NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 10/17/11

October 17, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Janeane Garafalo

Janeane Garofalo debuts her own monthly comedy show with an all-star lineup of Dave Hill, Jessi Klein, Brooke Van Poppelen, and The Onion head writer Todd Hanson: "Persons of Interest"...

Chris Gethard

...and Chris Gethard (above), Glenn Wool, Baron Vaughn, Adam Cayton-Holland, and Jessica Kirson perform on what promises to be an exceptional edition of "Whiplash"

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story on The PIT stage…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB West and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Top NYC stand-ups audition at UCB East for spots in a new Comedy Central series, with the participants Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), and Kevin Barnett (College Humor), hosted by Adam Newman (College Humor): Comedy Central Stand-Up TV Auditions

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Glenn Wool (Comedy Central; terrific UK comedy star), Lady Carol (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and more performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). Kurt & Kristen are out of town this week, but subbing for them are stellar guest hosts Joe Mande & Noah Garfinkel (hosts of Totally J/K): Hot Tub Variety

8:00 pm ($10): Twins Todd & Adam Stone perform stand-up and more at this monthly show at The PIT, along with comedy guests (not announced): Stone and Stone Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 cover & $10 min.; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats, because this will sell out): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo, who was a pioneer of NYC downtown comedy, has decided to host her own monthly comedy show—starting tonight! Janeane’s scheduled guests are Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion), Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer forSaturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC; co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), and Todd Hanson (head writer for The Onion; Adult Swim’s Squidbillies and Aqua Teen Hunger Force;The Aristocrats) performing at the Cornelia Street CafeJaneane Garofalo and Persons of Interest

8:30 pm ($5): Jarret Berenstein and friends debuting a show at The Magnet featuring sketch, stand-up, storytelling, animation, and songs mixed together in a hopefully satisfying way: Boosh! Kla-Klau!; and in the other half of this double-bill, a mini-play about aspiring Country Western musicians: The Oakwood Boys

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: PIT owner Ali Farahnakian and the school’s razor-sharp instructors perform improv at The PIT downstairs lounge in The Faculty Part 2: Electric Boogaloo; plus improv troupe Technicolor

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCB West has developed several terrific in-house sketch comedy troupes, but only two of them currently rival the finest sketch groups in the country. One is Kate McKinnon’s Gramp’s; and the other, Stone Cold Fox, is performing tonight. Stone Cold Fox has a stellar “best of” show virtually every Friday at 7:30 pm, which I highly recommend catching. Tonight the troupe tries out new bits, with some hitting the mark and others misfiring, but hopefully the whole experience will be fun. Also on this double-bill is house troupe Arbuckle, which isn’t in the same league, but includes such notable performers as Violet Krumbein (currently in a national TV ad for an investment firm)—all at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Emmy Blotnick, Josh Lay, and Cory Cavin all blog for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and see everything on the internet. Everything. Join them and other comedians who perform on the Net and in the real world” at The PIT upstairs theatre—hopefully accompanied by choice Web videos: Goodnight Internet

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Mike Trainor, Daniel Menke, Rose Surnow, Johanna Ross, Neil Constantine, and Scott Sclendinger performing at Pat O’Shea’s free biweekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid

[FREE] 9:30 pm: “In moments of exhaustion, in the space of a hesitation, when a faltering spirit looms large, the sixth man comes off the bench and sparks a revolt against complacency and routine. The sixth man powers the team and washes over that faltering spirit with a cleansing energy. A show in which awesome teams are made even greater with the addition of a special guest improviser. Tag-ins, walk-ons, lay-ons, swinging doors, all manner of support work is allowed and encouraged” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Beckerman and Cory Palmer: Sixth Man

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5—and possibly free pizza from New PIzza Town): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), stand-up Nimesh Patel, and more performing at The Magnet for hosts Willy Appleman’s & Adam Lerman’s Deep Traffic

