NYC Top Comedy Choices for February 2019: Last Updated Saturday 2/9

February 9, 2019

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Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications. Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny), and/or to visit the desktop version of this site at HyReviews.com.

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for February 2019 (with much more to come soon) include:

Baby Wants CandySaturday 2/9: UCB East closes tonight (with the final shows sold out), but UCB Hell’s Kitchen remains a stellar comedy stage. Tonight’s events include a top musical improv troupe that 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 “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure, by such ace talents as Becky Drysdale, Zack Willis, Katy Barry, Caroline Martin, Amber Ruffin, Tim Sniffen, and Jeff Hiller, plus stellar improv musicians Dan Reitz (keyboards) & Sarah Mullins (drums/percussion). Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy (10:30 pm, $14, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

Mike Zakarian: Saturday 2/9: Mike Zakarian performs a one-man autobiographical show about being “a cool Christian teen in New England looking forward every year to an event called Snow Camp:” Christ Kid: A Journey Through Snow Camp (7:00 pm, $10, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

North CoastSaturday 2/9 (also 2/16 & 2/23): A highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour: North Coast (9:00 pm, $12, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Phoebe Robinson and Wyatt CenacSunday 2/10: Phoebe Robinson (co-star of HBO’s 2 Dope Queens; host of podcast Sooo Many White Guys; Seth Meyers, Conan O’Brien, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code; feature films What Men Want and Ibiza; author of You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain) Wyatt Cenac (star of HBO’s Problem Areas and TBS’ Friends of Earth; former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park; albums Comedy Person, Brooklyn, and Furry Dumb Fighter), and Alex English (writer for BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede) are the stellar guests at this podcast taping hosted by Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up) & Jordan Carlos (HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City and The Nightly Show, Showtime, MTV’s Guy Code, Guy Court, VH1, Adult Swim): Adulting (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Jo Firestone's "Friends of Single People"Sunday 2/10: The spectacular Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers) hosts this show in which “comics represent you onstage in a live dating game! You may cringe and remain as anonymous as you want in the crowd…or arrive at 7:30 pm to be paired up with a comic and tell everything there is to know about you in 10 minutes or less, and then let them guide your love life in great and maybe horrible ways. Out of over 100 couples matched, four couples have managed to develop actual long-term relationships. One couple moved in together. It’s amazing and defies all odds:” Friends of Single People (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Emily Flake & John Hodgman: Monday 2/11: Emily Flake (above left; brilliant writer/cartoonist; The New Yorker, The New York Times) & Kate Willett (Comedy Central’s The Jim Jeffries Show and This Is Not Happening; VICE’s Flophouse, Netflix’s Comedy Lineup; comedy album Glass Gutter) host this monthly show & podcast that features wonderfully funny people sharing their nightmares, with tonight’s guests iconic star John Hodgman (above right; bestselling author of Vacationland, The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require, and That Is All; Humor Editor of The New York Times Magazine; former stellar correspondent of The Daily Show; former personification of a PC in Apple Mac ads), Jason Chatfield (cartoonist for The New Yorker, Mad Magazine; Australia’s most widely syndicated cartoonist), Jennifer Finney Boylan (columnist for The New York Times, author of 15 books), Carole Montgomery (Comedy Central, Oprah, ABC, Showtime, MTV, VH1, A&E, Lifetime), and Kenice Mobely (host of Person About Town): Nightmares: The Best People Tell Their Worst Dreams (6:30 pm doors, 7:00 pm show; no cover but 2-drink min.; KGB Bar’s upstairs Red Room at 85 East 4th Street off Second Avenue; please arrive early if you want to ensure getting in, as the room is likely to fill up fast)

Comic Book ClubTuesday 2/12 (also 2/19 & 2/26): Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club (8:00 pm, Free!, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Black GuysWednesday 2/13: The quick-witted & hilarious Tyler Richardson (ReelzChannel; host of New Bedtime Stories) & Brian Mitchell (sketch group Laser Baby) celebrate both Black History Month and Valentine’s Day with guest stand-ups Alex English, Boris Khaykin, Kelsey Caine, Kristin Manna, Stu Melton, Mackenzie Graves, Amamah Sardar, Calvin S. Cato, and Mike Guild: Black Guys (8:00 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s Starr Bar at 214 Starr Street; take L subway to Jefferson Street)

Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil: Thursday 2/14: World-class singing improvisors Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (7:00 pm; $17 in advance online or $20 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street; Please Note: This Valentine’s Day edition of the show has SOLD OUT, but you can buy tickets for next month’s performance by clicking here.)

