NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/12/13

May 12, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Have you checked out Marc Maron’s new book Attempting Normal?

Andrea Rosen

Celebrate this special day by getting caught up with Andrea Rosen’s wonderful new docuseries exploring motherhood, available on Hulu.com and Amazon.com: “Take Me to Your Mother”…

Sasheer Zamata

…or go out to see two of the most multi-talented performers in comedy, Sasheer Zamata…

Brooke Van Poppelen

….and Brooke Van Poppelen, who tonight are telling tales at The PIT’s “Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling 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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm ($35 using code CQUSTX online or at the box office): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show he’s been developing for months for this off-Broadway run (through June 3rd) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmosh, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

7:00 pm ($12 at the door, $13.86 online): Singer/sketch performer/downtown cult figure Tanya O’Debra performs “a serious comedy about loneliness, mental illness, and perception. Holed up in her bedroom for eternity, crazy old Emily Dickinson unsuccessfully woos the object of her affection, a disembodied voice. A pseudo-historical, quasi-biographical psycho-romantic look at the life of America’s most annoying poetess” at at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Shut Up, Emily Dickinson

7:00 pm ($8): A one-woman multimedia show by Jessica van Campen that “examines four generations of women spanning four decades from the perspective of the youngest—and presumably the end of the line” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Whatever Happened to Mommy Jane?

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Brilliant improvisors including Ed Herbstman and Christina Gausas make up scenes from improvised monologues by renowned improv master Armando Diaz at The Magnet theatre, with special guest Craig Cackowski: The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Trevor Noah (Jay Leno, NPR, BBC Radio, Edinburgh Fringe Festival), John Flynn (rising star storyteller/actor; Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!), Jeff Maurer (Last Comic Standing, Sirius XM), and Kate Ghiloni performing stand-up, plus raunchy songs from The Reformed Whores (comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; new album Ladies Don’t Spit), all at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): From Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman (producers of The Scene), improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s groups Rubin, The Lottery, FligFlog, and Sweaters: Act One

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Selena Coppock (author of new book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Zach Sims (MTV’s Guy Code), JL Cauvin (Craig Ferguson), Sean White, and more performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($8): “Becky Flaum thinks she’s Julia Roberts. And Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore, even Katherine Heigel. But her high cinematic hopes for her love life get in the way of reality on her quest to find the perfect co-star.” This one-woman show is at The PIT upstairs theatre: Hopeless Romantic Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

8:00 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups (unusually, not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Caroline Creaghead: Creaghead & Company

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: A question & answer session about improv, typically with a top improvisor (past guests have include d T. J. Jagodowski, Dave Pasquesi, David Razowsky, and Ed Herbstman) at The Magnet theatre: Improv Q&A

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Trevor Noah (Jay Leno, NPR, BBC Radio, Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central), and Jim Tews (“clawing his way to the middle for nearly a decade”) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) guest-hosted by Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Anthony Devito, Doug Smith, Dave Ross, and Neal Stastny performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” tonight starring Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, 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 “a special guest” at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick and Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic comedy, with 4 minutes per performer, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Child Support

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

[FREE] 10:45 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 10:30 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

 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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/9/12

January 9, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Andrea Rosen and John Gemberling

Comedy geniuses Andrea Rosen, John Gemberling...

Chris Gethard's A Bad Idea I'm About to Do

...and Chris Gethard perform at Kurt & Kristen's Hot Tub Variety

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: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), along with guest storyteller Seth Lind (NPR’s This American Life, host of Told) and improv illustrator Sharon Spell drawing scenes as they’re described, all at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch troupe trying out stuff at The Magnet: The Day Terrors

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s & Carol Hartsell’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): A blowout show with Chris Gethard (star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Mannhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard ShowThe Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do), Andrea Rosen (HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central’s Stella, Variety SHACThe Nights of Our Lives, Ding Dong Meow, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up), John Gemberling (genius improvisor & comedic character actor; Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Death by Roo Roo, The Tony and Johnny Show), and more performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code SBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Of all the superb comedic performers new to me at SketchFest NYC 2011, the one who most impressed was Meghan O’Neill. This exceptional actress has such a strong command of voice and movement that in one sketch she managed to convincingly evoke a dozen pop culture figures in under 30 seconds. O’Neill is also a sharp writer, bringing a groundedness and underlying meaning to even the silliest of scenarios. O’Neill is a member of the acclaimed Striking Viking Story Pirates, but is just starting to achieve the fame her talent deserves. If she’s been under your radar too, please watch her promo video by clicking here, and then come check her out at The PIT upstairs theatre performing a one-woman show with a title that belies O’Neill’s star quality: ‘Fraidy Cat

