NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/30/15

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Michelle Obama (she can be funny)
is on David Letterman;
Dave Attell is on Conan O’Brien;
Kristen Wiig is on The Daily Show;
Kumail Nanjiani is on James Corden;
Phil Hanley is on Seth Meyers;
Nikki Glaser, Steve Rannazzisi, and Nate Bargatze (who
has an hour-long Comedy Central special Saturday night)
are on @midnight;
Episode 5.4 of Louis C.K.’s always extraordinary
comedy series Louie, “Bobby’s House,” is at
10:31 pm, 11:32 pm, and 1:37 am on FX

Bruce McCulloch's Let's Start a Riot

Bruce McCulloch reads from his new memoir and answers questions at UCB Chelsea: Let’s Start a Riot

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] 7:00 pm: A stand-up tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Paul Hooper

7:30 pm ($5): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Liam McEneaney, Kate Conner, and Brian Parise performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[$] 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 Artie Lange, Gregg Rogell, Rachel Feinstein, and Dov Davidoff at the 7:45 show, and Kurt Metzger, Joe List, and Damien Lemon 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.)  One of the funniest guys in comedy headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfried

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, “a balls-out celebration of the crazy bitches who nobody listens to and the crazy pussies who do you real good and then burn down your house. With special appearances from your mom, the cute girl at the coffee shop, the cat lady next door, and your future ex-wife, this Bechdel Certified sketch show will forever change up your life for the worse,” starring the wonderful Laura Grey (Dorothy Goes to Hollywood, stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm) and Kristen Acimovic (ace sketch group Legs For Days): Crazy Bitch/Crazy Pussy

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

[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 (Pay Whatever You Like): “Delusional cruise ship entertainer and musical theatre fanatic Lance Johnson welcomes scheduled guests Liza Minnelli, Hugh Jackman, and Miami Sound Machine for an instantly forgettable evening of chat, song, dance, and Lance before he heads back out to sea” by Peter Michael Marino and a special cameo from David Carl as Gary Busey, all at The Triple Crown Underground (330 7th Avenue, between 28th and 29th Streets): Late With Lance

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), 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), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Mark Normand, Jessica Kirson, Pete Lee, Joe List, and More

[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 Hello Laser, and finally at 11:00 by improv competitionInspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “Each stand-up will do his or her set, and then host JoAnna Ross will conduct an interview about the comic’s dating life. Questions you always wanted to know will be asked: Where do you take a first date to get laid? Do you pay? Where do you take a date to break up with them? What bathrooms have you done it in?” and much more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Undateables

8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Amanda Nicastro about her real-life experience of giving one of her kidneys to her ill sister in 2014 at The PIT downstairs lounge: I’m Just Kidneying!

8:00 pm ($10): The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; albumLadies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), Tim Girrbach (half of comedic musical duo Squirm & Germ), and Matteo Lane (Comedy Central) performing songs, characters, and/or stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by sketch/improv group Martha: All You Can Eat

8:00 pm ($5): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Naomi Karavani, Alex Castle, and Brendan McLaughlin performing stand-up for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

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): Four 10-minute comedic plays written over the past month based around an assigned word or phrase—which this month is Train Wreck—at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Mike Breen & Kevin Bauer: Fourplay

9:00 pm ($5): An evening of comedy short films at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog: The Forever Dog Film Festival

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Bruce McCulloch, member of legendary sketch comedy group Kids in the Hall, reads from his new book Let’s Start a Riot: How a Young Drunk Punk Became a Hollywood Dad and then takes questions from the audience at the UCB Chelseatheatre: Bruce McCulloch: Let’s Start a Riot

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): There is no one quite like wonderful improvisor, writer, and video wizard Becky Krause (for samples, please click here and here). If you’re yearning for something fresh and unique, come see Becky’s memorable one-woman show with “original sketches, characters, songs, and videos inspired by dreams”—not to mention, Becky kicks things off by rolling out of a cardboard box—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Becky Krause: I Dreamed a Dream

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Two of NYC’s finest sketch/character comics, David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) and Katie Hartman (wonderfully brave and dark sketch comic; Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), host this show devoted to solo characters, with tonight’s terrific guests Tim Girrbach (half of comedic musical duo Squirm & Germ), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), and Ryan Farrell performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Riled Up With David and Katie

[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 Area 52 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: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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 PhoningItInMic@gmail.com 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 groupJunior Varsity 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 info@oldmanhustle.com 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

[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)

The PIT
(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 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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