NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/18/15

February 18, 2015

Louis C.K. has a new comedy special. Nab it for a mere $5 here.
If you haven’t seen Julie Sharbutt’s Moved, learn more here.

TV Alert: Nick Kroll and Matthew Perry are hosted
by Thomas Lennon on The Late Late Show;
Kathy Griffin is on Seth Meyers;
Rob Corrdry is on Carson Daly;
Broad City does “The Matrix” at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Natalie Wall

Natalie Wall (above), Sasheer Zamata, Kevin Allison, and more tell stories at Robin Gelfenbien’s Yum’s the Word

Ali Wong

…and Ali Wong performs stand-up at Comedy Cellar and Gandhi, Is That You?

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and/or more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

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: NYC stand-up Raj Sivaraman is appearing on Jeopardy tonight. This free live screening is for friends to cheer him on and hope he wins, and you’re free to join them at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Jeopardy Screening to Cheer for Raj

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm show ($20 at the door or $18.50 online—price includes slices of homemade ice cream cakes): Star storytellers Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show and podcast Risk!, owner of The Story Studio), Natalie Wall (host of Awkward Sex and the City), and Colin Dempsey (NPR) tell personal tales at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) with free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm [$] ($25): Ophira Eisenberg and friends tape their comedy trivia radio show live at Brooklyn’sThe Bell House (149 7th Street): Ask Me Another

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 Buchanan, Astronomy Club, and Big Revival: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro, Ali Wong, and Dan Soder at the 8:00 show; Michael Che, Mark Normand, Joe Machi, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Nikki Glaser, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), 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), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Tom Cowell, Naomi Karavani, Evan Jones, and Chris Williams performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Katherine Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up: Dave Hill, Aparna Nancherla, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Storytelling from Norm Lewis (starred in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway), Jordan McDonough, and The Bitchy Waiter, plus game “Craigslist Ad or Casting Notice?”, at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by the quick-witted & endearing Katharine Heller (Naked in a Fishbowl): Tell the Bartender

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the highly talented Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp perform in a fucked-up show about twins who sing, dance, and screw each other: Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a gay-themed improv show featuring stellar comics Brandon Scott Jones, Aaron Jackson, Josh Sharp, and more: Ass Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: James Ferrarella & Eric Smith perform as a musical comedy duo, and also host other comics, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Listen Brother

8:00 pm ($7; no min.): NYC stand-ups Mike Dobbins, Janelle James, Eagle Witt, Tim Warner, Anthony DeVito, Omar Shaukat, and Carmen Lagala performing at Brooklyn’s Dean Street (755 Dean Street) hosted by Seena Jon: Dean Street Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’sAre You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Nate Fridson, Dan Shaki, Scott Sharp, and Chris Hamilton performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis:Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Ace improvisors Shannon O’Neill and Tami Sagher team with their talented pals to brilliantly make up scenes on the spot at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Josh Gondelman (HBO’sLast Week Tonight), and Ken Schultz (Nerdmelt) performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code GRIFT; no min.): Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Casey Balsham performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Lynne Koplitz, Seaton Smith, Pat Dixon, 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] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors pair up as scene-inventing duos for one night only at the UCB East theatre hosted by comedy giants Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell: Couples Skate

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

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at theStand 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’ Long Island City 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 Improv Mixer

[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

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 hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Guilt Trip

[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] 11:15 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 Thursday 3/27/14

March 27, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you missed Todd Barry on TV this week, catch  his set
on Conan O’Brien here and his birthday on @midnight here;
and buy Todd’s new comedy tour video here

Cyndi Freeman

Cyndi Freeman is among the colorful ace storytellers at Leslie Goshko’s Sideshow Goshko

Ali Wong

…and Ali Wong, Aparna Nancherla, and other stellar stand-ups raise money for an injured colleague at A Benefit Show For Liza Dye

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] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Cyndi Freeman (Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, burlesque performer , co-host of And I Am Not Lying and The Standard Issues), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), and Diana Spechler (author of Skinny) performing at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) hosted by the lovely Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) and featuring such charms as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK]7:00 pm ($8): Storytellers Jefferson, Lori Baird, and Paul Swartz tell tales about “times in our lives that we wish we could take back, that make us feel icky and weird and gross and clumpy; times that hurt to talk about because they are irreversible” at The Tank Theater (151 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues): Bad Feelings: Not Proud of It

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril with hosts J. W. Crump and Jordan Hirsch: Gas Station Horror

7:00 pm ($5): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Greg Stone, Tim Dillon, and Raj Sivamaran performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:00 pm ($10): All-gal improv group Gilda, plus guest group Theme From Jurassic Park, make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gilda’s Date Night

