NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/16/17

June 16, 2017

QueerComThe PIT hosts LGBTQIA-themed shows tonight through Sunday for its annual QueerCom Festival (all weekend, $5-$15 per show or $30 for an all-you-can-see pass, The PIT Mainstage & Underground theatres at 123 East 24th Street and The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) 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] 7:00 pm ($10): A sketch comedy double-bill from Dinosaur Jones, a group that’s “part adventure, part absurdity, and all comedy” and The Executives, a tie-wearing group that leverages physical comedy, all at The Magnet theatre: Dinosaur Jones and The Executives: Coasterville, USA

7:00 pm ($10): Sketches, monologues, and more for this LGBTQIA-related show at The PIT Mainstage: Let’s Get Busy Tonight: QueerCom Edition

[FREE, but donation requested] 7:00 pm: Comics Samantha Ruddy, Rebecca Rush, Desmond Thorne, Danny Artese, and Gloria Shantae Butler perform stand-up or storytelling at this LGBTQIA-themed show at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street) hosted by Bobby Hankinson: Kweendom

[$] 7:30 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please click here) who starred in three Showtime specials, co-stars in CBS’ Superior Donuts, and as an actor has also performed on ABC, FOX, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlines tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a mild parody of girl bands via “the world’s first Asian-American pop group from the USA. Join Baby Rice, Quirky Rice, Edgy Rice, Competitive Rice, and Brown Rice as they kick off their tour by dancing, singing, and rapping about boys, friendship, and systemic racism/oppression:” AzN PoP!: Live in Concert

…and in the second other of this double bill, a typically brilliant parody of Seinfeld made up on the spot: Improvised Seinfeld

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Chris Gersbeck (co-host of Everythign Is Dumbn, and Bunk Bed and Murray Povich open mics), Chris Griggs, Rob Shapiro, Jenn Wehrung, Kristin Seltman, Mark Anthony Ramirez, and Wilson McDermut tell tales about losing their virginity at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Angela Cobb: My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling Show

7:30 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups Sydnee Washington, Usama Siddiquee, Jesse Wolmart, Glo, and Will Purpura perform at The PIT Underground hosted by Isaura Dos Santos: Stand Up and Chil: QueerCom Edition

7:30 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes, plus an opening stand-up set by Gregory Hall, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Funny Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A historical period or major event is explored comedically via stand-up, sketch, trivia contests, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Auslaender & Lindsay Boling: Annal Revue

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Bravo, Oxygen, Sirius XM), Madison Malloy, Allan Fuks, and Amy Buchwald perform stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Jay Welch: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Comics of color and/or LGBTQIA, many of whom work in late-night comedy (Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee), perform stand-up, sketch, and/or improv at The PIT Mainstage: CPT: Comedy People’s Time

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Phoebe Tyers and Sebastian Conelli: The Friday Night Sh*w

[FREE] 8:30 pm (to reserve free seats, please click here): Shane Torres (fresh, hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang), Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents), Kyle Ayers (written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Sarah Kennedy (Reductress), Jay Welch (Someecards, McSweeney’s), and Carmen Lagala perform at Brooklyn’s Precious Metal (143 Troutman Street) hosted by Jacky Beren: Silver Linings

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:00 pm ($10): In this all-queer stand-up show, “our comics are all hilarious and share strong opinions about things they might not actually understand” at The PIT Underground hosted by Cole Steffensen: Willfully Ignorant: QueerCom Edition

9:00 pm ($10): NYC sketch comedy groups Café con Sketché and American Danger perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Boogie Manja

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Highly talented hip-hop improv group North Coast attempts to create a Hamilton on the spot by making up a musical based on an audience suggestion of a famous historical figure—for this special QueerCom show, probably LGBTQIA-related—at The PIT Mainstage: Anybody— An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera: QueerCom Edition

9:30 pm ($7): A stand-up who’s broken the Guinness World Record for Most Jokes Told In A Minute—twice!—and used to be a pro wrestler tonight performs a long stand-up set to be recorded for his first comedy CD at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) with opening sets by Julie Kottakis and host Bryan Yang: Bob Hansen Comedy Album Recording

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which typically features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnet theatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

10:00 pm ($5): A guest visual artist shows off his/her work for 15 minutes. Then 5 comics each tell a story while being sketched by the artist, by the host/cartoonist Grant Lindahl—and, if you’re into it, you (bring a sketchbook!). The audience member crafting the best sketch wins a prize. It all happens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Art School Acid Dropout

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors James Dwyer, Craig Rowin, Connor O’Malley, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and Shaun Diston make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[$] 10:30 pm ($12): Derek Humphrey (MTV), Lauren Hope Krass (co-host of Casual Sets), Raghav Mehta, and Max & Nicky Weinbach perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($7): An audience member with a decision to make becomes the basis of an improvised court trial at The PIT Underground: The People’s Court

10:30 pm ($7): Improv groups Funky Butt Lovin’, SWM, and Just Gravy make up scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), plus an opening stand-up set by Gregory Hall: Improv by Cool Kids

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): 1980 romantic fantasy musical Xanadu is so bad that it inspired the creation of the Golden Raspberry Awards to designate the worst films of each year. Tonight it’ll be screened and mercilessly savaged by comics TBA and FreddyG at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersback: Movies R Dumb: Xanadu

11:00 pm ($10): Songs from Zak Sommerfield & Jay Malsky, stand-up by Gregory Hall and Samantha Ruddy, and more at The PIT Mainstage: Zak & Jay and Friends: QueerCom Edition

