NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/13/16

April 13, 2016

Steve KornackiMSNBC star journalist Steve Kornacki (helped bring down Chris Christie)…

Anthony King…beloved comic Anthony KIng (staff writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer; legendary former UCB Artistic Director), Jess Mcintosh (former spokesman for Al Franken), and Nathan Min (sketch comic) chug two beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody Lindquist: Two Beers In (7:30 pm, $5, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including an open-to-all improv jam at 6:00 pm; group Lovers, which includes the spectacular Dana Krashin and Tracy Mull at 7:00 pm; and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($5): Nick Rutherford, Doogie Horner, Sarah Tollemache, and Robert Dean performing at the only stand-up show at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Chris Duffy: The Sensible Show

7:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Three hours of improv from six groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

7:30 pm ($5): A one-man show by Dean Masello about his living with obsessive-compulsive disorder at The PIT downstairs lounge: I’m So OCD

7:30 pm ($5): Rachel Scherer (X Plus One) and Beth White host an improvised talk show while playing Long Island moms at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Wake Up, America

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Comics Zhubin Parang, Giulia Rozzi, and Alison Leiby, and scientist S. Matthew Liao, get drunk and then compete to present the best scientific dissertation to a panel of genuine scientists at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Drunk Science

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): James Dwyer & Caroline Cotter host an improvised show about our political process at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Open Call: A Presidential Town Hall

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A fake QVC show featuring “musical numbers, 80s montages, the apocalypse, dracula, multiple homicides, and two different marriages failing” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Bargain Bin Sale of a Lifetime

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of theatre, art, and comedy talents hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte, with stand-up Joel Kim Booster, singer Mark Eitzel, and writer/performer Gardiner Comfort, plus celebrity guest bartenders Deborah Check & Alex Guida (All That Glitters), all performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Sean Patton, Ari Shaffir, Janeane Garofalo, Monroe Martin, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Comedic storytellers Nathaniel Coco-Bates, David Rex Josef, Simi Tolendo, and Harmon Leon performing on the premise “Sometimes people are dicks. Then they tell us about it onstage. It’s great!” at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) for this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Nick Padilla: Antagonist Storytelling Series

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that books comics from the same original area (i.e., outside of NYC) to perform long sets at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Trey Galyon: I’m Not From Here

9:00 pm ($10): Roy Wood Jr., Joe Pera, Ana Fabrega, Janelle James, and Devin Field performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Sunnyvale (1031 Grand Street) hosted by Harris Mayersohn: Just a Show

9:00 pm ($5): Over a dozen comics roast this show’s host Chris Gersbeck at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Everythign Is Dumbn: A Comedy & Music Showcase

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing for 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] 9:15 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): Top improvisors Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Brandon Scott Jones, and Shaun Diston “talk to one person for less than 10 minutes and let them know how they die 45 minutes later” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: We Know How You Die

9:30 pm ($5): “With this year’s Battle of the Bands just around the corner, four sophomores pick up their weapons to blow the cross clear off Sacred Heart High School. Watch them riff and feel their licks in an original play/variety show” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Steven’s Third Piano Recital

[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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

10:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Marcus Bishop-Wright at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Marcus Rebellion: Seven Sketches About How You’re Racist

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes about obsessions at the UCB East theatre: The Fix

[TOP PICK] 11:00 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 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this new “anything might happen comedy chaos” monthly show. Tonight “Ashley, a recent college grad, is finally launching her one-woman show after all these years. The role of Ashley will be played by Sunita Mani, Tessa Hersh, and Connor Ratliff. The role of Ashley’s Mother will be played by Matt Dennie” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow

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] 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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) 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: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez & Parker Denton: Recess

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

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: The Camel Butt

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

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans at UCB East hosted by members of improv group The Curfew: Rotisserie Jam

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar

The Stand

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, 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 Saturday 6/29/13

June 29, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Eugene Cordero, Joe Wengert, and Shannon O'Neill

Among the highlights of Friday’s Del Close Marathon were Eugene Cordero, Joe Wengert, Shannon O’Neill…

Ian Roberts, Anthony King, and Jason Mantzoukas

…Ian Roberts, Anthony King, Jason Mantzoukas, and scores of other top improvisors. Don’t miss tonight and Sunday.

