NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/23/15

March 23, 2015

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference is happening
this Friday-Sunday. To learn more, please click here.

TV Alert: Ben Stiller is on David Letterman;
Adam Carolla is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Nick Kroll is on Conan O’Brien;
Kyle Kinane, Rhys Darby, and Vanessa Ramos are on @midnight

Bellevue Presents Seinfeld

Quite possibly your last chance to catch UCB’s funniest parody: Bellevue Presents Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Becky Krause, and Tracy Mull—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy written, performed, and directed entirely by female comics at The Magnet theatre: Lady Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Joe Machi, Seaton Smith, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Joe Matarese, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, Carmen Lynch, and Joe List at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): One of the very best scripted shows to ever grace UCB Chelsea—and the last scheduled performance in the run, so this may be your last chance to see this—in which sketch group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

…and in the other half of this double-bill, the debut of “a balls-out celebration of the crazy bitches who nobody listens to and the crazy pussies who do you real good and then burn down your house. With special appearances from your mom, the cute girl at the coffee shop, the cat lady next door, and your future ex-wife, this Bechdel Certified sketch show will forever change up your life for the worse,” starring the wonderful Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm) and Kristen Acimovic (ace sketch group Legs For Days): Crazy Bitch/Crazy Pussy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), Andrew Law (staff writer for Seth Meyersand cast member of HBO’s Looking), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) being interviewed and/or performing at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), and NYC stand-ups Sarah Tollemache, Andy Sandford, Gary Levitt, Frank Terranova, Carolyn Busa, Jake Head, Tony Zaret, Sara Armour, Jordan Temple, and Brendan Eyre, all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Chelsea Taylor & Scott Nossen: Filthy Stinking Rich

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

8:30 pm ($7): “What happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring five additional comics at The Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days(stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Sean Hart, Kristen Acimovic, and Joel Weidl, plus exceptionally superb writers) and Roanoke: Maude Night: Legs For Days and Roanoke

9:30 pm ($5): Two actors perform from different famed plays and an improviser crashes into the scripted scenes atThe PIT upstairs theatre directed by Meg Griffiths Anderson: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Ace gal improvisors Megan Gray, Rosie Whalen, and more springboard an audience suggestion to create a terrible Lifetime TV movie (“come prepared to watch a live film filled with heartbreak, disease, violence, despair, hope, courage, sassy neighbors, murders, heroes, whores, assholes, dumb babies who take up all your time, revenge, love, sex, hate, and chocolate”) at The Magnet theatre: Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), Janelle James, Subhah Agarwal, Ian Fidance, Nick Mullen, and Robby Slowik performing stand-up—and celebrating the birthday of hostess Em Cohen—for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Mark DeMayo, Monroe Martin, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller and/or Dee Marie: Gentrification

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm (reserved seats are all taken, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 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 The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:30 pm: 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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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-$20)

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room/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 Monday 2/16/15

February 16, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Natasha Leggero, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Maz Jobrani
are hosted by Thomas Lennon on The Late Late Show;
Matthew Perry is on David Letterman;
Jason Bateman is on Conan O’Brien (repeated from 11/20)

Kapow-i GoGo

Anime such as Dragon Ball Z inspires this 3-part live action play that debuts tonight with Kapow-i GoGo Part 1: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!

Chris Gethard

…Chris Gethard faces his demons in a genius (and hilarious) long stand-up set about depression: Career Suicide

Seinfeld

…and one of the best UCB parody shows ever returns in Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) seamlessly blends stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience. In this show Chris achieves a new maturity to his already stellar career with a beautifully honest look at his experiences with mental illness and suicide that reaches exceptional heights at the UCB East theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: The king of roasts, after headlining the last two nights at Carolines, performs a free headlining set for one night only at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Jeff Ross: One Night Only

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm ($10 for each of these three distinct “episodes” that together comprise “Part 1” or $20 for all three): Part 1 of a 3-part epic saga debuts tonight: “Kapow-I Gogo is a 14-year-old girl on a big adventure. Can she stand up against evil monsters, the big bad Ultra Corporation, or an eviler space demon? She’s got love, hope, and joy on her side along with her best friends—and 32-year-old brother—on a mission to become The World’s Greatest Fighter! And she’s going to save the world. Again. And again. And again. Matthew Cox’s live-action hybrid of Dragon Ball Z, cyberpunk space operas, Final Fantasy, and every after-school cartoon you watched in the mid-to-late 1990s began as one of the most popular plays at The Flea Theater’s #serials@theflea. For this run the show has been expanded and re-conceived into three totally new, separate evenings: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!, Kapow-i GoGo Z, and Kapow-i Neo Evolution GT-X” at The PIT upstairs theatre, with this Part 1 itself split into three episodes playing respectively at 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm (coupled with G.U.S., an improvised post-apocalypse show), and 9:00 pm (coupled with Shrink, an improvised puppet therapy show): Kapow-i GoGo Part 1: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Michael Che, Dan Soder, Marina Franklin, Robert Kelly, Monroe Martin, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a sketch group that promises to give away $100: Awful DJ

