NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/7/17

April 7, 2017

Anthony AtamanuikAnthony Atamanuik is thoroughly hilarious as Donald Trump—and this evening “he’s giving a luxurious speech from the East Room of the White House. Join him and his paid audience as he updates America on his first 100 days:” Trump Dump: The Presidential Address (6:00 pm, $5; if this sells out of seats, you can still probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing; UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)…

Kevin McDonald and John Gemberling…and stars Kevin McDonald (The Kids In The Hall) and John Gemberling (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City, NBC’s Marry Me, and FOX’s Making History) are the guests of brilliant improvisor & character comic Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers), who transforms into “filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick (Griffin Newman) as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema:” The George Lucas Talk Show (Midnight, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd 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] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm. 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Friday

7:00 pm ($10): The Magnet theatre hands out its annual awards to its own performers at The Maggies

[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 one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Justin Sliver and Eric Neumann

7:00 pm ($10): Comedy group Terrorbird performs dark sketch comedy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Terrorbird

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.) The co-creator & co-writer of CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NBC sitcom Whitney is also a star stand-up who’s performed on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, TBS, E!, and Chelsea Lately…and is headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Whitney Cummings

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a mild parody of girl bands via “the world’s first Asian-American pop group from the USA. Join Baby Rice, Quirky Rice, Edgy Rice, Competitive Rice, and Brown Rice as they kick off their tour by dancing, singing, and rapping about boys, friendship, and systemic racism/oppression:” AzN PoP!: Live in Concert

…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

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

7:30 pm ($10): Six New York comics telling stories of where they came from (one from Canada, another from Portland) and the journey that led them to NYC performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Katie Boyle (who’s from Ireland): Transplants

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit, new comedy album Hot Flashes), Zach Sims, and Erik Bransteen perform stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Mike Lebovitz: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): A musical parody of the Star Wars movies with periodic solid moments, and that includes superb comics Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman (Your Love, Our Musical), and terrific singer Tarik Davis (whose “bromance” duet with Evan as Finn & Poe is the highlight of the show). Unfortunately, most of the time the script doesn’t quite hit the mark; but if you’re a die-hard fan, you might get a kick out of this production playing through May 6th at The PIT Mainstage: Star Wars: The Farce Awakens

8:00 pm ($5): 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

8:00 pm ($7): A play about a high school student finding a genie who can grant three wishes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Pop Punk High

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Alexandra Dickson, Silvija Ozols, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:00 pm ($7): An audience member with a decision to make becomes the basis of an improvised court trial at The PIT Underground: The People’s Court

9:00 pm ($10): NYC sketch comedy groups Café con Sketché and American Danger performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Boogie Manja

9:30 pm ($10): Comedy group His Majesty, The Baby blends sketch, dance, physical comedy, poetry, live music, and/or metaphysical comedy. In this show, “we will argue that most comedy we currently experience is either ethically problematic (e.g., alt-right trolling) or creatively at a dead end (e.g., alt-comedy), or both (e.g., liberal satire, much of which with the advent of Trump has turned into a sad form of wish-fulfillment: HillaryBeatTrump.org). The evening then concludes” at The PIT Mainstage: Don’t Normalize His Majesty, the Baby

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors James Dwyer, Craig Rowin, Connor O’Malley, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and Shaun Diston make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[$] 10:30 pm ($12): Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Peet Guercio (E!), Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central), and Zach Sims (CMT)i performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Stand-ups who are single each perform a set and then participate in a dating game show, choosing among three mystery contestants based on their online dating profiles at The PIT Mainstage: Tinderella

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Comics perform stand-up sets and then go on dates with each other as part of the live show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Rob Harper & Rachel Coleman: We’re Getting Laid

Midnight ($7): Comics form bands to compete for a fake recording contract and the honor of performing “Wonderwall” at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Achilles Stamatelaky & Matthew Star: Seriously, Are You Ready to Rock?!

Friday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sydney Beveridge & Davey Melch: Queens Open Mic Fridays

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 ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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

6:00 pm ($5): A weekly walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Friday Night Mics

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

6:30 pm ($3): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at The PIT Underground for Happy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-up starts at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Seena Jon: Mic and Cheese

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.

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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.