8:00 pm ($5): Typically superb stand-ups (unfortunately, not announced yet) performing at UCB East for a show with a Comedy Central stamp of approval: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups George Gordon, Anthony DeVito, Calvin Cato, Adam Sokol, and “a special guest” performing at the One and One Bar (1st Street & First Avenue) for this weekly stand-up show hosted by Louis Katz, Tim Dimond, and J. F. Harris: Raw Guts

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): A monthly mix of storytelling & music at Under St. Marks from rockin’ hosts Peter Aguero & the BTK Band, with tonight’s yarn-spinners Ophria Eisenberg, Seth Lind, Cyndi Freeman, and Brad Lawrence, plus GoGo by the Bird of Paradise and Dangrrr Doll, and spontaneous illustrations by in-the-moment artist Sharon Spell: The BTK Band: We Resolve to Rock Your Face Off

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: PIT owner Ali Farahnakian and razor-sharp PIT instructors perform improv at The PIT downstairs lounge in The Faculty Part 2: Electric Boogaloo; plus improv troupe Technicolor

9:30 pm ($5): Two of UCB Chelsea’s house sketch troupes, Gramp’s and Onasis, try out new bits at Maude Night

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Long-form improv from troupe Casual Sex Offenders at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: CSO Improv Comedy

10:00 pm ($5): At this improv double-bill at The Magnet, Ruby Marez & Binu Paulose will play muliple characters within a single event as RuBin, and then Dustin Drury & Andrew Yurman-Glaser will “start off slow and relaxed and builds to a fast paced mosaic of characters and relationship” as Upstate New York

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include genius stand-up & storyteller Daniel Kitson (currently performing a stellar theatrical show in Brooklyn) and John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live;Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here)—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Chris Gethard: Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 12/21/11

December 21, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Todd Bieber's Commercial Interruption

Todd Bieber debuts a hilarious show about his past creating microbudget local TV ads: "Commercial Interruption"...

Andrea Rosen

...and new mom Andrea Rosen returns with one of the very best solo shows of the year: "Ding Dong Meow"

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Grappler, Leviathan, The Surge, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Featherweight, Horses, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Leviathan at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Jon Rineman (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Jess Sutich (storyteller), Hadiyah Robinson, and Ben Conrad performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with host Selena Coppock: Connotation

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then genius improvisors Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform as Outlook of the Poet

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content and Production for UCB Comedy, has had his own video/film work viewed over 25 million times via the sites of YouTube,The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and many more. Tonight Todd debuts a show about how he used to make “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania. And he was great at it. Come hear the true stories, watch the final commercials, see the outtakes, and find out how these ridiculously horrible commercials got made.” Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, expect an exceptionally hilarious time at Commercial Interruption

…and in the other half of this double-bill, enormously likable ace improvisor & sketch performer Doug Moe (Conan O’Brien, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, renowned improv troupe Mother) takes a stab at doing a solo show. The writing doesn’t reach the potential of the subject, but it’s still a pleasure to see Doug on stage, as well as enjoy video clips of his little angel of a five-year-old daughter: Doug Moe is a Bad Dad

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29-$49): Stephen Merchant—the Emmy, BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning co-creator with Ricky Gervais of BBC’s The Office and Extras—performs a one-man stand-up show for one last night at Town Hall as part of an international tour: Stephen Merchant: Hello Ladies

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Jeff Maurer, and MC Mr Napkins performing stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this weekly show hosted by Nick Turner & Jason Sáenz: Too Cool for School

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Rachael Parenta, Tod Montesi, Gary Vider, Dan Frigolette, Ray Marshall, Matt Sears, Justin McClure, and Jesse Jones performing at the only notable weekly comedy show I know of taking place in Astoria Queens—specifically, the Astoria Brewhouse (2850 31st Street): Brewhouse Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the very best shows of the year returns tonight at UCB Chelsea (following its star, Andrea Rosen, giving birth a few months ago). Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that she’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances to grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but raw pig, written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Tegart (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by hot comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams: Pig: A Restaurant

