NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 11/2/16

Louis C.K. is performing his most recent Madison Square Garden show one more time, on Friday December 16th at 8:00 pm. I saw this show thanks to Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review, and found Jason’s observations & insights to be spot-on. Louis managed the almost miraculous feat of delivering a vulnerable, intimate performance for 18,000 people, turning them into a single delighted group mind. It was masterful, reminding us of the heights stand-up can reach; and one of the best shows I ever expect to see. (Am hoping it gets turned into an HBO special; but even if that happens, there’s nothing quite like experiencing it live…) To nab tickets, please click here.

Judah Friedlander, Michelle Buteau, and Jo FirestoneThis second day of the Seventh Annual New York Comedy Festival features Judah Friedlander, Michelle Buteau hosting Judah, Mark Normand, and Sasheer Zamata, Jo Firestone hosting a dating show, and more. For the full schedule, please click New York Comedy Festival 2016

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 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): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Joe Zimmerman (Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Sensible Show

7:00 ($5): A sketch show in which “after an unexpected fart shakes the foundation of their marriage, Off-Off-Off Broadway’s favorite married couple decide to separate, sharing custody of their adult son” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: ‘Til Death Do Us Fart

[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

7:00 pm ($5): The host of Creek Cave Live 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: Casey James Salengo

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12-$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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Mindy Raf (singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; alter ego Leibya Rogers) performs a one-woman show about love and relationships at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Mindy Raf: Keeping My Kidneys

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 ($10): The spectacular Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this show in which “comics represent you onstage in a live dating game! You may cringe and remain as anonymous as you want in the crowd…or arrive at 7:30 pm to be paired up with a comic and tell everything there is to know about you in 10 minutes or less, and then let them guide your love life in great and maybe horrible ways.” Tonight’s comics are Myq Kaplan, Aparna Nancherla, Naomi Ekperigin, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Gary Richardson, Nick Maritato, and Kevin Iso. “Out of over 100 couples matched, four couples have managed to develop actual long-term relationships. One couple just moved in together. It’s amazing and defies all odds” at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Comedian Friends of Single People

8:00 ($5): Sketch comedy revolving around the Presidential election at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Election Hot Takes 2016

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Sam Morril (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour) performs a solo stand-up show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Sam Morril: You’ve Changed

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

8:30 pm ($5): Storytellers share tales of bad dates, and then improvisors create scenes that make those bad dates even worse at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ryan Darden: Bad Date Theater

8:30 pm ($5): Three long-form improv sets revolving around “a Happening designed to Gather Experience, Experience Gathering, and Hather Gearience” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Will and Maya’s Gathering Experience Happening

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Nathan Macintosh, Casey James Salengo, and David Drake performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Gutter Bar (200 N 14th Street) hosted by Saurin Choksi: Comedians You Should Know

[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: Leah Bonnema, Adam Lowitt, DC Benny, Dan Frigolette, Justin Williams, TJ Del Reno, and Doug Key performing for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Lance Weiss & Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:00 pm ($7): Musical improvisors Katie Hammond & Daniel Tepper, singer Camille Harris, improvisor Rory Scholl, and puppeteer AJ Cote performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Mike Gregorek—who might invite you on stage: Man Interviews Audience

[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): Genius comics Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teams up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (staff writer for Seth Meyers; previously cast member of 30 Rock, and six years as staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

9:30 pm ($5): “Wilboro Shakespen and Christopen Marlboro are roommates with a terrible secret…they’re history’s greatest playwrights! They’ve also got a terrible mission—to write history’s greatest play, or else get evicted from their chill bach’ pad!” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Shakespen & Marlboro

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United) answers your questions at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jonas Barnes: Judah Friedlander

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($8): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code,), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), Ricky Velez (former correspondent for The Nightly Show), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Jared Freid, and Lil Freckles performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Liza Treyger (Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately): Liza Treyger and Friends

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($10, plus 2-item food/drink min.): A parody game show in which male stand-ups Kurt Metzger, Sam Morril, Chris DiStefano, and Aaron Berg each performs a 5-minute set, and then female stand-ups Lynne Koplitz, Tammy Pescatelli, Gail Bennington, and Kerryn Feehan try to decide if they’d bang him. (Not for every taste.) It all happens at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue) hosted by married couple RIch Vos & Bonnie McFarlane: Would You Bang Him?

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Dara Katz & Betsy Kenney host a crazed parody of a dance tournament featuring “nine amateur (or worse) teams performing choreographed dances” for a rotating panel of comic judges—and you—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Nationals: An Amateur Comedy Dance Tournament

[TOP PICK] 11:15 pm ($5): The first round of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB East hosted by Pat Baer: 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

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 Vincent Chang: 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

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: 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

[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

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!)

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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