[$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ali Wong and Marina Franklin at the 7:45 show; Ali Wong and James Smith at the 8:00 show; Ali Wong, Joe Matarese, and Andy Hendrickson at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, James Smith, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), and Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever) performing stand-up or sketch to raise funds to pay fellow comic Liza Dye’s hospital bills (while her left leg recovers from her being struck by a subway train) at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Justin Perez & Naomi Ekperigin: #HelpLiza: A Benefit Show For Comedian Liza Dye

[TOP PICK]8:00 pm ($10): Mark DeMayo performs a one-man show about his 20 years as an NYC cop—which he then traded for a career in stand-up—at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Peter Michael Marino: 20 & Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sharp comic Alan Starzinski (Sandino, Fat Penguin) performs a clever one-man sketch show in which he plays characters ranging from Aquaman to Gary Busey to the rescue pilot at the end of Jurassic Park at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Guys You Love to Hate

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Chris Gethard, Dan St. Germain, Adrienne Iapalucci, Sam Morril, Stuckey & Murray, and more audition their stand-up skills for TV at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Auditions for Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Genus ((long form improv that takes the suggestion of a genre and then improvises an entire show in that genre), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Rob Penty at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): A “special” guest, plus stand-ups Matteo Lane, James Patterson, and Billy Dotter performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Greg Stone, and Rogin Kim performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

8:30 pm ($5): Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), John Early (30 Rock), Ryan McKee (blogger for MTV’s Guy Code), Hadiyah Robinson, and Alex Edelman performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Sean Crespo (co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), and Kate Greathead telling daring personal tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s theme Freedom for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at A Non-Daily Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Monroe Martin, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Carmen Lynch, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly comedy variety show featuring sketch, character bits, and stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Comedic Information

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera ((for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre, with tonight’s guest comics TBA: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit won its 8th victory in a row by virtually obliterating team Detroit with a score of 127-13. Tonight FTS aims to set ablaze group Gulf Oil for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): Improvisors (who might include powerhouse musical improvisor Rebecca Vigil) take an audience suggestion of a band and then make up an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Stories Behind the Music

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix 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 2 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

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

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 Thursday 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

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

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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 Wednesday 2/19/14

February 19, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

To hear the spectacularly wonderful Natasha Leggero demonstrate she has the best laugh in comedy, watch last night’s @midnight, which also features the uniquely hilarious Brett Gelman and the needy Tom Lennon
(actually, Tom is @m’s producer, and also great; really fun show)

Abbi & Ilana go to a party celebrating global disaster on the
new episode of Broad City at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Mike Birbiglia

A top comic relates fantasies that are acted out by top improvisors at Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

Ali Wong

…and Ali Wong is part of an all-star lineup at the 9:45 Comedy Cellar

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): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for SNL’s Mike O’Brien, Chris Gethard, Christina Gausas, Tami Sagher, and/or Aidy Bryant: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

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

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

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, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight Big Jay Oakerson hosts all shows, featuring Ralph Harris, James Smith, Keith Robinson, and Dan Soder at the 8:00 show; an all-star lineup of Kevin Meaney, Ali Wong, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Keith Alberstadt at the 9:45 show; and Jena Friedman, Kurt Metzger, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here) and Brooks Wheelan (cast member of Saturday Night Live) perform stand-up, and hosts Ethan Beach & Jameson Doris perform duo improv, at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Are Little Boys

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, writer/performers Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli demonstrate perfect comedic timing—coupled with sorta terrible singing, sketch comedy, and a PowerPoint presentation—for a very silly show aiming to prove “Billy Joel is the greatest recording artist of all time.” I hope these guys aim for something meatier and more resonant to tackle next time, because they’ve got chops, which is especially evident at the dynamic start when they interact with the audience; but in the meantime you’re likely to enjoy Sketches From an Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show

…and in the second half of this double-bill, with all the subjects in the world and beyond to tackle, for some reason this show goes after “spoiler alerts.” If you’re not catch up on your TV and movie viewing, there will indeed be some major spoilers (albeit ones that most folks know about—e.g., “Red Wedding”); but aside from the tension of wondering whether some beloved series is going to be ruined for you, this is pretty tame fare. That said, it’s a relatively painless way to kill 30 minutes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Spoiler Alert: This is a Sketch Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Dan Licata, Kyle Ayers, Mary Houlihan, Julio Torres, and Joel Kim Booster in this monthly show that “puts comics inside of a video game that plays itself” and offers prizes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Steven DeSiena & Stephen Whalen: You and the Screen

