NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/27/14

March 27, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you missed Todd Barry on TV this week, catch  his set
on Conan O’Brien here and his birthday on @midnight here;
and buy Todd’s new comedy tour video here

Cyndi Freeman

Cyndi Freeman is among the colorful ace storytellers at Leslie Goshko’s Sideshow Goshko

Ali Wong

…and Ali Wong, Aparna Nancherla, and other stellar stand-ups raise money for an injured colleague at A Benefit Show For Liza Dye

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Cyndi Freeman (Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, burlesque performer , co-host of And I Am Not Lying and The Standard Issues), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), and Diana Spechler (author of Skinny) performing at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) hosted by the lovely Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) and featuring such charms as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK]7:00 pm ($8): Storytellers Jefferson, Lori Baird, and Paul Swartz tell tales about “times in our lives that we wish we could take back, that make us feel icky and weird and gross and clumpy; times that hurt to talk about because they are irreversible” at The Tank Theater (151 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues): Bad Feelings: Not Proud of It

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril with hosts J. W. Crump and Jordan Hirsch: Gas Station Horror

7:00 pm ($5): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Greg Stone, Tim Dillon, and Raj Sivamaran performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:00 pm ($10): All-gal improv group Gilda, plus guest group Theme From Jurassic Park, make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gilda’s Date Night

[$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ali Wong and Marina Franklin at the 7:45 show; Ali Wong and James Smith at the 8:00 show; Ali Wong, Joe Matarese, and Andy Hendrickson at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, James Smith, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), and Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever) performing stand-up or sketch to raise funds to pay fellow comic Liza Dye’s hospital bills (while her left leg recovers from her being struck by a subway train) at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Justin Perez & Naomi Ekperigin: #HelpLiza: A Benefit Show For Comedian Liza Dye

[TOP PICK]8:00 pm ($10): Mark DeMayo performs a one-man show about his 20 years as an NYC cop—which he then traded for a career in stand-up—at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Peter Michael Marino: 20 & Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sharp comic Alan Starzinski (Sandino, Fat Penguin) performs a clever one-man sketch show in which he plays characters ranging from Aquaman to Gary Busey to the rescue pilot at the end of Jurassic Park at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Guys You Love to Hate

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Chris Gethard, Dan St. Germain, Adrienne Iapalucci, Sam Morril, Stuckey & Murray, and more audition their stand-up skills for TV at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Auditions for Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Genus ((long form improv that takes the suggestion of a genre and then improvises an entire show in that genre), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Rob Penty at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): A “special” guest, plus stand-ups Matteo Lane, James Patterson, and Billy Dotter performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Greg Stone, and Rogin Kim performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

8:30 pm ($5): Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), John Early (30 Rock), Ryan McKee (blogger for MTV’s Guy Code), Hadiyah Robinson, and Alex Edelman performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Sean Crespo (co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), and Kate Greathead telling daring personal tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s theme Freedom for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at A Non-Daily Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no 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), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Monroe Martin, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Carmen Lynch, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly comedy variety show featuring sketch, character bits, and stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Comedic Information

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera ((for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre, with tonight’s guest comics TBA: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit won its 8th victory in a row by virtually obliterating team Detroit with a score of 127-13. Tonight FTS aims to set ablaze group Gulf Oil for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): Improvisors (who might include powerhouse musical improvisor Rebecca Vigil) take an audience suggestion of a band and then make up an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Stories Behind the Music

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

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

[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

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 (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

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

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[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 Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/6/13

February 6, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
Amy Schumer’s just-released DVD Mostly Sex Stuff is great. Buy it here.