10:00 pm ($5): Comics at UCB East, including the wonderful Neil Casey, Will Hines, Mindy Raf, Giulia Rozzi, and much more look back at what was awful in 2011 at a sketch show that’s become an annual UCB tradition: The It Sucked! Awards

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup, blog Sandpaper Suit), and musical guests Myq & Micah performing at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this new talk & stand-up show hosted by Sarah Tollemache: Last Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: 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; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Plus tonight is extra special, with guests including Abbi Jacobson (Broad City, Welcome To Camp), Lou Perez (Greg & Lou), and Adam Newman (College Humor). 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: A Very Special Christmas School Night

[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

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/6/11

October 6, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Wonder Woman and John Hodgman

Storyteller Cyndi Freeman chronicles her journey to burlesque in "Wonder Woman: A How To Guide For Little Jewish Girls," John Hodgman reads from his upcoming new book at "Lollygaggin' with David Rees"...

David Cross and Andrea Rosen

...David Cross and brand new mom Andrea Rosen are at "Variety SHAC" ...

Jessi Klein and Ali Wong

...and stand-ups Jessi Klein and Ali Wong perform at "Totally J/K "

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): The auditions of two comedic one-act plays hoping to get on the UCB West schedule, and about which I know nothing except they have cool titles: Kate Riley is Not a Lady andMinnesota Bitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives) and tonight’s guest-host Jon Gabrus (Conan O’Brien, Best Week Ever, The Law Firm, The Nights of Our Lives; co-creator & co-star of Spike TV’s Mocap, LLC): Oh, Hey Guys!

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): John Hodgman (Daily Show commentator, bestselling author of The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require, and the underrated PC in Apple Computer ads), Todd Hanson (head writer for The Onion; Adult Swim’s Squidbilliesand Aqua Teen Hunger ForceThe Aristocrats), and more performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with cartoonist host David Rees: Lollygaggin’ with David Rees

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

7:00 pm ($5): “No sweeps, no tag outs, no Baldwins. Inspired by Chicago’s JTS Brown, this improv troupe formlessly flows from moment to moment. Each entrance and exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions in order to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Scoresby

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A one-hour monthly show at UCB East featuring “a compilation of my favorite stories and home videos that I’ve been working on for the past two years” from storytelling giant Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here): Adam Wade’s Big Heart

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($20): Delightful storyteller & burlesque performer Cyndi Freeman (MothSlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner) performs a one-woman show that “traces her journey from a little suburban Jewish girl obsessed with Wonder Woman to a fabulous burlesque queen in NYC, recounting tales of personal heroics while joyfully spewing trivia about America’s first and favorite female superhero. Join her on a crusade to right wrongs while wearing fabulous outfits, directed by Obie Award winner David Drake” at Stage Left Studios (214 West 30th Street, 6th floor): Wonder Woman: A How To Guide For Little Jewish Girls

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comedic storyteller Cameron Esposito performing her acclaimed hour-long solo show at UCB West for one night only: Side Mullet Nation

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Bridgid Ryan (Chester) and Ted McAdams (1001 Nights) tell tales revolving this month’s theme, Bad Jobs, at The PIT downstairs lounge along with young hosts Michelle Markowitz & Bryan Rucker, who say they’re Failing Our Twenties

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.): A TV & movie star who created & hosted Last 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 tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jay Mohr

8:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Boss (with special guest Armando Diaz), Hello Laser, The Boss, Dunk, and Junior Varsity performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with last week’s winner pitted against Hello Laser at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Any show ballsy enough to begin its description with “Have you ever loved a mop? Susan-Kate Heaney has…” is worth exploring. This one-woman show is happening at The PITupstairs theatre: Confessions of a Mop-oholic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (for tonight’s lineup, please click here) performing at The Creek’supstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City accompanied by banjo music from Doug Goldstein and hosted by Andy Kleinman: Happy Sounds Comedy

[$] 8:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s been called “The African King of Comedy,” and has performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, BET’s ComedyView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy ClubMichael Blackson

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, cast member of upcoming NBC sitcom Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea; upcoming Oliver Stone film Savages; headlining this weekend at Carolines), and Baron Vaughn (co-star of USA’sFacing Kate and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; MTV, VH1) performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster): Totally J/K

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): TV & movie star David Cross (HBO’s Mr. Show, FOX’s Arrested Development, Comedy Central’s Freak Show, Adult Swim’s Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show…and scores of other TV and feature film roles), star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), and Edmond Hawkins (animator for Jimmy Fallon, Wonder Showzen, Superjail!) performing at UCB West with delightful hosts Shonali Bhowmik and brand new mom Andrea Rosen: Variety SHAC

