NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/14/17

Ophira EisenbergEach of us endures a lot more, and is far tougher, than is apparent from surface appearances. And that refers to not only emotional and spiritual hardships, but permanent bodily mementos. In this show, Ophira Eisenberg (one of the very finest storytellers in the country; NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ The Late Late Show, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!; for a sampling of Ophira’s remarkably deep comedic tales, please click here) reveals “I have a lot of scars. And I don’t mean metaphorical ones, I’m talking actual physical scars. I’m actually covered in them. This show is about my scars, filled with both comedic and tragic stories, and how to accept these patterns etched in my skin day after day after day.” Opening for Ophira are storyteller Ed Gavagan (TED Talks, Moth Grandslam champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour) and magician Matthew Holtzclaw, with direction by Maggie Cino: Ophira Eisenberg: Scars (8:00 pm; part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival; $17 online, $20 at the door, or $45-$150 for discount tickets to multiple festival shows; The Connelly Theater at 220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B)…

Joe Mande…or come see Joe Mande (Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Ben on Modern Family; former writer for Parks & Recreation, Kroll Show, The Good Place, Master of None; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster, comedy album Bitchface; Netflix’s Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special) perform solo stand-up in the East Village at an early or late show tonight, or a late show tomorrow night: Joe Mande at Joe’s Pub (7:30 pm & 9:30 pm tonight, 9:30 pm Tuesday; $16; Joe’s Pub at 425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place)…

Nicki Wright: "Panel of Thrones"…and if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, check out this free weekly show in which comics Sam Halt, Sally Ann Hall, Patrick J. Reilly, and David Piccolomini discuss the final episodes of this spectacular season of GoT hosted by Nicki Wright: Panel of Thrones (7:30 pm, Free!, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)…

Gastor Almonte: "Raised by the East"…or come hear tales of East Brooklyn by sharp storyteller Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, host of Stoops2Stages): Gastor Almonte: Raised by the East (9:30 pm; part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival; $17 online, $20 at the door, or $45-$150 for discount tickets to multiple festival shows; The Connelly Theater at 220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B)

Other notable shows this Monday include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm the groups Thunderbuster (with ace comics Chris Booth and Jen Clark) and The Department (with the superb Dana Shulman)—all at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

[FREE] 6:30 pm (reserve tickets here): Female comics (not announced) “use humor and pop culture to expose the haters fighting against reproductive rights” at this free show that’s part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival at The Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A & B); Lady Parts Justice League

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 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): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Erik Bergstrom (Comedy Central Half Hour, cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Joyelle Nicole, Raghav Mehta, and Mookie Thompson perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street) guest-hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, @midnight, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5 in advance online, $10 at the door): Host Kevin Bartini (The Daily Show, Colbert Report) and friends Jay Schmidt, Jessica Bailey, and Adam Lash review movies merely by watching their previews for this recorded live podcast at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Movie Preview Review Podcast

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, and other terrific stand-ups perform for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): A gay-themed variety show featuring “special guests from the Gay Illuminati, Broadway, television, and the Drag-O-Sphere” at the UCB East theatre hosted by Timothy Dunn: Queerball

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea typically hosted by 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): Whiplash

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 8/15/17

Marina FranklinMarina Franklin (Trainwreck, Louie, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show) tries out a solo stand-up show she plans to film later this year: Marina Franklin: Single Black Female (8:30 pm, $8 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Get Lit and Have Fun with Will Miles…or come see Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year) host Ilana Glazer (co-star of Comedy Central red-hot hit Broad City), Matteo Lane (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code), Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, TruTV, Playgirl Magazine, host of First Set, comedy album True Love), and Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit) performing stand-up or other shenanigans at Get Lit and Have Fun (9:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Jude Treder-Wolff…or experience the tale of a therapist for 20 years who gets burned out and seeks to heal herself…by going to therapy. Except it’s tougher to find a shrink who can actually do her some good than she expects. This one-woman storytelling show by Jude Treder-Wolff (host of Mostly True Things) also features an opening yarn by David Crabb (author of memoir Bad Kid; two-time Moth StorySlam winner; co-host of Ask Me Stories): Jude Treder-Wolff: This Isn’t Helping (9:30 pm; part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival; $17 online, $20 at the door, or $45-$150 for discount tickets to multiple festival shows; The Connelly Theater at 220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B)…

Hasan Minhaj…or see Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show; breakthrough star performance at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner; Netflix special Homecoming King) also tries out jokes for a solo stand-up show, via two late-night performances: Hasan Minhaj: Experiment Time (10:30 pm & Midnight, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Dave Chappelle Live at RCMH…and one of our greatest stand-ups, superstar Dave Chappelle, continues to perform in NYC through August at Radio City Music Hall. Making each show unique are diverse guests, as follows:8/15: “Very Special Guest;” 8/17: Chance the Rapper; 8/18: Trevor Noah; 8/19: Childish Gambino; 8/20: Lauryn Hill; 8/23: Yasiin Bey; 8/24: Ali Wong, John Mayer, and Lil Jon (as DJ). It’s all happening this month at Dave Chappelle Live (8:00 pm; ticket prices vary by seat location; Radio City Music Hall at 1260 Sixth Avenue & 50th Street)

Other notable shows this Tuesday include:

[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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups—all typically led by the best improv pianist in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[FREE] 10:30 pm (Free! using online code COMP; no min.): Stand-ups pair up to brutally insult each other and then be judged for the effectiveness of their viciousness by veteran comics such as Big Jay Oakerson, Rich Vos, and Robert Kelly at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The RoastMasters

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 8/16/17

Ilana GlazerIlana Glazer (co-star of Comedy Central red-hot hit Broad City) puts on both an early and late show with some comedy pals TBD in Brooklyn: Ilana Glazer and Friends (7:30 pm and 9:30 pm, $12.41 online (buying in advance recommended, as Ilana’s shows usually sell out), Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street—take R subway to Union Street)…

