NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/20/17

April 20, 2017

Kevin Geeks Out About WizardsOn this 4/20, enjoy a glorious collection of hilarious film clips and guest movie & TV experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing on the magical, arcane, and mind-popping (for a video sampling, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Wizards (7:00 pm; $15, Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at 445 Albee Square West—take the 2/3 subway to Hoyt 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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion), Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer), and Colin Wilhm tell true comedic tales, with host Rory Scholl (Chicago City Limits, The Moth, BTK Band) giving you the chance to win prizes by answering trivia questions based on each story, plus stand-up from Yaari Nadav Tal, all at Brooklyn’s Terra Firma (119 Ingraham Street): Pop Quiz Stories

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Ryan Schutt tries out new material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Ryan Schutt

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 ($7): Stand-ups tell stories which improvisors then turn into TV movies at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Catherine Cypher, Emily Duke, and Christina Sirabian: Live or Die

[$] 7:30 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.) A writer/comic who plays Leon Black on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has performed on Saturday Night Live, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV, The Chris Rock Show, and in such feature films as Pootie Tang and Mr. Deeds, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: JB Smoove

[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 ($7): Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), John Trowbridge, Courtney Fearington, and Ashley Hamilton perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo & Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($7): All-gal stand-up, this month featuring Becca Beberaggi, Ashley Bez, Samantha Ruddy, Katrin Higher, Wanjiko Eke, and Ariel Leaty performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jourdain Searles: Madams of the Universe

7:30 pm ($7): Real life couples perform duo improv The PIT Underground hosted by Nate Foster & Raquel Powell: Couples’ Retreat

[TOP PICK] 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 half of this double-bill, sketch gals Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece are hilarious playing 13-year-old boys who are “the Internet’s most viral, most teenage, and most white hip hop duo:” Famous Male Duo

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, indie improv group The Boys, themed improv show Titanic (exploring love stories beyond Jack & Rose that might have taken place during the doomed voyage), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A show hosted by the lovely Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Katy Frame & Marie Cecile Anderson), with guests Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of Battlicious), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Rosebud Baker (staff writer for Elite Daily; host of podcast Netflix Campfire), and Blaze Mancillas (host of podcast Social Abstinence), all at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue: Up N’ Coming

[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

[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

[$] 8:30 pm ($15): “Eliot Glazer, a classically trained vocalist-turned-comedian, takes some of pop music’s most infamous songs and turns them into highbrow, sweeping ballads. Like a twisted version of MTV Unplugged, Austin City Limits, or VH1 Storytellers, it’s an intimate night of bad music made good,” plus Thorgy Thor (RuPaul’s Drag Race), and stand-up from 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), all at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Haunting Renditions

8:30 pm ($7): Storytellers share tales “so horrible they are hilarious, all for your entertainment” at The PIT Underground hosted by Francisco Breton & Corey Easley (We’re a Genius): Good, Bad Stories

[$] 8:30 pm ($15): Peter Michael Marino improvises a soul-baring one-man show inspired by interactions with the audience (and with the help of stellar director Michole Biancosino) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Show Up

[$] 8:30 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts a variety of stand-ups from Comedy Cellar and more trying out new material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Lauren Maul, Nika McLean, Courtney Reynolds, and Maddy Smith perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Hungry Ghost Cafe/Bar (781 Fulton Street, between Fulton and South Oxford Streets) hosted by Keenan Steiner & guest co-host Thiago Macklin: Comedy at the Corner

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Stone & Stone (Last Comic Standing finalists), Lucas O’Neil, and Bethany Van Delft 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): Myka Fox (SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes), Scotland Green, Garry Hannon, Lauren Vino, and Darin Patterson performing 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): This sketch double-bill at The PIT Mainstage begins with nationally touring comedy troupe The Don’t We Boys (Joe Anderson, Sonny Pandit, and AJ Schraeder), which SF Sketchfest Review described as “Whimsically dark, self-referential, and yielded as many gags-per-second as a Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker film.” And in the second half of the show, comedy troupe Big Britches (Calvin Cole, Emily Duncan, Jon Hudson, and Kantad Svendsgaard) “bring you real characters with real emotions,” and sketches that “hit hard and quick:” The Don’t We Boys and Big Britches

[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

[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): “Improv teachers and coaches read their notes to unfamiliar performers, who will then reenact that show as best as possible,” plus sketch from comedy group New Phones, Who Dis?, at The PIT Underground: Put Me in Coach: An Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Part of the fun of Cage Match is that anything can happen…and that was demonstrated last week when, in a major upset, seemingly unstoppable musical improv group Rumpleteaser (10 wins in a row) was defeated by UCB Saturday night improv group Airwolf in a squeaker, 88 votes to 81. Tonight the new champion airborne canine will try to chomp down on earthbound improv group Horse Girl, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Jeff Cerulli, Alex Carabano, Joe Gerics, and more perform at the UCB East theatre hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons & Lance Weiss: Gandhi, Is That You?

