NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/12/16

Judah FriedlanderOne of the very finest stand-ups in the country performs solo for an hour in Queens, with tickets a mere $5: World Champion Judah Friedlander (8:30 pm, $5, The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC at 10-93 Jackson Avenue)…

Campfire Stories…and 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 “anything might happen comedy chaos” monthly show. Tonight, “gather around the campfire and listen to scary stories in the dark! Heavily sponsored by Fritos and Duncan Toys” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow (11:00 pm, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

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 ($5): Staged readings of works so bad they’re good—unsellable screenplays, baffling dramatic works, hardcore fan fiction—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), hosted by Alex Estrada & Ronan Babbitt: Table Work

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Ruined!

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Josh Gondelman (writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The New Yorker), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Abbi Crutchfield (Broad City, MTV, VH1), and Shalewa Sharpe performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by 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): The Sensible Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times) tries out stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Rob Cantrell

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm-midnight: Five 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] [$] 7:30 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

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): Michelle Collins (The View) and friends perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Magic Mich XXL

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): An eclectic group of comics & writers—who tonight are Langston Kerman (cast member of HBO’s Insecure; Adam DeVine’s House Party; written for Chris Rock’s hosting of the Oscars and Comedy Central’s Problematic), Dr. Ben Michaelis (clinical psychologist), Langston Kerman, Steven Phillips-Horst (host of Talk Hole), and Amy Wilson (author)—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: Comedic storytellers Sean O’Brien, Karolena Theresa, Alex Monstre, and Adam Selbst performing on the premise “Sometimes people are dicks. Then they tell us about it onstage. It’s great!” at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) for this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Nick Padilla: Antagonist Storytelling Series (ASS)

8:00 pm ($10): Peter Michael Marino improvises a soul-baring one-man show inspired by interactions with the audience (and with the help of stellar director Michole Biancosino) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Show Up

8:30 pm ($10): A one-man show by Rachel Joravsky about her white privilege, self-hatred, and more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Thirsty White Ally

8:30 pm ($10): An over-the-top pop culture interactive game show in which “the audience is divided into teams and pitted against each other based on their mobile phone choice: iPhone vs. Others” (for a video sample, please click here) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Miss Behave’s Gameshow

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Ryan Hamilton (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Josh Gondelman (writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The New Yorker), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; The Chris Gethard Show; comedy album Good Year), Janelle James (@midnight), Tim Dillon, and Natalie Jose performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Gutter Bar (200 N 14th Street) hosted by Saurin Choksi: Comedians You Should Know

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), Christian Finnegan (co-star of A&E’s Black and White; Conan O’Brien; three Comedy Central specials, Netflix special The Fun Part; TBS, VH1, MSNBC, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Subhah Agarwal (TruTV, Fusion), Mary Houlihan, and Argon Fritz performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck & Veronica Garza: Everythign Is Dumbn

[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: Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories, comedy album True Love), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, Louie, co-host of Fresh Out, author of Felines of New York), Alex Grubard (Comedy Central), Natalie Jose (Last Comic Standing), Gary Levitt (co-host of I Don’t Get It), Justin Williams, and Tyler Richardson performing stand-up 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): An improv pianist plays for four improv acts—two of which are musical improv—at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Piano Show

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the funniest duo sketch show you’re likely to see from Dylan Marron (Welcome to Nightvale, 2015 Drama Desk Nominee) and 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), who give you “a real-time middle school talent show performed by two grown adults” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite

9:30 pm ($5): Willy Appelman co-wrote & performs in this show about diverse oddballs who come together to celebrate a wedding at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Characters From a Wedding

10:00 pm ($5): Chris Roberti hosts sketch, improv, and/or more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Chris Roberti Presents

10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors springboard scenes revolving around a time and place provided by the audience at The PIT downstairs lounge: Meanwhile…

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

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, 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 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: 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: 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 lounge 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 Sleuth: 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; 88-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, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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