Nick Vatterott and Frank Conniff

Nick Vatterott and Frank “MST3K” Conniff perform stand-up at Hot Soup…

Cyndi Freeman and Ellena Chmielewski

…Cyndi Freeman performs burlesque at the storytelling & sideshow extravaganza And I Am Not Lying; delightful comic Ellena Chmielewski wrote & directs a 30 minute romantic comedy: Standards & Practices…

Nick Kroll 20

Nick Kroll

…and at 10:30 on Comedy Central is a new episode of the finest sketch comedy series to grace TV in years: Kroll Show

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: Open-mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing 3 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Max Corbel & Benel Germosen: Cracking It

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Dr. Champagne, Flower GIrl, The Wrath, Featherweight, Chet Watkins, Brick, Horses, and Bloomer performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Bloomer at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($5): “Christine Holt and Mary Guiteras both worked at The Magician, a bar in NYC’s Lower East Side. It was there that they realized they loved being oddballs. Sometimes they’d get in trouble because they’d be so busy being odd, they’d forget about their customers. Now they do it on stage,” and are tonight joined by Erin Lennox and Margaret Lyons for this show mixing stand-up, storytelling, and improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bartenders: Ladies’ Night

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Huxtable and City Mouse: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Seating at 8:30, show at 9:00 pm (RSVP to confirm your spot at FreeComedyWednesdays@gmail.com): Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at Ella (9 Avenue A) produced by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful improvisor Ellena Chmielewski co-wrote and directed this comedy mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea co-written & co-starring John Zachary Townsend (and which, barring last-minute snags, I’ll finally be attending tonight): Standards & Practices

…and in the other half of this sketch comedy double-bill, “Four traveling salespeople whose car broke down in your suburban neighborhood. They’ve come knocking… but what are your neighbors doing behind those doors?! The Partners are determined to find out, and sell some patented Ice Mix™ in the process:” Former Business Partners: Everything Must Go

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Nick DiPaolo, Tom Papa, and More

[FREE] 8:00 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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.80 in advance online): Storytelling, stand-up, and carny join forces to bring the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, hosted by Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life, The Moth), and tonight featuring storytelling by Jeff, Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion, FringeNYC, co-host of The Standard Issues), and Daisy Rosario; stand-up by Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; host of UCBT’s School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger, sketch troupe The Prom, and Harold Night troupe Bucky); sideshow antics by Abigoliah Schamaun; and burlesque by Cherry Pitz and Magdalena Fox, all at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): And I Am Not Lying

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Al Jackson (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Upload with Shaq, MTV), Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), Neil Constantine, Joe Larsonm and Monroe Martin performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors including Charlie Todd, John Murray, and John Frusciante “gather around the couch to turn each others’ bizarre tales and armchair philosophies into an evening of improv comedy. It’s like hanging out with your friends, except that your friends are really funny and need to suddenly turn their stories into improv scenes” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Living Room

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any fighting) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Sherri Shepherd (co-host of The View), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Jessica Kirson, Sherri Shepherd, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Rising stand-up stars—Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, Mark Normand, Dan. St. Germain, Pat Dixon, Emily Heller, Michael Che, Joe List, and/or Nick Turner—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regulars

10:00 pm ($5): Two-person improv scenes from Haldane McFall & Brad Stuart, Elke Reid & Giovanni Vargas, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Donna Lobello and tonight’s guest partner Meredith Hackman: I Trust (Two-Prov)

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts 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; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Katey Healy-Wurzburg, Adam Newman, and Luke Thayer; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: The Nasty Show: Big Jay Oakerson, Jena Friedman, Kurt Metzger, and More

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/6/12

April 6, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For best TJ Miller comedy videos, please click here.

NYC comedic storytellers Cyndi Freeman, Leslie Goshko, and Erin Barker

Cyndi Freeman, Leslie Goshko, and Erin Barker are among the ace comedic storytellers at Adam Wade's "Super Stories"...

