NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/28/17

June 28, 2017

Big Time DicksLive taping of a new comedic podcast that aims to provide “a fresh perspective on politics through an examination of the big-time dicks behind the policies affecting our lives,” with guests Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Amy Goodman (Host/Executive Producer of Democracy Now!, a daily award-winning news program airing on over 1,400 public TV & and radio stations worldwide; author of six New York Times Bestsellers), and Erika Andiola (former Press Secretary for Latino Outreach for Bernie 2016 and current Political Director for the campaign’s successor organization Our Revolution) sponsored by Jezebel, and hosted by Joanna Rothkopf & Prachi Gupta: Six Months Deep with Big-Time Dicks (7:30 pm, Free! if you RSVP, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

Carmen Lynch: "Lynched"…and if you missed her debut last night, this is your second chance to enjoy the lovely and delightful Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing finalist) performing an hour-long solo stand-up show in the West Village that Carmen will reprise at this August’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Lynched (8:30 pm, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Thursday 6/29/17

WanderfestStand-up from Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive and adventurous comics alive; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Billy on the Street), Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents), Langston Kerman (cast member of HBO’s Insecure; Adam DeVine’s House Party; written for Chris Rock’s hosting of the Oscars and Comedy Central’s Problematic), and Samantha Ruddy (College Humor, Someecards), plus improv from UCB East Gentrify hosts Brandon Scott Jones, Alden Ford, and Justin Tyler, produced by Cassie Grimaldi and hosted by Kelsey Caine, Martin Urbano, and Jack Comstock, all performing at a wandering show that takes place at a different venue each month: Wanderfest (8:00 pm; $10; Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street, take R subway to Union Street)…

Reductress Wet…or catch Kate Berlant (Netflix’s The Characters, MTV, IFC, CNN), Anna Drezen (writer for Saturday Night Live; superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters, movement, and sketch; author of How May We Hate You), Janelle James (@midnight, SeeSo’s Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), and Blair Socci (MTV’s Girl Code and Ladylike) perform stand-up hosted by Nicole Silverberg and sponsored by a famed magazine focused on female comedy: Reductress Wet (8:00 pm, $20, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 6/30/17

The Memorial Remembrance of Ronny PascaleInvaluable PIT Associate Artistic Director Ronny Pascale has been instrumental in keeping hundreds of PIT shows and festivals running smoothly and brilliantly. A sensitive artist and exceptionally hard worker who cares about every detail, Ronny Pascale has been a golden asset to The Peoples Improv Theater and to the NYC comedy community in general. Unfortunately, we’re about to lose him to Southern California. This show is part roast and part tribute as Ronny’s friends—Dana Shulman, Amelia Bienstock, Mehdi Barakchian, Kent Wilhelm, and more—bid him adieu in various comedic ways, produced by Jen Clark, musically directed by Mark Erenstoft (Broadway’s Avenue Q), and hosted by Will Purpura: The Memorial Remembrance of Ronny Pascale (7:00 pm; $10, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

George/Martha: An Improvised "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"…and while you’re at The PIT, experience brilliant improvisors Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv group Poor Melissa) and Jason Specland (public access TV show The Enchanged Wardrobe, improv group Regina) make up a guilt & stress-filled evening as Edward Albee’s characters George & Martha famously played by Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton—and If you’re not careful, you might find yourself participating in their “fun and games:” George/Martha: An Improvised Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (9:00 pm; $10, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)…

Natalie Wall, Sydnee Washington, and Patti Harrison: "Awkward Sex...and the City"…or come see the lovely Natalie Wall host the best sexy storytelling show in NYC—tonight celebrating Pride Month—with comics Sydnee Washington, Patti Harrison, and more telling tales of erotic encounters gone awry: Awkward Sex…and the City (8:00 pm $20—which includes free beer and wine—at The Pleasure Chest at 1150 Second Avenue, between 60th & 61st Streets)

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 7/1/17

Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who chooses correctly gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, Internet Action Force, star of Sideshow Goshko and The Real Housewives of Columbo), Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion, co-host of popular Hotsy Totsy Tribute series), Marie Faustin (radio host at 99.5 FM, co-host of The Unofficial Expert podcast), and host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at this 11th Anniversary edition of The Liar Show (6:00 pm; $10 cover plus $10 drink min.; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia Street)…