Singleling with Vanessa ValerioVanessa Valerio (Moth StorySlam winner) hosts this monthly stage show & podcast focused on stories of love and dating from folks around the world, as well as advice from dating experts. Tonight’s episode features NYC storytellers David Crabb, Sandi Marx, Anita Flores, and Tarik Daniels, plus professional dating coach Erika Ettin (owner of A Little Nudge): Singleling with Vanessa Valerio (9:30 pm; part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival; $17 online, $20 at the door, or $45-$150 for discount tickets to multiple festival shows; The Connelly Theater at 220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B)…

15 Villainous Fools…or if you prefer theatre, see Maggie Seymour & Olivia Atwood revive their acclaimed FringeNYC 2016 two-woman production of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, tackling 15 characters in a wacky condensed version running just an hour that reportedly includes puppets, nerf guns, rap, song & dance, breaking the fourth wall, and lots of energy and comedic timing. If you can’t catch it tonight, subsequent performances are at 8:00 pm this Friday and Saturday: 15 Villainous Fools (8:00 pm, $20, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)…

Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend!…and also come see Jay Malsky, a super-charged & hilarious character comic who sings beautifully. This (mostly) one-man musical he’s created shows off all of Jay’s strengths, as he plays a variety of women whose boyfriends he stole. Enjoy this polished version—with musical direction by Jody Shelton, choreography by Zak Sommerfield, and extra vocals by David Carl & Taylor Ortega—that’s now a part of the UCB schedule (I saw it raw when it debuted last year at Solocom…and it was the best show of the festival): Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend! (9:30 pm; $7—which includes a second show, Obama Daughters: Requiem for America; UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Other notable shows this Wednesday include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six hours of free improvisation—including dynamite comics Adrian Sexton and Jay Malsky in The Community Players at 7:00 pm, musical improv from group Vern (which includes superb singer & comic Julie A. Feltman) at 7:30 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 10:30 pm, all at The PIT Mainstage: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, 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): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “Logan is 7 years old and hosts a late night talk show in his bedroom when he’s supposed to be asleep. The monster in his closet is his warm-up comic, furious because he knows he’s imaginary! His sidekick, Bunny, is a stuffed animal terrified at the thought of meeting another rabbit, and his house band is a motley crew of action figures and misfit toys. There will be music, real guests, and genuine conversation until Logan eventually gets too tired and falls asleep…probably” featuring a stellar cast of Connor Ratliff, Sebastian Conelli, and more, plus tonight’s guests Sasheer Zamata (cast member for three seasons of Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, Amazon’s Transparent, TBS’ People of Earth) and Lauren Ducan (Teen Vogue) at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Way Past Your Bedtime

NYC Comedy Picks for Thursday 8/17/17

Tracy MorganThe star of seven seasons of 30 Rock and cast member for eight seasons of Saturday Night Live headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tracy Morgan (7:30 pm tonight, 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 pm Sunday; $65.50 plus 2-drink min.,; Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)…

Giulia Rozzi…Superb comedic storyteller Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, TruTV, Playgirl Magazine, host of First Set, comedy album True Love) performs “a new collection of tales about self-help, self-esteem, and how we are all fucked up,” plus opening stories from Sydnee Washington and Marie Faustin: Giulia Rozzi: Great Bloomer (9:30 pm; part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival; $17 online, $20 at the door, or $45-$150 for discount tickets to multiple festival shows; The Connelly Theater at 220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B)…

The Kellyanne Show…or check out this new UCB show that asks, “Who exactly is Kellyanne Conway? More importantly, how did she get that way? Take a trip back through time to witness some of the most pivotal moments of the White House Senior Advisor’s life, including her days as a high school cheerleader, a blueberry speed-packing contest winner, and her brief stint as a teen beauty pageant competitor. Based on true events (warning: this show may contain alternative facts),” written & directed by Ari Scott, and starring such terrific character comics as Ann Carr and Jay Malsky: The Kellyanne Show (9:30 pm, $7—which also includes We Will Turn You Gay on this double-bill; UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)…

Hasan Minhaj…and from the other side of the political spectrum, Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show; breakthrough star performance at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner; Netflix special Homecoming King) tries out a new solo stand-up show via two late-night performances: Hasan Minhaj: Experiment Time (11:00 pm & Midnight, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Dave Chappelle Live at RCMH…and one of our greatest stand-ups, superstar Dave Chappelle, continues to perform in NYC through August at Radio City Music Hall. Making each show unique are diverse guests, as follows: 8/17: Chance the Rapper; 8/18: Trevor Noah; 8/19: Childish Gambino; 8/20: Lauryn Hill; 8/23: Yasiin Bey; 8/24: Ali Wong, John Mayer, and Lil Jon (as DJ). It’s all happening this month at Dave Chappelle Live (8:00 pm; ticket prices vary by seat location; Radio City Music Hall at 1260 Sixth Avenue & 50th Street)

Other notable shows this Thursday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 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.): 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 Thursday

8:00 pm ($10): A raunchy musical about high school seniors and aliens from outer space plotting to harvest our genitals begins a 10-show run tonight through September 18th at The PIT Mainstage from writer Joe Kelly, musical director Jonathan Evans, and director Griffin Osborne: Aliens Coming: The Musical

8:00 pm ($7): Clowning and Commedia Dell’Arte at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): A Good and Funny Clown and Commedia Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): UCB Saturday night improv group What I Did For Love (on a 6-0 winning streak) and indie improv group MIles From Pete (Desi Domo, Waylen Roche, Josh Tobin, and Scott Vicari) compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

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-$12

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-$12

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

Littlefield
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 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.

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