NYC Top Comedy Choices for December 2019: Last Updated Friday 12/6

December 6, 2019

I’m one of the finest ghostwriters in the country; my 20+ books include two New York Times bestsellers, a phenom megaseller that hit #16 on Amazon.com and has sold over 330,000 print copies to date, and an interview book with legendary author Neil Gaiman that hit #240 on Amazon.com. I’ve also written five Dummies books and a Complete Idiot’s Guide. I cover comedy as a labor of love. But if you need help with a book, let’s chat, because there’s no one better at ghostwriting, editing, and/or coaching. To learn more about my services, please visit BookProposal.net and then email me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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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 at @hybender, and/or to visit the desktop and ad-free version of this site at HyReviews.com. (I’m also on Instagram at @hybenderny and Facebook at hybender; but honestly, you’ll be doing me the most good if you follow and retweet me on Twitter.)

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 December 2019 (with much more to come soon) include:

Jawbreakers!Friday 12/6: Monroe Martin (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, finalist on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central’s The Jim Gaffigan Show, Netflix’s Master of None; host of podcast No Need for Apologies), Chanel Ali (MTV’s Girl Code, Starz, TruTV), Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, TruTV, Oxygen; writer for Comedy Central, Playboy.com), and Jay Jurden (Jimmy Fallon; written for The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Vutlure) perform stand-up hosted by Jax Dell’Osso (MTV, Twitch TV) & Alia Janine (former adult film star; host of the Whormones Podcast): Jawbreakers! (7:00 pm, $20 cover and no min., The Stand Upstairs at 116 East 16th Street)

Baron Vaughn & Open Mike Eagle: "The 2nd Annual Janelle James Comedy Festival"Friday 12/6-Saturday 12/7: Day #2 of the Janelle James Comedy Festival features Baron Vaughn & Open Mike Eagle (above; hosts of Comedy Central’s The New Negroes) hosting stellar comics Kevin Iso, Yassir Lester, Hadiyah Robinson, Janelle James, and more: A Black Ass Show (8:00 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Stars at The StandFriday 12/6: Stand-up from Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents special; co-host of My Wife Hates Me podcast; author of You’re Better Than Me), Nikki Glaser (host of You Up on SiriusXM; star of former Comedy Central series Not Safe; Comedy Central and Netflix specials; films Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty), Subhah Agarwal (writer for Comedy Central’s The Jim Jefferies Show; TruTV, Fusion), Jim Florentine (co-host of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show; Comedy Central’s Crank Yankers, MTV; film A Little Help; stand-up album Cringe N Purge), Shane Gillis (co-host of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, frequent guest on Sirius XM’s The Bonfire; very nearly a cast member of SNL), Lev Fer (host of the Yung Daddy podcast), and Yamaneika Saunders (HBO’s Crashing, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Roast Battle; stand-up album Damsel in Distress): Stars at The Stand (8:00 pm, $25 cover and no min., The Stand Mainstage at 116 East 16th Street)

Nikki Glaser, Subhah Agarwal, and MoreFriday 12/6: Stand-up from Nikki Glaser (host of You Up on SiriusXM; star of former Comedy Central series Not Safe; Comedy Central and Netflix specials; films Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty), Subhah Agarwal (writer for Comedy Central’s The Jim Jefferies Show; TruTV, Fusion), Monroe Martin (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, finalist on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central’s The Jim Gaffigan Show, Netflix’s Master of None; host of podcast No Need for Apologies), Shane Gillis (co-host of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, frequent guest on Sirius XM’s The Bonfire; very nearly a cast member of SNL), Charles Engle (co-host of podcast Please Send Nudes), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; co-host of podcast History Hyenas): Nikki Glaser, Subhah Agarwal, and More (9:00 pm, $20 cover and no min., The Stand Upstairs at 116 East 16th Street)

