NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/25/16

July 25, 2016

Found Footage FestivalHilariously odd amateur videos from the Found Footage Festival (samples above), plus stand-up from Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Beth Stelling (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central), and Graham Kay guest-hosted by Michelle Buteau (daily host of VH1’s Morning Buzz; Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight): Night Train (8:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw 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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you don’t mind standing): Brilliant improvisors stumble into rehearsed theatre scenes they know nothing about played by Broadway and/or TV stars directed by host Stephen Ruddy at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Found Footage Festival (sharing hilariously odd amateur videos), Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Beth Stelling (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central), and Graham Kay performing stand-up or other oddball comedy at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): This monthly show screens the work of the UCB video division, and might also hosts live stand-up and sketch, at the UCB East theatre produced by Mehdi Barakchian and hosted by Julie Gomez & Nathan Russell: UCB Comedy Live

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Mike Cabellon, Adrien Pellerin, Katie Sicking have written and star in this musical about “three Millennial janitors who band together to launch a promising enterprise that breaks every promise from boom to bust; it’s never about the product, it’s an excuse to give a TED Talk” at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Meet the CEOs: A Start-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): 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), Ayanna Dookie, Kerryn Feehan, Tanael Joachim, Luke Thayer, and Tyler Richardson performing stand-up or storytelling at Brooklyn’s Union Hall with hosts Tyler Fischer & Sharron Paul: Cheap Date Comedy Show

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): A safe place to try out new material, with tonight’s comics Moody McCarthy (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central, TruTV’s Almost Genius; sketch group Murderfist), Mark Gindick (David Letterman, Big Apple Circus), and Soce The Elemental Wizard (hip-hop; Comedy Central) performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by 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): New Release Day with Christian Finnegan

9:00 pm ($5): A notable improvisor (not announced) is interviewed by Patrick Fleury, plus various improv groups perform, all at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Really Important Improv People

9:30 ($5): House sketch groups Monaco and Estevez try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($10): A group of actors and improvisors attempt to duplicate the success of UCBT’s Gravid Water by putting improvisors in the middle of classic theatre scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre. UCBT uses top Broadway and improv talent for its show, making it extraordinary. The participants of this show aren’t quite at that level, but the format is so strong that this might work anyway, despite the awful title: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Improvisors & stand-ups perform a show based entirely around the oddball Twitter comments of superstar musician Kanye West at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Brian Mitchell & Jose Acevedo: Kanye Confidential: Improvised Kanye Tweets

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Ari Shaffir, Janelle James, Greg Stone, Alex English, Dan Perlman, Alex Pavone, and Petey DeAbreu performing stand-up at one of best comedy clubs in NYC at absolutely no cost to you (feel encouraged to order food and//or drinks, but you don’t have to) for The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

10:30 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world-who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea typically hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the best stand-ups in the country; writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, comedy album Just Putting It Out There). Reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 3 minutes on stage. Arrive at around 5:45 to sign up, or wait for the late bucket at 6:15, to perform at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: First Stop 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

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 The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: 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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

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

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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 6/28/16

June 28, 2016

Found TrashTwo of the world’s finest curators of terrible videos & films, Found Footage Festival and Trash Can Cinema, combine their archives tonight for what’s likely to be a mind-blowing evening of fun, hosted by FFF’s Joe Pickett (The Onion) & Nick Prueher (David Letterman) and TCC’s Robert Austin (Comedy Central, Adult Swim): Found Trash (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw 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:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($10): Comics JiJi Lee, Rory Scholl, Asher Novek, Mark Pagan, and host Brad Lawrence try to solve the problems of audience members even though they’re highly unqualified to do so at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Dear Show

7:00 pm ($5): A weekly showcase for brand new shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—this time focused on Math, Science and Humanities at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: Pilot Season

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th 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 ($5): Gibran Saleem (MTV) Matt Pavich (MTV), Justin Williams (FOX), and Justin Flanagan share with you things they feel you really ought to know at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Colum Tyrrell & Lev Fer: Sh*t You Should Know: An Educational Comedy Show

