NYC Top Comedy Choices for June 2018: Last Updated Thursday 6/28

June 28, 2018

Need a book or screenplay? Hire me. To learn about my writing services, please visit BookProposal.net.

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications. Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny), and/or to visit the desktop version of this site at HyReviews.com.

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for June 2018 (with more to come soon) include:

Kevin Geeks Out About DanceThursday 6/28: A glorious collection of hilarious film & TV clips and lectures by mass media experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher (Emmy-nominated writer whose work has appeared on HBO, Comedy Central, and AMC; former host of AMC’s The Sci-Fi Dept.) and guest co-host Kate Wilkinson (Wig Wurq website “judging pop culture’s wigs from lace fronts to split ends”), this month focusing on dance (for a trailer, please click here; and for more proof of how fun this theme is, please click here), with scheduled guests Tallie Medel (immensely talented comedic dancer/actress and rising star who’s a member of the fabulous Cocoon Central Dance Team), Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 13 million people on YouTube, please click here), Wendy Mays (host of the Pet Cinematary podcast), and Cristina Cacioppo (cinema programmer for Alamo Drafthouse): Kevin Geeks Out About Dance (7:30 pm; $15—buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and fascinating ideas often sells out; Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at 445 Albee Square West—take the 2/3 subway to Hoyt Street)

Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman, and Leslie GoshkoThursday 6/28: Married couple Brad Lawrence (above; Moth GrandSlam Champion) & Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer), Gail Thomas (Beavis & Butthead Do America), and Drew Prochaska (two-time Moth StorySlam winner) perform for this free and gloriously oddball monthly storytelling show at the East Village’s KGB Bar, featuring such treats as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes, hosted by the wonderful Leslie Goshko (above right; delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, Internet Action Force, star of The Real Housewives of Columbo): Sideshow Goshko (7:00 pm, Free!, KGB Bar at 85 East 4th Street off Second Avenue)

Why Your Train is F*cked: A Love/Hate Show About the History of the MTA

Thursday 6/28: Learn the early history of the MTA via fun lectures, sketches, and more at the second of this comedic history series about NYC transit, with guests TBA, hosted by Meg Pierson (TEDx, Alchemy Comedy) and Justin Williams (Comedy Central; host of Death Comedy Jam): Why Your Train is F*cked: A Love/Hate Show About the History of the MTA (7:00 pm; $16.89 online, $18 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Matt Rogers & Bowen Yang: "Las Culturistas Live: I Don't Think So, Honey"Friday 6/29: Fifty comics (TBA) gather to each share a minute’s worth of observations about a bit of pop culture with which he or she can’t be bothered, with hosts Matt Rogers & Bowen Yang (above; hosts of the acclaimed Las Culturistas podcast): Las Culturistas Live: I Don’t Think So, Honey (8:00 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Sydnee Washington: "Death of a Bottle Girl"Friday 6/29: A one-woman show by Sydnee Washington (MTV2’s Vidiots, co-host of podcast The Unofficial Expert) about her decade as a high-earning cocktail waitress and why, after a decade of working in NYC nightlife, she decided to hang up her server dress forever: Death of a Bottle Girl (9:00 pm; $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Soft Core!Friday 6/29: Host Chris Gersbeck screens a silly porn movie, and comics Jenn Wehrung, Kat Burdick, Matt Smith McCormick, and Calvin Cato riff on it MST3K-style: Soft Core! (9:00 pm, $15, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

RelationshitFriday 6/29: Storytellers share tales of relationships in front of a panel of comics and therapy experts, who then give advice, with tonight’s guests Emily Winter (writer for Fusion’s Come Here and Say That, TVLand, and The New Yorker; co-host of The BackFatlorette, Backfat Variety, and Side Ponytail) and more TBA hosted by Lynn Bixenspan & Morgan Pielli: Relationshit (9:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

The Chris and Paul ShowSaturday 6/30: Award-winning vaudeville-style sketch duo Chris O’Neill & Paul Valenti perform their favorite bits for this special show: The Best of the Chris and Paul Show (8:00 pm, $15, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Laughter in the ParkSunday 7/1: NYLaugh.org’s free summer stand-up shows, which happen Sundays 2:00-4:00 pm at parks all over the city, sponsors its second 2018 event today at The Battery (on Castle Clinton Lawn, in front of the National Monument) with headliner Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents special; co-host of My Wife Hates Me podcast; author of book You’re Better Than Me) and other comics TBA. Subsequent shows will happen at Washington Square Park (at Garibaldi Plaza, on the east side of the Fountain) July 8th, The Battery again July 15th, and Tompkins Square Park (on the Old Bandshell Lawn) July 22nd, with lineups TBA: Laughter in the Park (2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Free!, Staten Island’s Wolfe’s Pond Park at 420 Cornelia Avenue)