…or experience Gary DeNoia playing movie icon Nicolas Cage delivering a lecture about physical intimacy: Nic Cage Teaches Sex to Adults (7:00 pm; $7, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 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; 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 Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

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

Littlefield
(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/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 6/27/17

June 27, 2017

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 6/27/17

Carmen Lynch: "Lynched"The lovely and delightful Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing finalist) performs an hour-long solo stand-up show tonight and tomorrow that Carmen will reprise at this August’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Lynched (8:30 pm, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Ophira Eisenberg and Adam Wade…and master storyteller Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!; for a sampling of Ophira’s remarkably deep comedic tales, please click here) and Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; host of The Adam Wade Show; album The Human Comedy; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning yarns, please click here) team up to tell tales of pain and healing in Brooklyn: Ophira’s and Adam’s Scar Tissue: A Night of Hilarious, Heartfelt Stories (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil: "Your Love, Our Musical"…or marvel at world-class singing improvisors Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil interviewing an audience couple about their love life and then turning it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (8:00 pm; $10, which is super cheap—this show has regularly sold out at $18 at other venues; The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 6/28/17

Big Time DicksA live taping of a new comedic podcast that aims to provide “a fresh perspective on politics through an examination of the big-time dicks behind the policies affecting our lives,” with guests Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Amy Goodman (Host/Executive Producer of Democracy Now!, a daily award-winning news program airing on over 1,400 public TV & and radio stations worldwide; author of six New York Times Bestsellers), and Erika Andiola (former Press Secretary for Latino Outreach for Bernie 2016 and current Political Director for the campaign’s successor organization Our Revolution) sponsored by Jezebel, and hosted by Joanna Rothkopf & Prachi Gupta: Six Months Deep with Big-Time Dicks (7:30 pm, Free! if you RSVP, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

Carmen Lynch: "Lynched"…and if you missed her debut last night, this is your second chance to enjoy the lovely and delightful Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing finalist) performing an hour-long solo stand-up show that Carmen will reprise at this August’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Lynched (8:30 pm, $5 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Thursday 6/29/17

WanderfestStand-up from Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive and adventurous comics alive; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Billy on the Street), Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents), Langston Kerman (cast member of HBO’s Insecure; Adam DeVine’s House Party; written for Chris Rock’s hosting of the Oscars and Comedy Central’s Problematic), and Samantha Ruddy (College Humor, Someecards), plus improv from UCB East Gentrify hosts Brandon Scott Jones, Alden Ford, and Justin Tyler, produced by Cassie Grimaldi and hosted by Kelsey Caine, Martin Urbano, and Jack Comstock, all performing at a wandering show that takes place at a different venue each month: Wanderfest (8:00 pm; $10; Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street, take R subway to Union Street)…

Reductress Wet…or catch Kate Berlant (Netflix’s The Characters, MTV, IFC, CNN), Anna Drezen (writer for Saturday Night Live; superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters, movement, and sketch; author of How May We Hate You), Janelle James (@midnight, SeeSo’s Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), and Blair Socci (MTV’s Girl Code and Ladylike) perform stand-up hosted by Nicole Silverberg and sponsored by a famed magazine focused on female comedy: Reductress Wet (8:00 pm, $20, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 6/30/17

The Memorial Remembrance of Ronny PascaleInvaluable PIT Associate Artistic Director Ronny Pascale has been instrumental in keeping hundreds of PIT shows and festivals running smoothly and brilliantly. A sensitive artist and exceptionally hard worker who cares about every detail, Ronny Pascale has been a golden asset to The Peoples Improv Theater and to the NYC comedy community in general. Unfortunately, we’re about to lose him to Southern California. This show is part roast and part tribute as Ronny’s friends—Dana Shulman, Amelia Bienstock, Mehdi Barakchian, Kent Wilhelm, and more—bid him adieu in various comedic ways, produced by Jen Clark, musically directed by Mark Erenstoft (Broadway’s Avenue Q), and hosted by Will Purpura: The Memorial Remembrance of Ronny Pascale (7:00 pm; $10, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