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—with tonight’s guests Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard Show; Magic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter), Glenn Wool (Comedy Central; terrific UK comedy star), Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Facing Kate and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Adam Cayton-Holland (award-winning stand-up comic who writes weekly humor column for Denver alt newspaper Westword; also writes online pieces—for example, a 9/3/08 entry chided a young political celeb’s blog for calling the First Lady poised and elegant, commenting “Laura Bush ‘poised’? Pshaw! The woman has the wild-eyed look of a feral, cornered rabbit, like she’s either going to dart the f*ck away or go straight for your jugular, Bunnicula-style…And she looks about as elegant as a Texas whore who one day dreams of singing alongside the piany;” for a video sample, please click here), and Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at UCB West’s Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/17/10

October 17, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Tom Allen

Visiting UK comics Tom Allen (above) and Glenn Wool perform tonight with Reggie Watts at Eugene Mirman's Tearing the Veil of Maya

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] 6:30 pm ($5): Storyteller and science nerd Ben Lillie debuts a one-man show in which he “attempts to navigate the world of dating with an eye to the large scale structure of The Universe:”Elliptical Orbits

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBT’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special;Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Glenn Wool (superb UK comedy star), and Tom Allen (award-winning UK comic) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by comedy giant Eugene Mirman: Tearing the Veil of Maya

[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): “Pops” on the WB’s The Wayans Bros. headlining at the Carolines Comedy Club: John Witherspoon

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Phil Hanley (Jay Leno), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, Comedy Central’s Live At Gotham), Mike Pomranz (writer for Comedy Central’s Tosh 2.0), Beth Stelling (TBS’ Live from the LOL Lounge), and Kate Berlant performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of CupsEast Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Rory Scovel (up-and-coming stand-up worth catching; Comedy Central), Phil Hanley (Jay Leno), Josh Guarino, and Erik Bergstrom performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar at Vince Averill’s & Jesse Popp’s free weekly show Beauty Bar Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically superb stand-ups (tonight’s lineup not yet announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan) typically hosted by Hannibal Buress: Comedy Night

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Allison Castillo (Comedy Central), Adam Lehman (Here! TV’s Hot Gay Comics), and Frank Lotti (Law & Order, Gossip Girl) performing stand-up at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/16/10

September 16, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Dan St. Germain and Glenn Wool
Separated at birth stand-ups Dan St. Germain (headlining at Comix) and Glenn Wool (also headlining at Comix)

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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($19.33 online using code PLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A Canadian-born & UK-based acclaimed comedy star who’s had his own UK TV show, and is known for mixing political satire with silliness, headlining for one night only at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Glenn Wool

7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors directed by James Eason “take an audience suggestion and break it into a million funny pieces,” and veteran improvisors play with “elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde,” in the double-bill The Deconstruction and Sleepover

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Comedy legend Emo Philips (who’s lightning-fast and damn funny, and should not be missed live), voiceover genius Larry Murphy, Jon Glaser (Conan O’Brien, Adult Swim), Ron Lynch, and more kick off the first night of the spectacular Brooklyn extravaganza The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($19.33 online using code PLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): Two rising star stand-ups who I’d love to see myself if I wasn’t on a book deadline this week; but you should go see them, and earn my envy, as they share headlining honors for one night only at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Dan St. Germain and Mike Lawrence

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Brilliant improv troupe Rogue Elephant, which has crushed four opponents in a row (last week, by 107 to 38), tonight competes with improv troupe Dumpster Tequila for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/3/09

August 3, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.

Comedy greats Glenn Wool (above), Kristen Schaal, Todd Barry, and SNL's Bryan Tucker celebrate Liam McEneaney's birthday at Tell Your Friends
Comedy greats Glenn Wool (above), Kristen Schaal, Todd Barry, and SNL’s Bryan Tucker celebrate Liam McEneaney’s birthday at Tell Your Friends

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

6:30 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with wildly varying quality, but potentially fun for those with short attention spans—at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel

[TOP PICK] [FREE BEER] 8:00 pm ($5): Blowout celebration of host Liam McEneaney’s birthday, with some of the most brilliantly funny comics alive: Kristen Schaal, Todd Barry, Glenn Wool (visiting from the UK), and SNL’s Bryan Tucker—with free beer open bar from 7:00 pm on courtesy of tonight’s sponsor Pabst Blue Ribbon—at Lolita Bar stand-up comedy show Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s best house sketch comedy troupes, Stone Cold Fox and Gorilla Gorilla, trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($25, 2-item min.): An amazing comedic freestyle hip-hop group, using audience suggestions as a springboard for creating improvised music inspired by jazz, rap, and comedy, with Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Anthony Veneziale (Miranda and Veneziale are the writer and director of the Broadway hit In the Heights, which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical), and more performing at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Freestyle Love Supreme

