide much-needed warmth to NYC headlining tonight and Sunday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Natasha Leggero

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please clickhere)—takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[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, 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman, Sarah Nowak, and Brigid Boyle) make stuff up at The PITupstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

8:00 pm ($8): House sketch group Sketchfrogs and director Matt Barats (Kill All Comedy) try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Sketchfrogs

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining tonight through Sunday at the GothamComedy Club: Pablo Francisco

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

9:00 pm ($5): Eight improvisors perform “unorthodox improv inspired by ancient traditions” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Holy Fools

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storyteller Lyssa Mandel invites some of the finest comics in NYC—who tonight are 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), Katie Hartman (wonderfully brave and dark sketch comic; Hartman & Carl, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), Sarah Nowak (brilliant writer/performer; improv groups The Baldwins, SidViscous; one-woman show Sarah Nowak: Mild Maniac), and Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks)—to “expose their bleeding-heart adolescent artifacts (journal entries, poetry, original songs, and art), then laugh at and with their own flaws” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Bitch Seat

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show) and David Smithyman (writer for ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat) perform stand-up and sketch at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Matt Koff and Friend

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Jamison Guest—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio’s Last Podcast On The Left  “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the Left Live

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer) performs a one-woman show about how “when she was 11 years old she became obsessed with the Bigfoot phenomenon: the hunters, the hoaxes, and the true believers. That same year, her homeroom classmates perpetrated a hoax of their own. They convinced the faculty that Cyndi was a thief, an instigator of fist-fights, and an agent of mayhem. It had all been lies and, by their high school years, the kids who had participated apologized and Cyndi forgave them. But the teachers still believed the legend that Freeman was a violent pathological liar. Friendships were lost, parents lived in fear, and only the children knew, and accepted, the truth. Weaving together fun trivia about the Bigfoot myth and darker tales about the fiction that surrounded her during her formative years, Freeman talks of truth and lies, motivations both hidden and obvious, and the resilience it takes to survive childhood” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) as part of the Frigid New York Festival: I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot: A Story about Bullies, Monsters, and Hoaxes

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[$] 11:00 pm ($15): Part 2 of a 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage. Last week’s Part 1 did so with very limited success; the costumes were fun, the cast was cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice was the best “special effect” in the show), but the script was consistently flat, arbitrary, and juvenile, making it almost impossible to care about anything that happened, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, were too often anemic. Of course, Part 2 might be better; and either way, this is worth checking out as a novelty at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kapow-i GoGo Part 2: Kapow-i GoGo Z

11:00 pm ($5): Duo sketch comedy with a theatrical spin at The PIT downstairs lounge: Scientists

11:30 pm ($5): Sean Donnelly, Robert Dean, Julia Johns, and Adam Mamawala share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

Midnight ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

[FREE] Midnight: Stand-up, sketch, and improv at this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre:Pinball

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evans host: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran improvisors make up scenes with improv students from any school (selected by lottery) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Student Mixer

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)

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/27/15

February 27, 2015

Great ticket for Saturday’s nearly sold out Demetri Martin show
The Persistence of Jokes at 7:30 pm at Town Hall here

Point Break Live

A stage recreation of a Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze movie classic: Point Break Live

Christine Bullen

…the irresistible Christine Bullen displays her job skills in My Melonbasket

Natasha Leggero

…and star Natasha Leggero continues her headlining run at Carolines

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] [$] [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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), James Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 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 Judah Friedlander, Lynne Koplitz, Lenny Marcus, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Lynne Koplitz, Dov Davidoff, RIcky Velez, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Tom Papa, Dan Soder, Lynne Koplitz, and Dov Davidoff at the 8:45 show; Tom Papa, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Dov Davidoff, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Ricky Velez, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 12:15 am show, with all of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” atThe Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

7:00 pm ($5): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm ($10 for each of these three different “episodes” that together comprise “Part 2”): Part 2 of a 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage. Part 1 did so with very limited success; the costumes were fun, the cast was cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice was the best “special effect” in the show), but the script was consistently flat, arbitrary, and juvenile, making it almost impossible to care about anything that happened, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, were too often anemic. Of course, Part 2 might be better; and either way, it’s worth at least $10 to check out any random episode and experience this as a novelty. Episode 1 at 7:00 pm is coupled with improv group Simply Unemployable, which includes the wonderful Rebecca Vigil; Episode 2 at 8:00 pm is coupled with G.U.S., a unique improvised post-apocalypse show about the last three men on Earth; and Episode 3 at 9:00 pm is coupled with Shrink, an improvised puppet therapy show, all at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kapow-i GoGo Part 2: Kapow-i GoGo Z

7:00 pm ($5): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

7:00 pm ($6): Eli James, Jen Keefe, Martha Cipolla performing stand-up; Madonna Eleganza Refugia & Briana Kelly performing musical sketch; and Kim Parker & Nicholas Feitel performing improv, all at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by brilliant sketch writer Meggie Spellman and Anne Clark: Black Magic Lab Variety

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) Natasha Leggero is a razor-sharp and irresistible stand-up and actress who stars on E’s Burning Love; was the best judge ever on Last Comic Standing; has performed on Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Adult Swim, and FX, and aComedy Central Presents special; and killed on Comedy Central’s classic roast of James Franco with her witty, biting writing. Tasha will provide much-needed warmth to NYC headlining tonight through Sunday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Natasha Leggero

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about her the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and in the second half of this double-bill, AJ Patton and Timmy Wood perform duo sketch comedy as Hype Squad