George/Martha: An Improvised "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"…and while you’re at The PIT, experience brilliant improvisors Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv group Poor Melissa) and Jason Specland (public access TV show The Enchanged Wardrobe, improv group Regina) make up a guilt & stress-filled evening as Edward Albee’s characters George & Martha famously played by Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton—and If you’re not careful, you might find yourself participating in their “fun and games:” George/Martha: An Improvised Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (9:00 pm; $10, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)…

Natalie Wall, Sydnee Washington, and Patti Harrison: "Awkward Sex...and the City"…or come see the lovely Natalie Wall host the best sexy storytelling show in NYC—tonight celebrating Pride Month—with comics Sydnee Washington, Patti Harrison, and more telling tales of erotic encounters gone awry: Awkward Sex…and the City (8:00 pm $20—which includes free beer and wine—at The Pleasure Chest at 1150 Second Avenue, between 60th & 61st Streets)

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 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; 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 Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

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

Littlefield
(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/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/17/17

April 17, 2017

Ryan HamiltonRyan Hamilton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with consistently fresh ideas and great crafting of language; Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime) performs a rare NYC solo stand-up show: Ryan Hamilton at the Village Underground (8:00 pm, $5 plus 2-item min., Village Underground at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Ted Alexandro, Amy Stiller, and Carmen Lynch…or see Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; webseries Teachers Lounge; frequently opens for Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing finalist), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Amy Stiller (movies Zoolander 2, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Cable Guy, The Daytrippers, Tropic Thunder; numerous TV shows including The King of Queens and Inside Amy Schumer), and Jane Condon (Last Comic Standing, NBC’s The Today Show, ABC’s The View, FOX, Lifetime) perform stand-up hosted by John Morrison at Morrison Motel (8:30 pm; $20 at the door—which includes one drink—if you mention code HyReviews.com or BestNewYorkComedy.com [otherwise $25]; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319 because this show often sells out; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia Street)

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Award-winning Canadian sketch duo The Templeton Philharmonic, which consists of Gwynne Phillips (HBO’s Sensitive Skin, PBS’s Odd Squad) & Briana Templeton (SyFy’s The Expanse, CTV’s The Beaverton), perform “darkly surreal sketches, comedic period pieces, and manic dance sequences” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with an opening solo act from Shawna Stoltzfoos (webseries Stoltzfoos, sketch group Barbara Bush): The Templeton Philharmonic plus Shawna Stoltzfoos

7:00 pm ($7): Long form improv from group Bougie, which springboards scenes off audience suggestions to “explore enchanting realms and meet fantastically out-of-touch characters” at The PIT Mainstage: Bougie

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Ryan Schutt tries out new material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Ryan Schutt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy groups Just Karen and The Nitro GIrls perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Eliza Skinner (Conan O’Brien, AMC’s Lifecoach, Showtime, MTV, TBS, musical improv groups Baby Wants Candy and I Eat Pandas), Alison Leiby (VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), and Justin Williams (Comedy Central; host of Death Comedy Jam) perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park, Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Character comics—including brilliant writer/performers Filip Jeremic, Phoebe Tyers, and more—do solo bits to show off their impressive talent at UCB East hosted by Frank Garcia-Hejl & Justin Tyler. This is one of my favorite monthly shows, and I especially recommend it if you’re a producer, casting director, or other industry pro in search of sharp comedy actors: Characters Welcome

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Michelle Wolf, Dan Soder, Liza Treyger, Roy Wood Jr., Ronny Chieng, Mike Yard, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a faux TV episode by sketch group Nipsey in which “As a father/daughter duo, Albert and Corinne work great. As co-owners of a cigar store-turned-vape shop, they’ve got a lot to learn! And when the big Vape Expo comes to town Darcy, Gayle, and Heath have kooky ideas about how to make waves!:” Nipsey: Vape Lyfe

