NYC Top Comedy Choices for February 2018: Last Updated Saturday 2/3/18

February 3, 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 February 2018 include (with much more to come soon):

The Liar ShowSaturday 2/3: 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 superb yarn-spinners are Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show and podcast Risk!, owner of The Story Studio), Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, host of Stoops2Stages), Sandi Marx (7-time Moth StorySlam champion), and Joey Novick (Comedy Central, MTV). 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)

Elna BakerSaturday 2/3: Elna Baker (brilliant storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here) is tonight’s guest monologist, telling true personal tales springboarding off audience suggestions. Skilled improvisors will then bring Elna’s stories to three-dimensional life: The Armando Diaz Experience (7:30 pm, $10, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street)

DestinyTuesday 2/6: Scientists, geeks, and comics—including Hossein Aleysian (neuroscientist), Aletha Maybank (physician), Peter Brannen (science journalist), and Anita Flores (comic)—tell tales related to science, with this month’s theme Destiny, hosted by Erin Barker & Paula Croxson: The Story Collider: Destiny (8:00 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

The Happier HourWednesday 2/7: A show about philosophy, love, and happiness, with guests Skye C. Cleary (Australian philosopher teaching at Columbia University and Barnard; author of Existentialism and Romantic Love), Terri Cole (psychotherapist, relationship expert, and founder of Real Love Revolution and Boundary Bootcamp), and Dr. Home H.C. Nguyen (founder of the MindKind Institute, which provides leadership coaching) hosted by Monica McCarthy (actress, and host of numerous events focused on purpose and interdisciplinary connections): The Happier Hour: Philosophy to Make Your Life Suck Less (7:00 pm, $25, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Rebekah Sebastian's "Yellow Tape: A True Crime Trivia Show"Wednesday 2/7: Rebekah Sebastian hosts this crime trivia show that challenges your knowledge of serial killers, unsolved mysteries, the legal system, OJ, and much more: Yellow Tape (9:00 pm, $7, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Emily Wells and Melena RyzikThursday 2/8: Melena Ryzik (above right; roving culture reporter for The New York TImes), Danielle C. Gray (former Cabinet Secretary and Senior Advisor to President Obama; described by Newsweek as “the most powerful staffer you’ve never heard of”), and Emily Wells (above left; singer/songwriter/musician acclaimed for her use of classical and modern instrumentation and deft sampling) are the impressive guests at this eclectic live podcast recording hosted by Shonali Bhowmik (Variety SHAC; leader of musical group Tigers & Monkeys) & Christian Felix: We Don’t Even Know (9:30 pm, $8, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Just For LaughsThursday 2/8: Enjoy some of NYC’s best character comics audition for Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs Festival—as well as various show biz industry execs with an eye out for fresh talent— at this free show running about an hour: Just for Laughs Character Auditions (5:00 pm, Free!, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street)

Dave Hill: "Witch Taint: The Black Metal Dialogues Live"Friday 2/9: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; @midnight, Inside Amy Schumer, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, This American Life; host for HBO and Cinemax; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore; comedy album Let Me Turn You On) and Phil Costello (Dave’s bandmate in groups Valley Lodge and—with Moby—Diamondsnake) perform Dave’s epic email exchange with a Norwegian black metal record label while pretending to be “Lance, a teenager living with his parents in Gary, Indiana who also just so happens to be the lead singer and sole member of the most extreme, brutal, and Satanic black metal band of all-time, WitchTaint, and hopes to get signed on the strength of one excruciatingly bad song called Necrodreamraper.” To get a feel, visit Dave’s website devoted to these emails, The Black Metal Dialogues, and then come enjoy the stage version: Witch Taint Live (7:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Chris Duffy's "You Get a Spoon"Saturday 2/10: Four sharp comics TBA tell jokes, then enthusiastically endorse some product they love…which will be handed out to lucky members of the audience! Hosted by the wonderful Chris Duffy (staff writer for NatGeo Explorer, host of You’re the Expert), who makes this promise for one audience member per show: You Get A Spoon (4:00 pm, $10, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

