NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/16/17

August 16, 2017

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, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street—take R subway to Union Street; PLEASE NOTE: Both performances have SOLD OUT. However, you might be able to nab a 9:30 pm ticket via the Fan Exchange)…

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)

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] 8:00 pm ($7): UCB comics perform solo character bits at the UCB Chelsea theatre: UCBT Character Showcase

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; PLEASE NOTE: All performances have sold out in advance; but you might still get in if you arrive early to nab a spot on a waiting list)…

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

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 8/18/17

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 & 10:00 pm tonight and Saturday, and 7:30 pm Sunday; $65.50 plus 2-drink min.; Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)…

Roy Wood Jr., Jo Firestone, and Janelle James…or check out this monthly show that tonight features Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, TBS’ Sullivan & Son; Comedy Central one-hour special Father Figure), 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, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Janelle James (@midnight, SeeSo’s Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), Jenny Zigrino (Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; movie Bad Santa 2), Calvin Evans (Showtime’s Shameless), and Alex English hosted by Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central’s South Beach, host of The Secret Loft Show): Camouflage: A Comedy Show (9:00 pm; $5-$10, depending on how early you arrive—includes Free Pizza!; Brooklyn’s Big Irv’s at 381 Hooper Street)…

Road House…famously silly 1989 Patrick Swayze movie Road House about “a tough bouncer hired to tame a dirty bar” is screened and made fun of by comics Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on MST3K), Jenn Wehrung (host of Laugh it Up, Astoria), Freddy G (NPR), and Bob Hansen hosted by Chris Gersbeck: Road HouseScreening & Mocking by Frank Conniff and More (11:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)…

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: 8/18: 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 Friday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, 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 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 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 Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): Top improvisors Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Brandon Scott Jones, and Molly Thomas “talk to one person for less than 10 minutes and let them know how they die 45 minutes later” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: We Know How You Die

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Patrick McCartney, Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott make up scenes at The PIT Underground: Centralia

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): 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 at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): 15 Villainous Fools

8:00 pm ($20): A live version of the popular podcast Tinder Tales that provides stories of Tinder dates, dating advice, and fun games, with guests Calvin Cato, Ayanna Dookie, and John Fields at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by David Piccolomini: Tinder Tales Live

8:00 pm ($17 online or $20 at the door): Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show and podcast Risk!, owner of The Story Studio) hosts a diverse group of storytellers—Carl Yard, Marc Abbott, Melissa Slaughter, Ames Beckerman, and Abbas Mousa—sharing tales about “how they value their unique identity and, through it, find the power to affect change in their own lives, the lives of others, and the larger world” at The Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B) as part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival: In It Together: Stories of Strength in Diversity

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Alexandra Dickson, Michael Delaney, and/or Silvija Ozols forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott are joined by guest improvisor Chris Griggs performing at The PIT Underground: Centralia

9:30 pm ($17 online or $20 at the door): Seena Jon (co-host of Pivot TV’s TakePart Live, host of self-help podcast The Brighter Side) performs an autobiographical show about moments “that range from joyful childhood ignorance to sex, drugs, and anger filled adolescence to self-reflective empathy-addicted adulthood; by the end, you may even feel okay with being other too” at The Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B), with an opening tale from immigration reform activist group Fwd.Us, all as part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival: Seena Jon: I Am Other

9:30 pm ($10): A raunchy musical about high school seniors and aliens from outer space plotting to harvest our genitals continues its run through September 18th at The PIT Mainstage from writer Joe Kelly, musical director Jonathan Evans, and director Griffin Osborne: Aliens Coming: The Musical

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): This oddball blend of sketch comedy and genuine fake wrestling describes itself as follows: “It’s revenge. It’s vengeance. It’s hot comedy wrestling action as only the UCBW can bring you. Don’t miss a night of hilarious characters beating the shit out of each other. Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: UCBW: Revengeance

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 8/19/17

Emmy Blotnick, Christine Nangle, and Lane Moore: "Tinder Live"A show celebrating the app that redefined online dating, with the lovely and quick-witted Lane Moore (bottom; 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, Emmy Blotnick (top left; rising star; staff writer for Comedy Central’s The President Show; former writer for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Roast of Rob Lowe, and Not Safe with Nikki Glaser; MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever) and Christine Nangle (top right; Head Writer for Comedy Central’s The President Show; former writer for Inside Amy Schumer and Kroll Show). This show usually sells 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)…