9:30 pm ($8): “A 17-person middle school talent show created and performed by two people—Jo Firestone and Dylan Marron—who like themselves more now that they’re older. A comedic tribute to the best three years of our lives, and a comedic play for anyone who ever thought it couldn’t get any better than prank calls and slow-dancing” at The PITRidgefield Middle School Talent Nite

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), John Knefel (Huffington Post; co-host of John & Molly Get Along), Neil Charles, and John Moses performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Sharp improvisors from UCBT, The Magnet, The PIT, and/or more try their hand at stand-up at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Improvisers Standing Up

[$] 10:00 pm ($22 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Conan O’Brien and starred in his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy ClubNate Bargatze

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Stellar improv troupe Rogue Elephant competing with challenger Dog Court for audience laughs and votes at UCB West for the raucous Cage Match

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly open-mic stand-up show at UCB East, with each comic given five minutes, hosted by Rob Stern & Amber Nelson: Gutbucket

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/8/11

August 8, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2011 Festival, please click here.

Variety SHAC and The Two-Man Movie

Andrea Rosen does stand-up—if she's not busy giving birth—tonight at "Marking Out;" improv geniuses Anthony Atamanuik and Neil Casey craft a film on the spot as "The Two-Man Movie"...

Adam Wade and Baby Wants Candy

...one of the finest storytellers in the country puts on "The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show;" and one of the greatest musical improv troupes in the country performs as "Baby Wants Candy"

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

 [FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), along with guest storyteller Dan Kennedy, with improv illustrator Sharon Spell drawing scenes as they’re described and the rockin’ BTK Band following up at 9:00 pm, all at Under St. MarksThe Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Liz Miele (Comedy Central), Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, MTV, co-host of If You Build It), Dan Cartwright, Danny Lobell, and Giancarlo Mariutto performing stand-up at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub guest-hosted tonight by Ray Marshall: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Please note this is among the last chances to enjoy improv genius Tara Copeland on an NYC stage before Tara moves to LA next month. Come see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching any or all of this four-night run (through Thursday) at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street): Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Andrea Rosen (most hilarious pregnant stand-up alive—and who may give birth at any moment, which is reason enough to come to the show; HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central’s Stella, Variety SHAC, one-woman show Ding Dong Meow, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up), 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), Ryan Reiss, and musical guest who’s “a special secret friend” (creepy!) performing at The Ace Hotel’s Liberty Hall (20 West 29th Street) hosted by Matt McCarthy (TV, movies, commercials, you name it): Marking Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Gavin Speiller (Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers (Reuben Williams, Cage Match), and Jonathan Gabrus (The Law Firm, The Nights of Our Lives) make up a single long scene as genius troupe Outlook of the Poet; and in the other half of this double-bill Joanna Bradley performs a one-woman show about how awful people are, directed by the wonderful Becky Drysdale: Everybody’s Dumb and Boring

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. This show was previously a wonderful theatrical event that cost $18 and up. Don’t miss this five-week Monday evening run, concluding August 15th, at the elegant Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) that allows you to catch the gals for a mere $10: Naked in a Fishbowl

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; TLC, blogger for trutV; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) tonight and Tuesday as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of UCBT’s very finest in-house sketch comedy troupes Dweeb(spearheaded by the razor-sharp Amy Heidt and Stephen Soroka), plus in-house troupe Thunder Gulch (which isn’t what it used to be, but features such appealing talents as Leslie Meisel, Ari Scott, and Amber Nelson), trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Typically stellar comics in a show “where improv and stand-up bleeds in and out of each other. One comedian starts with stand-up. Soon he or she is joined by a second comedian—and the two improvise scenes inspired by the first comic’s stand-up. Eventually the first comic leaves and the second comedian performs stand-up. When that set is over, her or she’s joined by the first comedian and a third comedian. The three improvise scenes inspired by the second comedian’s set. Then comedians one and two exit, and the third comedian performs his/her set until being joined by comedians one, two and a new fourth comedian…and so on. The process continues till we run out of comedians stashed backstage.” It’s all the brainchild of Nick Vatterott, who hosts this bold & messy new format at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City upstairs theatre: Klusterphuk

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest stand-ups in the world—who tonight include John Mulaney (writer/performer for Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV seriesPenelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/21/11

