NYC Top Comedy Choices for March 2020: Last Updated Thursday 3/12

March 12, 2020

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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 March 2020 (with much more to come soon) include:

Abby Rosenquist: "Citywide"Thursday 3/12: Marie Faustin (MTV’s Girl Code and Vidiots; co-host of WBAI 99.5FM’s Tall Tales in the Big City; host with Sydnee Washington of podcast The Unofficial Expert; host with Sydnee Washington & Aminah Imani of highly popular weekly Brooklyn stand-up showcase Comedy at The Knit),former host of Oxygen’s Very Real Talk;), Jared Freid (NBC, MTV, TruTV), Alex English (Starz, Viceland; former writer of BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede and Netflix’s The Fix with Jimmy Carr), Casey Balsham (co-host of Not Another True Crime Podcast; stand-up album Son of a Barb), Napoleon Emill (Carolines’ Comedy Madness 2018 champion), and Khalil Walker perform stand-up for Abby Rosenquist (Fuse TV): Citywide (7:00 pm, $10 cover and no min., The Stand Upstairs at 116 East 16th Street)

David Lawson: Thursday 3/12: Open mic walk-in storytelling show, with each yarn-spinner whose name is picked from a basket receiving 5 minutes on stage to tell a true personal tale, hosted by David Lawson (Comedy Central; solo shows include The Flyer Guy, No Oddjob, The Prequels, and The 2020 Book Report): The Astoria Bookshop Storytelling Show: 6th Year Anniversary! (7:00 pm, Free!, Queens’ Astoria Bookshop at 31-29 31st Street—take the N/W subway to Broadway Station; PLEASE NOTE: Tonight’s show has been CANCELED.)

Meg Stalter and her BratsThursday 3/12: Comedy dynamo Meg Stalter (National Lampoon Radio Hour, The Chris Gethard Show) performs her unique format-mocking brand of stand-up, with guests Sandy Honig (one-third of sketch group Three Busy Debras; host of Pig and The Bongo Hour), Joe Castle Baker (host of Get Reel), and Richie Owens (Meg’s husband in this): Meg Stalter and her Brats! (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; PLEASE NOTE: This show has SOLD OUT.)

UCBT's I'm Cool ShowcaseThursday 3/12: Last night UCBT spotlighted character/sketch comedy by Jason Gore; Laura O’Dea, Mary Cait Kelly, Russell Daniels, and Niccolo Aeed of sketch group House Of Birds; sketch groups A Back Line, Grown Ass Women, Bedrock, and After School Snack; and character comics Donald Chang and Kathleen Cameron. Tonight is the second of two character & sketch comedy UCB Theatre showcases for industry producers, casting directors, etc. featuring some of UCB’s best comics performing their best material: UCBT’s I’m Cool Showcase (7:30 pm, $9, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

Gilbert GottfriedThursday 3/12: A one-of-a-kind treasure of a comedy star, whose scores of credits include numerous appearances on David Letterman, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Howard Stern, @midnight, and Comedy Central Roasts—and who’s acted in the Robert DeNiro film The Comedian, such animated features as Aladdin and Lego Batman 3, Showtime’s Episodes, Comedy Central’s The Jim Gaffigan Show, classic documentary The Aristocrats, and documentary Gilbert—headlines for one night only at Carolines: Gilbert Gottfried (7:30 pm, $27.25 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway; PLEASE NOTE: Tonight’s show has been CANCELED.)

MortifiedThursday 3/12: Enjoy a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) shared by their original authors before total strangers at this popular monthly show: Mortified (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Dear Diary: Comics Read Their Weird Childhood JournalsFriday 3/13: Comics share their observations, fears, dreams, and insanities growing up by reading from their childhood diaries hosted by Maggie Lalley: Dear Diary: Comics Read Their Weird Childhood Journals (9:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Friends Who Folk & FriendsSaturday 3/14: Friends Who Folk—i.e., delightful singing duo Rachel Wenitsky (writer for Jimmy Fallon, freelance writer for SNL; Deputy Editor of Reductress; co-host of Mouth Time! podcast; Head Writer of The Story Pirates podcast) & Ned Riseley; TheNewYorker.com—host guests Gabe Gonzalez (host for MTV News and ScruffApp), Rebecca O’Neal (Netflix’s Easy; Vanity Fair, Gawker, Vulture; former host of local Chicago TV show One Night Stand-Up), and Lily Marotta (HBO’s High Maintenance): Friends Who Folk & Friends (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Kids These Days sketch comedySaturday 3/14: A sketch group that’s achieved national fame via several appearances on NBC’s Bring the Funny performs new material every month at The PIT that includes stage, digital, and musical sketches: Kids These Days (8:00 pm, $15, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

CentraliaSaturday 3/14: Acclaimed groundbreaking improvisors Patrick McCartney, Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott make up scenes that often have a theatrical quality: Centralia (8:00 pm; $15, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Ophira Eisenberg, Lane Moore, and Hari Kondabolu: Saturday 3/14: A show celebrating the app that redefined online dating, with the lovely and quick-witted Lane Moore (above middle; author of bestselling book How to Be Alone; HBO’s Girls; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo; writer for The Onion, McSweeney’s) going on a live Tinder safari for guys while a packed audience watches her every choice with fascination. Offering comments and suggestions are the wonderful Ophira Eisenberg (left; one of the finest comedic storytellers and stand-ups in the country; host of weekly NPR/WNYC show Ask Me Another, author of bestselling book Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy, comedy album Bangs!; NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime), Hari Kondabolu (right; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents; fascinating TruTV documentary The Problem with Apu; Netflix special Warn Your Relatives), and Stacy London (pundit for NBC’s Today Show; former co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear; former Senior Fashion Editor for Mademoiselle): Tinder Live (8:30 pm, $18 at the door or $19.51-$22.76 online; Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street)

North Coast hip-hop improvSaturday 3/14: Every Saturday night, a highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour to make up scenes, songs, and witty wordplay: North Coast (9:00 pm, $15, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

