NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/14/17

June 14, 2017

Kevin Geeks Out About Spider-ManA spectacular collection of hilarious film & TV clips and guest pop culture experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing on one of the most iconic characters in comic book history (for a video teaser, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Spider-Man (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:

[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

[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-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($7): “Two faded and half-insane former stars of Old Hollywood host a late night TV movie show in which they reminisce, lie, gossip, fight, and inadvertently reveal dirty truths” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Hollywood Mausoleum

[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

7:30 pm ($10): An interactive comedy game show in which contestants compete on spelling ability and the audience is invited to sabotage them, with Kyle Ayers (written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), and a live band at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): We Bee Spelling

7:30 pm ($7): Drag queens Helluva-Bottom Carter and Cholula Lemon try to prepare dishes while professional chef Jasmine Sheth tries to be a drag queen at this show mixing comedy and cooking at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Adrienne Cooper: The Food Funny

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

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy and solo characters by Mike Brian, Chris Migliaccio, Paul Cohen, and guests at The PIT Underground: Backdoor Barbecue

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): An eclectic group of comics & writers—who tonight are Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), Joe Berkowitz (writer/editor for Fast Company; author of Away with Words), Angela Ledgerwood (host of book interview series LIt Up), and Gary Richardson (brilliant improvisor; Comedy Central)—performing and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by recent UK transplants Jon Ronson (New York Times bestselling author of The Men Who Stare At Goats and more; screenwriter; This American Life) and Maeve Higgins (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk, host of Maeve in America): Cool Kids

[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] 8:00 pm ($10): Sarah Larson (The New Yorker), Ziwe Fumudoh (The Onion, Reductress), Jim Gaylord (artist; MoMA, Dear Scammer), and Weena Pauly (actress) present material that “has been cut, rejected, abandoned, or is otherwise lying dead on the desktop* at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street) with celebrity guest bartender Dia Felix, hosted by the quick-witted and wonderful Amanda Duarte: Dead Darlings

8:00 pm ($8): Alana Massey, Allyson Gross, Blythe Robinson, and Thomas L. Strickland “talk about weird stuff they care deeply about while extremely drunk—with PowerPoint” on this month’s topic Fan Clubbing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Drunk Education: Fan Clubbing

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central’s South Beach, host of Ambush Comedy and The Secret Loft Show), Harmon Leon (host of Videotale), Adam Selbst, and Momoh Pujeh “tell their funniest true stories,” plus open mic slots for audience members (maybe you), at Brooklyn’s Excelsior Bar (563 Fifth Avenue, between 15th & 16th Streets) hosted by Sean O’Brien & Chris Ryan: Dummies & Company

8:00 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes that abruptly jump from generation to generation inspired by songs from different decades at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Turntable Time Travelers

[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 ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Stand-ups tell deliciously long tales, with tonight’s yarn-spinners Marina Franklin (Trainwreck, Louie, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Half Hour), and host DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), all performing at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Storytelling

8:30 pm ($7): Storytellers share tales of bad dates, and then improvisors create scenes that make those bad dates even worse at The PIT Underground hosted by Ryan Darden: Bad Date Theater

[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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), J-L Cauvin (Craig Ferguson; Adam Carolla), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Brian Jian (Last Comic Standing), Stone and Stone (Last Comic Standing finalists), and Sharron Paul (Lady Parts Justice League) performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: Double Plus Good Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals),Katie Hannigan (MTV’s Inside Joke), Tyler FIscher (America’s Got Talent), Courtney Fearrington, and Alexis Guerreros perform for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Lance Weiss & Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Improv duos compete for your laughs and votes at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Two-Prov Tournament Round #3

9:00 pm ($7): Improvisors select characters at random from a bucket and then make up scenes as those characters at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Characters Improv

9:15 pm ($10): Sketch comedy groups Kiss On The Lips, 301 Views, and Hot Moms perform for this monthly show at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Bonner Demling: Sketch Block

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): Dramatic readings of actual text fights, after which a panel of comics (not announced) probe them for meaning, repercussions, and stupidity—with audience members invited to add their two cents—at The PIT Underground hosted by Sarah Marie Degni & Avital Isaacs: Text Fight Town Hall

9:30 ($7): A show in which over a dozen talented female improvisors parody all-gal opinion shows such as The View at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Female Gaze

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Satirical commentary on nerdy pop culture news by John Minus & Dillon Stevens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): The G.E.E.K. Show

10:00 pm ($7): Comedy group Yes performs and hosts stand-ups, improvisors, and more at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): We Are Yes

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes about obsessions at the UCB East theatre: The Fix

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers) hosts this “anything might happen comedy chaos” monthly show. Tonight “twice every 100 years people gather to read their most beloved and interesting greeting cards, in honor of now-deceased greeting card lover Phyllis Frankel” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow: Phyllis Frankel Reading of the Greeting Cards

11:00 pm ($7): Comics of varying abilities perform stand-up at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Try To Standup Again

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 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email 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 Mainstage hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East hosted by members of improv group Fluffty: Rotisserie 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