July 21, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Andrea Rosen

UCBT is the place to be tonight, with four incredible shows in a row:
Andrea “Might Give Birth Any Second” Rosen’s Ding Dong Meow

Amy Heidt

Amy Heidt’s & Jeff Hiller’s The Last Resort

John Lutz

…improv genius John Lutz with Meagan O’Brien in Just One Scene

Fran Gillespie

…and sole improvisor (and reigning champ) Fran Gillespie vs. stellar musical improv troupe Diamond Lion at Cage Match

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: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two of the finest comedic actors in NYC, Amy Heidt and Jeff Hiller, debut a one-act comedy about love and murder that you don’t want to miss (and schedule permitting, I’ll be there too): The Last Resort 

…and the second half of this double-bill features one of the very best shows at UCBT. Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that Andrea’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances that will grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Wonderful comic Kurt Braunohler “relates how he destroyed a 13-year relationship in the dumbest, most complicated way possible, with bar fights, naked men, walruses, and an audition for Sasha Baron Cohen” in the one-man show The Amish Guide to Fucking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Some of the Magnet Theatre’s finest improvisors make up theatrical plays on the spot: Playhouse

8:00 pm ($5): David Foster (HBO, Showtime, MTV), Jamie Lee (VH1, Last Comic Standing), and Damien Lemon, and more performing stand-up at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by comedic rapper Andrew Singer and the delightful Abbi Crutchfield: Positively Awesome

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): John Lutz co-stars on 30 Rock, and previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live; but what’s most important to know for this show is John’s one of the most hilarious improvisors alive. Tonight he teams with Meagan O’Brien to focus on Just One Scene

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Movie star Janeane Garofalo, Molly Knefel (Naked in a Fishbowl, John & Molly Get Along), Nick Rutherford, and more performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT’s basement lounger for The Scene

[$] 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In a squeaker, superb improv troupe Doppleganger was toppled by audience votes of 74 to 62 for a lone performer: Fran Gillespie. Tonight Fran attempts to repeat her remarkable feat against one of the finest musical improv troupes in the country, DIamond Lion. This is a show you don’t want to miss, as brilliant improviors fight for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Magnet improv troupes Listen, Kid! and Brick compete for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/16/11

June 16, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Bethany Hall and Andrea Rosen

Bethany Hall, the producer of The Chris Gethard Show, demonstrates her own fierce talent tonight at "Cage Match," while Andrea Rosen performs one of the finest one-person shows of the year in "Ding Dong Meow"

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] 8:00 pm ($5): Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she recently won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that Andrea’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This new one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances that will grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Paul Welsh performs a one-man show about a hall of portraits: Men in Paintings

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.)  A star stand-up who’s done half-hour comedy specials for HBO, Comedy Central, and Showtime; was a regular on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and cast member on FOX’s The Jury; appeared repeatedly on Late Night with Conan O’Brien; and guest starred on such TV shows as NBC’s The Office and FOX’s Arrested Development, headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Patrice Oneal

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Magnet Theatre co-owner Armando Diaz directs “veteran Magnet performers throwing down for an improv revue featuring classic long forms such as the montage, monoscene, time dash, and maybe even a little freeze tag:” Old School

8:00 pm ($5): Jamie Lee, Damien Lemon, and David Foster performing stand-up at The PIT’s basement lounge hosted by comedic rapper Andrew Singer and the delightful Abbi Crutchfield:Positively Awesome

8:00 pm ($8): A new sketch show from troupe FreeLoveForum

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mike Still (Death by Roo Roo, Diamond Lion) performs a one-man show directed by Neil Casey: Dictator For Life

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Seth Kirschner (30 Rock, Lipstick Jungle) plays every character in a half-hour one-man TV episode parodying 90s sitcoms titled Sertainly Seth

9:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors—tonight including Neil Casey, Jeff Hiller, Silvija Ozols, and Micah Sherman—make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT’s downstairs lounge in The Scene

9:30 pm ($5): Kelli Porterfield performs a one-woman show about five residents of Joplin, MO: Mirror Mirror On The Wall

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Vibrant improv troupes Boy Butter and 8GirlsHarold (Susan Casey, Shalyah Evans, Bethany Hall, Jackie Jennings, Marie Latagan, Fiona Mallek, Cathryn Mudon, and Verónica Osorio Videtta) competing for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups competing for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with less well-known troupes and a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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