It’s Day #2 of a beloved Brooklyn comedy festival celebrating its 10th Anniversary (and which is being marketed as its final year, but who knows what the future will hold…), running through Tuesday at Brooklyn’s The Bell House and Union Hall. Today’s three shows not yet sold out are:
• [MEGA-TOP PICK] 5:00 pm ($15): In this unique show, animators spontaneously bring the jokes of guest stand-ups to visual life with lightning speed & wit. Plus the comics don’t know what the animators are drawing and the animators don’t know how the comics will react. Tonight’s superb comedy lineup consists of Reggie Watts, Sean Patton, Clare O’Kane, Matteo Lane, Mehran Khaghani, and Dulcé Sloan performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street), produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Ian Fidance: Picture This!
• [MEGA-TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($20): A reverse roast battle, in which comics compete to deliver the best compliments to their opponent, with an incredible lineup of Daniel Kitson, Scott Adsit, Eugene Mirman, Jean Grae, Elna Baker, and Matt Koff, plus music from DJ WIll Winner, all performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) hosted by Kyle Ayers: Boast Battle
• 8:00 pm ($15): Casey James Salengo (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents), Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special, Billy on the Street; for Joel’s Conan set, please click here), Phoebe Angle, Cole Escola, and Sarah Lazarus perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV): Yikes! Most Of These Comedians Were Born After Police Academy 2 Was In Theaters
There’s also a 9:00 pm show at Bell House, but it’s sold out.
To explore the complete list of festival shows, and/or to buy tickets for subsequent nights before they sell out, please click Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival 2017
Other notable shows this Saturday include:
[TOP PICK] [$] Noon-MIdnight ($11 or $16 per show, or $31 for an all-you-can-see pass): For 12 hours, The PIT Mainstage and The PIT Underground host scores of comedy shows, all starring female comics. For the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of these festival shows, please click here; and then come enjoy the She Makes Me Laugh Femme Fest
[TOP PICK] [$] 2:00 pm ($20; typically includes free brownies baked by the multi-talented Carl himself): David Carl (hilarious, charismatic co-star of Point Break Live) is best known for his solo show Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (As Performed by David Carl), which nabbed raves and awards during its debut in the 2014 FringeNYC Festival and subsequent international tour (for my review, please click here). Three years later, Carl has created this second solo show as a weird sort of meta-sequel. For my full review, please click here. David Carl is a special comic, and this show at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) is worth experiencing: Trump Lear
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Saturday
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Liz Miele (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, animated webseries Damaged, comedy album Mind Over Melee), Lauren Maul (comic & musician), and Jackson Sturkey (singer, actor, and writer) perform at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 13 million people on YouTube, please click here): Don’t Feed the Musicians
8:00 pm ($7): Monday PIT house improv group The Department (which includes the superb Dana Shulman) shifts gears with this show devoted to sketch comedy based on the theme Sabotage at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Department of Sabotage
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($12): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Brilliant comic Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv groups The Community Players, Ouiser & Clairee, George/Martha, and The Darklings; host of Pet Prov) and Tamara Young host a variety show that incorporates tarot cards—show up an hour early for a free reading!—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tamara’s & Adrian’s Tarot Variety Show
9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers share tales of relationships in front of a panel of comics and therapy experts, who then give advice, with tonight’s guests Jake Fromm, Tiana Miller, and Wilson McDermut at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lynn Bixenspan & Morgan Pielli: Relationshit
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Casey Jost (former writer for NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and TruTV’s Impractical Jokers), and Lui Vega—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each week at The Magnet theatre: The Cast
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell
11:30 ($7): Dan Lee & Alex Song host a variety show that aims to feature especially notable Asian comics from NYC and LA at the UCB East theatre: Asian AF
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
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
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
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
117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.
130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.