NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/14/14

May 14, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Tina Fey is on Seth Meyers

Abby Holland

Rising star Abby Holland performs in sketch show Fuck Judy Towers

Adira Amram

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Andy Hendrickson (David Letterman), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Alex Carabano (CBS’ The Job), Jeremy Essig, George Gordon, and Joe Giarratano performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

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

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

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/9/14

April 9, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Inside Amy Schumer is on fire this second season;
for highlights to date, please click here

Al Madrigal

Al Madrigal performs at The Stand

Camille Harris

…and Camille Harris performs at Amanda Duarte’s Dead Darlings

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Sketch comics perform character bits in this audition for the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival at The Magnet theatre: Character Auditions for Just For Laughs

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic storytelling and/or humor readings from Sara Barron (author of People Are Unappealing and The Harm in Asking), Teddy Wayne (The New Yorker; author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine), Julia Wiedeman (host of UCB East’s Happy Hour Story Hour), and Aaron Wolfe (screenwriter of Record/Play) performing at McNally Jackson Books (52 Prince Street) hosted by Andy Ross: Real Characters

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of comedy hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte (young), with Camille Harris (irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, new music album Silly Jazz), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), Hamm Samwich (Drag queen/DJ, Showgasm, Fuck/Marry/Kill), Angel Yau, and celebrity bartender Raquel Cion performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Al Madrigal (correspondent for The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy 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), Monroe Martin, and Dustin Ybarra performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Al Madrigal, Michelle Buteau, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at the 2012 FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Michael Antonucci & Yoni Lotan Sharp perform a sketch-based one-act about buddies being on the road: License to Chill

[FREE; plus FREE BACON] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing Josh Rabinowitz (Comedy Central), Josh Homer (Comedy Central), Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Mike Cannon (MTV), Giulio Gallarotti (MTV), Vicky Kuperman, and Crystian Ramirez at this show that provides you with both free comedy and free bacon at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kevin Berrey and/or Farah Brook: Free Bacon

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Marc Theobald (Chappelle’s Show), Joe Larson, Jess Salomon, Eman El-Husseini, J.F. Harris, and Chris Calogero performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:15 pm ($8): Character comedy from Jenn Dodd, stand-up from Calvin S. Cato, sketch comedy from groups FUCT, Unisex, and The Pulp Variety Stream, and more at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) produced by KL Thomas and hosted by Mike Feeney: April Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-woman show by Langan Dice Kingsley provides “a sweeping exploration of the challenges of parenthood, the subtleties of literature, the nature of love, the allure of alcohol, the cult of celebrity, the beauty of the store Anthropologie, and the power of dance:” The Dicewoman Cometh

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a musical “based on the true history of the founding of America, in which Jesus Christ embarks on a journey to help build a country that’s courageous, pious, and gun-crazy enough for his precious Constitution…as long as the evil King Barrack Hussein George III doesn’t get in the way,” written by Eric Gersen and directed by John Flynn: Seventeen Seventy-Something

9:30 pm ($8): Feline-based improv from duo David Frasure & Jenn Welch at The PIT upstairs theatre: CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS!

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, and Mike Yard at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, and Mike Yard at the 11:30 show, with both shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[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 this show’s former host and now SNL star Sasheer Zamata, plus Hari Kondabolu, Matt Wayne, Kevin McCaffrey, and more; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): Stand-ups tell stories about their sexual recklessness, and improvisors act out the scenes, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Liz Lele: One Night Stand-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 3/12/14

March 12, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

On Comedy Central, Abbi & Ilana attend a wedding in Broad City at 10:30; Jason Bateman’s on Daily Show at 11:00;  Wil Wheaton’s on @midnight

Joe Dator

New Yorker cartoonist Joe Dator is among the guests at Amanda Duarte’s Dead Darlings

Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer of Broad City

…and Comedy Central stars Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer perform at UCB Chelsea for their monthly stage show Broad City Live

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] 5:30 pm: Sketch comics perform character bits in this audition for the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival at The PIT upstairs theatre: Character Auditions for Just For Laughs

[FREE; plus FREE COOKIES] 6:30 pm ($5): “For this most popular and potentially world-changing American holiday, join us for tea, coloring, and homemade chocolate chip cookies in celebration of the most love-filled (and delicious) day of the year” at the UCB East Hot Chicks Room (the bar area): The Katie Fisher Day Cookie Party

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

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

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] 7:30 pm: Fiction and nonfiction stories involving this month’s theme Video Games from Anna Roisman (MTV; co-host of You Probably Think This Song Is About You), Peter Olson (Marvel Comics, Spike TV), Matt London (Tor.com), and Sam J. Miller (The Rumpus), plus musical guest The Royal Bees, all performing at Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Dana Ross: Lost & Found: Video Games

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 Musk and Detroit: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, “a comedic exploration of why we love to hate the women we do” written by & starring Abby Holland, Molly Gaebe, Jenn Roman, and Julie Rosing, and directed by the brilliant Ellena Chmielewski: Fuck Judy Towers

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a full-blown musical about “three polygamist pop stars on the hunt for their brother husband,” starring Caitlin Davis, Kaleigh Malloy, and Elizabeth May (with some help from Dave May): Missionary in Manhattan: A Mormon Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of comedy hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte (young), with Joe Dator (New Yorker cartoonist), Naomi Ekperigin (MTV, VH1, Totally Biased), Chris Tanner (Karen Finley’s Make Love, The Etiquette of Death, Footballhead), DuSchnaüzel Worldwide, and celebrity bartender Julia Knippen performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam) hosts all shows, which feature Gary Gulman, Marina Franklin, Keith Robinson, and Dov Davidoff at 8:00; a very strong lineup of Dave Attell, Ali Wong, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Ryan Hamilton at 9:45; and Kurt Metzger, James Smith, and Sam Morril at 11:30, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Kate Ghiloni, Scotland Green, and Rojo Perez performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Joe Zimmerman, Jono Zalay, and Taylor Ketchum: Hot Crowd: Jon Fisch, Dan St. Germain, and More

[FREE; plus FREE BACON] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform a special fundraising show for Liza Dye—with guests Carmen Lynch, Calise Hawkins, Leah Bonnema, Tyler Fischer, and many more—at this show that provides you with both free comedy and free bacon at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kevin Berrey and/or Farah Brook: Free Bacon

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy group Awful DJ (Bill Grandberg, Cory Cavin, and Josh Lay) hosts this variety show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Awful DJ

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), J-L Cauvin (Craig Ferguson), Zach Broussard (Jimmy Fallon), Sachi Ezura (MTV’s Girl Code and Guy Code), Simeon Goodson, and Christian Duran 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?

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:15 pm ($8): Sketch comedy from groups Business Computer, Cockadoodle Don’t, and UniSex, character sketch from Lauren Maul, plus music from Positive Feedback, and more at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Max Fox: March Sketch Block

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably still get in if you don’t mind standing): Join Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson, the delightful stars of Comedy Central’s hit series Broad City (recently renewed for a second season), plus stand-ups (not announced) at UCB Chelsea for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[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

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

[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 Brandon Scott Jones and Naomi Ekperigin; 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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