NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/18/14

May 18, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ellena Chmielewski

The wonderful Ellena Chmielewski tells true personal tales at The PIT’s all-gal Shut Up Storytelling

Erin and Her Cello

…while Erin and Her Cello and many other top comics perform at Brooklyn’s all-gal 10th Anniverary of Chicks & GIggles

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] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Duo sketch comedy about weddings from Kate Emswiler & Kelly Buttermore at The Magnet theater: Kelly & Kate

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Bridey Elliott (razor-sharp rising star; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Witstream, Fambly), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Dan Chamberlin (ace sketch group Legs For Days), Max Slivestri (Big Terrific), sketch duo Good Cop Great Cop, and Joe Rumril performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis, Sally Burtnick, and Brian McElroy: The Macaulay Culkin Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups American Wormholes and The Misses perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of this all-gal comedy show are top NYC comics: stand-ups Ophira Eisenberg, Carolyn Castiglia, and Abbi Crutchfield, singers/musicians Jessica Delfino and Erin and Her Cello, sketch comic Livia Scott, storyteller Kambri Crews, and more, all performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Chicks & GIggles

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Baron Vaughn (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Mark Normand (rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Luke Cunningham (monologue writer for Jimmy Fallon), Doug Smith, Sarah Tollemache, and Matt Donaher performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” tonight featuring the brilliant Ellena Chmielewski, Lynn Bixenspan, and Lydia Hensler performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Storytellers Natalie Wall, Kate Greathead, Michelle Francesca Thomas, and Desmond Thorne compete in telling “the most wince-worthy, second-hand embarrassment-inducing tale. After every story, each contestant can ask the performer a question to draw out all the juicy and/or disturbing details. The more contestants fuck with each other, the better. In the end, the audience will name the winner to be crowned the King/Queen of Shame” at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): The Shame Game

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb guest improvisors Micah Sherman, Abby Sher, Richie Moriarty, and Steve Siddell, and guest improv groups American Party and Pulley, 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] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Live stage readings of popular Saved by the Bell episodes, with each cast member allowed an optional 3-minute Zack Morris style “time out” for episode-specific stand-up or a fan fiction bonus scene at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Bayside Myself

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, Mark Normand, and Matt Lamp at the 8:00 show; Neal Brennan, Gary Gulman, and Ralph Harris at the 9:45 show; and Marina Franklin, Keith Alberstadt, Wil Sylvince, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using code GRIFT; no min.): 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.), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), Mike Finoia, JF Harris, and Gordon Baker Bone performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Gregg Rogell, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically terrific stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago): Comedy Night

9:00 pm ($10): Alexis Lambright performing a one-woman show at The Magnet about her quest to pop her cherry: Combating Adult Virginity

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mark Chalifoux, Nick Naney, Matt McClowry, Dan Licata, and Neruda Care Bear Williams performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and Nathan Rand performing stand-up that rips something or someone deserving to shreds at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Invitation to a Beheading: Dan St. Germain, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 5:30 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 Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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.