NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/31/17

May 31, 2017

Aunty DonnaAward-winning Australian sketch trio Aunty DonnaMark Samual Bonanno, Broden Kelly, and Zachary Ruane—perform “surreal fast-paced little plays, clever dances, and goofy characters” (click for video samples) tonight & Thursday at Brooklyn as part of its world tour: Aunty Donna: New Show (8:00 pm, $30, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

Ophira Eisenberg & Adira Amram: "Ophira & Adira"…and two exceptionally appealing comics, Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!) and Adira Amram (spectacular comedic singer & dancer; Funny or Die), perform and host 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), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Matthew Holtzclaw (magician; Penn & Teller: Fool Us), and Maeve Higgins (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk, host of Maeve in America): Ophira & Adira (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union 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

6:00 pm ($7): A guest monologist tells a story from his or her days in high school, and then improvisors springboard the tale’s details into scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Improv High

[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

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy group Nipsy tries out material at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Workout: Nipsy

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups 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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): A one-man show by Luke Ward telling the story of how he and his wife adopted a baby at The PIT Underground directed by Kaitlin Fontana: Adapting

7:30 pm ($7): Storytellers Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely, one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Jiji Lee, and Babe Parker & Leo Martin share tales of lost love, despair, and hopelessness at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Claire Burns & Jessie Jolles: No Such Thing as Love

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 Zaddy, seventeen, and Hotel Hotel also making up scenes via the long improv form called The Harold: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, “Becky Abrams is determined to go on a date with every boy she can, and you’re damn right that she’s going to enjoy it while she does:” A Date with Every Boy

…and in the second half of this double-bill, comics who are moms “grab a glass of wine, strap on their nursing bras, and leave the babysitter $20 for pizza” to go out for an evening together and improvise scenes, featuring Leslie Meisel, Silvija Ozols, Ann Carr, Kate Zelensky, Cody Lindquist, and/or Karin Hammerberg: Mom’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm pm ($10): A Shakespeare play is made up on the spot by Mona Thompson, Shara Tonn, Ben Johnson, and Jessia Hoffman at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Mona, Shara, Ben, and Jessia Do Improvised Shakespeare

8:00 pm ($8): Comics Melinda Taub, Alex Song, and Patti Harrison get drunk and then compete to present the best scientific dissertation on this month’s rather dark subject of Tuberculosis to genuine scientist Dr. Ludovic Desvignes at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Joanna Rothkopf, Shannon Odell, and Jordan Mendoza: Drunk Science

[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 ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Mike Birbiglia (one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country; feature films Don’t Think Twice and Sleepwalk with Me; three Comedy Central specials, multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live) tries out new material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Mike Birbiglia: Working It Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: David Lawson (fresh, sharp, edgy storyteller; Solocom; host of The Astoria Bookshop Storytelling Show) shares odd tales of his days growing up in Washington DC—which include a murderer dressed in a bunny suit, a failed insensitive Disney theme park, and friendly next door neighbors who used slave labor—with opening stories by Gastor Almonte and Amy Dixon, all performing for this free show at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue): David Lawson: What the Hell, DC

8:30 pm ($7): Comics screen their favorite movie clips as part of their sets, with tonight’s stand-ups Emily Wilson, Connor Creagan, Patrick Holbert, Julia Branda, and Lance Pauker all performing at The PIT Underground hosted by Justin Angermeyer & Caitlin Mckee: Roll Credits

[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

9:00 pm ($7): A one-woman play by Becca Beberaggi (host of Comedy Night at Paste Studio) about coming of age in NYC while dealing with Craigslist and nuns at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): I Laugh to Keep From Crying

9:00 pm ($7): A play by sketch duo 21st Floor (Sean Perham & Andy Mavra) about when “two of the hardest working men in live adult entertainment find out their entire staff has walked off the job” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The VanZandt Brothers Gentlemen’s Club

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups DC Benny, Michael Kayne, Kristin Manna, Nick Callas, and Kenny Warren perform 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

9:30 pm ($7): Dynamite comics Aaron Jackson, Brandon Scott Jones, Jeff Hiller, Josh Sharp, and Brian Faas promise “You are going to turn Gay, and you are going to love it” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: We Will Turn You Gay

10:00 pm ($7): Comics Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1, comedy album He Has Friends), Eman El Husseini, and Jess Salomon each make a case for why he or she would be a better President than our current one. You and your audience then votes on the winner…who is then sworn in on the spot at The PIT Underground by host Andrea Ilene Shapiro: #ThatsMyPresident

10:00 pm ($7): Improv group Big Kitten performs and hosts other indie improv groups at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Big Kitten’s BIg Show