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($30): The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 film classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers—including the incredible David Carl (Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet)—at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues): Point Break Live

[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

8:00 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

8:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy group Richard will try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Richard

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Lindsay Boiling: 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

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club:Pablo Francisco

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15; SOLD OUT of seats, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, 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, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Strong lineup of Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), Katie Hannigan (MTV), Nate Fridson, and Tyson Karrasch performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space: Dave Hill, Nick Vatterott, Jessica Delfino, and More

9:00 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Juice

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnettheatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer) performs a one-woman show about how “when she was 11 years old she became obsessed with the Bigfoot phenomenon: the hunters, the hoaxes, and the true believers. That same year, her homeroom classmates perpetrated a hoax of their own. They convinced the faculty that Cyndi was a thief, an instigator of fist-fights, and an agent of mayhem. It had all been lies and, by their high school years, the kids who had participated apologized and Cyndi forgave them. But the teachers still believed the legend that Freeman was a violent pathological liar. Friendships were lost, parents lived in fear, and only the children knew, and accepted, the truth. Weaving together fun trivia about the Bigfoot myth and darker tales about the fiction that surrounded her during her formative years, Freeman talks of truth and lies, motivations both hidden and obvious, and the resilience it takes to survive childhood” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) as part of the Frigid New York Festival: I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot: A Story about Bullies, Monsters, and Hoaxes

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Andrew Law (Seth Meyers), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV; co-star ofGUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Katie Kester (host of The Later Show), Ramon Rivas II (Nerdist), and Sharon Spell (host of Big Shrink) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Forever Dog about ” a seemingly sleepy town sitting at the base of an active volcano” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Volcano Town

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy blended with dance, poetry, and live music at The PIT downstairs lounge from groupHis Majesty, The Baby

11:30 pm ($7): “What happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring five additional comics at The Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Real-life lovers Diana Kolsky & Murf Meyer bring you the live counterpart to their saucy podcast, a fun, ballsy, raucous variety show about the audience” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Menage a Trois Radio Live

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts, with tonight’s theme The Thanksgiving Day Parade, at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

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)

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/26/15

February 26, 2015

Camren Bicondova & John Doman (Gotham’s Seline Kyle & Don Carmine Falcone) this Saturday night; to learn more, click here

Aparna Nancherla

Brilliant, lightning-quick comics Aparna Nancherla…

Keisha Zollar

…and Keisha Zollar tell stories about their most mortifying erotic experiences at the Museum of Sex for Natalie Wall’s Awkward Sex and the City

Natasha Leggero

…and star comic Natasha Leggero—who, like Aparna above, has one of the best laughs in the universe—will singlehandedly thaw NYC as she headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines

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 ($18): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a live, shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit) tries out a show that has something to do with him singing at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Josh Sharp Sings

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) Natasha Leggero is a razor-sharp and irresistible stand-up and actress who stars on E’s Burning Love; was the best judge ever on Last Comic Standing; has performed on Jay Leno,Chelsea Lately, The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Adult Swim, and FX, and a Comedy Central Presents special; and killed on Comedy Central’s classic roast of James Franco with her witty, biting writing. Tasha will provide much-needed warmth to NYC headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club:Natasha Leggero

7:30 pm ($5): Alingon Mitra, Joe Zimmerman, Negin Farsad, Jono Zalay, and Drew Michael performing stand-up atUCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[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, Keith Alberstadt, and Jessica Kirson at the 7:45 show; Greer Barnes, Jessica Kirson, Pete Davidson, Sherrod Small, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Matarese, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Pete Davidson, Lynne Koplitz, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Jon Fisch (hosting) 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 ($15; no min.): 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), 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), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), and Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Mark Normand, Dan Soder, Jessica Kirson, and More

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 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 other half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

[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 Shlongform (eight improvisors attempt to mix short form and long form improv together to leverage the strengths of both approaches), at 10:00 pm by Jana Schmieding singing about longing for love in Classic Singles: Ballads of Loneliness, 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): Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Dava Krause, and Brendan McLaughlin Mark performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Martha hosts this variety show featuring stand-up from 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), characters from John Swan, and improv from group Golden Pie, all performing at the PIT upstairs theatre: All You Can Eat

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Mike Brown, Brandon Collins, Daniel Tirado, and Marc Theobald performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): A 7-member comedy group performs sketches, storytelling, improv, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bueller

[FREE] 8:00 pm: All-gal improv group Saint Nancy hosts stand-up, sketch, and improv at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Saint Nancy Presents Mostly Handsome

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($16.82 in advance online or $20 at the door; 15% discount on Pleasure Chest products with ticket): Storytellers & comics 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), Keisha Zollar (Orange Is the New Black, MTV, Comedy Central, ace improv trioDoppelganger,, sketch group Astronomy Club), Emma Tattenbaum-Fine, and Meghan O’Malley tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at Museum of Sex (233 Fifth Avenue, off 27th Street) hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

[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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Amy Schumer (red-hot rising star; Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Fallon), James Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and more performing at UCB Easthosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): An partially improvised punk rock sketch show in which “Alan Murphy is a media mogul. He owns a private club…and he owns a broken heart. But don’t worry, he also owns a swinging libido and a dog-eared copy ofThe Joy Of Sex. Newly divorced, Alan has turned to punk rock music to channel his aggression and emotions. Alan invites you to the CD release party of Songs of Pain, a concept album. Alan will sing, tell stories, and maybe even sign a titty or two” at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog: Forever Dog Presents Alan Murphy and His Punk Rock Band