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($10): Pop-punk cabaret band My Dark Little Corner channels the sound & spirit of such bands as Green Day, Blink-182, and My Chemical Romance while performing all-new sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: My Dark Little Corner Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: If you’re looking for something different: Former porn star Alia Janine hosts this show featuring sex workers ranging from dancers to strip club bouncers performing stand-up, plus more conventional comics, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Hardcore Comedy Show

Midnight ($7): Storytellers (unusually, not announced this month) share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby (VICE): It’s a Long Story

Friday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sydney Beveridge & Davey Melch: Queens Open Mic Fridays

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5): A weekly walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Friday Night Mics

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A weekly walk-in stand-up open mic (drop your name in the bucket by 6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Hamilton: Scatterbrain

6:30 pm ($3): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at The PIT Underground for Happy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-up starts at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Seena Jon: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of various Maude Night groups: Liquid Courage

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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 shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw 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 6/15/17

June 15, 2017

Witch Taint: The Black Metal Dialogues LiveDave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; @midnight, Inside Amy Schumer, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, This American Life; host for HBO and Cinemax; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore; comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Phil Costello (Dave’s bandmate in groups Valley Lodge and—with Moby—Diamondsnake), and Shane Torres (fresh, hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang) perform Dave’s epic email exchange with a Norwegian black metal record label while pretending to be “Lance, a teenager living with his parents in Gary, Indiana who also just so happens to be the lead singer and sole member of the most extreme, brutal, and Satanic black metal band of all-time, WitchTaint, and hopes to get signed on the strength of one excruciatingly bad song called Necrodreamraper.” To get a feel, visit Dave’s website devoted to these emails, The Black Metal Dialogues, and then come enjoy the stage version: Witch Taint Live (8:00 pm; $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Improv duo The Sufferettes at 7:00 pm, four veteran house improv groups starting at 8:00 pm, themed improv show Junk Food (embracing pure absurdity and silliness, making you laugh without thinking) at 10:00 pm, and improv competition Inspirado at 11:00 pm, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Jamie Graham & Amy Larimer blend improv and dance to create theatrical physical comedy and grace on the spot, with Richard Inkyu Kim on viola, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Raving Jaynes

7:00 pm ($5): Adam Hamway performs his impression of Jimmy Fallon hosting The Tonight Show,with fellow impressionists playing celebrity guests, at The PIT Mainstage: Fallon Tonight

7:00 pm ($10): Characters or stand-up from Katie Hartman (brilliant, fearless dark comedy writer/performer; sketch groups Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting and Hartman & Carl, PIT Saturday night improv group Gypsy Danger), Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love, host of Ed Sullivan on Acid), and Brantley Brice performing for this show benefiting The Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBTQ youth (and followed by a meetup covering ways to take action) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenn Dodd: Cause & Affect

[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 & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[$] 7:30 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please click here) who starred in three Showtime specials, co-stars in CBS’ Superior Donuts, and as an actor has also performed on ABC, FOX, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlines tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

7:30 pm ($7): Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update; Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris), Costaki Economopoulos (Showtime; regular guest on Bob & Tom Radio Show; joke writer for Jay Leno, Bette Midler, MTV, and BET), Kerry Coddett (The Nightly Show, MTV’s Joking Off, TruTV), Ali Clayton, and Harry Terjanian perform stand-up at UCB East produced by Carol Hartsell and hosted by Sean Crespo & Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A former MTV icon you either love or actively avoid headlines through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tom Green

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, Colin O’Brien (sketch comedy group O.S.F.U.G.) & Michael Wolf (showrunner of MTV series After Hours with Josh Horowitz; sketch comedy groups O.S.F.U.G. and Nancy) teach you how to become an author, directed by Joanna Simmons: How to Write a Book: The Play

…and in the second other of this double bill, Mark Vigeant springboards off audience suggestions to create and launch a website on the spot: Let’s Make a Website

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): An all-gal lineup of stand-ups, storytellers, character comics, and improvisors performing at The PIT Mainstage hosted by the women of group Darling Satan: She Makes Me Laugh

8:00 pm ($7): Indie musical improv group Minotaur performs and hosts other indie groups who make up musicals on the spot at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Minotaur’s Musical Improv Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by stand-up Nick Maritato and improv troupe Priest and the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Sean Patton, Dan Soder, Jon FIsch, Monroe Martin,and more trying out new stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

8:30 pm ($7): Group Hot Boss hosts comedy about jobs at The PIT Underground capped by an audience member excoriating his or her boss and coworkers: Hot Boss: Happy Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Liz Miele (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged, comedy album Mind Over Melee), Janine Brito (VH1’s Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party; former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Chris Duffy (staff writer for NatGeo Explorer, host of You’re the Expert), and Scott Dooley 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 stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code): Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($6): Lucie Steiner (writer for HBO’s upcoming Jon Stewart show), Janine Brito (VH1’s Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party; former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Jordan Temple (writer for MTV’s Decoded), Cameron Vannini, Raquel D’Apice, and Venessa Peruda perform stand-up or storytelling at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sue Funke & Katie Compa: Happy Place Comedy

9:00 pm ($10): A two-person play by Courtney Ulrich & Ryan Wesley in which “five years after the fateful Ham Factory fire of 2012 that cut short her acting career, former Ham Factory owner turned Life Coach Jon Ham helps Courtney on her journey of redemption as she remounts her unauthorized one-woman adaptation of The Miracle Worker titled The Worker’s Miracle” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Courtney, Ryan, and The Great Ham Factory Fire of 2012

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($24.50 & 2-drink min.) A sharp NYC stand-up who’s performed on Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, and MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Matteo Lane

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Non-Daily Show

9:30 pm ($10): Comics who all met at Brown University perform scripted comedy at The PIT Mainstage: Rad Motel Sketch Comedy

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC magicians try out new material, with some stand-up thrown in, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by mind reader Eric Dittelman (America’s Got Talent, Ellen): Amazeballs

10:00 pm ($7): The gal members of indie improv group Rebel 5 perform, and host comics who are female and/or LGBTQ, at The PIT Underground: Kitty Come Lately—Queens and Kweens

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Last week indie improv group Judy Big Mouth talked herself into a win over UCB Harold improv group Women & Men by 84 audience votes to 58. Tonight the chatty new champ competes with another UCB Harold group, Ice Cold Bev, for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Meghan Hanley, Cory Jarvis, Justin Williams, and Allie Klien perform at the UCB East theatre hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons & Lance Weiss: Gandhi, Is That You?

