NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 7/30/16

Best New York Stand-Up with Myq Kaplan is a new show produced by me that lives up to its name—the debut next Friday August 5th includes Mike Lawrence, Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, and more TBA, plus host Myq Kaplan offering observations following each set. For details on this group of comedy giants, please click here. For further info on the show and to nab tickets (a mere $10 each), please click here.

Phoebe RobinsonOn this unique show—which tonight is entirely free—as stand-ups perform their sets their material is brought to visual life by animators. Tonight’s comics are Phoebe Robinson…

Seaton Smith, Seaton Smith, Matteo Lane, Amber Nelson, Rob Haze, and Katie McVay, produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Mehran Khaghani—and followed at 11:30 by a free dance party with DJ Pumpkin Patch: Picture This! (10:00 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

24 Hours…and The PIT continues hosting 24 uninterrupted hours of improv that began on Friday at 7:00 pm, and today includes Butt Stuff (9:00 am), /Switch/ (11:00 am), Sidecoach with Kevin Laibson (noon), Improvised Shakespeare (4:00 pm), and The Bat: Improv in the Dark (5:00 pm). A mere $10 buys you admission to the entire event for as long as you care to stay and experience the 24 Hour Improv Show (now through 7:00 pm, $10, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th Street)

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: Ben Conrad, Lizzy Mazzucchelli, Will Carey, and Will Watkins each perform a different 10-minute stand-up every Saturday in April at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Grant Lindahl: The 8

6:00 pm ($5): Four Indie improv troupes performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

6:00 pm ($10): Duo The Raving Jaynes (Amy Larimer & Jamie Graham) combine dance and theatrical improv to create highly physical, spontaneous pieces of dance/theater. Tonight they both perform and host improv musical theatre duo Beth Slack & Alissa Alter at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Happy Hour with The Raving Jaynes & Friends

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

7:00 pm ($10): Most longform improv in NYC follows a format known as The Harold. This show allows Improvisors to explore other varieties of longform at the UCB East theatre: Crash Course

7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Big Black Car 2, plus another improv group TBA, make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC2

7:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Selfish Green Men + Form

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Hilariously odd amateur videos from the Found Footage Festival, plus stand-up or sketch from Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers; Louie, Broad City), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Ester Steinberg (Oxygen’s Funny Girls), John Wyatt Haskell (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), and Marlena Rodriguez (writer for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), all performing at Brooklyn’s Aviv (496 Morgan Avenue; take L to Graham Avenue) hosted by Ethan Beach (MTV): Oh, Such a Good Show, Oh

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Kelly Kreye—takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

7:30 pm ($7): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Electoral Dysfunction

7:30 pm ($10): Sean Reidy & Sam Jackel confess actual secrets to each other and then perform improv scenes based on their revelations at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Confession

7:30 pm ($5): Sandy Chansamone and her comedy friends celebrate her turning 30 on August 1st by performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Will Neville: The Sandy Chansamone Awesome Time (S.C.A.T.) Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Gypsy Danger (which includes brilliant comics Katie Hartman and Evan Kaufman, and which will make up a feature film on the spot) and The Baldwins (which includes brilliant comics Micah Sherman and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gypsy Danger: The Improvised Movie and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A comedic play written by Rollie Williams, with a cast of four, in which “a deadly collapse traps you and the other miners deep and dark, down beneath the surface of the Earth with almost no hope of rescue” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dark Down Deep Down Dark

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($15 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Top comics (not announced) are interviewed at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Inside Joke

8:00 pm ($5): A comedic play written by Matt Maragno in which “Man has taken dominion over the earth, the ocean, the air, and the beasts of nature….but one beast should have been left alone. Join a relentless poacher, a drunk bastard, a guy from New Jersey, and a cryptozoologist out for justice” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): The Curse of the Yeti

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Master improvisor Ed Herbstman (co-owner of The Magnet) & Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet theatre as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv group that includes such talents as Evan Kaufman (Your Love Our Musical) takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from sharp comics John Murray, Sean Casey, Jackie Jennings, Glenn Boozan, Joanna Bradley, Chad Carter, and Caroline Cotter at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

9:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups performing for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Experiment Comedy Gallery (20 Broadway) hosted by Camille Harris, Camille Theobald, Michael Lewis, and/or Mo Fathelb: The Weekend Drop

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Elise Edwards: Discount Disco

9:00 pm ($5): Three indie improv troupes perform for 20 minutes each, plus a final set by host group New Greta, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): New Greta Has Friends: Indie Improv

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): From the team that created the amazing Hold On To Your Butts, riveting foley artist/actress Blair Busbee and shape-shifting performers Matt Zambrano, Kyle Schaefer, and Nick Abeel create live on stage a “shot for shot” parody of the first Lord of the Rings movie, directed by the always wonderfully inventive Kristin McCarthy Parker at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Fly, You Fools!

9:30 pm ($5): Long-form improv with a playful title directed by Conner O’Malley at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse

9:30 pm ($10): Stand-ups Lisa Harmon, Aaron Kominos-Smith, Tony Jackson, LaTice Klappa, Akash Bahsin, Blake Carter, and Sam Mushman performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Cindee Weiss & Angela Cobb: Fun Size and Venti

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), and Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die)—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

10:00 pm ($5): Comedic dance and more springboarding off Swan Lake at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge: Swan Creek

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each week—which tonight is Radio Play—at The Magnet theatre: The Cast: Radio Play Edition

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

10:30 pm ($5): “Two brothers need a good night’s sleep because they have something big in the morning; but the night has other plans for them” written & starring John Higgins & Cory Snearowski at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Two Guys Just Tryna Sleep

10:30 pm ($5): An audience member with a decision to make becomes the basis of an improvised court trial at The PIT downstairs lounge: The People’s Court

10:30 pm ($5): A parody of The Bachelorette at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Kim Parker is The Bachelorette…Live

11:00 pm ($10): Diverse forms of improv from a wide variety of groups across NYC at The PIT upstairs theatre produced by Sharif Ali & Mark Stetson: World’s Fair

[FREE] 11:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tommy Kang: Last Stop Laughs

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

Midnight ($5): Dan Glaser, Nick Guercio, and Pat Regan host a roast of the sweet baked confection Red Velvet Cake at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Baker’s Club Presents: Roast of Red Velvet Cake

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

4:00 pm opening party, 5:00-7:00 pm show ($5): “IndieShinDig is a collective that helps writers & performers work on passion projects and get work onstage. To celebrate the launch of their website and monthly intensive, IndieShinDig is having a party! Join us from 4:00 to 5:00 for Happy Hour with out team, followed by a showcase of new work and an open mic from 5:00 to 7:00. Bring your jokes, characters, parody songs, and share with us” at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): IndieShinDig Party & Open Mic

4:00 pm ($5; your ticket provides $3 off a drink at nearby Pioneers Bar): Walk-in lottery style open mic (sign-up starting at 3:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Swing Riders Open Mic

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show, with names drawn out of a bucket, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Rachel Coleman: Let’s Be Friends

[FREE] 5:00 pm-7:00 pm: Walk-in comedy open mic (lottery system, with sign-up starting at 4:30 pm) providing each selected comic 4 minutes on stage at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck & Veronica Garza: Murray Povich Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Put your name in a bucket for this open mic for stand-up, sketch, music, or anything else you want to work out on stage at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Josh Bates & Brian Pisano: Make Out Party: An Open Mic

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for character bits, stand-up, etc. at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Elise Edwards: Discount Disco

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

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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