Jermaine Fowler (star of CBS sitcom Superior Donuts; star of Showtime special Give ‘Em Hell, Kid; MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker), Clayton English (Seth Meyers), Alison Leiby (VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Yassir Lester, David Drake, and Sam Evans perform stand-up hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit (9:00 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory at 361 Metropolitan 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 $) include:
[$] 2:00 pm ($20): This musical with puppets is a family-friendly and interactive reinvention of the fairy tale The Three Billy Goats that urges the audience to work at improving the environment. Today’s performance at The PIT Mainstage is the NYC premiere of Gruff!
6:00 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 ($15): To celebrate Easter, sketch comedy group City Hall (Chris Booth, Julia Darden, Luis Nunez, Jake Keefe, Josh Wolinsky, and director Kevin Laibson) performs a 45-minute version of rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar using a cast of potatoes…and thoughtfully revised lyrics (e.g., “Crucify him!” has been replaced with “Peel and fry him!”) at The PIT Mainstage (123 East 24th Street): Jesus Chris Tatertot
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among five shows, with three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday
[TOP PICK] [$] 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
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
7:30 pm ($7): “Improvisers create scenes inspired by essays written about personal experiences and show that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine” at The Magnet theatre: You Are Not Alone: An Uplifting Show About Depression
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Star 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) hosts Kevin Avery (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Alison Leiby (VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Mike Cannon, Brent Gill, Gilbert Lawand, and Khalid Rahmaan performing stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City): If You Build It
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5) (MTA Subway Alert: The L train isn’t running today between Lorimer and Broadway Junction, so plan for extra travel time on a free shuttle bus to the Grand Street stop): Jena Friedman (wry dark political stand-up; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), Clare O’Kane (Amazon’s Budding Prospects, Viceland’s Flophouse, webseries Semi-Famous; former writer for SpongeBob SquarePants), Kelsey Caine (sly, sharp stand-up; Miss New York State finalist; for a video sample, please click here), Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, host of First Set, comedy album True Love), Murf Meyer & Diana Kolsky (hosts of Menage a Trois; The Chris Gethard Show), Tim Barnes (NPR), and Tessa Skara (Ars Nova) performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis (HBO; creator/host of weekly Manhattan cable TV show The Special Without Brett Davis; winner of the 2015 Andy Kaufman Award) & Sally Burtnick (The Special Without Brett Davis): The Macaulay Culkin Show
[$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): A comic who won nine Emmy Awards for his Executive Producer work on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, and was also Executive Producer and correspondent for The Nightly Show, practices for an upcoming comedy special with a long stand-up set at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Rory Albanese: Before I Tape
9:00 pm ($6): In this Easter-inspired edition, stand-ups Dan Perlman, Justin Flanagan, Freddy G, Maddy Smith, Brian Park, and Nasser Khan joke about religion at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Brendan Busee: Graft vs. Host
[FREE] 9:00 pm: “Bringing all the excitement and passion of professional wrestling to stand-up comedy, your clueless announcers Kelsey Caine & Jack Comstock invite you to get up and throw down for comics entering the ring for glory! Who will survive? Who will be there? Who actually cares about wrestling? Come on out and get Ready 2 Crumble” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Ready 2 Crumble
[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 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
[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.