Julie Sharbutt and Marina Franklin

...rising star Julie Sharbutt improvises with her friend Liz Wisan because they're "Smart & Attractive;" and two of the finest stand-ups in the country, Ted Alexandro and Marina Franklin (above), headline at the Eastville Comedy Club

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): A wonderful lineup of all-gal storytellers: Erin Barker (Moth GrandSlam champion), Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, host of Sideshow Goshko), Cyndi Freeman (Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, burlesque star, co-host of And I Am Not Lying and The Standard Issues), Tracy Rowland (NPR, The Moth), and Sara Peters (The Moth podcast) telling hilarious tales at The Magnet with host Adam Wade Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here):Super Stories: Ladies Night Edition

…and by the way, be sure to read Jason Zinoman’s fine recent article on NYC storytelling—mentioning some of the folks in this show—in The New York Times

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring ace guest improvisors Fran Gillespie (Stone Cold Fox, The Law Firm), and Tim Martin (Airwolf), plus monologues from Hallie Haglund (The Daily Show): Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10):A parody of The Bachelor written by UCB Chelsea faves Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN, writer or director of numerous UCBT sketch shows) and Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox, Pig: A Restaurant), and worth catching if only to experience the delicious comedic performances of standouts Morgan Grace Jarrett (Big Fish, Love Liza, Buffy fan) and Nicole Byer (Doppelganger)—who are especially fun when they turn into an unlikely a comedy duo…: The Bachelor: Romance, Roses, and Romance

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a musical about 19th century New York in which “uptown the aristocrats and robber barons think they own the city, while downtown thieves, pimps, and she-males believe they do; but the real kings of the city, the only truly free ones, are the news boys—and for some reason, they’re all British!,” with book & lyrics by Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau & Kevin Carter, and direction by Christopher Gladysz & Lauren Conlin Adams: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

8:00 pm ($5): “It may be made up on the spot, but there is a method to the madness. In this show players explore the structure of improv by performing unique forms provided by the community and abroad” at The PIT downstairs lounge: True to Form

[FREE] 8:00 pm: The third annual comedy tournament featuring 40 improv groups…only one of which will triumph. Tonight four improv troupes battle for superiority, pride, and glory at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena, Round 4

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

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

[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of ComedyShowtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, top Maude sketch troupe Gramp’s, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on David LettermanJay Leno, and his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joey Kola

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Killer lineup of Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.) and Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): At UCB East, an improv troupe that recently clobbered top rivals at Cage Match—thanks to such talents as Don Fanelli, Kate Riley, and Tim Martin—attempts to abandon rules for the sake of achieving new levels of hilarity in Fuck That Shit

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Joe Zimmerman (Rooftop Comedy), Dave Stone (Adult Swim’sSquidbillies), Andy Sanford (TBS), and TJ Young “deliver an original brand of humor that’s deeply rooted in stand-up and lightly blended with avant-garde elements of music, sketch and improv.” This bearded quartet’s credits include the album Cardio Mix from Comedy Central Records. Tonight they’re joined by stand-up guests RG Daniels, Dave Waite, Emily Fleming, Clayton English, Kate Hendricks, Paul Hooper, and Reid Faylor, all performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Beards of Comedy & Friends

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite people, Julie Sharbutt—who’s performed with some of the greatest improvisors alive at UCBT’s Gravid Water—goes for improv gold herself with comedy partner Liz Wisan at The PIT downstairs lounge in a very accurately named show: Smart & Attractive

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): All-gal hosts Amey Goerlich (member of Krompf, co-host of Indie Cage Match), Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, Veal), and Natasha Rothwell (Hodapp & Rothwell) pretend to be boys at The PIT upstairs theatre with guests Ashley Ward (Diamond Lion, Hello, Taco Supreme), Sarah Nowak (The Baldwins, SidViscous), and Kevin Cragg: Oh Boy! and Friends

11:30 pm ($5): Most of the improv you’ll see in NYC is longform. Tonight at The Magnet the original and still-vibrant short form version will be performed by such talents as Louis Kornfeld and Elana Fishbein:Late Night Party Prov

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

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

 For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 11/22/11

November 22, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Cyndi Freeman and Ellena Chmielewski

Cyndi Freeman preps for Thanksgiving with a Brooklyn storytelling show about family gatherings: "The Standard Issues;" the delightful Ellena Chmielewski and her improv troupe Tesla host variety show "The Lab"...

