NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/11/15

February 11, 2015

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TV Alert: Kyle Kinane is on Jimmy Fallon;
Lauren Cohan, Robert Kirkman, and Josh McDermitt are on @midnight;
another episode of milestone series Broad City at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Friends of Single People

The wonderful Jo Firestone matches couples—such as the resl-life one above who met through Jo’s show—at Friends of Single People

The Jerry Springer Show

…iconic destroyer of couples Jerry Springer is among the guests at UCB Chelsea’s Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

Erin and Her Cello

…Erin Hall & Her Cello are among the treats at Amanda Duarte’s Dead Darlings

Christine Bullen

…and luminous rising star Christine Bullen spreads love by working multiple jobs found through Craigslist at My Mellonbasket

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-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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door or $6.70 online): The spectacular Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host ofPunderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this show in which “you represent your single friends onstage in a live dating game! Single friends may cringe and remain as anonymous as they want in the crowd unless their friends are chosen for the match! Then they must come onstage to retrieve 2 drink tickets which they must redeem immediately. The New York Post calls this ‘part roast, part game-show, part social experiment.’ Arrive at 7:30 to register you and a friend. Open to all orientations. Out of 100 couples matched, 5 couples have managed to develop actual long-term relationships. One couple just moved in together. It’s amazing and defies all odds” at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Friends of Single People

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about her the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and in the second half of this double-bill, AJ Patton and Timmy Wood perform duo sketch comedy as Hype Squad

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14—or $10 for 11:30 show—plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ben Bailey, Joe Matarese, Dan Soder, Sean Sherrod Small, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:00 show, and Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with all three shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A hodgepodge of theatre, art, and comedy talents hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte (young), with Erin Hall (Erin and Her Cello), Mary Jane Gibson (Lifestyle Editor of High Times Magazine), Kristen Sieh & Libby King (the TEAM’s Roosevelvis), and Becca Blackwell, plus celebrity guest bartender Dia Felix performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street): Dead Darlings

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon; breakout star of the most recent season of Last Comic Standing), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Janelle James, Frank Liotti, Chrissie Mayr, Damon Millard, Lindsay Goldwert, and Adam Cozens performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Brooke Arnold: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star;Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Simeon Goodson, Casey Balsham, Jeremy Pinsly, Joe Gerics, Matt Schwartzer, and Gary Levitt performing stand-up, and improv groups JewNoir and Big Time Virgins, all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Sharron Paul: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Phil Hanley, Gilbert Lawand, Adam Cozens, Dan Boulger, and Mack Lindsay performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Joe Zimmerman, Jono Zalay, Maria Heinegg, and Taylor Ketchum: Hot Crowd

[FREE; plus FREE BACON] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at this show that provides you with both free comedy and free bacon at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kevin Berrey and/or Farah Brook: Free Bacon

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Janelle James, Brian Parise, Daniel Tirado, and Max Rosenblum performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): An improv show “about love, intimacy and vibrators” that’s “sponsored by We-Vibe, the #1 selling couples vibrator brand (visit for more information)” featuring phenomenal improvisors Shannon O’Neill, Gavin Speiller, Morgan Grace Jarreet, Aaron Jackson, Brandon Gardner, and Chelsea Clake making stuff up at the UCB East theatre: We-Vibe, We-Improvise

[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 written by Livia and friends that stars Livia, Ann Carr, Keisha Zollar, and half a dozen other comics—plus musical guest Corn Mo—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

9:30 pm ($5): Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show), Max Fox, and Evan Jones performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; no min.): 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), Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Matteo Lane, and more performing stand-up and/or music at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Sam Haft: The Lemonade Stand: Christian Finnegan, Jessica Delfino, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Iconic daytime talk show agitator Jerry Springer and Saturday Night Live’s Kevin Nealon are among the guests being interviewed at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet Improv Mixer

[FREE] 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 each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Guilt Trip

[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)

(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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-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.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible 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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/13/11

October 13, 2011

For full details, please visit

Shouting at the Screen with Wyatt Cenac and Donwill

News correspondent Wyatt Cenac and hip-hop artiste Donwill provide continual commentary about a classic blaxploitation film for their new show "Shouting at the Screen"...

