NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/9/15

April 9, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Amy Schumer is on Conan O’Brien;
Keith Alberstadt is on Seth Meyers;
Matthew Perry, Aubrey Plaza, and Thomas Lennon
are on James Corden (repeated on 3/31);
Jamie Lee is on Carson Daly (repeated from 2/23);
Pete Holmes, Matt McCarthy, and Jamie Lee are on @midnight;
and see below


Louie is the best comedy show on TV in large part thanks to Louis C.K.’s continually pushing at the boundaries of what’s doable on a weekly series—and unlike virtually any other TV comic, not by being exceptionally loud, vulgar, or shocking, but by being extraordinarily subtle, smart, artful, and insistent on discovering and sharing truths. Season 5 kicks off tonight on FX at 10:33 pm (with repeats at 11:35 pm and 1:41 am). If you missed episodes of previous seasons, get caught up for free here.

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:

6:30 pm ($5): Musical comedy duo Michael Wolf & Colin O’Brien are Nancy, and they’re auditioning a 25-minute show music & sketch show in hopes of earning a run at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Nancy: Songs in the Key of Life

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): 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.), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Lane Moore (The Onion), Emily Epstein White, and Jason Kanter performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish pm: 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), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host ofBlaria Live), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Sam Evans, Calvin S. Cato, Erik Lazenski, and Camille Theobald performing stand-up, plus music from Xilomen Cofield, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

[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 Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, and Dan Soder at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Nick Griffin, Carmen Lynch, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Damien Lemon, 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Brilliant comedy talents David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), and Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) team up to become singing explosive forces of nature (when I saw the first version of this in June they almost destroyed the stage, with cake, champagne, and imaginary blood everywhere) at The PIT upstairs theatre: David and Katie Get Re-Married

[META-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Great lineup of Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Parks & Recreation, The Office, Conan O’Brien IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow,and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1), and Julio Torres performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) guest-hosted by Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; author of Tasteful Nudes): Myrtle Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man meta-show by Joel Weidl (Goat, Death by Roo Roo) which Joel declares is the last time he performs as a lowest common denominator Jeff Foxworthy-like character who he personally finds offensive so he can pursue higher forms of art—such as playing Werner Herzog having an existential crisis from ordering a burrito at Chipotle (which is actually a brilliant bit and show-stopper…). Joel doesn’t always hit the mark, but his production is so filled with ideas, energy, and verbal and visual jokes that you’re almost certain to have fun at American Weidl

…and then the smartest, funniest parody currently playing at UCB, in which Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz tackles zombies, homophobia, weak scripting for female protagonists, and the Hollywood studio system, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed and co-starring the fabulous Laura Grey. If you see only one scripted show at UCB this month, make it the charming and hilarious Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics Katie Haller (co-host of You Probably Think This Song is About You) Lisa Kleinman (co-host of Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show), Jen Keefe, and Danny Tenzer share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by the wonderful Natalie Wall (host of superb storytelling show Awkward Sex…and the City, co-producer of Bad Assery): Awkward Poop…and the City

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A burlesque comedic play about the iconic female characters in Disney animated films at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to the Ladies of Disney

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1) and Julian Velard (singer-songwriter) host this show mixing stand-up and music, with tonight’s guests Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central) and Har Mar Superstar (singer/songwriter Sean Tillmann) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Comfort Zone

[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

8:00 pm ($5): A rotating cast of NYC comics perform characters in a specific setting—e.g., a small town’s PTA meeting, a Holistic Wellness Convention, a political rally for donuts—with each show totally different at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Dodd & Jamie Aderski: Characters at…(BLANK)

8:00 pm [DISCOUNTED] ($7.50 online with code ComedyWeek—or attend the 10:00 pm taping, which is free via the same code; no min.): Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) records his first stand-up comedy album tonight, with the help of your laughs, at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Paul Virzi Comedy Album Recording

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups, Salt and Gun Club, make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Salt + Gun Club

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Ashley Morris, Kevin Iso, Drew Michael, and Zack Chapaloni performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Two improv house teams, O’Hare (with Nick Lachey) and Nugget (Brit Belsheim and a different guest each show), make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): O’Hare + Nugget

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Sketch troupe The Grape Dutches of York performs a show set in an amusement park “immersively, with 3D and 4D effects” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Enchantment Park

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Blogologues (ace theatrical troupe spearheaded by Allison Goldberg & Jen Jamula that uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), and Charles Gould (co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show) performing at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Will Stephen for a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

10:00 pm [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] (entirely free online with code ComedyWeek; no min.): Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) records his first stand-up comedy album tonight, with the help of your laughs, at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Paul Virzi Comedy Album Recording

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[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): Improv groups Goat and Curtains compete 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] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening monthly at UCB East hosted by Mike Sapp: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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 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

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 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 stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

[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 upstairs theatre 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)

(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.

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