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a rare gem that’s one of the very best shows to grace UCB Chelsea, in which sketch group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Jessica Williams (star correspondent of The Daily Show) and Phoebe Robinson guest-host tonight, with Liza Treyger, Michelle Billoon, Matteo Lane, Jim Tews, and Bryan Babylon performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Character comics who typically include rising star Christine Bullen (one-woman show My Melonbasket, sketch group Goodbye Handsome) performing bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: (212) (which includes rising star Langan Kingsley, Cody Lindquist, Eddie Dunn, and Rob Cuthill, and stellar sketch writer Achilles Stamatelaky) and One Idiot (a young group that includes writer Nathan Min): Maude Night:(212) and One Idiot

9:30 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): NYC stand-ups Jono Zalay, Janelle James, Josh Gondelman, and Samaria Johnson performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Mehran Khaghani: The Mehran Show

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phil Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Celebrating the birthday of Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1) are Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Luis J. Gomez, Josh Homer, Paul Virzi, Vladimir Caamano, and Fariaz Rabbani performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Adrienne Iapalucci Birthday Bash

10:00 pm ($7): Anarchic improv from nearly a dozen comics at The Magnet theatre: The Stank

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 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 The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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-$20)

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible 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 Thursday 1/29/15

January 29, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: John Oliver is on David Letterman;
Whitney Cummings guest hosts The Late Late Show;
Phoebe Robinson is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 1/12);
Matt Walsh, Jason Sklar, and Randy Sklar are on @midnight

Leslie Goshko

The irresistible Leslie Goshko celebrates the Six Year Anniversary of her storytelling extravaganza Sideshow Goshko

Seinfeld

…and one of the best UCB parody shows ever returns in Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show; The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam Champion), Catie Lazarus (The New York Times, host of Employee of the Month), and Martin Dockery celebrating the 6th year anniversary of this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) hosted by the lovely Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) and featuring such charms as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko: Six Year Anniversary

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), Michelle Biloon (The Late Late Show), and Robert Dean (AXS TV) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Aparna Nancherla, Ben Kronberg, and More

7:00 pm ($5): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($45.75 & 2-drink min.) The co-creater & co-writer of CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NBC sitcom Whitney, and who’s also performed on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, TBS, E!, and Chelsea Lately, is headlining tonight through Saturday at Carolines: Whitney Cummings

[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 stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Joe Machi, Joe Matarese, and Keith Alberstadt at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Dan Soder, Jon Fisch, and Damien Lemon 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] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a sketch group that promises to give away $100: Awful DJ

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical dark sketch group focuses on a single topic: Legs for Days Presents A Salute to Alcohol

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Rachel Feinstein, Brooks Whelan, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Ilana Glazer (co-star of Broad City), 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), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), James Patterson, Kenny DeForest, and Will Miles performing at this show for stand-up and sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Ilana Glazer, Larry Murphy, Matt Koff, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 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 This Is Your Life (eight improvisors make up scenes based on an interview with an audience member), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from guest storyteller Shacottha Fields 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 ($5): “Sarah Peele loves recapping movies to her friends. Doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it before, she’ll tell you all about it, including how it makes her feel. Tonight her movie is French Kiss, about a woman who flies to France to confront her straying fiancé, but gets into trouble when the charming crook seated next to her uses her for smuggling” at The PIT downstairs lounge: RECAP: French Kiss

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Martha hosts this variety show featuring Brandon Scott Wolf, Marc Philippe Eskenazi, and Marie Faustin performing at the PIT upstairs theatre: All You Can Eat

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

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Sketch group Forever Dog hosts guests Amy Leon (poet/musician) and Rahm Silverglade (musician) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Forever Dog Presents The Amy Leon Project

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, “after landing in Munchkinland, Dorothy discovers that she’s a shitty female protagonist. Along with the Scarecrow (a zombie looking for some brains), the Tin Man (a guy who’s looking to get rid of his heart because feelings suck), and the Cowardly Lion (a homophobic homosexual), Dorothy sets off on a journey to Hollywood to find the all-powerful Writer of the movie who can re-write her character into a more dynamic female lead” written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed by the fabulous Laura Grey: Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

…and in the second half of this double-bill is one of the very best shows to grace UCB Chelsea, in which sketch group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($11 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Interview guests Morgan Spurlock (legendary documentarian), Judy Gold (stand-up), Travon Free (writer for The Daily Show), and Desiree Akhavan (HBO’s Girls), plus stand-up from Jason Saenz, and comedy journalist Jeffrey Gurian doing a tribute to Joe Franklin, all at the Carolines Comedy Club: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

9:30 pm ($5): A staged reading of an SF TV pilot script in which “New York City is the center of an alien invasion, but like most New Yorkers, Jake doesn’t really have time for it” written by James III at The PIT upstairs theatre: How Things Are Now

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), 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), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Giulio Gallarotti, and Ricky Velez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Mike Lawrence, Ben Bailey, Sabrina Jalees, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors remake a blockbuster film (suggested by the audience) in the style of indie filmmaker Wes Anderson at The PIT downstairs lounge: Wes Anderson Remakes Your Favorite Movie