Matt Rogers & Dave Mizzoni: Friday 2/15: A game show that describes itself as follows: “Ever talk to a straight guy and think, ‘Jesus Christ you’re boring!’ Two straight men TBD enter the arena, but only one leaves with the title of Queen of the Straights. Lifelines include a Woman Who Gets It and a Wise Queer” hosted by Matt Rogers & Dave Mizzoni, who invite you to “come witness the ultimate test of who Is honorarily Gay As Fuck:” GAYme Show (9:30 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

The NotebookSaturday 2/16: Eight performers from the Ten Bones Theatre Company attempt to recreate infamous 2004 tearjerker The Notebook, with each comic using only what he or she can remember from seeing the movie just once. To add to the fun are a few rules: “Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience; performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth; one lucky audience member will be given a bell that they can ring three times—once rung, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in The Notebook but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story:” The Notebook…Entirely From Memory (8:00 pm, $10, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Uncle FunctionThursday 2/21: Six comedic actors, including Gianmarco Soresi (ABC’s Deception; acclaimed FringeNYC play <50%), perform sketch in this acclaimed group: Uncle Function (8:00 pm, $10, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Terrorbird 3Thursday 2/21: Surreal sketch group Terrorbird performs its oddball version of a Disney feature film: “The brave Princess Heckena and her marketably adorable sidekick Bonesy journey upwards through the kingdom of Heck for a musical adventure we’re contractually obligated to say the whole family will enjoy. Will Heckena make it to the mortal world and finally achieve her playfully ironic dream of ice skating? Or will she marry Caligula and spend the rest of her life presiding over the eternal torment of the dang-ed?”: Terrorbird: Heck—Follow Your Nightmares (9:30 pm, $10, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Anybody: An Improvised Historical Hip-HoperaFriday 2/22: Highly talented hip-hop improv group North Coast attempts to create a Hamilton on the spot by making up a musical based on an audience suggestion of a famous historical figure: Anybody: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera (9:30 pm, $17 online or $20 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Jeff Ronan & Matt Bovee: Saturday 2/23: Sketch comedy duo Jeff Ronan & Matt Bovee reenact all 50+ movies nominated for Oscars this year in under an hour: The Movie Idiot’s Guide to the Oscars (9:00 pm, $10, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Oscars Watch Party at Caveat 2019Sunday 2/24: Watch the Oscars with a live audience, and with comics and celebrity impersonators entertaining you during the commercials, in a classy LES venue with full bar: Oscar Watch Party at Caveat (7:00 pm, $17 online or $18 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Marcela Onyango & Lauren Clark: Tuesday 2/26: Celebrating Black History Month, comics Kenice Mobley, Sharon Paul, Ariel Evans, and Khalid Rahmaan share their experiences with racial profiling hosted by Marcela Onyango (host of Feel the News) & guest co-host Andrea Coleman: Profiled (9:30 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Destiny Mabry & Jamie Aderski: Thursday 2/28: Jamie Aderski (exceptionally honest & funny storyteller; stellar solo show Cry Baby) is pregnant, while Destiny Mabry (abuse conqueror; host of Triumphs, Tampons, and Tears) is single and often sexless. Both share memorable tales blending storytelling and stand-up: Celibate and Pregnant (7:30 pm, $8, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
123 East 24th Street; 88-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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett 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/W 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.

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
487 Atlantic Avenue (near the Barclays Center); only comedy club in Brooklyn; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; some shows have 2-drink min., but many don’t

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 Stand
Lost its space, aiming to move to Union Square sometime in 2019: competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

Special thanks to comedy photographers supreme Anya Garrett and Mindy Tucker for creating so many of the stellar photos that grace this site…and the sites of hundreds of NYC comics.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.com). He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive. It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 3/20/15

March 20, 2015

Don’t miss The Women and Comedy Conference on 3/27-3/29.
Click to learn more about Bad Assery.

