NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/31/14

January 31, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Check out excerpts from  one of the best comedy albums of the year:
Morgan Murphy: Irish Goodbye

Give the People What They Want

Tonight’s your last chance to catch Julie Sharbutt, Keisha Zollar, Dan Hodapp, Micah Sherman, Chris Roberti, and other stellar talents in this play collection by Greg Kotis (Urinetown): Give the People What They Want

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:

7:00 pm ($10): Abby Holland performs a one-woman show (mostly; comic Pete Lee appears now and then) about “What does it mean to be a woman? Am I doing it right? Growing up with brothers, I learned how the ‘boys’ did things without really learning how to be a lady. Join me as I navigate through this rough terrain,” directed by the brilliant Ellena Chmielewski (who should be writing and starring in her own shows, but this is the next best thing) at The PIT upstairs theatre: The WoMen in Me

7:00 pm ($7): Two sketch groups performing at The Magnet theatre: CA$H and The Misses

[$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ali Wong, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, James Smith, and Lenny Marcus at the 10:30 show; and Ali Wong, Kurt Metzger, James Smith, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Harris Stanton (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($8): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Anna Roisman (co-host of You Probably Think This Song Is About You), Emma Willmann, and Billy Prinsell performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Andy Spital, Tamara Daniels, and Jordan Wolff: Group Txt

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in the industry, hire them.) Enjoy this new collection of sketches from these sexy performers (which I hope to see soon): Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

7:30 pm ($5): Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted,, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, VH1), and Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View, The Mo’Nique Show) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Abbi Crutchfield & Luke Thayer: All-Inclusive Trip

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 at the door or $16.52 online; the latter is recommended since this might sell out): Tony Award-winning playwright/lyricist Greg Kotis (Urinetown) has written “a collection of seven short plays that explore love, sex, truth, sex, money, sex and justice. In that order” featuring wonderful comedic actors Julie Sharbutt, Micah Sherman, Dan Hodapp, Keisha Zollar, and Chris Roberti at The PIT upstairs theatre. This is the final performance of the run, so do what I’m doing tonight and come experience Give the People What They Want

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), 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), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Todd Barry, Christian Finnegan, Marina Franklin, Dan Soder, and More

8:00 pm ($8): A one-man show in which “Stephen McCarthy and you make faces and noises at each other, with a slew of characters, some true stories, and weird music” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Journey to the Uncanny Valley

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sam Evans, Emily Winter, Kale Bogdanovs, Nick Maritato, and Taylor Ketchum performing sets to be used as audition tapes—so they’ll be trying extra hard to make you laugh—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts: Caught on Tape

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.): A TV & movie star who created & hosted Last Comic Standing, was a cast member of CBS’ Gary Unmarried and Ghost Whisperer, has done extensive sports broadcasting for ESPN, and has appeared in such feature films as Jerry MacGuire, Pay It Forward, and Hereafter (opposite Matt Damon) headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jay Mohr

[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 Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: If you’re a friend or fan of the wonderful Bridget Fitzgerald, consider coming over to say “goodbye for now” before she moves to LA via this party/singalong at Planet Rose (219 Avenue A, between 13th & 14th Streets): Bridget Fitzgerald’s Going Away To LA Drink & Singalong

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Christian Finnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, Dan Soder, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Aaron Weinstein (Carnegie Hall), Boris Khaykin (Huffington Post), and Ray Munoz performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): The debut of this monthly show in which “comics do 3-5 minutes of something they’ve always wanted to do on stage but never had the balls to” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Peter Michael Marino (creator of SoloCon) and the brilliant & lovely Amanda Duarte: Cojones

[FREE] 11:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mick Diflo, Liz Barnett, Max May, Maribeth Mooney, Keith Fuerstenberg, and LaTice performing at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Henry Cruz: Dark Night Comedy

11:30 pm ($5): Eli Itzkowitz & Teddy Shivers host a late night talk show at The Magnet theatre: E&T Live

Midnight ($5): UCB East house manager and tech guy supreme Pat Baer hosts a monthly show about the very medium you’re using to read this, aided tonight by Connor Ratliff (Stone Cold Fox, The Stepfathers), Katey Healy-Wurzburg (Detroit), and Corey Brown: 404ing It: Breaking (Down) the Internet

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) joking about their culture—Jewish, African-American, Asian, geek, whatever—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shak Standley & Paul Higbie: The Black Bar Mitzvah

Friday 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

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

[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 with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

11:00 pm ($10): PIT students selected at random mix it up with improv veterans at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Draft

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/10/14

January 10, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Huge congratulations to Pete Holmes & staff for TBS
renewing The Pete Holmes Show, slated to resume Feb. 24th