Cait Elliott: "Good at Cults"…or if you like storytelling shows, take in a bunch on this next-to-last day of the Speak Up, Rise Up Festival. They start at 1:30 pm with Cait Elliott performing an autobiographical one-woman show about “joining a cult in 2014, falling in love with its leader, and life on the other side; a meditation on spirituality, sexuality, abuse of power, and the basic human drive to seek something more:” Good at Cults (1:30 pm; $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)…

Leslie Goshko: "Slightly Feral"…and experience stories about being slightly animalistic by Leslie Goshko (above; delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, Internet Action Force, star of Sideshow Goshko and The Real Housewives of Columbo), Aasif Mandvi (former correspondent for The Daily Show; appearances in numerous movies & TV shows), Andrew Bancroft (ace hip-hop improv group Freestyle Love Supreme), and Catie Lazarus (host of Employee of the Month): Slightly Feral (6:00 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)…

Aparna Nancherla…and enjoy storytelling 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), who “has always been unsure of herself. In fact, she has spent a good deal of her life trying to figure out why exactly other people aren’t. Spend an evening with her, aided by some extraordinary cohorts, as she bumbles her way through a show that offers no answers, but does raise more questions. The only guarantee is no guarantee, no warranty, no problem. Sound intriguing? If so, please lower your expectations and come on down:” A Night of Subjective Comedy with Aparna ‘N Friends (9:00 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)…

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: 8/19: 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 Saturday include:

[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 ($10): Killy Dwyer (wild singing comic), Ray DeVito (Comedy Central), and Tracy Carnazzo (host of Hashtag Comedy) 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): What may be your last chance to 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 at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): 15 Villainous Fools

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour at The PIT Underground: North Coast

9:30 pm ($10): A raunchy musical about high school seniors and aliens from outer space plotting to harvest our genitals continues its run through September 18th at The PIT Mainstage from writer Joe Kelly, musical director Jonathan Evans, and director Griffin Osborne: Aliens Coming: The Musical

[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

10:00 ($5): Comics compete in freestyle rap games and battles, with the prize being stage time, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Noah Savage with DJ Will Winner: So You Think You Can Rap

[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

11:00 pm ($7): “A feminist exploration of Tentacle Erotica, this show delves into the world of female sexuality through the lens of one slimy genre of pornography at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tentacles

11:30 pm ($7): Comics playing characters answer obscure quiz questions in this comedic game show at UCB East hosted by Vincent Moore: Best Answer

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: A monthly lip synch contest judged by you and your audience, taking into account costume, choreography, and lip synching perfection, with this month’s theme 90s hip-hop and R&B, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Christina Galston: What That Mouth Do

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 8/15/17

August 15, 2017

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; PLEASE NOTE: As of Monday night, this show has SOLD OUT. If you’d like to see Ilana Glazer on Wednesday, though, please click here)…

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) try out a new solo stand-up show, via late-night performances tonight and Thursday: Hasan Minhaj: Experiment Time (10:30 pm & Midnight tonight, 11:00 pm & Midnight on Thursday, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street; PLEASE NOTE: All performances have sold out in advance; but you might still get in if you arrive early to nab a spot on a waiting list)…

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; PLEASE NOTE: All performances have sold out in advance; but you might still get in if you arrive early to nab a spot on a waiting list)…

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

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 8/18/17

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 & 10:00 pm tonight and Saturday, and 7:30 pm Sunday; $65.50 plus 2-drink min.; Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)…

Roy Wood Jr., Jo Firestone, and Janelle James…or check out this monthly show that tonight features Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, TBS’ Sullivan & Son; Comedy Central one-hour special Father Figure), 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, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Janelle James (@midnight, SeeSo’s Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), Jenny Zigrino (Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; movie Bad Santa 2), Calvin Evans (Showtime’s Shameless), and Alex English hosted by Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central’s South Beach, host of The Secret Loft Show): Camouflage: A Comedy Show (9:00 pm; $5-$10, depending on how early you arrive—includes Free Pizza!; Brooklyn’s Big Irv’s at 381 Hooper Street)…