James Dwyer and Caroline CotterTuesday 2/13: Caroline Cotter (above right; Seth Meyers, College Humor; UCB improv group Goat) & Mike Camerlengo (MTV’s Joking Off) host a Valentine’s Eve show “to teach you how to find love and hold onto love. From sending dick pics to when to ask about bra size, this educational seminar covers all the basics, including butt stuff (which Mike and Caroline consider 3rd base). Helping out are unlucky-in-love guests James Dwyer (above left; Master of None; co-star of UCB’s A Big Dumb Thing), Nayomi Reghay (dating columnist for The Daily Dot), and Julia Young (MTV’s Joking Off): Mike and Caroline Know Love (10:30 pm, $10, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil: "Your Love, Our Musical"Wednesday 2/14: World-class singing improvisors Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). This is a phenomenal show year-round, but it’s extra special on Valentine’s Day—which is why Evan & Rebecca will be doing it twice tonight, at 7:00 and 9:30: Your Love, Our Musical (7:00 pm & 9:30 pm; $15, which is a good deal—this show has regularly sold out at $18 at other venues; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Emily MathwichThursday 2/15: Emily Mathwich demonstrated she’s a sharp writer and highly compelling comedic actress at last year’s Solocom, for which she performed a mini-play about a post-apocalyptic world where her only hope for survival was to form a relationship with iPhone’s Siri. If you weren’t lucky enough to catch this Solocom highlight in November, take advantage of this brief revival (with a musical opening by Taylor Ortega and Max Ash): Hey Siri. Am I Gonna Die? (8:30 pm, $8, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Jay Malsky and Richie MoriartyThursday 2/15: Comics TBA play dead celebrities who give TED Talk-style lectures, “sharing the knowledge of history’s most inspired thinkers willing to push aside death’s veil,” hosted by Jay Malsky (highly talented, super-charged improvisor & character comic; host of This Live Show; UCB sketch group Pretty Boys; PIT improv group Peaches Galore; Solocom & UCB solo show Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend) playing Elaine Stritch and Richie Moriarty (The Tick, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Going in Style) playing Don Pardo: DED Talks: Celebrities Return From the Dead to Give One Last TED Talk (7:30 pm, $10, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Tinder Tales LiveFriday 2/16: A live version of the popular podcast Tinder Tales that provides stories of Tinder dates, dating advice, and fun games, with guests Rachel Green, Hannah Harkness, and more hosted by David Piccolomini: Tinder Tales Live (7:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Shame!: The Not-So-Honorable Comedy ShowFriday 2/16: Storytellers Samantha Ruddy, Andrew Casertano, Misha Han, and Nick Nicosia share cringe-worthy experiences from their pasts hosted by Brendan Busee & Ron Raganella: Shame!: The Not-So-Honorable Comedy Show (9:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Air Force OneFriday 2/16: To my eye, it’s a pretty decent movie; but regardless, tonight 1997’s Air Force One will be screened & mercilessly skewered by some of NYC’s finest comics: Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing, Netflix’s Master of None, and Comedy Central’s Corporate; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There), Jess Salomon (SiriusXM), and Freddy G (NPR) hosted by Chris Gersbeck (co-host of Everythign Is Dumbn, and Bunk Bed and Murray Povich open mics): Movies R Dumb: Air Force One (11:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Chris Duffy: "You're the Expert"Sunday 2/18: Comics TBA demonstrate their brilliance at thinking on their feet by hilariously answering questions at this live taping of Chris Duffy’s excellent podcast: You’re the Expert (7:00 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Myq KaplanMonday 2/19: Stellar stand-up Myq Kaplan (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 albums No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot) hosts comics Baratunde Thurston, Nat Towsen, Jaqi Furback, and Eudora Peterson: The Myq Kaplan Show (8:30 pm, $6, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Everything is Falling ApartThursday 2/22: Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and 2 Dope Queens, Netflix’s Master of None, and Comedy Central’s Corporate; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There) is interviewed during a game of Jenga (as soon as the tower falls, the conversation ends), plus stand-up or storytelling by Chanel Ali, Melissa Diaz, and Savannah DesOrmeax hosted by Molly McGaughey: Everything is Falling Apart (8:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Anybody: An Improvised Historical Hip-HoperaFriday 2/23: Highly talented hip-hop improv group North Coast attempts to create a Hamilton on the spot by making up a musical based on an audience suggestion of a famous historical figure: Anybody: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera (9:30 pm, $20, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Risk!Saturday 2/24: Comics and comedic storytellers (TBA) join pioneering sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to tell well-crafted tales of comedic adventure: Risk! (7:00 pm, $15, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Dancify That!Saturday 2/24: A unique game show in which an oddball Internet video is screened, and then over a dozen contestants have three minutes to prepare a dance routine inspired by what everyone just experienced. It’ll all be judged by typically sharp comics TBA: Dancify That! (10:00 pm, $18, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