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” directed by Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): It all comes down to this: In this year’s finale, Improv groups Grandma’s Ashes and The Enemy battle for the annual championship by competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “Warren Talbot and his band The Silver Bullets have their first gig! Come join the hateable werewolf sidekick and bandleader of the most popular talk show in Hell, Welcome to Hell with Vincent Welles, as he performs at Dante’s Inferno & Bar & Grill” with Philip Casale, Brian Lucraze, Katie Hartman, Jarrod Bates, Mike Wirsch, Dae Churra, Serena Miller, Zoe Farmingdale, and Josh Krebs performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Silver Bullets

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 hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): 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: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith Jam

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-$20)

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible 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 12/19/14

December 19, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Ben Stiller and Damon Wayans are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Jay Leno is on Craig Ferguson;
Owen Wilson is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Cameron Diaz is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 12/10)

Bellevue Presents Seinfeld: "The Leaning Susan"

The funniest UCB parody of the year returns: Bellevue Presents Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 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): Great lineup of Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her improv partner Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical at The PIT downstairs lounge: Your Love, Our Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander, Keith Alberstadt, and Marina Franklin at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, and Keith Alberstadt at the 7:30 show; Judah Friedlander, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Rachel Feinstein, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 9:30 show; Joe Machi, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 10:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Artie Lange, Greer Barnes, Russ Meneve, Lynne Koplitz, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Favorite sketches from Magnet groups Baby Shoes, Billy & Seb, Dispacho, Kelly & Kate, Kevin & Jimmy, Party., The Rolling Scones, and We’re Matt Weir: Bonus Round

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from an upbeat group at The PIT upstairs theatre: Totally, Yes

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($10): One of the very best shows to grace UCB Chelsea this year, sketch group Bellevueand director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Kristen Bartlett & Jason Gore perform a sketch show about dealing with losing their dads within months of each other “but it’s funny, we swear” in The Dead Dads Club

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) A cast member of Saturday Night Live and In LIving Color (most famously playing Homey D. Clown), and an actor in numerous feature films, headlining tonight through Sunday—albeit at a steep price—at the Carolines Comedy Club: Damon Wayans

[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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code XMAS; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Wyatt Cenac, Rachel Feinstein, Jessica Kirson, 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, 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 ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot: Vern and Royals

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): David Carl (brilliantly talented and hilarious rising star character/sketch performer; Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) performs 100 Impressions In 30 Minutes, which isn’t great as a show because it focuses on technique rather than character humor, but it’s a showcase for David’s highly impressive skills and charismatic charm (and has the potential to serve as the foundation for something greater that’s character-driven); plus band Viper pays tribute to the soundtrack of Top Gun, all at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): 100 Impressions with David Carland Viper Plays Top Gun

[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

[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] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code,IFC), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Blake Midgette (Adult Swim), Travis Irvine, and Brett Hiker performing stand-up 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: Aparna Nancherla, MIchelle Wolf, Adam Newman, and More

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): In this unique variety show, “a bunch of daring comics get ballsy as each does something on stage he or she has never done but has always wanted to” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Peter Michael Marino (creator of the SoloCom Festival) and Kirsten O’Brien: Cojones

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($12.50 online using discount code XMAS; 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 ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, Wyatt Cenac, Jessica Kirson, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craftThe Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist andThe Prom) and Matteo Lane “sing your favorite Christmas songs while slowly getting drunker throughout the night. Come see if we can still stand by the end! You’re gonna be Laughing All the Way while we Jingle Your Bells” at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge: Mateo’s & Amber’s Christmas Cabaret Sing-Song

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

[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 ($10): 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 albumSadamantium), Jonathan Braylock (Amazing Spider-Man 2, host of The Lockdown), 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 ($5): A late night talk show written by the wonderful David Carl and David Kimball-Stanley, with tonight’s guests not announced, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Paul Gutkowski: The Last Show

11:30 pm ($7): Phoebe Tyers performs a one-woman show that’s “a late night spectacular that answers this seasonal question: what is the meaning of Christmas trees? From dashing Rockettes to southern musical guests, an explosion of gifts that lets you meet some of your favorite Christmas characters like the Grinch and Mariah Carey” atThe Magnet theatre directed by Jon Bander: Phoebe Tonight, Tonite

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “You better watch out, you might as well cry, say your prayers, cause y’all gonna die. Santa Claus is coming to town. This show tells the story of Santa Claus in the Wild West;” plus stand-up from Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Matt Koff (writer forThe Daily Show), and Liza Treyger (Chelsea Lately), all at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Andy Rocco Presents Santa The Gunslinger

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Danny Tamberelli & Mike Maronna (star of The Adventures of Pete & Pete) are the 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

[FREE] Midnight: “A live staged reading of an episode of the hit sitcom Fraiser. 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’s The Creekupstairs theatre spearheaded by Aaron Glaser: Wasted Fraser

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/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.

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.