NYC Top Comedy Choices for October 2019: Last Updated Friday 10/11

October 11, 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.

Do you like cross-genre stories (fantasy/comedy, SF/comedy, fantasy/horror, etc.)? Please visit my podcast, Ghosts On Drugs, by clicking here.

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

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

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

Brian Posehn 11Friday 10/11: The wonderful Brian Posehn (hilarious stand-up, comedic actor, and writer; recurring roles on The Big Bang Theory, New Girl, The Sarah Silverman Program, Just Shoot Me, Mr. Show, and more; star of indie film Uncle Nick; Netflix special The Fartist; writer of Marvel Comics’ wildly popular Deadpool; author of book Forever Nerdy) graces Brooklyn with his special blend of comic book & heavy metal wit for one night only: The Great Brian Posehn (7:30 pm; $25, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)


Emma Vernon: Friday 10/11: Multitalented rising star Emma Vernon (hip-hop musical improvisor, stand-up, actor, writer, and romance expert) uses her exceptional matchmaking skills to bring together love applicants and have them experience their first dates live on stage…while ace improvisors instantly create the settings for those dates (e.g., a music festival, a bowling alley, under the sea). To get a feel for this long-running monthly extravaganza, please click here, and then nab tickets for In A World: The Dating Show (8:00 pm, $12 online or $15 at the door, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Cat Cohen, Lane Moore, Liz Plank, and Scott Rogowsky: Friday 10/11: A show celebrating the app that redefined online dating, with the lovely and quick-witted Lane Moore (above middle; author of bestselling book How to Be Alone; HBO’s Girls; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo; writer for The Onion, McSweeney’s) going on a live Tinder safari for guys while a packed audience watches her every choice with fascination. Offering comments and suggestions are guest comics Scott Rogowsky (bottom row; NBC’s The Voice, WB’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us; host of wildly popular trivia game app HQ Trivia), Liz Plank (right; Senior Producer and Political Correspondent at Vox Media; author of book For the Love of Men), and Cat Cohen (left; Seth Meyers; host of podcast Seek Treatment): Tinder Live (8:30 pm, $18 at the door or $19.51-$22.76 online; Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Christi ChielloFriday 10/11: Two stand-ups each perform a deliciously long 30-minute set, with tonight’s headliners rising star Christi Chiello (above; Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, MTV’s Girl Code, TruTV, PBSKids, stellar solo show It’s Christi, B*tch!, co-host of Battle of the Divas and White Chocolate; opens for Chris Gethard) and Mary Beth Barone (Comedy Central, Viceland; host of podcast Mildly Offensive), all hosted by Gavin Matts (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): The Half Hours: Christi Chiello and Mary Beth Barone (9:00 pm, $12, The Stand Upstairs at 116 East 16th Street)

Terrorbird sketch comedyFriday 10/11: Surreal sketch group Terrorbird performs a new oddball series of scenes designed to unsettle and delight you: Terrorbird (8:00 pm, $12, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Found Footage FestivalSaturday 10/12: Hilariously oddball amateur VHS videos discovered & curated by Joe Pickett (The Onion) & Nick Prueher (The Colbert Report), with this year’s finds including the 1987 Miss Junior America Wisconsin pageant, a mysterious tape labeled “bonion sergery,” home movies taken at a Canadian hose factory, and a fitness video called Jugglercise: The Found Footage Festival Volume 9 (8:00 pm; $17, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Carly Ann FilbinSaturday 10/12: Carly Ann Filbin (luminous & delightful sketch comic/comedic actress/writer; on-camera correspondent for Cosmopolitan.com; host of Let Me Break You Up: An Anti-Dating Game Show) explains this comedic game show as follows: “Romance today isn’t what it used to be—swiping, clicking, dick-picing. It’s time we went retro with an old fashioned IRL dating show! Millennials choose their hottie based on how well they answer questions like ‘If you wanted morning sex, how would you initiate it?’, all while I make fun of them because, well, why not? Let’s make some love connections or, at the very least, a one-night stand to talk about at brunch:” Young Hot Sluts: A Matchmaking Show (8:00 pm; $15 at the door or $14.30 online; Brooklyn’s C’mon Everybody at 325 Franklin Avenue—take the G subway to Classon Avenue)

Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin: Saturday 10/12: Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin (above) host this live-on-stage taping of their podcast that tests comics on their exceptional knowledge, with tonight’s topic Flirting, and the experts Mary Beth Barone and Jay Jurden: The UnOfficial Expert Live (10:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher: Sunday 10/13: Corinne Fisher & Krystyna Hutchinson (authors of F*CKED: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed) record their wildly popular Guys We Fucked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast live on stage: Guys We F*cked (7:00 pm; $22.32 in advance online or $24 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Killy DwyerSunday 10/13: Comedic singer/songwriter Killy Dwyer is taking a break from NYC: “October marks my 25th year here in the Big Apple, and what a fuckin’ ride! I’d compare it to the Coney Island Cyclone: fun, but painful, you don’t really go anywhere, and you can only take so much. So we’re heading west for awhile! A year?! Who knows. We need a change of venue, baby! This evening is part retrospective, part new material, lot’s of special guests who SCREAM NYC to me, and an after-party not soon to be forgotten,” with scheduled comics including Lauren Maul, Mike Milazzo, Jackson Sturkey, Dan Ricker, David Turner Jr., Joe Crow, and Ryan Sourdoe: Goodbye NY! A Killy Dwyer Farewell Show (8:00 pm doors, 8:30 pm show; no cover but 2-drink min., with cheapest options $8 each, so figure on spending at least $16 plus tip; KGB Bar’s upstairs Red Room at 85 East 4th Street off Second Avenue)

Bonus FeatureMonday 10/14: A sketch show springboarding off the “bonus feature” content of beloved movie DVDs auditions for a spot on the UCB schedule, written by Alex Field, directed by Eric Feurer, and starring Claire Burns, Alex Field, Tim Girrbach, Eliza Kingsbury, Xave A Flave. and Michael Stevens: The Bonus Features (6:00 pm, $7, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street; on a double-bill with another Spank audition show, Branded Content Reloaded: The Feminine Mystique)

Emily Flake's Monday 10/14: Emily Flake is a brilliant writer/cartoonist whose work appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and more. She’s also the author of cartoon books These Things Ain’t Gonna Smoke Themselves and Mama Tried—and now, the just-released That Was Awkward: The Art and Etiquette of the Awkward Hug. Emily will be celebrating her new book with guests Josh Gondelman (one of the sharpest comics in the country; writer/producer for Showtime’s Desus & Mero; previously Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s phenom Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker; stand-up albums Dancing On a Weeknight and Physical Whisper, author of book Nice Try) and Shalewa Sharpe (Comedy Central’s The New Negroes; HBO’s 2 Dope Queens; comedy album So You Just Out Here?): Emily Flake’s That Was Awkward Book Release Celebration (7:30 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s Books Are Magic at 225 Smith Street; take the F/G subway to Bergen Street)

West Wing Writers: Tuesday 10/15: Members of the West Wing Writers group (which includes former Presidential speechwriters) 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; $12; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

The Writers' Room: A Stand-Up ShowTuesday 10/15: Stellar writers of late-night comedy TV shows perform stand-up, with Josh Gondelman (one of the sharpest comics in the country; writer/producer for Showtime’s Desus & Mero; previously Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s phenom Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker; author of book Nice Try; stand-up albums Dancing On a Weeknight and Physical Whisper), Alison Leiby (writer for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, former writer for Comedy Central’s The Opposition and The President Show; VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Jourdain Fisher (writer for The Tonight Show), and Randall Otis (writer for The Daily Show) hosted by Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1): The Writers’ Room: A Stand-Up Show (8:00 pm; normally $13 with no min., but free following these instructions [support this special by optionally buying food or drinks]; Brooklyn’s Eastville Comedy Club at 487 Atlantic Avenue—take 2/3/4/5/B/D/N/Q/R subway to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center)