The Stephen King and I: "The Shining"Wednesday 2/28: Tabitha Vidaurri (MTV, WFMU, Funny or Die), who has read every single one of Stephen King’s 54 novels, hosts this monthly show devoted to the master of horror, with tonight’s topic The Shining: The Stephen King and I (7:30 pm, $7, 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/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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/23/16

October 23, 2016

Elna BakerStellar author/comics Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here)…

Judah Friendlander…and Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United), plus musical comedy duo Friends Who Folk (Ned Riseley & Rachel Wenitsky), share things they love hosted by Chris Duffy (staff Writer for NatGeo’s Explorer, host of You’re the Expert): You Get a Spoon (7:00 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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

2:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Valerie David about her bouts with lymphoma and breast cancer at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Pink Hulk: One Woman’s Journey to Find the Superhero Within

[TOP PICK] 4:00 pm ($5): Mike Reiss (four-time Emmy winner for his 25 years writing for The Simpsons) hosts readings of plays he’s written—and hopes to get produced—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Mike Reiss Play Reading Series

6:00 pm ($7): Puppets and other objects are integrated into improv scenes at The Magnet theatre: Object Work

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[$] 7:00 pm ($18): “When a washed-up reality TV producer is fresh out of ideas on how to get back in the game, he decides to reunite the horrible reality TV family that originally brought him fame and discover the secret that split them apart years ago. He decides to get them to confess the only way he knows how: under duress. After reuniting the family for what they think is a one-night special, the producer stages an attack on Beverly Hills by ISIS” at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Blatantly Blaine: A New “Family” Musical

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from a six-person troupe at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Sunday School Dropouts

[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 Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[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 five shows, with three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Rebecca Robles & Alexis Lambright create a comedic musical concert, playing two divas on a reunion tour at The Magnet theatre: Cocoa Dreamz: Live in Concert

7:30 pm ($5): “Two adorable 12-year old orphaned twins share their knowledge of the world with you” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Know This

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

8:00 pm ($5): Liza Treyger (Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), Christian Finnegan (co-star of A&E’s Black and White; Conan O’Brien; three Comedy Central specials, Netflix special The Fun Part; TBS, VH1, MSNBC, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Adam Sokol, Drew Michael, Blair Socci, Melissa Villasenor, and Gilbert Lawand performing at UCB East guest-hosted by Robert Dean: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Jess McIntosh (Director of Communications Outreach for Hillary) and Micah Sherman (brilliant improvisor; half of musical duo Myq & Micah) tell stories, and then superb Improvisors—including Jay Malsky as Hillary Clinton, and groups North Coast, Vern, Judith, and BMW—make up scenes springboarding off those stories for this real-life fundraiser for the Hillary Clinton campaign at The PIT upstairs theatre: Improvisors for Hillary

8:30 pm ($5): “Terrifying campfire comedy” from Halloween improvisors at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Scaremaster’s PIT Camp 2016 Scare-reunion

8:30 pm ($5): One group of comics was asked to give up alcohol for the week before the show, while another group was asked to get drunk before and during the show, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Bad Habits: Drinking

8:30 pm ($5): Comics (not announced) performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Maggie Lally: Magtag Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

9:00 pm ($7): Typically solid stand-ups perform at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Sketch comedy accompanied by live music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): With a Little Feeling

9:00 pm ($5): Students of Gary Austin, the founder of The Groundlings, performing improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: Gary Austin’s The Classroom

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): This improv show is based on a Mullaney Chain (pioneered by Kevin Mullaney) in which the host invites a guest to improvise with him or her, then the guest independently invites a third person, who then invites a fourth person, and so on, creating a one-time-only lineup that will be a surprise to everyone involved at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kurt Guenther: The Telephone Show

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 3:30 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket, drawings every half hour), providing 4 minutes per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Intestinal Fortitude

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:30 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

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: 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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[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

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!)

