NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 3/4/15

March 4, 2015

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TV Alert: A show entirely from Cuba on Conan O’Brien;
legendary Apple founder Steve Wozniak
is hosted by Drew Carey at The Late Late Show;
Danny DeVito and Artie Lange are on Jimmy Fallon;
Vince Vaughn is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Adam Carolla is on Carson Daly;
Neal Brennan, Bryan Callen, and Esther Povitsky are on @midnight;
episode 2.8, “Kirk Steele,” of hilarious milestone series
Broad City at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Public Services

Jo Firestone hosts a great group of comedy stars—Chris Gethard, Jon Glaser, Aparna Nancherla, Joe Pera, Naomi Ekperigin, and more—for an oddball sewer-themed soap opera in Brooklyn: Public Services

The Stepfathers

…and UCB’s weekend improv groups, which include some of the finest improvisors in the country, all perform at the I’m Cool Improv Showcase

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] 5:30 pm: Character comics Katie Hartman, Timothy Dunn, Brandon Gulya, Jon Bander, Emily Fleming, and more each get 7 minutes to perform solo sketch bits at The PIT upstairs theatre before judges of the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for Laughs Character Auditions

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Wednesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you’re okay with standing): UCB’s weekend improv groups—which include some of the finest improvisors in the country—all perform tonight at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm for a mostly show business industry audience at the UCB Chelsea theatre. This 7:00 pm show features Bucky, The Law Firm, Grandma’s Ashes, and The Curfew: UCB Chelsea’s I’m Cool Improv Showcase, Part 1 of 2

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Big Revival, Buchanan, and Astronomy Club: Lloyd Night

[$] 7:30 pm ($54.50 plus there’s a 2-drink min.): TV star Adam Carolla (Spike TV’s To Catch a Contractor) tapes a live-on-stage version of his popular podcast The Adam Carolla Show tonight and Thursday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Adam Carolla

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 online or $8 at the door): “A staged reading of an original sewer-themed soap opera called Public Services, this show also features celebrities, up-and-coming comedians, and notable nobodies” featuring top comics Chris Gethard, Jon Glaser, Aparna Nancherla, Joe Pera, Naomi Ekperigin, and more at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by 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) and Jeremy Levenbach (world-class stand-up booker for Whiplash): Public Services

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC, albums An American Storyteller and The Crowd Work Sessions) hosts NYC stand-ups performing their best material to impress judges for the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Big Jay Oakerson Hosts Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro and Dan Soder at the 8:00 show; Nick Griffin and Dov Davidoff at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Carmen Lynch, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soupand We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Mike Cannon (VH1, MTV), Jess Wood, Christy Coffey Adeline Chung-Feder, and Chip Hall performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Meghan O’Malley: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Paul Hooper, Zach Sherwin, Gabe Pacheco, and Sean Wilkinson performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight(594 Union Ave) hosted by Joe Zimmerman, Jono Zalay, Maria Heinegg, and/or Taylor Ketchum: Hot Crowd

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up teams from all over the country compete for laughs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen: Border Wars

[TOP PICK] 8:50 pm ($10): Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer) performs a one-woman show about how “when she was 11 years old she became obsessed with the Bigfoot phenomenon: the hunters, the hoaxes, and the true believers. That same year, her homeroom classmates perpetrated a hoax of their own. They convinced the faculty that Cyndi was a thief, an instigator of fist-fights, and an agent of mayhem. It had all been lies and, by their high school years, the kids who had participated apologized and Cyndi forgave them. But the teachers still believed the legend that Freeman was a violent pathological liar. Friendships were lost, parents lived in fear, and only the children knew, and accepted, the truth. Weaving together fun trivia about the Bigfoot myth and darker tales about the fiction that surrounded her during her formative years, Freeman talks of truth and lies, motivations both hidden and obvious, and the resilience it takes to survive childhood” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) as part of the Frigid New York Festival: I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot: A Story about Bullies, Monsters, and Hoaxes

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Amber Nelson (bold, dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Lance Weiss (NBC’s The Today Show), Brendan Fitzgibbons (Comedy Central), Jamie Roberts (NBC’s Law & Order), Tyler Gildin (Creative Director of Elite Daily), and Sahar Lichtman (Bare Burger Comedy) performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis:Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you’re okay with standing): UCB’s weekend improv groups—which include some of the finest improvisors in the country—all perform tonight at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm for a mostly show business industry audience at the UCB Chelsea theatre. This 9:30 pm show features The Stepfathers, What I Did For Love, Airwolf, and GOAT: UCB Chelsea’s I’m Cool Improv Showcase, Part 2 of 2

9:30 pm ($5): Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Robert Dean, and Lucas Connolly performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code GRIFT; no min.): Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), Liza Treyger (Chelsea Lately), Katylin Bailey, and Luis J. Gomez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Grift Comedy

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

11:00 pm ($5): Improvisors from a variety of different countries perform in both their native languages and English in this unique show at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Mauricio Jimenez: Passport

Wednesday 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] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

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: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv 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.

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