NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/6/15

Louis C.K. has a new comedy special. Nab it for a mere $5 here.

TV Alert: Andy Kindler is on David Letterman;
Stephen Merchant is guest hosted by John Mayer on The Late Late Show;
John Oliver is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 2/2);
Brett Gelman’s Dinner With Friends is on Adult Swim at 12:30 am

That 80s Time Travel Movie

A classic movie comedy is parodied and set to music live on stage at The PIT in That 80s Time Travel Movie: The UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

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.): Judah Friedlander, Judy Gold, Lynne Koplitzand Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Lynne Koplitz, Sherrod Small, Ricky Velez, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Sherrod Small, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Ben Bailey, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Ben Bailey, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Russ Meneve, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all shows atComedy 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: Judah Friedlander, Ben Bailey, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[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 thevery finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Gary Vider (fun deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro, Ben Bailey, and More

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): The delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at FringeNYC; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor) co-stars in this sketch/character comedy show with Jana Schmieding, Megan Doherty, Jenn Dodd, Rob Cuthill, and a half dozen other talents at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal improvisors Ashley Ward, Brigid Boyle, Alexis Saarela, and/or Elizabeth Findlay, and possibly guests, perform at the PIT downstairs lounge as group Taco Supreme

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): New Zealand comic Steve Wrigley says, “You are probably American. I am definitely a Kiwi. Your country is so huge. My country is not huge at all. I’ve conducted a massive in-depth investigation into which one of us is more awesome and I’ll be presenting my findings to you via a multimedia presentation. We’ll compare notes on everything: our military, our TV, our respective treatment of the environment, our women and the men they love, your dogs, our cats, guns! (got to have guns in there), and of course politics!!! What a great big mixed lolly bag of topics indeed. (P.S.: Plz do not bring your gun)” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Steve Wrigley: New Zealand vs. America

[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 ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah does stand-up and performs his full range of characters (“on SNL I don’t do white people, but if you break me in half like a coconut, white just spills out”) headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jay Pharoah

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A fun, lively musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen from the perspective of a high-strung 7-year-old girl written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

[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 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)—plus for one night only, SNL writer Alison Rich: 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: A mashup of stand-up, sketch, and minor league sports gimmickry—cheap beer, mascots, questionable seat upgrades, kiss cameras, hot dog cannons, and more—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Instantacular

[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 ($12 at the door or $12.88 online): Comics share their most shameful stories in the hope of being crowned the King or Queen of Shame, with tonight’s performers Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), and Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome) performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) hosted by Ginny Leise & Soojeong Son: The Shame Game

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

[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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Doug Smith (co-host of See You In Hell), Jon Savoy, and David Tveite 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

9:00 pm ($5): A variety show hosted by Danielle Wheeler & Adam Cole featuring stand-ups, storytellers, musicians, dancers, artists, and/or more performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Two Catz

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): A Back to the Future parody with songs and special effects live on stage written by Christopher W. Barnes (book), Ryan Mercy (music) and Christopher W. Barnes (lyrics), produced by Ronny Pascale, and featuring over a dozen comics in the cast performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: That 80s Time Travel Movie: The UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craftThe Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Neruda Williams…who will be celebrating the birthday of at least one of these comics with cake and beer: The Happy Happy Birthday Show

[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): Nick Rutherford (writer for Saturday Night Live; sketch group Good Neighbor), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV), Tim Platt (The Story Pirates), and Jon Tyler (The Moth) performing stand-up, sketch, or storytelling at UCB East hosted by improvisors Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet theatre, first from Lauren Olson, Jana Schmieding, Christian Paluck, and Alan Fessenden as Foursome, and second from Megan Gray, Kevin Cragg, and Jamie Rivera asJordache

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A raucous laboratory for wacky ideas, in which comics Jo Firestone, Michael Wolf, Dan Glaser, and Cory Palmer create absurd game shows that they try out using audience members. “After we’ve attempted to create all the game shows, the audience votes on which idea gets to go straight to TV (not really)” atUCB Chelsea hosted by the fabulous Jo Firestone, whose delighted facial expressions in response to the ridiculousness are typically the highlights of the evening: The Incredible Game Show Showcase

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Join filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick, Jar-Jar Binks, as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema,” with guests Alan Scherstuhl (Film Editor of The Village Voice), J.D. Amato (The Chris Gethard Show), and Shonali Bhowmik (singer/songwriter;Variety SHAC) performing and/or being interviewed at the UCB East theatre hosted by Connor Ratliff & Shaun Diston: The George Lucas Talk 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 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 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 forHappy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[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.

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