Kerry CoddettSunday 7/1: Kerry Coddett (above; writer for HBO’s Wyatt Cenac: Problem Areas; HBO’s Crashing, BET’s The Rundown, Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show, MTV’s Joking Off; host of Brooklyn, Stand Up!) and indie music duo Strange Parts (Attia Taylor & Corey Duncan) perform and 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 (8:30 pm, $5, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Dear Diary: Comics Read Their Weird Childhood JournalsMonday 7/2: Comics share their observations, fears, dreams, and insanities growing up by reading from their childhood diaries, featuring Lauren Culp, Matt Dittus, Ruthie Dreyer, Emily Evans, Jennifer Gersbeck, Dana Norris, Michael Salgarolo, and Emily Walsh and host Maggie Lalley: Dear Diary: Comics Read Their Weird Childhood Journals (8:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Independence DayTuesday 7/3: Roland Emmerich’s & Dean Devlin’s 1996 film Independence Day is actually quite entertaining—and also a milestone in the history of Hollywood blockbusters (it was the highest-grossing movie of its year). That said, there’s plenty about it to make fun of. Tonight it’ll be screened and mercilessly skewered by comics Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic; author of How to Write Cheesy Movies and 25 MST3K Films That Changed My Life In No Way Whatsoever), John Fugelsang (host of Tell Me Everything on Sirius XM; former host of ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos), and Jenn Wehrung (BBC; co-host of Soft Core!), who make this solemn promise: “We will be fast forwarding through the Randy Quaid scenes.” Their cruelty will be contrasted by exceptionally kind host Chris Gersbeck (co-host of Soft Core!, which is essentially a porn version of this show, and Bunk Bed Time Open Mic): Movies R Dumb: Independence Day (9:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

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

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/W 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—moving to Union Square this summer; 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
moving to Brooklyn in June 2018, please stay tuned; 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!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

Special thanks to comedy photographers supreme Anya Garrett and Mindy Tucker for creating so many of the stellar photos that grace this site…and the sites of hundreds of NYC comics.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.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.

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, provide feedback on my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me to develop your book or screenplay (please visit BookProposal.net or HyOnYourScript.com), or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for January 2018: Last Updated Friday 1/5/18

January 5, 2018

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to my BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications, and/or to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny).

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for January 2018 include (with much more to come soon):

50 First Jokes, 2018 EditionFriday 1/5: For the 12th year of this annual tradition, 50+ NYC comics will come together to each tell the first joke he or she has written in the new year. The scheduled lineup includes Jo Firestone, Emmy Blotnick, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Ana Fabrega, Will Miles, Matteo Lane, Casey James Salengo, Janelle James, Sean Donnelly, Alison Leiby, Noah Gardenswartz…and many, many more. This lovely coming together of NYC’s stand-up comedy community is happening at Brooklyn’s Bell House (149 7th Street) co-produced by Sachi Ezura and hosted by John F. O’Donnell: 50 First Jokes, 2018 Edition (8:00 pm, $15, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

The Liar ShowSaturday 1/6: Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who chooses correctly gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer), Gary Levitt (co-host of I Don’t Get It Stand-Up), Andy Ross (Mad Magazine, The Onion, host of Real Characters), and Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life, Moth GrandSlam Champion, comedy album & show And I Am Not Lying). Come let these storytellers and host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show (6:00 pm; $20, which includes one drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia Street)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/13/17