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:

[SUPER-MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Right now-1:00 am Monday ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 15th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon is running continuously from 4:30 pm on Friday June 28th until roughly 1:00 am on Monday July 1st. Improv groups from all around the US and Canada—and a few places further away—are performing a mind-bending 420 shows, typically in 15- or 30-minute blocks, for 56+ hours. Tickets are $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer once said the appropriate charge is around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding.

As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, causing long waits to get into UCB Chelsea (307 West 26th Street), which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by six additional venues. The ones near UCB Chelsea are The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues), which seats 99; the large Silas Theatre and small Beatrice Theatre at the School of Visual Arts (333 West 23rd Street); and the Fashion Institute of Technology Haft Auditorium (227 West 27th Street, corner of Seventh Avenue). In addition, there’ll be shows at UCB East (153 3rd Street, between Avenues A and B), which seats 99, and Theatre 80 (80 St. Marks Place, between First and Second Avenues), which seats 161. To view shows organized by venue, please click here. To view shows organized by time, please click here. To view shows organized by performer, please click here. For an easy-to-read schedule, please click here.

The DCM shows at the SVA and FIT auditoriums are an additional $15-$20—unless they don’t sell out, in which case if you have a marathon pass you can receive a remaining seat free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.

DCM is pure comedy magic. Don’t miss it.

 Friday Highlights

Merman

    • In Play by Play, brothers Will & Kevin Hines provided color commentary as such genius improvisors as Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, and Jason Jason Mantzoukas made up scenes with breathtaking wit, timing, and commitment. For example, when Jason stood off to the side of a group scene, Kevin Hines commented, “The pressure mounts on Mantzoukas as he awaits his moment.” Jason responded by plopping into a chair and just sitting relaxedly while listening to the others on stage. Ian quickly responded by striding over to Jason, proclaiming “No lurkers!,” and beating him to death with his bare hands. Will then commented, “There’s nothing quite as wonderful as an enraged Ian Roberts.”
    • The Smokes created a family out on a Sunday drive that uncovers startling secrets. For example, Eugene Cordero, as an 11-year-old with ADHD, revealed that he saw his older brother Joe Wengert sport a giant fin. Joe eventually admitted, “Yes, of course I’m a merman. Haven’t you ever wondered why I spend six hours every day in the bathtub?” Then Billy Merritt, as the mother, revealed that she cheated on husband Chris Kula via a studly sea lion. Joe asked “What happened to my real father?” Chris replied, “I thought the seal was attacking my wife, so I clubbed him to death.” Not willing to let go of a line of inquiry, Joe asked, “What happened to the club?” Billy replied, “We used it to build your crib.”
    • Dan Black Won’t Die was based on the premise “Everyone has taken a class with the guy who refuses to die in improv scenes. That guy is Dan Black. Whether he’s gunned down, hit by a train, or decapitated, Dan Black always finds a dumb reason to come back to life; and he will do it for 15 minutes during the marathon.” The fun began as soon as Dan introduced himself—resulting in a single clap. Shannon O’Neill burst into laughter and declared, “Dan, there’s only one person who likes you!” Dan got his revenge by outliving everyone on stage. He ended by playing around with the sitting corpse of Neil Casey, who admiringly never twitched a muscle…even when Dan pulled him off, sending Neil’s chair flying.
    • The Straight Men delivered the pleasure of former UCBT Artistic Director Anthony King and current UCBT Artistic Direction Nate Dern performing scenes together. Here’s hoping for more of that as the marathon continues.

 Today’s notable shows include Upright Citizens Brigade, The Mantzoukas Brothers, Mantzoukas and Morris, The Chris Gethard Show, Nick Kroll and Friends, The Benson Interruption, Match Game ’76, Wicked Fuckin Queeyah…and tons more. Again, please see the complete schedule here.

 [TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A former staff writer for Saturday Night Live and writer/performer for 30 Rock who’s also performed on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, and a one-hour Comedy Central special headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Hannibal Buress

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv master Ed Herbstman & Nick Kanellis perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

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, Comedy Juice on Tuesdays, and more; 2-drink min.)