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this 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: Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome), Ryan Conner (contributing Writer to SNL’s Weekend Update), Matt Broussard (Comedy Central), Omar Thompson (BET’s One Mic Stand), Dan Frigolette (The Artie Lange Show), Alexis Guerreros, and Mike Camerlengo 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?: Sabrina Jalees, Roger Hailes, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show written by Livia, Hunter Nelson, Elizabeth Ellis, Chris Wescott, and Todd Hanson, and that stars Livia, Keisha Zollar, Michael Hartney, and half a dozen other comics at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): 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) at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[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: Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. (Tonight’s lineup includes Leslie Meisel, Casey Jost & Dan Black, Sharon Spell, and Kat Burdick; 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

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

10:30 pm ($3): Biweekly open mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[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

10:30 pm ($3): Biweekly open mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/4/14

January 4, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ali Wong

Ali Wong performs stand-up at the 8:45, 9:15, 10:30, and 12:15 shows of Comedy Cellar…

Reid Faylor

…and Reid Faylor makes stand-ups do anything EXCEPT stand-up—and then gives you free cake—at Underbelly

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] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Steve Zimmer (The Moth GrandSlam Champion), Micaela Blei (The Moth Unchained Tour), Catie Lazarus (host of Employee of the Month), and Rory Scholl. Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Gilda, The Theme From Jurassic Park, The Gang, and Big Fat Liars kicking off Saturday evening at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include SNL’s Michael Che at all shows, comedy dynamo Ali Wong at the 8:45, 9:15, 10:30, and 12:15 shows, and Dave Attell at the 10:30 and 12:15 shows (which means tonight’s best will probably be at 10:30 pm and 12:15 am), with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (probably 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm only), 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; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($8): Gal trio Lindsay Bracco, Michelle Petterson, and Katherine Korsak “once upon a time longed to be a part of the picture-perfect world of Disney movies. Then reality set in. Watch them unravel as their dreams turn into nightmares in a series of sketches, songs, and dance numbers designed to tickle, tease, and torment” at The PIT upstairs theatre: B.R.B. Presents Google That Sh*t

7:00 pm ($8): Duo sketch from Ruby Marez & Joanna Brown about annoying sisters at the PIT downstairs lounge: Biddies

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Kevin Meaney, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and Adrienne Iapalucci

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) “risk getting slapped by Satan himself. Actually, he hosts only bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

8:00 pm ($8): Stand-up comics make jokes about TV shows, with tonight’s guests Claudia Cogan on Boardwalk Empire, Josh Gondelman on Seinfeld, John Poveromo on Finding Bigfoot, Aaron Kominos-Smith on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Carolyn Castiglia on whatever she feels like at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Emily Dickson: TV Tag

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who won Last Comic Standing Season 3, has performed on Jay Leno, and starred in his own Showtime one-hour special Who’s Paying Attention?, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Alonzo Bodden

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.) A comedy veteran who’s performed on David Letterman and Jay Leno, and starred in HBO and Showtime specials, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club, with openers Ophira Eisenberg, Ryan Hamilton, and Wali Collins: Jake Johannsen

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

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): “In November of 2011 Michelle Ward was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. She took to her pink ukulele Lucille and broke the news on the Interwebs with an original titty ditty. Join us for a night of show tunes, boob tunes, raffles, and more as we raise money for her Avon Walk for Breast Cancer team” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Boob Cancer & Show Tunes

9:30 pm ($10): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Laurie Kilmartin (Jimmy Kimmel, Last Comic Standing), Comedy Central, VH1), and Pete Dominick (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Kevin Meaney, Ari Shaffir, Laurie Kilmartin, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus free cake!] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—with tonight’s comics Joe Pera, Erik Bergstrom, Amber Nelson, Anna Drezen, Joel Walkowski, Mike Cody, Ryan Beck, and Nick Naney performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short, and followed post-show downstairs by free cake: Underbelly

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB East that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): 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 West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Complete Performer

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform sharp improv at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with typically terrific NYC comics (not announced)—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, Nat Geo; host of Sweet), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and more performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.50 online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Laurie Kilmartin (Jimmy Kimmel, Last Comic Standing), Comedy Central, VH1), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Luis Gomez, and more performing “cringe” stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Cringe Humor: Big Jay Oakerson, Laurie Kilmartin, Pete Davidson, and More

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

11:00 pm ($10): PIT students selected at random mix it up with improv veterans at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Draft

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; rare Upper East Side club, with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; rare 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 11/14/13

November 14, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ali Wong

Ali Wong performs stand-up at the 8:00 and 10:00 pm shows of Comedy Cellar…

Pay Shay

…and Pat Shay performs improv with The Jessicas

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): “Experts and historical figures discuss the most important topics of the day in this comedy panel show” at UCB East hosted by Erik Tanouye and/or Will Hines: What’s All This Then, America?

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time”—for a sample, please click here—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors aim for “the comedy, drama, and vocal juiciness of a Mozart masterpiece made up on the spot; come hear beautiful arias appear out of nowhere as someone’s beloved is ravaged by a cheese monster, Gary Busey, or anything else the audience suggests” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Improvised Opera

7:30 pm ($5): Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Vladimir Caamano, Matt Maragno, and Warren Holstein performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 10:00 pm, and midnight ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Hannibal Buress and Ali Wong at 8:00, and Ali Wong and Nikki Glaser at 10:00 pm, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Improv troupe The Jessicas (which includes dynamic actress Jessica Sherr) makes stuff up with superb guest improvisor Pat Shay, plus opening improv group Kissing Disease and musical improv group Big D and the Closers, all at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Jessicas Have a Crush on Pat Shay

8:00 pm ($5): Two musical improv groups make up song-and-dance based stories on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Slick Zombie & Hemlock

8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Wake (long form improv inspired by the name of someone recently deceased that invokes the details and relationships of that person, bringing him or her to life for one last hurrah), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Robert Weinstein at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) pitting the previous week’s winner against Mama Like: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This monthly 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

[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/or comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

9:00 pm ($10): Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), Rob O’Reilly, Chris Lamberth, Mark Chalifoux, Brian Moote, and Aaron Kominos-Smith performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Heller and/or Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, “a sketch show sensitive to audiences’ growing, extremely legitimate phobia of spoilers. These six ensemble sketches range from Jesus to Ghostbusters, but—don’t worry—these topics and any relevant references will be announced before the show, so no one has to hear anything they don’t want to. No spoilers!” written by Caitlin Bitzegaio, directed by Caitlin and Beth Appel, and starring Caitlin, Natasha Rothwell, Lauren Adams, Matt Fisher, Tim Dunn, Michael Hartney, and Dru Johnston: Spoiler Alert: This is a Sketch Show

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a one-man show by Arthur Meyer (writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon; David Letterman; sketch groups Pangea 3000, Fambly, Two Fun Men) that features some hilarious songs, especially the last one that’s a show-stopper homage to what rock ‘n roll is all about: Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

9:30 pm ($8): A two-gal sketch show about dating from Angela Spera & Laura Lane at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Keisha Zollar: This Is Why You’re Single

[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] 11:00 pm ($5): Stand-up, storytelling, and carny join forces to bring the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, with storytelling from stellar host Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life) and Dana Rossi (host of The Soundtrack Series), stand-up from Eliza Skinner (writer for Totally Biased) and George Gordon, and burlesque from Corvette LeFace and Kinky Demure, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The second round of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB Chelsea hosted by Pat Baer: 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

11:00 pm ($5): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV) performs stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sean Donnelly for the Hour

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: All-gal open-mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix 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 2 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

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

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 Thursday 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

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

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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.)

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 Tuesday 10/22/13

October 22, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Starting Monday following Conan on TBS: The Pete Holmes Show

Wrestling Mania - The Best of the Worst of Pro Wrestling

Classic oddball scenes of pro wresting are screened and made fun of at Brooklyn’s Wrestling Mania: The Best of the Worst…

Ali Wong

…Ali Wong performs stand-up at Sweet…

Hypnotist Squirrel

…and Anthony Atamanuik performs hypnosis at The Tony Show

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Harmon Leon (author of six books, including The Infiltrator) has made a career of going undercover and infiltrating extremist subcultures, ranging from white supremacist hate groups to the Christian Wrestling Federation in Georgia (where they bodyslam for Jesus). In this multimedia show, “he brings to life such horrors as the America’s Most Beautiful Baby Contest, costarring on a hidden camera show with OJ Simpson, and riding shotgun with crime scene cleaners” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Yank Me

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 3-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($6): The debut of one of the most fun ideas for a monthly show I’ve heard in a long while, “bringing together a mix of amateur, semi-pro, and pro wrestlers to the stage alongside New York’s funniest comedians and commentators to watch and lampoon the best of the worst of 80s and 90s pro wrestling.” Guests tonight include Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium). It all happens at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Brian Mann: Wrestling Mania: The Best of the Worst of Pro Wrestling

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Grammer, Sherlock & Cookies, and Goodgirl at this first half of Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): A two-gal sketch show about dating from Angela Spera & Laura Lane at The PIT downstairs lounge directed by Keisha Zollar: This Is Why You’re Single

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera, plus Charles Gould and Dan Licata: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): 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 CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), and Joshy Fadem performing stand-up 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: Myq Kaplan, Matt Koff, Gary Vider, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace), Ali Wong (visiting from LA!; fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sachi Ezura, Taylor Ketchum, Joel Kim Booster, Jesse Fernandez, and Sam Evans 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 Big Margaret, Graceland, and The Regulars at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv, tonight hosting as “famed hypnotist Clyde Mesmer who thrills with his mind-bending skills. Clyde can channel spirits from the beyond, entrance women into his embrace…and doesn’t really bother with the rest of the audience, just women and the dead” at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show

[$] 9:30 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club: ComedyJuice

9:30 pm ($8): Stand-up from Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Josh Rabinowitz, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Griffin Newman & Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[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 upstairs theatre 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 downstairs lounge, 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 upstairs theatre hosted by Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys 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] 8:00 pm: This weekly open-mic storytelling show is truncated to an hour tonight, allowing each performer 6 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge with host Jake Hart: The Dump

[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 Smooth: 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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): 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.)

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.


February 16, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
Amy Schumer’s just-released DVD Mostly Sex Stuff is great. Buy it here.

Keisha Zollar and Sasheer Zamata

Keisha Zollar & Sasheer Zamata fix centuries of oppression in “Black History Month: A Comedy Bit Show”…

Ali Wong

…and Ali Wong visits from LA to briefly supercharge our town again at the 11:00 pm Comedy Cellar

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

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

6:00 pm ($8): All-gal improv troupes are rare, but this show showcases two of them: Deer Babies and Wicked City, performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Womanhattan

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes The Two Als, Brawlers, and Big Fat Liars at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; Comedy Central’s Amy Schumer Show, FX’s Totally Biased; host of UCBT’s School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger, sketch troupe The Prom, and Harold Night troupe Bucky) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger, host of The Soul Glo Jam, Andy Kaufman Award finalist) host this character bit & sketch show inspired by February, with guests Naomi Ekperigin, Charla Lauriston, Paul Higbie, John Zachary Townsend, Alan Starzinski, and more! “Come make up for years of oppression by coming to this show” at the UCB East theatre: Black History Month: A Comedy Bit Show

7:00 pm ($5): Layer by layer, improvisers build a town based on an audience member’s suggestion for the town’s name, while artist Asher Rogers paints a large map of the town based on the improvisers’ descriptions. This cool-sounding new show is at The PIT downstairs lounge: Our Town

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

7:30 pm ($10): Talented improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: The debut of this live show based on “a bold comedic Web series by Stefanie Grassley & Julia Tokarz based on 100% real (and really scary) online dating messages. Join us for a fun night of highlights, deleted scenes, bloopers, and the screening of two new episodes” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’  Long Island City: It’s Not Okay, Cupid—Live

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.) A TV and movie comic who first earned fame on Chappelle’s Show, and has gone on to star in the hour-long Comedy Central special I WIll Not Apologize and appear in TBS’ Are We There Yet?, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Charlie Murphy

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who starred in his own Comedy Central Presents 1/2-hour special, and performed on David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, and The Howard Stern Show (for Letterman stand-up video, please click here), headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joe Matarese

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Danny Lobell (Comical Radio), Selena Coppock (Connotation), Adam Chisnall (Killer Comedy), Trevor Williams (College Humor), Jesse Jones (Comedy BrewHaha), and Amanda Baramki (Arab Comedy Festival) performing stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:30 pm ($10): Seaton Smith (Opie and Anthony), Luke Cunningham (Jimmy Fallon, The Colbert Report), Nore Davis (MTV, Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus), Erin Lennox (host of DTF, co-host of The Orphanage; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here), Jeff Wesselschmidt (Rooftop Comedy), and Neal Stastny performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($8): An improvised musical made up on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge by  The Shady Bunch

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[$] 9:15 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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, Craig Ferguson, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), John Joseph (Comedy Central, The View), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show): Marina Franklin, Greer Barnes, Michael Che, and More

9:30 pm ($10): This popular all-guy comedy troupe performs both sketch and improv at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($11.34 online; or $10 at the door—but this show usually sells out in advance): J.R. Havlan (The Daily Show), Tom Ryan (David Letterman), Reid Faylor (host of Underbelly), Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon), Michelle Wolf (IFC), Eli Sairs,Taylor Clark, Ron Krasnow, and Joel Walkowski performing stand-up, plus Abigoliah Schumann hammers a nail into her skull, “Ant Man” Moffett (your guess as good as mine), beatbox genius Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, and Vikki Badd (pole dance) for this show in which stand-up and burlesque are weirdly blended together based on the reasoning “The nude female form is truly a work of art. That’s why people the world over like to jerk off to it. Who are we to disagree with the world?”at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’  Long Island City hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($8): A small army of comics—Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Amber Nelson (Comedy Central), Micah Sherman (Second City), Ashley Ward (Baby Wants Candy), Arthur Meyer (Jimmy Fallon), Steve Soroka (Sundance Channel), Lucas Hazlett (MTV), Joe Schiappa (MTV), Billy Keenly (Serious Lunch), and Sarah Nowak (The Baldwins)—performing as characters at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Rob Stern: Overload the Machine

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): 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, Craig Ferguson, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), 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), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Marina Franklin, Joe DeRosa, Nikki Glaser, and More

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and has so far crushed 10 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Ali Wong (visiting from LA!; fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), John Joseph (Comedy Central, The View), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show): Dave Attell, Ali Wong, Gary Gulman, and More

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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one at UCB Chelsea, which is a monthly open improv jam for any female wanting to participate, at any experience level—and which has a very special and communal “gal energy” you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. The show’s creator, the wonderful Shannon O’Neill, is out of town this weekend, but it’s still likely to be good thanks to the participation of other top UCBT gal improv stars: The Lady Jam

Midnight ($5): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger, host of The Soul Glo Jam, Andy Kaufman Award finalist) hosts a variety show at UCB East that’s a mix of forms, with tonight’s performers Keisha Zollar (stand-up and music), and jams with improv teams led by Aisha Carter, Alexis Lambright, and Ray Cordoba: The Soul Glo Jam

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Midnight Run

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 12:45 am ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), and John Joseph (Comedy Central, The View) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Erik Rivera: Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Nikki Glaser, Gary Gulman, and More

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 Tuesday 7/10/12

July 10, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For best video previews of FringeNYC 2012 shows, please click here.

Ali Wong

Ali Wong (above), Eric Andre, Todd Barry, and more perform at ComedyJuice…

Maronzio Vance

…and FOX’s Maronzio Vance (above) and SNL’s Vanessa Bayer perform at Sweet

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): In three double-bill shows,The Magnet singing improv troupes Team Oprah, Mint Condition, Team Tyra, BEEES!, Team Montel, and Aquarius will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Creature, The Regulars, and Bucky at this first half (see 9:15 pm for more) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Dapwell and Heems (Das Racist), and moreare interviewed about “their earliest creative experiences and the nuances of having a creative career” for a weekly podcast that once a month goes live on the UCB East stage with hosts Andy Beckerman & Mark Bisi: Beginnings

8:00 pm ($5 at the door or $7.63 online): Delightful singing duo The Reformed Whores, Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), and Sean Donnelly (host of many shows) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by Calvin Cole and Sharron Paul that calls attention to its inexpensive price: Cheap Date

8:00 pm ($5): Cathleen Carr (Two Girls for Five Bucks, Birds, The Scene) and Bob Kulhan (Second City, The Scene) host a show featuring established two-person improv teams challenged with separation anxiety—the audience is asked to scramble them and create one-night-only pairings—atThe PIT downstairs Lounge: Carr Kulhan: Dos Experimento

8:00 pm ($8): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: National Scandal

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Vanessa Bayer (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Maronzio Vance (cast member of FOX’s new In Living Color, Jay Leno), Nato Green (writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Team Submarine, and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon,30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Dave Waite (Jimmy Fallon), Michael Che (Comedy Central), Paige Weldon, Nato Green, and George Gordon performing on this week’s topic Tears in Heaven atSidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) hosted tonight by Josh Gondelman: The Afterlife: Tears in Heaven

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Johnny Romance, Surfing, and Sandino—plus advanced improv students make up scenes based on “the news and the fears of today” in a form called The Current—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Sharp Chicago-trained improvisors led by Susan Messing make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre, with tonight’s guests including Bob Kulhan (Baby Wants Candy, Dos Experimento [see 8:00 pm], The Scene): Messing with New York

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Shannon O’Neill (comedy genius), Morgan Grace Jarrett (wonderful comedic actress), and Lydia Hensler (member of red-hot improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes) host a showcase of female comics performing at UCB EastLadies Night: Men Welcome