10:15 pm ($5): Randomly selected UCB students perform with UCB improv veterans at the UCB East theatre: The Lottery

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jill Kargman (creator and star of Bravo 2015 TV series Odd Mom Out, which is based on her 2007 book Momzillas) has a talk show built around her and her friends for one night only at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Night Late

11:00 pm ($7): Monoscene improv group Crazy Legs performs and hosts other indie improv groups on this last day of May at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): May Day

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: Monthly open mic for stand-up, characters, storytelling, improv, music, or anything else, providing 4 minutes per person—and a extra minute beyond that if the performer pays a compliment to a fellow performer in the room. Sign up via email by noon today at thecomplimentarymic@gmail.com for one of the 9 reserved spots, or try to nab one of the 5 walk-in spots tonight at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenn Wehrung & Coree Spencer: The Complimentary 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

[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

7:00 pm ($7): Walk-in open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Randy Reiman & Nikki Lowe: Open Mic’s Hard Lemonade

[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

11:00 pm ($5): Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes per comic, with sign-up at 10:00 pm (maximum of 12 comics, so arrive early), at The PIT Underground hosted by Max Halpert: Awkward High Five Open Mic

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

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your chance to perform with veteran UCB improvisors on the UCB East stage: The Lottery 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 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.

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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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/30/17

May 30, 2017

Michael CheAn ace stand-up who’s the star co-host of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update; a former correspondent for The Daily Show and staff writer for Saturday Night Live; has also performed on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, The Today Show, and The View; and starred in a Comedy Central Half Hour and in Netflix special Michael Che Matters headlines for one night only in the West Village: Michael Che Secret Show (8:00 pm and 10:00 pm, $20 plus 2-drink min., Village Underground at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman: "Your Love, Our Musical"…or marvel at world-class singing improvisors Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman interviewing an audience couple about their love life and then turning it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). Celebrating its Three Year Anniversary, I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (8:00 pm; $10, which is super cheap—;this show has regularly sold out at $18 at other venues; Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union 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 ($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

[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): Kou Moshtael & Jeremy Pick perform duo sketch comedy at The PIT Underground: Moshpick Live

7:00 pm ($7): An improvisor delivers an exceptionally honest monologue based on an audience suggestion that launches the group’s performing scenes—and at some point another improvisor braves an audience “dare”—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Truth + Dare

[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

7:30 pm ($5): Jenn Welch, Melissa Rocha, Mary Houlihan, Phil Stamato, and Alon Elian perform music, characters, or stand-up, and then help ex-lover hosts Alicia Camden & Nate Waggoner provide romantic advice to anonymous audience questions for this taped podcast at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Invitation to Love Live

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): A show focused on dance, movement, and physical comedy for “those of us who fall outside social binaries and the beauty standards of mainstream…dedicated to the weird, the beautiful, the gross, and, ultimately, the human” featuring the wonderful Tallie Medel (Cocoon Central Dance Team), Karolena Greenridge, Peter Smith, Alise Morales, and Alex English performing at UCB East hosted by Arti Gollapudi: Your Body Must Be Heard

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm [$] ($15): Shane Mauss (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Showtime, specials on Comedy Central and Netflix) performs a one-man show about psychedelics at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Shane Mauss Presents A Good Trip

[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: Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($10): An autobiographical one-woman show by Stephanie Gould about growing up with cerebral palsy at The PIT Mainstage directed by Chris Booth: Walk with Me

8:00 pm ($5): UCB house groups By the Book and Some Kid make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 9:30 pm): Harold Night, Part 1

[FREE; plus FREE DRAFT BEER 8:00-8:30!] 8:00 pm: Krystyna Hutchinson (co-host of popular Guys We Fucked podcast, Carson Daly), Josh Rabinowitz (Broad City, TruTV), Wendi Starling (Jammerz podcast), and Dustin Chafin perform 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 “light refreshments;” register here] 8:00 pm: Becca Beberaggi hosts Liz Magee, Babe Parker, Nick Callas, Ester Steinberg, and Usama Siddiquee performing stand-up at Paste Magazine (350 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 500): Comedy Night at Paste Studio

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; co-host of podcasts Legion of Skanks and The SDR; stellar comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing finalist), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), and Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; former co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America), Jordan Temple (writer for MTV’s Decoded), Brad Howe (Funny or Die), and Casey Jane Ellison perform stand-up hosted by Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Charles Gould (Comedy Central), and Dan Licata (The Chris Gethard Show) at Brooklyn’s NY Distilling Company (79 Richardson Street; take L subway to Lorimer Street): Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($10): Jena Friedman (wry dark political stand-up; Stephen Colbert, @midnight, The New Yorker, Adult Swim, Netflix mockumentary Undecided; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show;), Bill Dawes (HBO’s Sex and the City and Oz, CBS’ Elementary and Criminal Minds, USA’s Royal Pains, TNT’s The Following and Rizzoli & Isles, ABC’s All My Children), sketch group Aunty Donna, musician Jack Dishel, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) guest-hosted by Greg Barris (MTV’s All That Rocks, host of Heart of Darkness): Sweet