…and in the second other of this double bill, sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope’:” O.S.F.U.G. The Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): In this musical written & directed by Elias Rubin, the 3rd graders of TV series The Magic Schoolbus have grown up and are enjoying their last day of high school…when their former teacher Ms. Frizzle abruptly reappears to take them on an out-of-this-world adventure at The PIT Mainstage: The Edge of the Universe: A Magic School Bus Musical Parody

[$] 8:00 pm ($18): A one-man show by Mike King about his late father, who owned Sid King’s Crazy Horse Bar and had the nickname “The Sultan of Striptease,” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Fifth Dentist in Search of Sid’s Treasure: A Tribute to the Sultan of Striptease

[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

8:30 pm ($8): Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker), Andrea Ilene Shapiro, Cathy Humes, Pedro Salinas, Phil Stamato, and Maurice Licorish perform stand-up that may include uncomfortable observations or revelations at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Erin Lynn O’Connor & Rosa Escandon: Awkward Stage Comedy Show

9:00 pm ($7): An all-gal improv group consisting of Beth Slack, Carly Monardo, Devin O’Neill, and Elena Skopetos make up a radio play on the spot at The Magnet theatre: The Broadcast

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Gianmarco Soresi (Seeso; sketch group Uncle Function; acclaimed FringeNYC play <50%), Tim Ellis, Ken Schultz, Maria Heinegg, Will Poznan, Stacy Kendro, and Michael Lewis perform at this free weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love) and RIchard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 ($5): House sketch groups A Few Sandwich Lovers and Archnemesis try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($7): 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

10:00 pm ($7): Improv group That’s Dinner makes up an entire movie that never existed based on a suggestion from the audience at The PIT Mainstage: That’s Dinner and a Movie

10:30 pm ($7): Improv from underrepresented voices at The Magnet theatre: Mixtape: Diversity Improv

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 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 (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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 who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Stu Melton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm ($3): A walk-in stand-up open mic hosted by Katherine Dudas and a walk-in improv jam hosted by Collin Gossel somehow happen at the same time at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Improv Open Mic Stand-Up Jam

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($5 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

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 John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 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 theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 11:00 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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: Base Jam

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre (123 East 24th Street): 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; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10

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

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

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

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

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

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

QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard): 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 2/21/17

February 21, 2017

Best New York Comedy: The ShowDon’t miss this site’s live show Best New York Comedy, featuring stellar stand-ups Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Inside Amy Schumer, finalist on Last Comic Standing), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Bravo, Oxygen), Clare O’Kane (Viceland, Semi-Famous, SpongeBob SquarePants), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Ashley Brooke Roberts (MTV’s Guy Code, Nat Geo, co-host of UCB’s Fresh Out), Filip Jeremic (exceptional comedic actor/chameleon; co-star of The PIT’s The Wigging Hour and UCB’s Characters Welcome), and Katie Hartman (fearless dark comedy writer/performer; sketch groups Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting and Hartman & Carl, improv group Gypsy Danger), produced by Hy Bender and hosted by genius musical improvisors Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman: Best New York Comedy (9:30 pm, $7, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions, preceded at 6:00 pm by an improv jam open to the audience: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($7): A night of comedy to cheer the troops of Star Wars’ Rebel Alliance Comics are taped performing sketch and characters as submissions for the prestigious Montreal Just For Laughs Festival at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Morale Boost: Stand-Up Comedy for the Rebel Troops

7:00 pm ($5): A showcase for brand new scripted shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—this week featuring Total High Impact Fever Rangers and A Fantastic Networking Opportunity at The PIT Underground produced by the wonderful Ronny Pascale and hosted by Anne Victoria Clark (freelance contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update): Pilot Season

7:00 pm ($7): Improv group Lazy Fair performs, and also hosts improv groups Biscuit Out and Rebel 5, at The PIT Mainstage: Lazy Fair and Friends

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): The inventive Julio Torres (writer for Saturday Night Live) performs stand-up and sketch at the UCB East theatre: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat: My Favorite Shapes

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storytellers tell tales on this month’s self-discovery theme Who Am I? at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Ben Lillie & Erin Barker: The Story Collider

