NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/21/15

April 21, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jeff Garlin is on The Daily Show;
Paul Rudd is on David Letterman;
“Weird Al” Yankovic and Nate Bargatze are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Kumail Nanjiani is on Seth Meyers;
Maria Bamford, David O’Doherty, and Jimmy Pardo
are on @midnight;
and see below

Amy Schumer

The first season of Inside Amy Schumer was quite good, but Season 2 made the series a TV comedy milestone. Tonight kicks off Season 3, which am crossing fingers will continue Amy’s path to transcendent greatness. Find out for yourself at 10:30 pm or 2:34 am on Comedy Central, or tomorrow online

Cosmic Raiders In Search of the Funniest Planet

…and take advantage of the rich choices in live comedy tonight, which include Julio Torres & friends at UCB East performing Cosmic Raiders In Search of the Funniest Planet

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, 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up & character actress Karen Batista tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Karen Batista

7:00 pm ($5): The staged reading of a TV pilot by Leila Ben-Abdallah: “After losing her job as the star of Spaceship: Neutrino, a beloved science fiction TV show, Lena Hadid finds herself completely broke, and too hopelessly typecast from her fame as an iconic SF star to land any acting work. Out of money and options, she moves back home to the quiet, conservative suburbs of Washington, D.C. to share a raucous, messy bachelor pad with Amir, her metrosexual Arab father, and Adam, her ultra-cool, hip-hop producer younger brother. With their help, Lena learns to embrace her unique fame as an icon of nerd-dom and redefine what it means to be “washed-up” at The PIT upstairs theatre: TV PIlot Reading of Washed Up

7:00 pm ($10): A sketch comedy double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Buffet and The Uncanny Valley

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Robert Kelly, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Carmen Lynch, Lenny Marcus, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Nikki Glaser, Keith Alberstadt, Brian Scolaro, Sam Morril, and Sherrod Small 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-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Swirly Animal, Moon Ravens, and Slamball at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Cocoon Central Dance Team (delightful trio of comedic dancers performing a great show at The PIT in April and May), Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Mary Mack, Ron Lynch, Andrew Michaan, and Drew Droege performing stand-up or dance at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor) & Liza Treyger (Chelsea Lately): Cakeshop Comedy: Morgan Murphy, Cocoon Central Dance Team, Guy Branum, Jacqueline Novak, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Julio Torres wrote & co-stars in a show that mixes stand-up and sketch with a half dozen other comics including Aaron Jackson at UCB East performing in the Comedy Central Corporate Retreat timeslot: Cosmic Raiders In Search of the Funniest Planet

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Parks & Recreation, The Office, Conan O’Brien IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Alingon Mitra (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), and Nate Fridson performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central Half Hour): Deep-er-ness

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Joe Rumrill (Fresh Perspectives), and Amber Drea performing storytelling or stand-up at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Kevin Townley & Melissa Rocha: Treat Yourself with Elna Baker and More

[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 Giulia Rozzi & Will Miles (couple), Roger Hailes & Greg Barris (pals), Anna Drezen & Todd Dakotah Briscoe (pals), and Nore Davis & Vladimir Caamaño (pals), all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by real-life couple Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad 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] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo, Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Derek Gaines, performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Dan Soder, Nate Bargatze, Monroe Martin, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch duo Marina & Nicco and storyteller Sam Dingman team up at The PIT downstairs lounge to teach you Everything We Know About Sex

[FREE] 8:00 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” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Observational Trivia Night

[TOP PICK] 8:15 pm ($8): “Four writers read their own work for seven minutes or less, and are then judged by three all-star judges. Two finalists are chosen to compete in the finale, a vaguely-literary game to decide the ultimate winner,” with tonight’s authors Lane Moore, Josh Gondelman, Kent Russell, and Eliza Kennedy performing for judges Ben Kronberg, Lucy DeVito, and Taiye Selasi—and you—at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Literary Death Match

[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 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): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Andrew Michaan, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The hilarious Jay Malsky plays Elaine Stritch in this musical one-person show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Elaine Stritch: Still Here

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC comics (typically announced around 1:00 pm) performing for 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

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups In Thousands, Clan Weirdos, and Higgins at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Death By Roo Roo, Goat, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh). Performing stand-up sets in between Tony bits tonight are Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Tim Duffy, all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Michelle Wolf, Kara Klenk, and More

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from young group 301 Views at The PIT upstairs theatre: 301 Views

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Scotland Green, May Wilkerson, Alex English, Marcia Belskyi, Keele Howard-Stone, and Shalewa Sharpe performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

[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), 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), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Derek Gaines, and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Dan Soder, Christian Finnegan, Monroe Martin, and More

[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

10:00 pm ($5): In this unique show, improvisors make up a complete family & friends intervention based on an audience suggestion at The PIT upstairs theatre: Impro-vention

[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 Jamie 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] 6:30 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

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

[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

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv group Fire to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

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)

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 Saturday 11/8/14

November 8, 2014

Want to be on an NBC prime time show?
America’s Got Talent is holding NYC auditions today; details here.