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:

The Stand

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 Sunday 6/5/16

June 5, 2016

Elna BakerElna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here)…

Rebecca Vigil…Rebecca Vigil (rising star powerhouse improv singer; Your Love Our Musical, The Vigilante), Myka Fox (SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), and Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard Lonely and Vicious) “expose their bleeding-heart adolescent artifacts (journal entries, poetry, original songs, and art), then laugh at and with their own flaws” hosted by storyteller Lyssa Mandel: The Bitch Seat (7:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

 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:

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Improv groups perform long form, short form, and/or musical forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Michael Venzor: The Mishmash Variety Show

5:30 pm ($5): Improvisors who cut across all regions and schools come together for one evening at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Supernova

6:00 pm ($5): Sketch/improv group Orange is the New Greta, plus a sketch show about Costco by group Kirkland Signature Sketches, at this showcase for new scripted works at The Magnet theatre: Show Offs

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20): From the team that created the amazing Hold On To Your Butts: Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, Matt Zambrano, and foley artist Blair Busbee create live on stage “a ‘shot for shot’ parody of the first chapter in the most epic fantasy trilogy of all time” directed by the highly talented Kristin McCarthy Parker at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Fly, You Fools!

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nine-person improv group The Internet Disagrees makes stuff up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue):: The Internet Disagrees

[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 Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[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 five shows, with three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy duo Jana Schmieding & Christian Paluck perform scripted bits at The Magnet theatre: Big Fat Liars

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1, comedy album He Has Friends), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Kevin McCaffrey (former warm-up comic for David Letterman; TruTV), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code, host of Chemistry), and Kenny Zimlinghaus (Sirius XM Radio host) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($15; no min.): Ari Shaffir, Rachel Feinstein, Christian Finnegan, Pete Lee, Joe List, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue off 20th Street): The Stand Sunday

8:30 pm ($5): Two improv groups make up scenes at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Waiting for Jah + Old Man Time

8:30 pm (donation optional, but one-drink min.): NYC stand-ups Liz Barrett, Kristin Seltman, Albert Kirchner, and Maryssa Smith performing—to raise awareness for an upcoming Hudson Valley comedy festival—at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Fredric Goldstein: Hudson Valley Comedy Festival Fundraiser Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

9:00 pm ($5): Six short plays at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Stories

9:00 pm ($7): Typically solid stand-ups perform at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

[FREE] 9:00 pm: An interactive show that “transports you to the most exclusive Parisian restaurant with a dazzling menu of the city’s character actors and then asks you to choose which characters you want to see off the restaurant’s menu” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Cafe de Caracteres

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also a star writer/correspondent for The Daily Show, and previously for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Josh Gondelman (writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The New Yorker), and Sarah Tollemache (Comedy Central) perform for a show celebrating the release of both a comedy album and book by Paul Odo at the UCB East theatre: Paul Odo Release of Lost in Thought and Nothing Too Fancy

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, drawings every half hour), providing 4 minutes per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Intestinal Fortitude

[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

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

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: 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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

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 9/24/14

September 24, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: South Park returns tonight at 10:oo pm on Comedy Central

Elna Baker

Brilliant storyteller Elna Baker and more tell tales on the theme Back to School at The Nights of Our Lives

Doctor Who

…and burlesque collides with classic TV science fiction at Cherry Pitz’s Hotsy Totsy Doctor Who Tribute

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

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

7:00 pm ($10): Feline-based sketch comedy from duo David Frasure & Jenn Welch at The PIT downstairs lounge:CATS! Sketch Fever