"Modern Whitney" with Rachel SennottFriday 12/6: Comics Rachel Sennott (above), Kylie Holloway, Ari Durnell, and Bradley Sinanan try to figure out and articulate the meaning of a piece of art. Then an actual art expert tells them what the piece is generally considered to be about and its cultural impact. Plus select audience members—maybe including you—will draw their art on the spot and have it interpreted by the comics. According to hosts Matt Hartin & Akmal Tajihan, “This is the only show you’ll want to Van Gogh to:” Modern Whitney (9:30 pm; $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Soft Core!Friday 12/6: Host Chris Gersbeck screens a “cheesy” porn movie that comics make fun of MST3K-style, with tonight’s riffers Laura Merli (above middle; McSweeney’s, Reductress; half of sketch duo Soul Crush Comedy; host of podcast How to be Less Awkward), Brian McGuinness (bottom right; Inside Amy Schumer, co-host of Retro Bits, Playable Characters podcast), Bobby Hankinson (left; host of Kweendom; webseries Single Blonde Failure), and Jenn Wehrung (top right; BBC; this show’s producer): Soft Core! (11:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Comedians Who Flewed OutSaturday 12/7: This third and final day of the Janelle James Comedy Festival features ace comics Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin (above middle; hosts of podcast The Unofficial Expert and, with Aminah Imani, highly popular weekly Brooklyn stand-up showcase Comedy at The Knit), The Lucas Brothers (top right; Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, Netflix’s The Lucas Bros: On Drugs and Lady Dynamite, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company and Arrested Development, HBO’s Crashing), Ayo Edebiri (top left; Comedy Central, The New Yorker), Jaboukie Young-White (bottom left; correspondent for The Daily Show), Ethan Simmons-Patterson (bottom right), Casey Balsham, and more: Comedians Who Flewed Out (8:00 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Chaos TheoryMonday 12/9: This solo production, which debuted at the 2018 FringeNYC and is now enjoying a monthly revival at LES’ Caveat, starts out pretending to be a scientific lecture about and demonstration of chaos theory.

But it’s really a highly interactive show that uses comedy and thoughtfully structured game-play for nudging audiences to explore their wishes and desires, push past boundaries, connect with everyone around them, and be open to anything.

It’s all courtesy of writer/performer Jessica Ellen Creane, who cycles between faux-shyly giving illustrated talks about such things as fractals, love, and velociraptors, making herself fearlessly vulnerable, and improvising quick-witted responses to audience choices. For example, when Creane asked me to name a goal, I replied, “writing and selling a movie.” She immediately gave me the best pep talk I’ve ever had, stating beyond doubt that I’d succeed. In gratitude, I added, “I’ll cast you in it.” Without missing a beat, and fully committing to her scientist character (wearing thick black-frame glasses with no lenses), Creane tossed off, “I’m not good at acting” before moving on to help someone else. That she even thought of that line demonstrates what a superb actress Creane is…and how completely she performs in the moment.

Because this show relies so deeply on interaction, each edition will be different based on the decisions made by you and your fellow audience members. Along the same lines, how much you enjoy it, and genuinely get out of it, will depend heavily on what you bring to it.

For me, it was a **** (out of 4) show. If you come experience this—and you should—I hope you have a wonderful time too; and that it moves you closer to your dreams.

Chaos Theory (7:00, $27.50 in advance online or $30 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Chandler Dean: Tuesday 12/10: Members of the West Wing Writers group (which includes former Presidential speechwriters) will break down their favorite speeches, give behind-the-scenes looks at the speech drafting process, and even lead you in crafting your own keynote speech, all hosted by Chandler Dean (McSweeney’s): SpeakEasy (7:00 pm; $15; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Andrea Jones-Rooy
Thursday 12/12:
Andrea Jones-Rooy, who is a Professor and Director of Undergraduate Study at the NYU Center for Data Science—and also a fire-wielding circus performer—uses decades of data-driven political research to “help us understand what our political structures are actually doing, why, and how (and whether) to change them. We explore such questions as ‘What does majority rule even mean, and what are the consequences of it? Are we actually getting more polarized? Why, despite the historical records in the midterm election, do so many candidates and leaders still look the same?”: Political Circus: Why Democracy is F*cked and What to Do About It (7:00 pm, $15, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex 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 at SubCulture
45 Bleecker Street; What used to be a top comedy venue called UCB East has sadly gone under, but some of its shows live on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at respected East Village indie theatre SubCulture at Bleecker & Lafayette Streets, direclty by the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop; shows $7-$14

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.

Fat Black Pussycat Lounge
130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s smaller, intimate, and lower-priced sister venue (next door to Village Underground), which serves as its primary home for solo shows and experimental shows—which means it’s sometimes the most exciting choice; 2-item min.

The Stand
116 East 16th Street; Club closest to competing with Comedy Cellar, featuring top stand-ups on a main stage and upstairs stage; 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
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.