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($9.93 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Shoshana B. Roberts (star of 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman, which had been seen over 39 million times on YouTube), Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), Bill Weir (CNN journalist/host), Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy on The Sopranos), Larry Levine & Sophia Takal (makers of indie film Wild Canaries), and Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash) being interviewed or performing at the Carolines Comedy Club:Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Shark Tank Live brings your favorite reality competition show off the screen of NBC to the stage. Watch as budding entrepreneurs get their chance to pitch their business ideas such as Russian Brides in A Rush, Cocaine a Cola, and Funeral Snuggies at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Shark Tank Live

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Buck Angel, James Judd, Travis Cook, Jamie Pinto, Lindsay Hoffman, and host Kevin Allison tell stories revolving around the theme Gross at The PIT upstairs theatre for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Billy Prinsell (Rooftop Comedy), and Calvin S. Cato (The Alcoholic Gamer podcast) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) produced by Jaqi Furback, Taylor Clark, and Owen Straw: Big Ups Comedy

[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): Improv groups Higgins and Ultimate Body compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but there’s a whole lot of people in it performing at the UCB East theatre: $$$

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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) 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 Hello Laser 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 theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [AMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A storytelling open mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Chris Booth:Bar Tales & Blowhards

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage atThe 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/25/15

February 25, 2015

Camren Bicondova & John Doman (Gotham’s Seline Kyle & Don Carmine Falcone) live this Saturday; to learn more, click here

TV Alert: Conan O’Brien is on The Daily Show;
Colin Quinn and Kurt Braunohler are on Seth Meyers;
Garfunkel & Oates are on The Late Late Show;
Melissa Rauch is on Conan O’Brien;
Michael Ian Black, Kumail Nanjiani, and
Clark Duke are on @midnight;
an episode of milestone hit series Broad City that last week led David Letterman to declare Abby & Ilana to be “comedy geniuses” debuts at 10:30 pm & 2:35 am on CC

Kurt Braunohler

Kurt Braunohler performs at Brooklyn’s Bell House, with Michelle Wolf opening: The Roustabout Tour

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from seven groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Witch, Boombox, and Rizzo: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): A mash-up of two stand-ups on stage at the same time, tonight featuring Kurt Metzger & Sherrod Small, Big Jay Oakerson & Wil Sylvince, Aparna Nancherla & Sheng Wang, and Christian Finnegan & Sean Donnelly, all performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Adrienne Iapalucci & Luis J. Gomez: Comedy Mash-Up with Kurt Metzger, Aparna Nancherla, Big Jay Oakerson, Wil Sylvince, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, Jessica Kirson, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Keith Alberstadt, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, BIg Jay Oakerson, Carmen Lynch, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Storytellers Phoebe Robinson, Anna Sale, Josh Gondelman, Micaela Blei, and Anthony DeVito tell true tales about how Things Aren’t Always What They Seem at Brooklyn’sUnion Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which sharp writer/performers—who tonight are Jim O’Grady, Adam Wade, Peter Aguero, Sharon Spell, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are honest and hilarious, with tonight’s topic Luck, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist onLast Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Robin Fox, Brooke Arnold, Joe Gerics, Amanda Gail, and Amy Cardinale performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Bob Hansen: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Amber Nelson (bold, dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch groupMurderfist), Rojo Perez, Kim DeShields, Bryan Yang, Neil Constantine, Matt Schwartzer, and Gary Levitt performing stand-up, plus improv groups JewNoir and Sufficiently Silly, all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Julie Kottakis: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A new game show where three contestants get quizzed on random topics; raps, video games, different types of soda. We’ll even have a few comics drop by” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Marvin Lattimore: A Night of Thrill-Vila

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm [$] ($15): Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central, FOX, MTV, Adult Swim; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety) performs stand-up as part of his national tour for one night only at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) with opening sets by Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC) and Ramon Rivas (an “eminent Latino from Cleveland”): Kurt Braunohler: The Roustabout Tour

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Gary Vider (fun deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Nate Craig, and Drew Michael performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis:Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Kristen Bartlett & Jason Gore perform a sketch show about dealing with losing their dads within months of each other “but it’s funny, we swear” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Dead Dads Club

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “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

9:30 pm ($5): Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Jordan Temple, and Josh Rabinowitz performing stand-up or characters at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), and more performing stand-up and/or music at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Sam Haft: The Lemonade Stand: Dan Soder, Jessica Kirso, Jessica Delfino, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): The UCB Touring Company consists of some of UCB’s finest improvisors who show audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For this monthly show, however, the traveling troupe will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo

11:00 pm ($5): Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz, FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight) and Adam Markovitz perform at UCB Chelsea hosted by Brian Faas (VH1, improv group The Law Firm): Night Late

Wednesday 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

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: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Guilt Trip

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 2/24/15

February 24, 2015

If you’d like a prime seat to Saturday’s Demetri Martin show
at Town Hall (Row 2 Loge, dead center) for my cost ($61.90),
please email me at hy@hyreviews.com

TV Alert: The amazing cast members of Parks & Recreation
are
on Seth Meyers at 12:35 am…following the
series finale from 10:00 to 11:00 pm on NBC;
Matthew Broderick and Ellie Kemper are on David Letterman;
Will Forte is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Artie Lange is on Conan O’Brien;
Greg Probst and Greg Warren are hosted
by Billy Gardell on The Late Late Show;
Yvette Nicole Brown, Lindsay Sloane, and
Tom Lennon are on @midnight;
Episode 7 (“Twins”) of the last season of
Kroll Show is at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Dave Hill

