NYC Top Comedy Choices for December 2018: Last Updated Monday 12/3

December 3, 2018

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In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for December 2018 (with more to come soon) include:

Josh Sharp and Michael Cruz KayneMonday 12/3: Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; CBS’ Two Broke Girls, Comedy Central’s The Opposition, IFC’s How Shit Works, MTV; co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit) and Michael Cruz Kayne (sketches on Stephen Colbert and The Chris Gethard Show; HBO’s Crashing; former writer for @midnight and Billy on the Street; member of ace musical improv group Baby Wants Candy and UCB Saturday night improv group What I Did For Love; co-host of monthly comedy show The Exhibition) each perform a 30-minute comedy set: Michael Cruz Kayne and Josh Sharp Triumphantly Present Their Half Hours (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Laura Lane, Ellen Haun, and Amber Williams: Monday 12/3: KIcking off this double-bill is an all-gal sketch show in which “Sleeping Beauty’s prince realizes that it’s super creepy to kiss a woman who’s sleeping, the Little Mermaid discovers that legs come with vagina-a-bobs, and Cinderella learns how dumb it is to wear shoes made of glass” written & co-starring Laura Lane & Ellen Haun, and also co-starring Amber Williams, and directed by Chet Siegel: Femme Fairy Tales; and then superb improvisors Aaron Jackson (unique improv/sketch/musical talent; cast member of Comedy Central’s The Opposition; stellar improv groups Rumpleteaser, What I Did For Love, Fuck That Shit) and Asher Perlman (The Opposition, Improvised Shakespeare) perform duo improv: Aaron & Asher (8:00 pm, $9, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

Adira Amram and Janeane GarofaloMonday 12/3: Adira Amram (spectacular comedic singer & dancer; HBO, Funny or Die; album Hot Jams for Teens; co-host of Ophira & Adira), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, an interview with the The Bowery Boys, and NYC trivia games with prizes, all hosted by Nat Towsen (VICE, College Humor): Downtown Variety Hour (7:30 pm, $9, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Maeve Higgins, Aparna Nancherla, and Jo Firestone: Monday 12/3: An eclectic mix of stand-ups including Casey Balsham, Saurin Choksi, Jes Tom, and Chike Robinson perform for stellar hosts Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers) and/or Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk): Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Dear Diary: Comics Read Their Weird Childhood JournalsMonday 12/3: Comics share their observations, fears, dreams, and insanities growing up by reading from their childhood diaries, featuring Defne Gencler, Camille Theobald, Ellen Harold, Alex Grubard, Mackenzie Graves, Chloe McGovern, Emily Hupp, and Amelia Bienstock and host Maggie Lalley: Dear Diary: Comics Read Their Weird Childhood Journals (8:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Calise Hawkins, Jacqueline Novak, and Karen CheeMonday 12/3: Calise Hawkins (above left; Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, TruTV, Oxygen; writer for Comedy Central, Playboy.com), Jacqueline Novak (above middle; exceptionally smart, fresh stand-up; Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO; comedy album Quality Notions; book How to Weep in Public), Karen Chee (above right; Stephen Colbert, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s), Aaron Kominos-Smith (MTV, Inside Amy Schumer), and Brendan Gay (NBC, TruTV) are scheduled to perform stand-up for this free weekly show hosted by Jess Salomon (former UN war crimes lawyer turned comic; CBS, Sirius XM): Dirty Laundry (11:00 pm, Free! (make reservation here), UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

The Story Collider: Tuesday 12/4: Storytellers Adrien Behn (above left; host of podcast Strangers Abroad), Mimi Hayes (above right; author of memoir I’ll Be OK, It’s Just a Hole in My Head), Will Tran (creative director), Zoya Vallari (physicist), and Gregory Gedman (geneticist)i tell tales on this month’s science theme of “dreams, beliefs, and other mysteries of the mind” hosted by Tracy Rowland & Paula Croxson: The Story Collider: It’s All in Your Head (8:00 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Tariq TrotterTuesday 12/4: Tariq Trotter (a.k.a. Black Thought; co-founder & rapper/MC for legendary band The Roots; regular sketch performer on Jimmy Fallon, and exceptionally quick, witty guy),Cristela Alonzo (star of sitcom Cristela, Cars 3, Netflix’s Lower Classy), Janelle James (HBO’s Crashing, Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup, Comedy Central’s @midnight, Fuse’s Uproarious), Sam Morril (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, America’s Got Talent), Petey Deabreu (host of Petey’s World and co-host of White Chocolate), and Yamaneika Saunders (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Roast Battle) perform stand-up hosted by Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin as part of the Janelle James Comedy Festival: Comedians Who Live Nearby (8:00 pm, $25, Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Punderdome 3000Tuesday 12/4: A raucous monthly pun competition hosted by Fred Firestone (co-author with Jo Firestone of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), with 18 audience members (a dozen sign-ups and six returning champions) fiercely competing for wordplay dominance—and the chance to become an instant star based on verbal cleverness, and the ability to drum up the most applause from a packed and loudly cheering crowd. In addition, tonight features a pun costume contest (e.g., if you wear an electrical socket made out of cardboard and then doodle, collage, and scrapbook all over it, you’re a creative outlet): Punderdome 3000 (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street—take R subway to Union Street; show up early—doors open at 7:00—to nab a seat, or plan on standing)

