NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/31/16

New Year's EveHappy (almost) New Year! Ring in 2017 with laughs at the Cornelia Street Cafe, QED, The PIT, The Stand, and/or Comedy Cellar

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($25, which includes champagne; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who chooses correctly gets a free t-shirt! This New Year’s Eve’s yarn-spinners are Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, Internet Action Force, host of Sideshow Goshko), Michaela Murphy (The New Yorker, Moth Radio Hour), Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central), and Ed Gavagan (TED Talks, Moth Grandslam champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let these storytellers and host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($20; no min.): Laurie Kilmartin (dynamite stand-up; writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1), Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Ron Bennington (host of radio shows Bennington and Unmasked), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Early New Year’s Eve

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Big Black Car 2 makes up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC2

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm-9:00 or 10:00 pm-11:30 pm ($20 for show alone; $30 for show & food at 7:30; $40 for show & food at 10:00): Aparna Nancherla (one of the very 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), Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 13 million people on YouTube, please click here), and Anthony DeVito (Adam Devine’s House Party, This American Life) ring in your new year with stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Charles McBee Rory Scholl: QED’s New Year’s Spectacular

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 8:15 pm, 10:15 pm, and 10:30 pm ($40 cover for early shows, $80 cover for late shows, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among 8:00 pm & 10:15 shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and 8:15 pm & 10:30 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar New Year’s Eve

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—including Tracy Mull (host of The Island), Langston Belton (improv groups Grounds for Divorce, G.U.S., Fun Young Guys), and Chris Booth (sketch group City Hall, National Geographic’s Brain Games)—play a bunch of short improv games to ring in the new year at The PIT downstairs lounge: New Year’s Eve Short Form Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes like it’s their last chance to perform “because the world is ending” at The PIT upstairs theatre: End of the World Jam

12:45 am ($20; no min.): Artie Lange (former cast member of MAD TV and The Howard Stern Show; former host of The Artie Lange Show; host of The Artie Quitter Podcast), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand New Year’s Eve After-Party

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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