9:00 pm ($6): Comics Maurice Licorish, Shanna Christmas, and Bobby Hankinson each tell a story about his or her favorite song, then perform a karaoke version of the song—while wearing pajamas—and so will three audience members (maybe you) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenn Wehrung, Coree Spencer, and/or Sharron Paul: The Jammy Jam

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): Producers and staff writers for The Daily Show come out from behind the scenes to perform stand-up at the UCB East theatre: The Daily Show Staff Stand-Up Show: An Evening of Political-ish Comedy

9:30 pm ($7): Sketch duo Two Fake Blondes (Eliza Kingsbury & Jewel Elizabeth) host an hour of character comedy at The PIT Underground: B*tches & Snitches: A Character Show

9:30 pm ($5): UCB house groups Flufty and Ice Cold Bev make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 8:00 pm): Harold Night, Part 2

9:30 pm ($7): A variety show that incorporates tarot cards—show up an hour early for a free reading—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tamara’s & Adrian’s Tarot Variety Show

9:30 pm ($7): An improvised talk show, with one member playing a character suggested by the audience as the guest, and the other improvisors making up scenes springboarding off things said during the interview at The PIT Mainstage: Interview With A…

[FREE] 10:00 pm: LGBTQ-friendly stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Kaitlyn Holland, Elsa Waithe, and Sarah Kennedy: Rainbow Sprinkles

11:00 pm ($5): Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, and Brian Urreta of improv group The Mannequin Room chat with audience members about their day over beverages and then make up scenes about it at the UCB East theatre: Spill the T with The Mannequin Room

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

5:30 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] 9:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Tuesday Night Open Mic

[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 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.

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/29/17

May 29, 2017

Amy Rutberg, Zoey Martinson, and Cristin MiliotiBroadway, TV, and/or film stars Amy Rutberg (CBS’ Bull, Netflix’s Daredevil, HBO’s Recount), Zoey Martinson (Ndebele Funeral, Are We There Yet?), Cristin Milioti (FX’s Fargo, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, Broadway’s Once (Tony nominated), Sarah Stiles (Broadway’s On a Clear Day…, Hand to God (Tony nominated), and Mark Gagliardi (Thrilling Adventure Hour, Drunk History) steadfastly stick to the script of classic plays, while genius improvisors Scott Adsit, Neil Casey, Brian Stack, and Michael Delaney spontaneously react to being thrust into the scenes of these plays they’ve never seen or read, all mixing it up for actor/director Stephen Ruddy‘s Gravid Water (8:00 pm, $7 (tickets still available as I write this; but even when the show sells out of seats, you can still get in if you arrive early and are okay with 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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Terrific storytellers David Lawson (fresh, sharp, edgy storyteller; Solocom; host of The Astoria Bookshop Storytelling Show), Anna Roisman (MTV; co-host of You Probably Think This Song Is About You), Sean O’Brien (Moth GrandSlam Champion), and Andrew Collin tell tales set outside of NYC (e.g., in their home towns) at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Andre Medrano: The Town and the City

[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 Monday

7:30 pm (second show at 10:30 pm) ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray & Christina Dabney at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts a stellar lineup of Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Rachel Feinstein, Roy Wood Jr., and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Brilliant improvisors Langan Kingsley (briefly back in NYC), Aaron Jackson, and Josh Sharp make up scenes while being unusually thin at the UCB East theatre: Big Fat Fatties

8:00 pm ($10): A group of actors and improvisors attempt to duplicate the success of UCBT’s Gravid Water by putting improvisors in the middle of classic theatre scenes at The PIT Mainstage. UCBT uses top Broadway and improv talent for its show, making it extraordinary. The participants of this show aren’t quite at that level, but the format is so strong that this might work anyway, despite the awful title: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

9:00 pm ($7): Improv from visiting San Francisco duo Mona Thompson & Shara Tonn, plus an opening improv set from Megan Gray, Chet Siegel, and Veslemøy Mørkrid, all performing at The Magnet theatre: Mona and Shara Do a Bunch of Scenes

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform at this free weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love) & Richard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, sketch gals Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece are hilarious playing 13-year-old boys who are “the Internet’s most viral, most teenage, and most white hip hop duo:” Famous Male Duo

…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 ($7): Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform this show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