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 Jake Vevera & Amy Liszka: The QED Thursday 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] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[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 stand-up open mic (signup at 10:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack 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 Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer): 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/20/16

April 20, 2016

If you’re a funny and talented fiction writer, please consider submitting ideas or a completed short story to my anthology Ghosts on Drugs

The Rejection Show 420 Edition 2016

4/20, the Christmas for stoners, is celebrated at Jon Friedman’s The Rejection Show (“Everything is Hilarious”)…

420

…The Stand’s 420 Funnies with Judah Friedlander (tickets are $4.20), The Law Firm & Friends Special 420 Show (UCB improv), a 420 variety show at The PIT Loft, and a screening of Comedy Central mini-series Time Traveling Bong

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 free hours of improvisation—including an open-to-all improv jam at 6:00 pm; group Lovers, which includes the spectacular Dana Krashin and Tracy Mull at 7:00 pm; and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comics who are parents tell stories about raising their kids at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by the wonderful Mary Theresa Archbold (NPR’s This American Life, Kennedy Center, Moth Radio Hour, FringeNYC award winner): Funny Parents

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories, comedy album True Love), Emmy Blotnick (staff writer for @midnight; MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), and Anthony P. DeVito performing at the only stand-up show at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Evan Kaufman (genius musical improvisor of Your Love Our Musical and North Coast; VH1): The Sensible Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($30): NYC-based sketch group The Tenderloins—James Murray, Sal Vulcano, Joe Gatto, and Brian Quinn—became TV stars with their TruTV series Impractical Jokers, which is in its 4th season and still running strong. Tonight the guys tape two episodes of their podcast via this early show and a second show at 9:30 pm. It all happens at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): The Tenderloins Podcast Show (#1 of 2)

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE DRINK if you arrive before 7:30] 7:30 pm (SOLD OUT of seats, but you might get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing): A screening of a Comedy Central mini-series starring Ilana Glazer and Paul W. Downs (who won’t be attending) at the UCB East theatre (which used to be an indie film theatre): Time Traveling Bong

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12-$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 an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($7.37 if you use code BREAKOUT online or by phone, plus 2-drink min.) A sharp stand-up who was a staff writer for NBC’s Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Brandon Scott Wolf

7:30 pm ($5): Storytellers share tales of bad dates, and then improvisors create scenes that make those bad dates even worse at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ryan Darden: Bad Date Theater

[FREE] 8:00: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Dominic Fogarty: /r/standup

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Comedic storytellers tell tales accompanied by videos, with tonight’s guests Kevin Avery (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver), Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion), Jefferson Bites (BARE), and Mark Pagan performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Harmon Leon: Videotale

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Comedic storytellers Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), Brett Druck (Rolling Stone, TBS), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Adult Swim), Matt Grote, Bobby Hankinson, Charles McBee, Aimee Rose Ranger, May Wilkerson, and Kristin Seltman 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Carole Montgomery (The Oprah Winfrey Show), and more performing for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[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 ($5): Superb improv group The Law Firm and extra-cool guests make up scenes revolving around drug themes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm & Friends Special 420 Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($30): NYC-based sketch group The Tenderloins—James Murray, Sal Vulcano, Joe Gatto, and Brian Quinn—became TV stars with their TruTV series Impractical Jokers, which is in its 4th season and still running strong. Tonight the guys tape two episodes of their podcast via this later show and the first one at 7:00 pm. It all happens at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): The Tenderloins Podcast Show (#2 of 2)

9:30 pm ($5): A variety show featuring diverse performers at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Rita Chinyere: Diversity in Progress

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($4.20; no min.): A ticket price of $4.20 for this special drug-fueled stand-up show with Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Laurie Kilmartin (dynamite stand-up; writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1), Aida Rodriguez, Jeff Leach, and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): 420 Funnies with Judah Friedlander, Dan Soder, Laurie Kilmartin, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy group Math, Science, and the Humanities (Heather Potts, Matt Laud, Martin Nolan, and Zach Kohn) performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Comedy Smacked by Math, Science and the Humanities

