NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/14/17

September 14, 2017

Joey SkaggsStories, jokes, and more revolving around this month’s theme Imposters, with guests 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), Joey Skaggs (above; painter, sculptor, and social activist with a special talent for hoaxes), Todd Robbins (veteran NYC magician & carny performer), Jonathan Soma (The New York Times, Gawker), and Shalewa Sharpe (Keith and the Girl; comedy album Stay Eating Cookies) all performing for this show sponsored by website Atlas Obscura and hosted by Eric Grundhauser (writer/editor for Atlas Obscura): Atlas Obscura Live: Imposters (8:00 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Caitlin Brodnick: "Dangerous Boobies: Breaking Up with My Time-Bomb Breasts"…or join Caitlin Brodnick’s book release celebration for Dangerous Boobies: Breaking Up with My Time-Bomb Breasts, featuring Aparna Nancherla, Jo Firestone, Becky Chicoine, May Wilkerson, Gwynna Forgham-Thrift, Nikki Palumbo, Dara Katz, and Betsy Kenney: Dangerous Boobies: Book Release and Boobstravaganza (9:30 pm, $7, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Other notable shows this Thursday include:

[$] 7:00 pm ($20): Peter Michael Marino plays around with the audience in a mix of improv and scripted comedy (with staging by stellar director Michole Biancosino), and then attempts to pull off the very difficult feat of creating an entertaining one-man improv show inspired by what he’s learned about the audience at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), running Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through 9/30: Show Up

[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

7:30 pm ($7): Alex English (writer for BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede), Drew Anderson (The Story Pirates), Laura Sanders, Shannon Noll, and Ramsey Badawi perform stand-up at UCB East produced by Carol Hartsell and hosted by Sean Crespo & Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street): Mortified

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A comedic play written and starring Ian Lockwood & Sophie Zucker, and directed by Philip Markle, in which “Baby Jessica was the first child to fall down a well, thereby capturing the nation’s attention and becoming America’s sweetheart overnight. Baby Ian will be the second” at The PIT Mainstage: Baby Ian Falls Down a Well

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes), Abby Feldman, and Brett Hiker share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced & hosted by the lovely Natalie Wall (also host of Awkward Sex and the City): Awkward Poop and the City

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Joe Machi, Carmen Lynch, Nimesh Patel, Adrienne Iapalucci, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Typically fine NYC stand-ups (not announced this week) perform at UCB East hosted by rising stars Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, host of Homeschooled, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) and/or Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code blog): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:00 ($7): Gary DeNoia plays movie icon Nic Cage delivering a lecture about physical intimacy at The PIT Underground: Nic Cage Teaches Sex to Adults

9:00 pm ($5): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), Sydnee Washington (MTV2’s Vidiots), and Abby Rosenquist perform extreme stand-up at Brooklyn’s Cantina Royal (58 North 3rd Street, between Wythe and Kent) hosted by David Piccolomini: Nerdy Dirty Dark

[FREE] 9:00 pm: A show hosted by the lovely Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Katy Frame & Marie Cecile Anderson), with guests Jordan Temple (writer for MTV’s Decoded), Maria Heinegg (host of podcast The Worst Thing), and Kevin James Doyle (30 Year Old Virgin at 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival) performing at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue: Up N’ Coming

9:15 pm ($10): Sketch comics Titi the Clown, Andrers Lee, Nick Freeman, and group Sunday School Dropouts perform for this monthly show at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Paul Valenti: Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Last week improv duo 2 Puerto Ricans (Taylor Gonzalez & Will Martinez) proved their initial win was no fluke, as they clobbered UCB Friday night group Bucky by 64 votes to 37. Tonight the two-time champion faces Slingshot, which used to be a UCB Lloyd Night team (Adrian Frimpong, Ali Gordon, Bridget Holmes, Shenovia Large, Daniel Lee, Elizabeth-Ann Moss, Sean O’Reilly, and Bob Vulfov), competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups Blair Socci, Cole Escola, Anthony Oberbeck, Sarah Sherman, and Whitmer Thomas perform for this show that mixes Brooklyn & Manhattan comics at UCB East hosted by Alyssa Stonoha: Taste Flavor

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

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

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