NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/29/15

April 29, 2015

Amy Schumer Alert: Inside Amy Schumer’s Season 2 was a milestone in TV comedy, but Season 3 has been even better. If you’ve missed the first two episodes—which feature such delights as cameos by Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette, an Amy Schumer Doll that’s too funny for words, and a comedically flawless music video about makeup—please click here and here.

Amy Schumer Doll

TV Alert: Thomas Middleditch and Kristen Wiig
are on Jimmy Fallon;
Eddie Izzard is on James Corden;
Billy Crystal is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Chelsea Handler is on Seth Meyers;
Matthew Perry is on Conan O’Brien;
Eugene Mirman, Emily Heller, and
Max Silvestri are on @midnight


Storytellers share tales about coping with isolation at How I Learned to Fight Loneliness

Online Comments

…and comics share nasty remarks about their work at Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop: Performers Respond to Online Critics

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: A “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, with tonight’s guests Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying) and Aaron Wolfe (screenwriter, Moth GrandSlam champion) performing at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

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] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including Julie Sharbutt & Langston Belton as duoCoyote at 7:00 pm, and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Paul Hooper

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($20—which includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Storytellers Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, Internet Action Force, host ofSideshow Goshko), Amy Klein (columnist for The New York Times), Dion Flynn (sketch performer for Jimmy Fallon), and Uncle Frank Gauthier (Moth StorySlam winner) telling tales about this month’s theme Torn Between Two Worldsat 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) and that includes free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups This Old House, Southpaw, and Ronin: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Carmen Lynch, Lenny Marcus, and Jon Fisch (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Ryan Hamilton, Jessica Kirson, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Jessica Kirson, Joe List, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Morgan Murphy, Kurt Metzger, Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sherrod Small at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Storytellers Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band), Sue Smith, Greg Olear, Amy Shearn, and Mark Sam Rosenthal telling true tales about Fighting Loneliness at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned to Fight Loneliness

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show by Frank Garcia Hejl playing self-help author Preston Santiago plugging his new book Life Vibrations “filled with fascinating case studies: a troubled cop, a violently ticklish grandpa, a power-drunk DJ, and more:” Oh No!

…and in the other half of this double-bill, “a sketch comedy about nonsense, lies, and exaggerations” from other a dozen comics: That’s Bullshit!

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups each perform a tight 5-minute set, with tonight’s comics Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcomUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Andrew Tavin (co-host of The Awooga Comedy Hour), Robert Dean (co-host of Comedy at Alligator Lounge), Julio Torres, and Taylor Ketchum at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Tight Five

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Wayne (co-host of See You in Hell), Missy Baker, Andrew Short, and Jay Nog performing for this free weekly stand-up show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) produced by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, Jackie Jax, and Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Erin Jackson, Kate Conner, Kristy Belich, Jimmy Failla, Daniel Tirado, and James Alexander performing at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Jasmine Pierce: Train Wreck Stand-Up

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), 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), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Joey Gay (Last Comic Standing), McQueen Adams, and Joe Giarratano 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?: Joe Pera, Christian Finnegan, Seaton Smith, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj performs stand-up and storytelling at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($25 plus 2-drink min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice,opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show) performing stand-up at the Carolines Comedy Club sponsored by Time Out New York: TONY Stand-Up: Gary Gulman, Aparna Nancherla, Rachel Feinstein, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), David Bluvband (The Chris Gethard Show, ace improv group The Enemy), Mike Brown, Irene Hartmann, and Jono Zalay performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman, Alejandro Kolleeny, and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($5 online using discount code GRIFT; no min.): Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Grant Gordon, and Chris Scopo performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Lynne Koplitz, Jessica Kirson, Ben Kronberg, 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] 11:00 pm ($5): “We all know we’re not supposed to read the comments, but we usually can’t help ourselves. For one night only, watch as performers respond to their harshest online reviews,” with tonight’s guests Anna Drezen, Anna Rose Roisman, Carly Ann Filbin, Geoff Garlock, Aaron Glaser, Jason Gore, the cast of Business Work, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Kristen Bartlett & Krista Jensen: Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop: Performers Respond to Online Critics

[TOP PICK] 11:15 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show,radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) and Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased) are tonight’s guests at this show in which “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. This show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

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

10:15 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 show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3 1/2 minutes, at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Benel Germosen:Chocolate Wednesday

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: Improdome

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)

(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 He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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