NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/31/15

Mike Lawrence describes his winding career path, from seven years of working a drive-through window at McDonald’s to currently being a staff writer at Emmy Award-winning series Inside Amy Schumer, for my new podcast here.

New Year's Eve

Happy (almost) New Year! Ring in 2016 with laughs at one or more of the comedy venues below.

 Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy this New Year’s Eve (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

 [TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($25, which includes a glass of champagne—and, if you guess right, a t-shirt; making a reservation by calling (212) 989-9319 is highly recommended): 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 does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko), Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band), Michaela Murphy (The New Yorker), and Gastor Almonte (Stoops 2 Stages). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you on New Year’s Eve at The Liar Show

[$] 6:30 pm ($20; no min.): Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin, Aaron Berg, Derek Gaines, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club at 239 Third Avenue & 20th Street. (Please note The Stand has two other shows tonight, at 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm, but those are both sold out): The Stand’s Early New Year’s Eve

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Mark DeMayo, Dave Smith, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 plus 2-drink min.) and 10:00 pm ($98 plus 2-drink min.):The breakout star of last year’s Last Comic Standing (he wasn’t awarded the win, but totally deserved it) headlines at 7:30 pm and (for a whole lot more money) at 10:00 pm at the Carolines Comedy Club: Carolines New Year’s Eve: Joe Machi

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 8:15 pm, 10:15 pm, and 10:30 pm ($40 for 8:00 & 8:15 shows, $80 for 10:00 & 10:15 shows, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among 8:00 pm and 10:15 pm shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and 8:15 pm and 10:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar New Years Eve: Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Michael Che, Michelle Wolf, Ryan Hamilton, Artie Lange, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm ($10): Jay Malsky & Jenn Welch host a show/party that asks for your suggestions, your resolutions, your unresolved family issues, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre, followed by a dance party after midnight: Here’s What I Would Say with Jenn & Jay New Year’s Eve Spectacular

[$] 8:00 pm ($20; includes 3 drinks and champagne at midnight): New Year’s Eve party at NYC’s newest major comedy theatre, Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Annoyance New Year’s Eve Party

[$] 8:00 pm ($25 plus 2-drink min.) and 10:30 pm ($60 plus 2-drink min.): Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style) hosts stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club: Gotham’s New Year’s Eve with Lynne Koplitz

9:00 pm ($10; including free PBR & free champagne toast): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Shane Torres, Rojo Perez, Ayanna Dookie, and more performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary & Lucas Connolly: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious on New Year’s Eve

[$] 9:00 pm ($40): Buffet dinner at 9:00, comedy show at 10:00, post-show live streaming of Times Square from 10:30 on, with free champagne toast at midnight, hosted by Kim Novak & The Other Long Island Medium (Jenn Dodd & Tim Girrbach), with guests Christian Finnegan and Shannon Paul (stand-up), Andy Still (magic), and The Dreamstalks (music), all at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): New Year’s Eve Crystal Ball Drop & Dinner

Midnight ($30 at the door or $32.04 in advance online—please arrive early to nab a seat): NYC comics perform stand-up in the nude (audience members can choose to be clothed or naked) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Naked Show

New Year’s Eve 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 the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

6:00 pm ($3): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT downstairs lounge: Ladies 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

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Your chance to get on stage and make up scenes about how things are going to be better next year at The PIT downstairs lounge: The New Year’s Eve Resolutions Jam

[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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A dance party with DJ iMac at The PIT downstairs lounge: Save the Last Dance Party

For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at

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