Judah FriedlanderWednesday 12/5: Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly; Netflix stand-up special America is the Greatest Country in the United States; bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United), David Cross (comedy legend; Mr. Show, Arrested Development, Modern Family), Liza Treyger (fresh, fierce, fearless stand-up; Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, This Is Not Happening, @midnight, Horace and Pete, Chelsea Lately), Matteo Lane (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code, co-host of Battle of the Divas), Janelle James (HBO’s Crashing, Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup, Comedy Central’s @midnight, Fuse’s Uproarious), and Mia Jackson (Last Comic Standing, Inside Amy Schumer, Viceland) perform stand-up as part of the Janelle James Comedy Festival: Comedians Who Said “Well, Who All Goin Be There?” (7:30 pm, $25, Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Alex Song and Karen CheeWednesday 12/5: Karen Chee (above right; Stephen Colbert, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s) and Alex Song (above left; Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Girl Code, TruTV, VH1) each perform a 30-minute stand-up set hosted by Larry Owens (staff writer for TruTV’s Paid Off; feature film To Dust): Karen & Alex Do Half-Hours (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Brian McGuinness & TJ Del Reno: Wednesday 12/5: Comics and/or audience members play old video games while hosts Brian McGuinness (Playable Characters Podcast) & TJ Del Reno (Unlimited Lives Radio) and guests provide live commentary: Retro Bits (7:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Eugene MirmanThursday 12/6: Eugene Mirman (FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Archer, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1, frequent co-host of StarTalk; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Kate Willett (Comedy Central’s The Jim Jeffries Show and This Is Not Happening; VICE’s Flophouse, Netflix’s Comedy Lineup; comedy album Glass Gutter), Janelle James (HBO’s Crashing, Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup, Comedy Central’s @midnight, Fuse’s Uproarious), Catherine Cohen (Hulu’s Difficult People; The New Yorker; co-host of Cumming, co-host of It’s a Guy Thing), Nore Davis (HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, Showtime’s Boardwalk Empire, MTV; album You Guys Are Dope), and Kenice Mobley (host of Person About Town podcast) perform stand-up on this final night of the Janelle James Comedy Festival: Comedians Who Said “Sure, I’ll Come By” (7:30 pm, $25, Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Jenny Gorelick's Thursday 12/6: Ziwe Fumudoh (writer for The Rundown with Robin Thede; host of hilarious webseries Baited with Ziwe), Karen Chee (Stephen Colbert, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s), Sydnee Washington (Conan O’Brien, MTV2’s Vidiots, co-host of podcast The Unofficial Expert), Larry Owens (staff writer for TruTV’s Paid Off; feature film To Dust), The Community Dance Corps, Dave Mizzoni, Matt DeCaro, Mary Beth Barone, Zach Zimmerman, Milly Tamarez, Andrew Barbato, Kuhoo Verma, and Gabe Gonzalez tell jokes and/or sing or dance for this party-like show that’s a mix of stand-up and music hosted by Jenny Gorelick (Improv Anywhere; perpetual birthday gal) & Addie Weyrich (HBO’s Crashing, Hulu): Jenny’s Birthday Variety Show (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Mike Drucker's Thursday 12/6: Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up and staff writer for TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; previously a staff writer for NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and Comedy Central’s The President Show, and contributing writer for Saturday Night Live) hosts comics reading obituaries they wrote for themselves, “honoring the lives they had and making fun of the lives they could have had,” with the dying-as-we-speak guests Ariel Dumas (staff writer for Stephen Colbert), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents; comedy albums No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot; podcasts Broccoli and Ice Cream), Joe Zimmerman (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Marcia Belsky (Reductress; Handmaid’s Tale The Musical; lead singer of band Free the Mind), Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love, host of Ed Sullivan on Acid, co-host of podcast Playable Characters), Ashley Bez (TV Land), and Robert Dean (Comedy Central): My Obituary Show (7:30 pm, $7, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

New York City's Secrets and Lies

Thursday 12/6: Storytellers Sandi Marx, Jackie Peters, VIcki Eastus, Nate Charles, and Dustin Growick share the fascinating secret pasts of NYC locations you may walk by every day. Four of the stories are entirely true…and one is a pack of lies. Can you spot the fibber? Come have your internal lie detector challenged by host Christa Avampato (author of YA novel Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters): New York City’s Secrets and Lies (7:00 pm; $13.71 in advance online or $15 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Pulitzer SurprisesThursday 12/6: Comics each perform an argument for why he or she should receive a Pulitzer Prize—with tonight’s candidates Ziwe Fumudoh (writer for The Rundown with Robin Thede; host of hilarious webseries Baited with Ziwe), Ayo Edebiri, and more—hosted by Caroline Schaper (writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, former writer for David Letterman) & Eliza Cossio (writer for HBO’s Problem Areas, former Senior Latina Correspondent for The Daily Show): Pulitzer Surprises (9:30 pm, $9.47 online or $12 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Ziwe Fumudoh's Friday 12/7: Ziwe Fumudoh (writer for The Rundown with Robin Thede; host of hilarious webseries Baited with Ziwe) invites comics to perform pop songs, preceded by comedic presentations, with tonight’s guests Friends Who Folk (delightful singing duo Rachel Wenitsky & Ned Riseley; TheNewYorker.com), Rebecca O’Neal (Netflix’s Easy; Vanity Fair, Gawker, Vulture; former host of local Chicago TV show One Night Stand-Up), Catherine Cohen (Hulu’s Difficult People; The New Yorker; co-host of Cumming, co-host of It’s a Guy Thing), Caitlin Bitzegaio & Tim Dunn, Ike Ufomadu, and Amanda Shechtman: Pop Show (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Literati.jpgFriday 12/7: “Do you ever leave a comedy show saying ‘Hmm, that was pretty funny but not enough reading’? Literati is a night of comics in character performing hilarious readings—sometimes while wearing wigs,” with comics TBA hosted by Colin O’Brien & Michael Wolf: Literati: A Comedy Show About Books and the Idiots Who Write Them (9:00 pm, $9.47 online or $10 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Soft Core 2Friday 12/7: Host Chris Gersbeck screens a “cheesy” porn movie and comics Emily Flake (writer/cartoonist; The New Yorker, The New York Times), Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love, host of Ed Sullivan on Acid, co-host of podcast Playable Characters), Kristin Seltman, and Jenn Wehrung (this show’s producer; BBC) riff on it MST3K-style: Soft Core! (11:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Oh, Such A Good Show, Oh!Saturday 12/8: Emmy Blotnick (brilliant rising star stand-up who’s performed on Stephen Colbert and stars in an upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Stephen Colbert; Head Writer for Comedy Central’s The President Show; former writer for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Roast of Rob Lowe, and Not Safe with Nikki Glaser; MTV, VH1), Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Nimesh Patel (exceptionally sharp stand-up; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, TruTV; written for Chris Rock hosting the 2016 Oscars; co-host of Broken Comedy), Kate Willett (Comedy Central’s The Jim Jeffries Show and This Is Not Happening; VICE’s Flophouse, Netflix’s Comedy Lineup; comedy album Glass Gutter), Pat Regan (The Eric Andre Show, Last Comic Standing), Daniel Moore (Lloyd Night), and Natalie Walker perform stand-up hosted by Ethan Beach (MTV) & Josh Nasser (The Story Pirates; co-host of Seth and Josh Need to Network): Oh, Such A Good Show, Oh! (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Saturnalia: A Pagan Celebration with Jill SobuleSaturday 12/8: “When it comes to Christmas, most of us think Jesus is the reason for the season. But before there was Christmas, Saturnalia was the holiday of choice for Roman pagans. Filled with riotous parties and scurrilous winter solstice rituals, we’ll recount how early Christians culturally appropriated the holiday season for the ages” with performance artist/dancer Summer Minerva, singer/dancer Claudia Valentina & her band, and more hosted by singer/songwriter Jill Sobule: Saturnalia: A Pagan Celebration with Jill Sobule (4:00 pm, $22.32 in advance online or $25 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Rachel JoravskySaturday 12/8: Rachel Joravsky (Reductress, BET) teaches you how to become a white ally via sketch, characters, and videos, with stand-up from guests Karen Chee (Stephen Colbert, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s), Rachel Pegram (HBO, Comedy Central), and Dewayne Perkins (Netflix): Rachel Joravsky is a Thirsty White Ally (7:00 pm, $11.59 in advance online or $12 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Emily Winter's & Larry Mancini's Saturday 12/8: Shane Torres (fresh, hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Presents and Comedy Cellar, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, stand-up album Established 1981), Ariel Elias (co-host of podcast Well Behaved), Chris Calogero (Vice, Fusion; co-host of Not Quite Midnight), and Fem Appeal (SF/fantasy/horror burlesque) perform for hosts Emily Winter (writer for Fusion’s Come Here and Say That, TVLand, and Glamour; co-host of Side Ponytail) and Larry Mancini (band member of The Tracys): Backfat Variety (10:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Haunting Renditions 2Sunday 12/9: “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 stand-ups Chris Red (cast member of Saturday Night LIve) and Larry Owens (staff writer for TruTV’s Paid Off; feature film To Dust): Haunting Renditions (8:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Naomi EkperiginMonday 12/10: Naomi Ekperigin (above; dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Sydnee Washington (Conan O’Brien, MTV2’s Vidiots, co-host of podcast The Unofficial Expert), Meaghan Strickland (iO Theater, Annoyance Theater, hosts A Late Night Show That is Also Live), Will Martin (Improv Boston), and more perform stand-up for stellar hosts Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers) and/or Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of NatGeo’s StarTalk): Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Myq Kaplan & FriendsMonday 12/10: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents; comedy albums No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot; podcasts Broccoli and Ice Cream) hosts stand-ups and musical comics TBA: Myq Kaplan & Friends (8:30 pm, $6, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Rebekah Sebastian's Wednesday 12/11: Rebekah Sebastian hosts this crime trivia show that challenges your knowledge of serial killers, unsolved mysteries, the legal system, OJ, and much more: Yellow Tape (9:00 pm, $7, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Marcela Onyango & Lauren Clark: Wednesday 12/12: Comics TBA explore this month’s topic Race in Politics hosted by Marcela Onyango (host of Feel the News) & Lauren Clark (The Story Pirates): Profiled (9:30 pm, $9.57 in advance online or $10 at the door—40% of proceeds go to Run For Something, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Quip It Good!Wednesday 12/12: A stage version of the online game Quiplash, in which contestants—including comics TBA—must come up with witty, silly, or otherwise entertaining responses to prompts provided by hosts Sarah Kennedy & Tristan Miller: Quip It Good! (9:00 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