J.W. Crump: Saturday 12/14: Using low-brow horror films often purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, host J.W. Crump plays select clips for 30 seconds (via ace tech booth operator Christine Pynn), then asks his talented cast of improvisers—Sean Reidy, Connor McClure, B. J. Thorne, Josh Krebs, Kaitlin Fontana, Sam Jackel, Tim Mele, Ali Gordon, Jordan Hirsch, Alyson Cripps, Táhlia Robinson, and/or Alyssa Lott—to complete the scene: Gas Station Horror (10:30 pm, $15, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Jordan Klepper's Productive Existential Crisis, with FriendsSunday 3/15: Jordan Klepper (star of docuseries Klepper; former star of Comedy Central’s The Opposition and correspondent for The Daily Show) has had a busy few years: “Just recently he shared a falafel with the Clintons, got arrested in Georgia, and ran away to the woods to deal with the inevitability of the aging process, only to come back three days later because a rat ate his turkey sausage. He’s got some stories, and he’s working some things out. He’s doing some of that on stage with a microphone. He’s also invited some of his talented friends to share their existential dread and, you know, stand-up jokes so we can feel a bit less alone together,” with guests TBA: Jordan Klepper’s Productive Existential Crisis, with Friends (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Character? I Hardly Know’erSunday 3/15: Seven comics—Matt Brooks, Woody Fu, Mary Nepi, Lynsey Burnell, Nathan Pearson, Delaney Sweet, and Lauren Garniet—each performs original solo characers in this showcase: Character? I Hardly Know’er (10:00 pm, $15, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Star F*ckers: Astrology, But Make It ComedyMonday 3/16: This show is about “the science of astrology, which is very real and definitely not fake. Each month, hosts Melissa Stokoski, Karolena Theresa, and Brian Bahe (all Virgos) along with resident Astrologist Lizzie Martinez (Taurus) welcome a lineup of comedians all born under the current zodiac.” This month’s group of Pisces stand-ups are TBA: Star F*ckers: Astrology, But Make It Comedy (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Samantha RuddyTuesday 3/17: Samantha Ruddy (above left; Stephen Colbert; warm-up comic for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; written for College Humor, Reductress, Someecards) hosts stellar stand-ups Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; HBO’s Crashing, Comedy Central’s Broad City; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow; live-on-stage co-host of Butterball; comedy album The Hits), Karen Chee (staff writer for Seth Meyers; The New Yorker, McSweeney’s), Megan Stalter (star of webseries The Megan Stalter Show; member of National Lampoon Radio Hour), Joe Pera (star of Adult Swim’s Joe Pera Talks With You; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central), Napoleon Emill (Carolines’ Comedy Madness 2018 champion), and Luke Mones (Comedy Central, Inside Edition, Funny Or Die, College Humor, Howard Stern Show): Samantha Ruddy Has Guests (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Comic Book ClubTuesday 3/17: Every Tuesday at 7:00, comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club (7:00 pm, Free!, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Feminist Buzzkills of ComedyTuesday 3/17: Stand-up from Dulcé Sloan (powerhouse comic and correspondent for The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, @midnight), Devon Walker (Comedy Central), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1; host of Right Now; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), and Amy Shanker hosted by Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show) and produced by the Abortion Access Front: Feminist Buzzkills of Comedy (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Seth Herzog: Tuesday 3/17: Sal Vulcano (co-star of TruTV’s Impractical Jokers), Tim Dillon (Comedy Central Half Hour, Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup, Last Comic Standing; podcast The Tim Dillon Show), Griffin Newman (brilliant character/improv comic; Arthur on Amazon’s The Tick, Jared Kushner on Showtime’s Our Cartoon President, HBO, CBS, MTV, TBS; feature films Draft Day, Fort Tilden, Night Moves; co-host of podcast Blank Check), Nore Davis (HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, Showtime’s Boardwalk Empire, MTV; album You Guys Are Dope), and more perform stand-up and/or music hosted by Seth Herzog (above; long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, @midnight, CBS, VH1): Sweet (9:00 pm, $16.80 online [all tickets sold via DICE app], Chelsea Music Hall at 407 West 15th Street)

Stavros Halkias:

Stavros Halkias: Wednesday 3/18: A typically great alt comedy lineup (TBA) hosted by Stavros Halkias (Comedy Central Stand-Up, IFC; co-host of podcast Cum Town; host of Fat Tuesdays): Pantheon with Stavros Halkias (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Frank Conniff: Wednesday 3/18: Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic; author of How to Write Cheesy Movies) hosts an open mic for MST3K-style riffing on film clips of awful movies. Sign-up is open to all, and riffing happens in randomly assigned groups of three, with no advance knowledge of what’s going to be screened. At the end, whoever Frank decides is best will get to riff with him: Frank Conniff’s Open Riff Night (9:00 pm, $5 to riff or $8 to just watch, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

The PIT's 9th Annual ImprovFest: Improv FestivaleThursday 3/19-Saturday 3/21: The PIT’s 9th Annual NYC Improvfest is a showcase for over 70 improv groups performing Thursday-Saturday at all three PIT theatres. Most shows feature one or two groups and cost $5-$15: The PIT’s 9th Annual ImprovFest: Improv Festivale (Thursday 6:00 pm-Midnight; Friday 6:00 pm-1:00 am; Saturday 2:00 pm-12:30 am; prices range from free to $15 per show; running at all three PIT theatres, i.e., The PIT Mainstage (Striker) and PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street and The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Chris GethardThursday 3/19: Chris Gethard (star of HBO 90-minute special Career Suicide; star of TruTV’s & Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; host of Webby-winning podcast Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People; producer of fresh comedy webseries Chris Gethard Presents) hosts superb comics (TBA) who have performed on his MNN cable access show Chris Gethard Presents: Chris Gethard Presents All-Stars (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Debra Messing and Emily NussbaumThursday 3/19: Debra Messing (Emmy Award-winning star role of Grace in NBC’s Will & Grace; upcoming Broadway play Birthday Candles) and Emily Nussbaum (Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic for the New Yorker; author of I Like To Watch: Arguing My Way Through The TV Revolution) are tonight’s guest of this NPR comedy trivia show taped live in Brooklyn hosted by the wonderful Ophira Eisenberg (one of the finest comedic storytellers and stand-ups in the country; author of bestselling book Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy, comedy album Bangs!; NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime) with music by Jonathan Coulton: Ask Me Another (7:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Get Reel 6Friday 3/20: Comics dub—i.e., provide a verbal soundtrack—by making up narration and dialogue on the spot for silly video and film clips, with this month’s theme Technically Speaking, starring Josh Sharp & Aaron Jackson, Julia Shiplett, Shalewa Sharpe, Mary Beth Barone, and Sam Taggart hosted by Max Wittert & Joe Castle Baker: Get Reel (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Benito Skinner & Mary Beth Barone: Friday 3/20: Stand-up and/or music from Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; HBO’s Crashing, Comedy Central’s Broad City; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow; comedy album The Hits), Lauren Servideo (character comic Instagram star), Aminah Imani (host with Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin of highly popular weekly Brooklyn stand-up showcase Comedy at The Knit; co-host of podcast Wine Before Nine), and Pat Regan (The Eric Andre Show, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Seek Treatment podcast) hosted by Benito Skinner (YouTube star) & Mary Beth Barone (Viceland; host of podcast Mildly Offensive): Cruel Intentions (7:30 pm, $18, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Morgan Pielli & Lynn Bixenspan: Friday 3/20: Storytellers Lindsay Goldwert (middle left; author of new book Bow Down: Lessons From Dominatrixes On How to Get Everything You Want, host of podcast Spent), Wilson McDermut (middle right; BBC America’s Crash Course in Comedy), and more TBA share tales of relationships in front of a panel of comics and bona fide therapists who then provide their professional advice, hosted by Lynn Bixenspan (far right; Comedy Central, MTV; former writer for Fuse TV) & Morgan Pielli (far left; cartoonist): Relationshit (7:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Shame!: The Not-So-Honorable Comedy ShowFriday 3/20: Storytellers Meghan Walsh, Jared Waters, Bob Hansen, and Justin Auslaender 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)