Ace stand-up & author Dave Hall talks literature in Brooklyn at 2-Book Minimum

Ben Greenman

…and New Yorker writer/editor and bestselling book author Ben Greenman joins Gary Gulman and more at BackFat Comedy

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-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 showthat 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, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm ($10 for each of these three different “episodes” that together comprise “Part 2”): Part 2 of a 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage. Part 1 did so with very limited success; the costumes were fun, the cast was cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice was the best “special effect” in the show), but the script was consistently flat, arbitrary, and juvenile, making it almost impossible to care about anything that happened, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, were too often anemic. Of course, Part 2 might be better, and I’ll try to catch at least some of it for that reason; and either way, it’s worth at least $10 to check out any random episode and experience this as a novelty. Part 2 is debuting tonight at The PIT upstairs theatre, with Episode 1 at 7:00 pm coupled with improv group Simply Unemployable, which includes the wonderful Rebecca Vigil; Episode 2 at 8:00 pm is coupled with G.U.S., a unique improvised post-apocalypse show about the last three men on Earth; and Episode 3 at 9:00 pm is coupled with Shrink, an improvised puppet therapy show:Kapow-i GoGo Part 2: Kapow-i GoGo Z

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Nick Griffin, Carmen Lynch, Dan Soder, and Lenny Marcus at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Lori Palminteri, and Sherrod Small at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; no min.): 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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Judah Friedlander, Christian Finnegan, Joe List, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Comics who off-stage are professional writers perform stand-up or storytelling, and also talk about their favorite books, with tonight’s guests Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), and Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim) at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Dan Wilbur (author of How Not to Read) and Ross Hyzer (The New Yorker): 2-Book Minimum: Dave Hill, Matt Koff, Giulia Rozzi, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Eli Sairs, and more performing at UCB East hosted by Bill Stiteler & Tony Zaret: School Drools

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: 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), Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show; senior writer/producer for Spike TV; co-host of Amazingtown), Missy Baker, Mark Walton, Zach Swan, Dew Opp, Tim Duffy, Chelsea Taylor, Alana Eisner, and Jonathan Randall performing stand-up at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Niles Turner; to ensure admittance, RSVP atmouthpartycomedynyc@gmail.com: Mouth Party

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Caitlin Brodnick, Rob Haze, and Jake Head performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, John Szeluga, Sue Smith, and JF Harris: Amazingtown

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) auditioning before industry scouts at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Industry Showcase

[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 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] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), and Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased) performing stand-up, Ben Greenman (staff writer at The New Yorker, New York Times bestselling author of Mo’ Meta Blues with Questlove) doing whatever he wants, group Pop Roulette performing musical sketch, and Shelley Hamilton, all at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Emily Winter, John Payne, and Janet Manley: BackFat Comedy: Gary Gulman, Hari Kondabolu, Ben Greenman, and More

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Stand-up from Danny Cohen and Sharon Spell, wedding planning from Anne Lanier, music from Early Riser, and more performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by the wonderful Shonali Bhowmik (Variety SHAC) & Christian Felix (Great Lakes): We Don’t Even Know

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): 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), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central, MTV, Adult Swim; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety), NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): Julie Rosing performs a mostly one-woman show playing a variety of characters, and she somehow involves storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), all at The PIT downstairs lounge: Sick Transition, Bro

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, 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 Apollo, Greg, and Women & Men at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The brilliant Todd Bieber (Director of Content and Production for UCB Comedy) spearheads this show that screens the work of the UCB video division, and also hosts live stand-up and sketch, all at the UCB East theatre: UCB Comedy Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Talented and occasionally vulgar couple Kirsten O’Brien & Mickey Hawtrey “bring their rarely sexual but often hilarious pillow talk to the stage in this 40-minute sketch and improv show” at The PITdownstairs lounge: Parakeets

[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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 3:00 pm: Open mic for parents and other comics who may have trouble going out at night but can steal the time during the day at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Momedy Open Mic

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

[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 byJamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[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 The Stragglersto 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 PITdownstairs 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)

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 2/23/15

February 23, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you’d like a prime seat to Saturday’s Demetri Martin show
at Town Hall (Row 2 Loge, dead center) for my cost ($61.90),
please email me at hy@hyreviews.com.

TV Alert: The cast of the fabulous It’s Always Sunny
In Philadelphia
 is on Conan O’Brien;
Paul F. Tompkins, and puppets Star Schlessinger
and Hot Dog, are on @midnight

Myq Kaplan

Myq Kaplan, one of the finest & most quick-witted stand-ups in in the biz, is among the attractions at The Mehran Show

Rachel Dratch

..and Rachel Dratch is among the star-packed cast of tonight’s Gravid Water

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) seamlessly blends stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience. In this show Chris achieves a new maturity to his already stellar career with a beautifully honest look at his experiences with mental illness and suicide that reaches exceptional heights at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm ($10 for each of these three different “episodes” that together comprise “Part 2”): Part 2 of a 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage. Part 1 did so with very limited success; the costumes were fun, the cast was cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice was the best “special effect” in the show), but the script was consistently flat, arbitrary, and juvenile, making it almost impossible to care about anything that happened, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, were too often anemic. Of course, Part 2 might be better, and I’ll try to catch at least some of it for that reason; and either way, it’s worth at least $10 to check out any random episode and experience this as a novelty. Part 2 is debuting tonight at The PIT upstairs theatre, with Episode 1 at 7:00 pm coupled with improv group Simply Unemployable, which includes the wonderful Rebecca Vigil; Episode 2 at 8:00 pm is coupled with G.U.S., a unique improvised post-apocalypse show about the last three men on Earth; and Episode 3 at 9:00 pm is coupled with Shrink, an improvised puppet therapy show:Kapow-i GoGo Part 2: Kapow-i GoGo Z

