NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/22/16

Sasheer Zamata Party TimeSasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live) hosts Jermaine Fowler (creating & starring in new CBS sitcom; star of Showtime special Give ‘Em Hell, Kid; MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, TruTV), Yamaneika Saunders (Last Comic Standing), and Molly Austin (TruTV’s Late Night Snack) performing stand-up, plus music from singer Brittany Campbell: Sasheer Zamata Outdoor Party Time (8:30 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s The Landing/Courtyard at Industry City at 638 Second Avenue)

More recommendations for the best in NYC comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

7:00 pm ($7): A one-man sketch production by Pat May in which he has to take on the characters of all the friends who promised to participate but failed to turn up at The Magnet theatre: Pat May’s Not Solo Show but Greatest Sketch Show Ever

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, a sketch show about the NYC subway: BEENG BOONG: The Great & Powerful MTA

…and in the second half of this double-bill, dynamite musical improvisors including Jeff Hiller, Aaron Jackson, Ashley Ward, and Lauren Adams make up stories with songs: Rumpleteaser: Musical Improv

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) An Emmy-nominated comedy writer & stand-up who’s made numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie, Horace and Pete, Inside Amy Schumer, and HBO’s The Sopranos headlines tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club (1626 Broadway): Nick DiPaolo

7:30 pm ($10): Two PIT downstairs lounge improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

7:30 pm ($7): Storytellers (not announced) are inspired by TV clips to share nostalgic tales from the 80s and 90s with hosts Robin Gelfenbien & Danny Artese at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): A Very Special Episode

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Stand-ups Judah Friedlander, Mike Lawrence, Bonnie McFarlane, Sherrod Small, Derek Gaines, and Graham Kay performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics, following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now returning to The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Political Subversities

8:00 pm ($5): Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1) records his first comedy album, Come be a part of it at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Nick Turner Comedy Album Recording

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myka Fox (SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Matt Wayne (Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, co-host of See You in Hell), Langston Kerman, Irene Morales, Andy Curtain, and improv group Teen Drama performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up: Myka Fox, Ben Kronberg, Matt Wayne, and More

8:00 pm ($10): The Absurd Comedy Collective seeks to provide “a safe space for women-identifying people of color and all genderqueer, non binary, and trans people to create and perform comedy” hosted by the collective’s founder Rachel Kaly, and performed by its students and two teachers, Rekha Shankar (MTV’s Decoded) and Halcyon Person (Nickelodeon), concluding with an open mic to include the audience, all at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Absurd Comedy Collective Presents: Funny Ppl

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Sebastian Conelli (2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Silvija Ozols, Shannon O’Neill, Don Fanelli, Alexandra Dickson, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:00 pm ($10): Comics have heated arguments about trivial things at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Great Nerd Debate

9:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from groups Strongman Douglas and First Runner Up at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Boogie Manja

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Gay comics Kelley Quinn & Chris Burns improvise a heterosexual married couple at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Straight Marriage

9:30 pm ($10): A five-guy improv group performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

9:30 pm ($10): Stand-up from Katie Barbaro and Derek Humfrey, and rap from Soce the Elemental Wizard, all performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Mike Gregorek—who might invite you on stage: Man Interviews Audience

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnet theatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

10:00 pm ($5): A 90-minute variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Tom Brink & Keele Howard-Stone: Wolf Spirit with Tom and Keele

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors James Dwyer, Craig Rowin, Connor O’Malley, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and Shaun Diston make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Nato Green (Totally Biased), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): All-gal comedy variety—sketch, storytelling, improv, music—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Hannah Levinson & Alyssa Lott: The Bada Bing Show

10:30 pm ($7): Comics perform “cold” in sketches they’ve never seen until they’re handed the pages moments before the show begins at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Flying Blind

11:00 pm ($5): A mix of stand-up, music, and improv at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Carmen Christopher: The Juice

11:00 pm ($5): Three comics and a singer perform at The PIT upstairs theatre: Fags, Hags, and Gags

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): At the Magnet theatre, stylized musical improv duo Ariel Dumas & Jennifer Millsat perform scenes inspired by the works of Stephen Sondheim: Leotard Foundation: Improvised Sondheim

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Icelandic comedic musical duo Elisa & Selma sing songs and aim to make you laugh as they teach you about Iceland, elves, and life: Bergmál Band

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): From improvisors Carrie McCrossen & Eric Gersen: “Think you’ve felt sadness? Wrong! Think you’ve explored the human condition? Nope. You’ve never experienced drama until you’ve been to Just for Tears, the premiere showcase of up-and-coming talent in the dramatic arts, featuring tragedies that would make Shakespeare cry and Sophocles jizz his toga” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Just For Tears: The Biggest Names in Drama

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A karaoke party at UCB East hosted by Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

[FREE] Midnight: Comics present “sure-fire, can’t miss, get-in-on-the-ground-floor, knock your socks off ideas that will not only make a lot of money but will make lives better across the board” and then request your money (whether you give is entirely up to you) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Dan King & Ben Conrad: Snake Oil

Friday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sydney Beveridge & Davey Melch: Queens Open Mic Fridays

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 (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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): Walk-in open mic that allows everyone to get on stage at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): $1 Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

[ALMOST FREE] 6:30 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Happy Hour

7:00 pm ($5): Show up at 6:45 pm to place your name in a dog bowl for the chance to get called up on stage and jam with veteran improvisors at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-up starts at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Seena Jon: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack Open Mic

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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