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors pair up as scene-inventing duos for one night only at the UCB East theatre hosted by Leslie Meisel (Broad City, 30 Rock, Nurse Jackie, HBO’s Bored to Death) & Brian Faas: Couples Skate

10:30 pm ($5): A drug-themed variety show featuring stand-up from Nick Vatterott, Dan Licata, and Boris Khaykin, sketch from group Holy Fuck Comedy Hour, music from The Beatbox House and Beatboxing Collective, and more at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): 420 Weed Sux JK Killer Dank Variety Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a monthly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible, hosted by the charming Jackie Jennings (The Chris Gethard Show, improv group Smalls): School Night

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

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. 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 upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez & Parker Denton: 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 ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Camel Butt

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

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

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans: The Improv 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; 99-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 Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$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!)

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar

The Stand

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/20/15

April 20, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Amy Schumer is on David Letterman
(Season 3 of the stellar Inside Amy Schumer debuts
tomorrow at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central);
Dick Van Dyke and Jenny Slate are on Conan O’Brien
(repeated from 12/16/14);
Ron Funches, T.J. Miller, and Steve Agee are on @midnight

The Hungry Hungry Games

A not-to-be-missed musical parody of The Hunger Games plays at 7:00 & 9:30 pm at The PIT: The Hungry Hungry Games

Rob Cantrell and Murderfist Save the Earth - A 4-20 Spectacular

…and 4/20, the Christmas for stoners, is celebrated at The Magnet’s Sebastian’s Amazing 4:20 Hour, The Stand’s Frantic Mondays, and The Knitting Factory’s Rob Cantrell and Murderfist Save the Earth: A 4/20 Spectacular

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (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—which include group Jean Pool at 7:25 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Becky Krause, and Tracy Mull—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 online; the latter is recommended because both the early and late shows are likely to sell out): This musical parody of The Hunger Games is a small miracle, having been written by Christopher W. Barnes (book & lyrics) and Ryan Mercy (music) in just a few weeks, and then cast, directed (again, by Barnes) rehearsed, and mounted on stage in a mere month. It’s not perfect—especially Act One, which runs 90 minutes but would work much better with 20-30 minutes chopped out—but it provides so many pleasures that it’s well worth your patience. Highlights include Pat Swearingen, who almost single-handedly steals the show as hilariously over-the-top TV host Caesar; Natalie Sullivan demonstrating delightful range as muscle-bound and stiff-necked, and yet sweet-voiced, star Katniss; sharply observed jokes about movie racial stereotypes; sly pop culture references, such as when Katniss gets her hands on a bow and proclaims a la Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd “At last! My arm is complete again!;” and much more. The UNAUTHORIZED series produced by Ronny Pascale et al has been a consistent jewel in the crown of The PIT upstairs theatre, but this newest production tops them all and should not be missed: The Hungry Hungry Games: An UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

7:00 pm ($7): Anarchic improv and/or sketch comedy from nearly a dozen comics at The Magnet theatre: The Stank

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up & character actress Karen Batista tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Lon g Island City: Week at the Creek: Karen Batista

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Jermaine Fowler, Carmen Lynch, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Joe Machi, Rachel Feinstein, Jeff Leach, Sherrod Small, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Todd Barry, Ryan Hamilton, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two of the sharpest improvisors in NYC, Shannon O’Neill (The Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, The Stepfathers, UCB-NY Artistic Director) and Tami Sagher (superb staff writer for Broad City; former writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006) invite their brilliant improvisor pals Ellie Kemper and Connor Ratliff to make up scenes with them at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Renowned 4/20 fan Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times) and drug-like sketch group Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch team; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award) host this raucous celebration of 4/20 with Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), and Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), plus musical guest Unicorn Smack, all at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): Rob Cantrell and Murderfist Save the Earth: A 4/20 Spectacular

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Character comics who typically include rising stars Leslie Meisel (Stone Cold Fox), Christine Bullen (one-woman show My Melonbasket, sketch group Goodbye Handsome), and many more performing bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), Mary Mack, Joel Kim Booster, and Andrew Michaan performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

[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

8:30 pm ($7): “What happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring five additional comics at The Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: (212) (which includes wonderful rising stars Langan Kingsley and Russ Armstrong, plus Cody Lindquist, Eddie Dunn, and Rob Cuthill, and stellar sketch writers such as Georgie Aldaco) and One Idiot (which includes Maggie Ross, Carrie McCrossen, Kristy Lopez-Bernala, Allie Kokesh, and Nathan Min): Maude Night: (212) and One Idiot