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include a great lineup of Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Rachel Feinstein, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Keith Alberstadt, Sherrod Small, and Sam Morril at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Big Jay Oakerson, Cipha Sounds, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Top improvisors and Broadway & TV stars—who tonight include Rachel Dratch, Michael O’Brien, Mike Birbiglia, Sandy Rustin, Amy Warren, Cristin Milioti, Julie Sharbutt, Peter Grosz, and Michael Delaney—crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($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), Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), Sue Smith, and Rekha Shankar being interviewed and/or performing at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): 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), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), and more performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield(622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): 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), Jon Ronson (New York Timesbestselling author of The Men Who Stare At Goats and more; screenwriter; This American Life), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), and Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Mehran Khaghani: The Mehran Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days (stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Sean Hart, Kristen Acimovic, and Joel Weidl, plus exceptionally superb writers) and Roanoke: Maude Night: Legs For Days andRoanoke

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Subhah Agarwal, Casey Balsham, and Lafayette Wright performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Joe Pera, Cipha Sounds, Monroe Martin, and More

10:00 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller and/or Dee Marie: Gentrification

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base 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/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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 2/22/15

February 22, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Oscars

Enjoy The Oscars with writers for Saturday Night Live at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: SNL Writers Unscripted; or see it with comics & actors who first do a show tearing apart racist casting notices at Cast and Loose

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] [$] 2:00 pm ($18): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a live, shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

[TOP PICK] 3:30 pm ($10): Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer) performs a one-woman show about how “when she was 11 years old she became obsessed with the Bigfoot phenomenon: the hunters, the hoaxes, and the true believers. That same year, her homeroom classmates perpetrated a hoax of their own. They convinced the faculty that Cyndi was a thief, an instigator of fist-fights, and an agent of mayhem. It had all been lies and, by their high school years, the kids who had participated apologized and Cyndi forgave them. But the teachers still believed the legend that Freeman was a violent pathological liar. Friendships were lost, parents lived in fear, and only the children knew, and accepted, the truth. Weaving together fun trivia about the Bigfoot myth and darker tales about the fiction that surrounded her during her formative years, Freeman talks of truth and lies, motivations both hidden and obvious, and the resilience it takes to survive childhood” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) as part of the Frigid New York Festival: I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot: A Story about Bullies, Monsters, and Hoaxes

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($7): A stand-up who’s appeared on Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio performs a long set at The Magnet theatre: Jamie Kilstein

[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

[TOP PICK] Pre-show red carpet at 6:30 pm, show at 7:00 pm ($10): Saturday Night Live writers Natasha Rothwell, Alison Rich, Meredith Scardino, Claire Mulaney, and Katie Rich get on stage to improvise scenes—tonight revolving around a screening of The Oscars, plus trivia contests and prizes—at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: SNL Writers Unscripted: Oscar Edition

6:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20): A musical version of a famed 1989 movie with book by Christopher W. Barnes, music by Ryan Mercy, lyrics by Christopher W. Barnes, and produced by Ronny Pascale at The PIT upstairs theatre (for a video sneak peek, please click here): Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Philip Markle performs a one-man musical about being a gay videogame fan (“gaymer”) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Sparkle Hour

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Lynne Marie Rosenberg spearheads a live version of her blog Cast and Loose that rips apart thoughtless casting notices, with her cast “re-enacting the most racist breakdowns out there, followed by a viewing party of the whitest Oscars on record” with performers 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), Michael Braun (High Maintenance), Pernell Walker (The Butler), and Diana Oh ({my lingerie play}) followed by an Oscar Night viewing & party, all at LES’ Botanic Lab Bar (86 Orchard Street) : Cast and Loose: Oscar Edition Show and Viewing Party

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Wendigo and Buddy Club perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code,IFC), Alingon Mitra (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?), David Smithyman, Pat Brown, and Ramon Rivas II performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It: Michelle Wolf, Alingon Mitra, Maeve Higgins, 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 Judah Friedlander, Mark Normand, and Greer Barnes at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Rachel Feinstein, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, Sherrod Small, Sam Morril, and Erin Jackson (hosting) 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 ($5): Jon Glaser (star of Adult Swim’s Delocated; long-time writer/performer for Conan O’Brien), Mike O’Brien (Saturday Night Live), Jake Fogelnest (Squirt TV’s Wet Hot American Summer), Joe Rumrill, Julio Torres, Ted Shumaker, Tynan Delong, Colin Burgess, and Darren Mabee performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, half of brilliant sketch duo Dennie & Sharp) hosts this monthly variety show featuring sketch, stand-up, and acts that cannot be categorized at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Matt Dennie Sexperience

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Clark Jones, Chris Cotton, and Chris Lamberth performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Amanda Seales & Marc Lamont Hill: Smart, Funny, and Black

8:00 pm ($5): Casey Jost (Head Writer of truTV’s Impractical Jokers, former writer for Jimmy Fallon) and Ben Rameaka (Amazon’s Alpha House, improv group Airwolf) join host Jodi Lennon (Marc Maron: The Voice of Something, Exit 57) to perform an improvised year in the life of selected people at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): What a Year!