Erin & Her Cello

...and wonderful comedic musicians including Erin & Her Cello...

Jason Trachtenburg & The Pendulum Swings

...and Jason Trachtenburg & The Pendulum Swings perform for Carol Hartsell's birthday at "Lasers in the Jungle"

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:

6:00 pm ($5): The auditions of three comedic one-act plays hoping to get on the UCBT schedule, and about which I know nothing except they’re titled First Day of School, Amazing Book of Stories, and John 3:16. But at $1.66 per show, it’s hard to go wrong at this frequently surprising and funUCB West showcase: Spank

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn and tonight’s lovely guest host Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, host of Sideshow Goshko): Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at 92Y Tribeca(200 Hudson Street): Mortified

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion) and Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and genius comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard ShowMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter) headline at this monthly UCB East show that also lets audience members tell their stories, with the best tale turned into an animated premiering the following month. Hosted by Todd Bieber, it’s Animated Stories

7:30 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet co-owner helming The Armando Diaz Experience, plus house troupes Junior Varsity, The Boss, Dunk and Hello Laser performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with last week’s winner pitted against Chairman Golem at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB West, a smart troupe consisting of writers for The Onion perform their best sketches: Pangea 3000: 12 Years of Hard Work

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Joanna Bradley performs a one-woman show about how awful people are, directed by the wonderful Becky Drysdale: Everybody’s Dumb and Boring

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.)  A star stand-up who’s done half-hour comedy specials for HBO, Comedy Central, and Showtime; was a regular on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and cast member on FOX’s The Jury; appeared repeatedly on Late Night with Conan O’Brien; and guest starred on such TV shows as NBC’s The Office and FOX’s Arrested Development, headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy ClubPatrice Oneal

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Leslie Collins performing a one-woman show at The PIT based on her memories of growing up in Texas (and which recently played at FringeNYC for $18): Poteet Girls

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (for tonight’s lineup, please click here) performing at The Creek’supstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City accompanied by banjo music from Doug Goldstein and hosted by Andy Kleinman: Happy Sounds Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): An extra-special all-musical show celebrating Carol Hartsell’s birthday, with Jason Trachtenburg & The Pendulum Swings, Erin & Her Cello, and Reformed Whores performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street), with host Sean Crespo and Carol in the booth: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon), Gabe Liedman (VH1, co-host of Big Terrific), and “a special guest” performing UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), stellar stand-up Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), and more performing at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street) with host Kevin Janus (sketch duo The Sophisticates): The Comedy Igloo

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Fresh off their wildly successful tour of the deepest depths of Hell, interdimensional hip-hop sensations Buckwheat Groats are coming to UCB West, and you know what that means: Time to wrap your tits in chain mail and prepare your buttholes for imminent insertion of mango and/or eggplant!” For sample videos, please click here and here, and then decide if you’re ready for Buckwheat Groats: Pray For Rectal Mercy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Jimmy Fallon writer Casey Jost performs a one-man show at The PIT in which he plays a myriad of characters revolving around the theme musicFooling Around with Casey Jost

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7; or FREE COVER if you show up 30-60 minutes early and buy $7 worth of snacks/drinks): Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes blaxploitation in this delightful new series by Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show) and Donwill (hip-hop group Tanya Morgan) in which the boys watch a black cinema cult classic and yell comments at it throughout. It all happens at Brooklyn’s reRun (147 Front Street, between Pearl & Jay Streets), with tonight’s film a happy surprise: Shouting at the Screen

[$] 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy ClubPaul Mooney

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Stellar improv troupe Rogue Elephant competing with challenger Alan Starzinski’s One Mansical for audience laughs and votes at UCB West’s raucous Cage Match

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly open-mic stand-up show, with each comic given five minutes, at UCB East hosted by Rob Stern & Amber Nelson: Gutbucket

For full details, please visit

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