NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/12/17

Anthony AtamanuikAnthony Atamanuik‘s impression of Donald Trump is so quick-witted and deliciously dark that Comedy Central is providing Anthony his own weekly series, The President Show, starting Thursday April 27th at 11:30 pm. We can count ourselves blessed that we can enjoy a live sneak peek tonight when Anthony/Trump “gives 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 (8:00 pm, $7; 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)

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six hours of free improvisation—including musical improv from group Vern (which includes superb singer & comic Julie A. Feltman) at 7:15 pm, such stellar improvisors as Pat Swearingen and Langston Belton in Hero Complex at 8:30 pm, and star instructors such as Dana Shulman, Adrian Sexton, Chris Booth, and sometimes even PIT owner Ali Reza Farahnakian at The Faculty at 10:00 pm, all at The PIT Mainstage: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central’s South Beach, host of The Secret Loft Show) tries out new stand-up material every night through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Lucas Connolly

7:00 pm ($7): Group Daddy’s Ghost hosts improv, sketch, and/or more at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Eulogy: A Variety Show

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, 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 Wednesday

7:30 pm ($7): Comics Sue Smith and Jared Wilder prepare dishes while professional chef Ann Nunziata tries to be funny at this show mixing comedy and cooking at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Adrienne Cooper: The Food Funny

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy and solo characters by Mike Brian, Chris Migliaccio, Paul Cohen, and guests at The PIT Underground: Backdoor Barbecue

7:30 pm ($5): Extending the improv showcased at UCB Chelsea’s Tuesday Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features house groups Top Heavy, Judy Big Mouth, and Horse Girl also making up scenes via the long improv form called The Harold: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At the UCB East theatre, an improv show somehow performed in both English and Spanish by bilingual comics—including Charlie Todd and Morgan Miller—that springboards off an interview with an audience member about an experience in a Spanish-speaking country or with a Spanish-speaking person: Fifty/Cincuenta

…and in the second other of this double bill, dynamite musical improvisors including Jeff Hiller, Aaron Jackson, Josh Sharp, Lauren Adams, and/or more make up stories with songs at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Rumpleteaser: Musical Improv

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Jesse Miller-Gordon (band Sick Feeling), Sara Reinis, and Meredith Graves “talk about weird stuff they care deeply about while extremely drunk—with PowerPoint” at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Drunk [REDACTED] Talks: Blaze It

8:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from underdog aspiring heroes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Unlikely Heroes Presents: Tell Your Villains

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; webseries Teachers Lounge; frequently opens for Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, Comedy Central special Only Whores Wear Purple, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and Gary Vider (America’s Got Talent 2015 finalist; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here) perform stand-up at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street) hosted by Mike Finoia (Producer for TruTV’s Impractical Jokers; host of Jamcast): Hot Seat Comedy Show

8:30 pm ($7): Storytellers share tales of bad dates, and then improvisors create scenes that make those bad dates even worse at The PIT Underground hosted by Ryan Darden: Bad Date Theater

8:45 pm (no cover if you mention HyReviews.com when making reservations by phone at (212) 260-2445 or via email, but 2-drink. min.): The main attractions of this stand-up show hosted by Sachin Shaan Bansal at the Eastville Comedy Club (84 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) aren’t the booked comics, but the drop-ins. That means you aren’t assured of a great time; but if you’re willing to gamble, you might be pleasantly surprised by who shows up at for No Deductions

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Dina Hashem (sharp, low-key, delightful rising star; Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Seeso’s Night Train), Nathan Macintosh (Conan O’Brien), Sarah Kennedy, Sharron Paul, Argon Fritz, and Chris Gersbeck (the producer of this show) performing stand-up or sketch at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Peter Bandyk: Everythign Is Dumbn

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, and other NYC comics “discussing the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this weekly podcast taping at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Ramon Rivas II (Comedy Central Half Hour), Grant Cotter (Funny or Die’s Oddball Comedy Festival), KC Arora (truTV’s Late Night Snack), Tommy McNamara (Seeso’s The Show Show), Erica Spera, and YouJean Chang performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Lance Weiss & Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre,a gathering of “the world’s foremost cryptozoologists, monster hunters, and friends of freaky fauna, will convene at our top-secret headquarters under a grocery store to unveil the year’s most fascinating and grotesque new beastly discoveries:” Monsters Exist

…and in the second other of this double bill, Dynamite musical improvisors including Zack Willis, Aaron Jackson, Lauren Adams, Josh Sharp, Jeff Hiller, and/or more have been destroying all other improv groups at Thursday’s Cage Match (to date, 10 massive wins in a row…). Come see why audiences can’t resist how these superb comics make up stories with songs : Rumpleteaser: Musical Improv

9:30 pm ($7): Comedic storytellers tell tales accompanied by videos, with tonight’s guests Ginny Leise (co-host of The Shame Game) and Vanessa Golembewski (NBC), plus The Improv Group Who Takes Off Real Clothes making up scenes springboarding off the stories, all at The PIT Underground hosted by Harmon Leon: Videotale

9:30 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

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes about obsessions at the UCB East theatre: The Fix

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers) hosts this “anything might happen comedy chaos” monthly show. Tonight audience members who play piano can compete for the title of “World’s Best Accompanist” while comics perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow: Search for the World’s Best Accompanist

Wednesday 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 show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Walk-in open mic storytelling show, with each yarn-spinner (selected via names from a bucket) getting up to 8 minutes to tell a true and funny tale at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Vincent Chang: Flynn’s Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Anthony Velez: Recess

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

11:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT Underground: The Camel Butt

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East hosted by members of improv group Some Kid: Rotisserie Jam

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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