NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 2/15/15

February 15, 2015

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TV Alert: The 40th Anniversary of Saturday Night Live is celebrated 7:00-11:30 pm on NBC

Camille Harris

Camille Harris performs songs and other silliness at Rockwood Stage 1

Jeff Ross

…and Jeff Ross concludes his headlining stand-up 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:

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A smorgasbord of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($7): Storytelling on the theme of Black History Month from Jeffrey Joseph, Marc Abbott, Michael Paul Britto, Shacottha Fields, Lauren Ashley Smith, and Jacquetta Szathmari at The Magnet theatre hosted by Alexis Lambright: The Griot Show

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:45 pm and 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Todd Barry, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Joe Machi, Gary Gulman, and Greer Barnes at the 10:30 show; and Big Jay Oakerson, Greer Barnes, and Cipha Sounds at the 12:15 show, with all four shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:00 pm ($5): An award-winning troupe that combines sketch, musical comedy, puppetry, and dance performs a show revolving around the theme of Bedtime Stories at The PIT downstairs lounge: City Hall’s Sweet Dreams—Bedtime Stories From the Land of Imaginationl

7:00 pm ($5): Brett Davis plays numerous oddball characters in this one-man show at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Brett Davis Is Not Real

[$] 7:00 pm ($15): Storytellers Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer), Martin Dockery (five-time Moth StorySlam Champion), Regina Ress, and host Robin Bady performing at Brooklyn’s Bady House (85 Chester Avenue): Bady House Storytelling

[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

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy groups Enemy Planet and Stockton perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[$] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.) The king of roasts headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club:Jeff Ross

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Iconic former child actress Mara Wilson (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire; currently a writer; cast member of podcast Welcome to Night Vale) hosts this show about “death, commitment, sock puppets—everyone’s afraid of something. Laugh at your fears as Mara takes you through comedians’ anxieties (and a few of her own),” tonight featuring Ginny Leise (co-host of The Shame Game), Lucas Connolly (host of Cranky Pants Comedy), and Hillary Rea (The Moth StorySlam Champion; host of storytelling shows Tell Me A Story and Fibber) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: What Are You Afraid Of?

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm  ($10 or free if you buy Mike Recine’s tomato sauce; no min.): Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien): Mike Recine’s Sunday Sauce: Michelle Wolf, Mark DeMayo, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Aparna Nancherla, Sarah Nowak, Ashley Ward, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre for this weekly show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak:People Improvising

8:00 pm ($5): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’sLast Comic Standing), Andy Sandford (Comedy Central, The Beards of Comedy), Clayton English, Matt Broussard, Lane Pieschel, and Eman El-Husseini performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Camille Harris (irresistible singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, music album Silly Jazz) performing songs at the Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop): Camille Harris at Rockwood Stage 1

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which typically includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Bringing comedy back to its vaudeville and cabaret roots, a no holds barred strictly R-rated comedy show featuring filthy stand-up and storytelling sandwiched between some of the hottest burlesque acts in the city” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Charles Stunning & Freddie Heinemann: Raunchy Risque

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

[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

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[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)

(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 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