Road House…famously silly 1989 Patrick Swayze movie Road House about “a tough bouncer hired to tame a dirty bar” is screened and made fun of by comics Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on MST3K), Jenn Wehrung (host of Laugh it Up, Astoria), Freddy G (NPR), and Bob Hansen hosted by Chris Gersbeck: Road HouseScreening & Mocking by Frank Conniff and More (11:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)…

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 Friday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, 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 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 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 Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): Top improvisors Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Brandon Scott Jones, and Molly Thomas “talk to one person for less than 10 minutes and let them know how they die 45 minutes later” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: We Know How You Die

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Patrick McCartney, Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott make up scenes at The PIT Underground: Centralia

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): 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 at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): 15 Villainous Fools

8:00 pm ($20): A live version of the popular podcast Tinder Tales that provides stories of Tinder dates, dating advice, and fun games, with guests Calvin Cato, Ayanna Dookie, and John Fields at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by David Piccolomini: Tinder Tales Live

8:00 pm ($17 online or $20 at the door): Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show and podcast Risk!, owner of The Story Studio) hosts a diverse group of storytellers—Carl Yard, Marc Abbott, Melissa Slaughter, Ames Beckerman, and Abbas Mousa—sharing tales about “how they value their unique identity and, through it, find the power to affect change in their own lives, the lives of others, and the larger world” at The Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B) as part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival: In It Together: Stories of Strength in Diversity

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Alexandra Dickson, Michael Delaney, and/or Silvija Ozols forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott are joined by guest improvisor Chris Griggs performing at The PIT Underground: Centralia

9:30 pm ($17 online or $20 at the door): Seena Jon (co-host of Pivot TV’s TakePart Live, host of self-help podcast The Brighter Side) performs an autobiographical show about moments “that range from joyful childhood ignorance to sex, drugs, and anger filled adolescence to self-reflective empathy-addicted adulthood; by the end, you may even feel okay with being other too” at The Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B), with an opening tale from immigration reform activist group Fwd.Us, all as part of this week’s Speak Up, Rise Up Festival: Seena Jon: I Am Other

9:30 pm ($10): A raunchy musical about high school seniors and aliens from outer space plotting to harvest our genitals continues its run through September 18th at The PIT Mainstage from writer Joe Kelly, musical director Jonathan Evans, and director Griffin Osborne: Aliens Coming: The Musical

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): This oddball blend of sketch comedy and genuine fake wrestling describes itself as follows: “It’s revenge. It’s vengeance. It’s hot comedy wrestling action as only the UCBW can bring you. Don’t miss a night of hilarious characters beating the shit out of each other. Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: UCBW: Revengeance

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/14/17

August 14, 2017

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 8/13/17

August 13, 2017

Jim NortonJim Norton (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Inside Amy Schumer; hosted HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; former cast member of HBO sitcom Lucky Louie; HBO half-hour One Night Stand; feature film Spider-Man; on radio, long-time regular of The Opie & Anthony Show and current co-host of Jim Norton and Sam Roberts on Sirius XM; author of books Happy Endings and I Hate Your Guts, numerous comedy albums include Contexually Inadequate) hones material for a one-man show in Jim Norton: Work In Progress (7:00 pm, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Aasif Mandvi…or help Aasif Mandvi (former correspondent for The Daily Show; appearances in numerous movies & TV shows) as he tries out a new one-man show: Come See How the Sausage is Made (8:00 pm, $10, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

Hasan Minhaj…and 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 one-man stand-up show: Hasan Minhaj: Experiment Time (11:00 pm, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)

Other notable shows this Sunday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 1:30 pm, 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 five shows, with four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Liza Treyger (fresh, fierce, fearless stand-up; Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; CBS’ Two Broke Girls, MTV, IFC’s How Shit Works, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Phil Hanley (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Craig Ferguson, former host of Chemistry), Alison Leiby (VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Carmen Lagala, and Ryan Schutt perform stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City) and hosted by Robert Dean: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): A hour of sketches from 3-guy group Matt Barats (The Onion), Carmen Christopher (MTV), and Anthony Oberbeck (IFC), plus guest comic Christi Chiello (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, MTV’s Girl Code, TruTV, co-host of Battle of the Divas), at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street): Postmen + Christi Chiello

