NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/14/16

Set your TV recording device for superb stand-ups Naomi Ekperigin at midnight and Ahmed Bharoocha at 12:30 am, each starring in a Comedy Central Half Hour

Natasha LeggeroNatasha Leggero is a razor-sharp and irresistible stand-up and actress who created, writes, produces, and co-stars in Comedy Central’s Another Period; also co-starred in Showtime’s Dice and E’s Burning Love; was the best judge ever on Last Comic Standing; has performed on Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, @midnight, The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Adult Swim, and FX, and a Comedy Central Presents special; and killed on Comedy Central’s roasts of James Franco and Justin Bieber with her witty, biting writing. Tasha co-headlines tonight and tomorrow with also superb stand-up Moshe Kasher at the Carolines Comedy Club: Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher (7:30 pm & 10:00 pm, $38.25 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)…

Sketch Comedy…it’s Day #2 of The PIT’s 4-day sketch comedy festival, featuring 17 half-hour and hour sketch shows including Blogologues, Political Subversities, Elephant Larry, Bridge and Tunnel, National Scandal, and Ali Farahnakian & Patrick McCartney: SketchFest 2016 (6:00 pm-Midnight, $10 per show or $60 for an all-you-can-see pass, The PIT Upstairs and Downstairs Theatres at 123 East 24th Street)…

Eighth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival…and it’s the second of four nights of the Eighth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, featuring eight groups from NYC, Chicago, and Paris France: New York Musical Improv Festival 2016 (7:00 pm-12:30 am, $10-$15 per show, The Magnet at 254 West 29th 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, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 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), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a musical sketch comedy show: Pop Roulette’s Amazing Earth

…and in the second other of this double bill, a typically brilliant parody of Seinfeld made up on the spot: Improvised Seinfeld

7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

[FREE; plus FREE PIZZA!] 7:30 pm: Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Bravo, Oxygen, Sirius XM), Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Lance Weiss (CMT, co-host of Gandhi, Is That You?), and Robert Dean (co-host of Comedy at Alligator Lounge) performing stand-up at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) hosted by Amanda Baramki & Ashley Bez—who are premiering their web series, which has the same title as this show: Same Same But Different

7:30 pm ($7): Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Doug Smith (Conan O’Brien, co-host of See You In Hell), and Liz Barret performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Derek Humphrey: Headliner’s Ball

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A sketch parody of a live audience shooting of a Hollywood TV sitcom pilot written by and co-starring Steve Clark, Julian Hernandez, and Johnny Efstathiades at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Cockapoopees

8:00 pm ($5): A stand-up & storytelling show that promises “ska punk comedy” with Shane Torres, Greg Stone, Nate Fridson, Mike Abrusci, Greta Titelman, and Nick Maritato at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Wayne & Ian Fidance: Checkered Past

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myka Fox (SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), Kyle Ayers, and more performing stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and guest-hosted by Michelle De Swarte: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Collin Gossel & Jordan Myrick “comb through the audience, exploring the nature of love, sex, and humankind in a tireless effort to find two audience members who are willing to make out on stage” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Your Perfect Hookup

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:00 pm ($10): Various NYC sketch comedy groups performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Boogie Manja

9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers share tales of relationships in front of a panel of comics and therapy experts, who then give advice, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lynn Bixenspan & Morgan Pielli: Relationshit

9:30 pm ($10): Comics “perform kooky bits based off online videos. The goal of the show is primarily to be louder than the jazz music coming from upstairs” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Matt Barats: Louder Than Jazz

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Petey DeAbreu invites several of his comic friends—who tonight are the hosts of Comedy Night at the Knit: Will Miles, Kenny DeForest, Clark Jones, and DJ Will Winner—to joke around with him at this party-like show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Petey’s World

[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

10:30 pm ($10): Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Lance Weiss (CMT, co-host of Gandhi, Is That You?), Mo Mandel (TruTV), and Tomas Delgado performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): Improv groups Are We Gonna Make Out?, Holograms, and Three Amigos, and stand-ups Alli Brown, Jordan Myrick, Collin Gossel, James Rodrigues, and Andrew Barbato, all performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Waking Up Worried With Katherine

10:30 pm ($5): A mix of stand-up, sketch, music, and/or 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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): This monthly storytelling, stand-up, and carny show brings the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, with stand-up from Josh Johnson (Jimmy Fallon), storytelling from Sandi Marx, improv by group Gentrify, and burlesque from Fem Appeal and Ginger Twist, all performing at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

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

[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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Lady 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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