NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 3/27/15

For more, please visit

TV Alert: Will Forte is on Jimmy Fallon;
Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell are on
 James Corden (repeated from 3/25)

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference
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] [$] 5:00 pm-9:30 pm ($75 for the entire 3-day conference, which starts today, or $40 per day, at the door or online): To my eye, well over half of the finest comics alive are women. As just one quick example, the best filmed comedies on TV right now are Louie C.K.’s Louie (okay, guy), Abbi Jacobson’s & Ilana Glazer’s Broad City (two gals), and Inside Amy Schumer (gal). But industry hiring practices still overwhelmingly favor male comics. This and other issues will be tackled at Bad Assery, a new 3-day conference produced by Natalie Wall (host of storytelling showAwkward Sex and the City) and Shaina Stigler (member of musical improv group Dagger). Although Bad Assery isn’t calling itself a festival, it’s featuring performances by some of the greatest comics in the country, so I expect it’ll be a highly entertaining event for anyone who loves comedy. It all happens today through Sunday at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) and Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). To nab tickets ($75 for all three days or $40 for a single day), please click here; and then look forward to enjoying Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference

[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

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Artie Lange, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show, and Dave Attell, Marina Franklin, Joe Tucker, Ricky Velez, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 12:15 am show, with all of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm ($5 at the door or $6.95 online, plus $10 drink min.): Camille Harris (irresistible singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, music album Silly Jazz) performing songs along with Wayne Tucker and David Linard at the Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop): Camille Harris and More at Rockwood Stage 3

7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” atThe Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

7:00 pm ($5): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

7:00 pm ($5): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, arguably the two best scripted shows currently at UCB on a single wonderful double-bill. First, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about her the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and then a smart, hilarious parody of The Wizard of Oz involving zombies, feminism, and the Hollywood system that must not be missed, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed and co-starring the fabulous Laura Grey: Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 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 CarolinesComedy Club: Fortune Feimster

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A superb Back to the Future parody with songs and special effects live on stage. The show starts out too slowly in the present time, but becomes quite fun once Marty travels to the past; and by Act 2 it’s a hilarious romp that I highly recommend. The show is by Christopher W. Barnes (book), Ryan Mercy (music) and Christopher W. Barnes (lyrics), produced by Ronny Pascale, and featuring a cast of over a dozen comics performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: That 80s Time Travel Movie: The UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): 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), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’sGuy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan) sponsored by stellar comedy club The Stand: The Stand Presents Judah Friedlander, Ben Bailey, Jermaine Fowler, Adrienne Iapalucci, 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 ($21.69 online or $25 at the door): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Joyelle Johnson, Anthony DeVito, Frank Liotti, Charles McBee, and Katherine Williams performing stand-up for a fundraiser at Flux Factory (39-21 29th Street) in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Liz Magee: Funny by Nature Fundraiser: Ted Alexandro, Aparna Nancherla, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), 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): Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Marina Franklin, and More

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

8:00 pm ($5): “Long, long ago, by the banks of the river Marinara, where breadstick trees grew in unlimited amounts, in the steamy valley of mozzarella, there was a sleepy little hamlet known as the town of pizza. And the people of this town were a simple, smiling folk, who loved soft drinks, and arcade games, and maintained a friendly family atmosphere. Oh, they were an eclectic bunch: a mayor with a gluttonous lust for power; a bum who tasted glory but lost it all; a fisherman desperate for one last bite. But in one house lived a man who was…a little different” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Slice of Life

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show “randomly pairs duos from the world of comedy. They have one week to prepare a comedy set for the physically and emotionally taxing Battlebowl where these teams will compete against one another”—with tonight’s contestants Christi Chiello & Becca Kauffman, John Reynolds & Dru Johnston, Edy Modica & Gary Richardson, Nora Isabella & Ben Wasserman, Mike Abrusci & Joel Kim Booster, and Charles Gould & Madonna Eleganza Refugia—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis & Darren Mabee:The Lethal Lottery

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Casey James Salengo: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Connor Ratliff, Jordan Klepper, Don Fanelli, Silvija Ozols, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5 at the door or $6.27 online; the latter is recommended because this will probably sell out): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host ofPunderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this show in which Jo and other improvisors live-dub over muted episodes of well-known sitcoms—which tonight are Will and Grace and, more dangerously, The Cosby Show—to create entirely new story lines on the spot. “Watch as your classic Friends episode takes on a film noir spin, or how everyone in Cheers just wants to talk about pizza” at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue): Live Dubbed Sitcoms

9:30 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Ali Levin in which “Miami’s most beloved spicy Cuban Holistic Wellness Counselor Viviana Cortez is on a quest to answer life’s toughest questions while healing her clients one churro at a time” at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Steps to Salbachun

9:30 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Juice

9:30 pm ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Marina Franklin, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnettheatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Andrew Law (Seth Meyers), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV; co-star ofGUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Katie Kester (host of The Later Show), Ramon Rivas II (Nerdist), and Sharon Spell (host of Big Shrink) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): “A showcase of bizarre comedy entertainers. Can power producers Nick Zielinski and Micah Phillips pull off this high stakes show or will their evil overlords destroy them? Come and find out” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Starlight Entertainment

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Forever Dog about ” a seemingly sleepy town sitting at the base of an active volcano” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Volcano Town

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy blended with dance, poetry, and live music at The PIT downstairs lounge from groupHis Majesty, The Baby

11:30 pm ($7): A sketch show from Ari Miller, Dmitry Shein, Trumane Alston, and Michael Delisle at The Magnettheatre: Bedlam

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Fearless, innovative dark comedy gal duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) briefly return to The PIT downstairs lounge (while Leah is in NYC for the weekend) to show off their darker B-side sketches. In their words, “Katie and Leah get it. You don’t go to a Rolling Stones concert waiting to see Jagger sing ‘Paint it Black.’ You didn’t spend $300 on scalped tickets to watch Beyonce perform ‘Single Ladies’ or ‘Drunk in Love.’ You want the obscure! The less catchy! The slightly shitty! Well, we’ve got them for you! Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (known throughout the entire world as the Beyonce of sketch comedy) is back at The PIT for one night only performing the weirder, wilder, and wonderful B-Side sketches that you love, you just don’t know it yet,” plus musical guests The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors): Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “For over nine years, you have been able to count on the UCBW to bring you hot comedy wrestling action each and every Thursday night at Cage Match. For an unprecedented tenth year, UCBW will present its signature show—the grandpappy of ’em all—WrestleSlamMania X! Rivalries have been brewing, and everything will come to a full boil when the full roster of UCBW MegaStars appears in the squared circle! Hilarious real wrestling matches live! Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!:” WrestleSlamMania X

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Friday 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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge forHappy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

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.

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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: