NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/14/14

May 14, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Tina Fey is on Seth Meyers

Abby Holland

Rising star Abby Holland performs in sketch show Fuck Judy Towers

Adira Amram

…and the spectacular Adira Amram sings and dances at Amanda Duarte’s Dead Darlings

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:

7:00 pm ($5): NYC comics are panelists for this game show in which “four smart, funny people are quizzed on odd and obscure bits of trivia that just might save your life (probably not, though)” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by MIchael FIsher: Pop Quiz Hotshot

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, plus a free improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Hotspur and Apollo: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-woman show by Langan Dice Kingsley provides “a sweeping exploration of the challenges of parenthood, the subtleties of literature, the nature of love, the allure of alcohol, the cult of celebrity, the beauty of the store Anthropologie, and the power of dance:” The Dicewoman Cometh

…and in the other half of this double-bill, “a comedic exploration of why we love to hate the women we do” written by & starring Abby Holland (rising star; VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Dagger, Aquarius, and Veal), Molly Gaebe, Jenn Roman, and Julie Rosing, and directed by the brilliant Ellena Chmielewski: Fuck Judy Towers

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of comedy hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte (young), with Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious singer/songwriter/dancer; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Adam Feldman (Time Out New York theatre critic), Ann Carr (Web series The Actress, sketch group Legs for Days), and Mike Albo performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Laura Prangley (SNL, Comedy Central), and DJ Rekha (CNN, NPR, PBS) being interviewed and/or performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James Bewley: Dale Radio Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam) hosts all shows tonight, whose lineups include Neal Brennan, Gary Gulman, and Marina Franklin at the 8:00 show; Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Ralph Harris at the 9:45 show; and Nikki Glaser, Dov Davidoff, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE BACON] 8:00 pm: Mark Normand (rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Peggy O’Leary, Randy Syphax, Marlena Rodriguez, Brian DeMoy, and Carolyn Busa performing stand-up or sketch at this show that provides you with both free comedy and free bacon at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kevin Berrey and/or Farah Brook: Free Bacon

[$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Nick DiPaolo, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Andy Hendrickson (David Letterman), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Alex Carabano (CBS’ The Job), Jeremy Essig, George Gordon, and Joe Giarratano performing stand-up at 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?

9:15 pm ($8): Sketch comedy from groups Pirate Sugar, Necrosexual (Jimmy Viola), Cool Kid Comedy, Don’t Touch That Comedy, and UniSex, character sketch from Julia Lundy and Brendan McLaughlin, plus music from Positive Feedback, and more at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Andy Beckerman (Beginnings): May Sketch Block

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[FREE] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using code CREEPS; no min.): Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): The Creeps of Comedy: Nikki Glaser, Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, 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’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Gary Richardson (Chicago iO) guest-hosts as many as a dozen comics packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. (Tonight’s lineup includes Sasheer Zamata, Jason Saenz, Jeff Simmermon…and did I mention Sasheer Zamata? For the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): “Marshall York & Lucas Kavner are a rock duo that reunites only to break apart on the stage. Both will ask the audience to write down their favorite songs prior to the set. After a random drawing, they will then play those songs. Join them as they reminisce about the old times, old friends, and somewhat new lovers that make up a musical journey” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Monumentalists (Musical Improv)

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] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character 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’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Wednesday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

10:00 pm ($5): Randomly selected UCBT students perform with UCBT improv veterans at the UCB East theatre: The Lottery

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

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

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

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

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

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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/22/14

April 22, 2014

TV Alert: Tonight’s Inside Amy Schumer includes a hilarious sketch with supermodel Chrissy Teigen. Tune in at 10:30 pm and 2:30 am on Comedy Central; and for highlights of the red-hot Season 2 to date, please click here.

Also, don’t miss @midnight, which features luminous & brilliant comics Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair; plus Rob Huebel, who was personally slapped across the face by Chevy Chase.

Chris Gethard

Chris Gethard is joined by Mike Birbiglia, Eugene Mirman, Michael Che, Shannon O’Neill, and more to celebrate the release of his first Comedy Album

Adira Amram

…and a musical extravaganza with Adira Amram…

Rebecca Vigil

…Rebecca Vigil, and more at Sharon Spell’s The Big Shrink

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A potentially fascinating inside look at what goes on in a comedy writers’ room, allowing you to “watch a group of seasoned joke writers put together a late night talk show opening monologue,” with comics Angry Bob, Joey Novick, and host Neil Berliner collaborating at The PIT upstairs theatre: Fly on the Wall: Inside a Monologue Writers’ Room

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:00 pm ($8): “Remember the happy, bouncy, Broadway-loving Rosie O’Donnell of the ’90s? Jody Shelton, Douglas Widick, and Sudi Green sure do! Come see them recreate the primarily color-heavy, Tom Cruise adoration-filled show that you loved watching with your mom,” with tonight’s mob of guests including Anna Rose Roisman and Becky Chicoine performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Rosie O’Donnell Show!

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A one-woman show that promises “a traditional Muslim woman who’s been doing stand-up every time she is able to leave the house without her husband noticing” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Ali Bibi: The Good, The Bad and The Burka

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Graceland, GoodGirl, and Greg at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A spectacular musical extravaganza, with Adira Amram (singing & dancing phenomenon), Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer The Vigilante), The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; new album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), DNA Comedy (The Actors Fund), and more performing at UCB East hosted by Sharon Spell and possibly featuring Jill the Shrink Dancer: The Big Shrink

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Host Joe List says, “All year we hear about climate change issues. Let’s not spend the day we celebrate Earth angry and afraid for our planet. This event is about enjoying life, laughing, and reconnecting with what we’re trying to save. Two short discussions about the climate problem and solutions people can support, led by Climate Reality Presenter Dan Bourbeau, will be between comedians sets. Last year’s show included performances from Colin Quinn, Rich Vos, and Gary Gulman. This year’s lineup is being confirmed” at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge: Second Annual NY Earff Day Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Hannibal Buress (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City and Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show; former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago, host of Comedy Night), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Hannibal Buress, Gary Gulman, and More

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Mike Britt, Josh Carter, Ray DeVito, and Lil performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo and and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Sue Smith, Dion Flynn, Debbie Meisenzahl, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up or sketch for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy, improv, and stand-up from comics including Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Abbi Crutchfield (Comedy Central), and Nick Carrillo (G.U.S., Funny or Die) at The PIT upstairs theatre produced & directed by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

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

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Marianne Schaberg with a nod to Marie-Antoinette: Let Them Eat Jokes

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm doors, 8:30 pm show ($16.30 in advance online, or $12 at the door…except this will probably sell out in advance): Comedy genius Chris Gethard (Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York) celebrates the release of his first comedy album with a bunch of his friends—Mike Birbiglia (one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country; feature film Sleepwalk with Me; three Comedy Central specials, multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live), Eugene Mirman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night, The Lady Jam) and more—at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): Chris Gethard Has Both a Comedy Album and Friends

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (not announced) 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 and hosted tonight by Matt Ruby: Hot Soup

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Kevin McCaffrey, Robert Dean, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups The Regulars, Higgins, and Namaste at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): 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.), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), and more performing at the UCB East theatre hosted by Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine): Blaria Live Stand-Up Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): A mash-up of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and HBO’s Girls in a critically acclaimed 50 minutes that’s reportedly “brilliant” and “hysterical” at The PIT upstairs lounge: Women

9:30 pm ($8): Sketch comedy group Awful DJ (Bill Grandberg, Cory Cavin, and Josh Lay) hosts this variety show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Awful DJ

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): A super-affordable stand-up club show featuring Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, TruTV), and Danny Palmer performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glaser, Michelle Buteau, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Mark Normand (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), James Smith (Australian comic; HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central; for stand-up video on what it’s like to be Australian in New York, please click here), Ralph Harris (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, Comedy Central Half Hour, Dream Girls, Evan Almighty), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Mark Normand, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Chris Laker (host of The Show) practices stand-up material for his comedy album taping later that week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Chris Laker

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

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open-mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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] 6:15 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 downstairs lounge hosted by Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys Open MIc

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Tuesday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:15: Sign up at 9:30 pm for the opportunity to make up a musical on the spot with The Magnet improv group Wonderland: Magnet Musical Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/13/12

December 13, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jon Glaser

Jon Glaser (Delocated)…

Adira Amram and Janeane Garofalo

…Adira Amram and Janeane Garofalo…

Chris Gethard and Arden Myrin

…comedy genius Chris Gethard, and more perform at Arden Myrin’s blowout holiday show: The Party Machine

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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Michelle Markowirz (Failing Our Twenties) and Zach Dressler guest-host this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress (while usual host John Flynn entertains Hong Kong): Oh, Hey Guys!

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv troupe Adorable mixes with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

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

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Punchbowl and THEM

[$] 7:00 pm ($20): Sue Costello (Last Comic Standing finalist, star of 1998 FOX sitcom Costello) performs a 90-minute one-woman show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Minus 32 Million Words

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Fran Gillespie, Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Tim Martin, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot (formerly named Diamond Lion): KOSMOS Musical Improv

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15 at the door or $18.88 in advance online): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s holiday blowout featuring TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Jon Glaser (star of Adult Swim’s Delocated; long-time writer/performer for Conan O’Brien), Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; co-star with Kurt Braunohler of Night of the Living; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), and more performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues): The Party Machine

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[$] 8:00 pm ($41 plus 2-drink minimum): A former Saturday Night Live star, cast member of Showtime’s Weeds, star of his own Comedy Central special, and actor in over two dozen comedy feature films—including Anger Management, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Daddy Day Care, Get Smart, and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan—headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kevin Nealon

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hemlock and Dagger

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Featherweight, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by The Narrator (a storyteller tells a tale, based on audience suggestions, which other improvisors then turn into a musical on the spot), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), tonight featuring a wild three-way battle between Upstate, Brick, and Eaglefox: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[$] 8:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO, ABC, NBC, and Comedy Central headlining through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mario Cantone

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Kunal Arora, and Josh Rabinowitz performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): A. J. Daulerio (Editor-in-Chief of Gawker), Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer (Broad City), Jean Grae (rapper/hip-hop producer), and Julianne Smolinski (@boobsradley) performing and sharing insider stories at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Scott R.: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney perform new sketches at UCB Chelsea, as well as host stand-up and improv guests: BriTANicK: The Monthly Mankerthon

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a cheesy genre feature film—with tonight’s victim 1962’s KIng Kong Vs. Godzilla—at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Two UCBT weekend improv troupes, Grandma’s Ashes and What I Did for Love, compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central), Jason Salmon (30 Rock, and Mike Recine (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at UCB East as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Nathan Anderson: /r/standup

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/23/12

August 23, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Adira Amram and Billy Holiday

Adira Amram puts on a Brooklyn Dance Party; LIvia Scott becomes Billie Holiday at Livia’s Castle of Enchantment…

Tom Shillue and Reggie Watts

…Tom Shillue hosts Funny Story; and Reggie Watts is among the stars at Kevin Allison’s Risk!

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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Sue Galloway (The Law Firm) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Popular UCBT star & Chris Gethard Show icon Vacation Jason tonight auditions his own production, Vacation Jason’s Island Flavors, at 7:00 pm. And before that are two shows I know nothing about—The State vs. Josh: The Trial of The Millenials and Boob Tube—also auditioning for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. At $1.66 per show, it’s hard to go wrong with Spank

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Diner and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life at UCB East, with magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Dirty Movie) hosting tonight as Billie Holiday, Sherman Hemsley, and Truman Capote. Joining the party will be stand-up Jason Saenz, musical guest Happy Lives, and sword swallower The Lady Aye: Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm doors, 8:00 pm Heloise, 9:00 pm Adira ($10 at the door or $11.78 online): Adira Amram is a fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter who won the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act. She and her backup dancers, “The Experience,” will wow you at a special performance tonight at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). If you want to come early, you can see musical group Heloise and The Savoir Faire for the same ticket; plus after Adira there’ll be a bona fide dance party: Adira Amram and the Experience: Dance Party

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups & storytellers in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Trace Crutchfield (TV series Unconventionally Yours with Trace Crutchfield), and Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central; co-host of The Party Machine): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Matt Hobby & Mary Grill have a love deeper than one thousand really deep oceans. Through storytelling and sketch comedy, Matt & Mary show you the characters who helped them on their journey from fiancés to newlyweds:” Tying the Knot

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a sketch show about one of the sadder aspects of the human condition: Lonely People

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Rick Andrews directing The Weave (organic freeform improv “with no rules”), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), featuring Eaglefox vs. The Wrath: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

9:00 pm ($5): Calise Hawkins, Mike Recine, Seaton Smith, Missy Baker, Grant Gordon, and Brendan Fitzgibbons, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCBT stars Neil Casey (Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) in a two-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea directed by Michael Delaney: Small Men

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Comedy Central special; Jimmy Fallon; Electric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Erin Barker (Moth GrandSlam champion, co-host of The Story Collider), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here), and Jaqi Furback performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme So Emotional at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, kicked the crap out of troupe Kinsey last week 125-21. Tonight Good Dad plans to punish veteran duo The Brothers Hines as these two teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite people, Julie Sharbutt—who’s performed with some of the greatest improvisors alive at UCBT’s Gravid Water—tonight goes for improv gold herself with comedy partner Liz Wisan at The PIT downstairs lounge in a very accurately named show: Smart & Attractive

11:00 pm ($5): “Secret movie screenings of movies you probably haven’t seen and/or should see again” at UCB East (which used to be a movie theatre) hosted by Ryan Karels (Grandma’s Ashes, Krompf), Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers), JD Amato (Harold Night), and Mike Roth (Two Boots Video): Secret Movie Show Presented by Two Boots Video

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 9/24/11

September 24, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

Arden Myrin and Adira Amram

Arden Myrin and Adira Amram are among the stellar talents at The Party Machine....

Jester's Dead

...and "Top Gun" goes Shakespearean in the movie parody "Jester's Dead"

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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

6:00 pm ($5): Terrific improv troupe Listen, Kid!, plus troupes Bobby Teenager and Scoresby, kicking off your Saturday evening at The Magnet Theater’s The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions—at UCB West all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft making up a play on the spot at The Magnet: Theory of Everything

7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred on two seasons of Last Comic Standing; has performed a very popular Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; was a regular on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; was the first white comic on Def Jam; wrote for Chris Rock; played Lenny Bruce on NBC’s American Dreams; was an unlikely guest on The View; and is a regular on the Opie and Anthony radio show, headlining at the Gotham Comedy Club: Rich Vos

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A writer/comic who’s currently playing Leon Black on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has performed on Saturday Night Live, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV, The Chris Rock Show, and such feature films as Pootie Tang and Mr. Deeds,headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: JB Smoove

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Joe List, and Gary Vider performing stand-up at One and One (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) at Sean Donnelly’s Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5 at the door or $7.63 online): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s guests Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; host of Joe Mande Presents at Carolines, co-host of Totally J/K; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), and Chaz Kangus (rapper) performing at Brooklyn’s Union HallThe Party Machine: Slumber Party Edition

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup is virtually never announced in advance; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days,A Guy Thing), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Annie Lederman performing stand-up at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B) hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Gary Gulman, Jon Fisch, Wil Sylvince, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now at The PIT: Political Subversities

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and other stellar improvisors interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio at UCBwest’s The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion at The Magnet’s Choral Rage

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare. I haven’t seen it, but this sketch-based parody is likely to be great. Debuting tonight at The PIT: Jester’s Dead

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): A sharp improv troupe consisting of writers for The Onion and Jimmy Fallon debuting a late night talk show—sort of—at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): The Night Night Show with Pangea 3000

[FREE] Midnight: A broad mix of comedy acts at the debut of this monthly variety show at The PIT: Late Night with Taylor Clark

Midnight ($5): Sketch comedy troupe Hammerkatz NYU and some (presumably obscure) sketch troupe TBA compete for audience laughs and votes, with troupe Sidecar hosting, in Backyard Brawl

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

 For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 9/10/11

September 10, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

TJ Miller

TJ Miller tells jokes and sings at UCBeast...

Nick DiPaolo

...Nick DiPaolo headlines at the Gotham Comedy Club...

Sean Patton and Adira Amram

...and Sean Patton & Adira Amram perform in Brooklyn's Union Hall for Greg Barris' "Heart of Darkness"

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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Sharp NYC comics tell tales of “the role that got away” in these behind-the-scenes audience of broken dreams at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok: Role Call

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions—at UCBwest all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft making up a play on the spot at The Magnet: Theory of Everything

7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at the new UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1), Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon), and Rob O’Reilly (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Karma Lounge (51 First Avenue, off 3rd Street) with guest host Adam Mamawala: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Kevin McCaffrey (David Letterman, MTV), and Josh Rabinowitz at this “comedy chat show with boundary issues” that has stand-ups perform sets and then be interviewed about their personal lives: at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like “oh yeah, that guy is a mess”): We’re All Friends Here

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A comic’s comic who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, HBO, FX’s Louie, and three Comedy Central specials headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sean Donnelly, Sharon Spell, Kendra Cunningham, Erik Bergstrom, Danny Lobell, and Ash Louis performing at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Liz Simons & Evan Morgenstern: SNC: Hot Blooded

