A glorious collection of hilarious film clips and guest movie experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends, with Star Trek as this month’s theme: Kevin Geeks Out About Star Trek (9:30 pm, $15 [buy in advance, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas usually sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)
More recommendations for the best in NYC 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 ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, national comedy treasure) hones material for his one-man show about the ethnic history of NYC at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: New York Story
7:00 pm ($5): Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Drew Michael (Comedy Central), Rae Sanni, and Willie Zabar performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Chris Duffy: The Sensible Show
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18): A woman who lives on her toilet for two years is the basis for this extraordinary play by Max Mondi that was among the very best at last year’s FringeNYC (my #4 out of roughly 200 productions). Don’t miss this chance to catch one of the smartest and most moving shows to have come along in indie theatre during this brief revival run at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Maybe Tomorrow
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12-$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): Stand-up & storytelling springboarding off topics tackled by The Ricki Lake Show—fat friends, two-timing traitorous tramps, and so on. Tonight’s theme is “You Say You’re Bi, I Say It’s a Lie…Today You Have to Declare Yourself!” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Matt Smith: Go Ricki!
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code, host of Chemistry), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and Giulio Gallarotti performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Wednesday: Sean Patton, Dan Soder, and More
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor, author of How to Weep in Public), Steve Whalen, Steve DeSiena, Carmen Lagala, Ryan T. Bennett, and Junior Assassin performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Chris Calogero & Courtney Maginnis: Not Quite Midnight
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): An eclectic group of comics & writers—who tonight are Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Alison Leiby (VICE; host of It’s a Long Story), Ariel Leve (award-winning journalist, author of An Abbreviated Life), and Kameelah Janan Rasheed (artist-archivist)—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: 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): Kelly Cooper, Caitlin Dullea, and Thomas Fricilone perform a play described as follows: “The siblings run, The siblings shout, The siblings throw things all about; They do not want to go to bed, Too many voices in their heads; They run and hide when MomDad seeks, Crawl under here, shh do not speak” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Siblings
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, and other NYC comics “discussing the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this weekly podcast taping at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks
[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Mike Lebovitz, Liz Barrett, Dustin Chafin, Chase Bernstein, Andrew Tavin, and Kenny Warren 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): David Feldman (Emmy winner, co-creator of the The Jack and Triumph Show), Kelsey Caine, Caitlin McKee, and Argon Fritz 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
[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): Improvisers springboard scenes off of educational videos of the 1950s: “Who could forget the groundbreaking Changing Deviant Behavior film that taught us girls how to be adored by our peers, or Advice on How to Undress in Front of Your Husband? Clips of these wondrous educational films will be shown and hilarity will ensue” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Hannah Levinson: Girls Beware: Are You People?
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on Last Comic Standing), Alex Pavone, Sarah Tollemache, Sarah Tiana, and Jourdain Fisher performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Sean Patton, Dan Soder, Monroe Martin, and More
[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] 11:00 pm ($5): A mix of characters and improv in which anyone might stop by when the doorbell rings—surprising both the audience and hosts Brian Faas & Dom Manzolillo—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Ding Dong!
Wednesday Open Mics & Jams
[FREE] 6:00 pm: Walk-in open mic storytelling show, with each yarn-spinner (selected via names from a bucket) 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 Vincent Chang: 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] 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 theatre 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
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: 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 lounge hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie
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
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.