NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/23/15

April 23, 2015

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TV Alert: Monty Python is on Jimmy Fallon;
Jason Alexander is on James Corden;
Emily Heller is on Seth Meyers;
Randall Park, Tim Simons, and Sam Richardson
are on @midnight;
Episode 5.3 of Louie, “Cop Story,” is at 10:33 & 11:37 pm on FX

David and Katie Get Re-Married

It’s your last chance for a while to catch red-hot rising stars Katie Hartman & David Carl perform this comedy at The PIT about relationships that are better off dead: David and Katie Get Re-Married

Dorothy Goes to Hollywood - A Musical

…or see writer/co-star Glenn Boozan, director/co-star Laura Grey, and more perform the best scripted show currently running at UCB Chelsea: Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Sam Dingman (Moth Grand Slam Champion), Steve Zimmer (Moth Grand Slam Champion), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), Jenny Rubin (author of upcoming photo book New York Walk), and irresistibly charming host Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) performing at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) featuring such magic as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A noir private detective mini-play written and co-starring George Walsh & Nicholas Thomas (who also directed) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Murder Wrapped in Plastic

7:00 pm ($5): “What happens when a bunch of sad teenagers grow up to be alcoholic spinsters? They haven’t killed themselves yet, but some of them are ghosts. Let’s go back to 1995, laugh at how pathetic these damaged women are, and be embarrassed for them. It’s okay, they’re used to it” at The PIT downstairs lounge written by Melissa Surach, Cat Crow, and more: Last Chance Dance

[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

7:30 pm ($5): Nick Rutherford (writer for Saturday Night Live), Andrew Michaan (visiting from LA; Bumbershoot), Adam Burke (The Benson Interruption), Yamaneika Saunders (Last Comic Standing), and Danny Solomon (Lucas Bros Moving Co) performing stand-up at UCB 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 Ryan Hamilton, Keith Alberstadt, and Keith Robinson at the 7:45 show; Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, Sherrod Small, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Gregg Rogell, Dan Soder, Dov Davidoff, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Nikki Glaser, and Greer Barnes 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): Don’t miss your last chance for a while to catch brilliant character comics & future stars David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), and Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) team up to slowly and meticulously paint a relationship that’s doomed but refuses to die at The PIT upstairs theatre: David and Katie Get Re-Married

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the talented Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely) performs a smart, funny one-woman show mixing sketches about the types of teachers she’s encountered with video tales of her own experiences during four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

…and then the smartest, funniest parody currently playing at UCB, in which Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz tackles zombies, homophobia, weak scripting for female protagonists, and the Hollywood studio system, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed and co-starring the wonderful Laura Grey (Seriously Distracted, Faeries, Crazy Bitch/Crazy Pussy). If you see only one scripted show at UCB this month, make it the charming and hilarious Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

[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-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity 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 veteran improv group Kiss*Punch*Poem, 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 ($5): Katie Haller & Corrine Fisher host this show consisting of gal stand-ups Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Stephanie Holmes, and Krystyna Hutchinson, plus lone male stand-up Doug Key, at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Token Guy Show

8:00 pm ($5): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), and Will Miles (visiting from Chicago) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: All-gal improv group Saint Nancy hosts stand-up, sketch, and improv at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Saint Nancy Presents Mostly Handsome

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

9:00 pm ($5): Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, FX’s Totally Biased), Andrew Michaan (visiting from LA; Bumbershoot), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Danny Solomon (Lucas Bros Moving Co), and Marcella Arguello performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): “Host Susan B. Freewoman and her Chief Correspondent Betty Snatch bring their wildly popular Late Night Fifth Wave Feminist talk show to The PIT downstairs lounge. Susan’s punching the patriarchy—and this time, she’s using her whole fist” curated by group Forever Dog: Forever Dog Presents The Late Period with Susan B. Freewoman

9:00 pm ($5): “Lovebot is a robot from the planet Outer Space. It has been sent to earth to learn about love from normal earth humans, but the job is proving more difficult that Lovebot thought. Come help the automaton understand what it means to be in love, and maybe even fall in actual (robot) love, written by Rob Tanchum, Rollie Williams, and a super intelligent screenwriting software program” and performed by Rollie Williams, Lauren Clark, Tom Johnson, Nicole Conlan, and Peter Smith at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Love Factually

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Blowout lineup of storytellers featuring Mike Daisey (storytelling giant), David Crabb (author of new memoir Bad Kid), Randy Pearlstein (cast member on Chappelle’s Show, screenwriter of Cabin Fever and Cabin Fever 2), TS Madison (famed transgender entertainer), Robin Gelfenbien (host of storytelling show Yum’s the Word), and host Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, owner of The Story Studio) tell stories revolving around the theme Nerve at The PIT upstairs theatre for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, ace improvisors Connor Ratliff, Molly Lloyd, Terry Withers, and more somehow create an improvised murder mystery on the spot—with the audience helping to commit the crime: The Terry Withers Mysteries

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Untitled Kokomo Show

[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): Improv groups Women & Men and Lisa From School compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but there’s a whole lot of people in it performing at the UCB East theatre: $$$

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies 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

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] 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 at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: 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 The Boss 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 the Old 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