NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/12/15

February 12, 2015

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: Tom Hanks is on David Letterman;
Jack McBrayer & Triumph the Insult Comic Dog are on Jimmy Fallon;
Jim Norton, John Roy, and Kurt Braunohler are on @midnight;
Ari Shaffir’s storytelling show This Is Not Happening is at 12:31 am on CC

Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman: Your Love, Our Musical

All this week through Valentine’s Day, superb singing improvisors Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman gather relationship information from a couple in the audience and then create Your Love, Our Musical

House of Cards

…sketch comics imagine the upcoming season of an acclaimed Netflix series at Forever Dog Presents House of Cards Season 3

Tribute to Stephen King

…and the works of the most popular horror author alive are parodied in the Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to Stephen King

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Country Music Television is looking for talent to put on its network, so stellar PIT comics are auditioning tonight—including David Carl & Katie Hartman, Murderfist, The Reformed Whores, Sarah Nowak, and Ashley Ward—at The PIT upstairs theatre: CMT Southern Comedy Auditions

7:00 pm ($5): DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer). Doug Smith (co-host of See You In Hell), and Kenny DeForest performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

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

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comedy star you either love or actively avoid headlining headlines tonight and Friday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tom Green

[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 Hannibal Buress and Ryan Hamilton at the 7:45 show; Hannibal Buress, Ryan Hamilton, Judy Gold, Sherrod Small, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Joe Matarese, and Lenny Marcus at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Damien Lemon, and Sam Morril 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): All this week through Valentine’s Day, powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her quick-witted improv singing partner Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical at The PIT upstairs theatre: Your Love, Our Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics Jessica Delfino, Lynn Bixenspan, and Krystyna Hutchinson share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Poop…and the City

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A burlesque comedic horror tribute to the works of Stephen King at The Slipper Room(167 Orchard Street) spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to Stephen King

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): 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), 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), Julian Velard (singer-Songwriter), and Ryan Montbleau (singer-Songwriter) performing stand-up and/or songs at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Brooke & Julian: Comfort Zone

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), 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), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mike Lawrence, Christian Finnegan, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Chris Laker, Brad Steuernagel, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss 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

8:00 pm ($5): Nearly a dozen improvisors—including Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Gardner, Craig Rowin, and Nate Dern—perform an improv scene with a loved one who is not a comic at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Be Mine: Improvisers and Their Real-Life Valentines

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on; “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), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Nat Towsen, Kris Tinkle, Jordan Raybould, and Lizzie Martinez performing stand-up, plus music from Squirm & Germ, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

8:00 pm ($5): Katie Haller & Corrine Fisher host this new stand-up show, with tonight’s guests Lance Weiss, Chrissie Mayr, Katie Hannigan, and Samantha SJ Bednarz performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Token Guy Show

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Joe Cilio & Gabriel Laks “have obtained the script to House of Cards Season 3, Episode 1, and we’re ready to blow the lid off of this thing with an all-star staged reading. The House of Cards writers really deliver this season! This episode has it all: Machiavellian schemes, convoluted plot details, Frank throwing stuff in front of subways, political rhetoric, operas, defense contractors, iron hands, superpowers, a ton of sex, people talking to the camera, ribs, throwing baseballs, and of course, Slugline. Find out what’s going down this season onHouse of Cards two weeks before the rest of America” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Forever Dog Presents: House of Cards Season 3

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): 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), Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Kate Riley, and Beth Hoyt performing at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Hallie Cantor in the name of a popular comedy site:College Humor Live

9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host ofConnotation), Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and Julio Julio Julio (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Jaqi Furback: Big Ups Comedy

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[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 Warren and Astronomy Club 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] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening monthly at UCB East hosted by Mike Sapp: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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 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 The Boss 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 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)

(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 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