NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 6/11/17

The Macaulay Culkin ShowBrett Davis & Sally Burtnick have hosted this superb monthly stand-up show since 2013 at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium. The venue is now closing, so tonight is a blowout farewell featuring over 30 comics—including Dave Hill, Jo Firestone, Josh Gondelman, Joe Pera, Emmy Blotnick, Clare O’Kane, Conner O’Malley, and many more—each performing a 5-minute set: The Macaulay Culkin Show: Shea Stadium Blowout Finale (8:00 pm, $5, Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street; take the L subway to Grand 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] [$] 1:30 pm, 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 six shows, with four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

4:30 pm ($7): A short play written by Carol Lee Sirugo, and performed by Carol and Jonathan Kaplan, about a park ranger’s first day on the job at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) directed by Jay Dunn: Fear Forest

[TOP PICK] 5:00 pm-7:00 pm (no cover charge, but 1-drink min.): For two back-to-back live podcast recordings, comics Deepu Gill (co-host of podcasts Geeks of New York and Go to Hell) and Abbi Crutchfield (Broad City, MTV, VH1) share tales of their “first time” (e.g., first job, first time on stage, first time getting drunk, first kiss) at Brooklyn’s Salzy (506 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Evan Morgenstern & Darin Patterson: The Virgin Chronicles

5:30 pm ($7): Levi Penley & Robert Price perform duo stand-up, improv, freestyle rap, and banjo, and tonight clean up their act for high school students visiting from Colorado, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Cheep Show

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($7): Storytellers Mel Dockery (The Moth, Now You’re Talking), Alexis Lambright (ace improv group The Cast), Andrea Palumbos, and Colin Wilhm interview an audience member, and then springboard off the details to tell true stories pulled from their memories on the spot at The Magnet theatre hosted by Robert Weinstein (The Moth Radio Hour, Now You’re Talking): Pull Up a Chair

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

6:00 pm ($7): Mike Sause & Stephen Thornton make up short plays as improv duo Geisha Gravy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Geisha Gravy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; webseries Teachers Lounge; frequently opens for Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan) headlines at the West Village’s Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Ted Alexandro

7:00 pm ($7): Three improv teams compete via America’s Next Top Model-inspired challenges at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): America’s Next Top Improv Team

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Long-form improv group Distance performs and hosts other groups making up extended scenes via the improv form called “Harold” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Harold Night at The Creek

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 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 one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Katherine Ryan

[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] 7:30 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

7:30 pm ($7): Brendan Eyre (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central), Corinne Fisher (co-host of popular podcast Guys We Fucked), Kevin Iso (Adam Devine’s House Party), Katie Hannigan (MTV’s Inside Joke), Bryan Yang, and Storm Xu performing 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 Greg Stone (America’s Got Talent, TruTV’s Friends of the People): 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno; finalist on Last Comic Standing; comedy specials include Boyish Man, In This Economy, and It’s About Time), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, Comedy Central special Only Whores Wear Purple, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and Matt Graham (FringeNYC one-man show This Too Shall Suck) perform stand-up for this taped show at Kimball Studios (78 Fifth Avenue, between 13th & 14th Streets): Point to Where the Truth Hurts: Gary Gulman, Rachel Feinstein, and Matt Graham

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10; includes free Big Gay Ice Cream from 7:00 pm until BGIC runs out): Adira Amram & The Experience (spectacular comedic song & dancer act; HBO, Funny or Die; album Hot Jams for Teens), and stand-ups Michelle Collins (former co-host ABC’s The View; co-host of ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise and UCB stand-up show Magic Mich XXL), Beth Stelling (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central),and Rob Haze (Adam Devine’s House Party, Viceland’s Flophouse), all performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) hosted by Sasheer Zamata (cast member for three seasons of Saturday Night Live): Sasheer Zamata Party Time

8:00 pm ($10): A two-person play by Courtney Ulrich & Ryan Wesley in which “five years after the fateful Ham Factory fire of 2012 that cut short her acting career, former Ham Factory owner turned Life Coach Jon Ham helps Courtney on her journey of redemption as she remounts her unauthorized one-woman adaptation of The Miracle Worker titled The Worker’s Miracle” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Courtney, Ryan, and The Great Ham Factory Fire of 2012

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($14.80 online using discount code BOX12, otherwise $18): My favorite FringeNYC 2016 show (out of over 60 seen) was a production taking place entirely inside a box, written & performed by breathtakingly talented sketch comic/actress/writer/singer Dominique Salerno (for my review, please click here). Tonight concludes the current run of this amazing production at The PIT Mainstage. Take advantage of this wonderful last chance to experience The Box Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Artie Lange, VH1) headlines at the West Village’s Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Adrienne Iapalucci: Dark, Angry, and Unrelatable

8:30 pm ($7): Students of Gary Austin, the founder of The Groundlings, performing improv at The PIT Underground: Gary Austin’s The Classroom

9:00 pm ($7): Improv group Metal Boy goes scripted by performing this sketch show at The Magnet theatre: Totally Metal: A Metal Boy Sketch Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Group Medusa turns a calamity selected by the an audience member into an improvised documentary live on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Medusa Presents Improv Against Humanity

9:30 pm ($5): 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): Short stories are used as springboards for improvised scenes in this improv form created by Louis Kornfeld at The PIT Underground: Fact or Fiction

Sunday Open Mics, Open Stages, and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Sam Rose: Bucket! We’ll Do it Live!

5:30 pm ($3): Email Michelle Thomas at 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)

(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…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


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