Comic Book ClubTuesday 10/15: Every Tuesday at 8:00 pm, comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club (8:00 pm, Free!, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Molly Gaebe: Thursday 10/17: Host Molly Gaebe invites female storytellers, comics, and historians to share the tales of “some of the greatest women the world has ever known, but history erased” for this live-on-stage podcast recording, with this month’s theme Women in the Horror Genre tackled by guests TBA: Nevertheless She Existed: Horror Queens (7:00 pm, $17 online or $20 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Bad Pitches: Halloween TV Special EditionFriday 10/18: Comics TBA pitch the worst ideas for Halloween TV specials they can think of, only to have them nickel-and-dimed by a panel of TV exec judges, in this monthly show hosted by Ned Ehrbar: Bad Pitches: Halloween TV Special Edition (8:30 pm, Free!, Crystal Lake Brooklyn at 647 Grand Street; take L subway to Brooklyn’s Lorimer Street or Graham Avenue)

Picture This!Saturday 10/19: In this unique show, animators spontaneously bring the jokes of stand-ups Rosebud Baker, Dee Nasty, Rebecca O’Neal, Chanel Ali, and Doug Smith to visual life with lightning speed & wit. Part of the fun is that the comics don’t know what the animators will draw and the animators don’t know how the comics will react. Produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Samantha Ruddy: Picture This! (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Kaiju Big BattelSaturday 10/26: A modern conflict of epic proportions. Evil villains, menacing alien beasts, and giant, city-crushing monsters threaten to destroy the planet. Who will save the helpless humans from total ruin? The Heroes, of course; plus a few privileged audience members getting in on the action, as they try to contain danger within the three-roped arena of Kaiju Big Battel (6:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

The 12th Annual Schtick or TreatMonday 10/28: For the 12th year of this fabulous annual event, scores of NYC comics get a couple of minutes each to do a set as a famous comedian (e.g., Amy Schumer, George Carlin, Jimmy Fallon, Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers…the possibilities are endless) hosted by Mark Normand & Matt Ruby. For highlights of last year’s show, please click here, and then nab tickets to The 12th Annual Schtick or Treat (8:00 pm; $16.41 online or $12 at the door (if it doesn’t sell out in advance, which it often does); Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory at 361 Metropolitan Avenue—take the G subway to Metropolitan Avenue or L subway to Lorimer Street)

BackFat Variety Presents: Comedians with Ghost StoriesThursday 10/31: Stand-ups share true personal stories about supernatural experiences, with Adam Mamawala (Comedy Central, MTV, BET; stand-up album One of the Good Ones), Pranav Behari (co-host of Mango Bae podcast), Maria Wojciechowski (editor at Comedywire), Srilatha Rajamani, and Jericho Davidson hosted by Emily Winter (writer for NPR’s Ask Me Another; The New Yorker, The New York Times) and Larry Mancini (ESPN radio; band member of The Tracys): BackFat Variety Presents: Comedians with Ghost Stories (9:30 pm, $15, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Punderdome 3000: Halloween SpecialTuesday 11/5: A raucous monthly pun competition hosted by Fred Firestone (co-author with Jo Firestone of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), with 18 audience members (a dozen sign-ups and six returning champions) fiercely competing for wordplay dominance—and the chance to become an instant star based on verbal cleverness, and the ability to drum up the most applause from a packed and loudly cheering crowd. This special Halloween edition also features a spooky Pun-Costume competition: Punderdome 3000: Halloween Special (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street—take R subway to Union Street; show up early—doors open at 7:00—to nab a seat, or plan on standing)

