NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/26/15

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference is happening
tomorrow-Sunday; for details & tickets, please click here

TV Alert: Will Ferrell, Ellie Kemper, and Andy Woodhull
are on Conan O’Brien;
Zooey Deschanel is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Natasha Leggero, Jeff Ross, and Sarah Tiana are on @midnight

Inside the Mind of R. L. Stine

See R. L. Stine, Jo Firestone, Arthur Meyer, Rebecca Vigil, and more at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

Mike Shvenderman

…or help stand-up Mike Shvenderman record a comedy album about being a drug addict (free show and, ironically, free drink) at Junkie

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] 6:30 pm ($5): Matt Dennie wrote and co-stars in this mini-play in which “You have won a golden ticket to a concert at the most insane music factory in the world! A place where the records are flavored, defective ex-prostitute robots sing, and the Ocean exists in human form. Little surprises are around every corner as the most eccentric Record Producer in history, Funnel Cake Sugar, presents an evening with the greatest musicians of all time” co-starring Vincent Moore, Eric Gersen, and Sarah Heveron-Smith, and directed by Anthony Apruzzese, at theUCB Chelsea theatre as a Spank audition (along with a second mini-play): Funnel Cake Sugar & The Record Factory

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Natalie Wall (host of superb storytelling shows Awkward Sex and the City and Awkward Poop and the City, and co-producer of Bad Assery), Caitlin Brodnick (co-host of Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show, writer for Glamour.com, docu-series Screw You Cancer), and Calvin Cato and irresistibly charming host Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) performing at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) featuring such magic as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A staged version of a TV episode written just for this show, with tonight’s subject Parks & Recreation presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A Groundlings-trained improvisor, sketch comic, and stand-up who’s a regular on Chelsea Lately and After Lately headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club:Fortune Feimster

7:30 pm ($5): John Fugelsang (former host of America’s Funniest Home Videos), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank onMystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Alison Leiby (host of It’s a Long Story), Kyle Ayers (Comedy Central Roasts), and Tim Dillon performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Lynne Koplitz, Sam Morril, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, and Dan Soder at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), 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), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), 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): Mark Lawrence, Dan St. Germain, Pete Lee, Mark DeMayo, and More

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Rashomon (eight improvisors explore human nature and the nature of truth using time-jumps and multiple perspectives), at 10:00 pm by a sketch comedy salute to gun-toting jerks in American Action Heroes, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), and Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up) performing stand-up, plus music from Alex Castle, all at Brooklyn’sSplitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joel Weidl (Goat, Death by Roo Roo) writes and stars in sketch show American Weidl

…and in the other half of this double-bill, wonderfully talented performers Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp do a show that tries to make a virtue of extreme, about gay twins who sing, dance, screw each other, and screw over everyone else. The results are mixed, because a script that merely goes over the top relentlessly isn’t enough to be emotionally satisfying, but there are scattered delights—especially a tuneful, show-stopping song about never giving up that’s by itself worth the price of admission: Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

8:00 pm ($5): Katie Haller & Corrine Fisher host this show consisting of female stand-ups (sadly, not announced this week) plus one male stand-up (also not announced) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Token Guy Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: All-gal improv group Saint Nancy hosts stand-up, sketch, and improv at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Saint Nancy Presents Mostly Handsome

[TOP PICK] [FREE plus FREE DRINK] 8:30 pm: Stand-up comic Mike Shvenderman is filming an hour long special called Junkie. “The name reflects the stories of his degenerate past which include heroin abuse, heroin withdraw, near death experiences, violent encounters with pimps, and nonsensical relationships” (for a sample, click here) atThe Lovecraft Bar (50 Avenue B, between 3rd and 4th Streets): Mike Shvenderman: Live Taping of Comedy AlbumJunkie

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): 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), Matt Koff (writer forThe Daily Show), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor) performing stand-up, plus Carla Rhodes (“rock’n’roll ventriloquist;” for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here; for act with “Keith Richards,” please click here) and Sean Keane (sketch comic) at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mentionHyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, MTV’s Wild N Out), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): A hybrid of theatre, dance, and performance art about “Marshall, a 35 year old fat depressed nerd, and his wife Shelly, a loving, butch 50s housewife, at the end of their relationship as it metamorphizes to new dimensions in an exploration of the homogenization of the gay body” at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by groupForever Dog: Forever Dog Presents Of Cake and Vanity: A Musical Painting

9:00 pm ($5): “Lovebot is a robot from the planet Outer Space. It has been sent to earth to learn about love from normal earth humans, but the job is proving more difficult that Lovebot thought. Come help the automaton understand what it means to be in love, and maybe even fall in actual (robot) love, written by Rob Tanchum, Rollie Williams, and a super intelligent screenwriting software program” and performed by Rollie Williams, Lauren Clark, Tom Johnson, Nicole Conlan, and Peter Smith at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Love Factually

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($9.93 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Superstar children’s horror writer R. L. Stine (megaselling Goosebumps series), 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), Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer; The Vigilante, Your Love Our Musical), Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; co-author of food parody book FUDS), Brendan McLaughlin (VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live), Nick Naney, and more being interviewed or performing at the Carolines Comedy Club: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, ace improvisors Connor Ratliff, Molly Lloyd, Terry Withers, and more somehow create an improvised murder mystery on the spot—with the audience helping to commit the crime: The Terry Withers Mysteries

9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Toby Muresianu (CTV, Real Time with Bill Maher), and Lisa Corrao (Nickelodeon) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’sLittle Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) produced by Jaqi Furback, Taylor Clark, Casey James Salengo, Owen Straw, and TJ Young: Big Ups Comedy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), 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), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Ricky Velez (correspondent for The Nightly Show), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Giulio Gallarotti, and Alex Pavone performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Dan St. Germain, Pete Lee, Ricky Velez, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Untitled Kokomo Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Mike Guild knows everything about movies and films. He will take you through the landscape of the cinema, along with comic guests to discuss everything going on the weird landscape that is Hollywood—plus everyone in the audience will win a unique prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Movie Night With Mike

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” directed by Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In a major upset, last week Lloyd Night improv group Rizzo defeated Saturday night improv group What I Did For Love in a squeaker audience vote of 78-76. Tonight Rizzo tries to both hang onto its new championship and widen its winning margin against challenger Affirmative Action competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but there’s a whole lot of people in it performing at the UCB East theatre: $$$

Thursday 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: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [AMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A storytelling open mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Chris Booth:Bar Tales & Blowhards

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage atThe Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith 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-$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 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.

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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