Chuck Klosterman (New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto; wrote “The Ethicist” column for The New York Times Magazine), Lane Moore (HBO’s Girls; host of Tinder Live; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo, writer for The Onion, McSweeneys), 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), and Tony Zaret (Channel 101), all being interviewed or performing for Running Late with Scott Rogowsky (8:00 pm, $14, 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 $) include:
[TOP PICK] [$] 1:50 pm ($12): An autobiographical one-man show by Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion) on how he “survived a childhood in the Reagan Eighties, the rise of the moral majority and meth amphetamine, the terrors of sex and nuclear bombs, and his guest role in a sibling’s suicide by escaping into pop culture” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Idaho Jackson Action Playset
[TOP PICK] 5:00 pm ($5): All-gal musical Improv group Redshirts (Catherine Wing, Jennette Cronk, Julia Lunetta, Sloane Miller, and Susan O’Doherty) creates new episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the spot, and also hosts superhero improv group Crisis, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Redshirts: Star Trek: TNG Musical Improv and Crisis: An Improvised Comic Book
6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, and Brian Urreta of improv group The Mannequin Room: Indie Cage Match
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): An acclaimed play about “a baby boomer couple on a road trip to Wisconsin for a destination wedding. Along the way they ponder empty nest angst, becoming victims of both urban gentrification and illogical technology, and anything else that comes to mind, with the local radio and nostalgia of Wisconsin as their backdrop. Each performance is slightly different as they expound, riff and allow themselves to go off script as the spirit (and audience) moves them” by Second City Mainstage comics Bruce Jarchow (Seinfeld, Parks and Recreation, Ghost) and Nancy McCabe-Kelly (Teachers webseries, TBS) at The PIT Mainstage: Been There, Still There
7:00 pm ($5): This double-bill begins with a one-woman show by Tabitha Vidaurrian playing five different extreme characters; and then improv from gal group Ladies Who Ranch, all at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Desperate Times Call For Desperate Women and Ladies Who Ranch
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000
[TOP PICK] [$] 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 seven shows, with three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday
7:30 pm ($5): Dana Shulman and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT Underground: Student Driver: Indie Road
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Ryan Hamilton (please note I’m not certain of this booking—Ryan’s on the UCB site but not Kara’s site; Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Andy Sandford (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, The Beards of Comedy), Pat Brown, Chris Laker, Anthony Devito, Alex Hooper, and Paige Weldon performing stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City) and guest-hosted by Joe Zimmerman (Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing): If You Build It
8:00 pm ($7): A short comedy film about two sisters written by & co-starring Katherine Dudas (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love) is screened at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), plus the filmmakers will perform and/or answer questions: This Is Serious Short Film Premiere
8:30 pm ($5): A small army of comics parody La La Land and Manchester by the Sea at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Anthony Oberbeck: Bad Habits: Oscar Nominee Parodies
[FREE] 9:00 pm: Suggestions for jokes are gathered from the audience and then pro stand-ups are forced to incorporate them into their sets at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Will Carey: You Can Use That
9:30 pm ($5): This double-bill begins with an autobiographical one-man show by DJ Danny White in which “I’ll be mixing records in the back of the stage and coming out to perform character monologues in the front. Seven influential people from my past, on top of seven of my favorite tracks;” and then comedy groups Fre$h Boy, Starshine, and Mr. Boogers perform sketch comedy, all at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Who’s The DJ? and Kill it Scott!
[ALMOST FREE] 10:00 pm ($1): This improv show is based on a Mullaney Chain (pioneered by Kevin Mullaney) in which the host invites a guest to improvise with him or her, then the guest independently invites a third person, who then invites a fourth person, and so on, creating a one-time-only lineup that will be a surprise to everyone involved at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kurt Guenther: The Telephone Show
Sunday Open Mics, Open Stages, and Jams
[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Sam Rose: Bucket! We’ll Do it Live!
[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic
5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic
[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand
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 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
Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs
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.