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s couples are Lisa Kleinman & Casey Jost (spouses), Phoebe Robinson & Michelle Buteau (pals), Rae Sanni & Sharron Paul (pals), and Sean Donnelly & Robert Dean (pals), all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by lovers Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): Couples Therapy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 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 at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch and improv comics “create a brand new show in only one week, and then perform improvised sketches based off of your suggestions, just like The Second City used to do” at The PIT Mainstage: Old School Sketch Show

[FREE, plus FREE BEER] 8:00 pm: Enjoy a comfy seat and a free beer while you watch comedy at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Couch Cave Live

[FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

8:30 pm ($5): “When an office full of big city escalator salesmen is given the news that all but two will be fired at the end of the week, the tough-talking escalator boys have to come up with a way to lift themselves up to a higher floor…or risk falling all the way down” written & co-starring Calvin Cole, Emily Duncan, and Jon Hudson at The PIT Underground: Glengarry Glen Escalator

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($10): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Will Forte (long-time SNL cast member; writer, producer, and star of FOX’s Last Man on Earth), Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and two Comedy Central Half Hour specials, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy albums You Let Me Down and The Depression Auction), Drew Michael (writer for Saturday Night Live), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:00 pm ($7): An improvised game of Dungeons & Dragons at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Campaign

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Character comics perform a sketch show parodying a popular YouTube channel—with special guest Melissa Villasenor (cast member of Saturday Night Live)— at the UCB East theatre hosted by Becky Chicoine & Sudi Green: Theme Party

9:30 pm ($7): Improv comedy focused on personal relationships and hosted by a father-daughter duo at The PIT Underground: Daddies Issues

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that books comics from the same original area (i.e., outside of NYC) to perform long sets at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Trey Galyon: I’m Not From Here

10:30 pm ($7): Two sitcom pilots are performed in a staged reading at The PIT Underground: Co-Pilots

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, improv group Dr. Snake performs different types of longform at the UCB East theatre: Harold on the Run

Tuesday 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: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv veterans to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

6:00 pm ($5): Walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Giggles & Bits Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale (PIT Associate Artistic Director): Tuesday After Class: Slow Jam

11:00 pm ($5): Ten stand-ups whose names are drawn from a “golden bowl of destiny” will be given stage time, along with a few invited stand-ups, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Will Purpura: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre (123 East 24th Street): 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; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10

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

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

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

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

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

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

QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard): 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/13/16

December 13, 2016

Zac Amico and Mike LawrenceIt’s a great night at The Stand, kicking off at 8:00 pm with stellar stand-ups Mike Lawrence (above right; opening for Louis C.K. tomorrow and Friday at Madison Square Garden), Sean Patton, Ari Shaffir, Rich Vos, and more: The Stand Tuesday ($15, no min.); and then at 10:30 pm hosting an entirely free stand-up vs. stand-up insult competition whose highlight will be Mike Lawrence (winner of Comedy Central’s first Roast Battle back in July) vs. Zac Amico (above left; this show’s own NYC champion), with judges Dan Soder, Big Jay Oakerson and Ari Shaffir and host Luis J. Gomez: The Roastmasters (Free!, no min.; The Stand at 239 Third Avenue off 20th Street)…

Carmen Lynch…or come see comics share rare and embarrassing footage of one of their first sets—and also perform new material for comparison’s sake—with tonight’s stand-ups Carmen Lynch (above; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), and Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout) hosted by Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, comedy album True Love): First Set (8:00 pm, $7, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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

[$] 6:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Artie Lange, Dave Juskow, and guests talk football for this TV show taped live monthly at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street): The Football Show

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors perform new plays from the Bard, made up on the spot springboarding off an audience suggestion, at The PIT downstairs lounge: As You Will: Shakespearean Improv

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-ups Greg Stone (America’s Got Talent, TruTV’s Friends of the People) and Ian Fidance (Above Average) each perform for 30 minutes at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Greg Stone and Ian Fidance

