NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/27/16

Kevin Geeks Out About Tobe HooperA glorious collection of entertaining film clips and guest movie experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends, with this month’s Halloween theme focused on a major horror director: Kevin Geeks Out About Tobe Hooper (9:30 pm, $16 [buying in advance is highly recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and fascinating ideas typically sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)…

Fear Bazaar…and Anthony Atamanuik, Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, James Dwyer, Morgan Grace Jarrett, and more promise “ALL OF YOUR FEARS ARE INSIDE OF THIS HOUSE!” These top improvisors are putting on a semi-scripted interactive audience show for Halloween they’re describing as a “Chamber of Modern Terrors and Social Anxieties that you will consume through an immersive theatre experience:” Fear Bazaar (2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 10:00 pm, and midnight; $5, UCB East at 153 East 3rd 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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes), Caitlin Brodnick (co-host of Brutally Honest, writer for Glamour.com, docu-series Screw You Cancer), Martin Dockery (five-time Moth GrandSlam finalist), Danny Artese (Moth StorySlam winner) and irresistibly charming host Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, Internet Action Force) performing at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) featuring such magic as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12, plus 2-item minimum if you purchase a seat; no min. if you buy a standing room ticket): Improvisors make up a religion based on an audience suggestion—e.g., The Church of the Carrot, The Church of Crime—and then make up hymns, readings, sermons, sacraments, and more on the spot at the The Gallery of Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Geoff Grimwood: Fake Church

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): The greatest science fiction anthology radio show of all time was X Minus One. Improvisors who know their genre history created this show in which they make up scenes of awe, mystery, and wonder at The PIT upstairs theatre—with an opening act from Brian Hansbury (Title of Team) improvising 1940’s-style tunes based on your suggestions: X Plus One

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes with the lights turned off, using everyday objects to add layers of sound—like a radio play created on the spot—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) : Dim-Prov: Improv in the Dark

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, 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 Thursday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Sandi Marx (six-time Moth GrandSlam champion), Mary Regan (Talk Therapy), and Maggie Maxwell (Reductress) share tales of courage and/or cowardice at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Mara Wilson (former iconic child star of Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire; author of Where Am I Now?; cast member of podcast Welcome to Night Vale): What Are You Afraid Of?

7:30 pm ($5): An improv duo from Charleston, South Carolina makes up scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge: Moral Fixation

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a sketch show based on the experiences of comedy couple John Murray & Silvija Ozols as Silvija tried to get pregnant: Infertile

…and in the second half of this double bill, brilliant improvisors Langan Kingsley, Aaron Jackson, and Josh Sharp make up scenes while being unusually thin: Big Fat Fatties

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): Amy Marcs performs a one-woman show about her experiences with breast cancer at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Nice T!Ts

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show The Costume (for this Halloween month, improvisors have fun with fantasy costumes), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Norwegian-American sketch comedy duo Zach & Viggo perform as part of their world tour at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Zach & Viggo: Thunderflop

[FREE—plus FREE CAKE for Four-Year Anniversary] 8:00 pm: Emily Galati (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing), Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central, TruTV’s Almost Genius; sketch group Murderfist), Eli Sairs, and Frank Nelson, plus music from Amelita AL, all at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Emily Winter, John Payne, and Larry Mancini: BackFat Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up from Joe Dixon, Emily Lynne, Mary Beth Barone, Jamie Lerner, Eric Wood, and Sallie Smith-Fitcher, plus sketch from Knightly Nudes and improv from Wuce Billis, all performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Kate Conners: Comedy is Sweet

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Comics compete with on-the-spot tweets…and you decide the winner in real time using your smart phone” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shelby Taylor: Like Me

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Detention + Gun Club

8:30 pm ($10): 75 minutes of sketch comedy from group Teen Radio, plus an opening set from stand-up Boris Khaykin, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Teen Radio

9:00 pm ($10): “In the magical town of Sparkleberry, everyone’s an artist, writer, and creative spirit. Citizens of Sparkleberry are kind, compassionate creatures, with hearts of gold, but they’re also total idiots. But that hasn’t stopped them from writing and performing their hearts out. Join me and my theater troupe as we show you select scenes from some of their greatest works” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Snippets From Sparkleberry

9:00 pm ($5): Similar to The Dating Game, comics May Wilkerson, Alex Engelbert, and Angela Cobb compete for the affections of an audience member at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Joe Welkie: Dating is Hard in NYC

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jordan Raybould, Andrew Schiavone, Russ Hamilton, Pete Mutino, and Jonathan Ziegel performing at the Revision Lounge (219 Avenue B, between 13th & 14th Streets) hosted by Josh Roen: Revision Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The writers of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Alfredo: Late Show Writers Improv

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): An all-gal lineup of stand-ups, storytellers, character comics, and improvisors perform at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by group Darling Satan: She Makes Me Laugh

9:30 pm ($5): Lani Harms hosts interviews, sketch, characters, improv, and/or more at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Late Night with Lani

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Dan King: Swamp Thing

[FREE] 10:30 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck, Lauren Hope Krass, and/or Peter Bandyk: Casual Sets

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week musical improv group Rumpleteaser demolished Rizzo, winning 138 votes to 20. The singing & dancing champion tonight faces team Fancy Man, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Improv with feedback at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Matthew Woods & Dan Miller: Improv MD

Thursday 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: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up with 4 minutes per comic (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jake Vevera & Amy Liszka: The QED Thursday Mic

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

6:30 pm ($3): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT downstairs lounge: Ladies Night Open Mic

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (34 Pell Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (with names selected from a bucket) to do anything you want for 5 minutes—”chat, rant, plug, tell a story, be a character, play a game, review a new religion”—for a podcast recorded at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Mike Guild & Mike Mercadal: The Open Mic Podcast

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursdays After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: Barf Up the Jokes

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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