NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 2/17/15

February 17, 2015

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TV Alert: John Oliver is on Jimmy Fallon;
Jack McBrayer & Triumph the Insult Dog are on Conan O’Brien;
Chris Elliott and Kristen Bell are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Matthew Perry is on Seth Meyers;
Episode 3.6 of Kroll Show is at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Gilbert Gottfried

Gilbert Gottfried is among the stand-ups performing at Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

Sasheer Zamata

…and Sasheer Zamata is among the stand-ups performing at UCB East’s Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

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, seven of The Magnet’s improv groups make up musicals based on audience suggestion, creating epic stories on the spot using song and dance: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 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!

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Apollo, Greg, and 2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Michael Che, Gary Gulman, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Paul Mecurio, Carmen Lynch, Lenny Marcus, and Colin Jost at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Ali Wong, Nick Griffin, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) 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 ($5): Chris Booth & Adrian Sexton host comics singing musical theatre favorites at The PIT downstairs lounge: Underground Cabaret

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell hosts this show featuring Gilbert Gottfried, Dave Hill, Rachel Feinstein, Monroe Martin,and more performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please clickhere; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), and Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Daniel Koren: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat: Sasheer Zamata, Joe Pera, and Nimesh Patel

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s guests are Jono Zalay & Kaytlin Bailey (exes), Kevin Barnett & Josh Rabinowitz (pals from working on truTV’s Friends of the People), Justy Dodge & Rojo Perez (pals), and David Smithyman & Brendan McLaughlin (pals) performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by real-life couple Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer forBroad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups who’ve lived in Louisiana (or thereabouts)—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), Amber Nelson (bold, dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Neal Stastny, Scotland Green, and Seth Cockfield—performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Mardi Gras Comedy Show: Mark Normand, Dan Soder, Amber Nelson, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Amber Nelson (bold, dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch groupMurderfist), Eli Sairs, Nick Mullen, and Jessica Watkins performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, John Szeluga, and JF Harris: Amazingtown

[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 stand-up 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] 9:00 pm ($7): Great lineup of Michael Che (SNL Weekend Update star; former star correspondent for The Daily Show and staff writer for Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), 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 album Sadamantium), and more at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet: Michael Che, Ali Wong, Mike Lawrence, and More

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Storytellers Robin Gelfenbien (host of storytelling show Yum’s the Word; VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC), Lucas Connolly (host of Cranky Pants Comedy), Julia Lundy, and Jenice Matias tell true tales about this month’s theme Mardi Gras at 2A (25 Avenue A off 2nd Street) hosted by Andrew Linderman: Local Stories: Mardi Gras

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not 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

9:00 pm ($5): Improv duo David Rysdahl & Paul Gutkowski make up a one-act play on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: True East

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Side Piece, Higgins, and Women & Men at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh), plus NYC stand-ups Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV), Subhah Agarwal (Fusion), and Lisa Hering (Sirius XM), all performing at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; 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), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing;Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Alexis Guerreros & Mike Cannon: The Illuminati Party: Dan Soder, Rachel Feinstein, and Cipha Sounds

[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] 10:00 pm: “The best stand-ups in the city will take to the stage armed with jokes, quirky observations, and anecdotes. Simultaneously, the producers will craft a battery of trivia questions for the audience based entirely on the comics’ material. Competitors of all levels are welcome, no matter how much you watch TMZ. You can walk in the door with a blank slate and come out victorious! All that’s required is your attention and short-term memory” atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Observational Trivia Night

10:00 pm ($5): “A computer beeps at random intervals, might be 2 seconds, might be 10 minutes. Every time it beeps, and only when it beeps, the performers jump into a new scene. What happens when nothing you can do can make the scene go longer nor end sooner? When only this instant is guaranteed?” at The PIT downstairs lounge:/Switch/

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell hosts this show featuring Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Sherrod Small, Phil Hanley, Liza Treyger, and Anya Marina performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[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

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] 6:00 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic with 5 minutes per performer; email by Sunday to go into a lottery system for next Tuesday, or simply walk in tonight and place your name in a bucket for possible selection, at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Claudia Cogan, Katie Compa, and/or Garry Hannon: The Prequel Open Mic

[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

[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

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)

(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.

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