NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/4/15

June 4, 2015

For more discounted NYC shows, please click here

TV Alert: Lily Tomlin is on James Corden;
John Cusack is on Jimmy Fallon;
Jen Kirkman and Nick Offerman are on Conan O’Brien;
Gary Gulman, Nikki Glaser, and Eli Roth are on @midnight

Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

One of the best sketch duos in the biz, Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, reunite while Leah briefly returns to NYC—and are joined by Sasheer Zamata, Adira Amram, and the Cocoon Central Dance Team: Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

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] [$] 7:00 pm ($18.39 online or $20 at the door): Julio Torres presents “an evening of magical, mythological sketches that follows the likes of Odysseus on a truly arduous shuttle bus journey and the daughters of Zeus as they apply to Sarah Lawrence,” featuring sketch comics Dan Chamberlain, Lena Einbinder, Cole Escola, Ana Fabrega, Beth Hoyt, Joe Rumrill, and Max Wittert at the Ars Nova Theatre (511 West 54th Street, off 10th Avenue): Myth and Beauty

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel) tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Leah Bonnema

7:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Will Neville about “hating an 83-year-old man” at The PIT downstairs lounge:#fuckjoelemere

7:30 pm ($5): Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer forSNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Matteo Lane, Ross Hyzer, and Mike Cannon performing stand-up atUCB 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 Colin Quinn, Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Dan Soder, Carmen Lynch, Big Jay Oakerson, Seaton Smith, Dov Davidoff, and Lenny Marcus, 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 ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, book Tasteful Nudes, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Janelle James, and Linas Phillips performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Myq Kaplan Dave Hill, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, Joe List, Randy Liedtke, and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, Joe List, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), David Edelstein, Josiah Madigan, and Brock Mahan perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV) : Serious Matters: Sasheer Zamata, Dan Soder, Sean Donnelly, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($24.75 via Goldstar [vs. $29 at the door]): 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 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-woman show by Melissa Gordon about freshmen trying to find themselves and pursue dreams at liberal arts college “Beasley Hall” directed by Michael Hartney: Fresh

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece put on a pretend kids’ show in which “you learn valuable life lessons about friendship, expressing your individuality, fucking the family members you love the most, and much much more” at Through the Back Door

8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsityperforming improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Junk Food (improv that embraces pure absurdity and silliness; you’ll eat it up but never feel full), at 10:00 pm by sketches from group Wendigo, 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

8:00 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Morgan Miller, Scott Swayze, and Josh Rabinowitz performing and/or being interviewed by Steve Way and sidekick Jonathan Braylock at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Steve Way Show

8:00 pm ($5): Clowns guests (not announced) and clown hosts Icky Shirley Dangle & d Chunky Cricket Discharge performing a silly show at The PIT downstairs lounge: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A new game show where three contestants get quizzed on random topics; raps, video games, different types of soda. We’ll even have a few comics drop by” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Marvin Lattimore: A Night of Thrill-Vila

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Janelle James, Peggy O’Leary, Jono Zalay, and Saurin Choksi performing at theDouble Wide Bar (505 East 12th Street off Avenue A) produced by Tyler Richardson and hosted by Jesse Baltes & Erik Monical: Fore Comedy

8:40ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Liza Treyger (upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), Alingon Mitra (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Lane Pieschel, Dustin Sherman, Derek Jones, and Lynn Bixenspan performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Franklin Bar and Lounge (739 Franklin Street) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan & Mike Eltringham: It’s Sooo Up and Coming

9:00 pm ($5): Something typically fun and different (not announced) curated by sketch group Forever Dog at The PITdownstairs lounge: Forever Dog Presents

9:00 pm ($5): Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, TBS’ Ground Floor), Randy Liedke (Seth Meyers), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Ryan Conner, and Kyle Mizono performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Fearless, innovative dark comedy gal duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) return to The PIT upstairs theater (while Leah is briefly back in NYC) to screen episodes of their webseries Made to Order, as well as host live performances by wonderful guests Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Adira Amram (spectacular comedic singer & dancer), Cocoon Central Dance Team (delightful trio of immensely talented comedic dancers/actresses Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani), Jordan Carlos (writer/correspondent for The Nightly Show; MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court,HBO’s Girls), Steve O’Brien (Team Submarine), and the Opening Ceremony Act for ING NYC Marathon, all performing at Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting: More Made to Order

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seth Meyers Writers: Crate Night With Set Fires

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors remake a blockbuster film or classic story (suggested by the audience) in the style of indie filmmaker Wes Anderson at The PIT downstairs lounge: Forty Minutes in the Style of Wes Anderson: Popular Tales Retold

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; Reductress, Spooky Jerks), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), and Will Neville perform stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jenn Welch: Totally Normal Stand-Up

[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): The brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata host this stand-up show, with tonight’s guests Mike O’Brien (wonderful writer/performer for Saturday Night Live), Ana Fabrega (The Special without Brett Davis), and Anthony Apruzzese at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Area 52 and The Curfew 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: 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 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: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

[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 theOld 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 upstairs theatre 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