9:30 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes about moms—springboarding off stories by a “mom-ologist”— at The PIT Mainstage: Ad Mom-orium

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Laurie Kilmartin (dynamite stand-up; writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1), Justin Silver (star of CBS’ Dogs in the City), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, @midnight, This is Not Happening; MTV’s Guy Code Vs. Girl Code; Chelsea Lately), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), Graham Kay, Elon Altman, Ramy Youssef, and Justin Smith perform stand-up at one of best comedy clubs in NYC at absolutely no cost to you (feel encouraged to order food and//or drinks, but you don’t have to) for The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Sandford: Permission to Fail

10:30 pm ($7; see also 7:30 pm): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray & Christina Dabney at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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 who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Situ Mel ton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm ($3): A walk-in stand-up open mic hosted by Katherine Dudas and a walk-in improv jam hosted by Collin Gossel somehow happen at the same time at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Improv Open Mic Stand-Up Jam

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for telling stories or jokes about sex, desire, and romance, with each performer getting 7 minutes at The Delancey (168 Delancey Street) produced by Ames Beckerman: Safe Word: The Sexiest Open Mic in NYC

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform in this show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: Base Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

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 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.

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/28/17

May 28, 2017

Molly's Guilt Free Comedy and Ice Cream Social“Inspired by two years in recovery from her own eating disorder, Molly Kiernan hosts a guilt-free celebration of sweets and self. Come early for ice cream in the lobby, and stay for improv, stand-up, characters, and song in the theatre. For this night (and hopefully the rest of your life), allow yourself to eat, laugh and love who you are,” with all-gal improv, stand-up, and sketch at 6:00; stand-up, storytelling, and song & dance at 7:00; and mostly characters at 8:00 pm: Molly’s Guilt Free Comedy and Ice Cream Social (6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 8:00 pm, $10 per show, The Magnet at 254 West 29th 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:

[$] 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!

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($8): Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers; Louie, Broad City), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), Kenny DeForest (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit),and Wanjiko Eke perform stand-up, plus gal group Three Busy Debras (Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari, and Alyssa Stonoha) perform sketch, all at Brooklyn’s Sunnyvale (1031 Grand Street) hosted by Harris Mayersohn: Just a Show

6:00 pm ($7): Ross Berman, Priscilla Cintron, Michelle Drozdick, and Rob Verdino blend game show elements, audience interaction, and improv to have fun with online dating experiences at The PIT Mainstage: OK Stupid

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

7:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups, sketch comics, and/or improvisors who are immigrants and/or perform immigrant-based material at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lucie Pohl: Immigrant Jam

7:00 pm ($7): You and your audience first choose rules the improv team must follow, and then the show begins at The PIT Mainstage: F*ck the Team

7:00 pm ($7): Long form improv that’s recorded for a podcast at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Truth and Exaggeration: The Podcast

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Nick Arret:: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 1:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($14 for 1:30 pm show, $24 for all other shows, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among 10 shows, with five shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), 7:15 pm, 9:15 pm, and 11:15 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:30 pm ($7): Noah Gardenswartz (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Zach Sherwin, Tanael Joachim, Ester Steinberg, Neel Nanda, and Meghan Hanley perform stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City) and hosted by Blair Socci (MTV’s Girl Code and Ladylike): If You Build It

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

8:00 pm ($7): “The kids in Ms. Stevens AP English class were given a big assignment when the semester started: creatively combine all the texts on their reading list into one short play. But the life of a senior is busy, and they might have put it off a little too long. See The Catcher in the Rye, Oedipus Rex, Jane Eyre, and more somehow smushed together with teen angst, SAT vocab words, and plot lines from The Vampire Diaries the teens are praying their teacher doesn’t notice” at The PIT Mainstage: Ms. Stevens’ AP English Class Presents: A Play

8:00 pm ($10): Comedy group Terrorbird performs dark sketch comedy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Terrorbird

8:30 pm ($10): Comics perform their darkest, saddest, and most traumatically funny bits for this monthly catharsis machine—with tonight’s guests Ashley Brooke Roberts, Anthony DeVito, Rae Sanni, Ayanna Dookie, Mike Recine, Bryan Yang, and Gilbert Lawand at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: hosted by Shane Torres, Nate Fridson, and Alison Zeidman: Dark Spots

8:30 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes…with God. This holy long form improv happens at The PIT Underground: GodProv 2: God Harder

8:30 pm ($7): Stand-ups Christian Finnegan (co-star of A&E’s Black and White; Conan O’Brien; three Comedy Central specials, Netflix special The Fun Part; TBS, VH1, MSNBC, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Molly Kornfeld, Tyler Fischer, and Mary Beth Barone, plus improv from group Unicorn Women, all performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Maggie Lally: Magtag Variety Hour