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Jon Laster hones a long set tonight and Thursday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Jon Laster

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Witch, Boombox, and Rizzo: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers Elna Baker, Adam Wade, Peter Aguero, Jake Hart, and wonderful host Dave Martin tell tales that are brutally honest and hilarious on this month’s theme Back to School at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A burlesque tribute to Doctor Who at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to Doctor Who

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include a strong lineup of Ted Alexandro, Hannibal Buress, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, and Monroe Martin (hosting) at the 8:00 show, and another solid lineup of Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Jena Friedman, Nick Griffin, Keith Alberstadt, 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 Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 8:00 pm (reportedly FREE online [though it didn’t work for me this morning] or at the door using discount code LCS; no min.): Both up-and-coming and veteran NYC stand-ups audition for the next season of the highly problematic NBC series Last Comic Standing—which on the downside this year dismissed such top comics as Mark Normand and MIke Lawrence, but on the up side “discovered” Joe Machi…but then idiotically threw Joe away too. See if LCS gets its act together this time at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Auditions (1 of 2) for Season 9 of Last Comic Standing

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Ophira Eisenberg, Adam Newman, Josh Gondelman, Mehran Khaghan, and Lawson Leong are “stand-ups who throw their set lists out the window for a night of wild riffing. Comics premiere a story that they’ve never told anyone, improvise a stand-up set based on an audience suggestion, or rant off the cuff. Also expect freestyling and musical improv in an anything goes atmosphere that makes for a one-of-a-kind experience” atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), plus powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her bandThe Vigilante, and Kid Lucky (MTV) on beatbox: Rifftown

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Myka Fox, Mick Diflo, Daniel Tirado, Chris Williams, and Derek Humphrey performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Brittany Sherrod: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($10): Blaise Allysen Kearsley (host of the How I Learned storytelling series), Veronica Osorio (web seriesPursuit of Sexiness, sketch group (212)), Jonah Bayer (Sound Advice, Going Off Track), and Robert Dean (Comedy Central) being interviewed and/or performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James Bewley: Dale Radio Live

[FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), Andrew Norelli (Jimmy Kimmel), Bill Dawes (Broadway’s Bronx Bombers), Del Harrison (BET), Charlie Gaeta (contributing writer for SNL’s Weekend Update), John Frusciante (College Humor, improv group Airwolf), Luke Thayer (The Food Network’s Food Detectives), and Martin Morrow 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?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new 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] 9:30 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

9:30 pm ($10): Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), and Lynn Bixenspan performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 8:00 pm (reportedly FREE online [though it didn’t work for me this morning] or at the door using discount code LCS; no min.): Both up-and-coming and veteran NYC stand-ups audition for the next season of the highly problematic NBC series Last Comic Standing—which on the downside this year dismissed such top comics as Mark Normand and MIke Lawrence, but on the up side “discovered” Joe Machi…but then idiotically threw Joe away too. See if LCS gets its act together this time at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Auditions (2 of 2) for Season 9 of Last Comic Standing

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): The UCB Touring Company consists of some of UCB’s finest improvisors who show audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For this monthly show, however, the traveling troupe will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): An entire late night talk show pilot built around one comic, with tonight’s superb starring host Morgan Grace Jarrett (Broad City; improv groups Grandma’s Ashes and The Living Room) at the UCB Chelseatheatre: Night Late…with Morgan Grace Jarrett

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing DevilComedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar(447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

10:15 pm ($5): Randomly selected UCBT students perform with UCBT improv veterans at the UCB East theatre: The Lottery

[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

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv 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-$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
(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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/20/14

July 20, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

Elna Baker

Genius author/storyteller Elna Baker performs at The Macaulay Culkin Show

Katie Hartman

…and stellar comic Katie Hartman and more share their mortifying tales at The Shame Game

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] 2:00 pm: Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon; breakout star on this season’s Last Comic Standing—and the only finalist who actually merits winning), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), and Jon Laster performing for a free outdoor show at Washington Square Park (at Holley Plaza): Laughter in the Park

