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.

Advertisements

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/23/13

February 23, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Legends in the making: Watch The Jeselnik Offensive Tuesdays and Kroll Show Wednesdays at 10:30 on Comedy Central.

Anna Roisman

Anna Roisman (check out her messing with Les Miz by clicking photo) is among the song parodists at tonight’s Total Requesty…

Carmen Lynch

…and Carmen Lynch headlines one last night at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil 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:

[FREE] 4:00 pm: A dozen stand-ups—including Amber Nelson, Ben Kissel, and Matt Ruby—perform on this month’s theme “The Therapy Show: Comedians share deep cuts from their lives” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Rocco: Rocco’s Playground

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes The Best, Postrophe, and Petting Zoo at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Brandon Scott Jones (possibly the finest male comedic character actor at UCBT; top improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes, top sketch troupe Stone Cold Fox, and many other shows), Rob Lathan (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, ABC), Dan Klein (The Onion, acclaimed concept-driven sketch troupe Pangea 3000), Griffin Newman, Matt Starr, and more performing character bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler and Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[$] 7:00 pm ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), and Max Alexander (Jay Leno) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style): Judah Friedlander, Lynne Koplitz, Gary Gulman, and More

7:30 pm ($7): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

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, plus 2-drink minimum; sold out for tonight, but you can still nab tickets for Sunday at 10:00 pm if you move fast via the box office or online): One of the most skilled, funny, and beloved stand-ups in the country—and a personal favorite—who’s a staff writer for Saturday Night Live (for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), has performed repeatedly on Conan O’Brien and VH1’s Best Week Ever, and won the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Male Stand-Up, headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: John Mulaney

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who starred in a highly popular Comedy Central Presents special, hosted series on MTV and the Oxygen Network, was a recurring character on Showtime’s Weeds, and has also performed on CBS, ABC, E!, and Chelsea Lately headlines one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Bret Ernst

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($20 & 2-item food/drink min.) The lovely Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central) headlines one last night at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.), plus stand-ups from The She-Devil Comedy Festival opening: Carmen Lynch

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), TV star Judy Gold, Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sean Donnelly (MTV, FOX News; host of many shows), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Judy Gold, Dan Soder, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00ish pm: Wonderful comics Amber Nelson & Ashley Brooke Roberts host this free biweekly variety show featuring stand-up, character acts, music, and who knows what else, with tonight’s guests delightful raunchy singing duo The Reformed Whores (Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; new album Ladies Don’t Spit), and stand-ups Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Sarah Tollemache (host of Last Night,; immortal story That’s Not My Shit), and Zach Broussard performing at the Comedy Bar (134 West 29th Street): The Dream Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this monthly gay-themed show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tom Steffen: Rapier Wit

8:30 pm ($10): Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), and Kevin Barnett (Comedy Central, MTV, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), 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; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), TV star Judy Gold, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

[$] 9:15 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), and Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Judah Friedlander, Lynne Koplitz, Gary Gulman, and More

9:30 pm ($10): This popular all-guy comedy troupe performs both sketch and improv at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-ups Chesley Calloway, Joel Walkowski, and Nick Naney performing sets and then being interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), and Dante Nero performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Jay Oakerson, Nikki Glaser, Michael Che, and More

[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): At UCB Chelsea, 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:” Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Original comedic songs are showcased, with tonight’s singers Anna Roisman , Sharon Spell, Tyler Fisher, Carly Ann Fibin, and Scott Swayz performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Justin Perez & Shaina Stigler: Total Requesty

Midnight ($5): Anthony DeVito, Halle Kiefer, Doug Smith, and Zach Broussard share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) joking about their culture—Jewish, African-American, Asian, geek, whatever—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City : The Black Bar Mitzvah

Midnight ($5): Sketch troupes Coker & Stratton and The Charlies compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by sketch troupe Sidecar: Backyard Brawl

[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

[$] 12:45 am ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Jay Oakerson, Lynne Koplitz, Kurt Metzger, and More

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 9/25/12

September 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Brooke Van Poppelen

Brooke Van Poppelen performs stand-up at The Afterlife…

Carmen Lynch

…and Carmen Lynch debuts her one-woman storytellilng show Half a Spaniard

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, four of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Legend and The Montels (at 7:00) and BEEES! and Atticus (at 8:30); followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with musical improv troupe Atticus to make up stories in song: Musical Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comic book creators Fernando Ruiz (Archie Comics), Fabio Redivo (Hell Yeah!), and Anthony Marques (The Gutters) joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Typically a star stand-up—no idea who—tries out material at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Workout Stand-Up with “Special Guest”

7:00 pm ($8): Rob Shapiro (FX’s Rescue Me) and Sean Lynch (MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, Comedy Central) create improvised scenes inspired by soundtracks to movies and TV shows, “and random sound effects,” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Surfing Soundwaves