11:00 pm ($7): Ace improv by Gary Richardson, John Reynolds, and Carmen Christopher, stand-up by Ayo Edebiri, Drennen Quinn, and Sallie Smith-Fitch, and sketch by host group Please Don’t Destroy at The PIT Underground: Please Don’t Destroy and Friends

11:00 pm ($7): Improv and stand-up (details not announced) “dumped here for your pleasure” at The PIT Mainstage: Improv Tonight

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

5:45 pm-8:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Weekly walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 4-5 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic Thursday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open mic for solo character bits, with names drawn from a bucket and 5 minutes provided to each performer, at the UCB East theatre: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up with 4 minutes per comic (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Kristin Seltman, Angela Cobb, and Mariana Gacres: The Happy Hour Open Mic

6:00 pm ($3): A weekly improv jam open to the audience in which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

6:30 pm ($5): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT Underground: Ladies Night Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A recorded-for-podcast walk-in open mic providing 5 minutes on stage for whatever you want to perform—stand-up, sketch, song—with names drawn from a bucket at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Mercadal & Will Watkins: Unsung Heroes

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Walk-in open mic that’s mostly stand-up—but any act is welcome—with signup at 10:00 pm at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jake Vevera & Amy Liszka: Jake & Amy’s Golden Monkey Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursdays After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: Barf Up the Jokes

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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 shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw 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 Wednesday 6/14/17

June 14, 2017

Kevin Geeks Out About Spider-ManA spectacular collection of hilarious film & TV clips and guest pop culture experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing on one of the most iconic characters in comic book history (for a video teaser, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Spider-Man (9:30 pm, $16 [buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas often sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six hours of free improvisation—including musical improv from group Vern (which includes superb singer & comic Julie A. Feltman) at 7:15 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 10:00 pm, all at The PIT Mainstage: Super Free Wednesday

[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

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($7): “Two faded and half-insane former stars of Old Hollywood host a late night TV movie show in which they reminisce, lie, gossip, fight, and inadvertently reveal dirty truths” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Hollywood Mausoleum

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, 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 Wednesday

7:30 pm ($10): An interactive comedy game show in which contestants compete on spelling ability and the audience is invited to sabotage them, with Kyle Ayers (written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), and a live band at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): We Bee Spelling

7:30 pm ($7): Drag queens Helluva-Bottom Carter and Cholula Lemon try to prepare dishes while professional chef Jasmine Sheth tries to be a drag queen at this show mixing comedy and cooking at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Adrienne Cooper: The Food Funny

7:30 pm ($5): Extending the improv showcased at UCB Chelsea’s Tuesday Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features house groups Hotel Hotel, Zaddy, and seventeen also making up scenes via the long improv form called The Harold: Lloyd Night

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy and solo characters by Mike Brian, Chris Migliaccio, Paul Cohen, and guests at The PIT Underground: Backdoor Barbecue

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): An eclectic group of comics & writers—who tonight are Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), Joe Berkowitz (writer/editor for Fast Company; author of Away with Words), Angela Ledgerwood (host of book interview series LIt Up), and Gary Richardson (brilliant improvisor; Comedy Central)—performing and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by recent UK transplants Jon Ronson (New York Times bestselling author of The Men Who Stare At Goats and more; screenwriter; This American Life) and Maeve Higgins (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk, host of Maeve in America): Cool Kids

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Michelle Collins (The View) and friends perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Magic Mich XXL

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Sarah Larson (The New Yorker), Ziwe Fumudoh (The Onion, Reductress), Jim Gaylord (artist; MoMA, Dear Scammer), and Weena Pauly (actress) present material that “has been cut, rejected, abandoned, or is otherwise lying dead on the desktop* at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street) with celebrity guest bartender Dia Felix, hosted by the quick-witted and wonderful Amanda Duarte: Dead Darlings

8:00 pm ($8): Alana Massey, Allyson Gross, Blythe Robinson, and Thomas L. Strickland “talk about weird stuff they care deeply about while extremely drunk—with PowerPoint” on this month’s topic Fan Clubbing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Drunk Education: Fan Clubbing

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central’s South Beach, host of Ambush Comedy and The Secret Loft Show), Harmon Leon (host of Videotale), Adam Selbst, and Momoh Pujeh “tell their funniest true stories,” plus open mic slots for audience members (maybe you), at Brooklyn’s Excelsior Bar (563 Fifth Avenue, between 15th & 16th Streets) hosted by Sean O’Brien & Chris Ryan: Dummies & Company

8:00 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes that abruptly jump from generation to generation inspired by songs from different decades at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Turntable Time Travelers

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Stand-ups tell deliciously long tales, with tonight’s yarn-spinners Marina Franklin (Trainwreck, Louie, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Half Hour), and host DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), all performing at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Storytelling