July 13, 2017

Jena Friedman, Mindy Raf, David Carll, and The Reformed Whores: "Bon Voyage! We're Going to Edinburgh!"Next month is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest annual arts event in the world, and a bunch of NYC comedy luminaries will be performing shows for it. Tonight provides excerpts from the Edinburgh productions of Jena Friedman (wry dark political stand-up; Stephen Colbert, @midnight, The New Yorker, Adult Swim, Netflix mockumentary Undecided; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), Mindy Raf (brilliant one-woman show Keeping My Kidneys; MTV’s Girl Code, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; often performs as singing alter ego Leibya Rogers), David Carl (hilarious, charismatic rising star; Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), and hosts The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; CBS, IFC; have opened for Weird Al Yankovic, Alice Cooper, and Lynyrd Skynyrd; albums Ladies Don’t Spit and Don’t Beat Around the Bush): Bon Voyage! We’re Going to Edinburgh! (8:30 pm, $5, Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club at 6 Wyckoff Avenue)…

Mortified…or enjoy a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) shared by their original authors before total strangers at this popular monthly show: Mortified (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute: Harry Potter and the Cursed Pastie…or go for an oddball blend of nerdism and sexuality via this over-the-top comedic play paying homage to the tropes of Harry Potter via burlesque, produced & hosted by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman; The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute: Harry Potter and the Cursed Pastie (8:00 pm, $15 (buy in advance, this will probably sell out), The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)…

Bowen Yang, John Early, and Jo Firestone…and if you can stay out late on a Thursday, come see this debut that tries to bring a Brooklyn alt comedy vibe to a Manhattan stand-up show, with guests Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), John Early (Netflix’s The Characters and Wet Hot American Summer, NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s Broad City), Bowen Yang (Comedy Central’s Broad City; member of sketch group Pop Roulette; co-host of podcast Las Culturistas), Bardia Salimi (Stephen Colbert, CBS’ Madam Secretary, Comedy Central, MTV), and Lena Einbinder (The Chris Gethard Show, The Special Without Brett Davis) hosted by Alyssa Stonoha: Taste Flavor (11:00 pm, $5, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 7/14/17

StoryFest 2017Tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday, the PIT Loft hosts the Second Annual Story Fest, a series of 14 storytelling shows feauring such NYC talents as Adam Wade, David Lawson, Robert Weinstein, Gastor Almonte, Jake Hart, Robin Gelfenbien, Gianmarco Soresi, and festival organizer Harmon Leon. Notable shows today include Jamie Brickhouse and Joe Charnitski at 7:00 pm (two darkly comic autobiographical solo shows by Moth StorySlam winners), Tale at 8:00 pm (includes the superb David Lawson (Flyer Guy)), and (Mostly) True Stories at 9:30 pm (includes terrific comic Lou Perez (Head Writer for We The Internet TV) and retired talent agent Sandi Marx (7-time Moth StorySlam champion): StoryFest 2017 (7:00 pm-Midnight, $10 per show, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)…

Katie Hartman…and Katie Hartman (above; brilliant, fearless dark comedy writer/performer; sketch groups Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting and Hartman & Carl, PIT Saturday night improv group Gypsy Danger) hosts an extreme character, sketch, and stand-up show with Brett Davis (HBO; creator/host of weekly Manhattan cable TV show The Special Without Brett Davis; co-host of The Macaulay Culkin Show; winner of the 2015 Andy Kaufman Award), Charla Lauriston (former writer for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Clay McLeod Chapman (author of books Nothing Untoward, Rest Area, and Miss Corpus), Laura Von Holt (Jezebel), and Sapphire Jones (Wasabassco Burlesque; host of the BossAss Bitch podcast): Fridays on Ice (10:30 pm, $15, at The New Ohio Theatre at 154 Christopher Street, inside the Archive Building)

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 7/15/17

Tinder Live with Lane Moore and David CrossA show celebrating the app that redefined online dating, with the lovely and quick-witted Lane Moore (above left; HBO’s Girls; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo; writer for The Onion, McSweeney’s) going on a live Tinder safari for guys while a packed audience watches her every choice with fascination. Offering comments and suggestions during the adventure are tonight’s guests, comedy legend David Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development, Modern Family) and Ashley Nicole Black (staff writer for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee). This show will almost certainly sell out, so I recommend nabbing tickets ASAP for Tinder Live (8:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Jake Hart, Heather Fink, and Adam Wade: StoryFest 2017…and it’s Day #2 of a 3-day storytelling festival at the PIT Loft, with 6 shows running a total of 8 hours. Notable events include MTA Storytelling Show at 5:00 pm (what could be better than NYC subway and bus tales?), The Virgin Chronicles at 7:30 pm (Heather Fink (above), Anthony DeVito, Raquel D’Apice, and Josh Homer reveal how they lost their virginity), Solo Show 3 at 9:00 pm (tales from Adam Wade (above right), Gastor Almonte, and festival producer Harmon Leon), and ASS at 10:30 pm (Jake Hart (above left) hosts comics confessing terrible stuff they once did: “There’s no redemptions, no moments of regret, just stories of people doing bad things”): StoryFest 2017 (4:00 pm-Midnight, $10 per show, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 7/16/17

