NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/16/16

Mike BirbigliaBrilliant comics Mike Birbiglia…

Kate Micucci…Kate Micucci, John Lutz, Tami Sagher, Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, and Gary Richardson improvise for two back-to-back shows hosted by Ira Glass and aimed to be broadcast on Ira’s super-popular TAL: This American Life Improv Taping (6:00 pm & 8:00 pm; $5 per show; SOLD OUT, but you can probably get in if you arrive early on the stand-by line and are okay with standing; UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

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): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Myka Fox (SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), and Jen Clark performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Forrest Haigh: Crowd Sourced Comedy

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): 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, book Tasteful Nudes, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Shonali Bhowmik (singer, host, Variety SHAC), Michelle Biloon (Chelsea Lately), Amanda Baramki (FOX), and Nathan Macintosh performing stand-up or music at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($42 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’s history whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range, and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

7:30 pm ($5): Clown guests (not announced) and clown host Icky Shirley Dangle performing a silly show at The PIT downstairs lounge: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

7:30 pm ($5): Two teams of storytellers compete for your applause at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tim Unkenholz & Liz Phillips: The Rivalry

7:30 pm ($5): All-gal variety show at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Liisa Murray & Meghan Ross: That Time of the Month

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Superb stand-ups Gary Gulman, Mike Lawrence, Rachel Feinstein, Ari Shaffir, and Jim Florentine performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): White rapper Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1) hosts a talk show with a live band, with tonight’s guests Rebecca Vigil (rising star powerhouse improv singer; Your Love Our Musical, The Vigilante), Jon Laster, Anna Wise, Kat Burdick, Jeni Aron, Danny Cohen, and The 6th Street Snake at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Right Now! with Carolyn Castiglia

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Object Work (long-form improv revolving around physical objects on stage), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Robert Dean, Caitlin Peluffo, Kelsey Caine, and Johan Jonezy Ankarcrona performing at Brooklyn’s Hungry Ghost Cafe/Bar (781 Fulton Street, between Fulton and South Oxford Streets) hosted by Keenan Steiner: Comedy at the Corner

8:00 pm ($10): A young all-guy comedy group performing improv and/or sketch at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of musicians (funny or otherwise) trying out material in a laid-back way at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by Caitlin Cook: Fake Birthday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by stand-up Nick Maritato and improv troupe Priest and the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Improv from indie troupe’s Midnight Society, Jolly Roger, and Emily Bogue & Friends, sketch from Kasey Borger & Amy Wright, and characters from Patrick Robinson, all performing at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Nick Ramirez: Leslie

8:30 pm ($10): Boston comics from group Improv Asylum and from YouTube’s Simply Unemployable perform sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): The T

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): 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, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of 2 Dope Queens), Dan Licata, and Jordan Temple performing stand-up, plus music from band Frisky Kids, at Brooklyn’s Sunnyvale (1031 Grand Street) hosted by Harris Mayersohn: Just a Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A musical comedy about women brutally managed by nuns in Ireland’s notorious Magdalene Laundries co-written and directed by Jed Resnik & Philip Markle at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Magdalene Sisters

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East typically hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts & Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): A sketch comedy show “covering everything from a chance encounter with Taylor Swift at the airport to a befriending of strangers at a shooting range” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Bingo

9:00 pm ($6): Stand-ups Missy Baker, Will Miles, Brad Austin, Rae Sanni, Saurin Choksi, and Liz Days performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sue Funke & Katie Compa: Happy Place Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Non-Daily Show

9:30 pm ($10): A two-person play by Marina & Nicco about a man and woman in a hospital waiting room at The PIT upstairs theatre: Standing By

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC magicians try out new material, with some stand-up thrown in, at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by mind reader Eric Dittelman (America’s Got Talent, Ellen): Amazeballs

[FREE] 10:30 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced & hosted by Chris Gersbeck, Lauren Hope Krass, and/or Peter Bandyk: Casual Sets

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): UCB weekend improv group The Curfew and Improv group Blush compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

[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

11:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Jon Laster (BET), and more performing stand-up at the UCB East theatre hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons & Lance Weiss: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

5:45 pm-8:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Weekly walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 4-5 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic Thursday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character 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

6:30 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] 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

[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

[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

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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