8:30 pm ($7): Storytellers share tales of bad dates, and then improvisors create scenes that make those bad dates even worse at The PIT Underground hosted by Ryan Darden: Bad Date Theater

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, and other NYC comics “discussing the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this weekly podcast taping at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jena Friedman (wry dark political stand-up; Stephen Colbert, @midnight, The New Yorker, Adult Swim, Netflix mockumentary Undecided; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), J-L Cauvin (Craig Ferguson; Adam Carolla), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Brian Jian (Last Comic Standing), Stone and Stone (Last Comic Standing finalists), and Sharron Paul (Lady Parts Justice League) performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: Double Plus Good Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals),Katie Hannigan (MTV’s Inside Joke), Tyler FIscher (America’s Got Talent), Courtney Fearrington, and Alexis Guerreros perform for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Lance Weiss & Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Improv duos compete for your laughs and votes at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Two-Prov Tournament Round #3

9:00 pm ($7): Improvisors select characters at random from a bucket and then make up scenes as those characters at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Characters Improv

9:15 pm ($10): Sketch comedy groups Kiss On The Lips, 301 Views, and Hot Moms perform for this monthly show at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Bonner Demling: Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): Dramatic readings of actual text fights, after which a panel of comics (not announced) probe them for meaning, repercussions, and stupidity—with audience members invited to add their two cents—at The PIT Underground hosted by Sarah Marie Degni & Avital Isaacs: Text Fight Town Hall

9:30 ($7): A show in which over a dozen talented female improvisors parody all-gal opinion shows such as The View at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Female Gaze

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Satirical commentary on nerdy pop culture news by John Minus & Dillon Stevens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): The G.E.E.K. Show

10:00 pm ($7): Comedy group Yes performs and hosts stand-ups, improvisors, and more at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): We Are Yes

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes about obsessions at the UCB East theatre: The Fix

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers) hosts this “anything might happen comedy chaos” monthly show. Tonight “twice every 100 years people gather to read their most beloved and interesting greeting cards, in honor of now-deceased greeting card lover Phyllis Frankel” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow: Phyllis Frankel Reading of the Greeting Cards

11:00 pm ($7): Comics of varying abilities perform stand-up at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Try To Standup Again

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Monthly open mic for stand-up, characters, storytelling, improv, music, or anything else, providing 4 minutes per person—and a extra minute beyond that if the performer pays a compliment to a fellow performer in the room. Sign up via email by noon today at thecomplimentarymic@gmail.com for one of the 9 reserved spots, or try to nab one of the 5 walk-in spots tonight at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenn Wehrung & Coree Spencer: The Complimentary Mic

6:00 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Anthony Velez: Recess

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

11:00 pm ($5): Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes per comic, with sign-up at 10:00 pm (maximum of 12 comics, so arrive early), at The PIT Underground hosted by Max Halpert: Awkward High Five Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East hosted by members of improv group Fluffty: Rotisserie Jam

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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 shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw 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 6/13/17

June 13, 2017

Nikki GlaserNikki Glaser (star of former Comedy Central series Not Safe, co-star of former MTV interview series The Nikki and Sara Show; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour, @midnight, NBC’s America Ninja Warrior: Celebrity Edition; upcoming hour-long special Perfect; podcast You Had to Be There), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, @midnight; former writer & correspondent for FX’s Totally Biased), Kevin McCaffrey (former warm-up comic for David Letterman; TruTV), Lance Weiss (CMT, co-host of Gandhi, Is That You?), and more perform for Seth Herzog’s Sweet (9:00 pm, $10, The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

6:00 pm ($7): An improv show revolving around the song & CD Jock Jamz. Specifically, every scene will be edited with someone screaming “Jock Jams!;” music from Jock Jams will play over the sound system; and all members of the host improv group—which coincidentally is named Jock Jamz—will dance wildly no matter where they are in the theatre until the music stops. This special energy happens with 2-3 guest improv troupes at The PIT Underground: Jock Jamz

[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 at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions, preceded at 6:00 pm by an improv jam open to the audience: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Guest host Aaron Jackson (stellar improv groups Rumpleteaser, What I Did For Love, Fuck That Shit) and guest character comic Alli Brown (UCB’s Characters Welcome, Laugh or Die, College Humor, Buzzfeed) join this show’s regulars Filip Jeremic (extraordinary character actor and rising star; UCB’s Characters Welcome) & Brittany Lee McDonald creating a myriad of extreme characters tied to a theme—which this month is Jobs—at The PIT Mainstage, typically accompanied by lots of silly costumes and wigs: The Wigging Hour

7:00 pm ($7): Improvisors play outside their comfort zones at The PIT Underground hosted by Dan Pozmanter: Fear Corner

7:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups (not announced) perform at The PIT Underground: Heaps of Comedy: A Stand-Up Show

[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 Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): 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; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Jordan Temple (writer for MTV’s Decoded), Alyssa Limperis, and Sagar Bhatt perform stand-up on the theme of Therapy & Mental Health at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charles Gould (Comedy Central; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show): Corporate Retreat: Therapy and Mental Health

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour) performs a one-man show mixing improvised crowd work and highly polished jokes at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): At Least 45 Minutes of Todd Barry

[TOP PICK] [FREE, plus “light refreshments;” RSVP at comedynight@paste.com] 8:00 pm: Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker), Sasheer Zamata (cast member for three seasons of Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, Amazon’s Transparent, TBS’ People of Earth), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Nat Towsen (VICE, College Humor, host of Downtown Variety), Gianmarco Soresi (Seeso; sketch group Uncle Function; acclaimed FringeNYC play <50%), and Dan Perlman (TruTV) perform stand-up at Paste Magazine (350 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 500) hosted by Becca Beberaggi: Comedy Night at Paste Studio