Janeane Garofalo and Justin Long

TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo does stand-up at "Tell Your Friends," and Justin Long co-hosts at "Sweet"

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

7:00 pm ($5): In this double-bill of shows auditioning for a spot on the Magnet schedule, Dreagn Foltz performs original comedic songs with such titles as Beer GogglesEthnomonogamy, and Let Me Be That Douche in Love Songs Gone Wrong ; and then a sketch troupe does a show with no description titled 100 Years of Ballitude

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 9 million people on YouTube, please click here), Eric Kirchberger (Comedy Central), Aidan BIshop (visiting from Dublin), Jermaine Fowler, and musical guest Eden & John’s East River String Band performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Host Cyndi Freeman (FringeNYC, burlesque star) and fellow storytellers Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion, FringeNYC), Alex Gallefant, Steven Berkowitz, and more tell tales about this month’s pre-Thanksgiving topic “Gatherings” at Brooklyn’s Pacific Standard (82 Fourth Avenue): The Standard Issues: Gatherings

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Jeff Simmermon (writer), Matt Mercier (writer), Olivia Henderson (real estate agent), Jordan Reeves (concierge), Joanne Solomon (performer), and host Ben Lillie (scientist) tell funny tales at this science-based monthly show that tonight focuses on a potentially hot topic—Bodies in Motion—at Brooklyn’s Union Hall : The Story Collider

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Becky Yamamoto (rave reviews from The New York Timesand The New Yorker; former beard-wearing member of band Stickerbook), and Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel) performing at UCB East for a comedy variety show produced by Sara Schaefer & Scott Moran on behalf of a great late actor: After Hours with Gene Hackman and Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comics industry pros joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($10): This intriguing-sounding show at the Gershwin Hotel (7 East 27th Street) is “a showcase for performers who appropriate the space of stand-up comedy to stage projects that, while undeniably humorous, don’t always deliver a punch line. Along with providing a legitimate venue for creative misfits known to disingenuously market themselves as musicians, dancers, singing telegrams, novelty strippers, college professors, and perfect for your child’s next birthday party, it explores the intersection of popular forms of entertainment and performance art. The talent featured tonight draws from diverse artistic backgrounds, and each performance dislodges stand-up from its current trajectory and points it in a strange, new direction:” Chuckles Plus

8:00 pm ($10): At The PIT upstairs theatre, the worlds of “magic, mind-reading, and mutilation” are explored by Matthew Holtzclaw and Prakash Puru: Strange Things

8:00 pm-11:00 pm ($5): Three full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Dance Break, Mr. Crime, Creature, Very Good Kiss, and Sandino—followed at 11:00 by advanced improv students (plus Pat Baer) making up The Lost Stories of Philip K. DIckHarold Night

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’sAssy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows), and delightful singer Shonali Bhowmik & her band (Variety SHAC, recent solo album 100 Oaks Revival) performing at Brooklyn’sPublic Assembly (70th North 6th Street, by the L subway’s Bedford Avenue stop) along with sketches from Moon regulars Camille Harris, Jordan Clifford, Bryan Condon, James Beard, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($21.78, plus 2-drink min. or $20 unlimited nonalcoholic drinks): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’sPremium Blend), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Andy Pitz (David Letterman, Craig Ferguson), Brian Scott McFadden (Conan O’Brien, MTV), host Dean Obeidallah, and more performing stand-up at the Comic Strip Live Comedy Club (1568 2nd Avenue off 81st Street): Alexandro, Franklin, Mecurio, and More at Comic Strip Live

[$] 8:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s appeared on Last Comic Standing and Comedy Central, and starred in her own CBS series Costello, headlining for one night only at the GothamComedy Club: Sue Costello

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Aquarius and Rosencrantz

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Justin Long (NBC’s EdGalaxy Quest, Going the Distance, Live Free or Die Hard, the Mac in Apple Computer commercials), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets;co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Rob Lathan (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, ABC), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Craig Baldo (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), Katrin Hier, Tyler Gildin, and Ramzi Bautista performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by twins Adam & Todd Stone, who for this weekly show leave behind their trademark suits: Jackets Off