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Sketch comedy accompanied by live music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): With a Little Feeling

9:00 pm ($7): Comics allow music that’s offered up by the audience to influence their performances at The PIT Mainstage: Mixtape

9:30 pm ($7): 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

[ALMOST FREE] 10:00 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

10:30 pm ($7): Four improv groups perform within the same imagined world using four common characters at The PIT Mainstage: Under One Sun

Sunday Open Mics, Open Stages, and Jams

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 2:00-5:00 pm: “After a nice brunch with your best and brightest gal pals, come on over to QED for some second-hand clothing and first time jokes. The clothing swap begins at 2:00 pm and the mic starts at 4:00 pm” at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lauren Hope Krass: Ladies’ Open Mic & Clothing Swap

[FREE] 3:00 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

[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

5:30 pm ($3): Email Michelle Thomas at improv10000hrs@gmail.com to improvise with experienced PIT performers at The PIT Underground: 10K Jam Jam

9:30 pm ($5): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT Underground, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night at the Gemini

[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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team 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 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.

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/27/17

May 27, 2017

Sean Patton, Big Jay Oakerson, and and Kurt MetzgerA dynamite storytelling lineup of Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; former co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America), Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; co-host of podcasts Legion of Skanks and The SDR; stellar comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Kurt Metzger (Emmy Award-winning staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Yamaneika Saunders (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Roast Battle), and Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, host of Stoops2Stages) tell comedic tales for Ari Shaffir‘s terrific Comedy Central series This Is Not Happening (7:30 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth 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:

[FREE] 2:30 pm: A rare daytime stand-up show, providing comics with different challenges each month at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Peggy O’Leary & Lindsay Boling: Late Late Breakfast

5:00 pm ($7): Improv and more (not announced) at The PIT Underground: The Toolbox

6:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): 301 Views

6:00 pm ($5): Four Indie improv troupes performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

6:00 pm ($7): Solo improv by Dion Flynn (frequent sketch comic on Jimmy Fallon) at The PIT Mainstage: Works Well With Others

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12): Improv group Women and Men interview audience members about a weird and/or wild birthday, wedding, bar mitzvah, or other social gathering and then make up scenes based on those anecdotes at the UCB East theatre: Women and Men: Party Jumpin’

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 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 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 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 Saturday

7:00 pm ($7): Springboarding off the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, this show pits three improv groups against each other by making them meet multiple challenges while encouraging them to try to sabotage each other at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Harry Marker: Cutthroat Improv

7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Big Black Car 2 makes up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC2

7:00 pm ($7): Southern-born comics Malorie Cunningham & Kristen Ballard perform duo improv set in the South at The PIT Underground: The Dolly Partners

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Robert Weinstein—takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

7:30 pm ($10): Casey James Salengo, Patrick Goldsmith, Jordan Jensen, and Sergio Chicon share with you things they feel you really ought to know at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Colum Tyrrell & Lev Fer: Sh*t You Should Know: An Educational Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): “Do you ever leave a comedy show saying ‘Hmm, that was pretty funny but not enough reading’? Literati is a night of comics in character performing hilarious readings—sometimes while wearing wigs,” with comics Tim Platt, Steven Markow, Monique Moses, Jerah Milligan, and Hallie Haas at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Colin O’Brien & Michael Wolf: Literati: A Comedy Show About the Greatest American Novels Never Written

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Gypsy Danger (which includes brilliant comics Katie Hartman and Evan Kaufman, and which will make up a feature film on the spot) and The Baldwins (which includes brilliant comics Micah Sherman and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT Mainstage: Gypsy Danger: The Improvised Movie and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($5): Comics 5’7″ and shorter perform at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Daniel J. Perafan: Instatacular: Short Sets

8:00 pm ($10): Anthony DeVito (Comedy Central Half Hour, This American Life), Fumi Abe (MTV’s Decoded), Drew Morgan, and Katharyn Henson other NYC stand-ups perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Will Abeles & Craig Friedman: Hey Guys!