7:30 pm-9:00 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Spooky Ghost, Good Girl, and Bucky at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The lovely and talented gals (and more) of HelloGiggles.com share tales of school days at UCB East, with storytellers including Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender) and Nate Dern (UCBT Artistic Director): HelloGiggles: Back to School

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Brooke Van Poppelen (writer for MTV’s Epic Fall; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Robert Dean, Nick Turner, Greg Johnson, and more performing on this week’s topic Going to the Movies at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) produced by Chenoa Estrada, Emily Heller, and George Gordon and hosted tonight by Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here): The Afterlife: Going to the Movies

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door if you’re willing to try for a waiting list; SOLD OUTonline): Doctors, biologists, and more tell funny tales at this science-centric monthly show that tonight focuses on Animals at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Ben Lillie & Erin Barker: The Story Collider

8:00 pm ($8): Head writer & director Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team, The Baldwins, Jen & Steve) and a dozen other talents perform brand new sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre: Big Business

8:00 pm ($5): Comics Michael Short, Louie Pearlman, Lauren Hunter, and more make up funny commentary about oddball short films—industrials, educationals, etc.—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Down in Front

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (for an update, please click here) performing at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, notable hair): Crime & Punishment

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s #FAIL, Sleepwalk with Me), Greg Johnson, Sam Morrill, Zach Sims, and more performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Robert Dean, Steve O’Brien, and/or Kevin McCaffrey: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Graceland, The Regulars, and Sandino—plus advanced improv students mash up forms LaRonde and Montage by starting with a series of unlikely pairings and then ending “somewhere deep inside a pile of hilarious character” for a hybrid form called LaRONTAGE—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): The wonderful Carmen Lynch (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central) tries out a one-woman show at The PIT upstairs theatre; and Ryan Dietz tries out a one-man show, both as part of the wonderful Jen Nails’ Do It Yourself class: Carmen Lynch: Half a Spaniard and Ryan Dietz: The Box Turtle Incident

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up and sketch at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, typically hosted by sketch troupes Savage Animal and/or Jerk Practice: Savage Animal

[$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Jay Larson, Nick Griffin, Leslie Jones, Mike Recine, and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club: ComedyJuice

[FREE] 11:00 pm: 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: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 7/28/12

July 28, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For best video previews of FringeNYC 2012 shows, please click here.

Birdermic: Shock and Terror

Improv troupe Birds provides commentary on a 2010 film reviewers have called “unrelentingly bad in every aspect..the perfect storm of badness” at The PIT’s Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Birdemic…

Keisha Zollar

…Keisha Zollar performs at The Magnet’s Ladies Night and co-hosts UCB East’s The Soul Glo Project…

Carmen Lynch

…and Carmen Lynch performs stand-up at If You Build It

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

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Stand-ups perform a tight set, then tell more jokes based on suggestions from the audience at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Rocco: Rocco’s Playground

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes The Establishment, Mike Brown, and Espiritu de 76 at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-1:00 am ($10 for the whole night): A special all-gal evening at The Magnet, with an hour of femaie improv, poetry, and sketch at 7:00; an hour of stellar gal improvisors, including Christina Gausas, Keisha Zollar, Jen Sanders, and Kelly Buttermore at 8:00; an all-female version of Kiss*Punch*Poem at 9:00; an all-gal sketch show at 10:30; and an open jam at midnight: Ladies Night

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal improv troupe Gypsy hosts ace storyteller Ophira Eisenberg, stand-up Naomi Ekperigin, jazz band Urban Bourbon, and improv from themselves at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Mélange

7:00 pm ($8): At this PIT double-bill, Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure” as Hodapp & Rothwell, and then all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

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

8:00 pm ($10): 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—at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:30 pm ($10): Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another), Carmen Lynch (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel, FX’s Totally Biased), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), Team Submarine, and Scotland Green performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Mike Yard (Comedy Central), Harris Stanton (SNL, Comedy Central, BET), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this talk & stand-up show hosted by Sarah Tollemache: Last Night

[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—and which is currently kicking ass at Cage Match: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf—which in a phenomenal run has crushed 12 improv troupes in a row so far at Cage Match—makes stuff up at UCB East for an entire hour: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

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

11:00 pm ($8): Improv troupe Maybe Sherman makes up scenes involving mobsters, plus additional entertainment from comedic guests (not announced), at The PIT upstairs theatre: MafiaProv

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154, Aquarius) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies.” Joining him is improv troupe Birds (which includes the lovely Julie Sharbutt) to comment on “one of the most recent best worst movies” (released in 2010, and scoring an exceptionally low 2.0 on IMDB): Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Birdemic

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): ” It’s revenge. It’s vengeance. It’s hot comedy wrestling action as only the UCBW can bring you. Don’t miss a night of hilarious characters beating the shit out of each other. Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!:” UCBW: Revengeance

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

[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 1/20/12

January 20, 2012

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Carmen Lynch

Carmen Lynch performs at Beautiful Comedy...