MortifiedThursday 12/13: Enjoy a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) shared by their original authors before total strangers at this popular monthly show—which is now also a six-part series titled The Mortified Guide on Netflix!: Mortified (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil: Friday 12/14: World-class singing improvisors Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (7:00 pm; $16.89 in advance online or $20 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

RelationshitFriday 12/14: Storytellers share tales of relationships in front of a panel of comics and therapy experts, who then give advice, with tonight’s guests including Lux Alptraum (author of new book Faking It: The Lies Women Tell about Sex–And the Truths They Reveal) and Wilson McDermut hosted by Lynn Bixenspan & Morgan Pielli: Relationshit (9:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

The Odd Rock Comedy Hour 3Saturday 12/15: Music, comedy, and more from duo Song Salad, who’ll write & perform a new song on the spot, storyteller & musician Harmon Leon, and more hosted by Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 13 million people on YouTube, please click here): The Odd Rock Comedy Hour (9:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Josh Gondelman and Kate WillettSunday 12/16: Long stand-up sets by Josh Gondelman (one of the sharpest comics in the country; Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s phenom Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker; stand-up album Physical Whisper) and Kate Willett (Comedy Central’s The Jim Jeffries Show and This Is Not Happening; VICE’s Flophouse, Netflix’s Comedy Lineup; comedy album Glass Gutter), plus briefer holiday appearances from comics Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central Half Hour), Emily Winter (NPR’s Ask Me Another), Carmen Lagala (Stephen Colbert), Max Wittert (The New Yorker), Ayo Edibiri (Comedy Central), Joe Rumrill (The Chris Gethard Show), Sam Taggart (Live on Broadgay, Lake Homo High), John Payne, Sam Evans, Ethan Simmons Patterson, and Julia Shiplett hosted by Chris Calogero & Courtney Maginnis: Not Quite Midnight (8:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Susan LucciMonday 12/17: Susan Lucci (legendary soap actress playing Erica Kane on ABC’s All My Children from 1970 to 2011) is tonight’s guest of this NPR weekly comedy trivia show taped live in Brooklyn and hosted by the wonderful Ophira Eisenberg (one of the finest comedic storytellers and stand-ups in the country; author of bestselling book Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy, comedy album Bangs!; NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime): Ask Me Another (7:30 pm, $20, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Jessica Ellen Creane: Tuesday 12/18-Thursday 12/20: This solo production, which debuted at October’s FringeNYC and is now enjoying a three-night revival at the Here Theatre, starts out pretending to be a scientific lecture about and demonstration of chaos theory.

But it’s really a highly interactive show that uses comedy and thoughtfully structured game-play for nudging audiences to explore their wishes and desires, push past boundaries, connect with everyone around them, and be open to anything.

It’s all courtesy of writer/performer Jessica Ellen Creane, who cycles between faux-shyly giving illustrated talks about such things as fractals, love, and velociraptors, making herself fearlessly vulnerable, and improvising quick-witted responses to audience choices. For example, when Creane asked me to name a goal, I replied, “writing and selling a movie.” She immediately gave me the best pep talk I’ve ever had, stating beyond doubt that I’d succeed. In gratitude, I added, “I’ll cast you in it.” Without missing a beat, and fully committing to her scientist character (wearing thick black-frame glasses with no lenses), Creane tossed off, “I’m not good at acting” before moving on to help someone else. That she even thought of that line demonstrates what a superb actress Creane is…and how completely she performs in the moment.

