NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/11/15

October 11, 2015

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

On Saturday I saw Chris Carter, David Duchovny, and Mitch Pileggi interviewed by Kumail Nanjiani, plus a screening The X-Files Season 10’s first episode (which is slated to air January 24, 2016 on FOX). The series return looks to be a solid one, dealing with the issues of our time—government surveillance, rise of police states, manipulation of media, etc. And most importantly, the chemistry is still there between Mulder and Scully. When asked what prompted the revival, Carter explained, “I got a call telling me David was interested in coming back.” That apparently did the trick… I won’t give anything away, but for a trailer of Episode 10.1, please click here.

This final Day #4 of Comic Con highlights include:

Kizumonogatari

Wabbit

Star Trek

Gotham and Supergirl

Goosebumps and Mad Magazine

Sleepy Hollow 3

  • Sleepy Hollow screening, followed by a Q&A with series executive producers and cast (4:15-5:15, Main Stage 1-D)

Virtually all 150,000+ Comic Con tickets are sold out, but if you’ve already nabbed one for today, there’s a whole bunch to enjoy.

And noteworthy shows happening outside of Comic Con tonight include:

And noteworthy shows happening outside of Comic Con today include:

  • The Andy Kaufman Awards: Comics including Jo Firestone (who should easily win unless she self-sabotages), Julio Torres (who might win if he wasn’t up against Jo), and more compete for this annual award often chosen with astonishing stupidity, but hopefully this year things will go well. Hosted by Elayne Boosler, the show has sold out of seats, but you might be able to get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing ($15, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)
  • Make My Baby Laugh: Wonderful parents & improvisors Mary Theresa Archbold & Pat Shay challenge comics to make laught babies, toddlers, and/or other children who don’t get typical stand-up references (2:00 pm, $5, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th Street)
  • Nice Tits: A one-woman comedic show by Amy Marcs about dealing with breast cancer (4:00 pm, $15, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th Street)

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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/13/12

September 13, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Amy Schumer

The lovely & brilliant Amy Schumer headlines at Gotham (nearly sold out, but tickets still available for Saturday at 11:45 pm)…

Goosebumps

…and mega-selling author R. L. Stine is interviewed at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE; and tonight only, FREE PIZZA!] 6:00 pm: An “exciting mystery guest” helps celebrate the One Year Anniversary of this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

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

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows I know nothing about but sound cool—Rewrite Movie Night and Bedtime Sketches—audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Diner and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully make scenes up (hopefully without any fighting) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Amy Schumer is one of the very finest stand-ups in the country, with performances on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, and more; and Amy’s just getting started with a career that’s likely to skyrocket. Amy’s headlining tonight through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club. Tickets are mostly sold out, but there are still some left for Saturday at 11:45; grab them while you can…: Amy Schumer

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, The Wrath, and Junior Varsity performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Neil McNamara directing Deep Dish (long-form improv interspersed with character monologues), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Leah Bonnema, Adam Lash, Adam Lehman, and Aalap Patel performing in Astoria Queens’ Mosaic Cafe & Lounge (25-19 24th Avenue) hosted by Liz Simons & Jenn Wehrung: Laugh It Up, Astoria

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon), Ashley Brooke Roberts, Josh Gondelman, Jono Zalay, Damien Lemon, and Nato Green performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced by 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm: The wonderful Ben Schwartz (NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Showtime’s House of Lies, written for SNL and David Letterman, was member of brilliant sketch/improv troupe Hot Sauce) briefly returns from LA to improvise with some of his friends at UCB Chelsea in “a show that has nothing to do with snowpants:” Ben Schwartz Presents Snowpants