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/28/11

May 28, 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.

Anthony King, Gavin Speiller, and Ben Rodgers

Anthony King, Gavin Speiller, Ben Rodgers, and more perform an "anything goes" midnight comedy show: "C.H.A.O.S."

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (Second City, Klepper & Grey), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) perform an improvised play—about which Israel Savage of Improvisation News writes, “Achieves something more…they shoot for the moon”—inWhat a Year!

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8; includes free cookies): NYC stand-ups & storytellers Brandy Barber, Glennis McMurray, Mindy Tucker, and Gabe Delahaye telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives for a show hosted by Sara Benincasa (CBS, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs): Family Hour with Auntie Sara

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Christina Gausas, and more—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors who’ve included writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and comedic actor who’s hosted NBC’sLast Comic Standing and MTV Jams, and performed on HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA, TBS, and feature films, headlining tonight and Sunday at Carolines: Bill Bellamy

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and TV writer who’s appeared on HBO, BBC, FOX News, and SiTV, and is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Comedy Writing, headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim Mendrinos

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

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

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, 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 see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight’s edition of Baby Wants Candy

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

10:00 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced this week) performing at the The Brooklyn Lyceum(227 Fourth Avenue) hosted by all-gal sketch troupe M.A.D. and all-guy sketch group Sidecar: Gentrify Brooklyn

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

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Brilliant comics Anthony King, Gavin Speiller, Ben Rodgers, Neil Casey, Kate Spencer, Will Hines, Jon Gabrus, and Fran Gillespie “will walk onto a bare stage and create the most unpredictable, unsettling, surprising, and hilarious comedy show imaginable. Anything can happen. Stand-up? Improv? Bare-knuckle boxing? SOMEONE MAY DIE! (Probably not. But they might.) These fearless warriors will battle for your laughs against the forces of order and control at C.H.A.O.S.

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

[$] 12:30 am ($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

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 Monday 12/27/10

December 27, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Anthony King and Sandy Rustin

Genius comics including Anthony King (above) and SNL's Jason Sudeikis, and wonderful actors including Sandy Rustin (above) and Tony nominee Maria Dizzia, collide improv into theatre tonight at Gravid Water

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:

NO SHOWS!!!

Both the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and The Pit announced that they’ll be CLOSED tonight! Because of the blizzard and the resulting problems with public transportation, everyone decided it’s safest to simply go dark one more night. That means all shows have been CANCELLED. (So please ignore everything below…) However, both theatres plan to resume their normal programming starting tomorrow. If anything else changes, it’ll be reported here ASAP.

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Saturday Night Live star Jason Sudeikis, and Broadway & off-Broadway stars Maria Dizzia (Tony nominee for In The Next Room), Sandy Rustin (Neil Simon’s Hotel Suite), Kevin Kelly (The Brother/Sister Plays), David Kenner (Old Wicked Songs), Carla Briscoe (Mikveh), and Liz Wisan (Other Desert Cities), mixing it up with some of the best  improvisors in the world—Michael Delaney (Conan O’Brien, The Other Guys), Becky Drysdale (Baby Wan ts Candy), Anthony King  (beloved comedy genius and happy new dad), and Thomas Middleditch (Improvised Shakespeare Company, which will be gracing NYC with another run in early January)—as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

8:00 pm ($5): A sketch show about New Jersey that asks you to “Take a ride on the Garden State Parkway with us as we go on a Great Adventure to see what makes the third state so special! We’ll go from the grease trucks to Menlo Park, to diners, troopers and Weird New Jersey after dark. Some of our finest historical figures, actors, and musicians will be stopping by as well, so come on out” and give yourself over to a Garden State of Mind

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Pamela Murphy proves herself to be a star in this not-to-be-missed autobiographical show that’s the best-scripted one-act to grace UCBT this year, performed with wit, grace, and pitch-perfect comedic timing (for video samples of Murphy’s work, please clickhere); plus a show I haven’t seen but have heard good things about, in the double-bill Pamela Murphy: The C Word and The Paul Downs Syndrome

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent on The Daily Show) and Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here)—guest-hosted by the wonderful Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show) 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 on this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and Erin Lennox: Fresh

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/30/09

October 30, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Q&A with bestselling author Elna Baker, please click here.