8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show about gloomy people from character comic Jenn Dodd (Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Melanchomedy

9:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb guest improvisors—who tonight are slated to include Aparna Nancherla, Michah Sherman, Ashley Ward, and Chris Griggs—join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Act One

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Julie Sharbutt, Evan Kaufman, Morgan Philips, Chris Griggs, and Alyssa Lott make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), 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): Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Cipha Sounds, and More

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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

[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

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

[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)

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)

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/21/15

February 21, 2015

Camren Bicondova (Gotham’s Seline Kyle/Catwoman) live here.
Louis C.K. has a new comedy special; nab it for a mere $5 here.
If you haven’t seen Julie Sharbutt’s Moved, learn more here.

Adventures in Comedy

A free screening of Tom McCaffrey’s new documentary about the comedy business, featuring copious interviews and such lines as “Look, man, do you want to get paid or do you want to do comedy?” at The Creek: Adventures in Comedy

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:

[$] 6:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Trans-Atlantic Improv Nation Team, Genetic Freaks, Feral Christine, and A Few Good Men performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Judy Gold, Lynne Koplitz, Lenny Marcus, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:15 show; Judah Friedlander, Lynne Koplitz, Pete Davidson, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Leslie Jones, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Russ Meneve, Big Jay Oakerson, Rachel Feinstein, Sherrod Small, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue):Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): 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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Moody McCarthy (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A rotating cast improv group, tonight featuring Shannon O’Neill, Brandon Scott Jones, Christina Gausas, Cipha Sounds, Jen Bartels, Jamie Kilstein, and Rachel Mason at the UCB East theatre: Maravilla

7:00 pm ($10): An improv group making up a musical on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Royals

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

7:00 pm ($5): House improv groups such as Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Improv Teams

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre, with tonight’s storyteller Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, The BTK Band): The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($8): In anticipation of tomorrow night’s 87th Academy Awards, select best clips of Muppets in films screened at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, plus “Muppet-themed drink specials, cool giveaways, and more:” The Muppet Vault: Movies!

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41 & 2-drink min.)  A comic who’s performed on Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, and Adult Swim’s Black Jesus headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Corey Holcomb

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A free screening to celebrate the online release of a documentary about the comedy biz from Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), plus some live stand-up, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Screening of Tom McCaffrey’s Adventures in Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Big Jay Oakerson, Christian Finnegan, and More

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PITupstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show), Jeff Simmermon (This American Life), Mike Brown (Adult Swim), Sarah Tollemache, Brad Howe, Jay Welch, and Niles Turner, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Show/Tell Show

8:00 pm ($8): House sketch group Sketchfrogs and director Matt Barats (Kill All Comedy) try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Sketchfrogs

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

9:30 pm ($10): “A sketch comedy show aimed to tackle overly scholarly concerns such as the meaning of life, the search for gratification, the sense of curiosity, the inevitability of isolation, and the awareness of the inescapability of death with as many snort inducing laughs as possible in between” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Cliffnotes on the Human Condition

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Jamison Guest—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Big Jay Oakerson, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Philip Markle (Executive Director of The Annoyance Theatre): Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:45 pm ($10): Award-winning Canadian comedy duo Kayla Lorette & Becky Johnson make a rare NYC appearance at The Magnet theatre as sketch/improv team The Sufferettes

11:00 pm ($5): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge: Gentlemen Party

[$] 11:00 pm-12:30 am ($15 for the three episodes comprising “Part 1”): Part 1 of a 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage…with limited success. The costumes are fun, the cast is cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice is the best “special effect” in the show), but the script is consistently flat and juvenile, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, are too often anemic. Of course, maybe it gets better as it goes along (and I’ll try to see at least some of Part 2 next week just for that reason). Meanwhile, the main reason to catch Part 1 is simply to experience this as the novelty it is at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kapow-i GoGo Part 1: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evanshost: The Amateur Hour

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran improvisors make up scenes with improv students from any school (selected by lottery) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Student Mixer

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)

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/20/15

February 20, 2015

Tickets for Camren Bicondova (Gotham’s Seline Kyle) here.
Louis C.K. has a new comedy special; nab it for a mere $5 here.
If you haven’t seen Julie Sharbutt’s Moved, learn more here.

TV Alert: David Cross, Jimmy Kimmel, and John Krasinski
are hosted by Will Arnett on The Late Late Show;
Amy Sedaris is on Jimmy Fallon;
Bobby Moynihan and Eugene Levy
are on Seth Meyers (repeated from 2/9);
David Spade is on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 2/11);
The spectacular Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary celebration
is repeated from last Sunday at 8:00 pm-11:00 pm on NBC

The Terry Withers Mysteries

A homicide whodunit is constructed on the spot at UCB Chelsea’s The Terry Withers Mysteries

Frasier

…and a staged reading of an episode of Frasier is performed by increasingly drunk comics at Wasted Frasier

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 Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, Lynne Koplitz, Robert Kelly, Allan Havey, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Lynne Koplitz, Robert Kelly, Allan Havey, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 8:00 show; and Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Allan Havey, Leslie Jones, Sean Donnelly, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 12:15 am show. 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

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): 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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Moody McCarthy (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