Langston Kerman, Myq Kaplan, and Sherrod Small: "Laughter in the Park"It’s week #2 of a 4-Sunday series of free outdoor comedy shows in July at NYC parks. This afternoon’s lineup features Myq Kaplan (above middle; one of the quickest minds in comedy; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Sherrod Small (above right; writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Langston Kerman (above left; cast member of HBO’s Insecure; Adam DeVine’s House Party; written for Chris Rock’s hosting of the Oscars and Comedy Central’s Problematic), Gary Vider (America’s Got Talent 2015 finalist; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), and Leighann Lord (HBO, Comedy Central, Lifetime; frequent co-host of StarTalk Radio podcast; author of Dict Jokes): Laughter in the Park (2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Free!, the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park by the 7th Street entrance)…

David Lawson, Angel Yau, and Erika Elton: Story Fest 2017…and it’s the final day of a weekend storytelling festival at the PIT Loft, with 5 shows running a total of 7 hours. Notable events include VHS Presents at 5:30 pm (comics David Lawson (above left), Angel Yau (above middle), and Elann Danziger screen embarrassing videos they made years ago to hype themselves and share anecdotes about them) and Singeling at 8:30 pm (tales of dating, plus advice from professional dating coach Erika Elton (above right)): Story Fest 2017 (4:00 pm-11:00 pm, $10 per show, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PIT Loft
154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/2/17

February 2, 2017

This website now has a biweekly show at The PIT that collides music into stand-up. The next edition features stand-ups from The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, NPR, and more on Tuesday 2/7.

The Ladies of DisneyA burlesque comedic play about the iconic female characters in Disney animated films spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to the Ladies of Disney (8:00 pm, $10, The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard 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:

7:00 pm ($5): Springboarding off an audience suggestion, improvisors provide a close look at some exotic group or subculture at The PIT Mainstage: DocuProv

7:00 pm ($7): In these two one-woman shows at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), first Lani Harms plays Britney Spears launching her own TV network in The Britney Network, and then Sarah Nedwek performs a play about “a baby shower gone awry” in The Immaculate Deception

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, 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), and 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

7:30 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($5): Comics find new takes on popular songs via “staged readings, dramatic recitations, updated lyrics, mimed interpretations, covers of classics…they sky’s the limit” at The PIT Underground hosted by Matt Zambrano (Fly You Fools!, The Story Pirates): Lyric Nouveau

[$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) Frankly, a so-so stand-up, but a treasured comedic personality who’s a star member of legendary sketch troupe & seminal MTV series The State, co-star of NBC’s Ed, and host or co-host of numerous other TV shows and podcasts headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Ian Black

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Space Station Delta (a Star Trek-like TV episode made up on the spot), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, “six strangers meet at a mysterious dinner party where they find a surprising connection between them: they’re all idiots:” HINT: A Murder Mystery

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a puppet comedy written by Matt Gehring & Marina Tempelsman: Simon’s Street

8:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups try to solve the world’s problems, with tonight’s sages Hadiyah Robinson, Casey James Salengo, Joe Zimmerman, and Robert Dean, plus regulars Josiah Madigan & Brock Mahan, all performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Kevin McCaffrey: Serious Matters

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): Peter Michael Marino improvises a soul-baring one-man show inspired by interactions with the audience (and with the help of stellar director Michole Biancosino) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Show Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A featured stand-up (not announced) performs a 30-minute set, with a 15-minute opening from another stand-up, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jenn Welch & Tom Lisi: The Half-Hour Hour

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Detention + Gun Club

8:00 pm ($5): Adam Hamway performs his impression of Jimmy Fallon hosting The Tonight Show,with fellow impressionists playing celebrity guests, at The PIT Mainstage: Fallon Tonight

8:30 pm ($7): Both comics and clothing experts have fun with fashion at The PIT Underground hosted by Natasha Vaynblat: Fashion Illuminati