8:00 pm ($10): In this double-bill, first “Professor Insano, a fearsome supervillain and professor of Soc 102 and English Lit at Baruch College, has convened an emergency meeting of the council of evil to discuss his new plans to infiltrate reality;” and then a one-man show by Alejandro Kolleeny,all at The PIT Underground: Professor Insano Destroys Reality and Woe Is Me: Another White Male Odyssey

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($12): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A highly talented freestyle rapping long-form improv group makes up scenes with fierce musical energy at The PIT Underground: North Coast

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): An improvised apocalypse from sharp comics John Murray, Sean Casey, Jackie Jennings, Caroline Cotter, Joanna Bradley, David Bluvband, and Zach Cherry at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Rick Andrews—plus, for tonight only, original Trike member Leslie Korein—make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy trio Trike

9:00 pm ($5; or Free if you arrive an hour early at 8:00 pm): Neel Nanda (Adam Devine’s House Party), Sharron Paul (Someecards), Fumi Abe (MTV’s Decoded), Ayanna Dookie (co-host of King Hippo Comedy), and Brendan Kelley perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Art Cafe & Bar (884-886 Pacific Street) hosted by Ben Totushek & Koshin Egal: The Human Citizen Comedy Show

9:30 pm ($7): “A former college liberal is the only one who can stop the evil Hillary Clinton from committing the world’s most heinous crime” in this play at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Flouridians

9:30 pm ($10): Jeffrey Gurian, Lucas Connolly, Mike Denny, Karolena Theresa, Norlex Belma, Nick Leidl, and Andrea Allan dissect current events at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tracey Carnazzo: Hashtag Comedy

9:30 pm ($10): Indie improv group Classic Brady performs and hosts other improv groups at The PIT Mainstage: Classic Brady and the Chamber of Friends

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Casey Jost (former writer for NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and TruTV’s Impractical Jokers), and Lui Vega—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

10:00 pm ($7): Stand-up Dave Smith performs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Dave Smith

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme—which this week is Shakespeare—at The Magnet theatre: The Cast: Shakespeare Edition

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

10:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from comics who’d like to be on SNL but aren’t, plus musical guests Pretty Sad White Girls, at The PIT Underground hosted by Giancarlo Mariutto & Sean Reidy: Denied From New York, It’s Saturday Night

10:30 pm ($7): The first half of this show is traditional improv, and is then followed by stand-ups performing sets based on suggestions from the audience, all at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Caroline Mazzei & Gregory Hall: Comedy Mayhem

11:00 pm ($7): Five improv groups who are independent (not affiliated with a particular theatre or school)—Destiny’s Chili, Gregory Hall, Cameo, Fun Friends, and Burt Reynolds Imaginary Friends—make up scenes at The PIT Mainstage: Super Indie Takeover

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Nore Davis, Lucas Connelly, Dan Wilbur, Jessa Reed, and Alyssa Limperis share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[FREE] Midnight: “Mother Oslo (a.k.a. Oslo The Gay Black Metal Southerner) will host and read scriptures from the most unholy book of all eternity. The Black Metal Bible. Come for the damnation, stay for the sacrifice” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Black Metal Chvrch

Midnight ($7): Sketch groups Austin Rye and Moshpick compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by Alden Ford & Justin Tyler: Backyard Brawl

Saturday Open Mics & Jams

4:00 pm ($5; your ticket provides $3 off a drink at nearby Pioneers Bar): Walk-in lottery style open mic (sign-up starting at 2:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Swing Riders Open Mic

[FREE] 5:00 pm-7:00 pm: Walk-in comedy open mic (lottery system, with sign-up starting at 4:30 pm) providing each selected comic 4 minutes on stage at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck & Veronica Garza: Murray Povich Mic

6:00 pm ($7): A walk-in poetry open mic (arrive early to sign up) that also features booked comics Chris Booth, Anna Grace Carter, Michelle Drozdick, and Doug Voight Jr. at The PIT Underground: Express Yourself: A Poetry Jam

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Walk-in open mic, with names drawn from a bucket (sign-up starts at 6:50 pm), and a designated beer drinker on stage who might chime in at any moment to riff with you during your set, at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Amy Shanker, Brett Hiker, and Cameron Ford: Power Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for character bits, stand-up, etc. at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Elise Edwards: Discount Disco

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 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.

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/26/17

May 26, 2017

A unique game show in which an oddball Internet video is screened, and then over a dozen contestants have three minutes to prepare a dance routine inspired by what everyone just experienced. It’ll all be judged by comedy treasures Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash) & 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): Dancify That! (8:00 pm, $15, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th 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 ($10): A sketch comedy double-bill from Dinosaur Jones, a group that’s “part adventure, part absurdity, and all comedy” and The Executives, a tie-wearing group that leverages physical comedy, all at The Magnet theatre: Dinosaur Jones and The Executives

[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 ($7): Anna Grace Carter drinks while describing the plot of an actual musical (could be famous or obscure), and then musical improvisors—who typically include Jay Malsky, Henry Koperski, and members of the groups [title of team] and/or Royals—attempt to recreate it based on her semi-drunken details at The PIT Mainstage: Drunk Musical: The Musical