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 8/14/17

Ophira EisenbergVirtually each of us endures a lot more, and is far tougher, than is apparent from surface appearances. And I don’t mean 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 (former writer for Parks & Recreation, Kroll Show, The Good Place, Master of None; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Ben on Modern Family; 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

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 Taylor Ortega & David Carl—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

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 8/12/17

August 12, 2017

Michelle WolfA star stand-up who’s also a star writer/correspondent for The Daily Show, and was previously a staff writer & performer for Seth Meyers, performs an early and late solo stand-up show in the West VIllage at NYU’s 828-seat theatre: Michelle Wolf Live (7:30 pm & 10:00 pm, $25, Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at 566 LaGuardia Place)…

Book Club—A Comedy Show: "The Handmaid's Tale"..Blythe Roberson (bottom left; The Onion, McSweeney’s, TheNewYorker.com) & Colin Stokes (Associate Cartoon Editor at The New Yorker; The Onion, GQ) read a book every month so you don’t have to, with tonight’s classic tome The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Learn culture while being entertained by comics Monica Heisey (top left; The New Yorker, Playboy, The Guardian; author of book I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better), Fran Hoepfner (top right; Associate Video Director for The Onion; really hard to spell last name), Harris Mayersohn (recurring character Stoney Von Dankington on Stephen Colbert; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Bang Bang), and Jaboukie Young-White (movie Rough Night): Book Club—A Comedy Show: The Handmaid’s Tale (8:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

TromaDance 2017 Film Festival…or indulge in the second and final day of a free film festival sponsored by Lloyd Kaufman and his famed genre exploitation company Troma. Kaufman will screen six short films (e.g., Requiem for a Puppet) at Noon; five short films (e.g., Hero From Outer Space) at 1:00 pm; the feature film Hellitosis: The Legend of Stankmouth at 1:45 pm; and 15 short animated films (e.g., Fat Action Hero) at 3:30 pm. He’ll then host a live panel discussion at 5:00 pm; and resume screening with the short film Optimistic Yes at 6:15 pm; feature film Cut Shoot Kill at 6:30 pm; and feature film Assholes at 8:30 pm. The festival then concludes at 10:30 pm with a stand-up show hosted by Troma’s Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD and Zac Amico: The 18th Annual TromaDance Film Festival (Noon, 1:00 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:15 pm, 6:30 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:30 pm; screenings all Free!; 10:30 pm show is $10, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)

Other notable shows this Saturday include:

[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

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comics share clips from fake shows that never actually happened (you can watch previous clips here) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Clip Show: A Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour at The PIT Underground: North Coast

[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] 11:30 ($7): A game show that describes itself as follows: “Ever talk to a straight guy and think, ‘Jesus Christ you’re boring!’ Join gay-ass hosts Matt Rogers & Dave Mizzoni as they gay up the straights through games and trivia. Life lines include one woke woman and a wise queer. Come witness the ultimate test of who Is honorarily Gay As Fuck!” at the UCB East theatre: GAYme Show

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 8/13/17

Jim NortonJim Norton (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Inside Amy Schumer; hosted HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; former cast member of HBO sitcom Lucky Louie; HBO half-hour One Night Stand; feature film Spider-Man; regular on The Opie & Anthony Show; author of book Happy Endings, comedy album Contexually Inadequate) hones material for a one-man show in Jim Norton: Work In Progress (7:00 pm, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Aasif Mandvi…or help Aasif Mandvi (former correspondent for The Daily Show; appearances in numerous movies & TV shows) as he tries out a new one-man show: Come See How the Sausage is Made (8:00 pm, $10, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

Hasan Minhaj…and 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 one-man stand-up show: Hasan Minhaj: Experiment Time (11:00 pm, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)

Other notable shows this Sunday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 1:30 pm, 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 five shows, with four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Liza Treyger (fresh, fierce, fearless stand-up; Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; CBS’ Two Broke Girls, MTV, IFC’s How Shit Works, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Phil Hanley (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Craig Ferguson, former host of Chemistry), Alison Leiby (VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Carmen Lagala, and Ryan Schutt perform stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City) and hosted by Robert Dean: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 8/14/17

Ophira EisenbergVirtually each of us endures a lot more, and is far tougher, than is apparent from surface appearances. And I don’t mean 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 (former writer for Parks & Recreation, Kroll Show, The Good Place, Master of None; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Ben on Modern Family; 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 Inot 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

