NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 1/1/17

January 1, 2017

happy-new-year-2017Wishing you a 2017 filled with joy, love, wonder, and laughter

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

[FREE] Noon-2:00 pm: The NYC performing arts community gathers to set personal, local, and global-centric plans for the new year at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman, and Erez Ziv: The Underground Service

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBP, $24 cover for CC & VV, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar New Year’s Day

7:30 pm ($5): Dana Shulman and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT downstairs lounge: Student Driver Indie Road

8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), Subhah Agarwal (TruTV, Fusion), Aida Rodriguez, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day Open Mics & Jams

[ALMOST FREE] 5:30 pm ($1): Sign up at 5:00 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge: 10K Jam Jam

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

Notable Ongoing Theatrical Comedy Shows

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre (123 East 24th Street): 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 1/1/15

January 1, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Happy New Year

Wishing you a joyous, wondrous, and hilarious 2015

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 ($24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Mark Normand, Artie Lange, Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Zainab Johnson, and Seaton Smith at the 7:00 show; Jeff Ross, Mark Normand, Artie Lange, Ryan Hamilton, and Greer Barnes at the 8:00 pm; Artie Lange, Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Rachel Feinstein, and Will Sylvince (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Jeff Ross, Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jeff Ross, Mark Normand, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar New Years

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($32.75 plus 2-drink minimum): The breakout star at this year’s Last Comic Standing (he wasn’t provided the win, but deserved to) headlines tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Joe Machi

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 covering 1-2 people; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), Robbie Collier, Ryan Beck, and Lorelei Ramirez performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan Street) hosted by Eli Yudin & Nick Mullen, and followed by The Kings of Karaoke: Secret Meeting Comedy & Karaoke

8:00 pm ($5): Members of established improv groups, plus some newbies, join into one-night-only combinations to make up scenes on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: New Years Day Indie Team Mix-Em-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Mike Guild knows everything about movies and films. He will take you through the landscape of the cinema, along with comic guests to discuss everything going on the weird landscape that is Hollywood—plus everyone in the audience will win a unique prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Movie Night With Mike

New Year’s Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

[ALMOST FREE] 7:00 pm ($1): Duo improv jams, culminating with a group improv jam, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: Wrath of Grapes Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 10:00 pm ($1): You’re invited to perform with veteran improvisors—and to work on the improv skills you resolve to improve in 2015—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jason Specland: New Years JAM-olutions

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Conrad: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith Jam

 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 Tuesday 1/1/13

January 1, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a joyous, wondrous, and hilarious 2013

The usual cornucopia of comedy choices will return tomorrow, when all
NYC comedy venues reopen. Meanwhile, the following are notable New York City comedy shows for New Year’s Day (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $):

[FREE] 6:00 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 ($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), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno), and Sam Morril performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, and More

[$] 8:00 pm ($20 plus 2-drink minimum): A stand-up who’s performed on Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, and Showtime headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Ryan Hamilton

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by the wonderful Joe Pera, Dan Licata, and Charles Gould: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[$] 10:30 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Modi (HBO’s The Sopranos, Comedy Central), Brian Scolard, and Sam Morril performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Myq Kaplan, Greer Barnes, and More

[$] 12:15 am ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Andrew Schulz (MTV 2’s Guy Code), and Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: The Nasty Show: Big Jay Oakerson, Greer Barnes, 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 Saturday 1/1/11

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

The recommendations for the best in New York City comedy on New Year’s Day are

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm ($50 cover, plus $12 min. if you sit at a table): A comic who’s been a movie star, a singer, and lived a roller coaster career, but remains a performer unlike anyone else, doing a new show with her band at Joe’s PubSandra Bernhard

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.