NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/9/17

February 9, 2017

Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend!Jay Malsky is a super-charged & hilarious character comic who also sings beautifully. This one-man musical he’s created shows off all of Jay’s strengths, as he plays a variety of women whose boyfriends he stole. Come enjoy this audition for a regular slot on the UCB schedule (I saw it when it debuted a few months ago at Solocom—where it was the best show of the festival): Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend! (6:30 pm; $7—which includes a second auditioning show I know nothing about titled Be Your Own SUCCE$$; UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th 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:

[TOP PICK] 5:30 pm ($5): Comics audition their solo characters before industry folks and judges for the prestigious Montreal Just For Laughs Festival at the UCB East theatre: Montreal Just For Laughs New Faces Characters Showcase

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up who’s been described as “bizarre yet funny” tries out new material one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Ian Fidance

7:00 pm ($5): “A to-the-tee recreation of Emu’s Pink Windmill Kids” at The PIT Mainstage spearheaded by Janie Stolar & Amanda Giobbi: Recreating Emu’s Pink Windmill Kids

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy Improv from a six-person group performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Sunday School Dropouts

[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 & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

7:30 pm ($7): Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine, podcast Sooo Many White Guys, co-host of 2 Dope Queens), John Early & Kate Berlant (on tour), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Half Hour), Jeff Maurer, Fumi Abe, and Sydnee Washington performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Emily Winter (writer for Fusion’s Come Here and Say That, co-host of Backfat Variety), Gastor Almonte, Kristin Seltman, Guitler Raphael, and Jaqi Furback performing stand-up, plus music by Angela Savvas Schneider, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

7:30 pm ($7): After each stand-up performs, you and the rest of the audience get to ask them questions about their jokes, with tonight’s comics Emily Winter, Patrick J. Reilly, Sarah Kennedy, Frank Nelson, Patrick Hastie, and Sam Evans at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Kevin Froleiks & Sam Bourne: Press Conference

7:30 pm ($5): Beth Slack & Brian Hansbury create musical improv about relationships, along with some invited friends, at The PIT Underground: Hansbury & Slack and Friends

7:30ish pm ($5; if you show up early, includes host Brian Parise’s pasta, pancetta, and peas in a white wine cream sauce): Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Billy on the Street), Mike Lebovitz, Leclerc Andre, Maria Heinegg, and Kenice Mobley 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 & Zilla Vodnas: It’s All Happening: Homemade Pasta, Pancetta, and Peas in a White Wine Cream Sauce

[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 Space Station Delta (a Star Trek-like TV episode made up on the spot), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, “six strangers meet at a mysterious dinner party where they find a surprising connection between them: they’re all idiots:” HINT: A Murder Mystery

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a play directed by the wonderful Langan Kingsley, and written by & co-starring Matt Barats & John Reynolds, about “on the night when the girls ask the boys, it’s finally the teacher’s turn:” Sadie Hawkins Day: Love Knows No Bounds

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20): Improvisors drinking beer make up scenes based on audience suggestions. Performers are systematically eliminated by audience voting (i.e., your votes) until only one player remains. Tonight’s superb improvisors are Tracy Mull, Mark Erenstoft, Kevin Laibson, Rory Scholl, Claire Yale Raynes, Devin James Heater, and Joshua Eakright performing at the Highline Ballroom (431 West 16th Street) hosted by Jim Robinson (Second City): BeerProv

[FREE; plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Comics David Lawson (fresh, sharp, edgy storyteller; Solocom; host of The Astoria Bookshop Storytelling Show), Rebecca Rush, and Becca Beberaggi 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 (also host of Awkward Sex and the City) and guest-hosted by Anita Flores: Awkward Poop and the City

[$] 8:00 pm ($20): 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), Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout), Rosebud Baker, Rosie Whalen, and Kenice Mobley performing stand-up for this charity show benefiting Covenant House (helping homeless youth) at The PIT Mainstage hosted by gal group Barracuda (Risa Sarachan, Layla Khosh, and Abby Rosebrock): Stand Up for Good People