7:00 pm ($10): A one-woman show from Ali Levin playing “Miami’s most beloved spicy Cuban holistic wellness counselor, Viviana Cortez is on a quest to answer life’s toughest questions while healing her clients one churro at a time” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Steps to Salbachun with Viviana Cortez

7:00 pm ($7): The debut of a variety show hosted by Sebastian Conelli, tonight featuring storytelling from Rob Penty, stand-up from Brian Frange, sketch from group Bedlam, and music from group The Great American Drifters, all performing at The Magnet theatre: A Variety Show with Sebastian Conelli

7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm ($10 for each of these three different “episodes” that together comprise “Part 1” or $20 for all three): Part 1 of a 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage…with limited success (at least, based on the first three episodes I’ve seen). The costumes are fun, the cast is cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice is the best “special effect” in the show), but the script is consistently flat and juvenile, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, are too often anemic. Of course, maybe it gets better as it goes along (and I’ll try to see more just for that reason); and either way, it’s worth at least $10 to check out any random episode and experience this as a novelty. Part 1 is playing tonight at The PIT upstairs theatre, with Episode 1 at 7:00 pm coupled with improv group Simply Unemployable, which includes the wonderful Rebecca Vigil; Episode 2 at 8:00 pm is coupled with G.U.S., a unique improvised post-apocalypse show about the last three men on Earth; and Episode 3 at 9:00 pm is coupled with Shrink, an improvised puppet therapy show: Kapow-i GoGo Part 1: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, ace improvisors Connor Ratliff, Molly Lloyd, Terry Withers, and more somehow create an improvised murder mystery on the spot—with the audience committing the crime!: The Terry Withers Mysteries

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41 & 2-drink min.)  A comic who’s performed on Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, and Adult Swim’s Black Jesus headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Corey Holcomb

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): 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), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), 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): Judah Friedlander, Wyatt Cenac, Big Jay Oakerson, Sherrod Small, and Aaron Berg

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show “randomly pairs duos from the world of comedy. They have one week to prepare a comedy set for the physically and emotionally taxing Battlebowl where these teams will compete against one another”—with tonight’s contestants Jacqueline Novak & Josh Sharp, J.D. Amato & Sam Taggart, Livia Scott & Steve Whalen, Jim Tews & Mary Houlihan, Christi Chiello & Becca Kauffman, Alec Lambert & Steven DeSiena, and Andrew Tisher & Colin O’Brien—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis & Darren Mabee: The Lethal Lottery

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT downstairs lounge 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

8:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy group Richard will try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Richard

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, sketches, and music for this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Take It Or Leave It

[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, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:00 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Juice

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): 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), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), 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): Judah Friedlander, Wyatt Cenac, Big Jay Oakerson, Sherrod Small, and Aaron Berg

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnet theatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics (not announced) “attempt to unravel the worlds craziest conspiracy theories” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Ray Kump: False Flag

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Tim Martin (Comedy Central’s Broad City, improv group Airwolf), Chris DeLuca (Conan O’Brien), Michael Kayne (Comedy Central’s @midnight), and Alex Edelman performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Sketch group Business Computer performs three comedic mini-plays: Brett Gelman’s Rich and Poor, Nick Naney’s & Gonzalo Cordova’s Bob’s Your Uncle, and their own script Dial “T” For Time Bomb at The PIT downstairs lounge: Business Computer Presents Ode To Thespis

11:30 pm ($7): Alex Marino and other improv veterans reunite for one night only to make stuff up on the spot at The Magnet theatre as group Bakersfield

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: “A live staged reading of an episode of the hit sitcom Frasier. And all the actors are drunk. And they will just get drunker and drunker as the episode goes on. With live commercials” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre spearheaded by Aaron Glaser: Wasted Frasier

Midnight ($5): “A live monthly comedy game show in which three contestants participate in a battle of wits and knowledge for the chance to win a grand prize of 20 American dollars” at UCB East hosted by Ryan Simmons: Everyone’s Favorite Game Show

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 the Stand 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 musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Happy 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

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of various Maude Night groups: Liquid Courage

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)

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/19/15

February 19, 2015

Grab tickets to see Camren Bicondova (Gotham’s Catwoman) here.
Louis C.K. has a new comedy special. Nab it for a mere $5 here.
If you haven’t seen Julie Sharbutt’s Moved, learn more here.

TV Alert: Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer are on David Letterman;
Ray Romano and Tom Papa are hosted by
Lauren Graham on The Late Late Show;
Martin Short is on Jimmy Fallon;
the stars of Hot Tub Time Machine are on Conan O’Brien

Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer: Broad City

Stars Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer entertain you from the UCB Chelsea stage at Broad City Live

Stuckey & Murray

…and comedic singers celebrate their long partnership at Brooklyn’s Union Hall in Stuckey & Murray: A 10-Year Affair

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 ($5): Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Mindy Raf (singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers), Andy Sandford (Comedy Central, Adult Swim, The Beards of Comedy), and Tony Deyo (Conan O’Brien) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Mike Drucker, Adrienne Iapalucci, Mindy Raf, and More

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): Storytelling from John Fugelsang (former VH1 VJ and host of America’s Funniest Home VIdeos), David Carl (hilarious, charismatic rising star; Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), Tony Jackson (IFC), Eliana Horeczko, Jesse Thomas, Melissa Stokoski, and Mike DiAlto performing at The West End (955 West End Avenue) hosted by Sean Lynch (MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, Comedy Central): Storytelling: Comedy at the West End