The Magnet's Search Engine

...and sharp improvisors provide the answers you've been seeking at Search Engine

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star;Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1), Carmen Lynch (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Damien Lemon (MTV2), Josh Carter (College Humor, SiriusXM), and George Gordon performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) for this biweekly stand-up show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): A Magnet one-man show by Justin Peters about—wait for it—condiments. “Mitch ‘Packets’ Franco has demonstrated condiments at groceries, farmers’ markets, superstores, and gas stations in all 50 states; over the course of 25 minutes, he’ll give you the inside squeeze on how all your favorite condiments are marketed, shipped, distributed, and sold; how to seduce a checkout girl; how to tell a supermarket by its odor; and other lessons learned during his wild life in America’s grocery aisles:” Confessions of a Condiment Hustler

7:00 pm ($5): PIT improvisors Nate Starkey & Chris Grace makes stuff up as Starkey & Grace

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It more than earned the slot with its first Friday effort, This is Not Art, which was one of the very best comedy shows of 2011. Last week it debuted its second show, Crisistown—which so far is a mixed bag. The good news is the cast has developed into one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough to be a star on his or her own. However, the writing was often sloppy and repetitive rather than tight and sharp. Perhaps the problem is the new format: “A scripted interactive comedy show that puts you, the audience, in charge. You get to vote on what happens next.” It’s a fun approach designed to tempt audiences to see the show repeatedly (just as people will return to a favorite improv group week after week). But it means generating a lot more material than will be performed on any given show; and spreading the writing out like that has, so far, resulted in a lot of weak scenes. The up side of the open-ended structure is it’s never too late to improve the writing, and to even entirely replace dull scenes with great ones. Meanwhile, between the material that’s solid and the all-star cast, this top troupe is still delivering a quite enjoyable way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot:Diamond Lion

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 90 minutes with a true genius of both stand-up and storytelling. This show is the latter—a carefully constructed, detail-packed theatrical tale of two people and the small, quiet moments that make up their lives. Daniel says it’s “about everything and nothing,” and that’s precisely right. After you see it, you may find it hard to not consider all the small moments lived by any person you pass by…and what the moments of your own life add up to. This one-man show played to packed houses at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is now running every day except Mondays through January 29th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street). Read the review from The New York Times, and the grab tickets for It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: At this unique show, comics play videos they’ve made about themselves and then perform sets, with tonight’s guests James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingHarold and Kumar 2), Emily Heller, Keith Alberstadt, Greg Stone, and J.F. Harris performing at Queens LIC’s The Creekupstairs theatre hosted by Charlie Kasov & Gabe Pacheco: Anecdotal Evidence

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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): This new Magnet improv show makes clever use of the Web: “Give us a topic, a name, a question on any subject and the cast—including ace improvisors Alex Marino and Jesse Falcon—will answer it using the full power of the Internet and the combined mental acumen of five intellectual juggernauts. Also, maybe some improv. What you will learn cannot be unlearned! What do you want to know?”: Search Engine

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who performed the Comedy Central hour-long special The Things We Do For Love, and on David Letterman and Jay Leno, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pete Correale

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:00 pm ($10): The writers and correspondents of Web site HelloGiggles.com performing at UCB East to discuss their Growing Pains

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($25): An award-winning sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar situations & rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

9:30 pm ($5): “Where there is a stage and a piano, she will be there. Where there are strangers with embarrassing stories, she will be there. Where there is a group of people willing to sit and watch someone make up songs, she will be there. A one-woman musical improv journey through the lives of the audience. You tell the story, Rebecca Vigil sings the soundtrack” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Vigilante

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart welcomes NYC talents for a TV morning talk show—that’s happening at The PIT upstairs theatre late at night—with guests Taylor Negron (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Better Off Dead), twin comedians Stone & Stone (Last Comic Standing), and musical guests Function for Fiction: The Morning Show

11:30 pm ($10): improvisers Bianca Casusöl as Madam Ant, Nina Klemow as Fanny Price, and Alex Marino as Larry Lazlo use burlesque dancing at The Magnet to tell a story “and titillate the audience with some seductively fun choreographed burlesque numbers:” Whisky Tango Foxtrot: Burlesque Improv Revue

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigiousUCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

[TOP PICK] [$] 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 the Carolines Comedy Club: Paul Mooney

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

New Year, Healthier You: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.