NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/2/17

P. J. O'Rourke and Peter SagalLegendary satirist P. J. O’Rourke is interviewed by NPR’s Peter Sagal (host of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me) about P. J.’s new book on the 2016 Presidential election, aptly titled How the Hell Did This Happen?: P. J. O’Rourke (8:00 pm, $15-$45, 92nd Street Y’s Buttenwieser Hall at 1395 Lexington Avenue, between 91st and 92nd Streets)…

Punderdome 3000…or enjoy a monthly wild pun competition hosted by father-daughter duo Fred Firestone and 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 with Fred of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), with 18 audience members competing in Punderdome 3000 (8:00 pm, $10—sold out of advance seats, but there’ll be 150 tickets at the door; Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw 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:

6:45 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Susan Jeremy inspired by the life of jazz musician Billy Tipton, who in the 1950s had a wife and son but was secretly a woman, with sound design by Tim Shellenbaum and direction by Cheryl King (creator of Stage Left Studio) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): She Was a Great Dad

[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): Improv groups watch clips of music videos and then make up scenes showing how those videos came to be made at The PIT Underground: Re-Making the Video

7:00 pm ($7): Improv group That’s Dinner makes up an entire movie that never existed based on a suggestion from the audience at The PIT Mainstage: That’s Dinner and a Movie

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm [$] ($27, which includes a copy of the book): W. Kamau Bell (star of CNN’s United Shades of America) celebrates the release of his book The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell with bestselling author Chuck Klosterman at 149 7th Street, i.e., Brooklyn’s The Bell House (no relation): W. Kamau Bell Book Release Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm pm ($8):”A comedy show about truth,” with Alexandra Song (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Elna Baker (brilliant storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Dylan Marron (Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite, Seriously.tv, Welcome to Night Vale podcast), Catherine Cohen (co-host of It’s a Guy Thing), Dr. Helen Fisher, and Patti Harrison performing at Brooklyn’s BRIC Arts/Media House (647 Fulton Street; take 2/3/4/5 subway to Nevins Street or B/D/N/Q/R/W subway to DeKalb Avenue) hosted by Blythe Roberson (The Onion, McSweeney’s) & Madelyn Freed: The Scientists

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20): Improvisors drinking beer make up scenes based on audience suggestions. Performers are systematically eliminated by audience voting (i.e., your votes) until only one player remains. Tonight’s superb improvisors are Tracy Mull, Rachel Rosenthal, Kevin Laibson, Rory Scholl, Jon Bander, Lorraine Cink, Devin Heater, and Joshua Eakright performing at the Highline Ballroom (431 West 16th Street) hosted by Jim Robinson (Second City): BeerProv

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE DRAFT BEER 8:00-8:30!] 8:00 pm: 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), Alingon Mitra (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Last Comic Standing), Jess Salomon, and Kendall Farrell perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Two Boots Pizza Williamsburg (558 Driggs Avenue) hosted by Lucas Connolly, David Piccolomini, and Jake Fromm: Ambush Comedy

[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 ($7): A monthly show about obsessions with pop culture, with tonight’s topic Dads with Jeremy J. King, Alexis Pereira, and Julia Whitehouse performing at UCB East hosted by Damian Bellino & Anne Rodeman: So Into It: A Fanatic Variety Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Dan St. Germain (tentative “surprise” guest; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1; staff writer for CBS’ Superior Donuts), Dina Hashem (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Seeso’s Night Train), Yamaneika Saunders (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Roast Battle), Subhah Agarwal (Comedy Central, TruTV, Fusion), Ester Steinberg, and Ryan Schutt perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Bar Schimmi (54 North 11th Street) hosted by Ryan Reszelbach: Creative Rezistance Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch and improv comics “create a brand new show in only one week, and then perform improvised sketches based off of your suggestions, just like The Second City used to do” at The PIT Mainstage: Old School Sketch Show

8:00 pm ($5): UCB house groups Some Kid and Moose 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 BEER] 8:00 pm: Enjoy a comfy seat and a free beer while you watch comedy at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Couch Cave Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): A stand-up with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Louie, and who’s also an Emmy-nominated comedy writer and talk show host, headlines at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Nick DiPaolo

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers; Louie, Broad City), Marina Franklin (Trainwreck, Louie, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show), Corinne Fisher (co-host of popular podcast Guys We Fucked), Bardia Salimi, and Sefa Castanet 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

[FREE] 8:30 pm: 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), Chris Gersbeck (co-host of Everythign Is Dumbn, and Bunk Bed and Murray Povich open mics), Sarah Kennedy, and three audience volunteers (maybe you) tell stories about favorite songs on this month’s theme I Can’t Make You Love Me: Unrequited and then karaoke-sing them—while wearing pajamas—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] 9:00ish pm ($10): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also a star writer/correspondent for The Daily Show; previously staff writer & performer for Seth Meyers), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Liz Miele (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged, comedy album Mind Over Melee), Jordan Carlos (HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City and The Nightly Show, Showtime, MTV’s Guy Code, Guy Court, VH1, Adult Swim), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

[$] 9:00 pm ($15): In this musical written & directed by Elias Rubin, the 3rd graders of TV series The Magic Schoolbus have grown up and are enjoying their last day of high school…when their former teacher Ms. Frizzle abruptly reappears to take them on an out-of-this-world adventure at The PIT Mainstage: The Edge of the Universe: A Magic School Bus Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers—who include such brilliant stage comics as John Lutz and Connor O’Malley—share with you their rejected jokes and sketches at at the UCB East theatre: Seth Meyers Writers: Late Night Trash Can

9:30 pm ($7): Sketch group Mountain Rapids Soda performs a play in which oddball characters trapped together out on the high seas must uncover a killer in their midst at The PIT Mainstage: Boat Show Expo: A Murder Mystery

9:30 pm ($5): UCB house groups Ice Cold Bev and Mermaids 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

10:00 pm ($7): Improv and stand-up (details not announced) “dumped here for your pleasure” at The PIT Underground: Dump

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, group Fluffty performs whatever type of long form improv it likes at the UCB East theatre: Harold on the Run

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

[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

[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

11:00 pm ($3): 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

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea (307 West 26th Street): 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10

Upright Citizens Brigade East (153 East 3rd Street): 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre (123 East 24th Street): 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre (123 East 24th Street): 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10

The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10

The Magnet (254 West 29th Street): 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10

The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer): 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10

The Creek and the Cave (Queens’ Long Island City): 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free

Union Hall (702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street): 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

Littlefield (622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street): 100-seat theatre; shows $5-${20

Bell House (149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.): 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25

QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard): 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street): Among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.

Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.

The Stand (239 Third Avenue): Recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!

Carolines Comedy Club (1626 Broadway): Focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.

Gotham Comedy Club (208 West 23rd Street): Headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.

Eastville Comedy Club (85 East 4th Street): Strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.

Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal Street): Convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.

Comic Strip Live (1568 Second Avenue, off 81st): Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.

Stand Up NY (236 West 78th Street, off Broadway): Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.

The Standing Room (4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club): No drink min.—support this policy!

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive. It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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