Picture This!Saturday 3/21: In this unique show, animators (TBA) spontaneously bring the jokes of stand-ups (TBA) to visual life with lightning speed & wit. Part of the fun is that the comics don’t know what the animators will draw and the animators don’t know how the comics will react. Produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Ian Fidance (regular on SiriusXM’s You Up? with Nikki Glaser, Comedy Central Radio): Picture This! (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Switch n' Play's Family ValuesSaturday 3/21: A subversive and award-winning Brooklyn drag & burlesque collective performs a tribute to The Addams Family, exploring “the queer resonance of America’s most iconic and beloved spooky family…emphasizing themes of resistance, the celebration of difference, and the power of chosen family,” with Switch n’ Play members Divina GranSparkle, K.James, Miss Malice, Nyx Nocturne, Vigor Mortis, and Zoe Ziegfeld, plus guest artists West Dakota, Fem Appeal, Hystée Lauder, MiscAllaneous and DomTop, all promising you “an evening of performances that will ready you for a queer revolution that is creepy, spooky, kooky, and altogether ooky:” Switch n’ Play’s Family Values (8:00 pm, $23-$31—which includes post-show dance party; Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

North Coast hip-hop improvSaturday 3/21: Every Saturday night, a highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour to make up scenes, songs, and witty wordplay: North Coast (9:00 pm, $15, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Gastor Almonte & Jess Salomon: Saturday 3/21: Stand-ups TBA perform by sandwiching new jokes in between time-tested opening and closing material for hosts Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, host of Stoops2Stages, co-host of I’m Dead Comedy, comedy album Immigrant Made) & Jess Salomon (former UN war crimes attorney turned comic; Jimmy Fallon, CBS, Sirius XM): Sandwich (10:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Baby Wants Candy musical improvSaturday 3/21: A top musical improv troupe that 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 “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure, by ace improvisors TBA, plus stellar improv musicians who are typically Dan Reitz (keyboards) & Sarah Mullins (drums/percussion). Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy (10:30 pm, $14, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

Rachel FeinsteinSunday 3/22: Red-hot stand-up Rachel Feinstein (HBO’s Crashing, Amazon’s Red Oaks, Netflix’s The Standups, Comedy Central special Only Whores Wear Purple; finalist on Last Comic Standing; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Inside Amy Schumer, The View, Adult Swim; films include Trainwreck and Top Five) performs a deliciously long set at an intimate venue: Rachel Feinstein (5:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Tiff Stevenson: Sunday 3/22: A solo show by Tiff Stevenson (UK comic/actress; numerous UK/US TV show appearances include The Office, Drunk History, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Mock the Week) about which one reviewer said, “It’s jaw-droppingly remarkable how much ground she covers, how funny she is, how intelligent her attacks are:” Tiff Stevenson: Mother (7:30 pm, $11.55-$15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

The Crush ProjectSunday 3/22: Every month, Emma Shoemaker interviews a guest who she once had a crush on. They’ll discuss the crush, and Emma will try to figure out if it was/is mutual. “We’ll be silly, we’ll be vulnerable and if we’re lucky we might even get closure:” The Crush Project (6:00 pm, $9, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Jack Blankenship: Sunday 3/22: One of the top highlights of last year’s Solocom was Jack Blankenship sharing how he used his ability to make an extreme face to become a world-famous Internet meme. Jack’s charming, down-to-earth style and sly sense of humor make for a delightful time, and this show is happily recommended: Jack Blankenship: A Funeral for My Face (8:00 pm, $9, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Phoebe RobinsonMonday 3/23: Star Phoebe Robinson (co-star of HBO’s 2 Dope Queens; host of podcast Sooo Many White Guys; Seth Meyers, Conan O’Brien, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code; feature films What Men Want and Netflix’s Ibiza; author of Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay and You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain) performs and hosts some of her stand-up friends. This will probably be awesome and almost certainly sell out in advance: Phoebe Robinson and Friends (8:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Comic Book ClubTuesday 3/24: Every Tuesday at 7:00, comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club (7:00 pm, Free!, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Sam Taggart, Marcia Belsky, and Drew Anderson: Tuesday 3/24: Comics TBA perform for this monthly stand-up showcase named after Stevie Nicks and hosted by Marcia Belsky, Sam Taggart, and Drew Anderson: Stevie (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Getting Uncomfortable with Willem Brian SmithWednesday 3/25: A live-on-stage recording of Willem Brian Smith’s podcast interviewing fellow comics about uncomfortable topics such as mental illness: Getting Uncomfortable with Willem Brian Smith (7:00 pm, $9, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Bardia Salimi: Wednesday 3/25: Bardia Salimi (Stephen Colbert, CBS’ Madam Secretary, TBS’ Search Party, Comedy Central, MTV) spearheads a sketch show about the Presidential race featuring Annie Donley, Drennen Quinn, Carmen Christopher, Brian Fiddyment, and Tony Zaret, and with an opening set by Mike Hanford: Bardia Salimi: Race To The Nut House (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

SkyRats Comedy: Wednesday 3/25: An untold episode of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone created on the spot by improv group SkyRats Comedy: Another Dimension (8:00 pm, $11, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

One Liner MadnessThursday 3/26: In this quick-paced show, 64 comics each perform a one-line joke for the sake of winning audience laughs and applause (for samples, please click here). This bracket-style competition is designed to produce a single champion in under two hours, hosted by Emily Winter and Larry Mancini: The 5th Annual One Liner Madness (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Ziwe Fumudoh: Thursday 3/26: Ziwe Fumudoh (writer for Showtime’s Desus & Mero, and previously for The Rundown with Robin Thede; host of hilarious webseries Baited with Ziwe) hosts an extravaganza of jokes, song, and dance with stellar comics TBA performing pop songs preceded by comedic presentations: Pop Show (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Jack Blankenship: Thursday 3/26: Adrian Frimpong & Scott Hercman (NBC’s Bring the Funny) host an eclectic group of weird and hopefully hilarious talents—including Jack Blankenship (“the Face” above) playing a melodica out of his nose: Adrian & Scott Present Showcase Night (8:00 pm, $11, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Madeline Mahoney & Matt Stango: Thursday 3/26: Madeline Mahoney & Matt Stango produce and host this bracket-based competition of scripted shows. Six teams each perform the first 10 minutes of its mini-play, and audience applause then determines which shows will be allowed to move on to subsequent rounds. Tonight kicks off this 2020 competition running for eight episodes on Thursdays-Saturdays through May 2nd: Show of Shows (9:00 pm; $15.25 online or $16 at the door; The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Straw Man CollectiveThursday 3/26: A sketch group that’s done some notable work, such as this video sung & co-starring Larry Owens, performs and hosts sketch, music, and stand-up: Straw Man Collective (9:00 pm, $11, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Michael Galligan: Thursday 3/26: Character comic Michael Galligan performs a solo show as “beefcake bodybuilder and empathy expert Tortle Tolini, who will give the Tortle Talk to change your life. Armed with the wisdom of Brené Brown, his signature Vulnerability Juice™, and only 2% body fat, there’s no chance Tortle will fail. Especially since his dad’s got front row seats:” Tortle Sheds No Tears (9:30 pm, $11, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

