NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/13/17

April 13, 2017

Josh GondelmanJosh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker) and Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central) each perform 30-minute stand-up sets hosted by the fabulous Emmy Blotnick (rising star; warm-up comic for Comedy Central’s The President Show; writer for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Roast of Rob Lowe, and Not Safe with Nikki Glaser; MTV, VH1): Big Long Sets (11:00 pm, $5, 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:

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

7:00 pm food, 7:30ish pm show ($5; if you show up around 7:00 pm, includes host Brian Parise’s homemade vegetarian gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce) (Warning: “If you pronounce gnocchi wrong, you will be removed from the premises.”): Shalewa Sharpe (Keith and the Girl; comedy album Stay Eating Cookies), Ariel Elias (Someecards), Jono Zalay, and Tim Barnes performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Frank’s Cocktail Lounge (660 Fulton Street; take G to Fulton Street or A/C to Lafayette Avenue) hosted by Brian Parise and guest co-host Ayanna Dookie: It’s All Happening: Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce

7:00 pm ($7): A one-man sermon about improv by “Rev. Deuce Hansbury” that treats improv like a religion and invites all audience members to join it at The PIT Mainstage: Mega-Team of Improv

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy Improv from a six-person group performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Sunday School Dropouts

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Kerry Coddett (The Nightly Show, MTV’s Joking Off, TruTV), Emily Epstein White, and Vivian Martinez perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

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

7:30 pm ($7): After each stand-up performs, you and the rest of the audience get to ask them questions about their jokes, with tonight’s comics Emily Winter (writer for Fusion’s Come Here and Say That, co-host of Backfat Variety), Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love, host of Ed Sullivan on Acid), Mark Reiss, Cathy Humes, and Patrick J. Reilly at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Kevin Froleiks & Sam Bourne: Press Conference

7:30 pm ($7): Talented improvisors make up scenes with fast & furious ferocity at improv The PIT Underground: Fury

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: NYC stand-ups Gastor Almonte, Amber Rollo, Tim Dillon, Becky Yamamoto, Guitler Raphael, Kristin Seltman, Sam Evans, and and Lizzie Martinez perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1) records his first comedy album at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street). Come help Matt out and get your laughs immortalized by attending this satisfyingly long stand-up set: Matt Goldich Album Recording

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A burlesque comedic play paying homage to the tropes of Coen Brothers movies at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman; The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to The Coen Brothers

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($3): Alingon Mitra (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Last Comic Standing), Megan Gailey (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, MTV’s Ladylike), Maysoon Zayid (self-described “Palestinian Muslim with cerebral palsy, from New Jersey;” cast member for two seasons of As the World Turns; former pundit for Keith Olbermann), Charlie Bardey, Alysia Hush, and Noa Osheroff performing stand-up at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Yotam Tubul & Lisa Franklin: Runnin’ on Empty

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Titanic (exploring love stories beyond Jack & Rose that might have taken place during the doomed voyage), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

8:00 pm ($7): Female comics (unfortunately, not announced) perform stand-up for this show sponsored by satirical women’s magazine Reductress at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Taryn Englehart, Jasmine Pierce, and/or Nicole Silverberg: Haha, Wow! by Reductress

8:00 pm ($7): The greatest science fiction anthology radio show of all time was X Minus One. Improvisors who know their genre history created this show in which they make up scenes of awe, mystery, and wonder at The PIT Mainstage co-starring the spectacular Rachel Scherer, with sound design & foley effects from Frank Todaro, and an opening musical set from improv singer Kiki Mikkelsen (Vern) & improv pianist Rachel Kaufman: X Plus One

[FREE; plus FREE BEER!] 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), Gregory W. Hall, and Kevin TB share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by the lovely Natalie Wall (also host of Awkward Sex and the City) and guest-hosted by Eric Silver: Awkward Poop and the City

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, Lynne Koplitz, Drew Michael, Sam Morril, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

8:00 pm pm ($5): Sharon Jamilkoswki performs a one-woman show as Diana Ross, the daughter of PBS guru Bob Ross (The Joy of Painting), at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Joy of Arting with Diana Ross

8:30 pm ($5): Group Hot Boss hosts comedy about jobs at The PIT Underground capped by an audience member excoriating his or her boss and coworkers: Hot Boss: Happy Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Emmy Blotnick (rising star; warm-up comic for Comedy Central’s The President Show; writer for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Roast of Rob Lowe, and Not Safe with Nikki Glaser; MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Clayton English (Seth Meyers), Alison Leiby (VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), George Gordon, Guitler Raphael, and Julia Claire perform at UCB East hosted by rising stars Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, host of Homeschooled, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) and/or Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable rising stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code blog): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Improv group As You Will (Improvised Shakespeare) makes up scenes in the style of playwright Samuel Beckett and Waiting for Godot at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): As You Will: Beckett-Prov

9:00 pm ($8): Stand-up & storytelling springboarding off topics tackled by The Ricki Lake Show—fat friends, two-timing traitorous tramps, and so on—with tonight’s guests Liz Magee, Sam Grittner, Drew Anderson, Carolyn Bergier, and Dick Satori performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Matt Smith McCormick: Go Ricki!

9:30 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a play about the minutiae of small town politics directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel and featuring a seven-person cast: All in Favor

…and in the second other of this double bill, a play in which “Blue’s Clues meets Avenue Q in puppet comedy:” Simon’s Street

9:30 pm ($10): Comics who all met at Brown University perform scripted comedy at The PIT Mainstage: Rad Motel Sketch Comedy

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Williams & Akash Bhasin: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($12.34 online using code HKFT): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) directed by and co-starring Philip Markle (former Executive Director of The Annoyance Theatre-NY)—and tonight with David Frasure performing an opening magic act: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Last week musical improv group Rumpleteaser crushed improv group Fluffty by a vote count of 100-24, giving it 10 wins in a row. The seemingly unstoppable musical juggernaut tonight faces a formidable challenger, UCB weekend improv group Airwolf, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

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

[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

[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 ($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

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

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: 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

[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): Thursdays 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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