The National Lampoon Radio HourWednesday 11/6: The National Lampoon Radio Hour ran weekly from November 1973 through December 1974. A number of its comics then moved on to Saturday Night Live, including John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, and brilliant writer Michael O’Donoghue. Decades later, you can come see NLRH resurrected as a podcast and stage show with a brand new cast of writers and performers: Jo Firestone, Maeve Higgins, Aaron Jackson, Brett Davis, Alex English, Rachel Pegram, Lorelei Ramirez, Meg Stalter, Martin Urbano, and Cole Escola: The National Lampoon Radio Hour (7:30 pm, $25, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Sarah Squirm's HellTrap NightmareFriday 11/8: Sarah Squirm, who created the infamous Adult Swim video here, gifts us with a live show filled with her disturbingly gross dark comedy, plus musical guests Ana Fabrega & Lorelei Ramirez (as duo Beautiful Souls Al Fresco): Sarah Squirm’s HellTrap Nightmare (7:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

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.

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

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 eason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/8/15

October 8, 2015

For a day-by-day guide to Comic Con highlights,
please click Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

I’ll be attending every day of Comic Con, which is NYC’s second largest annual event. Highlights of Day #1 include:

Dragon Ball Z

The Walking Dead 4

Game of Thrones - Natalie Dormer, Finn Jones, and Keisha Castle-Hughes

Brian Posehn 10

Virtually all 150,000+ Comic Con tickets are sold out, but if you’ve already nabbed one for today, there’s a whole bunch to enjoy.

And noteworthy shows happening outside of Comic Con tonight include:

  • I Don’t Get It: Stand-up from Myq Kaplan, Seaton Smith, Nick Vatterott, and Ben Kronberg (7:30 pm, $5, HiFi Bar at 169 Avenue A between 10th & 11th Streets)
  • Nice T!ts: As a sort of antidote for Comic Con, Amy Marcs’ one-woman show about breast cancer (8:00 pm, $15, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th Street)
  • Spider-Man Entirely From Memory: Eight improvisors attempt to recreate the adventures of Spider-Man using only what they can remember after watching one of his many movies. Some will watch Tobey Maguire, others Andrew Garfield, and for the lucky few, the animated adventures. To add to the fun, a few rules: Performers must 1) incorporate lines written by the audience; 2) incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth; and 3) whenever a horn is honked, create a scene that has no business being in Spider-Man but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story (9:30 pm, $10, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th Street)
  • CollegeHumor Live: Brilliant stand-ups—so great they’re virtually super-heroes—Aparna Nancherla and Joe Pera (9:30 pm, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)
  • The Geek Show: Stand-ups (not announced) who are comic book fans, hosted by Neko White (Midnight, $10 cover—or $5 cover if you show your Comic Con badge—plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

For a day-by-day guide to Comic Con highlights,
please click Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv (e.g., Gravid Water, Adsit & ?), sketch (Maude Night), solo shows, and one-act comedic plays, but also hosts one of the very finest stand-up shows in the city (Aparna Nancherla’s Whiplash)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-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)

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.)

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 9/15/12

September 15, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Colin Quinn and Janeane Garofalo

Comedy stars Colin Quinn, Janeane Garofalo, and a mystery guest perform stand-up at “If You Build It”…

Brian Posehn and Amy Schumer

…Brian Posehn headlines at Carolines, and Amy Schumer headlines at Gotham (earlier shows are sold out, but nab tickets for Amy’s finale at 11:45 pm)

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

[TOP PICK] 4:30 pm-11:00 pm ($15-$20): Top comics from NYC and elsewhere—including UK phenom Daniel Kitson—gather tonight for three different shows, in Brooklyn’s Union Hall and Bell House, for the next-to-last day of the Fifth Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK] 5:30 pm ($10 plus 1 drink min.): “Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theater, a shark swims right into your heart.” Beloved storyteller/stand-up/sketch comic John Flynn stars—superbly—as a singing shark, along with two wonderful finds, powerhouse singer Laura Daniel and comedy dynamo Brett Douglas, in this 40-minute musical written & composed by Wayne Henry at the Broadway Comedy Club (318 West 53rd Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues) that really should be doubled in length via a second act but in the meantime is worth catching as is: Jaws: The Musical