TV Alert: Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson make a delightful
appearance on David Letterman, who accurately calls
the gals “comedy geniuses” (repeated from 2/19);
Garry Shandling and Jeff Goldblum are hosted by
Judd Apatow on The Late Late Show (repeated from 1/23)

Baby Wants Candy

Ace musical improv group Baby Wants Candy…

Jordan Klepper

…and Daily Show star Jordan Klepper are among the highlights of Day #3 of The PIT’s Fourth Annual NYC Improv Festival

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] 5:00 pm to 1:00 am ($10-$15 per individual show, or $60 for all-festival pass that guarantees you admittance to any and all shows during this 5-day festival): Over 13 hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge—including such notable groups as Baby Wants Candy and Centralia, plus Daily Show star Jordan Klepper—for this third day of the 2015 NYC Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Sam Morril, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 12:15 am show. All shows are 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 Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Favorite sketches from nearly a dozen comics at The Magnet hosted by Matt Antonucci & Joe Lepore: Bonus Round

[$] [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): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about her the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and in the second half of this double-bill, AJ Patton and Timmy Wood perform duo sketch comedy as Hype Squad

7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A winner of Last Comic Standing who’s also starred in hour-long comedy special War Paint and a Comedy Central Presents special, performed on Jimmy Fallon and Chelsea Lately, and hosted 230 episodes of syndicated dating show Excused headlining tonight through Sunday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Iliza Shlesinger

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, Sherrod Small, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

8:00 pm ($5): “Long, long ago, by the banks of the river Marinara, where breadstick trees grew in unlimited amounts, in the steamy valley of mozzarella, there was a sleepy little hamlet known as the town of pizza. And the people of this town were a simple, smiling folk, who loved soft drinks, and arcade games, and maintained a friendly family atmosphere. Oh, they were an eclectic bunch: a mayor with a gluttonous lust for power; a bum who tasted glory but lost it all; a fisherman desperate for one last bite. But in one house lived a man who was…a little different” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Slice of Life

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, sketches, and music for this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre:Take It Or Leave It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Doug Smith (AXS TV), Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at the One and One Bar’s Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Dave Severino: Grass Fed Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:30 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Juice

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Wyatt Cenac, Big Jay Oakerson, Sherrod Small, and Aaron Berg

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnettheatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics (not announced) “attempt to unravel the worlds craziest conspiracy theories” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Ray Kump: False Flag

[$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, Sherrod Small, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Musical improv from members of world-class group Baby Wants Candy and more, followed by duo improv from Danny Groh & Andrew Tisher, with both shows at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre(367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Tourist Trap and Selfish Green Men

10:30 pm ($10): Bryan Cook (host of Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Nat Towsen (VICE, host of Downtown Variety), and Drew Michael performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford:Gentrify

11:30 pm ($7): Around a dozen comics perform sketches at The Magnet theatre directed by Jon Bander: Phoebe Tonight, Tonite

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: “A live staged reading of an episode of the hit sitcom Frasier. And all the actors are drunk. And they will just get drunker and drunker as the episode goes on. With live commercials” at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre spearheaded by Aaron Glaser: Wasted Frasier

Midnight ($5): “A live monthly comedy game show in which three contestants participate in a battle of wits and knowledge for the chance to win a grand prize of 20 American dollars” at UCB East hosted by Ryan Simmons: Everyone’s Favorite Game Show

Friday 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

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre forHappy Hour

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of various Maude Night groups: Liquid Courage

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)

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/17/14

October 17, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Lenny Marcus is on David Letterman;
“Weird Al” Yankovic is on Craig Ferguson;
Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick are on The View;
Jeffrey Tambor and the Impractical Jokers are
on Seth Meyers (repeated from 10/7)

Baby Wants Candy

One of the best musical improv troupes in the country, Baby Wants Candy, is among the highlights at Day #2 of The Magnet’s New York Musical Improv Festival

Rocky Whorer PIT-ure Show

…and at midnight at The PIT, Halloween is celebrated by The Rocky Whorer PIT-ure Show

