NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/13/17

Jena Friedman, Mindy Raf, David Carll, and The Reformed Whores: "Bon Voyage! We're Going to Edinburgh!"Next month is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest annual arts event in the world, and a bunch of NYC comedy luminaries will be performing shows for it. Tonight provides excerpts from the Edinburgh productions of 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), Mindy Raf (brilliant one-woman show Keeping My Kidneys; MTV’s Girl Code, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; often performs as singing alter ego Leibya Rogers), David Carl (hilarious, charismatic rising star; Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), and hosts The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; CBS, IFC; have opened for Weird Al Yankovic, Alice Cooper, and Lynyrd Skynyrd; albums Ladies Don’t Spit and Don’t Beat Around the Bush): Bon Voyage! We’re Going to Edinburgh! (8:30 pm, $5, Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club at 6 Wyckoff Avenue)…

Mortified…or enjoy a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) shared by their original authors before total strangers at this popular monthly show: Mortified (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute: Harry Potter and the Cursed Pastie…or go for an oddball blend of nerdism and sexuality via this over-the-top comedic play paying homage to the tropes of Harry Potter via burlesque, produced & hosted by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman; The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute: Harry Potter and the Cursed Pastie (8:00 pm, $15 (buy in advance, this will probably sell out), The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)…

Bowen Yang, John Early, and Jo Firestone…and if you can stay out late on a Thursday, come see this debut that tries to bring a Brooklyn alt comedy vibe to a Manhattan stand-up show, with guests Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), John Early (Netflix’s The Characters and Wet Hot American Summer, NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s Broad City), Bowen Yang (Comedy Central’s Broad City; member of sketch group Pop Roulette; co-host of podcast Las Culturistas), Bardia Salimi (Stephen Colbert, CBS’ Madam Secretary, Comedy Central, MTV), and Lena Einbinder (The Chris Gethard Show, The Special Without Brett Davis) hosted by Alyssa Stonoha: Taste Flavor (11:00 pm, $5, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 7/14/17

StoryFest 2017Tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday, the PIT Loft hosts the Second Annual Story Fest, a series of 14 storytelling shows feauring such NYC talents as Adam Wade, David Lawson, Robert Weinstein, Gastor Almonte, Jake Hart, Robin Gelfenbien, Gianmarco Soresi, and festival organizer Harmon Leon. Notable shows today include Jamie Brickhouse and Joe Charnitski at 7:00 pm (two darkly comic autobiographical solo shows by Moth StorySlam winners), Tale at 8:00 pm (includes the superb David Lawson (Flyer Guy)), and (Mostly) True Stories at 9:30 pm (includes terrific comic Lou Perez (Head Writer for We The Internet TV) and retired talent agent Sandi Marx (7-time Moth StorySlam champion): StoryFest 2017 (7:00 pm-Midnight, $10 per show, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)…

Katie Hartman…and Katie Hartman (above; brilliant, fearless dark comedy writer/performer; sketch groups Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting and Hartman & Carl, PIT Saturday night improv group Gypsy Danger) hosts an extreme character, sketch, and stand-up show with Brett Davis (HBO; creator/host of weekly Manhattan cable TV show The Special Without Brett Davis; co-host of The Macaulay Culkin Show; winner of the 2015 Andy Kaufman Award), Charla Lauriston (former writer for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Clay McLeod Chapman (author of books Nothing Untoward, Rest Area, and Miss Corpus), Laura Von Holt (Jezebel), and Sapphire Jones (Wasabassco Burlesque; host of the BossAss Bitch podcast): Fridays on Ice (10:30 pm, $15, at The New Ohio Theatre at 154 Christopher Street, inside the Archive Building)

NYC Comedy Picks 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)…

Jake Hart, Heather Fink, and Adam Wade: StoryFest 2017…and it’s Day #2 of a 3-day storytelling festival at the PIT Loft, with 6 shows running a total of 8 hours. Notable events include MTA Storytelling Show at 5:00 pm (what could be better than NYC subway and bus tales?), The Virgin Chronicles at 7:30 pm (Heather Fink (above), Anthony DeVito, Raquel D’Apice, and Josh Homer reveal how they lost their virginity), Solo Show 3 at 9:00 pm (tales from Adam Wade (above right), Gastor Almonte, and festival producer Harmon Leon), and ASS at 10:30 pm (Jake Hart (above left) hosts comics confessing terrible stuff they once did: “There’s no redemptions, no moments of regret, just stories of people doing bad things”): StoryFest 2017 (4:00 pm-Midnight, $10 per show, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 7/16/17

Langston Kerman, Myq Kaplan, and Sherrod Small: "Laughter in the Park"It’s week #2 of a 4-Sunday series of free outdoor comedy shows in July at NYC parks. This afternoon’s lineup features Myq Kaplan (above middle; one of the quickest minds in comedy; 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), Sherrod Small (above right; writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Langston Kerman (above left; 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), Gary Vider (America’s Got Talent 2015 finalist; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), and Leighann Lord (HBO, Comedy Central, Lifetime; frequent co-host of StarTalk Radio podcast; author of Dict Jokes): Laughter in the Park (2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Free!, the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park by the 7th Street entrance)…

David Lawson, Angel Yau, and Erika Elton: Story Fest 2017…and it’s the final day of a weekend storytelling festival at the PIT Loft, with 5 shows running a total of 7 hours. Notable events include VHS Presents at 5:30 pm (comics David Lawson (above left), Angel Yau (above middle), and Elann Danziger screen embarrassing videos they made years ago to hype themselves and share anecdotes about them) and Singeling at 8:30 pm (tales of dating, plus advice from professional dating coach Erika Elton (above right)): Story Fest 2017 (4:00 pm-11:00 pm, $10 per show, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th 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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