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.
Dylan Marron (Welcome to Nightvale, 2015 Drama Desk Nominee) and Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) bring you “a real-time middle school talent show performed by two grown adults:” Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite (11:00 pm, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)…
…and Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, book Tasteful Nudes, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), stand-up Roy Wood Jr., and singer Jean Grae perform with hosts Jessica Williams (star correspondent of The Daily Show) & Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code): 2 Dope Queens (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)
More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight
(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 an open-to-all improv jam at 6:00 pm; group Gypsy Danger, which includes Katie Hartman and Evan Kaufman at 8:00 pm; and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday
7:00 pm ($5): “There’s a fine line between ‘funny’ and ‘too far’ and Joe Albano is going to try his best to find out where it is. This is a show for joke nerds, by joke nerds” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Where Is the Line?
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Storytellers share nostalgic tales from the 80s and 90s with hosts Robin Gelfenbien & Danny Artese at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): A Very Special Episode
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Vincent Moore “personifies a myriad of animals in their natural habitats,” and a play about “marital problems and meth addiction, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Planet World: A One-Mammal Show and Ocean’s Lake
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—on some weeks veterans, on others ones you may never have heard of—performing for this free weekly show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) hosted by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, and/or Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Matt Goldich, Wil Sylvince, Kevin McCaffrey, Myka Fox, DC Benny, and more performing for 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?
9:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups perform in twos, with tonight’s comics including Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Freddy G: The Duo Show
[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 hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show
9:30 ($5): Over a dozen talented female improvisors—including Lauren Adams, Natasha Vaynblat, and Caitlin Bitzegaio—parody all-gal opinion shows such as The View, making up most of the show on the spot based on a loose outline at at the UCB Chelsea theatre. The result is often proof that “less is more,” but if you’re very patient there are worthwhile moments to be had from The Female Gaze
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): This super-affordable weekly club stand-up show features Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code, host of Chemistry), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): $5 Funnies at The Stand
[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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by Chris Laker: The Show
Wednesday Open Mics & Jams
[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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) 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
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump
[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie
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 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)
Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs
Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.