NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 11/11/15

November 11, 2015

Margaret ChoDay #2 of the New York Comedy Festival includes star Margaret Cho performing at Town Hall: There’s No I in Team But There’s a Cho in Psycho

Trump vs Bernie The DebateMargaret Cho 4…there are many Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders impersonators, but arguably the most hilarious are Anthony Atamanuik & James Adomian (for a video sample, please click here). Tonight this brilliant duo get together to debate one-on-one, and the results are likely to shake the room with laughter: Trump vs. Bernie: The Debate! (8:00 pm, $25, Brooklyn’s Bell House at 149 7th Street in Brooklyn; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

Picture This!…and on this unique show, as stand-ups do their sets they’re drawn on the spot by animators. Tonight’s comics are among the very finest: Chris Gethard, Sean Patton, Aparna Nancherla, Ilana Glazer, Brooke Van Poppelen, Matteo Lane, and more hosted by Brandie Posey: Picture This! (8:30 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

For additional shows happening tonight as part of the New York Comedy Festival, please click here

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including an open-to-all improv jam at 6:00 pm; group Gypsy Danger, which includes Katie Hartman and Evan Kaufman at 8:00 pm; and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central) tries out stand-out material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Bonnie McFarlane

7:00 pm ($5): Eight stand-ups compete for laughs by telling jokes on topics handed to them just this morning at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Stand-Up Showdown

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($5 if you say code LIVE at door): NYC stand-ups, including John Moses and Joe Larson, performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Mike Lemme: Live in the Village

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($8): Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Dog, SNL’s TV Funhouse) is interviewed by Kliph Nesteroff (author of The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy) at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Kliph Nesteroff Presents: Robert Smigel

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Top sketch comics selected by Comedy Central and the New York Comedy Festival perform scripted comedic scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm show ($20 at the door or $18.50 online—price includes slices of homemade ice cream cakes): Storytellers Jo Firestone, Jeff Simmermon, Rob Penty, and Jean Le Bec tell personal tales on the theme “Cold Feet: Being Nervous or Scared” at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) with free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features three house groups making up scenes on the spot: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Kate Greathead (writer for The New Yorker, The New York Times), Neil Goldberg (visual artist exhibited at MoMA, New Museum), Jeremy Simmons (director/producer of The Last Beekeeper, TransGeneration, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, Life With LaToya), Jomama Jones (singer at Soho Rep, Joe’s Pub), and celebrity guest bartender Paul Erik Davis, all performing at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street) hosted by the wonderful and quick-witted Amanda Duarte: Dead Darlings

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Typically terrific stand-ups performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of terrific and less so NYC stand-ups performing for this weekly show at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that books comics from the same original area (i.e., outside of NYC) to perform long sets at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Trey Galyon: I’m Not From Here

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—on some weeks veterans, on others ones you may never have heard of—performing for this free weekly show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) hosted by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, and/or Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically superb stand-ups performing for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:00 pm ($5): Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), David Feldman (Emmy winner, co-creator of the The Jack and Triumph Show), Shalewa Sharpe, Ashlee Gilbert Voorsanger, Michael Karlik, and Sam Bourne performing stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck & Alisha Delp: Everythign Is Dumbn: A Comedy & Music Showcase

[TOP PICK] 9:15 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 hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show written by Livia and friends that typically stars Livia, Keisha Zollar, Christi Chiello, John Trowbridge, and half a dozen other comics at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

9:30 pm ($5): NYC comics performing stand-up or sketch at The PIT downstairs lounge produced by Tovah Silbermann and hosted by Griffin Newman, Alejandro Kolleeny, and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($10): Brilliant comics Anthony Atamanuik & Gavin Speiller perform duo improv for 45 minutes while aiming to take you around the globe via the UCB East theatre: Gavin & Anthony Show You The World

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) dreams up a different incredible idea each month to surprise you. This time “the filthiest comedians from across this great nation get a chance to share their most sexually explicit jokes with a panel of three experts in the field in the ultimate competition: Who is going to get the panel wet? The most sexual comedian gets the chance to literally soak the panel with water” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow: Get Wet With Comedy

[TOP PICK] 11:15 pm ($5): The next round of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB East hosted by Pat Baer: 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

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] 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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

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: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez & Parker Denton: Recess

[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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Camel Butt

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 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)

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 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 Saturday 12/1/12

December 1, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

My favorite fast food place, Tuck Shop, got hit hard by Sandy. Please check out its amazing meat & veggie mini-pies; the 68 East 1st Street store is near UCB East and open very late…and is run by a fiery Aussie redhead who’s a delight.