Because this show is so heavily dependent on interaction, each edition will be different based on the decisions made by you and your fellow audience members. Along the same lines, how much you enjoy it, and genuinely get out of it, will depend heavily on what you bring to it.

For me, it was a **** (out of 4) show. If you come experience this—and you should—I hope you have a wonderful time too; and that it moves you closer to your dreams.

Chaos Theory is playing 8:30 pm on Tuesday 12/18, Wednesday 12/19, and Thursday 12/20 for $20 at the Here Theatre at 145 Sixth Avenue; take C/E subway to Spring Street and enter on Dominick Street)

It's a Guy ThingTuesday 12/18: Hosts Catherine Cohen, Mitra Jouhari, and Patti Harrison “are three gals who just don’t get ‘guy stuff.’ They’ve invited comics to give them lectures on guy stuff so that they can finally fit in,” with tonight’s bearers of wisdom Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Friends Who Folk (delightful singing duo Rachel Wenitsky & Ned Riseley; TheNewYorker.com), Greta Titelman, Whitmer Thomas, Pat Regan, and Eudora Peterson: It’s a Guy Thing (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Laugh Through the PainWednesday 12/19: For this holiday season, Chloe Holmes hosts a comedy show built on sadness and despair, with comics TBA: Laugh Through the Pain (7:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling ShowWednesday 12/19: Stand-ups and/or storytellers Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up and staff writer for TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; previously staff writer for Comedy Central’s The President Show and nearly 400 episodes of NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, and contributing writer for Saturday Night Live), John Fugelsang (host of Sirius XM talk show Tell Me Everything; former host of America’s Funniest Home Videos), Venessa V. Lince, Rachel McCartney, and Amber Rollo tell tales about losing their virginity hosted by Angela Cobb (Sirius XM): My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling Show (9:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Lucie Pohl's Thursday 12/20: Comics who are immigrants perform stand-up, storytelling, or characters, and comics who aren’t perform immigrant-related material, for this show celebrating talents who weren’t born in the US hosted by German-American Lucie Pohl (above; voice of Mercy in Overwatch and Harmony in Red Dwarf XI): Immigrant Jam (7:30 pm, $7, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Shame!: The Not-So-Honorable Comedy ShowFriday 12/21: Comics Ian Fidance (host of Picture This!; regular on SiriusXM’s You Up? with Nikki Glaser, Comedy Central Radio), Danny Rathbun, Chloe McGovern, and Kelly McInerney share cringe-worthy experiences from their pasts hosted by Brendan Busee & Ron Raganella: Shame!: The Not-So-Honorable Comedy Show (9:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Katie Boyle 4Saturday 12/22: Seven comics TBA perform stand-up that might include material about where they originally came from and the journey that led them to NYC, all hosted by the charming Katie Boyle (above; from Ireland): Transplants (7:30 pm, $7, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Lyssa Mandel & Phil Casale: Sunday 12/23: Storyteller Lyssa Mandel and her boyfriend/co-host Phil Casale invite comics TBA to “expose their bleeding-heart adolescent artifacts (journal entries, poetry, original songs, and art), then laugh at and with their own flaws:” The Bitch Seat (8:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

All Is Forgiven: A Non-Religious Comedy Show About ReligionWednesday 12/26: Storytellers TBA share tales about how faith has affected their lives hosted by Ian Goldstein (above): All Is Forgiven: A Non-Religious Comedy Show About Religion (7:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Q.E.D&DWednesday 12/26: A guest comic, two audience members selected on the spot, and hosts Glen & Wade play a game of Dungeons & Dragons “as a multimedia epic, with music, visual guides, drinking games, and a stand-up comedy set that will be woven into the story:” Q.E.D&D (9:00 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Aaron Jackson & Josh Sharp: Friday 12/28: Hosts Aaron Jackson & Josh Sharp invite you to celebrate the holidays with them and their guests Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Sydnee Washington (Conan O’Brien, MTV2’s Vidiots, co-host of podcast The Unofficial Expert), Pat Regan (The Eric Andre Show, Last Comic Standing), Jaboukie Young-White (film Rough Night), Nathan Lee Graham (Zoolander, LA to Vegas), Pat Regan, Amy Jo Jackson, Erin Markey, and Henry Koperski and His Straights: A Gay Show for All People: Holiday Spectacular (8:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

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

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

The PIT Loft
154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

The Magnet
254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

Bell House
149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/W 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—moving to Union Square this summer; 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
moving to Brooklyn in June 2018, please stay tuned; 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!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

Special thanks to comedy photographers supreme Anya Garrett and Mindy Tucker for creating so many of the stellar photos that grace this site…and the sites of hundreds of NYC comics.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.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.

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, provide feedback on my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me to develop your book or screenplay (please visit BookProposal.net or HyOnYourScript.com), or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 1/31/17

January 31, 2017

Ophira EisenbergTwo exceptionally appealing comics, 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!) and…

Adira AmramAdira Amram (spectacular comedic singer & dancer; Funny or Die), perform and host Mike Albo (Rosa Negra, The New York Times), Matthew Holtzclaw (magician; Penn & Teller: Fool Us), and Becky Yamamoto: Ophira & Adira (7:30 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 ($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: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Improv group Honey performs and hosts other groups at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Honey and Friends

7:00 pm ($5): A showcase for brand new scripted shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—this week featuring Visit Boston, Free Beer, and Joon Chung at The PIT Underground produced by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: Pilot Season

[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

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

7:30 pm ($5): Improvisors who include Ronny Pascale (PIT Associate Artistic Director, co-producer of the superb Unauthorized! series and Solocom) make up plays on the spot based on audience suggestions at The PIT Mainstage: Scene Work: Improvised One Act Plays

7:30 pm ($7): Stand-ups Chris Gersbeck, Lauren Hope Krass, May Wilkerson, Davey Melch, Peter Bandyk, Jes Tom, Cres Hernandez, Sydnee Washington, and Mike Cotayo do their best to impress folks who might help their careers at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Angela Cobb: Industry Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Help Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents) tape a stand-up special by coming and providing your laughs at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), Nick Griffin: Cheer Up

[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 PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($7): A talk show hosted by Lauren Adams & Caitlin Bitzegaio “for women who Yelp ‘quiet wine bar where I won’t get hit on.’ It’s a talk show for women who are continually asking themselves ‘What’s under Sia’s wig and should I be wearing one?’ It’s a talk show for women who spend $300 on baby gifts for friends and then haggle the price of a can of beer. It’s a talk show for women who are Womaning, or at least trying” at the UCB East theatre: Womaning