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): Peter Michael Marino improvises a soul-baring one-man show inspired by interactions with the audience (and with the help of stellar director Michole Biancosino) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Show Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), J.P. McDade, Amber Rollo, May Wilkerson, Phil Stamato, Tito Garza, Conrad Roth, and Napoleon Emill performing stand-up for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Kilo Bravo (180 North 10th Street) hosted by Lucie Steiner & David Spector: Goliath Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv 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 + Selfish Green Men

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): Sean Patton closed my Best New York Comedy show Tuesday night, and did a bit about the overlap between surgery and the metal band Korn with a Jack Black energy that almost exploded the audience with laughter. Sean is one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; please check out his killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien. Sean’s also starred in a Comedy Central Half Hour, and performed on VH1, the feature film Wifed Out; and as a co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America. But none of Sean’s credits to date really do justice to this rising comedy superstar. Come and see what makes Sean extraordinary even in the highly competitive stand-up community tonight and the rest of this week at The PIT Underground as he hones a one-man show he’ll be performing for this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Sean Patton: Number One

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander hosts Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime), Phil Hanley (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Craig Ferguson, former host of Chemistry), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Ricky Velez (former correspondent for The Nightly Show), and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] [$] [FREE] 9:00 pm: A show hosted by the lovely Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Katy Frame & Marie Cecile Anderson), with guests 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, Cinemax, 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), The Cowmen (jaw-dropping dark parody of a country music band that includes members of award-winning sketch troupe Murderfist), and band Free The Mind (Marcia Belsky & Isabel Martin. “We don’t want to speak for all women, but we will…”), all performing at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue: Up N’ Coming

9:00 pm ($7): Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Half Hour), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out and Homeschooled, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) & Ashley Brooke Roberts (Nat Geo, co-host of Fresh Out, MTV’s Guy Code): Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Thomas Fricilone tells of the 12 days the nation searched for the man who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, with a group of improvisors filling in the details, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Chris Burns: The Retellings: The 12-Day Manhunt for That John Wilkes Booth Guy

9:00 pm ($8): 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 Know This Will Throw You Into a Rage, I’m Gonna Date a Woman Twice My Age!” with Brendan Fitzgibbons (co-producer of Gandhi, Is That You?), Matt Catanzano (co-host of Simply Unemployable), Angela Cobb, and Lauren Hope Krass performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Matt Smith McCormick: Go Ricki!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Eight performers from the Ten Bones Theatre Company attempt to recreate a blockbuster epic, Titanic, with each using only what he or she can remember from seeing the movie 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 Titanic but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story” at The PIT Mainstage: Titanic…Entirely From Memory

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): In this themed sketch show, “We’re bringing you the hottest looks that were denied access to New York Fashion Week for being ‘too ugly,’ ‘idiotic,’ and/or ‘not a real design.’ Skip the line and spend the evening with us as we dazzle you with looks that will have you asking ‘Is that fashion or just someone’s trash?’ This is the place to see and be seen if you weren’t able to get in anywhere else” at UCB Chelsea hosted by the talented Natasha Vaynblat: NY Fashion Week Flagship Show (Rejects)

9:30 pm ($7): Lani Harms hosts interviews, sketch, characters, improv, and/or more at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Late Night with Lani

10:00 pm ($5): This inexpensive variety show typically features improv, stand-up, and/or more at The PIT Underground produced by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: The Really, Really Cheap Date Show

[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: “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 ($7): Last week musical improv group Rumpleteaser sang a death song to UCB weekend group The Law Firm, winning a crushing victory of 110-20. Tonight Rumpleteaser competes with improv team Brightlight for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): “Once a month the ghosts of two 1940s radio hosts take over the airwaves and force us to listen to their outdated nonsense,” with tonight’s theme Valentine’s Day Love Stories at the UCB East theatre hosted by Rudy Behrens & Matt Dowling: The Golden Age of Radio

11:00 pm ($5): A play about “a crew of aliens who travel across the cosmos to destroy mankind. Unfortunately, they get trapped in orbit floating around Earth, so they put on a variety show to pass the time” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Moonfarts

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

[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

[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

6:00 pm ($5 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 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

6:30 pm ($5): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT Underground: Ladies Night Open Mic

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A recorded-for-podcast walk-in open mic providing 5 minutes on stage for whatever you want to perform—stand-up, sketch, song—with names drawn from a bucket at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Mercadal & Will Watkins: Unsung Heroes

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack Open Mic

[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…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