NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/22/15

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TV Alert: Jim Gaffigan is on David Letterman;
Joel McHale and Courtney Cox are on James Corden;
Chris D’Elia is on Carson Daly;
Kerri Kenney-Silver, Jason Sklar, and Randy Sklar are on @midnight

The Happier Hour with Aparna & Friends

It’s a terrific night to be at the Carolines Comedy Club, with two discounted shows back to back: At 7:00 pm, Aparna Nancherla, Carmen Lynch, Jacqueline Novak, and Leah Bonnema perform stand-up at The Happier Hour with Aparna & Friends

Amy Sedaris, Richard Kind, and Brian Stack at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

…and at 9:30 pm Amy Sedaris, Richard Kind, Brian Stack, and Rebecca Vigil are interviewed or perform at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

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] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including Julie Sharbutt & Langston Belton as duoCoyote at 7:00 pm, and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($10.18 online using code BKFUN, plus 2-drink min.) Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro) hosts this new monthly stand-up show that tonight features Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), and Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), all performing at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Happier Hour with Aparna & Friends

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

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

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Lisa From School, Camp, and Big Time: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Gregg Rogell, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Kurt Metzger, Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder, BIg Jay Oakerson, Seaton Smith, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Bill Santiago (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Amy Cardinale, and Joe Gerics performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Ashlee Gilbert Voorsanger: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which sharp writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, Laura Willcox, Mike Kelton, Danny Artese, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are honest and hilarious, with tonight’s theme Passion, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Liz Simons (Broad City), Andy Fiori (BBC), JF Harris, George Gordon, and Tim Duffy performing for this free weekly stand-up show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) produced by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, Jackie Jax, and Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Josh Gondelman, Doug Smith, Justin Perez, Liz Barrett, Lance Pauker, plus improv groups Gypsy Clam Bake and Private Jetsons, performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Matt Schwartzer & Gary Levitt and hosted by Kaytlin Bailey: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A 90-minute variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Brink & Keele Howard-Stone: Wolf Spirit with Tom and Keele

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Stand-ups Andrew Michaan, Myka Fox, JL Cauvin, Louis Katz, Katina Corrao, Tyler Fischer, and Marc Theobald performing at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis:Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($10.18 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Interviews with stars Amy Sedaris, Richard Kind, and former Conan O’Brien writer/performer Brian Stack, plus a performance from Rebecca Vigil (rising star who’s a powerhouse improv singer with a lightning-quick wit; The Vigilante, Your Love Our Musical), all at the Carolines Comedy Club: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, wonderfully talented performers Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp do a show that tries to make a virtue of extreme, about gay twins who sing, dance, screw each other, and screw over everyone else. The results are mixed, because a script that merely goes relentlessly over the top isn’t enough to be emotionally satisfying, but there are scattered delights—especially a tuneful, show-stopping song about never giving up that’s by itself worth the price of admission: Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

…and in the other second of this double-bill, Aaron Jackson & Josh Sharp (above) switch gears from sketch to improv, creating scenes on the spot about “the Hole-iest Hump Day on the Vatican Calendar:” Ass Wednesday

9:30 pm ($5): Liza Treyger (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Andrew Michaan, Shakir Standley, and Nat Townsen performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman, Andrew Tavin, and/or Alejandro Kolleeny: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), and more performing stand-up and/or music at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Lemonade Stand: Mark Normand, Jessica Kirson, Jessica Delfino, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): The UCB Touring Company consists of some of UCB’s finest improvisors who show audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For this monthly show, however, the traveling troupe will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo

11:00 pm ($5): Lauren Adams (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) has an entire show built around her at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Night Late

Wednesday 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 show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

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: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Guilt Trip

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3 1/2 minutes, at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Benel Germosen:Chocolate Wednesday

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv 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

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