John Reynolds and Matt BaratsThursday 3/26: John Reynolds (co-star of Search Party, cast member of Stranger Things; previously writer for The President Show, Craig Ferguson, and Celebrity Deathmatch) & Matt Barats (HBO’s High Maintenance, Seth Meyers, The New Yorker) perform duo comedy: John Reynolds & Matt Barats (10:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Unfinished BusinessThursday 3/26: This storytelling show created by PIT owner Ali Faranakian is based on the following concept: “We all have unfinished business. Sometimes it’s a person to whom you should have said, ‘I love you,’ or a second grade teacher who told you, ‘You can’t sing!,’ or a cancer that took a loved one’s ’s life. We talk to those people, places, or things and settle the score. Our top performers have a cathartic experience, and we invite the audience to do the same:” Unfinished Business (11:00 pm, $11, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Aminah Imani, Sydnee Washington, Marie Faustin, and Neko WhiteFriday 3/27: Stellar talents Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin (above middle; co-hosts of podcast The Unofficial Expert and popular weekly Brooklyn stand-up showcase Comedy at The Knit) host this showcase of stand-up by Neko White (right; MTV, TruTV, Vice; Carolines’ March Madness 2016 champion) and Aminah Imani (left; producer of this show; host with Sydnee & Marie of Comedy at The Knit; co-host of podcast Wine Before Nine): Just Run It: Neko White & Aminah Imani Hosted by Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin (7:30 pm, $11.55-$15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Madeline Mahoney & Matt Stango: Friday 3/27: Madeline Mahoney & Matt Stango produce and host this bracket-based competition of scripted shows. Six teams each perform the first 10 minutes of its mini-play, and audience applause then determines which shows will be allowed to move on to subsequent rounds. Tonight is Round #2 of this competition running for eight episodes on Thursdays-Saturdays through May 2nd: Show of Shows (8:00 pm; $15.25 online or $16 at the door; The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Sherrod SmallFriday 3/27: Sherrod Small (Jimmy Kimmel, A&E’s Black & White, TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of podcast Race Wars) headlines for one night only at Carolines: Sherrod Small (9:30 pm, $24.50 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

Critical Mass with Taylor Garron & FriendsFriday 3/27: Taylor Garron (editor for Reductress) hosts an evening of comics “who all have roots in beautiful, historic Massachusetts,” including Josh Gondelman (one of the sharpest comics in the country; writer/producer for Showtime’s Desus & Mero; previously Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s phenom Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker; author of book Nice Try; stand-up albums Dancing On a Weeknight and Physical Whisper), Kyle Harris (writer for NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me), and Julia Claire (NPR, Nerdist): Critical Mass with Taylor Garron & Friends (10:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Dancify That!Saturday 3/28: 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. The winners of each round are then selected by typically cool comic judges (TBA): Dancify That! (7:00 pm, $15, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Ben Tomassetti & Kevin C. Hill: Saturday 3/28: A solo show by Sarah Ann Houghton (host of Scrapped Comedy, head writer & director of PIT house sketch group The Ruse) that sold out its debut at last year’s Solocom (for a video teaser, please click here) and describes itself as “a short tragicomedy of a single woman’s uninhibited imagination:” Sex, Robots, and Mysterious Shadows (7:00 pm, $13, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin: Saturday 3/28: Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin (co-hosts of highly popular weekly Brooklyn stand-up showcase Comedy at The Knit) host this live-on-stage recording of their podcast that tests stand-ups (TBA) on their masterful knowledge of an intriguing subject (also TBA): The Unofficial Expert Live (7:30 pm; $11.55-$15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Katie Boyle, Lucie Pohl, and Norlex BelmaSaturday 3/28: Seven comics who weren’t born here—tentatively including this show’s charming producer Katie Boyle (above left; from Ireland; co-host of podcast The Shift), Lucie Pohl (above middle; from Germany; voice of Mercy in Overwatch and Harmony in Red Dwarf XI; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), and Norlex Belma (above right; from Pittsburgh; PBS doc The Comedy Confluence)—perform stand-up that might include material about where they came from and the journey that led them to NYC: Transplants (7:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Rachel sketchSaturday 3/28: Sketch comedy from an all-gal group consisting of Micaela Fagan, Sam Speedy, Serah Bennet, and Becca Marcus (for sample videos, please click here): Rachel Sketch (7:00 pm, $13, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

North Coast hip-hop improvSaturday 3/28: Every Saturday night, a highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour to make up scenes, songs, and witty wordplay: North Coast (9:00 pm, $15, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Ben Tomassetti & Kevin C. Hill: Saturday 3/28: Ben Tomassetti & Kevin C. Hill play rock duo Tips Moncrief & Gary Van Patten, a band named Jeez “known for its pedestrian ‘hits’ in the 80’s such as ‘Teen Crocodile,’ ’96 Olympics in Cincinatti,’ and ‘Talk to Me (You Dirty Dirty Dirty Computer).’ The guys are hitting the road again in support of a Greatest Hits album—as bands do. Tonight they discuss their songs Storyteller’s style—or at least that’s what their tour manager told them they were doing. Come see your oddball uncle’s second favorite band:” Jeez! The “Greatest Hits of 1979-1992” Tour (9:30 pm, $13, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Jonathan Cohall & Christine Kim: Saturday 3/28: Stand-up from comics TBA (above left was last month’s lineup) hosted by Jonathan Cohall & Christine Kim: Street Cred Comedy (10:30 pm; $13—which includes free street food; The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Comedians You Should KnowSunday 3/29: Stand-ups TBA produced by Saurin Choksi, David Drake, Mike Lebovitz, and Jeff Steinbrunner: Comedians You Should Know (7:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Johnathan Appel and Marina di Marzo 3Sunday 3/29: Indie character group Poughkeepsie—which consists of Johnathan Appel (above left; writer for The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and PIT sketch group Boogiemanja; Producer & Teaching Artist for Story Pirates; host of Some Fun Lines, the only NYC open mic for satire & humor writing), Marina di Marzo (above right; Producer for CNN’s Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter; previously Associate Producer for MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber), Hugh Hobbs, Rafael Rautha, Kevin Necciai, Mary Nepi, Julia Ogilvie, and Kathleen Cameron—performs brand new characters every month to surprise and delight you: Poughkeepsie’s Character Showcase (7:00 pm, $9, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Josh Nasser: Sunday 3/29: Josh Nasser hosts stand-up Ziwe Fumudoh (writer for Showtime’s Desus & Mero; previously writer for The Rundown with Robin Thede; host of hilarious webseries Baited with Ziwe; host of Pop Show), Taylor Garron (editor for Reductress), Gabe Gonzalez (host for MTV News and ScruffApp), and more TBA: A Show for the People (7:30 pm; $11.55-$15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Maggie Lalley & Jillian Vitko: Sunday 3/29: In this unique spin on musical improv, comedy duo Maggie Lalley & Jillian Vitko ask the audience to suggest a location, a victim, and a crime, and then make up a musical that tells the story of that felony complete with singing, dancing, and murder: True Crime: The Musical (7:30 pm, $9, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