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Dan Fontaine, Julien Dionne, Phoebe Robinson, and many more performing at the final installment of the summer of Pat O’Shea’s Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom: Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Peter Grosz (The Colbert Report) and John Lutz (SNL) making stuff up as comedy duo 2 Square

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: A free weekly show featuring some of the best stand-up comics in the country—who tonight are comedy giants Jim Gaffigan, Marc Maron, Andy Blitz, Glenn Wool, Kumail Nanjiani, and Sean Patton—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 3/28/09

March 28, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Glenn Wool

Glenn Wool

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] star improvisation from writers & performers at 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show who joyously declare Let’s Have a Ball (7:30 pm),

an exciting new NYC show developed at Chicago’s legendary iO theatre in which veteran improvisors create a play on the spot based on audience suggestions: New Play (7:30 pm),

[$] [DISCOUNTED] lovely & witty Cathleen Carr & Daiva Deupree turning life’s darkness into comedy as Two Girls for Five Bucks (8:00 pm),

[$] the longest-running cast member of Saturday Night Live (from 1995 to the present), and a comic who’s impersonated over 100 celebrities on national television: Darrell Hammond, Headlining at Carolines (8:00 pm & 10:30 pm),

[$] an acclaimed UK comedy star, and the winner of this past season’s Last Comic Standing: Glenn Wool and Iliza Shlesinger, Headlining at Comix (8:00 pm & 10:30 pm),

[FREE] sharp NYC comics at a free stand-up comedy show hosted by star sketch/improv troupe Derrick in Queens’ Long Island City: This Is New York (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] one of my all-time favorite improv troupes—which in 2008 broke the UCBT improv competition record for winning streaks with 17 triumphs in a row, and recently delivered a magnificent performance to capture the 2009 Cage Match Championship—the brilliant and daring members of Death by Roo Roo (9:00 pm),

organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track! (9:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] inventive & hilarious sketch comedy from The Harvard Sailing Team (9:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] a musical made up on the spot from magical Chicago improv group Baby Wants Candy (10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] improvised furious action from world-class troupe Reuben Williams (10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, quick-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer (10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] and rising star comics Kumail Nanjiani (Comedy Central) and Thomas Middleditch (genius improv troupe Baby Wants Candy) proving themselves to also be nerds by hosting this fun show about the video game industry: Game Bros. Live! (midnight).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 3/24/09

March 24, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

UK comedy star Glenn Wool

UK comedy star Glenn Wool

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:

the perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—at John Morrison’s Broadway_Motel (6:00 pm),

superb NYC storytellers, singers, sketch comics, and stand-ups—who tonight include Becky Yamamoto (Stickerbook), Kevin Allison (MTV’s The State), Brad Steurnagel (Telephone), and Sunday night Beauty Bar Comedy hosts Vince Averil & Jesse Popp (Comedy Central)—at a show pretending to be from the Pennsylvania heartland: Skip & Sparkle Variety (7:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] Mark Waid (Boom! Studios) and Steve Wacker (Amazing Spider-Man) joining in on a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club (8:00 pm),

three full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes The F*cking Kennedys, The Scam, The Law Firm, Bastian, and DeCoster—at Harold Night (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Mike Birbiglia (world-class comedy star who mixes classic stand-up with theatrical storytelling) and other stellar comics performing at this spectacular free show hosted by brilliant stand-ups Jessi Klein (Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim) and Pete Holmes (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The New Yorker): Punch Up Your Life (8:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] Glenn Wool (visiting UK comedy star), Christian Finnegan (two Comedy Central specials, commentator on MNBC’s Countdown with Keith Oberman and VH1’s Best Week Ever; Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Roger Hailes (Comedy Central, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV), Sean Patton (VH1), and more at the wonderful Seth Herzog’s Sweet (9:00 pm),

and fine NYC stand-ups joining delightful hosts Jackie Monahan, Leah Dubie, Amy Beckerman, and Gloria Bigelow at Dykes on Mics (9:00 pm).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.