NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/18/15

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Leslie Jones

Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones continues her headlining run at Carolines

Soojeong Son and GInny Leise

…and Soojeong Son & GInny Leise make comics top each other at embarrassing themselves in The Shame Game

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:

[ALMOST FREE] 1:00 pm (FREE or $1.02, depending on how quickly you register online): A brunch-time stand-up show that’s rated PG—that is, kid & family friendly—and is also a lottery-style open mic for children under age 15. This unusual monthly show is at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Guess What: A Family-Friendly Stand-Up Show & Kids’ Open MIc

[$] 6:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Gnome Necessary, Wine Supremacists, Seramillo, and Group of Dads at a Barperforming at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Nick Griffin, Lynne Koplitz, Zainab Johnson, Sherrod Small, and Jon Fisch (hosting) at the 7:00 show, and Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, Sherrod Small, Dov Davidoff, Ricky Velez, Jeff Leach, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground(130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Jordan Carlos (writer for The Nightly Show; MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central, VH1, Adult Swim), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal improvisors Ashley Ward, Brigid Boyle, Alexis Saarela, and/or Elizabeth Findlay, plus guest improv group The Stank, perform at the PIT downstairs lounge as group Taco Supreme

7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Women & Men will spin off scenes from the tales of a monologist at the UCB Easttheatre: Women & Men

7:00 pm ($5): House improv groups such as Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Improv Teams

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A comedic juggler tries out material for this last night of his four-night run at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Marcus Monroe

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Christina Gausas, Tami Sagher, Brandon Scott Jones, Keisha Zollar, Eric Drysdale, Jen Bartels, and James III making up scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Maraville

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 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 and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Leslie Jones

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band)— takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Comics share their most shameful stories with the aim of being crowned the King or Queen of Shame, with tonight’s hopefuls David & Katie (David and Katie Get Re-Married), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), and Subhah Agarwal performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Ginny Leise & Soojeong Son: The Shame Game

[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 ($25; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Showand Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), 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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Sabrina Jalees, Ari Shaffir, Christian Finnegan, Bonnie McFarlane, and Sherrod Small

8:00 pm ($8): “When the long-time owner of Ski Mountain dies, everyone expects the mountain to be passed down to his beloved daughter Jocelyn. However, his evil older son Ernest appears at the funeral and takes his lawful control of the mountain. Ernest’s first order of business is to fly in a Swiss mountain and stack it on top of Snow mountain…making a double mountain. While everyone loves the double mountain at first, it becomes clear that Ernest has ulterior motives when he continues flying in Swiss mountains, stacking them higher and higher. With a crisis on their hands, Jocelyn, a reclusive trailer rater named Bearnie, and the employees and residents of Snow Mountain must save the day” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Crisis on Ski Mountain

8:00 pm ($10; SOLD OUT, but you can try to get in via a standby list): Sketch comedy group Bridge & Tunnel plus guest comics Anna Rose Roisman, Madonna Eleganza Refugia, and Briana Kelly perform at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel: A Sketch Show

[$] 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:00 pm ($15 for the three episodes comprising “Part 1”): A 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage…with limited success. The costumes are fun, the cast is cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice is the best “special effect” in the show), but the script is too often flat, arbitrary, and juvenile, making it almost impossible to care about anything that happens, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. On top of that, the playwright also appears to mistakenly equate “annoying” with “entertaining”—which helps explain why he wrote himself one of the most gratingly irritating characters in the show. I can’t recommend 8:00 pm’s Part 1 at all, but 9:30 pm’s Part 2 is an improvement (largely thanks to the addition of Asia Kate Dillon as a charismatic female warrior) and might be worth checking out for the sheer novelty of this production. As for Part 3, it debuts tonight at 11:00 pm, and here’s hoping it transcends what came before it. The whole shebang happens at The PIT upstairs theatre at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kapow-i GoGo

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[FREE] 8:30 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show; senior writer/producer for Spike TV; co-host of Amazingtown), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Charlie Kasov (MTV’s Guy Code), Alia Janine (Playboy), Aalap Patel, and Joel Walkowski, all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Simmons McDavid: Show/Tell Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

9:30 pm ($10): Sketches, characters, and improv from the Anthology Players, tonight inspired by legendary bandNirvana at The PIT downstairs lounge: The B-Side: Nirvana

9:30 pm ($5): “Good improvisation requires commitment and listening and a sense of play. But great improvisation requires great actors. Tonight we celebrate our students as they perform their favorite monologues and scenes from plays and films both beloved and obscure with raw, powerful vulnerability” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre(367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Jed Resnik: Annoyance Acting Masterclass Showcase

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Jamison Guest—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[$] 10:00 pm ($25; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), 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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Christian Finnegan, Bonnie McFarlane, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Philip Markle (Executive Director of The Annoyance Theatre): Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

10:30 pm ($5): Comics (not announced) “perform kooky bits based off online videos. The goal of the show is primarily to be louder than the jazz music coming from upstairs” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Matt Barats: Louder Than Jazz

11:00 pm ($5): A young improv group performs and hosts guests at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tickle Party: An Intimate Evening

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Alex Pavone, and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sabrina Jalees, Barry Rothbart, Ben Kronberg, and More

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evans host: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran improvisors make up scenes with improv students from any school (selected by lottery) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Fishbowl

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-$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 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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