[FREE] 5:30 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Gunther, Big Fat Liars, and Sad Kids at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): The UK’s renowned Cambridge University is known for great scholarly achievement…but also a comedy troupe named The Footlights that helped launch the careers of John Cleese (Monty Python), Hugh Laurie (House), Emma Thompson (Love Actually), Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), and more. The 2012 edition of this group performs tonight at UCB East as part of a world tour: Cambridge Footlights: Perfect Strangers

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Original comedic songs are showcased, with tonight’s superb performers Jessica Delfino (I Wanna Be Famous album), Amy Albert (Delilah Dix and her Bag of Tricks), Juliet Jeske (Huffington Post video blogger), Ashley Brooke Roberts, and Kathleen Armenti at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Justin Perez & Shaina Stigler: Totally Requesty

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Two of the most respected improvisors in the country, Magnet co-owner Armando DIaz and Christina Gausas, team up as Diaz & Gausas

7:30 pm ($10): Talented 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A unique organic talent who’s a regular guest on Conan O’Brien, and co-stared in the Comedians of Comedy tour and Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Brian Posehn

8:00 pm ($5): Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting), Jon Bander (Harvey), and Jenn Dodd (Buttski and Glasscock’s Talent Blowout) perform comedic characters at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Delilah Dix: What a Bunch Of Dix!

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, TV & Broadway star Colin Quinn, “a very special guest we can’t even name,” and more celebrating the One Year Anniversary of this weekly stand-up show at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: 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): Comedy stars Ted Alexandro (possibly just 9:00 pm), Christian Finnegan, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): “Ashley Rebecca King and Gregory von Portz present a post-dinner poolside party for their hippest and most sophisticated friends. Menthol-cool musical stylings and intellectual discourse abound as you are treated to a floor show with a carefully chosen set list, curated by the world’s foremost cover-band artists, that changes monthly. Dip in; it’s never the same dive twice” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Moon Pools

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

10:00 pm ($5): Comics performing as characters at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s show featuring Matt McCarthy and probably a small army of others, hosted by Rob Stern: Overload the Machine

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and who knows what else at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by a stand-up/sketch duo: Team Submarine and Friends

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): For a change of pace, improv master Ed Herbstman joins Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney performing at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($8): A young new all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which doesn’t always ht the mark but provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won an ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist: Late and Dirty

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Amy Schumer is one of the very finest stand-ups in the country, with performances on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, and more; and Amy’s just getting started with a career that’s likely to skyrocket. Amy’s headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club. Tickets are mostly sold out, but there are still some left for the 11:45 pm finale; grab them while you can…: Amy Schumer

Midnight ($5): “Jason Saenz and Riley Soloner have invited the worst people in NYC to come and talk about their sh*tty situations in front of a studio audience in hopes that they can better themselves and turn their lives around. HAHAHA! Just kidding! We’re exploiting these people for ratings!” Featuring over a dozen comics performing at UCB Chelsea, including Nicole Byer and Rob Lathan: Late Night Trash

Midnight ($5): Screenings at UCB East (which used to be an indie film theatre) of brand new comedy videos that haven’t yet been released: Test Screening

[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 Friday 10/11/10

October 15, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Brian Posehn

Brian Posehn headlies tonight and Saturday at Comix

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 ($5): In this fun show, 16 musical performers turn an audience member’s suggestion into two musical fairy tales that tell what happened from the viewpoint of first the hero and then the villain, with “all the music and magic of a Disney flick…plus the darkness of the Brothers Grimm:” Once Upon a Time

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Marc Bonnée, member of acclaimed sketch troupe Drop Six, goes solo with this show consisting of character bits and one-man sketches loosely tied to the theme of excess: Too…

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Award-winning UK comic and co-star of HBO’s Extras performing her one-woman show for one night only at UCBT: Francesca Martinez

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($29 at the door, or $29.13 online if you use code PLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A unique organic talent who co-stars in the Comedians of Comedy tour and Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program, and was a regular on Conan O’Brien, headlining tonight and Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Brian Posehn