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm-12:30 am ($10-$15 per show): It’s the second of four nights of The Magnet’s Sixth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, featuring groups from NYC, Chicago, and more performing for nearly six hours, with highlights including the 10:00 pm double-bill of Baby Wants Candy and a one-woman improvised opera. For the complete schedule, please click New York Musical Improv Festival

[$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Relatively anemic lineups tonight, with no notable headliners but some fine stand-ups including Joe Matarese at the 8:45 show and Russ Meneve at the 12:15 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 Friday

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Lorraine Cink & Leslie Collins play Atlantic City act The L’Amour Sisters, making up terrible lounge songs on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: L’Amour Lounge

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Ben Kissel (MTV, Spike TV; Murderfist, The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen) hones a long stand-up set every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Week at the Creek: Ben Kissel

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Christine Bullen performs a one-woman show about her adventures answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and in the other half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot: Vern and Royals

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star;Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Jenny Zigrino (TBS), Shakir Standley (Last Comic Standing), Ray DeVito (MTV), Molly Austin, Kris Tinkle, and Eli Sairs performing stand-up at the One and One Bar’s Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

8:00 pm ($5): Chris Roberti performs a one-man show directed by Jodi Lennon at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Cult of Relentless Positivity

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, sketches, and music for this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre:Take It Or Leave It

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on Louie, HBO, and CBS’ upcoming The 2-2, and starred in two Comedy Central specials, headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with Jon Fisch opening): Robert Kelly

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), and Steve Hernandez performing stand-up, music, and/or storytelling at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

9:30 pm ($10): Josh Krebs performs a one-man show about such characters as “an angry 13-year-old girl with a penchant for art films, an alcoholic rocker whose claim to fame is a theme to a popular children’s show, and a salesman with a time share of a lifetime on the moon” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Maniac

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Steven Forrest, and Joel Walkowski, plus science writer Calla Cofield, explore scientific topics such as evolution, the big bang, the environment, the human brain, the politics of science, and the future at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre: Universe City Live

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard, Lonely,and Vicious), Gary Richardson (Comedy Central, host of School Night), Brendan Fitzgibbons (Huffington Post), and more performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

11:00 pm ($10): Musical sketch comedy from group Nancy, plus sketch from guest duo Girls With Brown Hair, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Nancy Presents Songs in the Key Of Life

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($10): Pre-Halloween, a small army of comics pay homage to the cult classic film Rocky Horror Picture Show at The PIT upstairs theatre: Rocky Whorer PIT-ure Show

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): One of UCB Chelsea’s most popular shows is Cage Match, and that’s in part because of its wrestling subplots that play in between the improv competitions. Tonight the improv is left behind so that these sideshow elements can explode onto the stage for a full hour. Expect at least a half-dozen matches combining sketch comedy and genuine wrestling choreography. For videos of past battles, please click here. As the show description states, “Only 14,000 seats are available, so get your tickets now before the UCBW Arena sells out!” Experience the pre-Halloween bloodbath men call UCBW AutumnSlamn

[FREE] Midnight: NYC comics perform stand-up in the nude (audience members can choose to be clothed or naked) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Naked Show

Midnight ($5): Josh Patten (SNL) and Mike Rubens (HBO’s Last Week Tonight) are guests on this “live monthly comedy game show in which three contestants participate in a battle of wits and knowledge for the chance to win a grand prize of 20 American dollars” at UCB East hosted by Ryan Simmons: Everyone’s Favorite Game Show

Friday 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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge forHappy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 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 Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/20/14

March 20, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Michael Che

Red-hot rising star Michael Che headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines

Baby Wants Candy

…and Baby Wants Candy is among the highlights of this 2nd day of the PIT’s 5-day NYC Improv Festival

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

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm to 1:00 am ($10-$15 per show, or $60 for all-festival pass): Over 12 hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge—including world-famous musical improv troupe Baby Wants Candy at 10:00 pm—for this 2nd day of the 5-day 2014 NYC Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.27 online; cover price includes free drink; no min.) A “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, with tonight’s guests the wonderful Ben Moskowitz, Susan Kent, and Aaron Wolf performing at The Tank (151 West 46th Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

