NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/4/17

April 4, 2017

Jessica Kirson: "Talking to Myself"Jessica Kirson (The Tonight Show, The View, Last Comic Standing, Celebrity Apprentice, HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, Bravo, VH1) tries out a new one-woman show in the West Village: Jessica Kirson: Talking to Myself (8:00 pm, $10 plus 2-item min., Village Underground at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Hasan Minhaj and David Lawson…and a “longform storytelling” show provides a whopping 30 minutes per writer/performer, with tonight’s yarn-spinners Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), and David Lawson (fresh, sharp, edgy storyteller; Solocom; host of The Astoria Bookshop Storytelling Show) telling fun anecdotes about what it’s like to hand out flyers in Times Square while competing with a wide variety of unusual characters for the attention of tourists. It all happens at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long (7:00 pm, $10, Under St. Marks at 94 St. Marks Place off First Avenue)

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] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Jim Norton (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; hosted HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; former cast member of HBO sitcom Lucky Louie; HBO half-hour One Night Stand; feature film Spider-Man; regular on The Opie & Anthony Show; author of book Happy Endings) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Jim Norton: Work In Progress

[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 (preceded by a free improv jam at 6:00 pm that gives you a chance to perform with some of these sharp talents): Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($7): A weekly showcase for brand new scripted shows—tonight featuring solo characters by an all-gal lineup of Lani Harms, Sarah Smallwood Parsons, Becca Beberaggi, Amanda Xeller, Kathleen O’Mara, and Michelle Drozdick—at The PIT Underground produced by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: Pilot Season

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Justin Silver (host of Funny for Fido podcast, author of The Language of Dogs) & Eric Neumann (“I am yet to have a year that financially tops my Bar Mitzvah year. If you book me, you can help make this sad reality go away”) each perform a 30-minute stand-up set every night through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Justin Sliver and Eric Neumann

7:00 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Lucy Shelby about the burdens of being beautiful at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Pretty Hurts

7:00 pm ($7): A themed comedy show featuring improv and more at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Florence Friebe: The Thank You Show

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10—sold out of advance seats, but there’ll be 150 tickets at the door): A monthly wild pun competition usually hosted by father-daughter duo Fred Firestone and Jo Firestone—but Jo will be performing comedy in Florida tonight, so Fred is flying solo—with 18 audience members competing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street; take R subway to Union Street): Punderdome 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): A monthly show about obsessions with pop culture, with tonight’s topic Things We Hate with Amanda Duarte (host of Dead Darlings and co-host of Girl Friday podcast), Jeff Hiller (30 Rock, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, musical improv group Rumpleteaser), and Carrie Wittmer (The Belladona, McSweeney’s) performing at UCB East hosted by Damian Bellino & Anne Rodeman: So Into It: A Fanatic Variety Show

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

8:00 pm ($7): A double-bill of one-woman shows by Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle) and Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired) at The PIT Mainstage: Katina and Becky Have It All

[FREE; plus FREE DRAFT BEER 8:00-8:30!] 8:00 pm: Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; host of Right Now; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Robert Dean (Comedy Central), Ayanna Dookie, and Hannah Cowger performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Two Boots Pizza Williamsburg (558 Driggs Avenue) hosted by Lucas Connolly, David Piccolomini, and Jake Fromm: Ambush Comedy

[FREE, plus FREE BEER] 8:00 pm: Enjoy a comfy seat and a free beer while you watch comedy at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Couch Cave Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): A new storytelling show featuring top stand-ups, hosted by Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer) with Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing finalist), Robert Kelly (Louie, HBO, CBS’ upcoming The 2-2, two Comedy Central specials), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Leonard Ouzts (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), all performing at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Tuesdays With Stories Podcast Recording

[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

8:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT Underground: Act One

9:00 pm pm ($10): A one-man show by Carol A. Jantsen having fun with motivational speaking at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): How to Help the Self When the Self Needs Help

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): Shane Torres (fresh, hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang) and Josh Johnson each perform 30-minute stand-up sets at UCB East hosted by 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): Comedy Central Corporate Retreat: Shane Torres, Naomi Ekperigin, and Josh Johnson

9:30 pm ($7): Sketch group Mountain Rapids Soda performs a play in which oddball characters trapped together out on the high seas must uncover a killer in their midst at The PIT Mainstage: Boat Show Expo: A Murder Mystery

10:00 pm ($7): Improv trio Christine Pineiro, Zak Sommerfield, and Andy Hilbrands leverage their mutual love of improv and tank tops to make up scenes at The PIT Underground: T-Tops Three Prov

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jordan Klepper (correspondent for The Daily Show) performs a show TBD at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jordan Klepper TBD

11:00 pm ($5): Improv group Higgins looks at the Instagram photos of audience members and then uses them as springboards for comedy scenes at the UCB East theatre: Higgins: The Instagram Show

11:00 pm ($7): TJ Del Reno hosts improv groups performing at The PIT Underground: TJ Del Reno’s Flying Improv Circus

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 ($5): Walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Giggles & Bits Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with veteran musical improvisors to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

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 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: Slow Jam

[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

11:00 pm ($5): Ten stand-ups whose names are drawn from a “golden bowl of destiny” will be given stage time, along with a few invited stand-ups, at The PIT Underground hosted by Will Purpura: Bring It

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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