NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/2/15

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Scarlett Johansson hosts Saturday Night Live
at 11:29 pm on NBC

Joe Machi

Joe Machi: “I got into a discussion with my neighbor about gun control. He said ‘I bet if you asked the Founding Fathers what they thought about gun control, they wouldn’t like it.’ I said if you ask the Founding Fathers what they thought about gun control, they’d respond with ‘What’s this I hear about women voting? And who is that in the White House? Is that one of Thomas Jefferson’s kids?'” Joe headlines tonight and Sunday at Carolines

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] 3:00 pm to 12:30 am ($10 per show): The PIT hosts over 18 hours of shows today and 12 hours of shows tomorrow at its upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge for this festival that “gives you a chance to be in a room with your favorite online comedy acts and for the comedians to capitalize on having a live room to heighten their online content. Groups will create new mixed media sketches, host Q&A sessions, record live podcasts, improvise sets based on Instagram comments, and every other intermingling of online and live-on-stage forms they can imagine” today and Sunday for this first annual ClickFest

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($10 cover plus $10 drink min.; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who chooses correctly gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band), Lindsay Hoffman (Fresh 102.7), Martin Dockery (five-time Moth GrandSlam finalist), and Rory Scholl (Chicago City Limits, The Moth, BTK Band). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let these talented storytellers and host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[$] 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 Gyre, Two Guys Who Don’t Like Each Other, Mose, and Wikipedia Live performing atThe Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Brandon Scott Jones, Tami Sagher, Eric Drysdale, Grace Parra, Christina Gausas, Jen Bartels, and Cipha Sounds improvise at the UCB Chelsea theatre as group Maravilla

[TOP PICK] [$] 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 Gary Gulman, Robert Kelly, and Dov Davidoff at the 7:00 show; Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, and Dov Davidoff at the 7:15 show; Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, and Robert Kelly at the 8:45 show; Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Robert Kelly, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:15 show; Ted Alexandro, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, and Robert Kelly at the 10:30 show; Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Sherrod Small at the 11:15 show; and Ted Alexandro, Ryan Hamilton, Sam Morril, and Sherrod Small 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

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand- ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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 stand-up concludes a week-long run of trying out material at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Paul Hooper

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($32.75 plus 2-drink minimum): The hilarious oddball breakout star at the most recent Last Comic Standing (he wasn’t given the win, but he was the far and away the comic who deserved it) headlines tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Joe Machi

[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] 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 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”—with tonight’s guest storyteller Alexis Lambright—at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($25; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental,documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Gary Gulman, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[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 ($10): Stellar improv groups The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman, Sarah Nowak, and Brigid Boyle) and Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Baldwins and Big Black Car

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: In this acclaimed monthly show, NYC stand-ups “risk getting slapped by Satan himself. Actually, he hosts only bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matt Wayne & Doug Smith: See You in Hell

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

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

[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 Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Missy Baker, Niles Turner, Blair Socci, and Jason Burke, all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Chris Donahue & Pat Rigby: 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): This unique weekly show incorporates song and dance into sketch comedy focused on pop culture—and does it surprisingly well, with strong writing and a sharp cast of performers at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short: Underbelly

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($25; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental,documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Gary Gulman, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[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

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Master improvisor Ed Herbstman (co-owner of The Magnet) teams for one night only with Peter McNerney to make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): An enormously fun freestyle rap contest at UCB East with NYC comics (not announced), plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by superstar human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central): Battlicious

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show,radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show), and more performing stand-up at UCB Chelseahosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: An eclectic monthly talk show hosted by Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Aftermirth

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):Student Mixer

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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