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying) performs 50 minutes of stand-up and storytelling in preparation for the upcoming taping of his first comedy album, plus opening sets from Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show) and Joe Zimmerman (Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), all entirely for free at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue): Jeff Simmermon Comedy Album Warm-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): The creators of the amazing live-on-stage movie reenactment Hold On To Your Butts (Jurassic Park) and Fly, You Fools! (Lord of the Rings)—performers Kyle Schaefer & Nick Abeel, music & sound wizard Kelsey Didion, and stellar director Kristin McCarthy Parker—explore new techniques by this time using puppetry to recreate the classic Christmas movie Home Alone. Added to the mix are two new performers (Natalie Rich & Sonia Mena), a four-person choir (Sarah Godwin, Evan Maltby, Richard Sears, and Michelle Vo), and producer Lanie Zipoy, all making magic at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Kevin!!!!!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Kate Sidley (writer for Stephen Colbert), Jeff Hiller (30 Rock, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, musical improv group Rumpleteaser), and Jess McIntosh (Director of Communications Outreach for Hillary for America; Emily’s List) chug two beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody Lindquist: Two Beers In

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC) hosts this live recording of his weekly podcast that tries to solve his myriad of problems, with tonight’s guests Jim Norton, Artie Lange, and Anthony Cumia at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street): Fixing Joe: Live Recording of Joe Matarese’s Podcast

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus FREE BEER 8:00-8:30] 8:00 pm: Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show, VH1; senior writer/producer for Spike TV; co-host of Amazingtown), Madonna Refugia (Reductress), Nick Pupo (Halt and Catch Fire), and Amy Cardinale performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Two Boots Pizza Williamsburg (558 Driggs Avenue) hosted by Lucas Connolly, David Piccolomini, and Jake Fromm: Ambush Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 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 at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($10): A hip-hop musical parody of Orange is the New Black, but set in an animal shelter for dogs and cats, with book and lyrics by Catya McMullen and direction Michael Raine at The PIT downstairs lounge: Locked Up B*tches

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Hadiyah Robinson (The Nightly Show), Ryan Donahue, Chris Laker, Greg Johnson, and Ruby McCollister performing stand-up at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Jacqueline Novak & John Early: Cakeshop Comedy

[FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($7): The Gregory Brothers (wonderful musical inventors of “Songify the News”), Jon Daly (brilliant character comic; co-star of Comedy Central’s Kroll Show; also appeared on CC’s @midnight, Drunk History, and Another Period; plays Bill Murray in Netflix movie about National Lampoon; Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here, FOX’s Brooklyn 99 and Son of Zorn, NBC’s Parks & Recreation), Bill Dawes (HBO’s Sex and the City and Oz, CBS’ Elementary and Criminal Minds, USA’s Royal Pains, TNT’s The Following and Rizzoli & Isles, ABC’s All My Children), Kevin Iso (Adam Devine’s House Party), Jes Hudak (singer/songwriter), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:00 pm ($7): Emily Winter, Calvin Cato, Jordan Myrick, James Hamilton, and Collin Gossel are challenged to make up self-important lectures based on topics provided to them on the spot at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Ryan Stanisz: Stand-Ups Improvise TED Talks

9:00 pm ($5): An improvised game of D&D (“There will be dragons. There will be dungeons. There will be mountain dew.”), with this month’s adventure taking place during the holidays, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Campaign: Holiday Edition

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update; Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris), Eli Yudin, Annie Hildebrand, Rob Harper, and Tyler Rothrock performing stand-up after being introduced by “gloriously bad metalcore music” at Brooklyn’s Tender Trap (66 Greenpoint Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Tim Unkenholz & Justin Hancock: Buttery Riffz

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Kyle Ayers (written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Chelsea White (MTV, VH1, co-host of Call Us Crazy), Julia Shiplett, and more present funny lectures on silly topics—e.g., “Octopuses: Squishy Satans of the Sea”—at the UCB East theatre produced by Kara Klenk & Jim Tews and guest-hosted by Doogie Horner: Homeschooled—A Comedic Lecture Series

9:30 pm ($5): Storytellers perform, and then improv group King Zebra makes up scenes springboarding off the tales at The PIT upstairs theatre: Almost Lit-Mas

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from Mike Brian, Chris Migliaccio, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Backdoor Barbecue

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, improv group Higgins performs different types of longform at the UCB East theatre: Harold on the Run