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Performing 4/20-themed stand-up are Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Derek Gaines, Subhah Agarwal, Alex Pavone, Luis J. Gomez, and Vladimir Caamano for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Mike Lawrence, Ari Shaffir, Nate Bargatze, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($7): “Sebastian will be hanging out on stage on 4/20. Straight chillin’. During the hour, he will have his friends come up and give presentations about things that they think will BLOW HIS MIND. This show will give you tons of useless amazing facts to fill your brain (if you can remember them). A few lucky audience members will be asked to come on stage and try to blow Sebastian’s and the audience’s minds. So come prepared with cool shit to share!” at The Magnet theatre: Sebastian’s Amazing 4:20 Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm (reserved seats are all taken, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): 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 or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday 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—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. 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] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name i pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge 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 downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-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.)

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.)

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. 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, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 4/20/14

April 20, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: After Game of Thrones, tune into Comedy Central at 10:00 pm
for a new hour-long stand-up special from Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide

Sunday Night Stand-Up

After a 5-year run, RG Daniels closes the curtains on his weekly show Sunday Night Stand-Up

4/20

…and 4/20, the Christmas for stoners, is celebrated at The 4/20 Easter Show

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): “A sketch show that combines the delightful magic of 4/20 with the wonder of Easter. Mmmm…Cadbury Eggs” at The Magnet theatre: The 4/20 Easter Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE STUFF] 8:00 pm: After a weekly 5-year run, RG Daniels is closing the lights on this stand-up show that’s been a staple of Sunday NYC comedy. Comics helping him close the curtains include the Reformed Whores, Jono Zalay, Harry Terjanian, and Miguel Dalmau; plus RG will be handing out “a ton of stuff during the show—drinks, books, comedy merch, and maybe some crap I have laying about my apartment” at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up: The Final Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), Alice Wetterlund, Andrew Sleighter, and Steve Forrest performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Kevin Meaney, Hannibal Buress, Nick Griffin, Ryan Hamilton, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, Marina Franklin, and Lynne Koplitz at the 9:45 show; and Nikki Glaser, Kurt Metzger, Joe List, and Chris Distefano at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Starlee Kine (sharp storyteller; NPR’s This American Life), and Dan Roth (blogger for the SyFy Channel) performing stand-up or storytelling at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Mara Wilson (former child star): What Are You Afraid Of?

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code GRIFT; no min.): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Phil Hanley (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Nimesh Patel (co-host of Broken Comedy), Subhah Agarwal, and Luis J. Gomez performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mark Normand and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb guest improvisors Micah Sherman, Doug Stoley, and Philip Markie, guest improv groups G.U.S. and The Quitters, and host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl), make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Live stage readings of popular Saved By The Bell episodes, with each cast member allowed an optional 3-minute Zack Morris style “time out” for episode-specific stand-up or a fan fiction bonus scene at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Bayside Myself

8:00 pm ($10, or FREE with student ID from any comedy school): All-female character & sketch comedy, featuring Sharon Spell, Shalyah Elizabeth, Katie Kester, and Dara Katz performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Carly Ann Filbin: Lady Parts

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically terrific stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago): Comedy Night

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Marc Theobald (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Joel Walkowski, Taylor Clark, Tynan DeLong, Seth Cockfield, and John F. O’Donnell performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 2 minutes per walk-in performer picked at random from a bucket of names, at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jonathan Morvay and/or Evan Williams: Child Support

[FREE] 10:00 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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 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.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/20/13

April 20, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

MJ Green Arches

4/20, the Christmas for stoners, is celebrated tonight at shows including “John Flynn: Baked!”, “The Rejection Show,” and “What I Did For Drugs”

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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 4:20 pm: Stellar storyteller John Flynn (Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!) performs a one-man show at the UCB East Hot Chicks Room Bar about “the many years I baked ‘magical’ cookies that were enjoyed by all sorts of people, making me the most adorable drug dealer in New York” to kick off today’s UCBT celebration of 4/20: John Flynn: Baked!

