NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/2/17

March 2, 2017

Wyatt CenacWyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train)…

Seth Herzog…and Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, @midnight, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet) perform stand-up hosted by musical duo Comfort Zone (Julian Velard & Brooke Van Poppelen): Comfort Zone (9:30 pm, $12,: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:

7:00 pm ($10): An all-gal musical sketch group consisting of Danielle Cohn, Molly Kelleher, Tana Sirois, Carlita Victoria and Katie Goodman perform political comedy using song and dance at The PIT Mainstage: Broad Comedy

7:00 pm ($10) : A “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 30 minutes per storyteller, with tonight’s yarn-spinners Mike Albo (author of novels Hornito and The Underminer: The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life) and Nisse Greenberg performing at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

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

7:30 pm ($7): Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), MIke Brown, Chris Laker, Ken Schultz, and Bowen Yang performing at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($5): Comics find new takes on popular songs via “staged readings, dramatic recitations, updated lyrics, mimed interpretations, covers of classics…they sky’s the limit” at The PIT Underground hosted by Matt Zambrano (Fly You Fools!, The Story Pirates): Lyric Nouveau

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At this unusual sex trivia show, you might be asked, “Where is the cervix located? What is the proper way to clean a dildo? What does LGTBQIA stand for? From female anatomy to orgasms and dental dams, how much do adults really know about sexual education? Test your sexual wits and battle it out on stage for the chance to win prizes, glory, and probably some condoms!” at Brooklyn’s Friends and Lovers (641 Classon Avenue) hosted by Natalie Wall & Emily Owens: Sex WIth Your Mom

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, sketch gals Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece play 13-year-old boys who are “the Internet’s most viral, most teenage, and most white hip hop duo:” Famous Male Duo

…and in the second other of this double bill, Mark Vigeant springboards off audience suggestions to create and launch a website on the spot: Let’s Make a Website

8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, indie improv group The Mannequin Room, and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

8:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups try to solve the world’s problems, with tonight’s sages Will Miles, Christi Chiello, and Brendan Fitzgibbons, plus regulars Josiah Madigan & Brock Mahan, all performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Kevin McCaffrey: Serious Matters

8:00 pm ($5): Adam Hamway performs his impression of Jimmy Fallon hosting The Tonight Show,with fellow impressionists playing celebrity guests, at The PIT Mainstage: Fallon Tonight

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A featured stand-up (not announced) performs a 30-minute set, with a 15-minute opening from another stand-up, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jenn Welch & Tom Lisi: The Half-Hour Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Josh Gondelman, Pete Lee, Joe List,and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

8:30 pm ($10): A trip through world history via Commedia dell’Arte, “the great-grand daddy of modern improv and sketch comedy…filled with physical humor, acrobatics, song, and satire” at The PIT Underground by The Department of Fools: A History of Servitude

9:00 pm ($7): Joe Zimmerman (Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Lucie Steiner, and Alexis Guerreros performing at UCB East hosted by terrific comics Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) & Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code): Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($7): Improv focused on emotionally committed, grounded scenes that may or may not be funny at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): No Laughing Matter

9:00 pm ($6): Stand-ups Jenn Welch, Calvin S. Cato, Clint Nohr, and Samantha Bednarz performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Liz Simons & Jenn Wehrung: Laugh It Up, Astoria

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): 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

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy group Dinner for One and duo improv melodrama team Ski Doo Secret (Brett Elam & Josh Logan) perform in this double-bill at The PIT Mainstage: Dinner for One and Ski Doo Secret

9:30 pm ($10): A sketch show written & performed by friends at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Friendship Sketch Collective

[FREE] 10:00 pm: At this uniquely heckler-friendly show, “every audience member gets a bag of crazy shit to throw at stand-ups. Show your love or your hate with flowers, Nerf guns, stuffed animals, water balloons, candy, and anything else we give you to toss. The audience picks their favorite comic to win $$$, and comics pick their favorite audience heckler to win a prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Gregory W. Hall &Teresa Sheffield: Mob Rule

[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): Powerhouse musical improv group Rumplesteaser stomped Dr. Snake last week, winning 106-47. Tonight the champion competes with improv group Foxhole for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($7): A variety show that encourages comics to perform whatever they’re most passionate about at the UCB East theatre hosted by Nicole Pasquale: WOKE AF: A Mind-Opening Variety Show

11:00 pm ($5): Improv with feedback at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Matthew Woods & Dan Miller: Improv MD

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 ($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

[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 ($3): A weekly improv jam open to the audience in 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic storytelling show, with each yarn-spinner whose name is picked from a basket receiving 5 minutes on stage, at the Astoria Bookshop (31-29 31st Street) hosted by David Lawson (The Flyer Guy at Solocom 2015): The Astoria Bookshop Storytelling Show

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): All-gal stand-up, with 3 booked comics—who tonight are Kenice Mobley, Dana Friedman, and drag star Helluva-Bottom Carter—and 4-minute open mic spots for 13 additional female comics on a first come, first serve basis at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Caitlin McKee: Saw Her Stand Up There

[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] 10:30 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:00 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

10:30 pm ($3): 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.

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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