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/11/17

August 11, 2017

Las Culturistas Live: I Don't Think So, HoneyFifty comics gather to each share a minute’s worth of observations about a bit of pop culture with which he or she can’t be bothered. The participants include Michelle Collins, Michelle Buteau, Josh Sharp, Amanda Duarte, Timothy Dunn, Eleanore Pienta, Keisha Zollar, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Austin, Lauren Adams, Shalewa Sharpe, and many more, hosted by Matt Rogers & Bowen Yang (above; hosts of the acclaimed Las Culturistas podcast): Las Culturistas Live: I Don’t Think So, Honey (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

TromaDance 2017 Film Festival…or see the first night of a two-day (mostly) free film festival hosted by Lloyd Kaufman, owner of famed genre exploitation film company Troma, who screens eight short films (e.g., Attack of the Killer Chickers) at 6:00 pm, nine short films (e.g., Speed Fucking) at 7:00 pm, and the feature film Dreaming Purple Neon at 8:15 pm; and then stars in a live panel discussion & comedy show set in Hell with Troma staffers and “Vicent Welles, Master of the Accult” (played by BJ Thorne) at 10:30 pm: The 18th Annual TromaDance Film Festival (6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 8:15 pm screenings all Free!; 10:30 pm live show is $10; The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

Chance for a Spinster…or check out Jeena Bloom‘s & Anna Grace Carter‘s Wild West version of The Bachelor, an improvised dating game show set in America’s Civil War era and based on actual singles ads from old-timey newspapers, with Trevor Daniel as the suitor (from a genuine 1860s personal ad, he’s a young enthusiast of oats, hoop skirts, and waterfalls), and superb improvisors Adrian Sexton, Chloe Marsh, and Anna Grace Carter as the spinsters—clad in period costumes and terrible hardships—aiming to win the chap with “a good set of teeth:” Chance for a Spinster (10:00 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Other notable shows this Friday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, 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 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 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 Friday

7:30 pm ($10): A house sketch group that includes the wonderful Sarah Nowak and is directed by Holden McNeely (Murderfist) performs at The PIT Underground:: National Scandal

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Alexandra Dickson, Michael Delaney, and/or Silvija Ozols forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott are joined by guest improvisor Chris Griggs performing at The PIT Underground: Centralia

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT Underground with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically include Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), and/or many more, all declaring ChicaGoGo

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 8/12/17

Michelle WolfA star stand-up who’s also a star writer/correspondent for The Daily Show, and was previously a staff writer & performer for Seth Meyers, performs an early and late solo stand-up show in the West VIllage at NYU’s 828-seat theatre: Michelle Wolf Live (7:30 pm & 10:00 pm, $25, Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at 566 LaGuardia Place)…

Book Club—A Comedy Show: "The Handmaiden's Tale"Blythe Roberson (The Onion, McSweeney’s, TheNewYorker.com) & Colin Stokes (Associate Cartoon Editor at The New Yorker; The Onion, GQ) read a book every month so you don’t have to, with tonight’s classic tome The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Learn culture while being entertained by comics Monica Heisey (above left; The New Yorker, Playboy, The Guardian; author of book I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better), Fran Hoepfner (above middle; Associate Video Director for The Onion; really hard to spell last name), Harris Mayersohn (recurring character Stoney Von Dankington on Stephen Colbert; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Bang Bang), and Jaboukie Young-White (movie Rough Night): Book Club—A Comedy Show: The Handmaiden’s Tale (8:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

TromaDance 2017 Film Festival…or indulge in the second and final day of a free film festival sponsored by Lloyd Kaufman and his famed genre exploitation company Troma. Kaufman will screen six short films (e.g., Requiem for a Puppet) at Noon; five short films (e.g., Hero From Outer Space) at 1:00 pm; the feature film Hellitosis: The Legend of Stankmouth at 1:45 pm; and 15 short animated films (e.g., Fat Action Hero) at 3:30 pm. He’ll then host a live panel discussion at 5:00 pm; and resume screening with the short film Optimistic Yes at 6:15 pm; feature film Cut Shoot Kill at 6:30 pm; and feature film Assholes at 8:30 pm. The festival then concludes at 10:30 pm with a stand-up show hosted by Troma’s Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD and Zac Amico: The 18th Annual TromaDance Film Festival (Noon, 1:00 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:15 pm, 6:30 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:30 pm; screenings all Free!; 10:30 pm show is $10, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)