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Joe Machi, Nick Griffin, Liza Treyger, Judy Gold, Pete Lee, Sean Donnelly, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

9:00 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by terrific comics Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out and Homeschooled, author of Felines of New York) and/or Ashley Brooke Roberts (Nat Geo, MTV’s Guy Code blog): Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($8): Stand-ups (not announced) performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Liz Simons & Jenn Wehrung: Laugh It Up, Astoria

9:00 pm ($10): A sketch show written & performed by friends at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Friendship Sketch Collective

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seth Meyers Writers: Crate Night With Set Fires

9:30 pm ($7): A musical based on Louis Sachar’s story Holes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): PITS! The Unauthorized Holes Musical

9:30 pm ($5): A musical about a 35-year-old kindergarten teacher who runs for President of the United States at The PIT Mainstage: Martha Cipolla for President! The Musical

10:00 pm ($5): This inexpensive variety show features improv by groups Rebel 5, Supermodel UN, The Josh and Tamra Show, and Becca Beberaggi, all at The PIT Underground: The Really, Really Cheap Date Show

10:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) typically hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Two powerhouse improv groups, Rumplesteaser and The Law Firm, compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($7): A variety show that encourages comics to perform whatever they’re most passionate about at the UCB East theatre hosted by Nicole Pasquale: WOKE AF: A Mind-Opening Variety Show

11:00 pm ($5): Improv with feedback at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Matthew Woods & Dan Miller: Improv MD

Thursday 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-8:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 4-5 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic Thursday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic in which 15 walk-ins whose names are drawn from a bucket get to tell jokes on stage for 4 minutes each at UCB East hosted Brandon Scott Wolf & Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up with 4 minutes per comic (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jake Vevera & Amy Liszka: The QED Thursday Mic

6:30 pm ($5): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT Underground: Ladies Night 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

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (34 Pell Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

7:30 pm ($6): All-gal stand-up, with 3 booked comics—who tonight are Lauren Vino (MTV), Alysia Hush, and Dana Friedman—and 4-minute open mic spots for 13 additional female comics on a first come, first serve basis at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Caitlin McKee: Saw Her Stand Up There

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A recorded-for-podcast walk-in open mic providing 5 minutes on stage for whatever you want to perform—stand-up, sketch, song—with names drawn from a bucket at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Mercadal & Will Watkins: Unsung Heroes

[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): Thursday After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: Barf Up the Jokes

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 6/9/16

June 9, 2016

Hotsy Totsy Tribute to The Golden GirlsA burlesque parody of a classic geriatric sitcom spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to The Golden Girls (8:00 pm, $10, The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Superb “overactors” Pat Swearingen, Jay Malsky, and many more make up a ridiculous soap-operish TV movie on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Made For TV Movie

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, 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) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

7:30 pm ($5): Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Michelle Buteau (daily host of VH1’s Morning Buzz; FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Josh Gondelman (writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The New Yorker), Matt Wayne (Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, co-host of See You in Hell), and J-L Cauvin performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy duo Anthony Jackson & Jeff Mondoro performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: New Team Honeybear

7:30 pm ($5): Pro storytellers on this month’s theme You Can’t Go Home Again, plus a storytelling open mic, at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lori Baird: Talk Therapy Stories

7:30 pm: Comics compete by lip syncing to classic rock and pop songs that fuel teen anger at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Teen Angst: A Lip Sync Battle

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Mortified

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups try to solve the world’s problems, with tonight’s sages Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Kevin McCaffrey (former warm-up comic for David Letterman; TruTV), Sarah Tollemache, David Roth, Josiah Madigan, and Brock Mahan performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Serious Matters

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a double-bill of sketch comedy shows Pop Roulette’s Amazing Earth and ‘Til Death Do Us Fart

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The greatest science fiction anthology radio show of all time was X Minus One. Improvisors who know their genre history created this show in which they make up scenes of awe, mystery, and wonder at The PIT upstairs theatre—with an opening act from Rebecca Vigil (rising star powerhouse improv singer; Your Love Our Musical, The Vigilante) improvising 1940’s-style tunes based on your suggestions: X Plus One

[TOP PICK] [FREE—and FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Comics Jake Hart (host of storytelling shows The Dump and A.S.S.), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), and Ariel Elias share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by the spectacular Natalie Wall: Awkward Poop…and the City

