NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 4/12/15

April 12, 2015

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

TV Alert: Amy Schumer hosts the MTV Movie Awards at 8:00 pm

Sasheer Zamata

Sasheer Zamata (above), Adam Newman, and more perform stand-up at The Loud Boys Show

Michael Ian Black

…and Michael Ian Black concludes his headlining run at Carolines

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:

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmash, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Andrew Law (staff writer for Seth Meyers;recurring character on HBO’s Looking; previously wrote for Comedy Central’s The Jeselnik Offensive and truTV’sImpractical Jokers), and Catherine Cohen performing stand-up or sketch at Pianos (158 Ludlow Street) produced by Jane Clausen and hosted by Yoni Lotan & Mark Vigeant: The Loud Boys Show: Sasheer Zamata, Adam Newman, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($11.54 online using code JUICE, otherwise $20 at the door): A musical version of a famed 1989 movie with book & lyrics by Christopher W. Barnes and music by Ryan Mercy, produced by Ronny Pascale at The PIT upstairs theatre (for a video sneak peek, please click here): Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) Star member of legendary sketch troupe & seminal MTV series The State, co-star of NBC’s Ed, co-star of Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues, and host or co-host of numerous other TV shows and podcasts headlining one last night as a stand-up at the Carolines Comedy Club:Michael Ian Black

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy groups Enemy Planet and Stockton perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

7:00 pm ($5): Roughly 2,059 years after the assassination of Julius Caesar, Michael Bertrando offers the world an apology for that brutal death via an oddball show—that includes the chance for you to win a bottle of wine—at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Blue Spark Plug

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), 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: Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Joe List, Damien Lemon, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Carmen Lynch, Ricky Velez, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Keith Alberstadt, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Joe Matarese, and Big Jay Oakerson 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 ($5): Superb improvisors Aparna Nancherla, Morgan Philips, Jon Bander, 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): Rebecca Vigil (rising star who’s a powerhouse improv singer with a lightning-quick wit; The Vigilante, Your Love Our Musical), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard Lonely and Vicious), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Julio Torres, Jared Freid, and Paul Oddo performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 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

8:00 pm ($5): Jodi Lennon (Marc Maron: The Voice of Something, Exit 57) and two guest improvisors make up scenes from a year in the life of three people at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): What a Year!

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

9:00 pm ($7): Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), Subhah Agarwal, Trey Galyon, Mike Denny, and Joel Kim Booster performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

9:00 pm ($5): Three scripted 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 ($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 upstairs theatre: Act One

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): A Philadelphia comedy group performs stand-up and sketch at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Center City Comedy

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 Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[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)

(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