NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/14/15

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: Repeats of stellar specials Amy Schumer:
Mostly Sex Stuff
 and Whitney Cummings: I Love You
running 12:35 am-2:40 am on Comedy Central

The Rejection Show Valentine's Day Edition 2015

An army of top stand-ups & storytellers relate tales of heartbreak at Jon Friedman’s The Rejection Show

The PIT's Dating Game

…and an annual tradition that’s resulted in two couples getting married and having babies: The PIT’s Dating Game

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] [$] 6:00 pm ($10 cover plus $10 drink min.; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Matthew Dicks (This American Life), Steve Zimmer (The Moth Radio Hour), Sandi Marx (The Moth Grandslam finalist), and host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy—but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s to be trusted…). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let these talented storytellers attempt to mislead you like an unscrupulous lover at this Valentine’s Day edition of The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): A Brit & American married couple performs sketch about “high concept ideas, charmingly absurd characters, and clever verbiage” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Are Thomasse: As American As Fish ‘n’ Chips

6:00 pm ($7): “They’ve called her a floozy. A grifter. A vicious black widow who ensnared five unwitting husbands in a glittery, glamorous web and brutally murdered each one. The infamous Maddy Harrow slices through the rumors and lies woven by the press with the double-edged dagger of story and song. You’ll hear the truth about her hardscrabble childhood, the men she’s loved and lost, and how she manages to sleep at night. Includes songs by Jack White, Burt Bacharach, Prince, Sia, and Morrissey”—accompanied by tonight’s guest Trudy Carmichael—atThe Magnet theatre: Maddy Harrow is Valentine’s Day

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($16.82 online; this will sell out in advance, so nab tickets ASAP): 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—and do it with such lighning-quick wit, energy, and singing chops skill that, when they’re at their best, this is among the finest comedy shows in NYC…and a perfect choice for Valentine’s Day at The PIT upstairs theatre: Your Love, Our Musical

[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 Dave Attell, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Pete Davidson, Ricky Velez, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Russ Meneve, and Big Jay Oakerson 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

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 & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special The Byrne identity headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club:Steve Byrne

7:00 pm ($5): UCB Harold Night house improv team Higgins gets the stage for a full hour at the UCB East theatre:Higgins: Come Fly With Us

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): 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 ($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 Alexis Lambright—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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($71 & 2-drink min.) The king of roasts headlining tonight and Sunday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Jeff Ross

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12 at the door or $15.30 in advance online): A small army of superb comedic writers, storytellers, stand-ups, and musicians—including Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, Brooke Van Poppelen, Phoebe Robinson, Kevin Allison, Livia Scott, Adam Wade, Brandy Barber, Eliot Glazer, The Reformed Whores, and Erin and Her Cello—sharing their tales of being turned down at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) for this very special Valentine’s Day edition of Jon Friedman’s wonderful The Rejection Show: Heartbreak Haven

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

[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): 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: NYC stand-ups Greg Stone, Christy Coffey, Clark Jones, and Joel Kim Booster perform at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Allison Leiby & Alyssa Wolff: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): At this terrific annual tradition at The PIT upstairs theatre, “Three hot New York singles will ask outrageous questions to determine which of our hilarious PITizens will be their Valentine. The winners get a date and the losers get prizes that are way too inappropriate to mention here. Two winning couples from past shows have gone on to get married and have babies!” Really, how many shows can say that?: The PIT’s Dating 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

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

9:30 pm ($10): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and/or Mark Stetson: World’s Fair

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups at this monthly show that describes itself as follows: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford and Noah Gardenswartz are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[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 trio Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy spearheaded by such members as Henry Zebrowski (co-star of Wolf of Wall Street. This group won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group, was written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times, and performs tonight at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

11:00 pm ($10): With the help of social media, writers & performers put together an entire sketch show from scratch in one intense day and then perform it at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sktch Shw

11:30 pm ($5): Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight) and Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update) perform at this sketch comedy/talk/variety show at UCB East hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) and Andy Beckerman (host of podcast Beginnings, The Pete Holmes Show, co-host of Two Comics One Stage) performing stand-up, music from The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), and more at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco, Steven Slate, and Lisa Herring—who for Valentine’s Day will match up a male audience member with one of its female panelists: The Andy Rocco 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 Evans: 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.

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