This Crowd Loves You: A Salute to Sunday 3/29: Stand-up Steve Whalen, who passed away last month at age 33, is celebrated by nearly three dozen comics including Aparna Nancherla, Jo Firestone, Emmy Blotnick, Josh Gondelman, Brett Davis, and many more: This Crowd Loves You: A Salute to “Mr. Jokes” Steve Whalen (8:00 pm, $7, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Comic Book ClubTuesday 3/31: Every Tuesday at 7:00, comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club (7:00 pm, Free!, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Maryann Aita: Tuesday 3/31: Maryann Aita describes her one-woman show as follows: “After several disappointing visits with a gynecologist, and many failed efforts to Sex and the City it up with friends, ‘Detective’ Maryann takes it upon herself to figure out what’s going on with her body and how to fix it, relying mostly on whatever she could find on Amazon.com. This is a hilarious (and just a touch sentimental) show about a woman taking charge of her own body that’s perfect for fans of Law & Order, vibrators, and vagina: My Dysfunctional Vagina (7:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Andrew MichaanTuesday 3/31:Andrew Michaan is a comedian from Los Angeles who has done lots of comedy festivals and made stuff with Netflix, Comedy Central, TruTV, Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp. He co-hosts the popular podcast Podcast But Outside. He’s doing one long set in NY (this show), and he’s inviting some of his colleagues to perform as well,” with Joe Pera and more TBA: Andrew Michaan and Colleagues (8:00 pm; $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Supermodels of the 1990sTuesday 3/31: Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes, stand-up album Seen Better Days) hosts a show dedicated to Naomi, Christy, Elle, Claudia, Niki, and other supermodels from the 1990s, with storytelling by Sarah Hartshorne (America’s Next Top Model Cycle 9), a quiz show letting you show off your model knowledge, and a live re-enactment of George Michael’s music video Freedom 90. Get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day and come to” Supermodels of the 1990s: Tribute & Quiz Show (8:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Madeline Mahoney & Matt Stango: Thursday 4/2: Madeline Mahoney & Matt Stango produce and host this bracket-based competition of scripted shows. Six teams each perform the first 10 minutes of its mini-play, and audience applause then determines which shows will be allowed to move on to subsequent rounds. Tonight is Round #3 of this competition running for eight episodes on Thursdays-Saturdays through May 2nd: Show of Shows (9:00 pm; $15.25 online or $16 at the door; The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Ophira EisenbergSunday 4/5: The wonderful Ophira Eisenberg (one of the finest comedic storytellers and stand-ups in the country; host of weekly NPR/WNYC show Ask Me Another, author of bestselling book Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy, comedy album Bangs!; NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime) is recording a new stand-up album titled High Brow, Low Brow—with the help of your energy and joy. Come have your laughs immortalized at either the early or late show—and for a huge discount if you use code CANADA: Ophira Eisenberg Comedy Album Recording (7:00 pm and 9:15 pm; $13.26 online using discount code CANADA plus $18 beverage min.; New York Comedy Club at 241 East 24th Street between Second & Third Avenues)

Tim DillonThursday 6/11-Saturday 6/13: Tim Dillon (Comedy Central Half Hour, Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup, Last Comic Standing; podcast The Tim Dillon Show) is a hilarious comic with a hard edge (see his video canvassing for Bernie Sanders here), and he’s headlining tonight through Saturday at Carolines: Tim Dillon (7:00 pm Thursday, 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm Friday-Saturday; $27.25 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

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 at SubCulture
45 Bleecker Street; What used to be a top comedy venue called UCB East has sadly gone under, but some of its shows live on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at respected East Village indie theatre SubCulture at Bleecker & Lafayette Streets, direclty by the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop; shows $7-$14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

Fat Black Pussycat Lounge
130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s smaller, intimate, and lower-priced sister venue (next door to Village Underground), which serves as its primary home for solo shows and experimental shows—which means it’s sometimes the most exciting choice; 2-item min.

The Stand
116 East 16th Street; Club closest to competing with Comedy Cellar, featuring top stand-ups on a main stage and upstairs stage; 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
487 Atlantic Avenue (near the Barclays Center); only comedy club in Brooklyn; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; some shows have 2-drink min., but many don’t

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.

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

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

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.com). He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive. It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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

You can also find me on Twitter at @hybender, Instagram at @hybenderny, and Facebook at https://Facebook.com/hybender.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for December 2017: Last Updated Friday 12/22/17

December 22, 2017

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 what’s left of December include:

Gilbert GottfriedFriday 12/22 & Saturday 12/23: A one-of-a-kind treasure of a comedy star, whose scores of credits include numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Seth Meyers, @midnight, and Comedy Central Roasts—and who’s acted in the Robert DeNiro film The Comedian, such animated features as Aladdin and Lego Batman 3, Showtime’s Episodes, Comedy Central’s The Jim Gaffigan Show, classic documentary The Aristocrats, and new documentary Gilbert—headlines at Carolines: Gilbert Gottfried (7:30 pm, $38.25 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

BXBX: Quiet RiotFriday 12/22: Mime group BXBX performs its best wordless sketches & stories, plus some new ones, set to a dynamic soundtrack for one night only at The PIT: BXBX: Quiet Riot (8:00 pm; $15, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Meg Gillan & Lauren Sagnella: "Not for You"Friday 12/22 & Saturday 12/23: Meg Gillan & Lauren Sagnella have written & perform a play about “two girls in their mid-20s: Gwen, a realist bed hopper, and Elle, a love-lost dreamer. As they get ready for a wedding. they share stories of fuckboys, lovers, and boyfriends past…with each tale leading up to a realization of why that the person isn’t right for her:” Not for You (7:00 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Jamie Aderski: "Cry Baby: My (Reluctant) Journey Into Motherhood"Saturday 12/23: Jamie Aderski performs exceptionally honest and funny tales of what it was like for her to become a mom (for a trailer, please click here) in this popular one-woman show that’s been extended to run every Saturday night in December: Cry Baby: My (Reluctant) Journey Into Motherhood (Saturday 12/2, 7:00 pm; $12, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Christmas EveSunday 12/24: Most comedy venues are closed on Christmas Eve, but there are lots of stand-up laughs to be found at Comedy Cellar and The Stand.

Santa ClausMonday 12/25: Most comedy venues are closed on Christmas, but lots of stand-up laughs can still be found at Comedy Cellar and The Stand.