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Terrific comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, a.k.a. Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, back from their second year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they were proclaimed “biggest revelation” by the Guardian, performing a new sketch show about reality TV at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Underdeveloped and Overexposed Life and Death of Deena Domino

9:30 pm ($5): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Shannon Hatch (blog I Hope The Worst Isn’t Over), and Jeff Klinger performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill): Righteous Kill

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Tesla—which includes one of my favorite young comics, Ellena Chmielewski—takes the UCB East stage for one night only, accompanied by troupes Sven, The Mondays, and musical group Jonny Tables, for a variety show it calls: Tesla Presents: The Lab

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Aquarius to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/5/11

October 5, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Sesame Street and And I Am Not Lying

Joey Mazzarino, the head writer of Sesame Street, is among the guests of new UCB West show "Employee of the Month;" Cyndi Freeman mixes storytelling, burlesque, stand-up, and sword swallowing at "And I Am Not Lying"...

Nick Thune

...Nick Thune performs in LIC at The Creek's "Monsters"...

The Cowmen

...and The Cowmen sing in Brooklyn bowling alley The Gutter at "Get Loose"

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie; and another genius improv troupe consisting of trio Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) performs as Outlook of the Poet

[$] 7:30 pm ($16.50, plus 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, MTV, and AMC headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy ClubNick Cobb

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free drink!): The Sklar Brothers (stars of MTV’sApartment 2F; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; Emmy-winning episode of HBO’sCurb Your Enthusiasm; ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; co-creators & stars of four seasons of ESPN’s Cheap Seats), Nick Thune (Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Jason Good (Comedy Central, Howard Stern), and Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, Minute to Win It) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The debut at UCB West of this talk show about people with dream jobs and how they got them. Tonight’s guests are Rachel Dratch (cast member of Saturday Night Livefrom 1999 through 2006), Joey Mazzarino (head writer of Sesame Street), Murray (cast member ofSesame Street), and Tillie (Dog/Artist/Mother/Daughter) and her assistant F. Bowman Hastie; plus music from EOTM Band of the Month & Scott Adsit, an awards ceremony, and sheetcake—all hosted by Catie Lazarus: Employee of the Month

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storytelling, stand-up, and carny join forces to bring the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, hosted by stellar storyteller & burlesque performer Cyndi Freeman, and with fully clothed storytellers Jeff Simmermon (This American Life, The Moth) and Brad Lawrence (FringeNYC, The Moth), stand-up Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, FOX), sword swallower Adam the First Real Man, and second artistic stripper Runaround Sue, all performing at Brooklyn’s Union HallAnd I Am Not Lying Live

8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $6.84 online with discount code Supermango): Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Vic Henley (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, Bruno), Erin Judge (Comedy Central; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Mike Trainor (TruTv’s Smoking Gun), and “a secret guest” performing at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, off Bleecker Street) with host Dan Allen: Sacapuntas!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This monthly show at Brooklyn’s The Gutter (200 North 14th Street) tonight features The Cowmen, a jaw-dropping dark comedy musical group, with members of Murderfist; and seeing these guys sing their songs of death in a bowling alley is all the reason needed to attend. Also performing will be stand-ups Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1, College Humor), Travis Irvine (Troma Films), Jason Saenz (co-host of Too Cool For School), Jared Fried , and Mookie Thompson, with hosts Aaron Glaser & Lee Rubenstein (Lee’s last show before moving to LA!): Get Loose

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA for first 30 people, from Artichoke Pizza!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mark Giordano (MadMan, FoxNews.com), Mike Trainor (TruTV’s World’s Dumbest), Alison Leiby, and Joe Larson performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Negin Farsad’s & Amy Albert’s free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

8:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Kicks, The Imposters, Featherweight, Phooka, Brick, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Brick at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Open mic stand-up (with sign-up starting at 8:00) at Brooklyn’s Belleville (330 5th Street) hosted by Josh Guarino: The Belleville Mic