Maria Bamford

A comedy legend performs at 9:45 pm at Town Hall: Maria Bamford

Amy Schumer

…and superstar Amy Schumer (who totally killed last night at Carnegie Hall) and the incredible group of writers for her hit Comedy Central series live stream a panel discussion at 4:15 pm: Inside Amy Schumer at The Paley Center Online

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] [$] (11/5-11/9) The New York Comedy Festival features some of the best stand-ups in the world performing headlining sets in such major NYC venues as Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, the Beacon, the NYU Skirball Center, Carolines, and The Stand during November 5-9. Among the stars performing this year are Amy Schumer, Maria Bamford, Marc Maron, Bill Cosby, Bill Burr, Bill Maher, Pete Holmes, Tig Notaro, Dave Hill, Kurt Metzger, Mark Normand, Hannibal Buress, Sasheer Zamata, Aparna Nancherla, Eric Andre, Sommore, Paula Poundstone, and Dane Cook; plus there’ll be interviews with such giants as Jim Gaffigan, and the teams creating TV series Inside Amy Schumer (including Amy), Broad City (including Executive Producer Amy Poehler), and the writers of The Late Show with David Letterman. To explore the entire schedule, please click New York Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK] 1:00 pm ($5): Katharine Heller hosts a live taping of her comedy podcast at the UCB East theatre: Tell the Bartender

[TOP PICK] 2:30 pm ($5): 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 albumSadamantium) and Jake Young host a live taping of her comedy podcast in which they “talk everything nerdy and strange, from Batman’s nipples to the X-Men theme song” at the UCB East theatre: Nerd of Mouth

[TOP PICK] 4:00 pm ($5): Keith and the GIrl make a live taping of their highly popular comedy podcast, with guests Mike Lawrence, Greg Behrendt, Ophira Eisenberg, Danny Hatch, Andrea Allan, and Ray DeVito at the UCB Easttheatre: Keith and the Girl

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 4:15 pm: Amy Schumer—who delivered a flawless performance last night at Carnegie Hall, cementing her reputation as one of the very finest stand-ups alive—heads a panel with the writers for her hit Comedy Central sketch series Inside Amy Schumer at The Paley Center. Tickets at the venue are sold out, but you can watch free online via live streaming by clicking Clown Panties and Other Unpleasant Truths: An Evening with Inside Amy Schumer

[TOP PICK] 5:30 pm ($5): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central specialWhite Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans) and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1) make a live taping of their highly comedy podcast in which they aim to “cut through all the layers of politically correct media BS to deliver hysterical and truthful opinions on social, racial and global issues” at the UCB East theatre: Race Wars

[$] 6:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20): Matt Walsh (UCB co-founder, HBO’s Veep) and his friends Jon Glaser, Shannon O’Neill, Tami Sagher, Jodi Lennon, and Brian McCann perform at the UCB East theatre: Matt Walsh and Friends

[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): Ted Alexandro (one of thevery finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Dane Cook, and probably some unannounced drop-ins, with four of the shows atComedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows atVillage Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): A young all-guy troupe performs a mix of sketch and improv on the subject of middle school atThe PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party: “Everyone Kisses!” A Middle School Odyssey

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm (limited seats; call 212.247.7800): Comedy legend BIll Cosby headlines at the legendaryCarnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at 57th Street & Seventh Avenue): Bill Cosby

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 at the door or $15.45 online): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country) hosts this monthly show featuring an eclectic collection of comics and musical guests at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PITupstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

8:00 pm ($10): Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Kyle Kinane (Comedy Central hour-long special Whiskey Icarus), Sean O’Connor (Comedy Central Half Hour), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Sam Evans, and Rojo Perez performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary & Lucas Connolly: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.): An acerbic stand-up star who’s appeared on Oprah, Jay Leno, Bill Maher, The View, and many other TV shows—and several films, to boot—headlining tonight and Sunday at theCarolines Comedy Club: Sommore

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from the show’s producer Lukas Kaiser, Gabe Pacheco, Ross Parsons, and Carolyn Busa, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight(594 Union Ave) hosted by Ian Fidance & Lizzie Martinez: Showcasey Jones

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, FX’s Totally Biased) performs a long stand-up set at the UCB East theatre: Emily Heller