Jay Mohr and James Adomian

Jay Mohr headlines at Gotham; James Adomian and many more perform anything but stand-up at Underbelly

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($65 retail or $40 here): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) in the West Village: The Old Man and the Moon

[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”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($8 cover plus $7 drink min.; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Diana Spechler (author of Skinny; Esquire magazine), Ben Lillie (host of The Story Collider), Joanna Parson (WNYC’s The Next Big Thing), and Robert Hurst (Moth GrandSlam finalist). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($10): A stand-up who’s appeared on Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio performs a long set at The Magnet theatre: Jamie Kilstein

[FREE] 6:00 pm: “A monthly show that you control. Your suggestions, blurt-outs, and whatever else you feel like doing or saying will guide us through an hour of good times” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: YBTHR

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Blaise Allysen Kearsley, Bob Powers, and Hillary Reatell tell “stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe” at UCB East hosted by 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 and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here): Tales of the Cosmos

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

7:30 pm ($10): Talented improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 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 through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jay Mohr

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A TV star who was a cast member of MTV’s Punk’d and is now a cast member of FX’s The League headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Stephen Rannazzisi

[$] 8:00 pm ($20 & 2-item food/drink min.) Leighann Lord (HBO’s Def Comedy All Star Jam, ABC’s The View, Comedy Central, VH1, Lifetime), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Kevin McCaffrey, Joe Zimmerman, Scott Sharp, and Joe Alfano performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Leighann Lord, Gary Vider, and More

8:30 pm ($10): Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, MTV), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), Karl Hess, Jeff Maurer, and Alison Leiby performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($20): A stand-up who’s performed on David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Bravo, and IFC, and starred in his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, headlines tonight at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Joe Matarese

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), 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.), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Mike Yard (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): 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 improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

9:00 pm ($5): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($28 with discount code BBOX [otherwise $40]): The return of one of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, playing at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this opportunity to see the Chicago-based 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which tonight’s superb comics Jared Logan, James Adomian, Henry Zebrowski, Erik Bergstrom, James Harris, Aparna Nancherla, Mike Recine, Chris Lamberth, and Nick Naney perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short. Reid says, “Guys, my mom, Molly Shambaugh Faylor, is gonna be at this show. She promised to fight my girlfriend Sami Jo Hall. The winner gets to deal with my misplaced mother issues. Everything is on the line. 10:00 pm! Come to this!:” Underbelly

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): 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] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter:” Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford—makes stuff up at UCB East based on hellish experiences of audience members: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($20 & 2-item food/drink min.) Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Joe Zimmerman, Scott Sharp, and Kat Timpf performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mike Lawrence, Liz Miele, and More

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[$] 10:30 pm ($20): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Geno Bisconte, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jay Oakerson, Dan Soder, and More

11:00 pm ($8): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East that includes typically includes superb NYC comics—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

Midnight ($5): Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon), Boris Khaykin, Lucas Connolly, musical guest Take Care Brush Your Hair (Alex Mullen & Max Azulay), and more performing at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steve Slate: Underground Americana

[FREE] Midnight: Stand-up and sketch (performers not announced) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Kingmaker Sketch

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:

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/26/12

May 26, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

James Adomian

James Adomian performs at stand-up & burlesque show Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar…

Baron Vaughn

…and Baron Vaughn headlines at If You Build It

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] 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”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes (unusually, not announced this week) at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

7:00 pm ($5): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) and Poupak Sepehri (runs UCB’s Difference Blog) host a variety show at UCB East that’s a mix of stand-up, sketch, improv, dance, music, and video: The Soul Glo Project

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnet making up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Rojo Perez, Taylor Ketchum, and Nate Fridson participate in this “comedy chat show with boundary issues” that has stand-ups perform sets and then be interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Vic Henley is one of the most likeable stand-ups in the biz. He’s co-headlining tonight with Kevin Flynn (HBO, NBC, ABC) at the Gotham Comedy Club: Vic Henley & Kevin Flynn