Tuesday 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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A chance for gals to get on stage and improvise with veteran female comics at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Blair Silverman and members of Ladies of the PIT: Lady Jam

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 6 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tuesday After Class Jam

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

Notable Ongoing Theatrical Comedy Shows

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm, or 4:30 pm on Sundays, through 1/8/17 ($28-$48; use code PBP30 through 12/17 for $33 tickets, or code BBOX20 anytime for discounts based on seat location): Comedy genius Chris Gethard performs a transcendently great one-man show about depression, perseverance, and the healing powers of laughter, love, and medication, seamlessly blending stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience as wonderful as virtually anything currently playing on NYC stages—and that I’m guessing will end up as an HBO special, finally propelling Chris into the top tiers of show biz. Don’t miss this amazing show at The Lynn Redgrave Theater (45 Bleecker Street, right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop): Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm; plus 2:00 pm matinees on Saturdays; or 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm on Sundays, through 1/15/17 ($37-$139; use code OHBOX111 for discounts): I haven’t seen this, so can’t comment on its merits; but you should be aware that two of the sharpest and funniest comics in the biz, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, are performing as their old men characters in this Broadway show at the Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street): Oh, Hello

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre (123 East 24th Street): 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; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10

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

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

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

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

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

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

QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard): 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 1/12/16

January 12, 2016

If you’re funny and a talented writer, consider submitting a short story to my fiction anthology Ghosts on Drugs. I’m being flooded with submissions from fantasy/SF/horror writers, but not many comics; and this is a great opportunity to land a prestigious book credit, plus upfront pay and a share of the royalties. Full details are here.

Jena Friedman 11Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; staff writer for Emmy-winning Inside Amy Schumer; frequently invited lightning wit on @midnight; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium)…

Carmen Lynch…Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central, FOX, MTV, Adult Swim; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety), Andy Sandford (Comedy Central, Adult Swim, The Beards of Comedy), and Mike Brown performing stand-up hosted by Jacqueline Novak & John Early: Cakeshop Comedy (8:30 pm, FREE, Cake Shop at 152 Ludlow Street between Rivington & Stanton)

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, six singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions, followed at 10:15 pm by an improv jam open to the audience hosted by group Midnight Heat: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): David Carl provides a sneak peek at Thursday’s Republican Party Debate—playing all the candidates himself!—at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Road to the White House

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-ups Shakir “Shak” Standley (Last Comic Standing) and Casey James Salengo each try out material one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Shak Standley & Casey James Salengo

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:30 pm ($5): Comics are interviewed about “that one song you’ll never forget” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Patrick Cartelli & Evan Forde Barden: Repeater: A Little Show About Big Songs

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

7:30 pm ($5): A weekly showcase for brand new shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—this time focused on Math, Science and Humanities at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: Pilot Season

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Todd Barry, Starlee Kline, Donwill, and more superb comics and musicians performing and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by singer Jean Grae: The Show Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Christine Nangle (writer for SNL; Inside Amy Schumer, Kroll Show), Jim Santangeli (Broad City, Adult Swim), Mohammed Naqvi (award-winning documentary filmmaker), and guest bartender Sean Hart chug two beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody Lindquist: Two Beers In

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups and musicians drink and perform at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Peele: Party & Bullshit

8:00 pm ($5): An improvised radio talk show held entirely in the dark at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Delilah Bat

[FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

8:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($7): Stand-ups Kurt Braunohler, Rob Cantrell, Bill Davies, Drew Michael, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Leah Evans & Matthew Schrader make up a fast-paced duo-dialogue mini-play in the style of an Aaron Sorkin movie or TV series at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Boozeroom

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Comics present comedic lectures on silly topics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Jared Logan, Kara Klenk, and/or Jim Tews: Homeschooled—A Comedic Lecture Series

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; staff writer for Emmy-winning Inside Amy Schumer; frequently invited lightning wit on @midnight; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Aida Rodriguez, and Scott Chaplain performing stand-up for this super-affordable weekly club show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Judah Friedlander, Mike Lawrence, Bonnie McFarlane, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Comics and audience members who’ve drunk too much engage in a spelling competition at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jake Flores & Blake Midgette: The Drunk Spelling Bee