7:00 pm pm ($7): A one-man show by Amanda Miller attempting to learn how to follow this advice: “We can’t stop ourselves from suffering, but we can learn how to suffer better” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): How to Suffer Better

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Justin Flanagan (MTV) tries out new stand-up material one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Justin Flanagan

7:30 pm ($10): “Five comics connect their stand-up sets into one giant mutant set” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Molly Horan: Human Centipede Comedy Show

7:30 pm ($10): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT Underground as troupe Lead McEnroe

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): Two seven-person one-night-only improv groups make up scenes to try to delight you at the UCB East theatre: The Blender

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): Two seven-person one-night-only improv groups make up scenes to try to delight you at the UCB Chelsea theatre,: An Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Comics Robert Kelly (Louie, HBO, CBS’ upcoming The 2-2, two Comedy Central specials), Christian Finnegan (co-star of A&E’s Black and White; Conan O’Brien; three Comedy Central specials, Netflix special The Fun Part; TBS, VH1, MSNBC, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Joe Zimmerman (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and Nariko Ott perform erotic fiction they’ve written based on audience suggestions at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Bryan Cook: Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Kenny DeForest (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Jessica Rotondi, Dan Perlman, Josh Carter, Beth Maria, and Kevin Berrey perform stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Julie Kottakis: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): Greg Proops (Whose Line Is It Anyway?, @midnight) performs an hour of observations & thoughts for a live taping of his podcast at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Greg Proops is the Smartest Man In the World

8:00 pm ($5): A 90-minute variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Tom Brink & Keele Howard-Stone: Wolf Spirit with Tom and Keele

8:00 pm ($7): “King Zebra has a full black cast (including Ray Morency from Off Top, David Bell, and Raquel Palmas), and we want to do an improv show based around the theme ‘black lives laughter'” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): King Zebra Safari

8:00 pm ($7): Michelle Drozdick performs an improvised one-woman show, with these rules: “Michelle interviews an audience member about an experience in her or her life. Then a gimmick is chosen at random from a hat, such as ‘Perform using a children’s show format’ or ‘Narrate from the perspective of the main character’s hopelessly out-of-date grandmother.’ What follows is a a fully structured plot and narrative,” all made up on the spot at the intimate PIT Attic (up the stairs behind the Mainstage): The Gimmick and You

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Phoebe Tyers and Sebastian Conelli: The Friday Night Sh*w

[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): 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

9:00 pm ($10): Improvisors Sean Reidy & Sam Jackel first confess “very real things” to each other and the audience, and then use the details to create an entire town of characters on the spot at The PIT Underground: SEAM Presents “The Confession”

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Highly talented hip-hop improv group North Coast attempts to create a Hamilton on the spot by making up a musical based on an audience suggestion of a famous historical figure at The PIT Mainstage: Anybody: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera

9:30 pm ($7): Stand-ups Alex English, Chanel Ali, Rosebud Baker, and Ben Bergman perform at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jessica Watkins: Homespun Comedy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which typically features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnet theatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

10:00 pm ($7): Stand-up Dave Smith performs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Dave Smith

[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): Dan Black (TruTV), Fumi Abe (MTV), and Patrick Hastie (College Humor) perform stand-up, sketch, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($7): Sketch/improv group Gentlemen Party performs at The PIT Underground: Gentlemen Party

10:30 pm ($7): Improv group Rebel 5 performs and hosts other indie improv groups at The PIT Underground: Rebel 5 Indie Rally

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who love spy movies create on the spot “a highly confidential musical narrative” based on an audience suggestion at The Magnet theatre: The Agency: Musical Improv For Your Eyes Only

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): New episodes of Saved by the Bell and Power Rangers are made up on the spot by improvisors wearing the costumes for these shows at The PIT Mainstage: 90s Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced & hosted by Chris Gersbeck, Lauren Hope Krass, and/or Peter Bandyk: Casual Sets

Midnight ($7): Odd basketball moves from 15 comics at the UCB East theatre: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

[FREE] Midnight: Comics present “sure-fire, can’t miss, get-in-on-the-ground-floor, knock your socks off ideas that will not only make a lot of money but will make lives better across the board” and then request your money (whether you give is entirely up to you) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Ben Conrad & Dan King: Snake Oil

Midnight ($7): Indie improv groups make up scenes at UCB Chelsea hosted by indie group The St. Louis Rams: Indie Improv Showcase

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

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: A weekly walk-in stand-up open mic (drop your name in the bucket by 6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Hamilton: Scatterbrain

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 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.

