NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/6/14

June 6, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Michael Che and Chris Distefano each star in a
Comedy Central Half Hour; Julian McCullough is on Jimmy Fallon;
Eddie Izzard is on Seth Meyers

Joe Bill

Breathtaking improv genius Joe Bill will likely put on one of the finest shows you’ll ever see at Chica Go-Go!

The Wizard of Oz

…and improvisors recreate Dorothy’s journey off the top of their heads at Entirely From Memory: The Wizard of Oz

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Julian McCullough, Greer Barnes, Kyle Dunnigan, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Julian McCullough, Greer Barnes, Kyle Dunnigan, and Dan Soder at 8:45 show; Neal Brennan, Julian McCullough, Greer Barnes, and Kyle Dunnigan at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Julian McCullough, Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): 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; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Razor-sharp and hilarious sketch comics Lauren Olson & Jana Schmieding perform sketch, and also host sketch from a bunch of their friends, at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

7:00 pm ($5): The wonderful Pay Shay and Brett Wean perform duo improv at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Wean/Shay

[TOP PICK]7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones (who also directed), Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in show biz, hire them.) This new collection of sketches revolving around extreme NYC residents ranges from stupidly cruel to transcendent, with an overall effect that’s oddly charming: Stone Cold Fox Bites the Big Apple

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A stand-up show that also “parodies everything you love and hate about sports” with NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Cody, Joel Walkowski, and/or Sam Evans: Bush League

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Phil Hanley (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard Lonely and Vicious), Anthony P. Devito, Rojo Perez, and Dustin Wesley performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Neruda Williams…who will be celebrating the birthday of one of these comics with cake and beer: The Happy Happy Birthday Show

[TOP PICK]10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Aaron Weinstein (Carnegie Hall), and Frankie Strauss (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): TV star Diane Guerrero (Orange Is the New Black), ace improv/sketch comic Natasha Rothwell (Hodapp & Rothwell, The Story Pirates, The Curfew, Dinner), and The Cocoon Central Dance Team are interviewed and/or perform at this late night talk show hosted by the spectacular dancing Jamie LeeLo at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): “Nine performers attempt to recreate the story of Dorothy using only what they can remember from the film. Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience. Performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth. And one lucky audience member will be given a horn that he or she can honk three times. Once honked, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in the story but makes perfect sense given where they are in the tale” at this unique mix of scripted & improv comedy at The Magnet theatre: Entirely From Memory: The Wizard of Oz

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), Kevin Iso, musician Lynette Williams, and more performing stand-up, sketch, or songs at UCB East hosted by Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey NBC series; MTV; host of School Night): Something Cool Stand-Up

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Hour-long open mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic. Check-in is at 5:45 at the new Comedians Club of New York (158 West 72nd Street), which was formerly The Triad Theatre: Comedians Club Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[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 prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/3/13

May 3, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Joe Bill

At The PIT, breathtaking improv genius Joe Bill is slated to blow the roof off at Chica Go-Go…

Leah Rudick

…and Leah Rudick (above) & Katie Hartman perform as fearlessly dark sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

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 happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (might be 9:00 pm only), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite people in the world, the delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at FringeNYC; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor) co-stars in this sketch comedy show with Jana Schmieding, and a bunch of young performers, at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), and improvisor/sketch comic Will Hines (The Stepfathers, The Brothers Hines, Small Men) perform stand-up/or and sketch at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen (co-host of The Moon Show): Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Ladies Night, The Lady Jam) hosts this on-the-fly monthly show at UCB Chelsea in which she crafts a uniquely intimate, organic experience by conducting interviews with members of the audience: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Fearless, innovative dark comedy gal duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) return to The PIT upstairs theatre to create fresh sketch comedy every month, with tonight’s guests the wonderful Mindy Raf, and sketch duo Joanna Bradley & Laura Wilcox: Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show he’s been developing for months for this off-Broadway run (through June 3rd) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

8:00 pm ($5): D&D-style epic fantasy improv, plus nerdy stand-up, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Eric Grundhauserled as your Dungeon Master

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[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 ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A gathering of terrific comedic musicians, who tonight are Squirm & Germ, The Reformed Whores, Cock Lorge, and Positive Feedback performing at UCB East hosted by superb musical group Summer & Eve (for samples, please click here): Earworm Funny Music Party Show

9:30 pm ($10): At The PIT upstairs theatre, an improv troupe makes up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($8): All-gal improv troupe Deer Babies performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Womanhattan

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code WARD, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. BWC is running every Friday night through April 4th at the Soho Playhouse. Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Melanie Hamlett (brilliant storyteller/writer; two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, co-author of the book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, amazing blog, roving adventurer), Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Jon Tyler (The Moth), and Alex Edelman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Over a dozen of the talented gal improvisors and sketch comics at The Magnet—including Artistic Director Megan Gray, Lauren Olson, Elena Fishbein, Kimberly Ferguson, and Beth Newell—aim to “give you a dark and twisted late night explosion:” The Clubhouse

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): NYC stand-ups not yet represented by a manager or agent—tonight including Pat O’Shea (host of Ed Sullivan on Acid)—at UCB East hosted by Luke Thayer & JL Cauvin: Unmanageable Stand-Ups

[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 prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

 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 Friday 5/18/12

May 18, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Joe Bill

Brilliant improvisors including the legendary Joe Bill…

Amey Goerlich

….and the lovely Amey Goerlich perform at Chica Go Go…

The Gay Bomb

…and a spirited young cast explores a proposed US government project: Gay Bomb: The Musical

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Phoebe Robinson (100 TV Shows To See Before You Die, Sirius XM Radio), Kevin Barnett (College Humor), Richard Chassler (Comedy Central, MTV, VH1), and Adam Mamawala 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): Layer by layer, improvisers build a town based on an audience member’s suggestion for the town’s name, while artist Asher Rogers paints a large map of the town based on the improvisers’ descriptions. This cool-sounding show is at The PIT downstairs lounge: Our Town

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’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident in Crisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Andy Rocco (The Tony & Johnny Show, Underground Americana), Dylan Love, Diana DeLuna, Nimesh Patel, and more performing stand-up at One and One (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A glorious collection of hilarious genre film clips from super-fan Kevin Maher and friends at 92 Y Tribeca. If you love SF, fantasy, comic books, pinball machines, or just overall pop culture silliness, this is a must-see—and one of my all-time favorite shows. Grab a ticket for Kevin Geeks Out: Grab Bag

[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A regular on ABC’s Happy Endings headlining through Saturday at Carolines: Daman Wayans Jr.

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 [vs. $15] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): 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?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: The third annual comedy tournament featuring 40 improv groups…only one of which will triumph. Tonight four improv troupes battle for superiority, pride, and glory at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena, Round 9

[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 ($15): A musical comedy at The Magnet “inspired by the real life plans of the US military to build a bomb that would make their enemies gay. The show is a cautionary tale set in a not-to-distant America that is a xenophobic, homophobic wet dream. This timely political piece is not only topical but extremely on point, leaving no stereotype unscathed.” Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden & Steve Whyte: Gay Bomb

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Showtime, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sebastian Maniscalco

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring Tim Martin (ace improv troupe Airwolf): Diamond Lion

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

[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), Greer Barnes (Comedy Central), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, 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 ($10): 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

Midnight ($5): Toby Knops (PIT Associate Artistic Director), Tilda Helen (Producer for The Food Network), and musical guest David Carl (Barnstormer, Frank Pfefferkorn) as talk show guests at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Paul Gutkowski: Sex in the Late Night Air

[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 prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

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