Hari KondaboluWednesday 12/27: Brothers Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents; fascinating TruTV documentary The Problem with Apu) and Ashok Kondabolu (Dap in Das Racist) spontaneously interact with each other, sharing family stories, discussing current events, and more: The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

The Star Wars Holiday SpecialFriday 12/29: In the wise words of media critic Cyndi Freeman: “The Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast in its entirety only once, in the United States and Canada, on November 17, 1978, preempting Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk. It has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. David Hofstede called it ‘the worst two hours of television ever.’ George Lucas has reportedly said ‘If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.‘” See it screened, dissected, and mercilessly savaged tonight by Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Brian McGuinness (Inside Amy Schumer), Wendi Sterling (Glamourpuss), and host Freddy G (NPR): Movies R Dumb: The Star Wars Holiday Special (11:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/23/16

December 23, 2016

Gilbert GottfriedA one-of-a-kind treasure of a comedy star headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club…

Gilbert Gottfried….Gilbert Gottfried (7:30 pm tonight & tomorrow, $38.25 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): In this musical comedy double-bill at The Magnet theatre, first bona fide rock band Oil in the Alley sings improvised lyrics to its original music; and then pop-punk cabaret band My Dark Little Corner channels the sound & spirit of such bands as Green Day, Blink-182, and My Chemical Romance: Oil in the Alley and My Dark Little Corner

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Reunited for the holidays, now-LA residing Will HInes joins his real-life brother Kevin Hines to perform duo improv fueled by decades-old shared experiences and sibling rivalries at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Brothers Hines

7:30 ($10): UCB improvisors who normally don’t perform together join on stage to make up scenes for one night only at the UCB East theatre: Mashed

7:30 pm ($10): A series of comics connect their stand-up sets “into one giant mutant set,” with tonight’s segments Jamie Lerner, David Perezat, and more at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced by Molly Horan and guest-hosted by Kyle Lewis: Human Centipede Comedy Show

8:00 pm ($5): A one-man show from Wes Haney (host of Singles Motel) that’s “named after a gross candy bar” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Bit-O-Haney

8:00 pm ($5): A 90-minute variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Tom Brink & Keele Howard-Stone: Wolf Spirit with Tom and Keele

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($8): “Do you ever leave a comedy show saying ‘Hmm, that was pretty funny but not enough reading’? Literati is a night of comics in character performing hilarious readings—sometimes while wearing wigs,” with Alexandra Song, Joanna Simmons, Madonna Refugia, Ian Stroud, and Brian Faas at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Colin O’Brien & Michael Wolf: Literati: A Comedy Show About the Greatest American Novels Never Written

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Sebastian Conelli (2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Don Fanelli, Alexandra Dickson, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:00 pm ($10): Members of UCBT house improv groups get scrambled together into new one-night-only teams at the UCB East theatre: The Blender

9:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups Liz Magee, Angela Cobb, Josh Carter, and Adam Sokol performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced by Jessica Watkins and guest-hosted by Jim Search: Homespun Comedy

9:00 pm ($5): A group of improvisors who’ve all felt the pain of breakups via text ghosting aim to be stronger for the experience by making up scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Ghosting Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Crescent Inverness (host Ryan Douglass), a vampire who hates the idea of being a vampire, screens highlights of the very bad 1989 horror movie Elves, and accompanies it with songs and characters “all inspired by this shit show disaster” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Masters of Mumblecore

9:30 pm ($5): At this weekly variety show, stand-up from Bill Cannon, Jul Ie, and Paul Rodriguez; sketch from Isaiah Mueller, Manny Regalado, and Rocco George; and improv from group Donnie in the Park (Will Cheng, Alex Novac, Paul Ton), all performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Will Cheng: Wildcard Comedy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnet theatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($32.25 & 2-drink min.)  Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View) headlines tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Merry Hanukkah with Judy Gold

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV), Rojo Perez (MTV), Noah Findling (Funny or Die), and Kerry O’Neill performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors James Dwyer, Craig Rowin, Connor O’Malley, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and Shaun Diston make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): A mix of stand-up, sketch, music, and/or improv at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Carmen Christopher: The Juice

10:30 pm ($5): Indie improv groups Rebel 5 and Known Associates make up scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge: Indie Improv: Rebel 5 and Known Associates

[FREE] Midnight: Comics present “sure-fire, can’t miss, get-in-on-the-ground-floor, knock your socks off ideas that will not only make a lot of money but will make lives better across the board” and then request your money (whether you give is entirely up to you), with tonight’s entrepreneurs Christina Galston and group Young Business (Ronnie Fleming & Justin Hartough)—plus stand-up from Mike Denny—all at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Ben Conrad: Snake Oil

Friday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Davey Melch & Sydney Beveridge: Queens Free Mic Fridays

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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Walk-in open mic that allows everyone to get on stage at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): $1 Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

[ALMOST FREE] 6:30 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Show up at 6:45 pm to place your name in a dog bowl for the chance to get called up on stage and jam with veteran improvisors at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight Improv Jam

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-up starts at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Seena Jon: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack Open Mic

Notable Ongoing Theatrical Comedy Shows

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm, or 4:30 pm on Sundays, through 1/8/17 ($28-$48; use code PBP30 through 12/17 for $33 tickets, or code BBOX20 anytime for discounts based on seat location): Comedy genius Chris Gethard performs a transcendently great one-man show about depression, perseverance, and the healing powers of laughter, love, and medication, seamlessly blending stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience as wonderful as virtually anything currently playing on NYC stages—and that I’m guessing will end up as an HBO special, finally propelling Chris into the top tiers of show biz. Don’t miss this amazing show at The Lynn Redgrave Theater (45 Bleecker Street, right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop): Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm; plus 2:00 pm matinees on Saturdays; or 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm on Sundays, through 1/15/17 ($37-$139; use code OHBOX111 for discounts): I haven’t seen this, so can’t comment on its merits; but you should be aware that two of the sharpest and funniest comics in the biz, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, are performing as their old men characters in this Broadway show at the Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street): Oh, Hello

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10

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

The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer): 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10

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

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

Littlefield (622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street): 100-seat theatre; shows $5-${20

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tueday 10/6/15

October 6, 2015

For a day-by-day guide to Comic Con highlights,
please click Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Jim Norton and Gilbert GottfriedJim Norton (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; hosted HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; former cast member of HBO sitcom Lucky Louie; HBO half-hour One Night Stand; feature film Spider-Man; author of book Happy Endings) is interviewed by a fellow comedy giant at Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast Live (7:00 pm, $18.90 in advance online or $15 at the door (if it doesn’t sell out), or pay $24.82 online to see both this and Scott Rogowsky’s show (below); Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Horatio Sanz…plus Horatio Sanz (improv genius; seven years on SNL; 30 Rock; Jimmy Fallon, HBO’s Girls, ABC, Comedy Central, numberous other TV shows and movies), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, host of Whiplash), Sal Vulcano & Brian “Q” Quinn (co-stars of TruTV’s Impractical Jokers), and Budd Mishkin (NY1) are interviewed at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky (9:30 pm, $12.21 in advance online or $10 at the door (if it doesn’t sell out), or pay $24.82 online to see both this and Gilbert Gottfried’s show (above); Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Michelle Wolf, Brooke Van Poppelen, and Julio Torres…while stand-ups Michelle Wolf, Brooke Van Poppelen, and Julio Torres, plus singing duo The Reformed Whores, join host Liza Treyger at Cake Shop Comedy (8:30 pm, free, LES’ Cake Shop at 152 Ludlow Street between Rivington & Stanton)

For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

For a day-by-day guide to Comic Con highlights,
please click Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

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; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv (e.g., Gravid Water, Adsit & ?), sketch (Maude Night), solo shows, and one-act comedic plays, but also hosts one of the very finest stand-up shows in the city (Aparna Nancherla’s Whiplash)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that leans a bit more towards stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks, than sister theatre UCB Chelsea; 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)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-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)

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.)