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then UCBT Harold Night house troupes Very Good Kiss and Mr. Crime make up scenes without relying on the usual long-form “Harold” rules at Cheating on Harold

[FREE—plus FREE CUPCAKES and “maybe strippers”] 9:00ish pm: Host Sharon Spell’s birthday show, with stand-ups James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), Sue Funke (adorable), and Carrie Gravenson, music from comics Pat O’Shea and Colin Dempsey, cupcakes from Damn Queer Cupcakes…and “maybe strippers”—at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

9:00 pm ($7): The Second Anniversary of this monthly show at Under St. Marks, with host Christian Polanco performing a 30-minute stand-up set, plus guests Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Phoebe Robinson (host of Case of the Mondays Comedy), Thomas Dale (MTV), and Jonathan Morvay, and guest host Chris DiStefano: And Then What Happened: Two-Year Anniversary Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Razor-sharp stand-up Rory Scovel (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon,Comedy Central) and his friends, including Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Nick Thune (Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Scott Moran, and Kate Berlant, performing atUCB West in celebration of Rory’s new comedy CD: Dilation Album Release Show

10:00 pm ($10): Carla Rhodes, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Ventriloquist,” performing a show that blends ventriloquism, comedic storytelling, and rock music (with the aid of her band The Extravaganzas). Carla’s dummies include Mick Jagger & Keith Richards; Herschel Ragbottoms, a pigeon living under old newspapers in Tompkins Square Park; the fear-mongering Under Bed Alligator; and cantankerous salt-water-taffy-obsessed 1920’s gentleman Cecil Sinclaire. It all happens at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, off Bleecker Street): The Continuing Story of Carla Rhodes

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: 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; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB West makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/26/11

April 26, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Cyndi Freeman

Sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman and friends tell tales of television at tonight's edition of her monthly Brooklyn show "The Standard Issues"

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

 7:00 pm ($5): Six improvisors play themselves on stage (similar to Naked in a Fishbowl) in Self Image; and in the second half of this double-bill, Jenny Dunne and Rick Andrews improvise a single moment in two characters’ lives again and again, exploring three parallel realities, and the difference that a look or tone can make, in The Cascade

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia has long been one of the finest stand-up comics in the country, with credits including the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; and the comedy CDsTwo Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live. But what puts Mike in a class all his own is a unique style he’s developed that mixes the razor-sharp hilarity of the finest stand-up with the depth of emotionally moving theatre. Mike pioneered this approach with his previous off-Broadway hitSleepwalk with Me (which he then turned into a New York Times bestselling book, Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories); but he’s raised his game to a whole new level with this show, which is regularly selling out—for good reason. The $35.50 (discounted via code BOX) price is about what you’d pay at a comedy club…and it’ll buy you one of the richest experiences you’re ever likely to receive from art. To enjoy world-class laughs while being taught how to value what’s truly important, grab tickets while you can at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop); this utterly brilliant one-man show is slated to run only through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Host Cyndi Freeman and fellow storytellers Becky Flaum, Erin Barker, Steven Berkowitz, Joanne Solomon, and Brad Lawrence tell tales about this month’s topic,television, at Brooklyn’s Pacific Standard (82 Fourth Avenue): The Standard Issues: TV

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Jonathan Blank and Samara Doucette say what everyone else thinks on dates, but never says… so join them and guest comedians as they divulge all of their wildest and most embarrassing dating stories! This monthly storytelling show contains the truth and nothing but the truth. However, most of the stories are more surreal than if David Lynch directed romantic comedies. Everything from wild hookups to emotional breakups are on the table at This is Awkward

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics creators joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Dybbuk, Sandino, Grandma’s Ashes, Ragnaröck, and Badman, and at 11:00 pm UCBT improv students performing with Harold Night veterans at The Lottery—all at Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), stand-up Jen Perney, musical guest Eden & John’s East River Street Band, and more performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: BEEES! and Tambourine