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A classic play by Pulitzer & Tony Award-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley is performed by Alexis Di Gregorio, Nicholas Thomas, and George Walsh with direction by Patrick McCartney at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Dreamer Examines His Pillow

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at the intimate PIT Attic (up the stairs behind the Mainstage), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($7): Storytellers share tales “so horrible they are hilarious, all for your entertainment” at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Francisco Breton & Corey Easley (We’re a Genius): Good, Bad Stories

[FREE; plus FREE DRAFT BEER 8:00-8:30!] 8:00 pm: Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Rojo Perez (MTV’s Decoded), Amy Shanker, and Gilbert Lawand perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Two Boots Pizza Williamsburg (558 Driggs Avenue) hosted by Lucas Connolly, David Piccolomini, and/or Jake Fromm: Ambush Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): UCB house groups Ice Cold Bev and Flufty make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 9:30 pm): Harold Night, Part 1

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): A former writer/performer for Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show does a one-man stand-up show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Mike Yard: I Love This Job

[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

8:30 pm ($7): In this unique show, improvisors make up a complete family & friends intervention based on an audience suggestion at The PIT Underground: Impro-vention

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups (not announced) present funny lectures on silly topics—e.g., “Octopuses: Squishy Satans of the Sea”—at the UCB East theatre produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City; producer of If You Build It) and hosted by Jim Tews (rising star; Louie, Last Comic Standing; co-host of Fresh Out; New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York, comedy album I Was in Band): Homeschooled—A Comedic Lecture Series

9:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups Katie Haller, Chris Gersbeck, Sam Bourne, Haley Sacks, and Michael Stanisz are challenged to make up self-important lectures based on topics provided to them on the spot—e.g., “If McDonalds can serve breakfast all day, then shouldn’t I be able to own a gun?” and “‘Do iPhones fool the elderly into thinking they’re living in the future?”—at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Ryan Stanisz: Stand-Ups Improvise TED Talks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Adam Friedland, Derek Humphrey, Alex Sprecher, Justin Auslaender, and Mike Guild perform after being introduced by “gloriously bad metalcore music” at Brooklyn’s Tender Trap (66 Greenpoint Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Tim Unkenholz & Justin Hancock: Buttery Riffz

9:30 pm ($7): Improvisors springboard scenes off readings from Charlie Shulman’s blog People Say I’m Funny at The PIT Mainstage: 700 Mondays

9:30 pm ($5): UCB house groups Moose and Mermaids make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 8:00 pm): Harold Night, Part 2

9:30 pm ($5): Latino comics perform storytelling, improv, and/or more at The PIT Underground: Latinx

[FREE] 10:00 pm: This interactive monthly themed show blends storytelling and stand-up. It begins with one of the hosts doing material on the theme. Then an audience member is asked to share an anecdote on the theme; a stand-up uses the anecdote to begin his or her set; and the cycle repeats. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Alex Payne, Ryan Papazian, and Connor McClausland: You Were Saying

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): “Once a month the ghosts of two 1940s radio hosts take over the airwaves and force us to listen to their outdated nonsense,” tonight with Jo Firestone, Aaron Jackson, Liz Noth, Morgan Phillips, Lou Gonzales, and Nick Guercio at the UCB East theatre hosted by Rudy Behrens & Mark Dowling: The Golden Age of Radio

10:30 pm ($7): Improv group Hulsh performs and hosts other improv groups at The PIT Mainstage: Improv with Hulsh and Friends

10:30 pm ($7): Comics show off their range by singing original songs—which don’t have to be funny—at The PIT Underground: Comedians Make Music

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

6:00 pm ($3): A chance for gals to get on stage and improvise with veteran female comics at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Blair Silverman and friends: Lady Jam

[FREE] 6:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv veterans to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

6:00 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Tuesday Night Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tuesday After Class: Slow Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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 shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw 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 6/12/17

June 12, 2017

Corinne Fisher & Krystyna Hutchinson: "Guys We Fucked" PodcastCorinne Fisher & Krystyna Hutchinson (hosts of popular Guys We Fucked podcast) are the guests of Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC) for this live recording of Joe’s podcast that tries to solve his myriad of problems: Fixing Joe: Joe Matarese Interviews Hosts of Guys We Fucked (8:00 pm, $10 plus 2-drink min., Village Underground at 130 West 3rd Street)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from a rebellious comedy group at The PIT Mainstage: The Defiants

7:00 pm ($7): Improv teams make up scenes springboarding off 30-second videos they’ve never seen before at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by improv group Ice Cold Milk: Curated Chaos

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Emmy Blotnick (rising star; staff writer & warm-up comic for Comedy Central’s spectacular The President Show; 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 Charles Gould (Comedy Central; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show) each perform a deliciously long stand-up set at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Mindy Raf (brilliant one-woman show Keeping My Kidneys; MTV’s Girl Code, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; often performs as singing alter ego Leibya Rogers): Emmy Blotnick, Mindy Raf, and Charles Gould

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, @midnight, This is Not Happening; MTV’s Girl Code; Chelsea Lately), and Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Sirius XM) perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by the charming Ruby Karp: We Hope You Have Fun

[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] 7:30 pm [$] ($25): Ophira Eisenberg tapes her comedy trivia radio show live, with tonight’s guest Annabelle Gurwitch (original host of TBS’ Dinner and a Movie; HBO, NBC, Showtime, SyFy, NPR; author of Fired! and I See You Made an Effort) at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Ask Me Another