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:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

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 Sunday 4/19/15

April 19, 2015

TV Alert: On HBO, last Sunday brought back the best series on TV, Game of Thrones; but other reasons to rejoice were the return of Silicon Valley, Veep, and most especially John Oliver’s thoroughly brilliant Last Week Tonight. If you aren’t watching these shows, repent your ways and start tonight, either live or via HBO GO.

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for comedy shows one last night here

Gilbert Gottfried and Lewis Black

Comedy giants Gilbert Gottfried & Lewis Black chat at Carolines for Gilbert Gottfriend’s Amazing Colossal Podcast

Leslie Jones

…plus it’s your last chance to catch Saturday Night Live’s Leslie Jones headlining at Carolines

Steel Petunias

…and your next-to-last chance to enjoy the hilarious cast of a musical homage to Steel Magnolias: Steel Petunias

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($22 & 2-drink min.) Two of the most iconic comics in the biz, Gilbert Gottfriend and Lewis Black, chat for a live podcast taping at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfriend’s Amazing Colossal Podcast with Lewis Black

6:00 pm ($5): Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

6:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

Steel Petunias[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($11.54 online using code JUICE, otherwise $20 at the door): The movie parody Unauthorized musicals by Christopher W. Barnes (book, lyrics, and direction) and Ryan Mercy (music composer and the shows’ one-man band) are crafted with breathtaking speed—going from idea to staged production in as little as two months—and have energized NYC’s comedy community by blending sketch and theatre to create something fresh, vibrant, inventive, and filled with laughs.

Virtually all Unauthorized shows are based on SF/fantasy franchises: Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, The Hunger Games. The one exception is Steel Petunias, whose comedic target is Steel Magnolias, a 1989 film classic about a small town community of Southern women who are both as delicate as flowers and as tough as industrial metal.

I don’t know what led Barnes & Mercy to make such an extreme deviation from their successful formula…but I’m very glad they did. Steel Petunias is actually the best-crafted musical of the Unauthorized series to date; plus it has a lightness and heart unmatched by its SF/fantasy counterparts.

Part of the production’s charm is its willingness to be highly playful with the source material. For example, one of the movie’s most famous scenes involves Julia Roberts’ character being at risk of going into hypoglycemic shock until her mother, played by Sally Field, gives her orange juice. Steel Petunias wrings every drop of entertainment possible out of this with a show-stopping song & dance number—which includes the lyrics apparently being slightly misheard by passersby, resulting in three black-garbed and bearded Hasidic men bursting onto the stage to do a dance out of Fiddler in the Roof. They don’t stop until one of the Southern gals has to sweetly explain, “Juice! Not Jews!! It’s juice!!!

But even more important than the witty script & songs is the delicious all-gal primary cast—which includes Dana Shulman (a stand-out star even among these all-stars), Adrian Sexton, Julie Feltman, Emily Mathwich, Taylor Ortega, and Emily Essig—who form one of the finest comedy ensembles in NYC. The warmth between the women and their pleasure in performing with each other is clear, and gives the show a wonderful dimension that goes beyond anything that can be scripted.

In fact, many of these actresses are also dynamite improvisers, and they’re quick to take any small accident, audience interaction, or other unexpected incident and make it part of the show. While these in-the-moment bits of joy are by definition unplanned, at the performance I saw they were among the highlights of the production.

Frankly, I’m a huge SF/fantasy fan, and not remotely the target audience of Steel Magnolias. In fact, I watched the movie only as preparation for attending this parody (and even then, I managed to get through only the first half…). But of all the Unauthorized musicals to date, Steel Petunias has the tightest script and musical numbers, and the most uniformly great cast…and is my favorite of the series.

That said, Barnes & Mercy realize that what they’re made with lightning speed are brilliant first drafts. So keep an eye out for improved versions of Unauthorized productions as time goes on…especially The Hungry Hungry Games. With honing, both the latter and Steel Petunias have strong potential for healthy commercial runs.

Tonight’s performance is at The PIT upstairs theatre (for video samples, please click here and here): Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

7:00 pm ($5): A shortform improv troupe visiting from Hartford Connecticut perform for one night only at Brooklyn’sThe Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Wacky Hats

[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 ($35 & 2-drink min.) A star of Saturday Night Live and writer for Chris Rock (and one of the actors in Chris’ movie Top Five) headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Leslie Jones

7:30 pm ($7): Groups Baby Shoes and Action Park perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Ali Faranakain, Micah Sherman, Jenn Welch, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak:People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Jeff Leach, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Carmen Lynch, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane):Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Christina Gausas & Michael Bertrando perform two-prov at Brooklyn’sThe Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Come Together

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Iconic former child actress Mara Wilson (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire; currently a writer; cast member of podcast Welcome to Night Vale) hosts this show about “death, commitment, sock puppets—everyone’s afraid of something. Laugh at your fears as Mara takes you through comedians’ anxieties (and a few of her own),” tonight featuring comedic storytellers Erin Barker (producer of The Story Collider), Brian Kennedy (Moth StorySlam winner), and Tynan DeLong (Mortified Nation, The Chris Gethard Show) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: What Are You Afraid Of?

8:00 pm ($5): Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Kenny Zimlinghaus (Sirius XM Radio host), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host ofLasers in the Jungle), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), Greg Stone, Jeremy Essig, and Andrew Tavin performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm  ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): Amanda Seales (VH1) performs a one-woman show about love mixing characters, music, and audience participation at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Amanda Seales: It’s Complicated

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): 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; comedy album Still Got It), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Zainab Johnson (Arsenio Hall, Last Comic Standing, BET’s Comic View), Erin Jackson , and Daniel Simonsen performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

9:00 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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which typically includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Act One

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): The spectacular Tracy Mull loves short-form improv games with a passion, and so is the perfect host for this jam that lets audience members—including you—put their names in a bucket. Tracy will then repeatedly pull out a name and a game and facilitate improv magic at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sunday School Short-Form Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

5:30 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly atUCB 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)

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 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 2/17/15

February 17, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: John Oliver is on Jimmy Fallon;
Jack McBrayer & Triumph the Insult Dog are on Conan O’Brien;
Chris Elliott and Kristen Bell are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Matthew Perry is on Seth Meyers;
Episode 3.6 of Kroll Show is at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Gilbert Gottfried

Gilbert Gottfried is among the stand-ups performing at Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

Sasheer Zamata

…and Sasheer Zamata is among the stand-ups performing at UCB East’s Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

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-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s improv groups make up musicals based on audience suggestion, creating epic stories on the spot using song and dance:Magnet Musical Megawatt

[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

7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm ($10 for each of these three different “episodes” that together comprise “Part 1” or $20 for all three): Part 1 of a 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage…with limited success (at least, based on the first two episodes I’ve seen). The costumes are fun, the cast is cute, but the script is consistently flat and juvenile, while genuine top anime is more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, are too often anemic. Of course, maybe it gets better as it goes along (and I’ll try to see more just for that reason); and either way, it’s worth at least $10 to check out any random episode and experience this as a novelty. Part 1 is playing tonight at The PIT upstairs theatre, with Episode 1 at 7:00 pm coupled with improv group Simply Unemployable, which includes the wonderful Rebecca Vigil; Episode 2 at 8:00 pm is coupled with G.U.S., a unique improvised post-apocalypse show about the last three men on Earth; and Episode 3 at 9:00 pm is coupled with Shrink, an improvised puppet therapy show: Kapow-i GoGo Part 1: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Apollo, Greg, and 2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Michael Che, Gary Gulman, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Paul Mecurio, Carmen Lynch, Lenny Marcus, and Colin Jost at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Ali Wong, Nick Griffin, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane):Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm ($5): Chris Booth & Adrian Sexton host comics singing musical theatre favorites at The PIT downstairs lounge: Underground Cabaret

