NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/29/17

June 29, 2017

WanderfestStand-up from Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive and adventurous comics alive; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Billy on the Street), Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents), Langston Kerman (cast member of HBO’s Insecure; Adam DeVine’s House Party; written for Chris Rock’s hosting of the Oscars and Comedy Central’s Problematic), and Samantha Ruddy (College Humor, Someecards), plus improv from UCB East Gentrify hosts Brandon Scott Jones, Alden Ford, and Justin Tyler, produced by Cassie Grimaldi and hosted by Kelsey Caine, Martin Urbano, and Jack Comstock, all performing at a wandering show that takes place at a different venue each month: Wanderfest (8:00 pm; $10; Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street, take R subway to Union Street)…

Reductress Wet…or catch Kate Berlant (Netflix’s The Characters, MTV, IFC, CNN), Anna Drezen (writer for Saturday Night Live; superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters, movement, and sketch; author of How May We Hate You), Janelle James (@midnight, SeeSo’s Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), and Blair Socci (MTV’s Girl Code and Ladylike) perform stand-up hosted by Nicole Silverberg and sponsored by a famed magazine focused on female comedy: Reductress Wet (8:00 pm, $20, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 6/30/17

The Memorial Remembrance of Ronny PascaleInvaluable PIT Associate Artistic Director Ronny Pascale has been instrumental in keeping hundreds of PIT shows and festivals running smoothly and brilliantly. A sensitive artist and exceptionally hard worker who cares about every detail, Ronny Pascale has been a golden asset to The Peoples Improv Theater and to the NYC comedy community in general. Unfortunately, we’re about to lose him to Southern California. This show is part roast and part tribute as Ronny’s friends—Dana Shulman, Amelia Bienstock, Mehdi Barakchian, Kent Wilhelm, and more—bid him adieu in various comedic ways, produced by Jen Clark, musically directed by Mark Erenstoft (Broadway’s Avenue Q), and hosted by Will Purpura: The Memorial Remembrance of Ronny Pascale (7:00 pm; $10, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

George/Martha: An Improvised "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"…and while you’re at The PIT, experience brilliant improvisors Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv group Poor Melissa) and Jason Specland (public access TV show The Enchanged Wardrobe, improv group Regina) make up a guilt & stress-filled evening as Edward Albee’s characters George & Martha famously played by Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton—and If you’re not careful, you might find yourself participating in their “fun and games:” George/Martha: An Improvised Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (9:00 pm; $10, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)…

Natalie Wall, Sydnee Washington, and Patti Harrison: "Awkward Sex...and the City"…or come see the lovely Natalie Wall host the best sexy storytelling show in NYC—tonight celebrating Pride Month—with comics Sydnee Washington, Patti Harrison, and more telling tales of erotic encounters gone awry: Awkward Sex…and the City (8:00 pm $20—which includes free beer and wine—at The Pleasure Chest at 1150 Second Avenue, between 60th & 61st Streets)

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 7/1/17

Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who chooses correctly gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, Internet Action Force, star of Sideshow Goshko and The Real Housewives of Columbo), Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion, co-host of popular Hotsy Totsy Tribute series), Marie Faustin (radio host at 99.5 FM, co-host of The Unofficial Expert podcast), and host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at this 11th Anniversary edition of The Liar Show (6:00 pm; $10 cover plus $10 drink min.; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia Street)…

…or experience Gary DeNoia playing movie icon Nicolas Cage delivering a lecture about physical intimacy: Nic Cage Teaches Sex to Adults (7:00 pm; $7, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 7/2/17

Judah Friedlander, Rachel Feinstein, and Ryan HamiltonSome of the finest stand-ups in the country—tonight including Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United), 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 Ryan Hamilton (consistently fresh ideas and great crafting of language; Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime)—are 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 (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.; West Village near A/B/C/D/E/F subway stop at West Fourth Street)…

The Adventures of Danny & Mike Podcast…and you may remember Danny Tamberelli & Mike Maronna playing sharp-tongued brothers in Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Now grown up, they host a podcast—which they’ll be taping live on stage tonight in Brooklyn: The Adventures of Danny & Mike Podcast: Nostalgia Personified (7:30 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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)

(635 Sackett 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