Julie Sharbutt

Wonderful screenwriter/improvisor/actress Julie Sharbutt is among the stellar talents in Greg Kotis’ (co-writer of Urinetown) set of mini-plays “Give the People Want They Want”…

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

…and the greatest improv troupe in the world continues making up instant classics: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($25 with discount code SHAKES FB at the door or online): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a four-night NYC run at at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), with every evening utterly different from the last. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite people in the world, the delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at FringeNYC; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor), and her talented comedy partner Jana Schmieding spearhead a showcase for comedic characters, tonight including Megan Gray and about 10 other comics, performing at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure,” and tonight are joined by stand-up Siobhan Beasley performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hodapp & Rothwell

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Kevin Meaney, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Ali Wong and Greer Barnes at the 8:00 show; Kevin Meaney, Ali Wong, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show; Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, and James Smith at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Nikki Glaser, James Smith, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 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): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Dave Smith (IFC’s Z-Rock), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($8): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre as troupe Lead McEnroe

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Gibran Saleem (MTV), Meg Cupernall (Dr. Oz), Katie Compa, and TJ Del Reno performing at this monthly stand-up show at the One and One Bar (12 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Jeff Cerulli and the delightful Chelsea White (MTV, VH1, TLC, co-host of Call Us Crazy): What Else? Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in the industry, hire them.) Enjoy this new collection of sketches from these sexy performers (which I hope to see soon): Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

7:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing stand-up or storytelling at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer: Splitsider’s Dog and Pony Show

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): An Iranian-American stand-up headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Max Amini

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Tony Award-winning playwright/lyricist Greg Kotis (Urinetown) has written “a collection of seven short plays that explore love, sex, truth, sex, money, sex and justice. In that order” featuring wonderful comedic actors Julie Sharbutt, Micah Sherman, Dan Hodapp, Keisha Zollar, and Chris Robert at The PIT upstairs theatre: Give the People What They Want

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Dante Nero (Comedy Central, HBO, ABC, FOX) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glaser, Christian FInnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door or $12.62 online): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country) hosts this monthly show, tonight featuring Jackie Kashian, Ben Lerman, Har Mar Superstar, Doug Gillard, Mike Bocchetti, Alex Edelman, and Jodi Lennon performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets

[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 Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s hosted MTV’s Numbnuts and Money From Strangers, and starred in a Comedy Central Presents special, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club with terrific openers Ophira Eisenberg, Joe List, and Vic Henley: Jeff Dye, Ophira Eisenberg, Joe List and Vic Henley

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[FREE—plus FREE DRINKS & SNACKS! Reserve seats by emailing lukaskaiser@gmail.com with subject GREAT GRANDMA PANTIES] 9:00 pm for free drinks & snacks, 9:30 pm for show: Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Andy Rocco (The Tony Show, Underground Americana), Dicks & Stones, and Julio Torres performing stand-up at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Hoff Matthews & Lukas Kaiser: HP5000 Live Comedy

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

9:30 pm ($5): Solo character comedy from Kelly Fitzpatrick, Kenji America, Mary Crosbie, Sharon Jamilkowski, Margaret Dodge, and talented host Jenn Dodd in a parody of a talent contest at The PIT downstairs lounge: Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet—tonight with extra-special guest Tara Copeland, briefly back from LA—using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Dante Nero (Comedy Central, HBO, ABC, FOX) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glaser, Christian FInnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Justin Grace, Mike Pullan and James Ferrarella, who also promise “skits, arm wrestling, jeopardy, contests, drinking, and everything else you would do on an” Almost Saturday Show

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): Josh Sharp (co-star of superb UCB sketch show GUMP), Brandon Scott Wolf (contributing writer to SNL), and Paul Oddo (co-host of The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic) performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A rotating cast drawing from over a dozen of the talented gal improvisors and sketch comics at The Magnet—including Artistic Director Megan Gray, Lauren Olson, Elena Fishbein, Kimberly Ferguson, and Beth Newell—aim to “give you a dark and twisted late night explosion:” The Clubhouse

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Pot stand-up from “highly talented comics who have been highly recommended from people who are thought highly of in the business. Oh, and they’ll be high” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Clayton English & Noah Gardenswartz: High Five

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($10 online using discount code VORTEX; no min.): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), DJ No Face, Giulio Gallarotti, Ben & Josh, Crystian Ramirez, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Big Jay Oakerson and More

Midnight ($5): “A live monthly comedy game show in which three contestants participate in a battle of wits and knowledge for the chance to win a grand prize of 20 American dollars” at UCB East hosted by Ryan Simmons: Everyone’s Favorite Game Show

Friday 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

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

[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 with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

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