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Objects (long-form improv revolving around physical objects on stage), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[FREE—and FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), John Moses, and more performing stand-up at The Gaf (401 West 48th Street) hosted by the spectacular Natalie Wall: Bomb Shelter Comedy Show

8:00 pm ($5): Three improv house groups make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Detention + Dim Wit

8:30 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 upstairs theatre: Locked Up B*tches

9:00 pm ($10): “A not-so-safe space where comics expose the shitty, horrifying teenager that made them into shitty, horrifying adults. Nobody leaves until everybody cries” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Roast of Your 15-Year-Old Self

9:00 pm ($5): Sam Morril (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Yassir Lester (HBO’s Girls), and Andrew Mayer performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts & Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm: A one-man storytelling show by Will Carey about turning hardships into laughs at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Laugh Through the Sad

9:00 pm ($5): Storytellers Andrea Shapiro, Kelsey Bailey, Carly Ann Filbin, and Alex Pereira telling tales at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenna Marucci & Aileen Think: Jenna & Aileen Think You’re Great

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors Leah Evans & Matthew Schrader make up a duo show in 24 horus at The PIT upstairs theatre: Heart/Mind…in 24 Hours

9:30 pm ($5): Josh Gondelman (writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The New Yorker), Ryan Donahue, Marie Faustin, and Brad Howe performing stand-up or sketch at the UCB Chelsea theatre in the name of a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; co-host of podcasts Legion of Skanks and The SDR; new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), and more performing stand-up for this super-affordable weekly club show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Dan Soder, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Justin Williams & Akash Bhasin: Death Comedy Jam

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): UCB weekend improv group The Curfew and Improv group Brightlight compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Comics James Folta, Maria Wojciechowski, and Bob Palos are guests on this show hosted by Gary Richardson, John Reynolds, Carmen Christopher, and Joey Dundale at the UCB East theatre: $$$

Thursday 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: Stand-up open mic in which 15 walk-ins whose names are drawn from a bucket get to tell jokes on stage for 4 minutes each at UCB East hosted Brandon Scott Wolf & Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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

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 weekly improv jam for which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

6:30 pm ($3): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT downstairs lounge: Ladies Night Open Mic

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (34 Pell Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[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): Thursday After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

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

The Stand

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 Wednesday 12/17/14

December 17, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: James Franco & Seth Rogen are on Jimmy Fallon;
Michael Keaton is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Jason Schwartzman is on Conan O’Brien;
Betty White is Craig Ferguson;
Mike Lawrence, Alice Wetterlund, and Matt Braunger are on @midnight

John Lutz and Scott Adsit

Genius comics John Lutz and Scott Adsit make you see how incredible top improv can be as duo John & Scott

Star Wars Holiday Special

…and Cyndi Freeman & friends present a burlesque tribute to possibly the worst TV special of all time: Star Wars Holiday Special

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-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and/or more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

7:00 pm ($5): “Late one night, two Southern-born gal pals fall asleep while watching Gone with the Wind and find themselves caught in a fever dream! Join them on a journey of epic proportions as they forge through their fusedGone-with-the-Wind-saturated subconscious. Part reconstruction, part deconstruction, and part pop culture nonsense” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Frankie & Sarah’s Gone with the Wind Fever Dream

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:15 pm ($5): All six UCB East longform improv groups—Buchanan, Astronomy Club, Big Revival, Boombox, Witch, and Rizzo—perform for this annual Longest Lloyd Night of the Year

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): In this special show, stand-ups take suggestions from the audience and make up an entirely new set on the spot, with tonight’s brave comics Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), 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), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), Casey Balsham, and Paul Virzi performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Robby Slowik: Stand-Up on the Spot with Judah Friedlander, Jen Kirkman, Michelle Wolf, Dan St. Germain, Damien Lemon, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): “The Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast in its entirety only once, in the United States and Canada, on November 17, 1978, preempting Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk. It has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. David Hofstede called it ‘the worst two hours of television ever.’ George Lucas has reportedly said ‘If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.’ Join us and find out why Cherry Pitz is obsessed with it!” in this burlesque tribute accompanied by clips of the show at at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque’s tribute to The 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which writer/performers Adam Wade, Josh Sharp, Anna Roisman, David Bluvband, and wonderful host Dave Martin tell tales that are brutally honest and hilarious on this month’s theme Religion at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A Christmas sketch show from Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely, one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Joanna Bradley, John Zachary Townsend, Frank Garcia Hejl, Allison Brown, and Michael Wolf, plus improv and more at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sarah Heveron-Smith & Joe Cilio: The Sarah and Joe Christmas Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Nick DiPaolo, Lenny Marcus, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Keith Alberstadt, Jessica Kirson, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:00 show; Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, Judy Gold, and Jessica Kirson at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all of the three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 9:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Joe Zimmerman, Phil Hanley, Mick Diflo, April Bo Dy, Cory Jarvis, Sarah Hartshorne, and Joe Gerics performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Sooyah Jun: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing in this monthly show that “puts comics inside of a video game that plays itself” and offers prizes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Steven DeSiena & Stephen Whalen: You and the Screen