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up and sketch at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, typically hosted by sketch troupes Savage Animal and/or Jerk Practice: Savage Animal

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Killer lineup of Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; creator and co-star of genius new Adult Swim series The Eric Andre Show; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, ABC’s Apartment 23, Comedy Central, FOX, TBS), a rare NYC appearance by Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, filmSavages), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie,HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), and Al Jackson (Comedy Central The Half Hour special, upcoming SYFY Channel show, MTV, VH1) performing stand-up at the GothamComedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[FREE] 11:00 pm: 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

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 6/5/12

June 5, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Judah Friedlander

Judah Friedlander (above), Rich Vos, Christian Finnegan, and more perform at Tell Your Friends…

Ali Wong

…and one-of-a-kind Ali Wong graces NYC with a rare visit from LA at Sweet

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Witty writers offering delightfully wry lectures about this month’s topic “Unmasking Cliché,” with topics ranging from Comic Strips, Stripped to The Art Of Making People Excited To Do Your Bidding, at the Housingworks Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street) for Charles Star’s comedic show Adult Education

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creator Jim Zub (writer of Skullkickers) joining 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: Comic Book Club

7:00 pm ($5): “Cruella de Vil hosts the city’s hottest and most successful public speaking seminar. Go from voiceless nobody to victorious villain in no time! Tonight’s workshop will feature recent graduates who have come to show off their newly-formed public speaking skills, including Snow White, Pocahontas, Belle, Cinderella, Tiana, and Jasmine” at The Magnet: Wrestling with Ursula: Finding Your Voice Without a Prince’s Help

7:00 pm ($5): Sisters Ariel Karlin & Lily Karlin perform duo improv and more at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Karlinator

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A one-woman show by storyteller Ali Berlinski at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge: A Beautiful Mess

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Surfing, Bucky, and The Pox at this first half (see 9:15 pm for more) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 9 million people on YouTube, please click here), Kambri Crews (storyteller, author of Burn Down the Ground), Adam Spiegelman (writer/producer/podcaster whose credits include Jimmy Kimmel Live), Chris Deluca (creator/star of Spike TV’s MoCap LLC) and Summer Banks (visiting from Berlin) performing at Lolita Bar hosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $12.75 online): The debut of a show featuring storytellers, book & TV writers, and stand-ups focusing on various aspects of being a fan, with tonight’s guests Hallie Haglund (staff writer for The Daily Show), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), Erin Barker (Moth GrandSLAM champion, co-host of The Story Collider), and Andy Ross (writer for The Onion News Network) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall with hosts Kerri Doherty & Nate Fernald: Geeking Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storytelling, stand-up, and carny join forces to bring the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, hosted by stellar storyteller & burlesque performer Cyndi Freeman, and with fully clothed storytellers Jeff Simmermon (This American Life, The Moth) and Brad Lawrence (FringeNYC, The Moth), stand-up Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), and burlesque by Peter Aguero and Amelia BareParts performing at the R Bar (218 Bowery, between Prince and Spring Streets): And I Am Not Lying Live

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, from Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives) and tonight’s guest co-host Andy Rocco (host of Underground Americana) at UCB East for this first show without co-founder John Gemberling (who’s now busy taking over LA): The Tony and ??? Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), and more, plus stand-up videos and a video from Improv Everywhere at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Andy Kaufman Fun House

8:00 pm ($8): Newest PIT house sketch troupe National Scandal performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: National Scandal

[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

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Rosencrantz and Aquarius

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, cast member of NBC sitcom Are You There Chelsea and FOX’s Breaking In; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately; upcoming Oliver Stone film Savages; rare NYC appearance since Ali’s moved to LA), Barry Rothbart (current spokesman for Taco Bell; TNT’s Men of a Certain Age;” Jay Leno), “a special guest,” and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm (no cover, one drink min.): Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy 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), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment Tuesdays at Cake Shop), Sean Donnelly (host of numerous shows) performing stand-up for this weekly show at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) with tonight’s host Josh Gondelman: The Afterlife: 72 Virgins

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Creature, GoodGirl, and Sandino—plus advanced students repeatedly rearrange elements of scenes to create improv anagrams—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

9:30 pm ($8): At The PIT upstairs theatre, musical/rap improv from troupe The Boombox Kids and more musical improv from troupe The Jam Academy

9:30 pm ($5): A showcase of NYC stand-ups not yet represented by a manager or agent (i.e., fresh meat) at UCB East hosted by Luke Thayer & Nick Cobb: Unmanageable Stand-Ups

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up, sketch, videos, and more at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre with Jeffrey Joseph and hosts Ron Krasnow & Joel Walkowski: The Short Bus