[FREE; plus FREE DRAFT BEER 8:00-8:30!] 8:00 pm: Christi Chiello (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, TruTV, co-host of White Chocolate Sundaes), Anthony Moore, James Hamilton, and Jamie Manelis performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Two Boots Pizza Williamsburg (558 Driggs Avenue) hosted by Lucas Connolly, David Piccolomini, and Jake Fromm: Ambush Comedy

8:30 pm ($7): Suburban New Jersey sketch group Kiss on the Lips performs in this monthly show at The PIT Underground: Kiss on the Lips

[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 ($5): Comics play a variety of short improv games at The PIT Mainstage: Short Form Improv Make Em Up Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($10): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also a star writer/correspondent for The Daily Show; previously staff writer & performer for Seth Meyers), Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, co-host of Battlicious), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): Producers and staff writers for The Daily Show come out from behind the scenes to perform stand-up at the UCB East theatre: The Daily Show Staff Stand-Up Show: An Evening of Political-ish Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes with the lights turned off, using everyday objects to add layers of sound—like a radio play created on the spot—at The PIT Mainstage: Improv in the Dark

9:30 pm ($7): Improvisors springboard scenes revolving around a time and place provided by the audience The PIT Underground hosted by Jason Scott Quinn: Meanwhile…

9:30 pm ($5): About a dozen comics, including Tracy Mull and Josh Krebs, perform a staged reading of a produced screenplay—this month it’s the 1998 animated feature Antz—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Cease & De-Script: Monthly Reading

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, improv group Women & Men performs different types of longform at the UCB East theatre: Harold on the Run

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 ($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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[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 upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): 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

11:00 pm ($5): Ten stand-ups whose names are drawn from a “golden bowl of destiny” will be given stage time, along with a few invited stand-ups, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Will Purpura: Bring It

[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 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/11/16

August 11, 2016

Adira Amram and Seaton SmithIn this unique show, Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1,comedy album True Love), interviews comics as they share rare and embarrassing footage of one of their first sets—and will also perform new material for comparison’s sake. Tonight’s wonderful guests are Adira Amram (spectacular comedic singer & dancer; Funny or Die; album Hot Jams for Teens), Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), and Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes): First Set (8:00 pm, $7, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

The Education Hour With Vin Diesel and Nic Cage…and Gary Denoia plays stars Vin Diesel and Nicolas Cage “reading a children’s book and exploring the book’s theme with the audience:” The Education Hour With Vin Diesel and Nic Cage (9:00 pm, $5, The PIT Downstairs Lounge at 123 East 24th Street)

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30ish pm ($5): Marina Franklin (Trainwreck, Louie, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show), Sam Morril (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, America’s Got Talent), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code, host of Chemistry), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), and Simeon Goodson performing stand-up for the One Year Anniversary of this show at Brooklyn’s Frank’s Cocktail Lounge (660 Fulton Street; take G to Fulton Street or A/C to Lafayette Avenue) hosted by Brian Parise & Janelle James: It’s All Happening

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

7:30 pm ($5): Musical improv about summer romance at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Divas Unmasked: Summer Lovin’

7:30 pm ($5): Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1), Chelsea White (MTV), Tim Dillon, Minori Hinds, and Ken Schultz performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($5): Pro storytellers, plus a storytelling open mic, on this month’s theme of Escape at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lori Baird: Talk Therapy Stories: Escape

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Mortified

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Kirsten O’Brien & Evan Zelnick screen and comment on clips from terrible films with actors early in their careers who later became stars—and now wish these dreadful artifacts of their rise to fame didn’t exist, including 1991’s Cool as Ice, 2008’s The Happening, and 2011’s Love, Wedding, Marriage, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Straight to DVD

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a sketch show in which “after an unexpected fart shakes the foundation of their marriage, Off-Off-Off Broadway’s favorite married couple decide to separate, sharing custody of their adult son:” ‘Til Death Do Us Fart

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “Dr. Brothers is the hottest young doctor at Williamsburg General. But after a long hiatus doing non-profit charity surgery on Taliban soldiers, Dr. Brothers’ brother Dr. Brothers wants back in the rotation. Will Dr. Brothers forgive his brother, Dr. Brothers, and save the hospital and/or a patient? And in the B plot, can three young interns pass their prostate exam exams and become official doctors?:” Dr. Brothers

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show American Dream (long-form improv that explores what it means to grow up in America and dream big US dreams), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from a six-person troupe at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sunday School Dropouts

[TOP PICK] [FREE—and FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Comics Val Roder, Karolena Theresa, Jamie Brickhouse, and Nathaniel Cocca-Bates share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by the spectacular Natalie Wall: Awkward Poop…and the City

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Detention + Gun Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Stand-up, sketch, and/or improv from Aparna Nancherla (one of the best stand-ups in the country; writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Aaron Nemo, Alison Klemp, Mamoudou N’Diaye, Matt DeCaro, Mike Breen, and improv group Fire Fire Fire, all performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Dylan Evans: Business Casual

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): “Social media meets improv as graduates of the PIT Improv Program transform their innermost tweet- and blog-length thoughts into scene after scene, all inspired by a single suggestion” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Biscuit Out

9:00 pm ($5): Stories from duos Brian Uretta & Lou Gonzalez, Calvin Cole & Caitlin Puckett, and Dave Ebert & Krista Jensen at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenna Marucci & Aileen Think: Jenna & Aileen Think You’re Great

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Strong lineup of Jermaine Fowler (creating & starring in new CBS sitcom; star of Showtime special Give ‘Em Hell, Kid; MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Zack Bornstein (Jimmy Kimmel Live), and Mary Houlihan performing stand-up, plus sketches and more, at the UCB Chelsea theatre in the name of a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

9:30 pm ($5): Stand-ups who are single each perform a set and then participate in a dating game show, choosing among three mystery contestants based on their dating profiles at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Tinderella

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), 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; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, and Alex Pavone performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Thursday: Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Pete Lee, Jim Florentine, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Williams & Akash Bhasin: Death Comedy Jam

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[FREE] 10:30 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced & hosted by Chris Gersbeck, Lauren Hope Krass, and/or Peter Bandyk: Casual Sets

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week The Mannequin Room made dummies of Foxhole, driving it back into the ground with a 108-20 win. Tonight the plastic champions face improv group Steakhouse, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): A double-bill of one-person shows, from Amanda Giobbi and Tom Sanchez, at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Commitment Ceremony

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but it’s hosted by Gary Richardson, John Reynolds, Carmen Christopher, and Joey Dundale at the UCB East theatre: $$$

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: Stand-up open mic in which 15 walk-ins whose names are drawn from a bucket get to tell jokes on stage for 4 minutes each at UCB East hosted Brandon Scott Wolf & Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for 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 ($3): 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 downstairs lounge: Ladies Night 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] 7:00 pm: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursday 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 Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

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!)