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

[TOP PICK] 5:30 pm ($7): A one-man show by Yisrael Campbell that ran off-Broadway and is now headed to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival about “your average Irish/Italian/Catholic/American/Recovering Alcoholic/Reform Jew/Conservative Jew/Orthodox Jew and his incredible life across 4 decades, 2 continents and 3 circumcisions” at The Magnet theatre: Circumcise Me

[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 ($5): Emily Shapiro (The Wrath, The Weird Sisters) performs a one-woman show (with a few guests) “about sweet, sad and silly people” at The Magnet theatre: Emily Is a Character

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Gary Richardson, and Dan Licata, plus comedy groups Good Cop Great Cop and New Dreamz, performing stand-up, storytelling, or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, and Gregg Rogell at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander and Sherrod Small at the 9:45 show; and and Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, Marina Franklin, and Wil Sylvince 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 ($8): Terrific comics Katie Hartman (stellar sketch comic; Hartman & Carl, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), and Heather Trobe compete in telling “the most wince-worthy, second-hand embarrassment-inducing tale. After every story, each contestant can ask the performer a question to draw out all the juicy and/or disturbing details. The more contestants fuck with each other, the better. In the end, the audience will name the winner to be crowned the King/Queen of Shame” at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): The Shame Game

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Ashley Ward, Aparna Nancherla, and Philip Markle, and guest improv groups Crazy In Love and The Best, join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Live stage readings of popular Saved by the Bell episodes, with each cast member allowed an optional 3-minute Zack Morris style “time out” for episode-specific stand-up or a fan fiction bonus scene at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Bayside Myself

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, FX’s Totally Biased), Jake Weisman, Megan Koester, Brendan Eyre, Greg Barris, and Jake Head performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sketch group Party. performs a show based on this innovative premise: “One of the last remaining Saturday morning children’s television shows, the long-running TV Kids Place!, is finally cancelled. And there’s only one thing host Pippi Pederson-Morales, Max the Mathemagician, Dr. Cowboy, Cloggo the Janitor, Willy McNilly, and the rest of the gang can do to stop it—put on the greatest show of their lives. Can Pippi and friends save Saturday morning kids TV? Come to a live taping and see for yourself!” at The Magnet theatre: TV Kids Place!

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Scotland Green, Robbie Collier, Jake Weisman, Jake Head, and Matt Champagne performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors Ali Farahnakian (Saturday Night Live, owner of The PIT), Micah Sherman (The Baldwins), Abby Sher (Second CIty), and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($9.75 online using discount code SUMMER; no min.): 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), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central Half Hour), James Davis, and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, Pete Davidson, Damien Lemon, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 2/25/14

February 25, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Midnight comedy was pretty busy yesterday. If you didn’t catch it all, the Late Night with Seth Meyers debut with Amy Poehler is here, The Pete Holmes Show return with Judd Apatow is here, and Ali Wong showing  her (semi)nakedly competitive side to score points on @midnight is here

Elna Baker

Genius storyteller Elna Baker is among the guests at The Tony Show

Ted Alexandro

…and Ted Alexandro and other stand-up stars perform at The Stand

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-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): A show consisting of Lance Weiss sipping wine and takes questions from the audience (no questions barred), plus an opening stand-up set from Corinne Fisher, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Wine and Questions With Weiss

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups –GoodGirl, Higgins, and Grammer at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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.), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Ray DeVito, and Josh Carter performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Janeane Garofalo, Nikki Glaser, Rachel Feinstein, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at a time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Phoebe Robinson hosts this monthly stand-up show, tonight featuring Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), and more performing at the UCB East theatre: Blaria Live Stand-Up Comedy

[$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Gregg Rogell, Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Wolf of Wall Street; host of Midnight Stand-Up), and Sam Grittner performing stand-up for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

8:00 pm ($5): Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Scott Rogowsky (host of Running Late), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), and Sue Smith “awkwardly sit together and talk about what they do” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James Bewley: Dale Radio Live

