NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/10/16

If you’re funny and a talented writer, please consider submitting a short story to my fiction anthology Ghosts on Drugs. This book is shaping up to be a notable collection likely to expose you and your work to a wide range of new audiences. Pay is an above-market-rate upfront advance, plus a share of the royalties down the line. For full details, please click here.

March 2016 Republican DebateWatch the Republican Debate live while it’s being heckled a la Mystery Science Theatre 3000 by actual former MST3K co-host Frank Conniff, Myka Fox (freelance contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), and John Fugelsang (Sirius XM, ABC’s America’s Funniest Videos): Republican Debate Watch Party (8:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

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:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Superb “overactors” Pat Swearingen, Jay Malsky, and more make up a ridiculous soap-operish TV movie on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Made For TV Movie

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): In this last of this week’s UCB for-industry events, the wonderful Jo FIrestone hosts a variety of talented sketch and improv comics—including a fully improvised new episode of Seinfeld—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: UCBT’s I’m Cool Showcase Finale

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, 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 Thursday

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Matt Koff, Tim Dillon, Sarah Kennedy, Dave Rosinsky, Omar Shaukat, Amanda Luken, and David Spector performing stand-up, plus music from band The Spookfish, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

7:30 pm ($5): Leah Evans & Matthew Schrader make up a fast-paced duo-dialogue mini-play in the style of an Aaron Sorkin movie or TV series at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Boozeroom

7:30 pm ($5): Matteo Lane, Carolyn Castiglia, Kevin McCaffrey, Rojo Perez, and Ramon Rivas performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The greatest science fiction anthology radio show of all time was X Minus One. Improvisors who know their genre history created this show in which they make up scenes of awe, mystery, and wonder at The PIT upstairs theatre—with an opening act from musical improv genius Evan Kaufman (Your Love Our Musical, North Coast) making up 1940s-style tunes: X Plus One

[TOP PICK] [FREE—and FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), Emma Willman (Sirius Radio), and Lily Karlin share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by the spectacular Natalie Wall: Awkward Poop…and the City

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Mortified

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Two veteran house improv groups, art-inspired improv from The Forgers Guild, themed improv show Hall of Mirrors (“every piece of this show reflects back some facet of every other piece, revealing the strange and spooky undercurrent of meaningful coincidence that might just underpin the universe as we know it”), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): LGBTQ comics Aaron Jackson (rising star and member of ace improv group What I Did For Love), Ginny Leise, Emma Willmann, Chris Doucette, and Gabe Morales performing stamd-up or storytelling at Chinatown’s The Unicorn (105 Henry Street; take the F to East Broadway) hosted by Bobby Hankinson: Kweendom

8:00 pm ($5): Three improv house groups 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): Detention + Gun Club + Dim Wit

8:30 pm ($5): Character-based sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Rachel Joravsky & Rachel Pegram: Peas in a Pod

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A comedic play written by Ryan Douglass, with a cast of seven directed by Anthony Oberbeck, spun off the fact “someone wrote a script titled Cut-Throat with Charlton Heston in mind for the lead and was able to hand it to him. Not much is known about the script other than Heston’s own belief that it ‘seems to have been written without adequately researching the realities of competition tennis.’ Unfortunately for us and Western culture, the movie was never made. Luckily, Ryan Douglass has written what he thinks that movie was probably about” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Cut-Throat

9:00 pm ($5): Riley Soloner (irresistible sketch comic specializing in silly characters; The Chris Gethard Show), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Robert Dean (co-host of Comedy at Alligator Lounge), and Ramon Rivas performing stand-up or characters at UCB East guest-hosted by Chris Thayer: Fresh Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): Todd Barry, Emma Willmann, and more at the only comedy club in the East Village, hosted by Sachin Shaan Bansal: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Eight performers from the Ten Bones Theatre Company attempt to recreate cult classic Top Gun, with each using only what he or she can remember from seeing the movie years ago. To add to the fun are a few rules: “Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience; performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth; one lucky audience member will be given a bell that they can ring three times—once rung, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in Top Gun but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Top Gun…Entirely From Memory

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (cast member of SNL), Tim Dillon (Last Comic Standing), hosts Nathan Yaffe & Caldwell Tanner (The Drawfee Channel), and more performing stand-up or sketch at the UCB Chelsea theatre in the name of a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Williams & Akash Bhasin: Death Comedy Jam

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” 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): Improv groups Fuck That Shit and Higgins compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Rising star Langan Kingsley (What I Did For Love) and Nat Townsen (VICE, host of Downtown Variety) are guests on this show hosted by Gary Richardson, John Reynolds, Carmen Christopher, and Joey Dundale at the UCB East theatre: $$$

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 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: Stand-up open mic in which 15 walk-ins whose names are drawn from a bucket get to tell jokes on stage for 4 minutes each at UCB East hosted Brandon Scott Wolf & 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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com 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 (34 Pell Street, 2nd 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 a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursday After Class 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 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 downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith Jam

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

The Stand

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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