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): Great lineup of Michael Che (co-anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update), Ilana Glazer (co-star of Broad City), Sasheer Zamata (SNL), Liza Treyger (Comedy Central Half Hour), Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for The Daily Show), and host Aparna Nancherla (staff writer for Seth Meyers) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Whiplash

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 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!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At this monthly game show, comics—who tonight are Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1), Emily Tarver (Orange Is the New Black), and Mehran Khaghani (Last Comic Standing)—compete to see who can perform the best celebrity impressions at the UCB East theatre, with guest judge Amber Nelson (Murderfist), and hosted by Andy Beckerman (host of podcast Beginnings, co-host of Two Comics One Stage) & Ramsey Ess: Snap Impression Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; 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 bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Monroe Martin (finalist on Last Comic Standing), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and Joe Bartnick performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Tuesday: Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, and More

8:00 pm ($10): Kevin Avery (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Janelle James (SeeSo’s Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), and Doug Smith (co-host of See You In Hell) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour): Deep-er-ness

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Anna Drezen (superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters & movement, sketch; author of How May We Hate You; Editor-at-Large for Reductress), Chelsea Hood, Lauren Maul, and Ben Wasserman performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Emily Winter, John Payne, and Larry Mancini: BackFat Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that books comics from the same original area (i.e., outside of NYC) to perform long sets at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Trey Galyon: I’m Not From Here

[FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing 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

8:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

9:00ish pm ($7): Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) guest-hosted by NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Ben Seeder in which he “presents a series of sketches and monologues. Playing a variety of characters, he focuses on the absurdity, awkward tension, and emotion that drive uncomfortable and explosive situations. Friends, family, strangers, teachers, potential lovers, actual lovers, and co-workers all get really, really weird” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Ben Seeder Presents

9:00 pm ($7): A monthly stand-up & storytelling show in which comics Robin Gelfenbien Sooyah, Jun Eman, El Husseini, Jess Salomon, and May Wilkerson are encouraged to hold nothing back at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & May Wilkerson: Brutally Honest with Caitlin Brodnick

9:00 pm ($5): Julio Torres (inventive experimental stand-up/sketch comic), Kevin McCaffrey (former warm-up comic for David Letterman; TruTV), Chloe Hilliard (The Nightly Show), and Kendra Cunningham (Last Comic Standing) performing at Threes Brewing (333 Douglas Street) hosted by Claudia Cogan & Brendan McLaughlin: Soft Spot

9:00 pm ($5): Skilled improvisors David Rysdahl & Paul Gutkowski make up a play on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge as improv duo True East

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($18): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a spectacular live shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by the exceptional Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Character comics celebrate the First Year Anniversary of this show with a “vow renewal” at the UCB East theatre hosted by Becky Chicoine & Sudi Green: Theme Party

10:00 pm ($5): Duo improv from Trevor Livingston & Kiley Fitzgerald at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hoagie

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Stand-ups (not announced) pair up to brutally insult each other and then be judged for the effectiveness of their viciousness by comic judges at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The RoastMasters

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Matteo Lane (Comedy Central): Chemistry

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

6:00 pm ($5): A chance for writers and actors to walk in and try out sketches on stage (casting begins at 5:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kristen O’Brien: Cold Cream

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: 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 upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 6 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tuesday After Class Jam

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

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 Monday 10/21/13

October 21, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Starting next Monday following Conan on TBS: The Pete Holmes Show

Found Footage Festival

The hilarious Found Footage Festival…

Ted Travelstead

…brilliant comic/author Ted Travelstead, and more perform at Wyatt Cenac’s Night Train

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] 7:00 pm: Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Corinne Fisher, Janelle James, and Noah Savage performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Mike Brown, Molly Austin, and/or Shakir Standley: Big Pony Show

7:00 pm ($5): All-female character & sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Carly Ann Filbin & Kiki Mikkelsen: Lady Parts

7:00 pm ($5): “The Bible is kind of a crazy book. It’s full of violence, rape, slaves, and glaring continuity errors. Some people think it’s the word of God. David Tuchman thinks it’s hilarious. That’s why he went back to the original Hebrew of the Old Testament and wrote a brand new translation of the whole darn thing. David is joined by a guest who tries to read as many chapters of his translation as possible while David makes fun of it. It’s kind of like Hebrew school, but with a lot more cussing” at The Magnet theatre: OMGWTFBIBLE