Killgore

Comedic horror play "Killgore: The Resurrection," written by Matt Walsh and directed by Anthony King, runs repeatedly tonight and Saturday night at UCBT

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 & 10:00 pm & midnight ($15): “In ancient times, an evil spirit would rise from hell every Halloween and appear incarnate at the UCB Theater…where he would soak the stage (and parts of the audience) with a ridiculous amount of fake blood. Now that demon is back, ready to unleash a gory, hopelessly bloody torrent of vengeance…and a ridiculous amount of fake blood. Fortunately, the beast only slaughters those who are rife with selfishness, greed, hatred, and a few people who just suck (though a little bit of fake blood sometimes gets on the audience). That demon’s name is Killgore.” This show is written by legendary UCB co-founder Matt Walsh and directed by brilliant UCBT Artistic Director Anthony King, and will run three times tonight and tomorrow night to celebrate Halloween. Come wearing cheap washable clothes and enjoy Killgore: The Resurrection

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-item min.): Former host of E!’s Talk Soup, co-star of CBS’s Ghost Whisperer, a memorable girlfriend from NBC’s Friends, and the film Bedtime Stories, headlining tonight and Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Aisha Tyler

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-up comics performing stand-up in Ochi’s Lounge at a gay-themed show hosted by the lovely Jenny Rubin: The Back Room

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch comedy troupe, which more than any other epitomizes the spirit of Halloween: Murderfist: Late and Dirty

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): “In 1978, the ABC network produced a Halloween Special so shocking it could never be aired on television. For 21 years, it has been locked in a vault, consigned to be forgotten by history – until tonight. Finally unearthed, the record of this horrifying event is being presented live on stage. Join Paul Lynde and his guests for a wonderful extravaganza of comedy, music, and horror that is sure to induce nightmares amongst the fair of heart. Due to its graphic nature, viewer discretion is advised:” The 1978 Paul Lynde Halloween Special

[$] 12:30 am ($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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Q&A with bestselling author Elna Baker, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/9/09

May 9, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

The First Annual Paintball Punishment Stand-Up Challenge

The First Annual Paintball Punishment Stand-Up Challenge

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] a world-class sketch troupe specializing in physical comedy and music: Drop Six (7:00 pm),

NYC stand-ups Joselyn Hughes, Dan Mahoney, Mike Weingartner, George Gordon, Rob O’Reilly, and more at Sean Donnelly’s Lil’ Seany Boy (7:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] star improvisation from writers & performers at 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball (7:30 pm),

Roman Rimer telling the true story of transitioning from gal to guy in this new one-person show: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trannies * But Were Afraid to Ask (7:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] a famously sarcastic and quick-witted TV comedy star who’s also a superb stand-up delivering a deliciously long set on Sunday (tonight’s shows are sold out): Norm MacDonald Headlining at Carolines (8:00 pm),

[$] the revival of a popular comedic play, smartty directed by the wonderful Kimmy Gatewood and with a standout performance from actress Lee Eddy: Kidnapped by Craigslist (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] one of my all-time favorite improv troupes—which in 2008 broke the UCBT improv competition record for winning streaks with 17 triumphs in a row, and this year delivered a magnificent performance to capture the Cage Match Championship—the brilliant and daring members of Death by Roo Roo (9:00 pm),

organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track! (9:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] improvised furious action from world-class troupe Reuben Williams (10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, quick-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer (10:30 pm),

[MEGA-TOP PICK] what promises to be a very funny and somewhat scary event—top improvisors, including brilliant UCBT Artistic Director Anthony King, being challenged to tell jokes made up the spot and, if they fail to entertain, being savagely pummeled with paintballs at my top pick for tonight, The First Annual Paintball Punishment Stand-Up Challenge (midnight),

[$] and 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 at Carolines: Paul Mooney (12:30 am).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.