NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 3/15/15

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Brooklyn Brain Jam

Six hours of nerd-friendly comedic entertainment at Littlefield: The Second Annual Brooklyn Brain Jam

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 1:00 pm-7:00 pm ($12): Three amazing nerdy comedy shows—Kevin Geeks Out, The Big Quiz Thing, and Nerd Nite—join forces to bring us six hours of nonstop mind-blowing entertainment at Brooklyn’sLittlefield (622 Degraw Street). I seldom see a show while the sun is still visible, but even I will attend this event. Join me for The Second Annual Brooklyn Brain Jam

[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

6:00 pm ($5): Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

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 ($15): Storytellers Brad Lawrence, Rivka Willick, Arif Choudhury, and Meliora Dockery each tell a 30-minute story at Brooklyn’s Bady House (85 Chester Avenue) hosted by Robin Bady: Bady House Storytelling

[TOP PICK] 7:00 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

7:00 pm ($5): “Nobody celebrates spring break like MTV, so grab your sunscreen because Neil O’Shaquille (Dylan Evans) and his fellow VJs are counting down The Top 10 Most Wildest, Spring Breakingest Moments of 2004 before the official end of Spring Break when we all have to go back to college” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): MTV Spring Break Spectacular

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.)  An award-winning stand-up who’s been a correspondent for The Daily Show, performed on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, and his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, and currently co-stars on NBC’s About a Boy, headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club:Al Madrigal

[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): Sketch comedy groups Wendigo and Buddy Club perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Allan Havey, and Roy Wood Jr. at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Big Jay Oakerson, Jermaine Fowler, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane):Comedy Cellar Sunday

[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 storytellers Jeff Simmermon and April Salazar Froncek and stand-up Kyle Ayers performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: What Are You Afraid Of?

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm  ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) 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: Gary Gulman, Dan St. Germain, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Sarah Nowak, Jon Bander, Morgan Philips, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak:People Improvising

8:00 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentaryMetaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’sPranked), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), Emma Willmann, Zach Sims, and Pat Burtscher performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Improvisors Conner O’Malley, Gary Richardson, and John Reynolds make scenes up on the spot at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Hunkz ‘R Us

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Anna Drezen, Michael Wolf, Steve Whalen, Le Na, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Lorelei Ramirez & Ana Fabrega: Comdy Central Pretends

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Improv from sharp duo Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

9:00 pm ($5): Three shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): A musical version of the 1989 movie classic Steel Magnolias with book by Christopher W. Barnes, music by Ryan Mercy, lyrics by Christopher W. Barnes, and produced by Ronny Pascale at The PITupstairs theatre (for a video sneak peek, please click here): Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

10:00 pm  ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour,VH1), Des Bishop (Ireland-based comic), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Damien Lemon, and More

[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)

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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