NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/21/15

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TV Alert: Jeff Garlin is on The Daily Show;
Paul Rudd is on David Letterman;
“Weird Al” Yankovic and Nate Bargatze are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Kumail Nanjiani is on Seth Meyers;
Maria Bamford, David O’Doherty, and Jimmy Pardo
are on @midnight;
and see below

Amy Schumer

The first season of Inside Amy Schumer was quite good, but Season 2 made the series a TV comedy milestone. Tonight kicks off Season 3, which am crossing fingers will continue Amy’s path to transcendent greatness. Find out for yourself at 10:30 pm or 2:34 am on Comedy Central, or tomorrow online

Cosmic Raiders In Search of the Funniest Planet

…and take advantage of the rich choices in live comedy tonight, which include Julio Torres & friends at UCB East performing Cosmic Raiders In Search of the Funniest Planet

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] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, six of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up & character actress Karen Batista tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Karen Batista

7:00 pm ($5): The staged reading of a TV pilot by Leila Ben-Abdallah: “After losing her job as the star of Spaceship: Neutrino, a beloved science fiction TV show, Lena Hadid finds herself completely broke, and too hopelessly typecast from her fame as an iconic SF star to land any acting work. Out of money and options, she moves back home to the quiet, conservative suburbs of Washington, D.C. to share a raucous, messy bachelor pad with Amir, her metrosexual Arab father, and Adam, her ultra-cool, hip-hop producer younger brother. With their help, Lena learns to embrace her unique fame as an icon of nerd-dom and redefine what it means to be “washed-up” at The PIT upstairs theatre: TV PIlot Reading of Washed Up

7:00 pm ($10): A sketch comedy double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Buffet and The Uncanny Valley

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Robert Kelly, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Carmen Lynch, Lenny Marcus, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Nikki Glaser, Keith Alberstadt, Brian Scolaro, Sam Morril, and Sherrod Small at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Swirly Animal, Moon Ravens, and Slamball at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Cocoon Central Dance Team (delightful trio of comedic dancers performing a great show at The PIT in April and May), Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Mary Mack, Ron Lynch, Andrew Michaan, and Drew Droege performing stand-up or dance at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor) & Liza Treyger (Chelsea Lately): Cakeshop Comedy: Morgan Murphy, Cocoon Central Dance Team, Guy Branum, Jacqueline Novak, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Julio Torres wrote & co-stars in a show that mixes stand-up and sketch with a half dozen other comics including Aaron Jackson at UCB East performing in the Comedy Central Corporate Retreat timeslot: Cosmic Raiders In Search of the Funniest Planet

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): 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), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Alingon Mitra (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), and Nate Fridson performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour): Deep-er-ness

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Joe Rumrill (Fresh Perspectives), and Amber Drea performing storytelling or stand-up at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Kevin Townley & Melissa Rocha: Treat Yourself with Elna Baker and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s guests are Giulia Rozzi & Will Miles (couple), Roger Hailes & Greg Barris (pals), Anna Drezen & Todd Dakotah Briscoe (pals), and Nore Davis & Vladimir Caamaño (pals), all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by real-life couple Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo, Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Derek Gaines, performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Dan Soder, Nate Bargatze, Monroe Martin, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch duo Marina & Nicco and storyteller Sam Dingman team up at The PIT downstairs lounge to teach you Everything We Know About Sex

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “The best stand-ups in the city will take to the stage armed with jokes, quirky observations, and anecdotes. Simultaneously, the producers will craft a battery of trivia questions for the audience based entirely on the comics’ material. Competitors of all levels are welcome, no matter how much you watch TMZ. You can walk in the door with a blank slate and come out victorious! All that’s required is your attention and short-term memory” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Observational Trivia Night

[TOP PICK] 8:15 pm ($8): “Four writers read their own work for seven minutes or less, and are then judged by three all-star judges. Two finalists are chosen to compete in the finale, a vaguely-literary game to decide the ultimate winner,” with tonight’s authors Lane Moore, Josh Gondelman, Kent Russell, and Eliza Kennedy performing for judges Ben Kronberg, Lucy DeVito, and Taiye Selasi—and you—at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Literary Death Match

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Andrew Michaan, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The hilarious Jay Malsky plays Elaine Stritch in this musical one-person show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Elaine Stritch: Still Here

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC comics (typically announced around 1:00 pm) performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups In Thousands, Clan Weirdos, and Higgins at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Death By Roo Roo, Goat, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh). Performing stand-up sets in between Tony bits tonight are Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Tim Duffy, all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Michelle Wolf, Kara Klenk, and More

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from young group 301 Views at The PIT upstairs theatre: 301 Views

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Scotland Green, May Wilkerson, Alex English, Marcia Belskyi, Keele Howard-Stone, and Shalewa Sharpe performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; 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), 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), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Derek Gaines, and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Dan Soder, Christian Finnegan, Monroe Martin, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

10:00 pm ($5): In this unique show, improvisors make up a complete family & friends intervention based on an audience suggestion at The PIT upstairs theatre: Impro-vention

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday 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 the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv group Fire to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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


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