Tickets for The Stand Comedy Club, Heavily Discounted via Goldstar

The Stand

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 Wednesday 8/3/16

August 3, 2016

Best New York Stand-Up with Myq Kaplan is a new show produced by me that lives up to its name—the debut next Friday August 5th includes Mike Lawrence, Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, and more TBA, plus host Myq Kaplan offering observations following each set. For details on this group of comedy giants, please click here. For further info on the show and to nab tickets (a mere $10 each), please click here.

Ophira & AdiraTwo exceptionally appealing comics, 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!) and Adira Amram (spectacular comedic singer & dancer; Funny or Die), perform and host Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) and Matthew Holtzclaw (magician; Penn & Teller: Fool Us): Ophira & Adira (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s C’mon Everybody at 325 Franklin Avenue)

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Ruined!

7:00 pm ($5): Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Alingon Mitra (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; The Chris Gethard Show), and Tim Dillon (Last Comic Standing) 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 Josh Gondelman (writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The New Yorker): The Sensible Show

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm-midnight: Five 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 downstairs lounge: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($11 plus 2-drink minimum): Comics tell funny true stories, then face interjections and follow-up questions from the hosts and audience, with tonight’s terrific guests Joe Machi, Roy Wood Jr., Giulia Rozzi, Drew Michael, and Vladimir Caamano at the Carolines Comedy Club hosted by Dan Perlman & Billy Prinsell: Hindsight

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Staged readings of works so bad they’re good—unsellable screenplays, baffling dramatic works, hardcore fan fiction—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), hosted by Alex Estrada & Ronan Babbitt: Table Work

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features three house groups making up scenes on the spot: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by brilliant improvisor Connor Ratliff, who we’re told “since 2012 has been training to win at least one gold medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Come join him for a final Olympic celebration before he goes to Rio” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Connor Ratliff’s Olympics Send-Off Spectacular

[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

8:30 pm ($10): A one-man show written by Willy Appelman & David Bernstein that stars Appelman and is directed by Bernstein in which “Tom and Abby are getting married! Come and celebrate their special day with all of the gloriously proud, drunk, lame, and overly excitable relatives and friends at their wedding” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Characters From A Wedding

[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

[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), 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 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; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), Greg Stone (NBC’s America’s Got Talent), Nick Whitmer (Always Be Closing podcast), and Pete Mutino performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups Subhah Agarwal, George Gordon, and Katie Compa performing stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jessica Watkins: Homespun Comedy

[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

9:30 pm ($5): A five-woman play described as follows: “After graduating college, sorority sisters make a pact to come together during various periods in their life at that time of the month to celebrate their sisterhood. They soon learn, even if you belong to the most prestigious sorority of beavers, life can get messy—PERIOD! It’s Sisterhood of Traveling Pants meets Requiem for a Dream if it was written by a teenage girl with a cast that have all done at least two improv classes and background work on HBO’s Girls” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Blood Pact

9:30 pm ($5): In this unique show, writers bring in first drafts of their sketches for actors to perform; the audience provides feedback on what did and didn’t work; and then the actors improvise a new version of the scene incorporating the audience’s critique at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Real Time Rewrites

9:30 ($5): Over a dozen talented female improvisors—including Lauren Adams, Natasha Vaynblat, and Caitlin Bitzegaio—parody all-gal opinion shows such as The View, making up most of the show on the spot based on a loose outline at at the UCB Chelsea theatre. The result is often proof that “less is more,” but if you’re very patient there are worthwhile moments to be had from The Female Gaze

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15): Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased) performs a long stand-up set, with an opening set by Elicia Sanchez, at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Hari Kondabolu

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Laurie Kilmartin (dynamite stand-up; writer for Conan O’Brien; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, VH1), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays), and Dean Delray performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Wednesday: Mark Normand, Jackie Kashian, Laurie Kilmartin, and More

[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): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

10:30 pm ($5): Booked comics try out stand-up, characters, songs, etc. at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Liz Noth, Jessica Morgan, Erin Bartley, and/or Casey McCormick: First Looks

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] 7:00 pm: Four booked NYC stand-ups, plus one open spot for an audience member whose name is pulled from a bucket, plus drop-in spots for up to five TV-credited comics who care to walk in! Spots are at least 5 minutes each, but go up by a minute per comic for every TV-credited drop-in spot that isn’t filled (e.g., if no drop-ins appear, every comic will receive up to 10 minutes per set). It all happens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Daniel Ahrens: Drop-In/The Bucket

[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

[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 downstairs lounge hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

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: 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: A gay-themed opportunity to perform improv—especially musical improv—on the UCB East stage: …XYZ 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!)

Tickets for The Stand Comedy Club, Heavily Discounted via Goldstar

The Stand

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 Sunday 5/31/15

May 31, 2015

For more discounted NYC shows, please click here

Brett Gelman

Brett Gelman (above), Colin Quinn, Chris Gethard, Michelle Wolf, Wyatt Cenac, Jermaine Fowler, Jared Logan, and more perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Bell House

Adira Amram

…and Adira Amram (above), The Reformed Whores, and The Undone Sweaters make comedic music at Brooklyn’s Union Hall

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:

6:00 pm ($5): Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

6:30 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 superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($20): Superb stand-up lineup of Colin Quinn, Chris Gethard, Michelle Wolf, Brett Gelman (not in NYC very often anymore), Wyatt Cenac, Jermaine Fowler, Jared Logan, Kevin Barnett, Cyrus Ghahremani, and Max Silvestri performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) sponsored by Vulture: Vulture Festival: Colin Quinn, Chris Gethard, Michelle Wolf, Brett Gelman, Wyatt Cenac, Jermaine Fowler, Jared Logan, and More

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5 at the door or $6.44 in advance online): Great comedic musical lineup of Adira Amram and The Experience, The Reformed Whores, and The Undone Sweaters performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall. If you know any of these groups, rejoice and go enjoy: Adira Amram, The Reformed Whores, and The Undone Sweaters

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($25.73 online using discount code TODDB, plus 2-drink min.): World-class stand-up Todd Barry (FX’s Louie, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead) headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Todd Barry

[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 Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy group Wendigo performs sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Team