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), David Foster (MTV’s Boiling Points), Meg Cupernall (The Dr. Oz Show), Doug Key, and Sean Gabbert performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in via the standby line if you’re okay with standing): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teams up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live, and currently writes for Seth Meyers) to form a breathtakingly super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

9:30 pm ($5): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer,MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Josh Carter, and Scotland Green performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), 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), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Carole Montgomery (Comedy Central, ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, Oprah, Showtime, MTV, VH1, A&E), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), and Jaqi Furback performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Nick DiPaolo, Dan St. Germain, Sam Morril, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: 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

11:00 pm ($5): As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a monthly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible, hosted by Gary Richardson: School Night

Wednesday 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 at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

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: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet Improv Mixer

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “Everyone who attends this show will have a chance to perform improv on the UCB stage! Put your name in the Bucket of Truth, then jam with UCB students, performers, and faculty. The show isn’t over until everyone has had a chance to perform, all in a fun, supportive environment! All experience levels welcome!” at UCB East hosted by improv group Higgins: The Longest Improv Jam of the Year

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with its 90 minutes split evenly among the comics who throw their names into a bucket, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Eagle Witt: Amateur Night At The Mercury

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

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)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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 Sunday 9/28/14

September 28, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Deliver Us To Evil

Cyndi Freeman plays The Devil in a Halloween-themed burlesque play about temptation: Deliver Us To Evil

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:

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal improv group Pin-Up Squirrels performs and hosts other improv groups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Play Date With the Pin-Up Squirrels

[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 Party. and The Misses perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Award-winning NYC theatrical group Built for Collapse promises “an evening of freedom, chance, and reactionary tales of unfortunate proportions” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Theater for Your Sleeping Brain

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include a great lineup of Colin Quinn, Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, and Mark Normand at the 8:00 show; Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, Colin Jost, Joe List, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb 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

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): Cherry PItz (Cyndi Freeman) plays The Devil in this burlesque play: “As Halloween approaches, The Devil begins to creep into the Church, pitting Pastor Porkpie in an epic battle against an oncoming storm of sadistic sexiness. Will The Good Pastor save the Soul of Titillation, or will the Church be delivered to evil that very night, leaving Sundays possessed by Dead Sexy all October? You already know the answer…but won’t it be fun to watch it all go to Hell?” at the Church of Titillation (669 Eighth Avenue, between 42nd & 43rd Streets): Deliver Us To Evil

8:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Jeff Maurer, Brad Austin, Ryan Reiss, Kristin Rand, Tyson Karrasch, and Julia Johns performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Ben Asher and John Swan, characters from Tynan DeLong, sketch from Lana Schwartz, musical sketch from Pop Roulette, and comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Kareem Green, Subhah Agawrwal, Kenan Weaver, and hosts Amanda Seales (VH1) & Marc Lamont Hill performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Smart, Funny, and Black

9:00 pm ($7): “A multimedia musical kids show for adults that’s part Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and part Sartre’s No Exit explores what happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring Lauren Olson, Douglas Widick, and more at the Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Charles Gould, Brian Parise, Joe Zimmerman, Joyelle Nicole Johnson, and Greg Stone performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors Natasha Rothwell (SNL), Micah Sherman, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), 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), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Subhah Agarwal performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Gethard, Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups attempt to “out-filth each other in this show where no punches are pulled and no topics are off limits” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The Dirt

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 hosted by James Ferrarella: 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

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: 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello: Lance Bass Space Mic

[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

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: 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.