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents, co-host ofRighteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Jared Logan (hilarious rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches:The Harvard Sailing Team; plus in the other half of this double-bill, Brigham Young University’s premiere G-rated sketch troupe Divine Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: D&D-style epic fantasy improv led by a Dungeon Master

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free show, audience members can join in with veteran musical improv talents to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 3/6/10

March 6, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Tonight Wyatt Cenac headlines at Comix, and Cyndi Freeman tells amazing tales at The Liar Show

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] [$] 6:00 pm ($15 including one drink; reservations via calling Cornelia Street Cafe at 212.989.9319 highly recommended): Four world-class writer/performers tell personal stories. Three of them are true…but one is a pack of lies. Then the audience asks questions to try to figure out who’s fibbing. Tonight’s yarn-spinners are stellar storyteller & burlesque star Cyndi Freeman (HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, The Moth, award-winning one-woman show Greetings From Hollywood), Brad Lawrence (FringeNYC 2008 one-man show Monsters in the Wood…and Cyndi’s fella), Daniella Schiller (Moth GrandSlam finalist), and Carter Edwards joining wonderful host Andy Christie (The New York Times, Moth GrandSlam Champion) at The Liar Show

7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Sharp NY stand-ups Ritch Duncan (author of The Werewolves’ Guide to Life), Erik Bergstrom (author of Grimmer Tales), Pat Stango & Blaine Perry, Phoebe Robinson, Michael Terry, Phil Murphy, Andy Haynes, and “a very special headliner” performing in Ochi’s Lounge at Sean Donnelly’s Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisor Christina Gausas and friends she originally made in Chicago—which include writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors, all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): Stellar Australian comic who’s been a regular on Opie & Anthony and who performed his own HBO special, I Swear To God, headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Jim Jefferies

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($24.78 online if you use code VIPMARCH, plus 2-item minimum): A charismatic correspondent for The Daily Show on his way to stardom headlining tonight and Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Wyatt Cenac

8:00 pm ($10): In this unique monthly show, stand-up comics perform in the buff. A reviewer from The Boston Globe observed, “The dynamic of nude comedian and clothed audience added an extra dimension to self-deprecating material.” For a New York Magazine review, please click here; or simply come see for yourself The Naked Comedy Showcase

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—and which recently won the Cage Match Championship for two years in a row!—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($5): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, quick-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

10:30 pm ($5): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

12:00 am ($5): Andy Rocco’s extravaganza of sketch comedy, music, dancing, free t-shirts, and special guests—who tonight include MC Chris, Jake Fogelnest, and Ed Larson: The Hipster Show

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/8/09

October 8, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Cyndi Freeman

Cyndi Freeman

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 ($5): One of my very favorite comedic couples, the brilliant Mary Theresa Archbold and Pat Shay, performing a new sketch-based play in which they explore love through history to make the title of this show come true: Pat and Mary Save Their Marriage

[$] 7:30 pm ($20 & 2-item min.): A delightful comedic musical duo headlining for one night only at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Mel & El

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Delightful sketch comedy & musical duo Tim Ellis and Matthew Park debuting what’s likely to be a very fun two-person show: An Evening with Ellis & Park

[$] 8:00 pm ($24.50 & 2-drink min.) A unique comedy star headlining at Carolines for one night only: Gilbert Gottfried

8:00 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors directed by James Eason “take an audience suggestion and break it into a million funny pieces” in The Deconstruction

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Stellar storyteller & burlesque star Cyndi Freeman (HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, The Moth, The Liar Show, award-winning one-woman show Greetings From Hollywood) and Mark Sam Rosenthal (Playgirl TV, Comedy Central) tell sexual tales revolving around tonight’s theme “Porn, Porn, and More Porn” accompanied by musical guest Cock Lorge at the best sexy storytelling comedy show in NYC: Margot Leitman’s & Giulia Rozzi’s Stripped Stories

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Classic Masculinity, which two weeks ago did the near-impossible by defeating Death by Roo Roo, tonight faces another formidable challenger, The Brothers Hines (Will Hines and Kevin Hines, who really are brothers) in a battle for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.