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell hosts this show featuring Gilbert Gottfried, Dave Hill, Rachel Feinstein, Monroe Martin,and more performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please clickhere; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), and Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Daniel Koren: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat: Sasheer Zamata, Joe Pera, and Nimesh Patel

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s guests are Jono Zalay & Kaytlin Bailey (exes), Kevin Barnett & Josh Rabinowitz (pals from working on truTV’s Friends of the People), Justy Dodge & Rojo Perez (pals), and David Smithyman & Brendan McLaughlin (pals) performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by real-life couple Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer forBroad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups who’ve lived in Louisiana (or thereabouts)—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; comedy album Still Got It), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Amber Nelson (bold, dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Neal Stastny, Scotland Green, and Seth Cockfield—performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Mardi Gras Comedy Show: Mark Normand, Dan Soder, Amber Nelson, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Amber Nelson (bold, dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch groupMurderfist), Eli Sairs, Nick Mullen, and Jessica Watkins performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, John Szeluga, and JF Harris: Amazingtown

[TOP PICK] [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 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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Great lineup of Michael Che (SNL Weekend Update star; former star correspondent for The Daily Show and staff writer for Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), 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), and more at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet: Michael Che, Ali Wong, Mike Lawrence, and More

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Storytellers Robin Gelfenbien (host of storytelling show Yum’s the Word; VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC), Lucas Connolly (host of Cranky Pants Comedy), Julia Lundy, and Jenice Matias tell true tales about this month’s theme Mardi Gras at 2A (25 Avenue A off 2nd Street) hosted by Andrew Linderman: Local Stories: Mardi Gras

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:00 pm ($5): Improv duo David Rysdahl & Paul Gutkowski make up a one-act play on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: True East

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Side Piece, Higgins, and Women & Men 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 (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh), plus NYC stand-ups Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV), Subhah Agarwal (Fusion), and Lisa Hering (Sirius XM), all performing at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing;Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Alexis Guerreros & Mike Cannon: The Illuminati Party: Dan Soder, Rachel Feinstein, and Cipha Sounds

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “The best stand-ups in the city will take to the stage armed with jokes, quirky observations, and anecdotes. Simultaneously, the producers will craft a battery of trivia questions for the audience based entirely on the comics’ material. Competitors of all levels are welcome, no matter how much you watch TMZ. You can walk in the door with a blank slate and come out victorious! All that’s required is your attention and short-term memory” atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Observational Trivia Night

10:00 pm ($5): “A computer beeps at random intervals, might be 2 seconds, might be 10 minutes. Every time it beeps, and only when it beeps, the performers jump into a new scene. What happens when nothing you can do can make the scene go longer nor end sooner? When only this instant is guaranteed?” at The PIT downstairs lounge:/Switch/

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell hosts this show featuring Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Sherrod Small, Phil Hanley, Liza Treyger, and Anya Marina performing stand-up at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: 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 theStand 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 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted byJamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[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] 6:00 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic with 5 minutes per performer; email prequelmic@gmail.com by Sunday to go into a lottery system for next Tuesday, or simply walk in tonight and place your name in a bucket for possible selection, at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Claudia Cogan, Katie Compa, and/or Garry Hannon: The Prequel Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies 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

[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 and a guest co-host: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PITdownstairs 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-$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 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.

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 hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/23/14

December 23, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jerry Seinfeld is on Jimmy Fallon;
Chelsea Handler is on Conan O’Brien (repeated from 10/15)

Gilbert Gottfried

Gilbert Gottfried shares the holiday spirit…

Seth Herzog

…at Seth Herzog’s Sweet

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, six 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

[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

7:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Kevin Janaway parodies holiday traditions playing a Redneck, a Hippie Pothead, a Train Wreck Personality, and a Former Child Star at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Happy Holidays Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show, and Kurt Metzger, Lori Palminteri, Sam Morril, and Ahmed Ahmed at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; 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), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter & Ray DeVito: Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Christian Finnegan, Cipha Sounds, and Chris Distefano

[TOP PICK] [FREE, plus FREE PIZZA while the slices last] 8:00 pm: Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, improv group What I Did For Love, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Gary Marinoff (30 Rock), and Camille Theobold performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, John Szeluga, and JF Harris: Amazingtown

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6): In this Jo Firestone extravaganza, “Audience members are invited to put their name in a bucket if they personally identify as ‘miserable.’ Do-gooder comedians then get to pick a name out of the bucket and attempt to really make that audience member’s life better for up to 10 minutes. Limit 6 miserable people per show,” with tonight’s comics Jacqueline Novak, Conner O’Malley, Michael Wolf, Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Chris Duffy, Joe Rumhrill, and Julio Torres performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Jo: Your Fantastic Life

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): A two-gal sketch show about dating during the holidays from Angela Spera & Laura Lane at The PIT upstairs theatre: This Is Why You’re Single: Holiday Edition

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sara Armour, Dan Fisher, Jimmy LeChase, Kevin Berrey, John Field, and Brendan Fitzgibbons performing at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Niles Turner: Mouth Party

8:00 pm ($5): Comics Brett Davis and Ana Fabrega performing at UCB East hosted by Bill Stiteler & Tony Zaret: School Drools

8:00 pm ($5): Meghan O’Malley performs a one-woman show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Well, Here’s the Thing

8:00 pm ($5): Improvers make up a series of scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre. It’s not The Gift of the Magi, but it’s The GIft of the Montage

[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

[TOP PICK] [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 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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried, Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Gay Apparel (Christmas Carol parody choral group), Kirk Douglas (guitarist for band The Roots), and more at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet: Gilbert Gottfried and More

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced—beware the UCB website listing, which is referring to last month’s guests) performing stand-up at the UCB East theatre. No way to know who’s hosting this holiday week, but the usual hosts are Jessica Williams (star correspondent on The Daily Show) and Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased): Blaria Live Stand-Up Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up a made-for-TV Christmas movie on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: A Made-For-TV Holiday Movie

9:30 pm ($5): Improvers make up a series of scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre. It’s not The Gift of the Magi, but it’s The GIft of the Montage

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), 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), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, Christian Finnegan, Pete Lee, and Brooks Whelan

[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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: 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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by 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] 6:00 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic with 5 minutes per performer; email prequelmic@gmail.com by Sunday to go into a lottery system for next Tuesday, or simply walk in tonight and place your name in a bucket for possible selection, at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Claudia Cogan, Katie Compa, and/or Garry Hannon: The Prequel Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies 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

[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 and a guest co-host: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly 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-$20)

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.