Other notable shows this Saturday include:

[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

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comics share clips from fake shows that never actually happened (you can watch previous clips here) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Clip Show: A Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour at The PIT Underground: North Coast

[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] 11:30 ($7): A game show that describes itself as follows: “Ever talk to a straight guy and think, ‘Jesus Christ you’re boring!’ Join gay-ass hosts Matt Rogers & Dave Mizzoni as they gay up the straights through games and trivia. Life lines include one woke woman and a wise queer. Come witness the ultimate test of who Is honorarily Gay As Fuck!” at the UCB East theatre: GAYme Show

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 8/13/17

Jim NortonJim Norton (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Inside Amy Schumer; hosted HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; former cast member of HBO sitcom Lucky Louie; HBO half-hour One Night Stand; feature film Spider-Man; regular on The Opie & Anthony Show; author of book Happy Endings, comedy album Contexually Inadequate) hones material for a one-man show in Jim Norton: Work In Progress (7:00 pm, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Aasif Mandvi…or help Aasif Mandvi (former correspondent for The Daily Show; appearances in numerous movies & TV shows) as he tries out a new one-man show: Come See How the Sausage is Made (8:00 pm, $10, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

Hasan Minhaj…and 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 one-man stand-up show: Hasan Minhaj: Experiment Time (11:00 pm, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)

Other notable shows this Sunday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 1:30 pm, 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 five shows, with four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Liza Treyger (fresh, fierce, fearless stand-up; Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; CBS’ Two Broke Girls, MTV, IFC’s How Shit Works, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Phil Hanley (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Craig Ferguson, former host of Chemistry), Alison Leiby (VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Carmen Lagala, and Ryan Schutt perform stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City) and hosted by Robert Dean: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 8/14/17

Ophira EisenbergVirtually each of us endures a lot more, and is far tougher, than is apparent from surface appearances. And I don’t mean 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; $17 online, $20 at the door; The Connelly Theater at 220 East 4th Street between Avenues A & B)…

Joe Mande…or come see Joe Mande (former writer for Parks & Recreation, Kroll Show, The Good Place, Master of None; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Ben on Modern Family; 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)

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

[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 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

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/10/17

August 10, 2017

Amy Marcs: "Nice T!ts"Comedic actress Amy Marcs performs a one-woman show about her experiences with breast cancer (for a trailer, place click here): Nice T!ts (8:00 pm; $25, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

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)…

George/Martha: An Improvised "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"…or experience brilliant improvisors Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv group The Community Players, host of Pet Prov) and Jason Specland (public access TV show The Enchanged Wardrobe, improv group Regina) make up a guilt & stress-filled evening as Edward Albee’s characters George & Martha (famously played by Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor)—and If you’re not careful, you might find yourself participating in their “fun and games:” George/Martha: An Improvised Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (9:00 pm; $7, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents) hosts MIchelle Wolf, Ryan Hamilton, Liza Treyger, 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): Myq Kaplan (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 albums No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Matt Koff (staff writer for The Daily Show), Ruby Karp (host of We Hope You Have Fun), Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central’s South Beach, host of Ambush Comedy and The Secret Loft Show), and Chris Lamberth (AXS TV) perform stand-up 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 rising stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code blog): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE BEER!] 9:30 pm: Sandi Marx, Angela Perrone, Andrew Mcgill, and Brian Six 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] 11:00 pm ($5): 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, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Wes Haney (Netflix’s The Characters), Sandy Honig (Three Busy Debras), Max Wittert (Nickelodeon), and Eric Dadourian (Viceland) perform stand-up for this show that mixes Brooklyn & Manhattan comics at UCB East hosted by Alyssa Stonoha: Taste Flavor

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): UCB Saturday night improv group What I Did For Love and UCB Harold Night group Some Kid compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 8/11/17

Las Culturistas Live: I Don't Think So, HoneyFifty comics gather to each share a minute’s worth of observations about a bit of pop culture with which he or she can’t be bothered. The participants include Michelle Collins, Michelle Buteau, Josh Sharp, Amanda Duarte, Timothy Dunn, Eleanore Pienta, Keisha Zollar, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Austin, Lauren Adams, Shalewa Sharpe, and many more, hosted by Matt Rogers & Bowen Yang (above; hosts of the acclaimed Las Culturistas podcast): Las Culturistas Live: I Don’t Think So, Honey (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

