NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/9/17

June 9, 2017

ShitshowComics who are parents vent by telling mean stories about their children, with tonight’s cruel jokesters Emily Flake (star cartoonist for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time, Forbes, etc.; author of books Mama Tried, Lulu Eightball, and These Things Ain’t Gonna Smoke Themselves), Ophira Eisenberg (NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ The Late Late Show, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), Adira Amram (spectacular comedic singer & dancer; HBO, Funny or Die; album Hot Jams for Teens), Ben Schwartz (written for David Letterman, The Oscars, The New Yorker), Abby Sher (written for The New York Times, LA Times, Elle Magazine; author of books Amen, Amen, Amen and Breaking Free), and Kat Burdick (Moth Grandslam champion; webseries KCK) hosted by Ophira & Emily: Sh!tshow (7:30 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:

6:00 pm ($7): Improv and more (not announced) at The PIT Underground: The Toolbox

[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 ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, 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] 7:00 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: Coasterville, USA

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

7:00 pm ($7): Kevin Jones (Darksiders podcast) hosts a panel discussion on non-political current events with Tom Rizzuto (Professor of Music) and Justin McElwee & Chelsea Bennington (improvisors) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Don’t Shoot the Messenger

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): Noah Forman & Kristen Acimovic host this version of game show Jeopardy! “which already totally rocks. New rules, tweaks, and surprises make it rock even harder, leading three money-grubbing contestants through a gut-busting gauntlet of tough trivia, confounding clues, and emotional soul-searching,” with guests David Bluvband, Dru Johnston, Mike Antonucci, and Alex Dickson at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Better Jeopardy

7:30 pm ($10): A house sketch group that includes the wonderful Sarah Nowak and is directed by Holden McNeely (Murderfist) performs at The PIT Underground: National Scandal

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): A UK-based Canadian who stars in Netflix special Katherine Ryan: In Trouble and hosts with Jimmy Carr the UK Comedy Central series Your Face or Mine headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club—with an opening set through Saturday by Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker): Katherine Ryan

[$] 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 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): NYC stand-ups Calvin Vato, Frank Favia, Pudge Fernandez, John Minus, Emmy Rivera, Aaron Kominos-Smith, and Lois Thompson perform at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Cindee Weiss & Angela Cobb: Fun Size and Venti

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Bravo, Oxygen, Sirius XM), Greg Stone (America’s Got Talent), Samantha Ruddy, Jake Head, Ryan Schutt, Daniel J Perafan, and Luke Schwartz perform stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Jay Welch: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A one-woman show by Maria DeCotis in which she plays a variety of characters: “A lonely flight attendant seeks a worldly explanation for happiness aboard an empty airborne plane, exploring how thoughts and actions from childhood reveal present sense of purpose” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) directed by Ban Stanton: Unfaced

8:00 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!

8:00 pm ($10): Six comedic actors perform sketch at The PIT Mainstage as group Uncle Function

[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 ($10): Kerry Coddett (The Nightly Show, MTV’s Joking Off, TruTV), Cristina Pitter, and Amber Rollo discuss this month’s theme of Sex from a feminist point of view at The PIT Underground hosted by Leila Ben-Abdallah: The Box: Sex

9:00 pm ($10): NYC sketch comedy groups St. Olaf and Laser Baby performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Boogie Manja

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): Comics each perform an argument for why he or she should receive a Pulitzer Prize—with tonight’s candidates Kashana Cauley (writer for The Daily Show), Daniel Spenser (designer for Last Week with John Oliver and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; performed in several episodes of Better Call Saul), Annie Donley (veteran improvisor), and Matt Nelson (comic/director)—plus an interview with actual winner Sarah Ryley (2017 Pulitzer Prize for her New York Daily News investigative journalism on the NYPD), all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street—take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Caroline Schaper (writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, former writer for David Letterman) & Eliza Cossio (Senior Latina Correspondent on The Daily Show): Pulitzer Surprises

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers share tales of relationships in front of a panel of comics and therapy experts, who then give advice, with tonight’s guests Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Erin Rose Chan, Wilson McDermut, and Daniel Perafan at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lynn Bixenspan & Morgan Pielli: Relationshit

9:30 pm ($10): An improvised family dinner that typically includes character comics Katie Hartman, Jenn Dodd, Jamie Aderski, Mark Stetson, and/or Tim Girrbach at The PIT Mainstage: Awkward Family Dinner

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; includes free beer): Petey DeAbreu creates a version of The $25,000 Pyramid with stand-ups Wendi Starling, Dave Lester, and David Del Rosario, plus audience members, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Petey’s World

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which 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

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT Underground with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically include Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), and/or many more, all declaring ChicaGoGo

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($12: Joe Pera (hilarious 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; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), John Wyatt Haskell (writer for Jimmy Fallon), and Aaron Jackson (stellar improv groups Rumpleteaser, What I Did For Love, Fuck That Shit) perform stand-up, sketch, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($10): Gal trio Dani Letsche, Case Watson, and Alison Wien perform sketch comedy directed by Paul Valenti, plus opening sketches from group Kiss on the Lips, all at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thank You for Your Cervix

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Improvisors make up a sequel to a famous musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion at The Magnet theater directed by Nikita Burdein: Sequel: Tony Awards Edition

[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

[TOP PICK] 11:45 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups (not announced) perform for this late-night show at The PIT Underground: Wreccashow

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): This monthly storytelling, stand-up, and carny show brings the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, with stand-up by Anthony DeVito (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central Half Hour, This American Life) and Jess Salomon, storytelling by Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening), burlesque by Cheri Pitz (a.k.a. Cyndi Freeman; The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner; Hotsy Totsy Burlesque) and Andy Ross featuring Kermit the Frog—and a celebration of the publication of host Jeff Simmermon‘s first comedy album, which has the same name as this show at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying: Album Release Show

[FREE] Midnight: “A new game show where three contestants get quizzed on random topics; raps, video games, different types of soda. We’ll even have a few comics drop by” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Marvin Lattimore: A Night of Thrill-Via

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 Davey Melch & Sydney Beveridge: Queens Free 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 downstairs lounge 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Lady 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.