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.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, provide feedback on my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me to develop your book or screenplay (please visit BookProposal.net or HyOnYourScript.com), or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

You can also find me on Twitter at @hybender, Instagram at @hybenderny, and Facebook at https://Facebook.com/hybender.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/15/14

May 15, 2014

TV Alert: Ray Romano is on Conan O’Brien; Eddie Izzard is on Seth Meyers; Adam Sandler is on David Letterman; Myq Kaplan and Emily Heller are on @midnight

Ophira Eisenberg

Ophira Eisenberg records her first comedy album at 7:30 and 9:30 at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Bangs!

Baron Vaughn

…and stand-ups Baron Vaughn (above) and Adam Newman are among the ace storytellers at Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

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 ($8) A “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, with tonight’s guests Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes), Caitlin Brodnick (co-host of Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show, writer for Glamour.com, docu-series Screw You Cancer), and Lori Baird (two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, host of Talk Therapy Stories) performing at The Tank (151 West 46th Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

7:00 pm ($5): Jessie Richardson (Anecdotal Evidence), Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central), Kyle Grooms (Comedy Central), and Jake Weisman performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:00 pm ($10): All-gal improv group Gilda making up scenes, along with some members of the audience, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gilda’s Date Night

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A long stand-up set at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from Alex Grubard

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($10 at the door, or $11.59 in advance online): Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone) records her first stand-up comedy album and invites your laughs to be a part of it forever, at either 7:30 or 9:30, at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Bangs!: Live Taping of Ophira Eisenberg’s Comedy Album

[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 Neal Brennan, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; and Neal Brennan, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, Carmen Lynch, and Wil Sylvince at the 9:30 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] 8:00 pm ($5): “With half their friends and family raptured and the Apocalypse in full swing, the St. Burlingame Yearbook Staff must chronicle student life, extracurriculars, and the rise of the Antichrist before the seventh trumpet sounds” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Yearbook of Revelation

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “Six months ago, Karin and Glenn started emailing each other every time they cried. Then they wrote a comedy show about feelings. To test the theory of ‘Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy,’ Karin and Glenn will perform some sketches, dance a little bit, and then tell you some very personal stories that they shouldn’t be talking about in front of this many people:” This Is Going to Hurt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Jacqueline Novak, and Marron Chaplin 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.54 in advance online; includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s superb lineup Baron Vaughn, Adam Newman, Ann Carr, Jamie Greenberg, and Dave Juskow: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Love Story (begins with a significant moment in a romantic relationship, and explores the world the couple inhabits and the characters & relationships in their lives), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller superstar Dave Hill (NPR’s This American Life, author of Tasteful Nudes) 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

8:00 pm ($8): Two musical improv groups make up song-and-dance-based stories on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Slick Zombie & Hemlock

8:00 pm ($10): Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Sachi Ezura (MTV’s Girl Code), and Jay Welch (McSweeney’s) performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nathan Macintosh, Justin Peele, Dina Hashem, Simeon Goodson, and Rojo Perez performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Strong lineup of Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show, comedy album Women and Black Dudes), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): NYC spitfire Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this new show in which such ace improvisers as Jo, Aaron Jackson, and Brigid Boyle live-dub over muted episodes of well-known sitcoms to create entirely new story lines on the spot. “Watch as your classic Full House episode takes on a film noir spin, or how everyone in Family Matters just wants to talk about pizza” at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue): Live Dubbed Sitcoms

[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] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Andrew O’Neil (BBC Radio), and John F. O’Donnell (co-host of Live From Outer Space) performing at this 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: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): UCB East weekend improv group Airwolf dropped a bomb on The Regulars, easily winning with a vote of 109-27. Tonight it faces a god of legend, Apollo, competing 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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies 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 ($5): Hour-long open mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic. Check-in is at 5:45 at the new Comedians Club of New York (158 West 72nd Street), which was formerly The Triad Theatre: Comedians Club Open Mic

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

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 Junior Varsity 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.