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Nikki Glaser, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Jon Fisch, Keith Alberstadt, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, and Damien Lemon, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar(117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Matt Koff (writer forThe Daily Show), Doug Smith (co-host of See You In Hell), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Nick Rutherford, and Joe Fernandez performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Silvija Ozols , Morgan Philips, Abby Sher, Kevin Laibson, Brett Wean, Mike Burton, and Kevin Cragg make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Sarah Nowak & Micah Sherman: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show,former staff writer for David Letterman), John Early (30 Rock, Broad City, Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer), Nick Rutherford (writer for Saturday Night Live; sketch group Good Neighbor), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Ryan Bennett, Nick Naney, and Matt Stowe performing stand-up, plus sketch from Livia Scott (comedic chameleon;Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie; sketch groups Legs For Days andThe Livia Scott Sketch Program) and duo Good Cop Great Cop, all performing at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

8:00 pm ($5): Improv group Modern Baby makes up scenes that the tech book interjects with sound effects and songs that must be instantly incorporated into the show’s narrative at The PIT downstairs lounge: MIX TAPE Vol. 3

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using code SFBMAY; no min.): Stand-ups Dino Vigo, Reggie Conquest, Lois Thompson, and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Amanda Seales & Marc Lamont Hill: Smart, Funny, and Black

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City typically hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Strong lineup of Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Phil Hanley (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Craig Ferguson, host of Chemistry), and Megan Gailey performing stand-up at Brooklyn’sKnitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit: Kurt Metzger, Ryan Hamilton, Jared Logan, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Crystian Ramirez, and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mark Normand, Dan St. Germain, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 4:45 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Comedy dynamo Tracy Mull loves short-form improv games with a passion, and so is the perfect host for this jam that lets audience members—including you—put their names in a bucket. Tracy will then repeatedly pull out a name and a game and facilitate improv magic at The PIT upstairs theatre:Sunday School Short-Form Jam

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

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, 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’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello:Lance Bass Space Mic

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly atUCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[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’ Long Island City hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

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)

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
(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 3/29/15

March 29, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jo Firestone, Brooke Van Poppelen, and Camille Harris

Jo Firestone, Brooke Van Poppelen, Camille Harris…

Adira Amram

…and Adira Amram are among the stellar talents performing on this final day of Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Noon-10:30 pm ($40 for the entire day or $15 per event, at the door or online): To my eye, well over half of the finest comics alive are women. As just one quick example, the best filmed comedies on TV right now are Louie C.K.’s Louie (okay, guy), Abbi Jacobson’s & Ilana Glazer’s Broad City (two gals), and Inside Amy Schumer(gal). But industry hiring practices still overwhelmingly favor male comics. This and other issues will be tackled on this final day of Bad Assery, a 3-day event produced by Natalie Wall & Shaina Stigler featuring panel discussions and performances by some of the greatest comics in the country.

The clear highlight of Day #2 was Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, a.k.a. duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, who’ve been working together as sketch writer/performers since they met years ago at Sarah Lawrence College, and who’ve developed into world-class comics with a distinct voice and style that’s vibrant, fearless, dark, and endearing. Lorne Michaels, whenever you’re looking to add fresh talent, please bring these two in to perform live for you.

Other treats yesterday included a flawless hour-long stand-up set from Ophira Eisenberg that flew by. Ophira first came to prominence in NYC as one of the very best storytellers in the country, but she’s managed to also become a sharp and enormously likeable stand-up—as well as radio host of NPR’s popular trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Anotherand author of bestselling book Screw Everyone.

Also notable were panels that ranged from sexism to musical comedy to breaking out into stardom. At least as important as anything said was the lovely camaraderie and affection evident among all the comics participating.

The final day of this wonderful event includes a women-only discussion of ways to modernize show biz running from noon to 3:30 pm at Hill Country Barbecue Market (30 West 26th Street), and evening performances by such tremendous talents as Jo Firestone, Brooke Van Poppelen, Adira Amram, Rebecca Vigil, Jessica Delfino, Camille Harris, The Reformed Whores, Charla Lauriston, and (closing up the conference) veteran stand-up Judy Gold, all at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street). To nab tickets ($40 for the whole day or $15 per show), please click here; and then enjoy Day #3 of Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference

6:00 pm ($5): Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

6:30 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 superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20): A musical version of a famed 1989 movie with book by Christopher W. Barnes, music by Ryan Mercy, lyrics by Christopher W. Barnes, and produced by Ronny Pascale at The PIT upstairs theatre (for a video sneak peek, please click here): Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm (Pay Whatever You Like): “Delusional cruise ship entertainer and musical theatre fanatic Lance Johnson welcomes scheduled guests Liza Minnelli, Hugh Jackman, and Miami Sound Machine for an instantly forgettable evening of chat, song, dance, and Lance before he heads back out to sea” by Peter Michael Marino and friends at The Triple Crown Underground (330 7th Avenue, between 28th and 29th Streets): Late With Lance

7:00 pm ($5): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Tynan Delong, Lena Einbinder, Charlie Hankin, Steve Whalen, Steven Desiena, and group Wham City Comedyperforming stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman sketch show by Caitlin Hefner at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Happy Hour

[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 Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Wendigo and Buddy Club perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, and Greer Barnes at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Artie Lange, Sam Morril, Ricky Velez, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please clickhere and here), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Guy Branum (Chelsea Lately, Totally Biased), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Kate Hendricks, Nate Fernald, and Evan Williams performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It: Joe Pera, Erik Bergstrom, Guy Branum, Sam Morril, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Pay Shay, Brigid Boyle, Jon Bander, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre for this weekly show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak:People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’sThe Eric Andre Show), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, TruTV’s Friends of the People, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), and Lil Rel performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Amanda Seales: Smart, Funny, and Black

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andrew Collin: Creek Cave Live

8:00 pm ($5): Skilled improvisors Conner O’Malley, Gary Richardson, and John Reynolds perform as Hunkz ‘R Us, plus David Rysdahl & Paul Gutkowski perform as improv duo True East, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): True East and Hunkz ‘R Us

9:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

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

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, 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’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello:Lance Bass Space Mic

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly atUCB 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)

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
(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 Friday 3/27/15

March 27, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Will Forte is on Jimmy Fallon;
Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell are on
 James Corden (repeated from 3/25)

