NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/8/16

The Chris Gethard ShowSeason 2 of The Chris Gethard Show concluded last Wednesday with Chris combating his nemesis Vacation Jason (the wonderful Riley Soloner); but if you missed that, or any other episodes, you can watch TCGS anytime online. With the Del Close Marathon coming up, I especially recommend the delightful UCB reunion two weeks ago with Paul Sheer & Jason Mantzoukas—which features Chris thanking the duo for saving his life, and provides an ending worthy of the setup—which you can watch right now by clicking here.

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 Lovers, which includes the spectacular Dana Krashin and Tracy Mull at 7:00 pm; and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Kyle Ayers placed an ad on Craigslist claiming to be the CEO/Producer of a major adult film company. He asked for 3-4 page porn scripts from aspiring adult film writers. What he didn’t expect was to get over 1,000 responses in one week…which he now has comedians and friends act out verbatim on stage, for better or worse. This month is the show’s Carnival Edition, featuring homemade games created by comics, and then followed by the actual show with Jo Firestone, Sasheer Zamata, Anna Drezen, Reformed Whores, Josh Gondelman, Ben Kronberg, and many more at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): First Comes Love: Carnival Edition

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, The Nightly Show), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Andrew Mayer, and Nate Fernald performing at the only stand-up show at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Evan Kaufman: The Sensible Show

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[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 ($5): Jay Malsky (highly talented, super-charged improvisor & character comic; FringeNYC) hones his skills to become the new co-host with Kelly Ripa via this interview parody show, with tonight’s guests musical improv powerhouse Rebecca Vigil (rising star; Your Love Our Musical, The Vigilante), PIT Artistic Director Stephen Stout, and stand-up Meghan O’Malley at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Live with Kelly and Jay

7:30 pm ($5): A one-man show by Marcus Bishop-Wright at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Marcus Rebellion: Seven Sketches About How You’re Racist

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features three house groups making up scenes on the spot: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Terrific comics Connor Ratliff (hosting as George Lucas), Aaron Jackson, Dan Chamberlain, Josh Sharp, Natasha Vaynblat, and more demonstrate how funny they are at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The UCBT Summer Showcase

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “People often ask me, ‘Amanda, how do I get a summer body like yours?’ Well, I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s not easy—you have to commit to a demanding regimen of ‘reading’—preferably whilst lying down, fully clothed, and directly in front of an air conditioner. Lucky for you all, I am hosting a boot camp to get Reading Body Season off to an XTREME start: Book Club Edition!” with authors Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Cintra Wilson (author of Fear And Clothing: Unbuckling American Style and A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease), Michael Schulman (author of Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep; The New Yorker), and Rebecca Traister (author of All The Single Ladies and Big Girls Don’t Cry; New York Magazine) at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): An eclectic group of comics & writers—who tonight are Jo Firestone, Jean Grae, Carolyn Castiglia, and Murtaza Hussain—performing stand-up and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by recent UK transplants Jon Ronson (New York Times bestselling author of The Men Who Stare At Goats and more; screenwriter; This American Life) and Maeve Higgins (Irish TV & radio star): I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics sing songs they normally perform in the shower, with the multi-talented Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/musician; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko), Mike Kelton, and Amanda Shechtman at Sid Gold’s Request Room (165 West 26th Street) hosted by Anna Roisman & Lauren Ireland with Joe McGinty on piano, and followed by piano karaoke at 9:00 pm: The Shower Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

8:30 pm ($10): A “crazy” sketch comedy show at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Tom’s Inssane

9:00 pm ($5): David Feldman (Emmy winner, co-creator of the The Jack and Triumph Show), Myka Fox (SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), and other comics performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck: Everythign Is Dumbn: A Comedy & Music Showcase

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing for this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, dynamite musical improvisors including Jeff Hiller, Aaron Jackson, Ashley Ward, and Lauren Adams make up stories with songs at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Rumpleteaser: Musical Improv

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a sketch show parodying Hollywood’s depiction of women and motherhood: M.I.L.P: Moms I’d Like to Portray

9:30 pm ($5): Comedy videos are screened at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The No Excuses Short Video Party Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Superb comics Katie Hartman, David Carl, Beth White, and Paul Gutkowski host this new show that invites guest improviors—who tonight are Meg Griffiths Anderson, Jenny Bareilles, Kevin Laibson, Brian McCann, and Chris Roberti—to join them in pulling keys from a bowl and forming new couples, each of whom make up on the spot how they met and became lovers at The PIT downstairs lounge: Key Party

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes about obsessions at the UCB East theatre: The Fix

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): 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) hosts this new “anything might happen comedy chaos” monthly show. Tonight “Ashley, a recent college grad, is finally launching her one-woman show after all these years. The role of Ashley will be played by Sunita Mani, Tessa Hersh, and Connor Ratliff. The role of Ashley’s Mother will be played by Matt Dennie” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow

Wednesday 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Walk-in open mic storytelling show (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm), with each yarn-spinner getting up to 8 minutes to tell a true and funny tale at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Mike Guild: Flynn’s Mic

[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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez & Parker Denton: Recess

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Four booked NYC stand-ups, plus one open spot for an audience member whose name is pulled from a bucket, plus drop-in spots for up to five TV-credited comics who care to walk in! Spots are at least 5 minutes each, but go up by a minute per comic for every TV-credited drop-in spot that isn’t filled (e.g., if no drop-ins appear, every comic will receive up to 10 minutes per set). It all happens at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Daniel Ahrens: Drop-In/The Bucket

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

[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 downstairs theatre hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Camel Butt

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans at UCB East hosted by members of improv group The Curfew: Rotisserie 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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