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Present),Stand-up superstar Dave Attell (newest show is Showtime’s Dave’s Old P@rn), Joe Matarese (Comedy Central Presents, Chelsea Lately, podcast Fixing Joe), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Showtime), Dean Edwards (SNL, Carson Daly, VH1), and more performing at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Freid: ComedyJuice

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Rosencrantz to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: 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

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/8/11

October 8, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ali Wong and Janeane Garofalo

Ali Wong headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club, and Janeane Garofalo performs at the Eastville Comedy Club

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): Improv troupes Listen Kid!, Sneaky Beatings, and Old Timey Radio Show at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A “sacrificial” improv team performs a quick set, then is split up among three other waiting improv troupes, each of which then performs a full set. This ritual letting go for the good of the whole takes place at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Sacrifice

7:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Cake-Fest tries to recreate the tone and themes of an animated cartoon live on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre in AdventureProv

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and/or 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 at The Magnetmaking up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A petite comedy dynamo, this razor-sharp rising star who recently performed on Jay Leno and FOX, and is a cast member of the upcoming NBC sitcom Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea and the upcoming Oliver Stone filmSavages, will shock you and make you roar with laughter thanks to a fearlessness that’s won her acclaim in San Francisco and, over the past two years, a devoted following in NYC. Headlining at the Carolines Comedy Club, treat yourself to Ali Wong

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard ShowMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter), Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Greg Johnson (Sirius Radio host), Susan Prekel (Comedy Central), and Dan Shaki performing stand-up at One and One (76 East 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) at Sean Donnelly’s Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.): A TV & movie star who created & hostedLast Comic Standing, was a cast member of CBS’ Gary Unmarried and Ghost Whisperer, has done extensive sports broadcasting for ESPN, and has appeared in such feature films as Jerry MacGuire, Pay It Forward, and Hereafter (opposite Matt Damon) headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jay Mohr

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, TruTV, Tyra Banks), Amber Nelson (sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Gutbucket), and Andy Sandford (Adult Swim, The Beards of Comedy) performing sets and then being interviewed about theirpersonal 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Pat O’Shea (host of Ed Sullivan on Acid), Liz Simons, Stephanie Acevedo, Dan Hirshon, J-L Cauvin, Bryan Bruner, and Teresa DeGaetano performing at The Creekdownstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Evan Morgenstern: SNC: Hot Blooded

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[$] 8:00 pm ($10 plus 2-drink min.): Joe Hutcheson scored a hit at last year’s FringeNYC with hisone-man show about a gay New Yorker having this body inhabited by the ghost of a pre-Civil War Southern debutante. Joe’s bringing the show back for a brief revival tonight, and next Friday & Saturday, at the Times Square Arts Center’s Roy Arias Cabaret, 300 West 43rd Street (off 8th Avenue), 5th Floor: Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown

[TOP PICK] 8:30 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 downstairs lounge: Murderfist

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TVChelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel), Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), Sean Donnelly (host of Lil’ Seany Boy), and Jono Zalay performing stand-up at UCB East, hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central Presents), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy duo Jamaal Sedayao and Brian Lisi at The Magnet providing “unfamiliar, often absurd stories full of unexpected laughs:” Turboner Bigoté

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Sketch duo Chris O’Neill and Paul Valenti describe themselves as “vaudeville gold for a 2011 crowd.” Whatever. They’re funny. Especially the bit with the nose. Come catch their latest material tonight at The PITThe Chris and Paul Show

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) bringing their A-game—because their sets are captured at this new monthly show as audition tapes—performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Grass Route: Built from the Underground Up

[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 & interview show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Zach Sims: Too Late With Zachary Sims

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB West interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create 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] 11:00 pm ($10): A comedic panel show debuting at The PIT, with tonight’s guests Jeff Caldwell (David Letterman), Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), and Maureen Langan (Joy Behar) “breaking down the week’s weakest, from politics to pop culture,” hosted by Brian Joyce: The Weak in Review

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon), John Milhiser (sketch troupes Dweeband Serious Lunch), and Amber Nelson (sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Gutbucket), and musical guest Adnan Sabir performing at UCB East with host Andy Rocco at Underground Americana

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Top improvisors pair up for one night only at UCB West: Chris Gethard (comedy genius) & Laura Wilcox, John Gemberling (comedy genius) & Don Fanelli, Fran Gillespie (rising risk-taker) & random audience member, and Lydia Hensler & Alan Starzinski, hosted by Don Fanelli: Couples Skate

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, 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

[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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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