NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/10/16

The Fellowship of the Ring...Entirely From Memory Eight performers from the Ten Bones Theatre Company attempt to recreate one of the most epic movies ever made, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, with each using only what he or she can remember from seeing the film just once. To add to the fun are a few rules: “Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience; performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth; one lucky audience member will be given a bell that they can ring three times—once rung, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in Raiders but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story:” The Fellowship of the Ring…Entirely From Memory (9:30 pm, $10, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th 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): Superb “overactors” Pat Swearingen, Jay Malsky, and many more make up a ridiculous soap-operish TV movie on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Made For TV Movie

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Doug Smith (Conan O’Brien, co-host of See You In Hell) and Matt Wayne (Adam Devine’s House Party, co-host of See You in Hell) perform stand-up sets at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Doug Smith & Matt Wayne

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors invite their improv heroes to make up scenes with them as duos at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Hero Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Liz Miele (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Nat Towsen (VICE, College Humor, host of Downtown Variety), Casey Balsham, Lawrence DeLoach, and Kristin Seltman performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

[TOP PICK] 7:30ish pm ($5; if you show up early, includes Free Lasagna!): Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The New Yorker), Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for The Daily Show; David Letterman, HBO’S Def Comedy Jam, TBS’ Sullivan & Son, Comedy Central), Hadiyah Robinson (The Nightly Show), Kyle Ploof (MTV), Molly Austin (TruTV), and Chris Lamberth (AXS TV) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Frank’s Cocktail Lounge (660 Fulton Street; take G to Fulton Street or A/C to Lafayette Avenue) hosted by Brian Parise & Janelle James: It’s All Happening: Homemade Lasagna Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 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 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

7:30 pm ($5): Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1, comedy album He Has Friends), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), 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), Nate Fridson, and Raj Sivaraman performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($5): Sharp duo improvisors Kelly Buttermore & Justin Peters make up one-act plays based on audience suggestions at The PIT downstairs lounge: From Justin to Kelly

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Mortified

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Stuck (“9 improvisors, 1 location, 0 chances of leaving”), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics Jake Hart (host of The Dump), Chrissie Mayr, Calvin S. Cato, and Greg DeLucia share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Natalie Wall and guest-hosted by Anita Flores: Awkward Poop…and the City

8:00 pm ($5): Comics (not announced) performing at this show sponsored by satirical women’s magazine Reductress at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Nicole Silverberg: Haha, Wow! by Reductress

8:00 pm ($5): In this comedic play based on the Serious Business webseries, “a man without any experience or know-how decides to run for Condo Board President of his apartment building with the help of his eccentric campaign manager, taking on the entire building establishment” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Making of an American President

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy written and directed by John McDermott, and performed by John and six other cast members, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Bingo

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Joel Walkowski (New York Times contributor), Drew Michael (writer for SNL’s Weekend Update), Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes), Julia Solomon, and Luke Schwartz performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($8): New Yorker contributors Lily Karlin & Blythe Roberson host this acclaimed comedy show exploring the human condition with comics Dylan Marron, Heben Nigatu, Catherine Cohen, Rachel Pegram, Owen Bates, Ariel Karlin, and Cora Frazier at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Life is Pain

9:00 pm ($10): This double-bill kicks off with a play set in the future about the National Football League; and then “serious musician and outrageous comedian Tommy McNamara performs an intimate, unplugged set” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Infinite Jets and Tommy McNamara: Unplugged in New York

9:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Marcus Bishop-Wright at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Marcus Rebellion: Seven Sketches About How You’re Racist

9:00 pm ($10): Blogologues (Jen Jamula & Allison Goldberg perform sketches verbatim from material they find on the Web), Meghan Hanley, Anthony DeVito, Cyrus McQueen, and Rachel Green, all performing at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jared Wilder: Laugh and a Draft

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Pete Mutino, Josh Rosen, Todd Montessi, Ryan Arnold, Josh Potter, Dylan Fisher, Amanda Kay Holstein, and Tracey Hassel 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 razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seth Meyers Writers: Crate Night With Set Fires

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Williams & Akash Bhasin: Death Comedy Jam

[FREE] 10:30 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced & 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): Unstoppable musical improv group Rumpleteaser, which last week mauled improv group St. Louis Rams with 116 votes to 56, tonight competes with improv duo Christina & Bailey for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but it’s hosted by Gary Richardson, John Reynolds, Carmen Christopher, and Joey Dundale at the UCB East theatre: $$$

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

5:45 pm-8:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 4-5 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic Thursday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic in which 15 walk-ins whose names are drawn from a bucket get to tell jokes on stage for 4 minutes each at UCB East hosted Brandon Scott Wolf & Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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

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: 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

[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

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

7:30 pm ($6): A storytelling open mic, with those whose names are pulled from a hat getting 6 minutes on stage, on this month’s topic Holidays in Hell, at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced by Lori Baird and guest-hosted by Julie Polk: Talk Therapy Stories: Holidays in Hell

[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): Thursday 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!)

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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