7:00 pm ($10): 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), Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), and Sue Smith performing stand-up, plus music from Shonali Bhowmik (Variety SHAC, Tigers and Monkeys) and improv from Jonathan Braylock & more, all at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Keisha Zollar (Orange Is the New Black, MTV, Comedy Central, ace improv trio Doppelganger,, sketch group Astronomy Club): Comedic Reform

7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm ($10 for each of these three different “episodes” that together comprise “Part 1” or $20 for all three): Part 1 of a 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage…with limited success (at least, based on the first two episodes I’ve seen). The costumes are fun, the cast is cute, but the script is consistently flat and juvenile, while genuine top anime is more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, are too often anemic. Of course, maybe it gets better as it goes along (and I’ll try to see more just for that reason); and either way, it’s worth at least $10 to check out any random episode and experience this as a novelty. Part 1 is playing tonight at The PIT upstairs theatre, with Episode 1 at 7:00 pm coupled with improv group Simply Unemployable, which includes the wonderful Rebecca Vigil; Episode 2 at 8:00 pm is coupled with G.U.S., a unique improvised post-apocalypse show about the last three men on Earth; and Episode 3 at 9:00 pm is coupled with Shrink, an improvised puppet therapy show: Kapow-i GoGo Part 1: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!

7:00 pm ($5): “Join almost-but-not-quite legendary Broadway impresario Marty Feldstein on a musical journey through the glorious, glamorous, and sometimes salacious history of the Great White Way and Old Hollywood. He’s got secrets to tell and songs to sing, and he’s been saving them up just for you. One more thing: The entire show, songs and all, is made up on the spot right before your very eyes” starring Jason Specland as Marty, guest partner Rory Scholl, and musician Mark Erenstoft playing improv piano at The PIT downstairs lounge: 24 Below: An Improvised Cabaret

[TOP PICK] 7:10 pm ($10): Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer) performs a one-woman show about how “when she was 11 years old she became obsessed with the Bigfoot phenomenon: the hunters, the hoaxes, and the true believers. That same year, her homeroom classmates perpetrated a hoax of their own. They convinced the faculty that Cyndi was a thief, an instigator of fist-fights, and an agent of mayhem. It had all been lies and, by their high school years, the kids who had participated apologized and Cyndi forgave them. But the teachers still believed the legend that Freeman was a violent pathological liar. Friendships were lost, parents lived in fear, and only the children knew, and accepted, the truth. Weaving together fun trivia about the Bigfoot myth and darker tales about the fiction that surrounded her during her formative years, Freeman talks of truth and lies, motivations both hidden and obvious, and the resilience it takes to survive childhood” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) as part of the Frigid New York Festival: I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot: A Story about Bullies, Monsters, and Hoaxes

[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 Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, Jessica Kirson, Sherrod Small, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Ali Wong, Carmen Lynch, and Jessica Kirson at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Ali Wong, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Seaton Smith (hosting) 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; sold out of seats, but you can probably still get in if you don’t mind standing): Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson are the delightful stars of one of the finest shows on TV, Comedy Central’s milestone hit seriesBroad City. Join the gals and their stand-up guests (not announced) live at the UCB Chelsea stage for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), and George Gordon performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Myq Kaplan and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): In this special show, stand-ups take suggestions from the audience and make up an entirely new set on the spot, with tonight’s brave comics Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, Ben Kronberg, Yannis Pappas, Casey Balsham. Alexis Guerreros, and Lance Weiss performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Robby Slowik: Stand-Up on the Spot with Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, Ben Kronberg, 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 Shlongform (eight improvisors attempt to mix short form and long form improv together to leverage the strengths of both approaches), at 10:00 pm by Jana Schmieding singing about longing for love in Classic Singles: Ballads of Loneliness, and finally at 11:00 by improv competitionInspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Eight performers from the Ten Bones Theatre Company attempt to recreate cult classicThe Princess Bride, with each using only what he or she can remember from seeing the movie in the 199os. To add to the fun are a few rules: “Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience; performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth; one lucky audience member will be given a bell that they can ring three times—once rung, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in The Princess Bride but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Princess Bride…Entirely From Memory

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” with tonight’s guests Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz, FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Jenn Bartels (TruTV’s Friends of the People), and Heather Dockray (Splitsider) all sharing tales at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer!): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers friends to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s lineup Eliza Hecht, Stewie Stone, and Mark Giordano: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV), Tito Garza, and Jason Burke performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): Veteran comedic singing duo Stuckey & Murray (Chelsea Lately, NBC, VH1, Fuse) celebrates 10 years together—along with guest stand-up Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code)—at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Stuckey & Murray: A 10-Year Affair

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Typically ambitious, cool projects are showcased at this weekly show—though, unfortunately, this week’s project hasn’t been announced—playing at at The PIT downstairs lounge produced by Joe Cilio & Alex Ramsey: Forever Dog Presents

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Non-Daily Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this new show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—possibly performing in a camp tent—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Aaron Friedman: Campfire Comedy

10:00 pm ($5): The wonderful Pay Shay and Brett Wean perform duo improv at The PIT downstairs lounge with an opener from improv duo Lorie Steele & Kevin Cragg: Wean/Shay

[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): Brilliantly surreal and hilarious co-host Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here) performs a 30-minute stand-up set tonight, plus stand-up from Justin Flanagan, and silliness from co-hosts Charles Gould and Dan Licata, all at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Astronomy Club and Higgins compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A character-based open-mic happening monthly at UCB East hosted by Mike Sapp: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

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 groupJunior 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 theOld 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.