NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/16/17

June 16, 2017

QueerComThe PIT hosts LGBTQIA-themed shows tonight through Sunday for its annual QueerCom Festival (all weekend, $5-$15 per show or $30 for an all-you-can-see pass, The PIT Mainstage & Underground theatres at 123 East 24th Street and The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th 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, 7:30 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 ($10): Sketches, monologues, and more for this LGBTQIA-related show at The PIT Mainstage: Let’s Get Busy Tonight: QueerCom Edition

[FREE, but donation requested] 7:00 pm: Comics Samantha Ruddy, Rebecca Rush, Desmond Thorne, Danny Artese, and Gloria Shantae Butler perform stand-up or storytelling at this LGBTQIA-themed show at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street) hosted by Bobby Hankinson: Kweendom

[$] 7:30 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please click here) who starred in three Showtime specials, co-stars in CBS’ Superior Donuts, and as an actor has also performed on ABC, FOX, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlines tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a mild parody of girl bands via “the world’s first Asian-American pop group from the USA. Join Baby Rice, Quirky Rice, Edgy Rice, Competitive Rice, and Brown Rice as they kick off their tour by dancing, singing, and rapping about boys, friendship, and systemic racism/oppression:” AzN PoP!: Live in Concert

…and in the second other of this double bill, a typically brilliant parody of Seinfeld made up on the spot: Improvised Seinfeld

[$] 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!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Chris Gersbeck (co-host of Everythign Is Dumbn, and Bunk Bed and Murray Povich open mics), Chris Griggs, Rob Shapiro, Jenn Wehrung, Kristin Seltman, Mark Anthony Ramirez, and Wilson McDermut tell tales about losing their virginity at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Angela Cobb: My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling Show

7:30 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups Sydnee Washington, Usama Siddiquee, Jesse Wolmart, Glo, and Will Purpura perform at The PIT Underground hosted by Isaura Dos Santos: Stand Up and Chil: QueerCom Edition

7:30 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes, plus an opening stand-up set by Gregory Hall, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Funny Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A historical period or major event is explored comedically via stand-up, sketch, trivia contests, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Auslaender & Lindsay Boling: Annal Revue

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Bravo, Oxygen, Sirius XM), Madison Malloy, Allan Fuks, and Amy Buchwald 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 ($15): Comics of color and/or LGBTQIA, many of whom work in late-night comedy (Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee), perform stand-up, sketch, and/or improv at The PIT Mainstage: CPT: Comedy People’s Time

[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

[FREE] 8:30 pm (to reserve free seats, please click here): Shane Torres (fresh, hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang), Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents), Kyle Ayers (written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Sarah Kennedy (Reductress), Jay Welch (Someecards, McSweeney’s), and Carmen Lagala perform at Brooklyn’s Precious Metal (143 Troutman Street) hosted by Jacky Beren: Silver Linings

[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): In this all-queer stand-up show, “our comics are all hilarious and share strong opinions about things they might not actually understand” at The PIT Underground hosted by Cole Steffensen: Willfully Ignorant: QueerCom Edition

9:00 pm ($10): NYC sketch comedy groups Café con Sketché and American Danger perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Boogie Manja

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Highly talented hip-hop improv group North Coast attempts to create a Hamilton on the spot by making up a musical based on an audience suggestion of a famous historical figure—for this special QueerCom show, probably LGBTQIA-related—at The PIT Mainstage: Anybody— An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera: QueerCom Edition

9:30 pm ($7): A stand-up who’s broken the Guinness World Record for Most Jokes Told In A Minute—twice!—and used to be a pro wrestler tonight performs a long stand-up set to be recorded for his first comedy CD at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) with opening sets by Julie Kottakis and host Bryan Yang: Bob Hansen Comedy Album Recording

[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): A guest visual artist shows off his/her work for 15 minutes. Then 5 comics each tell a story while being sketched by the artist, by the host/cartoonist Grant Lindahl—and, if you’re into it, you (bring a sketchbook!). The audience member crafting the best sketch wins a prize. It all happens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Art School Acid Dropout

[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): Derek Humphrey (MTV), Lauren Hope Krass (co-host of Casual Sets), Raghav Mehta, and Max & Nicky Weinbach perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($7): An audience member with a decision to make becomes the basis of an improvised court trial at The PIT Underground: The People’s Court

10:30 pm ($7): Improv groups Funky Butt Lovin’, SWM, and Just Gravy make up scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), plus an opening stand-up set by Gregory Hall: Improv by Cool Kids

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): 1980 romantic fantasy musical Xanadu is so bad that it inspired the creation of the Golden Raspberry Awards to designate the worst films of each year. Tonight it’ll be screened and mercilessly savaged by comics TBA and FreddyG at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersback: Movies R Dumb: Xanadu

11:00 pm ($10): Songs from Zak Sommerfield & Jay Malsky, stand-up by Gregory Hall and Samantha Ruddy, and more at The PIT Mainstage: Zak & Jay and Friends: QueerCom Edition

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($10): Pop-punk cabaret band My Dark Little Corner channels the sound & spirit of such bands as Green Day, Blink-182, and My Chemical Romance while performing all-new sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: My Dark Little Corner Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: If you’re looking for something different: Former porn star Alia Janine hosts this show featuring sex workers ranging from dancers to strip club bouncers performing stand-up, plus more conventional comics, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Hardcore Comedy Show

Midnight ($7): Storytellers (unusually, not announced this month) share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby (VICE): It’s a Long Story

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

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 PIT Underground 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

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of various Maude Night groups: Liquid Courage

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.