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A groundbreaking and surreal improv/sketch troupe performing with new guests each Friday and making a valid complaint: Centralia: We Were Supposed To Have Flying Cars By Now

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Anthony Jeselnik (one of my all-time favorite stand-ups; writer/performer for Jimmy FallonConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central Presents; debut comedy CD Shakespeare), UK stand-up star Glenn Wool, award-winning sketch troupe Murderfist, Dan Soder, Neal Stasny, Bobby Miyamoto, Matt Champagne, and many more performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) to celebrate the 2-year anniversary of hosts Nick Turner’s & Neal Stasny’s Too Cool for School

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): “Pops” on the WB’s The Wayans Bros. headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: John Witherspoon

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups not yet announced performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue), hosted by someone not yet announced either (Sachi, where’s that weekly email notice…?): Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

8:00 pm ($8): Improvised scenes based on the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist atMissed Connections Two-Prov

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

10:30 pm ($10): Jonathan Gabrus, Sue Galloway, and other fine improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Dru Johnston, Noah Forman, and Alex Demers springboard off an audience suggestion to improvise an entire silly and energy-charged play in 40 minutes; especially keep an eye on Demers, who has a wild Sean Penn quality that makes you think he might explode into violence or insanity at any moment, adding to the edgy quality of The New Deal

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Wonderful actress/author Ashley Wren Collins, Bill Santiago, Calise Hawkins, Inside Joke Films, and more performing at host Keisha Zollar’s comedy variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, video, dance, and music: The Soul Glo Project

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/24/09

October 24, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Brian Posehn headlines tonight at the elegant Comix Comedy Club

Brian Posehn headlines tonight at the elegant Comix Comedy Club

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:

7:00 pm & 8:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($6.13 per show online): NYC improv and sketch troupes—many of whom perform at The PIT—compete against each other via this unusual annual contest in which each group, regardless of specialty, will perform both improv and sketch…as well as a comedy form known as sketchprov using the Second City routine The Pad. The 27 teams participating this year are Audience of Two, Bacivo Nuggets, Bad Luck Rising, Cool Guyot, Dave and Ethan, Do You Like This in Your Face?, Dumpster Tequila, Etc…, Foolhardy Manor, Friends of the Museum, Gentleman Caller, Halfbear, Hopeful Chester, Inside Joke Films, Maybe Sherman, Mrs. Estherhouse, Ninja Sex Party, Nobody’s Token, Party Lights, Pembroke and Lu, Peoples Sketch Association, SidViscous, Sisters!, Slapstick Picnic, Swords, Veal, and Yawn. The competition, which began on Monday and concludes tonight, is SketchProv

7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Sharp NYC stand-ups performing in Ochi’s Lounge, hosted by Sean Donnelly, at Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Star improvisation from writers & performers at 30 Rock, The Colbert Report,

Conan O’Brien, and more joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($29 & 2-item min.): A highly popular co-star of the Comedians of Comedy tour and Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program, and a regular on Conan O’Brien, headlining tonight and Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Brian Posehn

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up headlining at Carolines: Susie Essman

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): The gutsiest comedy troupe in NYC, genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($5): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:30 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code BECKYD, otherwise $20): A Chicago-based troupe that’s wowed audiences around the world with their skill at creating a completely improvised hour-long musical. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment; even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are made up on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award this August for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event at the magical Baby Wants Candy

10:30 pm ($5): Vibrant improv from acclaimed trio Statues of Liberty

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): The hilarious Adam Lustick and Billy Scafuri of world-class sketch troupe The Harvard Sailing Team perform at & host this show of funny hip-hop: Snakes: Comedic Rappers

[$] 12:30 am ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 1:00 am: Chuck Dauble (C, C & C Improv Factory) and Jesse Falcon (Mother, The Scam) demonstrate their movie expertise for Halloween with a screening of a horror classic: Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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