7:00 pm ($5): Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Andy Hendrickson (David Letterman), Joel Walkowski (The Short Bus), and Jake Young performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): A hilarious red-hot rising star who’s a staff writer for Saturday Night Live, and has performed on David Letterman, Comedy Central, and VH1, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Che

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Ryan Hamilton, and Keith Robinson at the 7:45 show; Paul Mecurio, Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Keith Alberstadt, Rachel Feinstein, Ralph Harris, and Joe List at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, James Smith, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm (FREE if you use code BIGJ online): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC) records a comedy album live tonight—and you can be part of it, with your laughs immortalized, at either this 8:00 pm show or a 10:00 pm show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Live Comedy Album Taping with Big Jay Oakerson

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jon Glaser (star of Adult Swim’s Delocated; long-time writer/performer for Conan O’Brien), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), and Craig Baldo (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion) performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Jon Glaser and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Six 10-minute comedic plays performed by such superb talents as Ryan Karels, Ann Carr, and Siobhan Thompson at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The UCBT’s Ten Minute Play Festival, Program B

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Myka Fox, Christian Polanco, and Garry Hannon performing stand-up at Mr. Dennehy’s Irish Pub (63 Carmine Street) hosted by Troy Bynum & Carrie Gravenson: The Tomfoolery Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Miguel Dalmau, Caleb Barge, Joseph Vecsey, and Kunal C. Arora performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

8:30 pm ($5): Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), George Gordon, Derrick Brown, Rojo Perez, and Nick Maritato performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Six 10-minute comedic plays by such superb writer/performers as Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson, and Ari Scott, and performed by such talents as Morgan Grace Jarrett and Ann Carr, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The UCBT’s Ten Minute Play Festival, Program A

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this new show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

[TOP PICK] [FREE] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm (FREE if you use code BIGJ online): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC) records a comedy album live tonight—and you can be part of it, with your laughs immortalized, at either this 10:00 pm show or the earlier 8:00 pm show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Live Comedy Album Taping with Big Jay Oakerson

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit won its 7th victory in a row by grinding to dust team Greg 96-27. Tonight FTS competes against Lloyd group Detroit for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/15/13

February 15, 2013

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

Baby Wants Candy and Charlie Murphy

Renowned musical improv troupe Baby Wants Candy returns for another NYC run Fridays at Soho Playhouse; Chappelle’s Show icon Charlie Murphy headlines through Sunday at Carolines

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 show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite people in the world, the delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at FringeNYC; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor) heads this sketch comedy & variety show with her co-host Jana Schmieding, and a whole bunch of friends, at The Magnet theatre (and I’ll be attending tonight, so please come join me): Jana & Lauren Presents

7:00 pm ($10): A sketch show about the wrecking of comedy duo Tanisha Long (MTV, Fuse, CollegeHumor) and Becky Yamamoto (rave reviews from The New York Times and The New Yorker), directed by Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting), at The PIT upstairs theatre: You’ve Ruined My LIfe

[FREE] 7:00 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 Nate Dern and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): This monthly show that usually features all-gal storytellers turns the spotlight tonight on guys, with Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, The Tony and Johnny Show), Casey Jost (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), David Crabbe (co-host of Ask Me Stories), Brian Waddell, and Sean Morrow sharing tales about being big lugs at UCB East hosted by Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles: Boys Will Be Boys Bonanza

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy. Particularly outstanding in this latest outing are Brandon Scott Jones and Molly Lloyd, two immensely talented and skilled actors ready to be hired for any TV or movie role—comedic, dramatic, or commercial—and excel. Also notable is Leslie Meisel, an actress who manages to be adorable, fearless, and ballsy all at the same time, which at times makes her mesmerizing. The quality of the sketch writing is more mixed, with some bits hilarious and others less so; but overall this production co-scripted by such sharp comics as Brandon Gulya and Michael Trapp (who also directed) is worth catching: Stone Cold Fox: All Keyed Up