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15; SOLD OUT of seats, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisorsDeath by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive atThe PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril with hosts J. W. Crump and Jordan Hirsch: Gas Station Horror

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): A sketch comedy group that includes writers for College Humor, The Late Show, and ESPN performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Garlic Jackson

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($40-$70, depending on seat location): Comedy legend Maria Bamford performs atTown Hall (123 West 43rd Street, between 6th Avenue & Broadway): Maria Bamford

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall) and other superb stand-ups TBD at this show that describes itself as follows: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford and Noah Gardenswartz are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and more form an ace improv group at UCB East that won last year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[$] 10:30 pm ($15): Guy Branum (Chelsea Lately, Totally Biased, X-Play) performs a long stand-up set at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Guy Branum

10:30 pm ($7): Magnet Instructors Louis Kornfeld and Rick Andrews pair together for one night of improvisation as comedy duo Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy; in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group; written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times; members include Henry Zebrowski, who’s a co-star of Wolf of Wall Street, and Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Murderfist

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here) is the guest, while Anthony Apruzzese and a mob of other comics perform sketch at this hybrid variety/talk show co-hosted by Josh Sharp (GUMP) at the UCB East theatre: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): 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), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Missy Baker (Huffington Post), and more performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evanshost: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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: 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 Wednesday 4/2/14

April 2, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Amy Schumer

Great TV from the past couple of days include Tig Notaro doing a magical stand-up set on Conan O’Brien; a killer lineup of Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller, and Kumail Nanjiani on @midnight; and the premiere of Season 2 of Inside Amy Schumer, with highlights here

Broad City

…while UCB Chelsea tonight features Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson hosting the stage version of their hit Comedy Central series…

Broad City

…Broad City Live

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, plus a free improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents) tries out stand-up material every night through Sunday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Louis Katz

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Apollo and First Lady: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Livia Scott (magical comedic chameleon; Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie; sketch groups Scrambled Legs and The Livia Scott Sketch Program), Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), Maris Kreizman (author of Slaughterhouse 90210), Liz Danzico (NPR Creative Director), Cocoon Central Dance Team, and musician Steve O’Reilly, all being interviewed and/or performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James Bewley: Dale Radio Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s strong lineups include Colin Quinn, Kevin Meaney, Gregg Rogell, and Greer Barnes at the 8:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Mark Normand, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, and Ralph Harris at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, James Smith, Big Jay Oakerson, Wil Sylvince, and Dan Soder at 11:30, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, writer/performers Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli demonstrate perfect comedic timing—coupled with sorta terrible singing, sketch comedy, and a PowerPoint presentation—for a very silly show aiming to prove “Billy Joel is the greatest recording artist of all time.” I hope these guys aim for something meatier and more resonant to tackle next time, because they’ve got chops, which is especially evident at the dynamic start when they interact with the audience; but in the meantime you’re likely to enjoy Sketches From an Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “a comedic exploration of why we love to hate the women we do” written by & starring Abby Holland, Molly Gaebe, Jenn Roman, and Julie Rosing, and directed by the brilliant Ellena Chmielewski: Fuck Judy Towers

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of stand-up, storytelling, and more, tonight featuring Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show, Tales of the Cosmos, and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Showtime, host of Tell Your Friends), Chris Lamberth, and Jess Salomon performing at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street) hosted by Beth Hoyt & Trish Nelson: Big Effing Deal

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Tanisha Long (MTV’s Girl Code), Rebecca Gold, and Daniel Levine performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Peggy O’Leary and/or Jonathan Yoni Lotan: Battle-Face

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups from all over the country compete for laughs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen: Border Wars

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably still get in if you don’t mind standing): Join Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson, the delightful stars of Comedy Central’s hit series Broad City, plus stand-ups (not announced) at UCB Chelsea for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Myq & Micah (brilliant comics performing as comedic singing duo), Bill Dawes (Broadway’s Bronx Bombers), Kate Hendricks (Nickelodeon’s Nick Moms Night Out), Giulio Gallarotti (MTV), Frantz Casseus (BET’s ComicView), Greg Stone, Josh Accardo, and Matteo Lane performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:30 pm ($8): A one-man show by Matt Gehring that has something to do with Patrick Stewart and the history of humankind at The PIT downstairs lounge: Patrick Stewart Presents Man: An Evolutionary Study

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Will Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

[FREE] 10:00 pm: 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. Tonight’s lineup includes sketch/character comic Alan Starzinski and stand-up Katey Healy-Wurzburg; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

Wednesday 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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Wednesday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

11:00 pm ($3): An “anything goes” comedy open mic for stand-up, sketch, improv, music, “and the occasional random nutjob” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Evan Jones: Mosh PIT

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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.