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 Saturday 5/26/12

May 26, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

James Adomian

James Adomian performs at stand-up & burlesque show Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar…

Baron Vaughn

…and Baron Vaughn headlines at If You Build It

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] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes (unusually, not announced this week) at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

7:00 pm ($5): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) and Poupak Sepehri (runs UCB’s Difference Blog) host a variety show at UCB East that’s a mix of stand-up, sketch, improv, dance, music, and video: The Soul Glo Project

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Rojo Perez, Taylor Ketchum, and Nate Fridson participate in this “comedy chat show with boundary issues” that has stand-ups perform sets and then be interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Vic Henley is one of the most likeable stand-ups in the biz. He’s co-headlining tonight with Kevin Flynn (HBO, NBC, ABC) at the Gotham Comedy Club: Vic Henley & Kevin Flynn

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

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), and Nate Craig performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (please note, UCBT Web site is incorrect tonight; Jessi Klein had to bow out, and Baron’s taking her place…): If You Build It

[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—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe at The Magnet makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

9:30 pm ($8): Improv troupe Ca$h Only and guests make up a play on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: 3 Act Play

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($11.34 online; or $10 at the door—but this show typically sells out in advance): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Molly Knefel (Naked in a Fishbowl, John & Molly Get Along), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), and more performing for this show in which stand-up and burlesque are weirdly blended together based on the reasoning “The nude female form is truly a work of art. That’s why people the world over like to jerk off to it. Who are we to disagree with the world?”at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar

[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 troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and has so far crushed 10 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

Midnight ($5): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment Tuesdays at Cake Shop), Billy Prinsell, Katie Hannigan, and Bryson Turner performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154, Aquarius) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies.” Joining him is SF fan Steve Siddell (Someday the Cake, The Scene). Tonight’s feature is a slasher flick with a shocking twist: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Sleepaway Camp

Midnight ($5): Two relatively obscure sketch troupes, Dinner For One and The Release, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by sketch troupe Sidecar: Backyard Brawl

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/20/12

May 20, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Baron Vaughn

TV star Baron Vaughn performs at Pretty Good Friends…

Lauren Olson

…and the luminous Lauren Olson is in sketch comedy Company 29 Presents America

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Magnet sketch comics performing new material: Ripe Sketch Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre pretend to be office workers delivering presentations—only they’ve never seen the PowerPoint slides before and have to make up the stories behind them on the spot: PowerPoint Improv

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

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & R an Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): The Magnet’s new house sketch troupe Company 29 consists of such wonderful talents as Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman FringeNYC show Our Condolences; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor) and Peter McNerney (former Magnet Artistic Director; half of improv troupe Trike). Tonight it debuts a show that “takes a look at all things American, from Johnny Appleseed to Ira Glass. It’s a character driven sketch show sure to make Neil Diamond proud:” Company 29 Presents America

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Meg Ferrill, Dave Waite, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by comedy giant Eugene Mirman: Pretty Good Friends

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Emily Blotnik, Greg Stone, Luke Younger, Sagar Bhatt, and more performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at the Beauty Bar

9:30 pm ($5): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A roast of host Brad Loekle on his birthday, with Roastmaster Adam Lehman and participants including Chris Doucette, Jessimae, and Yamaneika at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/4/12

February 4, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.

Erin and Her Cello

The delightful Erin and Her Cello performs at Adam Wade's Tales of the Cosmos...

Baron Vaughn

...and Baron Vaughn headlines (after an opener by Phoebe Robinson) at Black to the Future

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] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Espiritu de ’76, The Storks, and Double Date at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), and featuring Erin and her Cello (wonderfully witty comedic musician), storyteller Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), and storyteller Andy Ross: Tales of the Cosmos

[TOP PICK] [FREE…plus FREE DINNER!] 7:00 pm: James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingHarold and Kumar 2), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up; staff writer for David Letterman), Rob Lathan (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, ABC, Stinson’s Awesome Movie Night), Noah Garfinkel (host of Totally J/K), Kate Berlant (host of Crime & Punishment), and Frank Hejl performing stand-up at CultureFix (9 Clinton Street; take F subway to Delancey or J/M/Z to Essex) hosted by Aaron Glaser & Danny Jolles…plus “come early and get some free dinner! CultureFix opens its one pot staff dinner to the public, but you gotta get there early cause it goes fast. Last time it was chicken cutlet; CultureFix does not fuck around:” Comedy Night at CultureFix

7:00 pm ($7): Sketches, improv scenes, and videos from a small army of female comics at The PITupstairs theatre that answer such questions as “Why can’t you touch a black girl’s hair? Why do some of us burn our cheating man’s clothes in his car and can’t wait to exhale? How did Foxy Brown know how to get down? Why can two play that game? Why do mad black women write so many diaries?” and more: Mrs Jones

