NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/28/16

Awkward Sex...and the City

The lovely Natalie Wall hosts the best sexy storytelling show in NYC, with tonight’s comics Meghan O’Malley, Carly Ann Filbin, Emmy Harrington, Bobby Hankinson, and Anita Flores telling tales of erotic encounters gone awry: Awkward Sex…and the City (8:00 pm $20—which includes free beer, wine, and condoms!—at The Pleasure Chest at 1150 Second Avenue, between 60th & 61st Streets)

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 Saturday

7:00 pm ($10): A play co-written & performed by Elana Fishbein & Elena Skopetosunique, and co-written & directed by Peter McNerney, about a family’s reluctant reunion at the Magnet theatre: Sisters Three

7:00 pm ($10): A comedic play with bite about the Hollywood experience for minorities, in which “four black actors in Room 4 have just realized they’re stuck in a time loop, auditioning for the same role of ‘Drug Dealer #2’ over and over. What once felt like a messed-up metaphor has become a literal existential nightmare. Get them out of there” at The PIT upstairs theatre written by Marina & Nicco, and with an eight-man cast…one of whom plays a literal Magical Negro: Room 4

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Scorpion Bowl revolving around a competition for love at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Scorpion Bowl: Last Character Standing

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a sketch show written by Zack Philips that includes such superb comics as Langan Kingsley and Jim Santangeli: Fuck Nostalgia

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a mini-play “exploring everything you love about karaoke: mediocre singing, friendship, Tsing-Tao, accidental meet cutes, homicidal Korean women, and of course your favorite 90’s jams!”: Let’s Check Out That Karaoke Spot!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Stand-up & storytelling springboarding off topics tackled by The Ricki Lake Show—fat friends, two-timing traitorous tramps, and so on. Tonight’s theme is “I’m Sick Of Being Taunted; They Think I’m Crazy, But My House Is Haunted!”with Micah Sherman (brilliant improvisor; half of musical duo Myq & Micah), Andy Beckerman (host of podcast Beginnings, The Pete Holmes Show, co-host of Couples THerapy), Brooke Arnold (one-person show Growing Up Fundie), and Marla Schultz at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Matt Smith: Go Ricki!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Brian McCann (writer for 17 years for Emmy-winning Conan O’Brien; 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation) & Patrick McCartney (Second City, SNL Digital Shorts, TV Funhouse) perform duo improv at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): McCann and McCartney

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 ($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!

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): 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: Political Subversities: Vote or Whatever

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): For an interactive theatre experience, “Come and haunt the wonderful Williamsburg basement of The Annoyance. Along the way you’ll scare the living shit out of our cast, experience the intense climate of the Ghost justice system, and contact forces from beyond in a spectacular seance finale” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): You Haunt Our House

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Justin Williams, and Rosebud Baker performing stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and guest-hosted by Graham VanBach: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

8:00 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] 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; includes free pizza if you arrive before 9:00 pm): North Coast (superb hip-hop musical improv group), plus stand-up from Sam Morril (Comedy Central Half Hour), Christi Chiello (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle), Brandon Scott Wolf (Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, SNL), Krystyna Hutchinson (Guys We Fucked podcast), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Marisa Douenias (Louie), and Brett Davis (character comic; co-host of The Macaulay Culkin Show), all performing in Brooklyn at a secret location (RSVP here to learn where) hosted by Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central) and followed by a free dance party with DJ Clamr: The Secret Loft Show

[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 ($5): An improvised game of Dungeons & Dragons at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Campaign

9:00 pm ($10): In this semi-scripted play, Adrian Sexton (Dark Matter) and Parker Denton (National Scandal) are “two washed-up film actors remembering their sordid past from Hollywood’s Golden Age—spurred by guest improvisors as ghosts from their memories” at The PIT downstairs lounge: All About Whatever Happened to that Old Decaying Mansion On Sunset Blvd

[TOP PICK] 9:30 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Adam Rubin will attempt to mystify and amaze you with not quite half a dozen illusions at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Six and a Half Magic Tricks in a Basement

9:30 pm ($5): Myka Fox (SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), Clark Jones, Sean P. McCarthy, and Sydnee Washington performing stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jessica Watkins: Homespun Comedy

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

10:00 pm ($10): “A show about five women proving they can have it all—except for the jobs, lives, and experiences typically reserved for men” with Allyson Barkan, Ashley Sather, Hannah VanderPoel, Molly Barrett, and Andrea Romano at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Late Night Audition

[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): Drew Michael (SNL), Tyler Fischer, Taneal Joachim, and Alex Ptak performing stand-up, storytelling, sketch, and/or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): Improv group Business Kiss and frineds perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Business Kiss: Monthly Meeting

10:30 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: Halloween Edition

[$] 11:00 pm ($18): “When a washed-up reality TV producer is fresh out of ideas on how to get back in the game, he decides to reunite the horrible reality TV family that originally brought him fame and discover the secret that split them apart years ago. He decides to get them to confess the only way he knows how: under duress. After reuniting the family for what they think is a one-night special, the producer stages an attack on Beverly Hills by ISIS” at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Blatantly Blaine: A New “Family” Musical

11:00 pm ($5): Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update; Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris), Ronan Babbitt (Mr. Robot), Lucas Kaiser, James III, and many more comics performing a variety of comedy forms at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Anne Victoria Clark (freelance contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update): The Pretty Late Show: Stranger Things Edition

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Four scary stories, told by Natasha Vyanblat, Three Dogs (Ken Beck, Alex French, and Cory Palmer), Peter Smith, and Matt Dennie at UCB East hosted by Matt Denne & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit: Treehouse of Terror

[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

Midnight ($50): Contestants get 3 minutes to compete with their nastiest sketch, character, or bit at UCB Chelsea hosted by Matthew Cutler, Molly Gaebe, and Allie Kokesh: Satan’s Christmas

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 Davey Melch & Sydney Beveridge: Queens Free 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

[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

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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