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup hasn’t been announced; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel at The PIT’s downstairs lounge as they provide you a drink On the House

[TOP PICK]  8:00 pm doors, show is probably 8:15-8:30 pm ($8 at the door or $10.70 in advanceonline): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Adira’s dad & ace musician David Amram, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): “This ridiculous music album is TJ’s first, last, and latest installment of his trilogy Music: Who Even Cared?. Please join him for standup comedy, and live performance of only two or three of the songs from the album” at the new UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): The Extended Play E.P. Music Album Release Party with TJ Miller

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

9:00 pm ($7): Two tough guys from the 1930s explaining the ins and outs of Hollywood at improv show Listen Kid!

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now at The PIT: Political Subversities

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A sketch show and birthday celebration with a small army of comics participating, taped for posterity, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Too Late With Zachary Sims

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won last year’s ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—performing this monthly show at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Murderfist

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and other stellar improvisors interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio at UCBwest’s The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion at The Magnet’s Choral Rage

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Rob Lathan as hilarious hip version of Jeff Foxworthy, Jeff Rubin (College Humor), Lang Fisher (The Onion), Riley Soloner (UCBT improv troupe Mr. Crime), Frank Hejl (Dance Break, UCBT improv troupe Onassis), and Marshall Stratton & Shalyah Elizabeth Evans (Casual Sex Offenders) “celebrate the seedy and urbane life in America; think of us as The Prairie Home Companion, just a little more fucked up” at the new UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Andy Rocco’s Underground Americana

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Top improvisors pair up for one night only: Neil Casey (Death By Roo Roo) and Connor Ratliff (Dance Break), Jim Santangeli (The Curfew) and Tim Martin (Airwolf), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers) and Aaron Jackson (Sandino), and Fran Gillespie (The Law Firm) and an audience member—plus musical guest Casey Blac and host Don Fanelli, at UCBwest’s Couples Skate

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups in a late-night talk show format at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Che: Michael Che’s Community Service

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

 For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 7/30/11

July 30, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Arden Myrin and Janeane Garofalo

Arden Myrin and Janeane Garofalo celebrate Arden's One-Year Anniversary of "The Party Machine"

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) performing an improvised play at The PIT’s downstairs lounge in What a Year!

7:00 pm ($5): Best friends Kathy Salerno (storyteller at Risk!) and Emily Altman (sketch comic forOnassis) form a sketch comedy duo directed by a friend of mine, the forever young and sexy Amanda Duarte: Total Sweethearts

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions—all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Adam Newman (MTV,College Humor), Danny Solomon (Meatsteak), and musical guest Grace McLean performing at theMagnet Theatre for Adam Lerman’s and Willy Appleman’s Deep Traffic

[$] 8:00 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:30 am ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed a Comedy Central Presents special and is a cast member of Ugly Americans, and has also appeared on Last Comic Standing, Showtime, and VH1, headlining tonight at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kurt Metzger

[$] 8:00 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on 30 Rock, VH1, and his own Comedy Central Presents special headlining tonight at the Gotham Comedy Club: Godfrey

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

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): Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Eliot Chang, Tony Woods, Andrew Schulz, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club’s A-List

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A rotating cast of improv veterans performing scenes springboarding off monologues by Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz: The Armando Diaz Experience

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] 10:00ish pm ($7.63 online—which may end up being the only way to get in, because this show will probably sell out): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s thoroughly wonderful guests TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Jena Friedman (newest staff writer for David Letterman), Bobby Tisdale (head writer for Jimmy Fallon), James Adomian (finalist on Last Comic Standing), Moshe Kasher (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, IFC), and Brent Weinbach performing at Brooklyn’s Union HallThe Party Machine: One Year Anniversary!

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King interviews an audience member about where he or she grew up and then creates an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Thin Skin Jonny. They had it all. They were icons, legends, anti-folk superstars. However, tragedy struck and they broke up, citing an alleged statutory charge, gay porn addiction, and Four Loko abuse. Now, two months later, they’re back to do one last show—a benefit! Can they find a way to get along long enough to raise the money needed to re-animate the corpse of Bea Arthur? Maybe, with your help!” Performers include Ari Scott, with direction from Pam Murphy: Thin Skin Jonny: Farewell Reunion Tour

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.