NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/31/16

Dan Gurewitch and Anthony AtamanuikDan Gurewitch (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver), Melinda Taub (staff writer for TBS’ Full Frontal With Samantha Bee), and Robert George (New York Daily News Editorial Board) chug two beers on stage—served by the hilarious Anthony Atamanuik as Donald Trump—and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody Lindquist: Two Beers In (7:30 pm, $5, UCB East at 153 East 3rd 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:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Comics Ashley Brooke Roberts, Cyndi Freeman, Gray Levitt, Nisse Greenberg, and host Brad Lawrence try to solve the problems of audience members even though they’re highly unqualified to do so at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue):: Dear Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 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): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Cocoon Central Dance Team (delightful trio of immensely talented comedic dancers/actresses and rising stars Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani), singer Lily McQueen, “how to” expert Matt Beacon, and stand-up Kendall Farrell performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Griffin Newman & Joe Garden: Griff & Joe’s Memorial Day Memorial Service Spectacular

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

7:30 pm ($5): A weekly showcase for brand new shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—this time focused on Math, Science and Humanities at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: Pilot Season

7:30 pm ($5): John Moses, Lucas Connolly, Jenn Welch, Elsa Waithe, and May Wilkerson performing stand-up, sketch, or storytelling at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Rebecca Rush & Katrin Higher: Live and Let Laugh

8:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes with the lights turned off, using everyday objects to add layers of sound—like a radio play created on the spot—at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Dim-Prov: Improv in the Dark

[FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

8:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

9:00ish pm ($7): Caroline Rhea, Beth Stelling, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups each place three of their joke set-ups in a bucket and then fish out the bits of their fellow comics, forcing each comic to make up a set on the spot based on a colleague’s premises at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Patrick J. Reilly: Multiverse

9:30 pm ($5): Screenings of two new video sketch series from UCB digital groups Frohnnson & Frohnson and Cardinal Goose at the UCB East theatre: UCB Comedy Live

9:30 pm ($5): “50 improvisors, 3 beats, 2 group games, 1 blackout” at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Pushing Buttons: The 50 Person Speed Harold

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups pair up to brutally insult each other and then be judged for the effectiveness of their viciousness by Mike Lawrence, Big Jay Oakerson, and Yamaneika Saunders, with tonight’s combatants Jono Zalay vs. Doug Smith, Jaqi Furback vs. Jonas Barnes, Evan Jones vs. Joseph Robert, and Brendan Sagalow vs. Brad Stoll, at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The RoastMasters

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Matteo Lane (Comedy Central): Chemistry

Tuesday 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 ($5): A chance for writers and actors to walk in and try out sketches on stage (casting begins at 5:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kristen O’Brien: Cold Cream

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: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:30 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, typically hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[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): Tuesday After Class Jam

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

 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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