Celebrating yesterday’s Star Wars Day (May the 4th), brilliant improvisor & character comic Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers) invites you to “join filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema,” with guests James Monroe Iglehart (Broadway’s Hamilton; Tony Award winner for Broadway’s Aladdin), Jena Friedman (wry dark political stand-up; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), and Charles Soule (writer of Marvel comics Star Wars, X-Men, Daredevil, and She-Hulk), plus sidekick Griffin Newman: The George Lucas Talk Show (Midnight, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)
More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): In this Magnet theatre double-bill, first house group Dinosaur Jones performs sketch comedy, and then Willy Appelman performs a one-man show as the CEO of a Dance Camp: Dinosaur Jones and Danny Loves Dance
[TOP PICK] [$] 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-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Friday
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A highly popular NYC stand-up who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jimmy Kimmel; starred in his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; and was a writer and correspondent for FX’s Totally Biased headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Hari Kondabolu
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, “Becky Abrams is determined to go on a date with every boy she can, and you’re damn right that she’s going to enjoy it while she does:” A Date with Every Boy…
…and in the second other of this double bill, Mark Vigeant springboards off audience suggestions to create and launch a website on the spot: Let’s Make a Website
[$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!
7:30 pm ($10): Eight New York comics—tonight including Selena Coppock and Emily Winter—tell stories of where they came from (Chicago, Texas, LA, etc.) and the journey that led them to NYC performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Katie Boyle (who’s from Ireland): Transplants
8:00 pm ($7): In this late-night talk show format, guests Emmy Blotnick (rising star; staff writer & warm-up comic for Comedy Central’s spectacular The President Show; writer for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Roast of Rob Lowe, and Not Safe with Nikki Glaser; MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Ana Fabrega (Portlandia, The Chris Gethard Show), Brad Howe (Funny or Die), Julia Solomon, and Jake Head perform stand-up and are then interviewed by hosts Courtney Maginnis & Chris Calogero at Brooklyn’s Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Graham Street; take the L subway to Morgan Avenue) with announcer Steve Whalen and one-man-band Steven DeSiena: Not Quite Midnight
[$] 8:00 pm ($15): A musical parody of the Star Wars movies with periodic solid moments, and that includes superb comics Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman (Your Love, Our Musical), and terrific singer Tarik Davis (whose “bromance” duet with Evan as Finn & Poe is the highlight of the show). Unfortunately, most of the time the script doesn’t quite hit the mark; but if you’re a die-hard fan, you might get a kick out of this production playing through May 6th at The PIT Mainstage: Star Wars: The Farce Awakens
[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Amber Rollo, Regina DeCicco, Rohan Padhye, Kevin Seefried, and Matt Schwartzer perform stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt and guest-hosted by Graham VanBach: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up
[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Phoebe Tyers and Sebastian Conelli: The Friday Night Sh*w
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($12): The delightful Erin Hall sings silly, sly songs while nestling a large instrument between her legs for Cinco De Mayo at the Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3 (185 Orchard Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop). Erin is the real deal, a truly gifted artist, and any show she does is recommended: Erin and Her Cello
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Alexandra Dickson, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers
[TOP PICK] [$] 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 ($10): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Tommy McNamara, Phill Hunt, and Lenny Burnham perform stand-up at The PIT Underground hosted by Derek Humphrey & Anne Victoria Clark: Up and Coming: Stand-Up Comics to Know
[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 ($5): NYC stand-ups perform hosted by Molly Austin (TruTV’s Late Night Snack) and Christi Chiello (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, TruTV, co-host of White Chocolate Sundaes) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) doing “the best and only show to ever have that name! It’s meowsome!”: Cats!
[TOP PICK] [$] 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): Lynn Bixenspan (Comedy Central), Rojo Perez (MTV’s Decoded), Alyssa Stonoha, and Matt Bachus perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify
10:30 pm & 11:30 pm ($10 per show): Sketch group The Hubbies hosts “an entire sketch festival in one hour—sixty acts, one minute per act” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Penn Station Area Sketch Festival
[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): A mix of characters and improv in which anyone might stop by when the doorbell rings—surprising both the audience and hosts Brian Faas & Dom Manzolillo—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Ding Dong!
[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Comics perform stand-up sets and then go on dates with each other as part of the live show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Rob Harper & Rachel Coleman: We’re All Getting Laid
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
[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion
[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 Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)
Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs
From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive. It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.
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