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and music from Summer & Eve, Andy Beckerman, Jason Saenz, and more celebrating 4/20 at the UCB East Hot Chicks Room Bar hosted by Hunter Nelson and Joel Weidl (no really, that’s his name): Seeds and Stems

[DISCOUNTED] 5:30 pm ($4 online using code WALLSTREET; no min.): If you’d care to catch an early comedy club show for a super-low $4 price (with no drink minimum), this one features superb improv singer Rebecca Vigil (The Vigilante), Jimmy Failla (cab driver turned stand-up; podcast Follow That Car), and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): That Comedy Show

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Red, Wando, and 4Some performing at The Magnet to kick off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs bits from a show he’s developing for an off-Broadway run that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Dean Edwards, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): “Similar to regular Indie Cage Match, but…you know.” Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Stoned Indie Cage Match

7:00 pm ($8): PIT students selected at random mix it up with improv veterans at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Draft

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more 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

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): NYC comics Ted Travelstead, Stuckey & Murray, Adam Newman, Jenny Rubin, Andy Friedman, Bob Powers, and Lisa Delarios “sharing jokes written under the influence of 4/20, jokes they thought were funnier when they were high, weed-related humor, and/or just absurdity that would appeal to the pothead in us all” performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by Jon Friedman: The Rejection Show: 4/20 Edition

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7 online using code WALLSTREET; no min.): Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, Sherrod Small, Dan Soder, and More

8:00 pm ($8): All-gal sketch/improv troupe Vacation hosts a variety show with female sketch comics and stand-ups performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Lady Business

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and last year crushed 15 improv groups in Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight—and add a special spin for 4/20—at Airwolf: Let’s Get High at Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[$] 9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB Chelsea that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member, normally about his or her love life—only tonight for 4/20 it’ll instead be an interview about what great lengths some audience member underwent to get high: What I Did For Drugs

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7 online using code WALLSTREET; no min.): Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Nikki Glaser, Russ Meneve, Big Jay Oakerson, Dan Soder, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

10:30 pm ($10): Improvisors Rick Andrews and Brason Reese team with Nick Kanellis for one night only at The Magnet to form comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter:” Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from a troupe born in a Boston college and tonight performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Astronaut Theatre

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Selena Coppock (author of new book The New Rules for Blondes), Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Funny or Die), Taylor Ketchum, and Nick Naney share true-life longish funny tales revolving around weed at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story: 4/20 Edition

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night): The Lady Jam

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7 online using code WALLSTREET; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Big Jay Oakerson, Maddog Mattern, and More

Midnight ($5—or free if you show up in a costume): “A scandalous night of down-right-sexy improv at The PIT downstairs lounge. Incorrigible performers team up to turn down the lights, slip into something a little more comfortable, and spend the good part of an hour tickling your funny boners. Beware of partial nudity, strong sexual themes, and the possibility to be dragged on stage for a not-so-wholesome game of Truth or Dare:” Yes, Yes, Yes…And

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/20/12

April 20, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

4/20

4/20, the Christmas for stoners, is celebrated tonight at shows including "The Law Firm Goes to White Castle in 3-D," "Woodstock '12," and "The Rejection Show"

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A new variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits at The Magnet hosted by Jon Bander, with tonight featuring the best acts of the show’s first six months: The Best of What’s to Get?

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident in Crisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A veteran comedic actor in both TV and feature films headlining through Sunday at Carolines: John Witherspoon

8:30 pm ($5): Sketch troupe Shelby Company performs oddball bits for this Magnet sketch show show that in the past has included two-timing monsters and presidential ninjas: Ephemerama

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): John Gemberling (genius improvisor & comedic character actor; Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Death by Roo Roo, The Tony and Johnny Show), Adira Amram (fresh, unique, wonderful singer/songwriter; ECNY Award winner for Best Musical Comedy Act), Bobby Tisdale & Edmond Hawkins, Noah Garfinkel & Max Silvestri, Ted Travelstead, Nikki Glaser, Roger Hailes, and Jessica Watkins share tales of being stoned while creating comedy that didn’t work out so well at UCB East for Jon Friedman’s wonderful The Rejection Show: 4/20 Edition

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes in a stoned state of mind for 4/20: The Law Firm Goes to White Castle in 3-D

10:30 pm ($10): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($8): Improvised scenes by duos based on an infamous relationships section of Craigslist at The PIT upstairs theatre: Missed Connections

11:30 pm ($10): improvisers Bianca Casusöl as Madam Ant, Nina Klemow as Fanny Price, and Alex Marino as Larry Lazlo use burlesque dancing at The Magnet to tell a story “and titillate the audience with some seductively fun choreographed burlesque numbers:” Whisky Tango Foxtrot: Burlesque Improv Revue

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Musical performances with a 60s psychedelic theme from delightful singing duo The Reformed Whores and many more at UCB East for this throwback rock concert hosted by Aaron Glaser: Woodstock ’12

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to try out sketches for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.