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy groups Just Karen and The Nitro GIrls perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; former co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America), Langston Kerman (cast member of HBO’s Insecure; Adam DeVine’s House Party; written for Chris Rock’s hosting of the Oscars and Comedy Central’s Problematic), Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Sirius XM), Mike Lebovitz, Rae Sanni, and Jenny Zigrino perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Sasheer Zamata (cast member for three seasons of Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, Amazon’s Transparent, TBS’ People of Earth): Night Train

8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a play about the minutiae of small town politics directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel and featuring a seven-person cast: All in Favor

…and in the second other of this double bill, a faux TV episode by sketch group Nipsey in which “As a father/daughter duo, Albert and Corinne work great. As co-owners of a cigar store-turned-vape shop, they’ve got a lot to learn! And when the big Vape Expo comes to town Darcy, Gayle, and Heath have kooky ideas about how to make waves!:” Nipsey: Vape Lyfe

8:00 pm ($7): Back in August 2009, a clever parody of hack writing debuted at FringeNYC that turned a schlock horror movie into a musical—for my positive review, please click here. The show is being resurrected tonight—hopefully, after all these years, with an improved script—in a staged reading at The PIT Mainstage: Zipperface!!?!: The Hobo Musical

[$] 8:00 pm ($18): A one-man show by Mike King about his late father, who owned Sid King’s Crazy Horse Bar and had the nickname “The Sultan of Striptease,” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Fifth Dentist in Search of Sid’s Treasure: A Tribute to the Sultan of Striptease

[$] 8:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Pete Lee, Sam Morril, Derek Gaines,and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[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

9:00 pm ($7): Improv group Astronomy Club—which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock—gets race-related stories from the audience and a guest monologist, and then makes up scenes based on those tales at the UCB East theatre: Astronomy Club: Let’s Talk About Race, Baby!

9:00 pm ($7): Comedic storytelling “featuring black comedians, musicians, artists, poets, educators, and elders from around NYC” at The Magnet theatre hosted by Alexis Lambright: The Griot Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jordan Temple (writer for MTV’s Decoded), Sally Brooks, JP Roy, Adam Sokol, and Amanda Hurley perform for this biweekly stand-up show at Astoria Queens’ Passage Irish Bar and Kitchen (40-11 30th Avenue) produced & hosted by Adam Sokol, Tim Unkenholz, Lindsay Boling, and/or Bryan Yang: Ares-toria Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Stand-ups Rachael Parenta, Celeste Joseph Jennings, Kenice Mobley, Kyle Legacy Harnwell, Dario Joseph, and Tierney McCauley perform for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love) and RIchard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 ($5): House sketch groups Choir and The Foundation try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform this show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; former co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America), Dan Soder (cast member on Showtime’s Billions; film Trainwreck; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), Crystian Ramirez, Kim Congdon, Kelsey Cook, Nick Youssef, Phileo Shacor, and Josh Wesson perform stand-up 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—push boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Sandford: Permission to Fail

10:00 pm ($7): Improv groups from around the city compete at The PIT Mainstage: Battle of the Boroughs, Round #2

10:00 pm ($7): Each of 4 groups select improv forms from among 10 buckets and then make up scenes in the style selected at The PIT Mainstage: Forms From the Bucket

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): Becky Johnson (Second City Toronto) visits from Canada to perform with top Magnet improvisors Megan Gray, Louis Kornfeld, Elena Fishbein, and Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Our Canadian Friend

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): A gay-themed variety show 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 best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Stu Melton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Walk-in weekly open mic that favors an act beyond joke-telling (storytelling, characters, etc.), which receives 5 minutes on stage vs. just 3 minutes for stand-up, at Brooklyn’s The Topaz (251 Bushwick Avenue) hosted by Colin Michael & Fitzgerald Burgess: Late Mic

11:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: Base Jam

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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 shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw 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 6/11/17

June 11, 2017

The Macaulay Culkin ShowBrett Davis & Sally Burtnick have hosted this superb monthly stand-up show since 2013 at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium. The venue is now closing, so tonight is a blowout farewell featuring over 30 comics—including Dave Hill, Jo Firestone, Josh Gondelman, Joe Pera, Emmy Blotnick, Clare O’Kane, Conner O’Malley, and many more—each performing a 5-minute set: The Macaulay Culkin Show: Shea Stadium Blowout Finale (8:00 pm, $5, Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street; take the L subway to Grand Street)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) 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 six 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

4:30 pm ($7): A short play written by Carol Lee Sirugo, and performed by Carol and Jonathan Kaplan, about a park ranger’s first day on the job at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) directed by Jay Dunn: Fear Forest

[TOP PICK] 5:00 pm-7:00 pm (no cover charge, but 1-drink min.): For two back-to-back live podcast recordings, comics Deepu Gill (co-host of podcasts Geeks of New York and Go to Hell) and Abbi Crutchfield (Broad City, MTV, VH1) share tales of their “first time” (e.g., first job, first time on stage, first time getting drunk, first kiss) at Brooklyn’s Salzy (506 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Evan Morgenstern & Darin Patterson: The Virgin Chronicles

5:30 pm ($7): Levi Penley & Robert Price perform duo stand-up, improv, freestyle rap, and banjo, and tonight clean up their act for high school students visiting from Colorado, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Cheep Show

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($7): Storytellers Mel Dockery (The Moth, Now You’re Talking), Alexis Lambright (ace improv group The Cast), Andrea Palumbos, and Colin Wilhm interview an audience member, and then springboard off the details to tell true stories pulled from their memories on the spot at The Magnet theatre hosted by Robert Weinstein (The Moth Radio Hour, Now You’re Talking): Pull Up a Chair

6:00 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, and Brian Urreta of improv group The Mannequin Room: Indie Cage Match