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic solo performances—storytelling, sketch, and whatever else isn’t stand-up or improv—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Bill Stiteler & Adam Schwartz: Wank

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, Brandon Gardner, Jed Resnik, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions at UCB Chelsea all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up headlining at the Carolines Comedy Club: Susie Essman

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

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 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, andThe 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-midnight: Four hours of stand-up (guests not announced) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Stand-Up Comedy Showcase

8:30 pm ($10): Baron Vaughn (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1) headlines at an hour-long stand-up show at UCB East, with an opener by Phoebe Robinson (for a recent Conan set by Baron, please click here): Baron Vaughn: Black to the Future

[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—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A sharp Magnet musical improv troupe makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 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): Judy Gold, Big Jay Oakerson, Mike Britt, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Musical improv from one of The Magnet’s best troupes: Choral Rage

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: 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 to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: 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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv at The Magnet from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duoTrike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East that includes superb NYC comics—unfortunately, not yet announced this time, but previous winners have included Dave Hill, Myq Kaplan, and Becky Drysdale—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Revenge of the Rewrite in 3-D with John Gemberling (genius improvisor & comedic character actor; Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Death by Roo Roo, The Tony and Johnny Show), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical GraffitiHigh Times), Seaton Smith (Opie and Anthony Virus Tour), and musical guest Niall Connolly performing at UCB Chelsea with host Andy Rocco at Underground Americana

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/26/10

May 26, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Baron Vaughn

Baron Vaughn performs his final NYC stand-up sets tonight (before moving to become a TV star in LA) at ¡Sacapuntas! and Big Terrific

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] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($12.89 online if you use code VIPMAY, plus 2-item minimum): Wyatt Cenac and Baron Vaughn join hosts Dan Allen and Ray Devito performing stand-up at the elegant Comic Comedy Club: ¡Sacapuntas!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful stand-ups John Mulaney, Leo Allen, and Rob Cantrell joining host Noah Garfinkel (Joe Mande is out of town…) at Totally J/K

[FREE] 8:30: NYC stand-ups Chelsea White, Bruce Cherry, David Hodorowski, Garry Hannon, and Ahmed Bharoocha performing at this free weekly show hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Kumail Nanjiani and Baron Vaughn—in what may be their last appearances in NYC before moving to LA—performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, John Flynn, Giulia Rozzi, Jon Gabrus, and wonderful host David Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s theme revolving around the immortal words of Vince Lombardi (Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser)—”Sore Losers:” The Nights of Our Lives

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($12.89 online if you use code VIPMAY, plus 2-item minimum): Two sharp stand-ups headlining at the elegant Comic Comedy Club: Michelle Buteau and Brent Sullivan

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/12/09

May 12, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Baron Vaughn

Baron Vaughn

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:the perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—at John Morrison’s Broadway Motel (6:00 pm),

Hilary Schwartz and Rachael Parenta hosting an intriguing new show described as “emotionally inappropriate comedy:” Please, Someone Kill Me (7:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] artist Scott Campbell (DoubleFine Action Comics) joining in on a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Robber Baron, The Bishop, The Scam, The Law Firm, and Scootch—plus a small mob of sharp female improvisors at 11:00 pm for a show titled Suck My Dick, all at Harold Night (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] typically stellar stand-up comics performing at this free show hosted by brilliant stand-ups Jessi Klein (Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim) and Pete Holmes (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The New Yorker): Punch Up Your Life (8:30 pm),

[DISCOUNTED] NYC stand-ups Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), DJ Hazard (cast member of Fuel TV’s American Misfits), Matt Higgins (Comedy Central, Burn Manhattan, Centralia), Sean Crespo (Comedy Central), and more at John Morrison’s Morrison Motel (8:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] star stand-up Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Adult Swim), Baron Vaughn (Comedy Central, MTV, Cloverfield, Shoot the Messenger), and more at the wonderful Seth Herzog’s Sweet (9:00 pm),

and sharp NYC stand-ups Sharon Mama Spell, Chesslee Calloway, Liz Simons, and Adam Lehman joining delightful hosts Jackie Monahan, Leah Dubie, Amy Beckerman, and Gloria Bigelow at Dykes on Mics (9:00 pm).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.