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/25/17

May 25, 2017

Trevor Noah has the week off, but Anthony Atamanuik is still creating one of the very best shows on TV. Tune in to Comedy Central at 11:30 pm for a new episode featuring former CIA officer Evan McMullin discussing fake news: The President Show

Kevin Geeks Out About Famous MonstersA spectacular collection of hilarious film clips and guest movie & TV experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing on vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other creatures of horror (for a video teaser, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Famous Monsters (9:30 pm, $16 [buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas often sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)

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] 5:30 pm ($5): Enjoy some of NYC’s best character comics when funny actors who survived the initial auditions for Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs Festival gather to be judged further at the UCB East theatre: Just for Laughs Character Audition Callbacks

6:00 pm ($7): A parody of comedy group reunions at The PIT Mainstage: Saint York

6:00 pm ($7): Duo improv & storytelling from Asian gal comics Aryn Cristobal & Missy Maramara at The PIT Underground: Spit in NYC

7:00 pm ($5): Professional clowns perform a silly show in hopes of changing your life at The PIT Underground: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy Improv from a six-person group performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Sunday School Dropouts

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

7:30 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Shalewa Sharpe (Keith and the Girl; comedy album Stay Eating Cookies), Sarah Kennedy, Liz Magee, Rob Haze, Kevin Froleiks, and Damon Millard performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Alex Fleming & John Bilancini: Stand and Deliver

7:30 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups Boris Khaykin, Neel Nanda, Tyler Richardson, and Melinda Taub perform at UCB East produced by Carol Hartsell and hosted by Sean Crespo & Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A pop culture debate, with this month’s topic Madonna vs. Cher argued by Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, plus drag performances, and music by DJ Molly Austin, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Matteo Lane & Christi Chiello: Battle of the Divas: Madonna vs. Cher

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Michelle Collins (The View) and friends perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Magic Mich XXL

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Chloe Hilliard (The Nightly Show, Last Comic Standing, MTV, TruTV), Dave Lester (Sirius XM), and Jon Laster (BET) perform stand-up, plus music from Thug Passion, at The Mockingbird (25 Avenue B, between 2nd & 3rd Streets) for this new free weekly show hosted by Ayanna Dookie & Mike Brown (MTV) followed by a party: King Hippo Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storytellers share their true “coming out” tales, and then improvisors make up either a play or a musical based on each story at The PIT Mainstage: Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Hero (making up a brand new superhero…played by eight improvisors exploring such questions as “What does it mean to be a hero? What does it mean to be human?”), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($3): Emmy Blotnick (rising star; staff writer & warm-up comic for Comedy Central’s spectacular 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), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Patti Harrison (Seriously.TV), Amy Buchwald, Eudora Peterson, and Yaari Nadav Tal perform stand-up at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Yotam Tubul & Lisa Franklin: Runnin’ on Empty

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Comics compete with on-the-spot tweets…and you decide the winner in real time using your smart phone” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shelby Taylor: Like Me

8:00 pm ($7): A parody of female stereotypes in sitcoms at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Unique Lady Bits

8:00 pm ($7): Comics perform stand-up, sketch, improv, and/or more at The PIT Underground hosted by Jared Wilder: Laugh and a Draft

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Billy on the Street), Lucie Steiner (writer for HBO’s upcoming Jon Stewart show), Josh Johnson (Jimmy Fallon), Matt Reimann (The New Yorker), and Sam Zee (creator of Comedy Quarterly) perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Emily Winter, John Payne, and Janet Manley: BackFat Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince hosts Sean Patton, Liza Treyger, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Killer lineup of Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; staff writer for Emmy-winning Inside Amy Schumer; frequently invited lightning wit on @midnight; star of Comedy Central Snapchat series You’re Wrong with Mike Lawrence; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1; staff writer for CBS’ Superior Donuts), Erik Bergstrom (Comedy Central Half Hour, cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, writer for TBS’ People of Earth), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by rising stars Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) & Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The writers of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Alfredo: Late Show Writers Improv

9:30 pm ($7): Improv group Giggle Mountain makes up scenes at The PIT Mainstage: Giggle Mountain

9:30 pm ($7): Two sitcom pilots are performed in staged readings directed by Nancy Melchert at The PIT Underground: Co-Pilots

9:30 pm ($7): Lani Harms hosts standup by Jaboukie Young-White, characters by Emma Rogers, improv by group Sausalito, and music by Alex Pomerantz & Adam Snackwell at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Late Night with Lani

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Dan King: Swamp Thing

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Last week indie improv group Funky Hard Beats tore down team Hotel Hotel by winning 90 votes to 21. Tonight champion FHB, with four victories in a row, competes with improv group Snapshirt for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

11:00 pm ($5): Improv with feedback at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Matthew Woods & Dan Miller: Improv MD

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

5:45 pm-8:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 4-5 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic Thursday

[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

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): Thursday 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 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.

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.