TromaDance 2017 Film Festival…or see the first night of a two-day (mostly) free film festival hosted by Lloyd Kaufman, owner of famed genre exploitation film company Troma, who screens eight short films (e.g., Attack of the Killer Chickers) at 6:00 pm, nine short films (e.g., Speed Fucking) at 7:00 pm, and the feature film Dreaming Purple Neon at 8:15 pm; and then stars in a live panel discussion & comedy show set in Hell with Troma staffers and “Vicent Welles, Master of the Accult” (played by BJ Thorne) at 10:30 pm: The 18th Annual TromaDance Film Festival (6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 8:15 pm screenings all Free!; 10:30 pm live show is $10; The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

Chance for a Spinster…or check out Jeena Bloom‘s & Anna Grace Carter‘s Wild West version of The Bachelor, an improvised dating game show set in America’s Civil War era and based on actual singles ads from old-timey newspapers, with Trevor Daniel as the suitor (from a genuine 1860s personal ad, he’s a young enthusiast of oats, hoop skirts, and waterfalls), and superb improvisors Adrian Sexton, Chloe Marsh, and Anna Grace Carter as the spinsters—clad in period costumes and terrible hardships—aiming to win the chap with “a good set of teeth:” Chance for a Spinster (10:00 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Other notable shows this Friday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, 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 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 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 Friday

7:30 pm ($10): A house sketch group that includes the wonderful Sarah Nowak and is directed by Holden McNeely (Murderfist) performs at The PIT Underground:: National Scandal

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Alexandra Dickson, Michael Delaney, and/or Silvija Ozols forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott are joined by guest improvisor Chris Griggs performing at The PIT Underground: Centralia

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT Underground with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically include Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), and/or many more, all declaring ChicaGoGo

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 8/12/17

Book Club—A Comedy Show: "The Handmaiden's Tale"Blythe Roberson (The Onion, McSweeney’s, TheNewYorker.com) & Colin Stokes (Associate Cartoon Editor at The New Yorker; The Onion, GQ) read a book every month so you don’t have to, with tonight’s classic tome The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Learn culture while being entertained by comics Monica Heisey (above left; The New Yorker, Playboy, The Guardian; author of book I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better), Fran Hoepfner (above middle; Associate Video Director for The Onion; really hard to spell last name), Harris Mayersohn (recurring character Stoney Von Dankington on Stephen Colbert; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Bang Bang), and Jaboukie Young-White (movie Rough Night): Book Club—A Comedy Show: The Handmaiden’s Tale (8:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

TromaDance 2017 Film Festival…or indulge in the second and final day of a free film festival sponsored by Lloyd Kaufman and his famed genre exploitation company Troma. Kaufman will screen six short films (e.g., Requiem for a Puppet) at Noon; five short films (e.g., Hero From Outer Space) at 1:00 pm; the feature film Hellitosis: The Legend of Stankmouth at 1:45 pm; and 15 short animated films (e.g., Fat Action Hero) at 3:30 pm. He’ll then host a live panel discussion at 5:00 pm; and resume screening with the short film Optimistic Yes at 6:15 pm; feature film Cut Shoot Kill at 6:30 pm; and feature film Assholes at 8:30 pm. The festival then concludes at 10:30 pm with a stand-up show hosted by Troma’s Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD and Zac Amico: The 18th Annual TromaDance Film Festival (Noon, 1:00 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:15 pm, 6:30 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:30 pm; screenings all Free!; 10:30 pm show is $10, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)

Other notable shows this Saturday include:

[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

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comics share clips from fake shows that never actually happened (you can watch previous clips here) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Clip Show: A Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour at The PIT Underground: North Coast

[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] 11:30 ($7): A game show that describes itself as follows: “Ever talk to a straight guy and think, ‘Jesus Christ you’re boring!’ Join gay-ass hosts Matt Rogers & Dave Mizzoni as they gay up the straights through games and trivia. Life lines include one woke woman and a wise queer. Come witness the ultimate test of who Is honorarily Gay As Fuck!” at the UCB East theatre: GAYme Show

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.