NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/13/15

May 13, 2015

Nab tickets for NYC shows at half-price via Goldstar

TV Alert: Zach Woods is on Carson Daly;
Jessica Chafin, Paul Feig, and Jamie Denbo are on @midnight

Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, and Jo Firestone

Comics who include three of NYC’s best—Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, and Jo Firestone—share stories of TV rejecting their material at Brooklyn’s Not Suitable for Television

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 (whose birthday is today) & Langston Belton as duo Coyote at 7:00 pm, and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and/or more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

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

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Ronin, This Old House, and Southpaw: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman and Dov Davidoff at the 7:45 show; Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Dan Soder, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Joe List, and Sherrod Small at the 11:30 show, with all four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Even highly talented comedic writers are frequently told “no” by television. Tonight Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, Jo Firestone, Nick Vatterott, Seaton Smith, Brendan McLaughlin, Adam Lowitt, Ashley Bez, Griffin Newman, and Zach Linder share their entertaining tales of rejection at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Aaron Glaser: Not Suitable for Television

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Mad Men is almost over and Don Draper’s ad agency is holding one last meeting to discuss final company business. The only problem is everyone from the agency is too hungover to come into work. So comedy group AWFUL DJ is hosting the all company meeting while a cast of characters present company business, pitch new ads, and relive their glory days in 1960’s New York. There will be smoking and drinking. Wear a suit” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Sterling Cooper All Company Meeting

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), Kate Hendricks (The View), and Toby Muresianiu 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: Sabrina Jalees, Matt Koff, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): A mash-up of two stand-ups on stage at the same time, tonight featuring Jessica Kirson & Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson & Lynne Koplitz, Matteo Lane & Monroe Martin, and Reggie Conquest & Tom Cassidy performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Adrienne Iapalucci & Luis J. Gomez: The Mash-Up Show with Jessica Kirson, Lynne Koplitz, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Bill Santiago (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Chelsea Lately, ABC News, CNN), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Stephanie Holmes, Del Harrison, and Steve Marden performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Sean O’Hagan: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of theatre, art, and comedy talents hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte, with Brandon Voss (writer for The Advocate, Playbill, HX Magazine), Jenn Harris (Silence! The Musical, Gayby, The Moment You Been Waiting Four), Cole Escola (cabaret performer), and Maia Cruz Palileo (artist//videographer), plus celebrity guest bartender Paul Erik Davis, all performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups each perform a tight 5-minute set, with tonight’s comics Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Liza Treyger (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Scotland Green, Yoni Lotan, Drew Dowdey, and Ale Kolleeny at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Jenn Welch & Justin Perez:Tight Five

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up from Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), Gary Levitt, Matt Schwartzer, and Naomi Karavani, plus improv from groups Forbidden Planet and LL Cool J, all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Regina DeCicco: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Brendan Fitzgibbons, Will Winner, Alex Kumin, and Jim Search performing at this free weekly stand-up 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 Doug Moe and/or Ben Rameaka:Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:30 pm ($5): Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Julio Torres, Steve Disienna, and Anthony P. DeVito performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show written by Livia and friends that stars Livia, Ann Carr, Keisha Zollar, and half a dozen other comics at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Stand-up or characters from 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), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Halle Kiefer (MTV, Friends of the People, Vulture), and Luke Mones, plus improvised rap from group North Coast, all performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf, Sam Reece, and Austin Rodrigue: Tastemakers

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Sarah Tollemache, Joe Bartnick, and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, Rachel Feinstein, Dan Soder, 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): Improvisors—who tonight include Lauren Adams, Josh Sharp, and Dave Bluvband—make up scenes about obsessions at the UCB East theatre: The Fix

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows; co-host of Myrtle Comedy) plays a disgusting Las Vegas showman who is unknowingly hosting The Vagina Monologues. Also starring Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’sFailosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Alyssa Stonoha (The Chris Gethard Show), Liz Noth (The Jim Gaffigan Show), and Liza Treyger (Comedy Central) at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host ofPunderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase): Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow

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

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 downstairs lounge 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