10:00 pm ($5): “An audience suggestion inspires personal stories, opinions and improv, just like a phone call home to your mother” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Call Your Mom

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups Gary Vider (“America’s Got Talent” 2015 finalist; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Aminah Imani, Mookie Thompson, Noah Gardenswartz, and more performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Matteo Lane (Comedy Central): Chemistry

Tuesday 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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:30 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, typically hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic storytelling show, with each yarn-spinner whose name is picked from a basket receiving 5 minutes on stage, at the Astoria Bookshop (31-29 31st Street) hosted by David Lawson (The Flyer Guy at Solocom 2015): The Astoria Bookshop Storytelling Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:15: Sign up at 9:30 pm for the opportunity to make up a musical on the spot with The Magnet improv group Wonderland: Magnet Musical Improv Mixer

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:
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 Monday 11/17/14

November 17, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jason Sudeikis is on David Letterman;
John Mulaney is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Key & Peele are on Conan O’Brien;
Steve Harvey is on Seth Meyers;
Natasha Leggero, Moshe Kasher, and Jerry Minor are on @midnight

Carmen Lynch

Carmen Lynch (above) and Jeff Simmermon are among the storytellers at Val Roder’s Story Time

Ari Shaffir

…and Ari Shaffir (above) and Michelle Wolf are among the stand-ups at The Stand’s free comedy show Frantic Mondays

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 ($5): A mini-play written by and co-starring Alexandra Fiber & Carlye Wisel in which “After getting super dumped, all Lizzie Carmichael has left is her champagne taste, her beer budget, and a 2004 Toyota Corolla. An inspiring story about what happens when you move into your car” at the PIT upstairs theatre: Lizzie Who Lives in Her Car

7:00 pm ($7): “Improvisers create scenes inspired by essays written about personal experiences and show that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine” at The Magnet theatre: You Are Not Alone: An Uplifting Show About Depression

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Kyle Dunnigan, and Monroe Martin (hosting) at the 7:45 show, and a great lineup of Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Mark Normand, Jena Friedman, Joe Matarese, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour, Craig Ferguson), Brooks Wheelan (former cast member of Saturday Night Live), Koretta Gray, and Christian Polanco performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Don Fanelli (30 Rock, The Stepfathers), Matthew Robert Gehring (Louie, MTV), Natasha Vaynblat, Brandon Gardner, Jon Bander, Alan Starzinski, and more performing sketch character bits at UCB Easthosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12; SOLD OUT tonight, but buy tickets for the last performance for which they’re available on the 20th): A fun, lively musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

[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): Eight improvisors jointly contribute to the creation of two-person scenes, and then work to refine and morph these scenes together over time at the Magnet theatre: The Blob

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, duo sketch from Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil in The Keith & Jesse Show

…and in the second half of this double-bill, charismatic performer Jonathan Braylock performs a series of sketches on “the ins and outs of the African American experience:” The Black Experience with Jonathan Braylock

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Terrific storytellers Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), and Danielle Kraese performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Val Roder: Story Time

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Pat O’Shea, Margaret Dodge, Joey Gay, Luisa Rosario, and Carolyn Kitay performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) guest-hosted by Richard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Joe Zimmerman, Sarah Tollemache, Jaqi Furback, Joe Bartnick, Crystian Ramirez, and Jay Nog 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, documentaryA Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($7): Old friends Kevin Cobbs & James O’Connell perform duo sketch at The Magnet theatre as High School Chums

[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 Leo Allen, 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

6:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min.): Booked open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic for this 2-hour show atKlimat Lounge (77 East 7th Street) hosted by Gregory Joseph. To get on the performance list for future shows, email Gregory at evgigglepit@gmail.com: East Village Giggle Pit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket and 5 minutes per performer, at the Slake Bar (251 West 30th Street) hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Story Hour (Open-Mic Storytelling) with Julia Wiedeman

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at danmaxfox@gmail.com) and 3 minutes for each comic who signs up on the spot (sign-up starts at 6:45 and ends at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Muchmore’s Stand-Up Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony(274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog 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] 10:30 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)

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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