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Jim Tews (co-host of Cheat Hair), Dave Stone (Craig Ferguson), and more performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Storytellers Jake Hart, Susie Felber, Lynn Bixenspan, Alex Schmidt, David Lawson, and Nelson Lugo tell tales, plus music from Byron M. Johnson, at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by Harmon Leon: Tale

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Typically superb comics (not yet announced), and tonight “audience members compete in comedy-related events and then are rated by a panel of judges,” at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (typically announced by 1:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Kevin McCaffrey, Robert Dean, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Greg, Graceland, and The Regulars at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv, aided by producer Andy Rocco; plus storytelling from Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), and stand-up from Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of The Dream Show) and Subhah Agarwal, all performing at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show

9:30 pm ($10): A sketch show that has something to do with Alan Rickman, plus improv from duo PowerCouple, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Alan Rickman’s Dream Machine

9:30 pm ($5): Comedy groups Boat, Nerds on Fire, and Captain’s Hat compete in the realms of sketch and improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: Sketchy Sketchy Prov Prov

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), James Smith (Australian comic; HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central; for stand-up video on what it’s like to be Australian in New York, please click here), Chuck Martin (Jay Leno, writer for Arrested Development), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Dave Attell, Kevin Meaney, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open-mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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] 6:15 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys Open MIc

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening 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 Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart: The Dump

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:15: Sign up at 9:30 pm for the opportunity to make up a musical on the spot with The Magnet improv group Legend: Magnet Musical Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): 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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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 Monday 10/28/13

October 28, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Elna Baker and Martin Dockery

Brilliant storytellers Elna Baker and Martin Dockery bid adieu to a storytelling phenom at Adventures with Melanie Hamlett…

Conan O'Brien and Pete Holmes

…and don’t miss the debut of what’s likely to be an instant TV classic, starting tonight at midnight on TBS following Conan O’Brien: The Pete Holmes 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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Martin Dockery (five-time Moth GrandSlam finalist), and Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation) telling true tales of hair-raising adventures, and also sharing shorter anecdotes on the fly in a campfire setting, with brilliant storyteller/host Melanie Hamlett (one of the most dynamic, fearless, and hilarious storytellers in the country). This is among my all-time favorite shows—and your last chance to see it for awhile, as Melanie will be going off to more adventures in November. Come to Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) for surreal travel slides, camp intimacy, and astounding stories at Adventures with Melanie Hamlett

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil (The Vigilante), and stand-up from Matt Pavich, Giulio Gallarotti, and Crystian F. Ramirez performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Mike Brown, Molly Austin, and/or Shakir Standley: Big Pony Show

7:00 pm ($8): All-female sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from 4-gal group Buzz Off, Lucille

7:00 pm ($5): “Theatrical improv that blurs the boundaries between scenes, allowing for disparate characters to affect each other in unexpected ways” at The Magnet theatre: Crosstalk

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors will be touring as representatives of The PIT, and practicing tonight at The PIT downstairs lounge: The PIT TourCo

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Star improvisors and stars of Broadway crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; head writer for Inside Amy Schumer,writer for Kroll Show, former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), 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), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), and Sam Morril (Comedy Central) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), and featuring tonight’s guest storytellers Andy Ross, Alex Schmidt, and John O’Donnell: Tales of the Cosmos

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

8:00 pm ($10): Stand-ups Michael Salloway and Aaron Berg performing at The PIT upstairs theatre with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Brooks Whelan (SNL), and Jono Zalay performing stand-up, plus music from Julian Velard, at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), Jo Firestone, Derek Humphrey, Ian Fidance, and Anthony Corballis performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, and/or music at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Charla Lauriston, Sue Smith, and Liza Dye: Free Cable

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Legs for Days (whose stellar performers include Livia Scott, Ann Carr, and Dan Chamberlain) and Bellevue: Maude Night: Legs For Day and Bellevue

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm & 8:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—an entire evening (split into three separate shows) devoted to the Third Year Anniversary of a show featuring female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” written & performed by Jarret Berenstein at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Current Events

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Strong lineup of John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing), and TuRae (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): John Mulaney, Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Whiplash

Monday 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

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

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 Monday 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 Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

10:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night. If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jarrid Reed: Fresh

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.)

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.