NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/1/16

Happy New Year 2016

Wishing you a joyous, wondrous, and hilarious 2016

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

 6:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander, Dave Attell, Michelle Wolf, Ryan Hamilton, Mark Normand, Marina Franklin, Big Jay Oakerson, and many other superb stand-ups spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 7:30, 9:30, nd 11:30 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar New Years

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 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): Ben Bailey, Moody McCarthy, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 plus 2-drink min.):The breakout star of 2014’s Last Comic Standing (he wasn’t awarded the win, but totally deserved it) headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Carolines New Years: Joe Machi

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE DUMPLINGS!] 7:30 pm: Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Jenn Welch (co-host of Stand-Up Showdown and The Guilt Trip), Samuel Comroe, Saurin Choksi, Molly Austin, and Brian Parise performing stand-up at Brit Pack Studios (34 Pell Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan & LeClerc Andre Darguin: Chinatown Throwdown Comedy Show

7:30 pm ($5): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Dyna Pidgin and a comedic play about teen detectives at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dyno Pidgin and Tween Twin Detectives

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mashup of stand-up, sketch, and minor league sports gimmickry—cheap beer, mascots, questionable seat upgrades, kiss cameras, hot dog cannons, and more—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Instantacular

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): On this unique show, as stand-ups do their sets their material is brought to visual life by animators. Tonight’s comics are Erik Bergstrom, Nick Vatterott, Will Miles, and Jake Flores performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Picture This!

9:30 pm ($5): Matteo Lane, Liza Treyger, and more perform in this parody of movies & musicals at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Devil Wears Prada: The Musical, featuring Wicked

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Stand New Years

10:30 pm ($5): A rotating pool of improvisors perform in groups of five at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Singles Motel

[FREE] Midnight: Petey DeAbreu invites three of his stand-ups friends to joke around with him at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Petey’s World

New Year’s Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 11:00 am-1:00 pm: Stand-up walk-in open mic at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sandy Chansamone: New Year’s Day QED Stand-Up Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 1:00 pm-3:00 pm: Storytelling walk-in open mic at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Will Neville: New Year’s Day QED Storytelling Open Mic

[FREE] 3:00 pm-5:00 pm: Anything goes (stand-up, poetry, music, etc.) walk-in open mic at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Martha Cipolla: New Year’s Day QED Anything Goes Open Mic

[FREE] 5:00 pm-7:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Kimberly Sparkle Stewart & Sydney Beveridge: QED Open Mic Fridays

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 (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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

[ALMOST FREE] 6:30 pm ($1): You’re invited to perform with veteran improvisors—and to work on the improv skills you resolve to improve in 2016—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm-8:30 pm: Improv jam at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): New Year’s Day QED Improv Jam

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-up starts at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Seena Jon: Mic and Cheese

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)

Littlefield
(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 BestNewYorkComedy.com…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 hy@hyreviews.com.

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