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference
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] [$] 5:00 pm-9:30 pm ($75 for the entire 3-day conference, which starts today, or $40 per day, at the door or online): To my eye, well over half of the finest comics alive are women. As just one quick example, the best filmed comedies on TV right now are Louie C.K.’s Louie (okay, guy), Abbi Jacobson’s & Ilana Glazer’s Broad City (two gals), and Inside Amy Schumer (gal). But industry hiring practices still overwhelmingly favor male comics. This and other issues will be tackled at Bad Assery, a new 3-day conference produced by Natalie Wall (host of storytelling showAwkward Sex and the City) and Shaina Stigler (member of musical improv group Dagger). Although Bad Assery isn’t calling itself a festival, it’s featuring performances by some of the greatest comics in the country, so I expect it’ll be a highly entertaining event for anyone who loves comedy. It all happens today through Sunday at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) and Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). To nab tickets ($75 for all three days or $40 for a single day), please click here; and then look forward to enjoying Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A staged version of a TV episode written just for this show, with tonight’s subject Parks & Recreation presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Artie Lange, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show, and Dave Attell, Marina Franklin, Joe Tucker, Ricky Velez, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 12:15 am show, with all of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [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): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm ($5 at the door or $6.95 online, plus $10 drink min.): Camille Harris (irresistible singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, music album Silly Jazz) performing songs along with Wayne Tucker and David Linard at the Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop): Camille Harris and More at Rockwood Stage 3

7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” atThe Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

7:00 pm ($5): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

7:00 pm ($5): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, arguably the two best scripted shows currently at UCB on a single wonderful double-bill. First, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about her the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and then a smart, hilarious parody of The Wizard of Oz involving zombies, feminism, and the Hollywood system that must not be missed, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed and co-starring the fabulous Laura Grey: Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A Groundlings-trained improvisor, sketch comic, and stand-up who’s a regular on Chelsea Lately and After Lately headlining tonight through Saturday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Fortune Feimster

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): 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—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A superb Back to the Future parody with songs and special effects live on stage. The show starts out too slowly in the present time, but becomes quite fun once Marty travels to the past; and by Act 2 it’s a hilarious romp that I highly recommend. The show is by Christopher W. Barnes (book), Ryan Mercy (music) and Christopher W. Barnes (lyrics), produced by Ronny Pascale, and featuring a cast of over a dozen comics performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: That 80s Time Travel Movie: The UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’sGuy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan) sponsored by stellar comedy club The Stand: The Stand Presents Judah Friedlander, Ben Bailey, Jermaine Fowler, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($21.69 online or $25 at the door): 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; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Joyelle Johnson, Anthony DeVito, Frank Liotti, Charles McBee, and Katherine Williams performing stand-up for a fundraiser at Flux Factory (39-21 29th Street) in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Liz Magee: Funny by Nature Fundraiser: Ted Alexandro, Aparna Nancherla, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Marina Franklin, and More

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

8:00 pm ($5): “Long, long ago, by the banks of the river Marinara, where breadstick trees grew in unlimited amounts, in the steamy valley of mozzarella, there was a sleepy little hamlet known as the town of pizza. And the people of this town were a simple, smiling folk, who loved soft drinks, and arcade games, and maintained a friendly family atmosphere. Oh, they were an eclectic bunch: a mayor with a gluttonous lust for power; a bum who tasted glory but lost it all; a fisherman desperate for one last bite. But in one house lived a man who was…a little different” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Slice of Life

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show “randomly pairs duos from the world of comedy. They have one week to prepare a comedy set for the physically and emotionally taxing Battlebowl where these teams will compete against one another”—with tonight’s contestants Christi Chiello & Becca Kauffman, John Reynolds & Dru Johnston, Edy Modica & Gary Richardson, Nora Isabella & Ben Wasserman, Mike Abrusci & Joel Kim Booster, and Charles Gould & Madonna Eleganza Refugia—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis & Darren Mabee:The Lethal Lottery

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Casey James Salengo: Creek Cave Live

[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 Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Connor Ratliff, Jordan Klepper, Don Fanelli, 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 ($10): 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5 at the door or $6.27 online; the latter is recommended because this will probably sell out): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host ofPunderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this show in which Jo and other improvisors live-dub over muted episodes of well-known sitcoms—which tonight are Will and Grace and, more dangerously, The Cosby Show—to create entirely new story lines on the spot. “Watch as your classic Friends episode takes on a film noir spin, or how everyone in Cheers just wants to talk about pizza” at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue): Live Dubbed Sitcoms

9:30 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Ali Levin in which “Miami’s most beloved spicy Cuban Holistic Wellness Counselor Viviana Cortez is on a quest to answer life’s toughest questions while healing her clients one churro at a time” at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Steps to Salbachun

9:30 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Juice

9:30 pm ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Marina Franklin, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which 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 Magnettheatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Andrew Law (Seth Meyers), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV; co-star ofGUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Katie Kester (host of The Later Show), Ramon Rivas II (Nerdist), and Sharon Spell (host of Big Shrink) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): “A showcase of bizarre comedy entertainers. Can power producers Nick Zielinski and Micah Phillips pull off this high stakes show or will their evil overlords destroy them? Come and find out” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Starlight Entertainment

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Forever Dog about ” a seemingly sleepy town sitting at the base of an active volcano” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Volcano Town

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy blended with dance, poetry, and live music at The PIT downstairs lounge from groupHis Majesty, The Baby

11:30 pm ($7): A sketch show from Ari Miller, Dmitry Shein, Trumane Alston, and Michael Delisle at The Magnettheatre: Bedlam

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Fearless, innovative dark comedy gal duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) briefly return to The PIT downstairs lounge (while Leah is in NYC for the weekend) to show off their darker B-side sketches. In their words, “Katie and Leah get it. You don’t go to a Rolling Stones concert waiting to see Jagger sing ‘Paint it Black.’ You didn’t spend $300 on scalped tickets to watch Beyonce perform ‘Single Ladies’ or ‘Drunk in Love.’ You want the obscure! The less catchy! The slightly shitty! Well, we’ve got them for you! Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (known throughout the entire world as the Beyonce of sketch comedy) is back at The PIT for one night only performing the weirder, wilder, and wonderful B-Side sketches that you love, you just don’t know it yet,” plus musical guests The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors): Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “For over nine years, you have been able to count on the UCBW to bring you hot comedy wrestling action each and every Thursday night at Cage Match. For an unprecedented tenth year, UCBW will present its signature show—the grandpappy of ’em all—WrestleSlamMania X! Rivalries have been brewing, and everything will come to a full boil when the full roster of UCBW MegaStars appears in the squared circle! Hilarious real wrestling matches live! Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!:” WrestleSlamMania X

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Friday 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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge forHappy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

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)

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
(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.