NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/13/16

Zac Amico and Mike LawrenceIt’s a great night at The Stand, kicking off at 8:00 pm with stellar stand-ups Mike Lawrence (above right; opening for Louis C.K. tomorrow and Friday at Madison Square Garden), Sean Patton, Ari Shaffir, Rich Vos, and more: The Stand Tuesday ($15, no min.); and then at 10:30 pm hosting an entirely free stand-up vs. stand-up insult competition whose highlight will be Mike Lawrence (winner of Comedy Central’s first Roast Battle back in July) vs. Zac Amico (above left; this show’s own NYC champion), with judges Dan Soder, Big Jay Oakerson and Ari Shaffir and host Luis J. Gomez: The Roastmasters (Free!, no min.; The Stand at 239 Third Avenue off 20th Street)…

Carmen Lynch…or come see comics share rare and embarrassing footage of one of their first sets—and also perform new material for comparison’s sake—with tonight’s stand-ups Carmen Lynch (above; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), and Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout) hosted by Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, comedy album True Love): First Set (8:00 pm, $7, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[$] 6:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Artie Lange, Dave Juskow, and guests talk football for this TV show taped live monthly at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street): The Football Show

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors perform new plays from the Bard, made up on the spot springboarding off an audience suggestion, at The PIT downstairs lounge: As You Will: Shakespearean Improv

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-ups Greg Stone (America’s Got Talent, TruTV’s Friends of the People) and Ian Fidance (Above Average) each perform for 30 minutes at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Greg Stone and Ian Fidance

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying) performs 50 minutes of stand-up and storytelling in preparation for the upcoming taping of his first comedy album, plus opening sets from Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show) and Joe Zimmerman (Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), all entirely for free at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue): Jeff Simmermon Comedy Album Warm-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 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): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): The creators of the amazing live-on-stage movie reenactment Hold On To Your Butts (Jurassic Park) and Fly, You Fools! (Lord of the Rings)—performers Kyle Schaefer & Nick Abeel, music & sound wizard Kelsey Didion, and stellar director Kristin McCarthy Parker—explore new techniques by this time using puppetry to recreate the classic Christmas movie Home Alone. Added to the mix are two new performers (Natalie Rich & Sonia Mena), a four-person choir (Sarah Godwin, Evan Maltby, Richard Sears, and Michelle Vo), and producer Lanie Zipoy, all making magic at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Kevin!!!!!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Kate Sidley (writer for Stephen Colbert), Jeff Hiller (30 Rock, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, musical improv group Rumpleteaser), and Jess McIntosh (Director of Communications Outreach for Hillary for America; Emily’s List) chug two beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody Lindquist: Two Beers In

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC) hosts this live recording of his weekly podcast that tries to solve his myriad of problems, with tonight’s guests Jim Norton, Artie Lange, and Anthony Cumia at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street): Fixing Joe: Live Recording of Joe Matarese’s Podcast

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE BEER 8:00-8:30] 8:00 pm: Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show, VH1; senior writer/producer for Spike TV; co-host of Amazingtown), Madonna Refugia (Reductress), Nick Pupo (Halt and Catch Fire), and Amy Cardinale performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Two Boots Pizza Williamsburg (558 Driggs Avenue) hosted by Lucas Connolly, David Piccolomini, and Jake Fromm: Ambush Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($10): A hip-hop musical parody of Orange is the New Black, but set in an animal shelter for dogs and cats, with book and lyrics by Catya McMullen and direction Michael Raine at The PIT downstairs lounge: Locked Up B*tches

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Hadiyah Robinson (The Nightly Show), Ryan Donahue, Chris Laker, Greg Johnson, and Ruby McCollister performing stand-up at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Jacqueline Novak & John Early: Cakeshop Comedy

[FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($7): The Gregory Brothers (wonderful musical inventors of “Songify the News”), Jon Daly (brilliant character comic; co-star of Comedy Central’s Kroll Show; also appeared on CC’s @midnight, Drunk History, and Another Period; plays Bill Murray in Netflix movie about National Lampoon; Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here, FOX’s Brooklyn 99 and Son of Zorn, NBC’s Parks & Recreation), Bill Dawes (HBO’s Sex and the City and Oz, CBS’ Elementary and Criminal Minds, USA’s Royal Pains, TNT’s The Following and Rizzoli & Isles, ABC’s All My Children), Kevin Iso (Adam Devine’s House Party), Jes Hudak (singer/songwriter), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:00 pm ($7): Emily Winter, Calvin Cato, Jordan Myrick, James Hamilton, and Collin Gossel are challenged to make up self-important lectures based on topics provided to them on the spot at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Ryan Stanisz: Stand-Ups Improvise TED Talks

9:00 pm ($5): An improvised game of D&D (“There will be dragons. There will be dungeons. There will be mountain dew.”), with this month’s adventure taking place during the holidays, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Campaign: Holiday Edition

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update; Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris), Eli Yudin, Annie Hildebrand, Rob Harper, and Tyler Rothrock performing stand-up after being introduced by “gloriously bad metalcore music” at Brooklyn’s Tender Trap (66 Greenpoint Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Tim Unkenholz & Justin Hancock: Buttery Riffz

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Kyle Ayers (written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Chelsea White (MTV, VH1, co-host of Call Us Crazy), Julia Shiplett, and more present funny lectures on silly topics—e.g., “Octopuses: Squishy Satans of the Sea”—at the UCB East theatre produced by Kara Klenk & Jim Tews and guest-hosted by Doogie Horner: Homeschooled—A Comedic Lecture Series

9:30 pm ($5): Storytellers perform, and then improv group King Zebra makes up scenes springboarding off the tales at The PIT upstairs theatre: Almost Lit-Mas

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from Mike Brian, Chris Migliaccio, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Backdoor Barbecue

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, improv group Higgins performs different types of longform at the UCB East theatre: Harold on the Run

Tuesday 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

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 chance for gals to get on stage and improvise with veteran female comics at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Blair Silverman and members of Ladies of the PIT: Lady Jam

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 6 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[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): Tuesday After Class Jam

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

Notable Ongoing Theatrical Comedy Shows

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm, or 4:30 pm on Sundays, through 1/8/17 ($28-$48; use code PBP30 through 12/17 for $33 tickets, or code BBOX20 anytime for discounts based on seat location): Comedy genius Chris Gethard performs a transcendently great one-man show about depression, perseverance, and the healing powers of laughter, love, and medication, seamlessly blending stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience as wonderful as virtually anything currently playing on NYC stages—and that I’m guessing will end up as an HBO special, finally propelling Chris into the top tiers of show biz. Don’t miss this amazing show at The Lynn Redgrave Theater (45 Bleecker Street, right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop): Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm; plus 2:00 pm matinees on Saturdays; or 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm on Sundays, through 1/15/17 ($37-$139; use code OHBOX111 for discounts): I haven’t seen this, so can’t comment on its merits; but you should be aware that two of the sharpest and funniest comics in the biz, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, are performing as their old men characters in this Broadway show at the Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street): Oh, Hello

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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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