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Pro stand-up comics (not announced) plus audience members go on stage at this half-booked and half open mic comedy & music show in which the audience provides written feedback to the performers. “Do you like to offer advice to comedians? Come on down and be the armchair critic you love to be!” Or if you’re a performer, “At your request, guest assholes and designated hecklers will chop you down. Not for the faint of heart!” Join them & critique them at the Comedy Bar (134 West 29th Street). B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Pen) hosted by comedic singer Jessica Delfino (albums Dirty Folk Rock, I Wanna Be Famous; YouTube animated hit I Wanna Be Famous) and tonight featuring matchmaking and someone receiving the gift of “a giant, disgusting sex toy:” Timbre Comedy Show & Workshop

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; Comedy Central’s Amy Schumer Show, FX’s Totally Biased; host of UCBT’s School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger, sketch troupe The Prom, and Harold Night troupe Bucky), and Nore Davis (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Postmark Cafe (326 6th Street) hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield and Luke Thayer: The Living Room

8:00 pm ($10): A dozen writers & performers perform brand new sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre: Big Business

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups aiming to slay audiences at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Destroy All Humans

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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

8:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy at The Magnet in which “A snake oil salesmen tries her luck on a suspecting town; a soldier in the trenches of WW2 learns what’s been going on back home; and a young businesswoman brings home a Christmas surprise:” Citizen Models

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A gathering of comedic musicians, who tonight include Stuckey & Murray (terrific comedic singing duo; Chelsea Lately, NBC, VH1, Fuse), Taylor Ferrera, and Dark Parker performing at UCB East hosted by superb musical group Summer & Eve (for samples, please click here): Earworm Funny Music Party Show

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

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT upstairs theatre improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($8): Political-based sketch, debate, and improv at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s guests including Siobhan Beasley (United Nations), Robert A. George (New York Post), Lucas Hazlett (MTV’s Money from Strangers), David Kimball-Stanley (Super Nice), Nate Starkey (Unshackled)!, and 2012 New York State Senate Candidate Andrew Gounardes: Electoral Dysfunction

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code WARD, 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. Tonight is the debut of its latest NYC run, performing every Friday night through April 4th, at the Soho Playhouse. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and/or other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Joe Pera (hilarious deadpan Andy Kaufman-like stand-up; one time I saw Joe sing beautifully and then smash three dozen plates to pieces; more recently he ended his set by slicing milk; for Joe’s latest Kaufman Awards submissions, please click here and here), and Jim VanBlaricum (Crappy Cinema Council) performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Emily Axford, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): Sharp improv troupes not affiliated with any school/theatre performing at UCB East for Indie Improv Showcase

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

[TOP PICK] [$] 12:15 am ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno) Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View): Dave Attell, Ben Bailey, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/5/12

October 5, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Baby Wants Candy

Two Chicago-based improv troupes that are the greatest in the world perform tonight: at The Magnet, Baby Wants Candy…

Blaine Swen of The Improvised Shakespeare Company

…and at Theatre 80, The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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 show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-MIdnight ($10-$15 per show): The Magnet continues its 4th Annual New York Musical Improv Festival with THEM and North Coast at 7:00, BEEES! and Baby Wants Candy at 8:30, and The Made Up Musical at 10:00: The Magnet’s New York Musical Improv Festival

[FREE] 7:00 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 Nate Dern and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($22.73 with discount code ISCFBOOK; this show is SOLD OUT but there might be a teeny waiting list): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. (I attended the 10:00 pm show last night and yes, they’re still super awesome…) Tonight is the last of a three-night NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Both performances are SOLD OUT, but if you show up early you might find a few seats opened up via last minute cancellations (not from me, though; I’ll be at both performances…). This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) does a monthly show at UCB Chelsea based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Aaron Jackson, Don Fanelli, Brandon Gulya, Kate Riley, and more interview an audience member about some puzzle and then act out scenes providing an unexpected answer: Sandino: Unsolved Mysteries

8:00 pm ($5): “It may be made up on the spot, but there is a method to the madness. In this show players explore the structure of improv by performing unique forms provided by the community and abroad” at The PIT downstairs lounge: True to Form

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color), Chris Distefano (MTV’s Guy Code), and Brendan Fitzgibbons (Bravo) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Postmark Cafe (326 6th Street) hosted by  Abbi Crutchfield & Luke Thayer: The Living Room