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door, $11.34 in advance online): Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots) returns to The PIT upstairs theatre to host “a unique talk show experience that needs to be experienced to be experienced. There will be plenty of bits, skits, chits and chats, and maybe that pretty girl you saw on the 6 train last night will be in the audience! It’s a big city, but you run into people,” with tonight’s guests mega-bestselling horror author R. L. Stine (Goosebumps), Emmy Award winning journalist David Shuster (CNN, MSNBC, host of Take Action News), Dan Klein & Kelly Hudson (creators of Rejected Pitches on the Above Average Channel), and comedy duo twins Stone & Stone (Last Comic Standing): Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, did something really difficult last week by crushing Diamond Lion—specifically, 137-29. Sorry I missed that; but tonight provides another chance, when the champion vies with The Improvised Play (performing every Saturday night at The Soho Playhouse). Come experience these two formidable teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): A mock Presidential fundraiser at UCB East featuring Chris Gethard, Will Hines, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, and many more: The Concert for Ratliff 35/2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/4/11

November 4, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jester's Dead

Top Gun goes Shakespearean in the cleverly executed Jester's Dead...

R. L. Stine's Goosebumps

...mega-selling author R. L. Stine is among the guests at 100 Interviews Live...

2011 New York Musical Improv Festival

...and The Magnet showcases top comedy troupes tonight at its New York Musical Improv Festival

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 show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Choral Rage(NYC) and Hidden Falls (Boston) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage and Hidden Falls

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): This isn’t really a comedy show, but it’s at The PIT and is pretty cool, so what the heck: authors R. L. Stine (Goosebumps), Julia Segal (comic), and Mark Malkoff (My Damn Channel) discuss the creative process at 100 Interviews Live

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the best scripted ensemble shows to grace UCB West for some time, troupe Stone Cold Fox performs hilarious parodies of off-off-Broadway theatre, as well as some of the very best sketches it’s crafted over the years, in a tight hour-long show directed by comedy genius Neil Casey (who, after also recently directing stellar one-person shows by Kate McKinnon and Mike Still, apparently can do no wrong), featuring delightful performances by Fran Gillespie, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden (watch for these three gals playing existential Truth or Dare), John Murray, Nate Smith, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jonathan Fernandez, and the writing of Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Owen Parsons, and Michael Trapp: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—tonight featuring guests Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), Dan Klein (The Law Firm), and Ari Scott (Thunder Gulch)—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello; plus in the other half of this double-bill, troupe Epic Beards

[$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please clickhere) who’s a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour that featured top Middle Eastern-American comics, and an actor who’s performed on ABC’ s Better off Ted and Knights of Prosperity, FOX’ s Life on a Stick, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Eight small improv teams compete as part of a 32-team tournament starting tonight at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena Small Team Tournament, Round 4

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes The Made-Up Musical (NYC) and Happy Karaoke Fun Time (Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Made-Up Musical and Happy Karaoke Fun Time

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred in his ownComedy Central Presents special, and has performed on Conan O’Brien, ABC, VH1, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Paul Mecurio

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB West’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A half-hour stand-up set from one of the most beloved comics in NYC, who’s performed on Comedy Central, created and hosts the IFC game show Pointless, co-hostsHot Tub Variety, and is a triple 2011 ECNY Award winner: Kurt Braunohler: 30 Minutes; and in the second half of this UCB East double-bill, sketch comedy from duo Two Fun Men

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central Presents), Aaron Berg, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village:Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Diamond Lion (NYC) and Stacked (Chicago) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Diamond Lion and Stacked

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB West making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): This show begins with a delightful concept—Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare—and then executes it with the joyful craft only a sharp, tight theatrical ensemble can create. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but especially memorable are Kate Turnbull as the love interest, Dan Hartley as Maverick, and Vayu O’Donnell who steals every scene he appears in with his hilariously deadpan delivery as Iceman. While this is playing at The PIT for a mere $10, it’s really legit Fringe theatre, and I hope it eventually makes its way to FringeNYC or Edinburgh—or better yet, develops more songs and gets a commercial run as a musical. Meanwhile, don’t miss this opportunity to see a way fun parody of a cult classic for about half of what you oughta be paying: Jester’s Dead

[FREE] 11:45 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with improv veterans to make up musicals on the spot: Magnet Mixer

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

[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCB West schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCBT stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

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.