NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/9/17

Gina Yashere, Mark Normand, and Greer Barnes: "Laughter in the Park"Today kicks off a series of four free outdoor comedy shows Sundays in July at NYC parks in the Village, Brooklyn, and the UWS (see poster above for details). This afternoon’s superb lineup features Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, stellar Comedy Central special Don’t Be Yourself; Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Greer Barnes (HBO’s Crashing, David Letterman, Louie, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game; comedy album See What I’m Saying), Gina Yashere (correspondent for The Daily Show; HBO’s Crashing, Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, @midnight, Showtime 1-hour special Skinny Bitch), and Alingon Mitra (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Last Comic Standing): Laughter in the Park (2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Free!, Washington Square Park at Garibaldi Plaza, on the east side of the Fountain)…

Josh Gondelman…or if you prefer your comedy indoors, come enjoy an Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver who’s performed stand-up on Conan O’Brien, written for The New Yorker, and released the smart, fresh, bestselling stand-up comedy album Physical Whisper headline for one night only at Carolines: Josh Gondelman (7:30 pm, $11 cover using discount code JOSH online (otherwise $20) plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 7/10/17

Chris ColferChris Colfer (Kurt Hummel on Glee, a role that won him a 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and three consecutive (2013-2015) People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Comedic TV Actor; #1 New York Times Bestselling author of book The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell) is tonight’s guest of this NPR weekly comedy trivia show taped live in Brooklyn and hosted by the wonderful Ophira Eisenberg (NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ The Late Late Show, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!): Ask Me Another (7:30 pm, $25, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

Leanna Grennan, Eudora Peterson,, and Arti Gollapudi…and a show that showcases physical comedy and “the weird, the beautiful, the gross, and, ultimately, the human” tonight features comics Leanna Grennan (above left), Eudora Peterson (above middle), Milly Tamarez, Jes Tom, and Chris Burns hosted by Arti Gollapudi (above right): Yourself, Your Body (7:30 pm, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 7/11/17

Joel Kim BoosterJoel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien; Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; Billy on the Street; for Joel’s Conan set, please click here) records his first stand-up comedy album, with help from comics Aaron Jackson, Josh Sharp, Patti Harrison, Matt Rogers, Bowen Yang, Henry Koperski, and Tiffany Topol tonight and tomorrow: Joel Kim Booster: Model Minority (8:00 pm tonight & Wednesday; $15—nab 2-for-1 tickets online using code BOGOBOOSTER; Ars Nova Theatre at 511 West 54th Street, off 10th Avenue)…

Katie Hannigan…and rising stand-up Katie Hannigan (Oxygen, Seeso, College Humor; complains about being 5′ 3″ by observing “The world is not built for a short woman,” then pauses reflectively and adds, ” …or, really, any woman;” for a sample set, please click here) headlines for one night only at Carolines: Katie Hannigan (7:30 pm, $11 cover using discount code MOUSIE online (otherwise $18) plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 7/12/17

Judd Apatow

As producer, director, and/or writer, Judd Apatow has had a hand in many of the most beloved comedy TV series and films of the past 20 years, including HBO’s Girls, Crashing, and The Larry Sanders Show, and movies Trainwreck, The Big Sick, Anchorman, Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, Funny People, The 40-Year-Old Virgin…and many, many more. Still seeking challenges, Apatow is now honing his skills as a stand-up comic, and will be performing at Gotham tonight and tomorrow with the goal of making you laugh multiple times per minute: Judd Apatow (9:30 pm tonight & Thursday, $25 plus 2-drink min., Gotham Comedy Club at 208 West 23rd Street)…

Sean Patton..and speaking of stretching comedy muscles: Sean Patton is famed in NYC as one of the very finest stand-ups alive. What’s less known is Sean’s freshness, power, and depth as a storyteller. In this hour-long solo show he’s honing for next month’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sean tells a myriad of tales about growing up in New Orleans, and somehow manages to tie together such themes as farts, balls, bed-wetting, and eternal love. Enjoy this extraordinary writer/performer in Sean Patton: Number One (8:00 pm; $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Literary Death Match with Aparna Nancherla…or check out this bookish game show in which four writers each read their own work for seven minutes or less. An all-star panel of judges then selects the two best to compete in the finale, a vaguely-literary battle to decide the ultimate winner. Tonight’s stellar judges are Aparna Nancherla (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), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, host of Comedy Knockout, MTV’s Guy Code), Kashana Cauley (writer for The Daily Show), and Loryn Brantz (award-winning children’s book author of Feminist Baby and Harvey the Child Mime,and two-time Emmy Award-winning illustrator). And the contestants are all award-winning writers: Rakesh Satyal (author of Blue Boy and No One Can Pronounce My Name), Lisa Ko (author of The Leavers; included in Best American Short Stories 2016), Jamie Brickhouse (author of Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and My Mother; three-time Moth StorySlam winner), and Lauren Duca (columnist for Teen Vogue), all hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga: Literary Death Match (8:00 pm, $15, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

The Story Collider: Painful Moments in Scienceor listen to scientists, geeks, and comics—including Raj Sivaraman (stand-up; co-host of Universe City podcast), Gail Thomas (Moth StorySlam winner), and Jean Le Bec (Moth StorySlam winner)—tell tales related to science, with this month’s theme Painful Moments, hosted by Ben Lillie & Erin Barker: The Story Collider: Painful Moments in Science (7:00 pm, $10, The Kraine Theatre at 85 East 4th Street off Second Avenue)

Red Hot—Grab Tickets Before They’re Gone:
NYC Comedy Pick for Saturday 7/15/17

Tinder Live with Lane Moore and David CrossA show celebrating the app that redefined online dating, with the lovely and quick-witted Lane Moore (above left; HBO’s Girls; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo; writer for The Onion, McSweeney’s) going on a live Tinder safari for guys while a packed audience watches her every choice with fascination. Offering comments and suggestions during the adventure are tonight’s guests, comedy legend David Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development, Modern Family) and Ashley Nicole Black (staff writer for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee). This show will almost certainly sell out, so I recommend nabbing tickets ASAP for Tinder Live (8:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett 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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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 weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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


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