8:00 pm ($5): D&D-style epic fantasy improv, plus nerdy stand-up, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Eric Grundhauserled as your Dungeon Master

[$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, Showtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Winner of the second season of Last Comic Standing, a frequent performer on Jay Leno and VH1, and star of two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials and an hour-long Comedy Central special, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: John Heffron

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, , FX’s Totally Biased), Chris Distefano (MTV’s Guy Code), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Team Submarine, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Annie Lederman, followed by wild Karaoke: Pirate Party

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here) and her comedy friends celebrate her 27th birthday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Emily Heller Birthday Show

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($8): Sketch host Meredith Hackman and her many friends promise “Despair. Pride. Heartbreak. Comedy.” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Saddest Sketch Show

11:00 pm ($5): Dan Hodapp (Jimmy Fallon, UCBT’s sketch troupe Beige and musical Newsadoozies, co-producer of PIT improv show The Scene, co-star of smash FringeNYC show Tail! Spin!), NYU belly dancers, and more performing at the Richmond Shephard Theatre (309 East 26th Street) hosted by Caitlin Bitzegaio and friends: The Gadget Hour

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

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

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/25/12

June 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

David Cross

David Cross is among the stars at Gravid Water…

Baby Wants Candy

…and a musical will be created on the spot five times this week by 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 upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with each of the four audience members chosen from the bucket of names getting to tell tales for 7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Broadway & off-Broadway stars mixing it up with such genius improvisors as TV & movie star David Cross (Arrested Development, Mr. Show), John Lutz & Scott Adsit (30 Rock, John & Scott), Rachel Dratch (SNL), and more as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, one of the very best sketch shows of 2012. It’s a noir mini-play written & directed with immense wit by Michael Trapp (Stone Cold Fox), who with this script demonstrates he’s a rising star with a surefire career in the biz. And beyond the pages, Michael’s put together an all-star cast, including John Murray (simultaneously gripping and hilarious as a hardboiled detective with an absurdly short attention span), Brandon Scott Jones (who delivers an unforgettable scene with John that’s worth the trip all by itself), and D’Arcy Carden (who abandons her usual laid-back persona here to be smoking hot). These are all total pros who are virtually assured careers in TV and film. Catch them while they’re honing their craft and waiting to be noticed in one of the most consistently fun shows in NYC: Death Wears Stilettos

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a show for which I had high hopes since some of my fondest childhood memories are of Krypto and his Space Canine Patrol Agents (S.C.P.A.). But this ain’t that. Instead, it’s a deliberately dumb version of Saturday morning cartoon shows that demonstrates little respect, affection, or wit towards its source material. The most notable elements are Neil Casey, who is hilarious as an evil alien insect-man; Rob Lathan as Neil’s lackey; and Sue Galloway as the gal even dog creatures want to make out with. This could have been so much more, especially with the brilliant Craig Rowin as co-writer; but instead it’s Dog Fleet 

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Simon Amstell (razor-sharp and irresistible UK star), Glenn Wool (highly likeable and semi-political UK star), Lady Carol (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and Josh Gondelman (SF Sketchfest) 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingHarold and Kumar 2), Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), and Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City) debating various topics, mixed with sketch and who knows what else, at UCB East hosted by Michael Shawki, Jeff Wesselschimdt, and Dan Licata: The Great Debate

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, Chelsea Lately, TruTV, Tyra Banks), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents the Ruckus, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Frank Liotti performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Mike Denny, and/or Michael Che:Broken Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Vidur Kapur (upcoming Showtime special Pauly-tics), and Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit) performing stand-up at this monthly show at The PIT, hosted by twins Todd & Adam Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12.90): 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 The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) tonight to see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: Charlemagne (which includes such talents as Leslie Meisel) and Beige: Maude Night: Beige & Charlemagne

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host ofComedyJuice) and Michael Che perform comedy club-length sets at UCB East hosted by Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses): Big Long Sets

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set, and then a seasoned headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens” at The Magnet hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

[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 are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central): 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 exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jared Reed: Fresh

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.