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Tami Sagher (former writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006) and Chris Gethard (comedy genius; The Office, Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York) perform duo improv at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Sagher & Gethard

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Found Footage Festival (sharing hilariously odd amateur videos), Ted Travelstead (brilliant, hilarious writer/comic; Vanity Fair, author of The Petraeus Files and Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Carla Rhodes (“rock’n’roll ventriloquist;” for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here; for act with “Keith Richards,” please click here), and Marcus Monroe (Andy Kaufman Award winner) 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): A sketch comedy triple-bill with groups Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), Onassis (UCB Maude Night), and Bilderbergers performing at the UCB East theatre: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat: Sketch Showcase

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Katina Corrao (HBO, Logo), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), and Jason Burke performing stand-up at the Niagra Bar (112 Avenue A & 7th Street) for this weekly show hosted by Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012) & DJ CnC: Crickets

[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

8:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Ruby Marez about ADD, OCD, and more at The Magnet theatre: Excessively, Obsessively

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jillian Green, Farah Brooke, Eman El-Husseini, and Jess Solomon performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, and/or music at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Charla Lauriston (co-host of School Night), Sue Smith, and Liza Dye: Free Cable

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Beige (which includes Dan Hodapp and Kelly Hudson) and (212) (which includes Tim Martin, Natasha Rothwell, Veronica Osorio, Eddie Dunn, Ari Scott, Erik Tanouye, and Achilles Stamatelaky): Maude Night: Beige and (212)

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups J.F. Harris, Mike Trainor, Nikki Lynn Michaelson, Josh Spear, Adam Mamawala, and Alex Fossella performing at Pat O’Shea’s free biweekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid

10:00 pm ($5): A veteran house improv group at The Magnet performs for the hour: Hello Laser

[$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Veronica Mosey (HBO, Comedy Central, FOX), and TuRae (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Erik Rivera (Jay Leno, MTV): Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/20/13

October 20, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Starting 10/28 following Conan on TBS: The Pete Holmes Show

Found Footage Festival

Hilarious videos from the Found Footage Festival at Brooklyn’s Creaghead & Company

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] 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 (and a Half)

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($10): Musical improv groups Petting Zoo and Mint Condition perform on this final day of The Magnet’s Musical Improv Festival (see also 8:30 pm): The Fifth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, Day 4

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Michael Che and Gary Gulman at 8:00; Todd Barry, Michael Che, and Nick Griffin at 9:45; and Ali Wong, Mark Normand, and Jeff Ross at the 11:30 show performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:00 pm ($8): Improv troupe The Jessicas (which includes dynamic actress Jessica Sherr) makes stuff up with guest Oscar Montoya, plus opening improv group Knife Sandwich, at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Jessicas Have a Crush on Oscar Montoya

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Found Footage Festival (sharing hilariously odd amateur videos), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Emmy Blotnick (MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live), and Mehran Khaghani performing (mostly) stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Caroline Creaghead: Creaghead & Company

[TOP PICK] 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), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever, Olde English, College Humor, host of Fresh Out), Josh Rabinowitz, Joyelle Johnson, and Andy Sandford performing stand-up at UCB East with host Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Gary Gulman (maybe; he recently stood up a UCB East show), JC Coccoli (Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, WB; looks great in a hat, and in fur looks like a Lannister), Mike Trainor, Andy Sanford, Mike Kaiser, and Rojo Perez performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups attempt to perform tight sets—”no fat, no filler, just funny”—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Speirs: Trim the Fat

8:00 pm ($5): All-gal improv groups Funkie Todd and Deer Babies, plus odd all-guy group Shadows, performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Womanhattan

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($25 at the door or $26.87 online): This fund-raising show at The Magnet features all-female musical Improv troupe Generation G, jazz/soul singer Sharón Clark, improv singer/songwriters Mikki Hommel and James D. Sasser, and actor Sam Underwood (Dexter, Homeland): Gilda’s Club Benefit: Closing Show of the Fifth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Joyelle Johnson, John Jorif, and Christopher Jurek performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

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: 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

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic comedy, with 4 minutes per performer, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Child Support

[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.)