6:00 pm ($7): Mike Sause & Stephen Thornton make up short plays as improv duo Geisha Gravy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Geisha Gravy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; webseries Teachers Lounge; frequently opens for Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan) headlines at the West Village’s Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Ted Alexandro

7:00 pm ($7): Three improv teams compete via America’s Next Top Model-inspired challenges at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): America’s Next Top Improv Team

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Long-form improv group Distance performs and hosts other groups making up extended scenes via the improv form called “Harold” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Harold Night at The Creek

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A UK-based Canadian who stars in Netflix special Katherine Ryan: In Trouble and hosts with Jimmy Carr the UK Comedy Central series Your Face or Mine headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Katherine Ryan

[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] 7:30 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

7:30 pm ($7): Brendan Eyre (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central), Corinne Fisher (co-host of popular podcast Guys We Fucked), Kevin Iso (Adam Devine’s House Party), Katie Hannigan (MTV’s Inside Joke), Bryan Yang, and Storm Xu performing 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 Greg Stone (America’s Got Talent, TruTV’s Friends of the People): If You Build It

7:30 pm ($5): Dana Shulman and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT Underground: Student Driver: Indie Road

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno; finalist on Last Comic Standing; comedy specials include Boyish Man, In This Economy, and It’s About Time), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, Comedy Central special Only Whores Wear Purple, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and Matt Graham (FringeNYC one-man show This Too Shall Suck) perform stand-up for this taped show at Kimball Studios (78 Fifth Avenue, between 13th & 14th Streets): Point to Where the Truth Hurts: Gary Gulman, Rachel Feinstein, and Matt Graham

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10; includes free Big Gay Ice Cream from 7:00 pm until BGIC runs out): Adira Amram & The Experience (spectacular comedic song & dancer act; HBO, Funny or Die; album Hot Jams for Teens), and stand-ups Michelle Collins (former co-host ABC’s The View; co-host of ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise and UCB stand-up show Magic Mich XXL), Beth Stelling (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central),and Rob Haze (Adam Devine’s House Party, Viceland’s Flophouse), all performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) hosted by Sasheer Zamata (cast member for three seasons of Saturday Night Live): Sasheer Zamata Party Time

8:00 pm ($10): A two-person play by Courtney Ulrich & Ryan Wesley in which “five years after the fateful Ham Factory fire of 2012 that cut short her acting career, former Ham Factory owner turned Life Coach Jon Ham helps Courtney on her journey of redemption as she remounts her unauthorized one-woman adaptation of The Miracle Worker titled The Worker’s Miracle” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Courtney, Ryan, and The Great Ham Factory Fire of 2012

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($14.80 online using discount code BOX12, otherwise $18): My favorite FringeNYC 2016 show (out of over 60 seen) was a production taking place entirely inside a box, written & performed by breathtakingly talented sketch comic/actress/writer/singer Dominique Salerno (for my review, please click here). Tonight concludes the current run of this amazing production at The PIT Mainstage. Take advantage of this wonderful last chance to experience The Box Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Artie Lange, VH1) headlines at the West Village’s Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Adrienne Iapalucci: Dark, Angry, and Unrelatable

8:30 pm ($7): Students of Gary Austin, the founder of The Groundlings, performing improv at The PIT Underground: Gary Austin’s The Classroom

9:00 pm ($7): Improv group Metal Boy goes scripted by performing this sketch show at The Magnet theatre: Totally Metal: A Metal Boy Sketch Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Group Medusa turns a calamity selected by the an audience member into an improvised documentary live on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Medusa Presents Improv Against Humanity

9:30 pm ($5): Improv group Higgins looks at the Instagram photos of audience members and then uses them as springboards for comedy scenes at the UCB East theatre: Higgins: The Instagram Show

[ALMOST FREE] 10:00 pm ($1): This improv show is based on a Mullaney Chain (pioneered by Kevin Mullaney) in which the host invites a guest to improvise with him or her, then the guest independently invites a third person, who then invites a fourth person, and so on, creating a one-time-only lineup that will be a surprise to everyone involved at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kurt Guenther: The Telephone Show

10:30 pm ($7): Short stories are used as springboards for improvised scenes in this improv form created by Louis Kornfeld at The PIT Underground: Fact or Fiction

Sunday Open Mics, Open Stages, and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Sam Rose: Bucket! We’ll Do it Live!

5:30 pm ($3): Email Michelle Thomas at improv10000hrs@gmail.com to improvise with experienced PIT performers at The PIT Underground: 10K Jam Jam

9:30 pm ($5): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT Underground, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night at the Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[FREE] 11:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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 shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw 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 6/10/17

June 10, 2017

Katherine RyanA UK-based Canadian who stars in Netflix special Katherine Ryan: In Trouble and hosts with Jimmy Carr the UK Comedy Central series Your Face or Mine (for her Conan O’Brien set in February, please click here) headlines tonight and Sunday at Carolines—with an opening set tonight only by Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker): Katherine Ryan (7:30 pm & 10:00 pm tonight, 7:30 pm at Sunday; $35 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

10:00 am-11:00 am ($15 per family): A sketch and stand-up show for kids—no irony, this is for children aged 4-9—with guests TBA at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Mark Malkoff: Two Juice Minimum

[$] 2:00 pm ($20): A kid-friendly musical that “promotes positive messages of creativity, niceness, acceptance, and frivolity” by Lard Dog and his 6-piece Band of Shy at The PIT Mainstage: Life’s a Real Dream

