NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/16/15

April 16, 2015

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

TV Alert: Kevin James is on David Letterman;
Will Ferrell and Chelsea Peretti are on Jimmy Fallon
(repeated from 3/18);
an especially great lineup of Tim Minchin, Rhys Darby,
and Rich Fulcher on @midnight

David and Katie Get Re-Married

Katie Hartman & David Carl have a show so wonderful that The PIT painted the duo’s faces on its outside window. I’ll be seeing the updated production tonight, and you should join me for this epic sketch-based play filled with loud, unsettling songs and many fights: David and Katie Get Re-Married

Olympia Dukakis

…plus Olympia Dukakis is among the guests at Catie Lazarus’ & Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan’s Employee of the Month

Leslie Jones

…and Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones headlines tonight through Sunday 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:

7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Sarah Peele who “inspired by the greatest decade ever plays four weird characters” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sarah Peele’s 90s Mixtape

7:00 pm ($5): Talented improvisor James III and friends play characters at The PIT downstairs lounge: James III and Friends

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A comedic juggler tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Marcus Monroe

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A star of Saturday Night Live and writer for Chris Rock (and one of the actors in Chris’ movie Top Five) headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Leslie Jones

7:30 pm ($5): Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Jenny Rubin, Alex Grubard, and Grant Gordon performing stand-up atUCB 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 Ted Alexandro, Joe Machi, Marina Franklin, Lynne Koplitz, Jonathan Kite, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Lenny Marcus, Dov Davidoff, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; and Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Brilliant character comics 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), 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), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), and Luis J. Gomez performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Wyatt Cenac, Mark Normand, Dan Soder, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Blackout (long form improv in which “scenes are edited solely by blackouts created by the director in the booth and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene”), at 10:00 pm by favorite sketches of established groups in Bonus Round, 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

[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, 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 ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show by Don Fanelli as “Mr. Jersey presenting to you the real people that make New Jersey amazing: the poets and musicians, restauranteurs and strippers. Take Exit 17 off the turnpike for a night celebrating these lovable, totally normal characters” at Mr. Jersey’s Neighborhood

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece put on a pretend kids’ show in which “you learn valuable life lessons about friendship, expressing your individuality, fucking the family members you love the most, and much much more” at Through the Back Door

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from group The Dog Committee at The PIT downstairs lounge: “Help I Need Somebody!”

8:00 pm ($5): John Early, Phil Hanley, Eliot Glazer, Josh Gondelman, Brett Davis, Max Silvestri, and Naomi Karavan performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

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

8:40ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Saurin Choksi (TruTV), Kerry Overfab Coddett, Marie Faustin, Brian Grossi, and LeClerc Andre Darguin performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Franklin Bar and Lounge (739 Franklin Street) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan & Mike Eltringham: It’s Sooo Up and Coming

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): “When an aging playwright attempts to re-invigorate his career online, he sparks a flame war that summons the ghostly spirits of Theatre Past, Present and Future, who expose his brutish behaviors from the past, but offer him the chance to course-correct his fate. The evening devolves into the recreation of sixteen plays, once thought all but lost to time…all performed in under an hour” at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog: Forever Dog Presents The Average Was Lousy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Improv giants Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman produce and host this show featuring three improvised one-act plays at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Scene

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): 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), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Mary Mack (Last Comic Standing), and Tony Hinchcliffe (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($25 at the door or $24.50 in advance online, plus 2-item food/drink min.): This show that interviews luminaries about what it’s like to have a dreamy job tonight features Olympia Dukakis (Oscar-winning actress), Cindy Chupack (Emmy Award winning writer/producer for such shows as Modern Family and Sex and the City; author of book Between Boyfriends), Betty Halbreich (famed Bergdorf personal shopper), and Justin Sayre (2 Broke Girls, The Meeting) at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place) hosted by Catie Lazarus, plus music from Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan: Employee of the Month

[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): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Non-Daily Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this new show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

[DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code ComedyWeek; no min.): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Ricky Velez (correspondent for The Nightly Show), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Ben & Josh, Subhah Agarwal, Giulio Gallarotti, and Luis J. Gomez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Dan Soder, Ricky Velez, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from guests Anna Drezen, Brandon Scott Wolf, and Devin Richie, plus improvised therapy sessions from host Ali Levin playing “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” atThe PIT downstairs lounge: The Sessions with Viviana Cortez

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—possibly performing in a camp tent—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Aaron Friedman: Campfire Comedy

[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): The brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata host this stand-up show with guests Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever) and Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour) at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Curtains and Women & Men compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

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: 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A character-based open-mic happening monthly at UCB East hosted by Mike Sapp: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

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

[TOP PICK] [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—plus tonight only, storyteller Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion) and Katey Healy-Wurzburg (improvisor, stand-up, and storyteller)—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee & Patrick Clair: 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group Hello Laser 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 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 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)

(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