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/29/11

January 29, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

Found Footage Festival

Incredibly bad videos (see above) are screened tonight at the Found Footage Festival, while incredibly bad jokes will be told at Auld Lanxiety

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 ($12 & 2-drink min.)  Fresh, quirky, hilarious musical duo The Bridget Fitzgeralds will be performing at Don’t Tell Mama (343 West 46th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues) with Songs of Seriousness

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Ben Lerman (superb raunchy singer/songwriter), and Julian McCullough (Comedy Central Presents) performing at Brooklyn’s Sycamore with hosts Caroline Creaghead and Anne Johnson: Rope Swing

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch show about New Jersey that asks you to “Take a ride on the Garden State Parkway with us as we go on a Great Adventure to see what makes the third state so special! We’ll go from the grease trucks to Menlo Park, to diners, troopers and Weird New Jersey after dark. Some of our finest historical figures, actors, and musicians will be stopping by as well, so come on out” and give yourself over to a Garden State of Mind

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Christina Gausas, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, and more—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors who’ve included writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($13) Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher have spent years scouring thrift stores and garage sales around the country for odd, funny, and startling videos. For samples of their past finds, please click here and here. Tonight they’ll be screening a whole new collection at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Avenue) of their Found Footage Festival

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Expect an evening of groans with wonderful stand-ups Dan St . Germain and Mike Lawrence as they host Brooke Van Poppelen, Ben Lerman, Murderfist, Nick Turner, and many more telling the worst jokes they’ve written over the past year at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Auld Lanxiety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($28 online using discount code TMANIA): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 90 minutes with a true genius of comedy. Please note this is a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up…and not for every taste. But whether you’re ultimately grabbed by the story or not, it’s worth experiencing if only for Daniel’s lightning-quick flashes of humor. For example, at the performance I attended a woman sitting in the front row had the incredible gall to start reading. Daniel sweetly responded, “Ooh, that’s a subtle yet effective form of criticism. I’m certainly not cross with you, just too nosy about what you’re reading to plow on. Look, you’re still reading. What a lack of faith you have in live entertainment.” Place your faith in Daniel, check out write-ups in The New York Times by clicking here andhere, and catch this show running every day except Mondays through January 30th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A co-star of CBS sitcom MIke & Molly, and the star of his own upcoming Comedy Central hour-long special, headlining at the Gotham Comedy Club: Billy Gardell

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.)  A long-time cast member of MAD TV headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Bobby Lee

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

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last year for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight’s edition of Baby Wants Candy

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Hey Mambo I-talia-FUN-o, recovered from a vault of long lost television specials! Come join your favorite drunk egotistical crooner for a night of of insults, memories, and maybe music. Watch as the faces of your favorite celebrities of of the late 60’s and early 70’s struggle to cling to their fame while hurling cutting remarks to one another:” The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 3/4/09

March 4, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Scott Adsit

Scott Adsit

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:

five free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday (7:00 pm-midnight),

[TOP PICK] one of the most razor-sharp and uproariously funny storytellers in the country performing a one-man show that should not be missed: Chris Gethard’s Magic Box of Stories (8:00 pm),

[$] unintentionally hilarious amateur videos via the Found Footage Festival (8:00 pm),

NYC stand-ups John Morrison, Sean Crespo, Raquel D’Apice, Mara Herron, Adrianne Iapalucci, and Jason Saenz at the free Shrink (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] an hour-long play made up on the spot by razor-sharp, passionate improvisors Scott Adsit (30 Rock, Moral Oral) and Christina Gausas (Conan O’Brien, The Colbert Report) at Adsit & Gausas (9:30 pm),

[$] a former regular on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd and on Howard Stern, Nick DiPaolo at Carolines (10:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] and a free, laid-back, and occasionally magical variety show where virtually anything can happen on a School Night (11:00).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.