3:00 pm-4:30 pm ($5): An early stand-up show for parents with babies (no cover charge or drink minimum for the babies) featuring Joe Zimmerman (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Tom Thakkar, and Lindsay Boling performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sally Brooks: Baby & Me Comedy

6:00 pm ($5): Four Indie improv troupes performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

6:00 pm ($7): Solo improv by Dion Flynn (frequent sketch comic on Jimmy Fallon) at The PIT Mainstage: Works Well With Others

6:00 pm ($7): Improv group Miracle Horse makes up scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Miracle Horse Miracle Hour

6:30 pm ($7): Beth Slack & Brian Hansbury create musical improv about relationships, along with some invited friends, at The PIT Underground: Hansbury & Slack Present The Moment: An Improvised Musical Play

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12): Improv group Women and Men interview audience members about a weird and/or wild birthday, wedding, bar mitzvah, or other social gathering and then make up scenes based on those anecdotes at the UCB East theatre: Women and Men: Party Jumpin’

[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 at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Clip Show: A Sketch Show

7:00 pm ($7): Springboarding off the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, this show pits three improv groups against each other by making them meet multiple challenges while encouraging them to try to sabotage each other at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Harry Marker: Cutthroat Improv

7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Big Black Car 2 makes up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC2

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): A sketch comedy troupe that includes Kristen Bartlett & Jason Gore performs at The PIT Underground: Bridge & Tunnel

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who this week is Meliora Dockery—takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

7:30 pm ($10): Female and/or LGBTQ stand-ups Kristin Seltman, Lauren Hope Krass, Sarah Cassidy, Taryn Englehart, Shelly Colman, Maryssa Smith, and Emily Duncan perform at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Kate Moran: The Revolution

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Gypsy Danger (which includes brilliant comics Katie Hartman and Evan Kaufman, and which will make up a feature film on the spot) and The Baldwins (which includes brilliant comics Micah Sherman and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT Mainstage: Gypsy Danger: The Improvised Movie and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($5): A frat-themed comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Carmen Lagala, Billy Prinsell, and Samantha Ruddy: Creek Bros

8:00 pm ($10): Josh Johnson (writer for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central Half Hour, Kevin Hart’s Hart of the City), Evan Williams (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle II), Maddy Smith, and Harrison Herreman perform stand-up at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Will Abeles & Craig Friedman: Hey Guys!

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($12): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): An improvised apocalypse from sharp comics John Murray, Sean Casey, Jackie Jennings, Caroline Cotter, Joanna Bradley, David Bluvband, and Zach Cherry at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Rick Andrews make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[$] 9:30 pm ($45): Eli Bosnick, Noah Lugeons, and Heath Enwright, who create the God Awful Movies podcast, go on stage to make fun of Christian movies—for some reason that escapes me, at the God Awful price of $45 per ticket—at The PIT Mainstage: God Awful Movies Live

9:30 pm ($10): A showcase for comics playing around with interesting bits at The PIT, and also for comics around town trying out experimental work, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jack Frederick & Melissa Aquiles: Jack & Melissa Present

9:30 pm ($8): Kerry Coddett (The Nightly Show, MTV’s Joking Off, TruTV), Shelly Colman, Melissa Diaz, L Michelle, Sam & Bill, and Khalid A. Rahmaan performing stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sarah Kennedy: Tina Fey Will (Not) Be Here

9:30 pm ($10): Improvisors are paired up to perform together for the first time at The PIT Mainstage hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: Cheap Date Presents Blind Date

[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] 10:00 pm ($5): “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford and Noah Gardenswartz are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each week at The Magnet theatre: The Cast

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT Underground? Attend at your own peril, with hosts J. W. Crump: Gas Station Horror

11:00 pm ($7): Comics impersonate celebrities playing iconic game show Match Game at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Celebrity Guess Match

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced by Fredric Goldstein: Last Stop Laughs

11:30 ($7): “Matt Radlow & Betsy Kenney are not musicians, and neither are their friends. But that won’t keep them from delivering one hour of non-stop music-themed comedy directly to your brains” at the UCB East theatre: Matt and Betsy Do Music

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): Each comic is assigned the track of a classic comedy album and asked to perform his or her own version, working with only the title of the track and the persona of the celebrity stand-up. Tonight’s album is Jeff Foxworthy’s Big Funny, and the comics are Shannon O’Neill, Dan Glaser, Mary Houlihan, Jackie Jennings, Yoni Lotan, Keaton Patti, Matt Rubano, and Bardia Salimi, all performing at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Keaton Patti: Laugh Tracks—Live Comedy Cover Album: Jeff Foxworthy’s Big Funny

[FREE] Midnight: “Every month comedian Dan King writes a pilot script for a new sitcom and hosts a live table read of the script. It’s important that you come see these live because these ideas will never, ever make it to television” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Test Pilots

Saturday Open Mics & Jams

4:00 pm ($5; your ticket provides $3 off a drink at nearby Pioneers Bar): Walk-in lottery style open mic (sign-up starting at 2:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Swing Riders Open Mic

[FREE] 5:00 pm-7:00 pm: Walk-in comedy open mic (lottery system, with sign-up starting at 4:30 pm) providing each selected comic 4 minutes on stage at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck & Veronica Garza: Murray Povich Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Walk-in open mic, with names drawn from a bucket (sign-up starts at 6:50 pm), and a designated beer drinker on stage who might chime in at any moment to riff with you during your set, at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Amy Shanker, Brett Hiker, and Cameron Ford: Power Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for character bits, stand-up, etc. at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Elise Edwards: Discount Disco

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:45 pm: In this free Magnet show, female audience members can join in with stellar improv group The Cast to make up scenes on the spot: Grrrl Jam

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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 shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw 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.