NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/31/15

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Brett Gelman

Brett Gelman (above), Colin Quinn, Chris Gethard, Michelle Wolf, Wyatt Cenac, Jermaine Fowler, Jared Logan, and more perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Bell House

Adira Amram

…and Adira Amram (above), The Reformed Whores, and The Undone Sweaters make comedic music at Brooklyn’s Union Hall

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:

6:00 pm ($5): Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($20): Superb stand-up lineup of Colin Quinn, Chris Gethard, Michelle Wolf, Brett Gelman (not in NYC very often anymore), Wyatt Cenac, Jermaine Fowler, Jared Logan, Kevin Barnett, Cyrus Ghahremani, and Max Silvestri performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) sponsored by Vulture: Vulture Festival: Colin Quinn, Chris Gethard, Michelle Wolf, Brett Gelman, Wyatt Cenac, Jermaine Fowler, Jared Logan, and More

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5 at the door or $6.44 in advance online): Great comedic musical lineup of Adira Amram and The Experience, The Reformed Whores, and The Undone Sweaters performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall. If you know any of these groups, rejoice and go enjoy: Adira Amram, The Reformed Whores, and The Undone Sweaters

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($25.73 online using discount code TODDB, plus 2-drink min.): World-class stand-up Todd Barry (FX’s Louie, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead) headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Todd Barry

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy group Wendigo performs sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Team

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Nikki Glaser, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Jon Fisch, Keith Alberstadt, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, and Damien Lemon, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar(117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Matt Koff (writer forThe Daily Show), Doug Smith (co-host of See You In Hell), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Nick Rutherford, and Joe Fernandez performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Silvija Ozols , Morgan Philips, Abby Sher, Kevin Laibson, Brett Wean, Mike Burton, and Kevin Cragg make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Sarah Nowak & Micah Sherman: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show,former staff writer for David Letterman), John Early (30 Rock, Broad City, Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer), Nick Rutherford (writer for Saturday Night Live; sketch group Good Neighbor), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Ryan Bennett, Nick Naney, and Matt Stowe performing stand-up, plus sketch from Livia Scott (comedic chameleon;Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie; sketch groups Legs For Days andThe Livia Scott Sketch Program) and duo Good Cop Great Cop, all performing at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

8:00 pm ($5): Improv group Modern Baby makes up scenes that the tech book interjects with sound effects and songs that must be instantly incorporated into the show’s narrative at The PIT downstairs lounge: MIX TAPE Vol. 3

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using code SFBMAY; no min.): Stand-ups Dino Vigo, Reggie Conquest, Lois Thompson, and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Amanda Seales & Marc Lamont Hill: Smart, Funny, and Black

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City typically hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Strong lineup of Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Phil Hanley (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Craig Ferguson, host of Chemistry), and Megan Gailey performing stand-up at Brooklyn’sKnitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit: Kurt Metzger, Ryan Hamilton, Jared Logan, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Crystian Ramirez, and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mark Normand, Dan St. Germain, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 4:45 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Comedy dynamo Tracy Mull loves short-form improv games with a passion, and so is the perfect host for this jam that lets audience members—including you—put their names in a bucket. Tracy will then repeatedly pull out a name and a game and facilitate improv magic at The PIT upstairs theatre:Sunday School Short-Form Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello:Lance Bass Space Mic

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly atUCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

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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