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and comedic actor who’s hosted NBC’s Last Comic Standing and MTV Jams, and performed on HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA, TBS, and feature films, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Bill Bellamy

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), and Nate Craig performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (please note, UCBT Web site is incorrect tonight; Jessi Klein had to bow out, and Baron’s taking her place…): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): 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 improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe at The Magnet makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

9:30 pm ($8): Improv troupe Ca$h Only and guests make up a play on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: 3 Act Play

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($11.34 online; or $10 at the door—but this show typically sells out in advance): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Molly Knefel (Naked in a Fishbowl, John & Molly Get Along), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), and more performing for this show in which stand-up and burlesque are weirdly blended together based on the reasoning “The nude female form is truly a work of art. That’s why people the world over like to jerk off to it. Who are we to disagree with the world?”at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): 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] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and has so far crushed 10 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

Midnight ($5): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment Tuesdays at Cake Shop), Billy Prinsell, Katie Hannigan, and Bryson Turner performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154, Aquarius) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies.” Joining him is SF fan Steve Siddell (Someday the Cake, The Scene). Tonight’s feature is a slasher flick with a shocking twist: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Sleepaway Camp

Midnight ($5): Two relatively obscure sketch troupes, Dinner For One and The Release, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by sketch troupe Sidecar: Backyard Brawl

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/27/11

December 27, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.

James Adomian and Wyatt Cenac

James Adomian does his thing at "Tell Your Friends;" Wyatt Cenac tells tales for improvisors to act out at "TrapDoor"

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 ($5): Based on her years inside the velvet trenches of Wall Street, Michelle Wolf (co-host of Fresh) introduces you to the characters who deserve every penny of their 20 billion dollars in cash bonuses (actual 2010 figure, via CNNMoney) via this one-woman show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Wall Street Meat

7:00 pm ($5): Two shows trying out for a spot on The Magnet schedule: Anna Suzuki’s one-woman event The Worst Play Ever Written, and a sketch troupe on Missed Connections: An Exploration into the Online Postings of Desperate Romantics

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.)  A comic best known for his appearances on Comedy Central celebrity roasts, but who’s also performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay LenoThe Today Show, The View, HBO, CNN, MSNBC—and even ABC’s Dancing with the Stars!—headlining through Friday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeffrey Ross

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show) is the monologist for a troupe of improvisors who’ll make us scenes based on the tales he tells at The PIT upstairs theatre: TrapDoor

8:00 pm ($5): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingHarold and Kumar 2), Aidan BIshop (visiting from Dublin), Sandy Marks (CBS’ King of Queens, director of documentary Manhattan Comedy Nights), and more performing at the Lolita Bar with host Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($5): Streeter Seidell (College Humor, Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Craig Rowin (Comedy Central,ESPN, The OnionThe Law Firm, perpetrator of fabulous hoax Please Give Me One Million Dollars), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), and Jen Statsky (writer for Jimmy Fallon, The Onion, McSweeney’s) performing at UCB East for a comedy variety show produced by Sara Schaefer & Scott Moran: Hot Dang

8:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Dance Break, Still Mike, Sandino, Grandma’s Ashes, and Mr. Crime—and at 11:00 pm advanced improv students perform a show “where scenes never end, but instead flow out of old locations and into new ones“—all at Harold Night

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[$] 8:30 pm ($21.78, plus 2-drink min. or $20 unlimited nonalcoholic drinks): Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Vic Henley, Jim David, and more performing stand-up at the Comic Strip Live Comedy Club (1568 2nd Avenue off 81st Street): Comic Strip Live

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Rosencrantz and BEEES!

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Amy Schumer (red-hot rising star; Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Fallon), Neal Brennan (HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator ofChappelle’s Show), Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, IFC), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

9:30 pm ($5): A one-person show about getting fired and getting dumped at The PIT upstairs theatre: Oops! I Blew It Again

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up and sketch at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, typically hosted by sketch troupes Savage Animal and/or Jerk Practice: Savage Animal

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: 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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/24/11

July 24, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Jane Borden, James Adomian, and Carmen Lynch

Jane Borden, James Adomian, and Carmen Lynch perform at Sunday Night Stand-Up

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] 2:00 pm: Eddie Brill (long-time warm-up comic and booker for David Letterman), Moody McCarthy (Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Kimmel), Adam Newman (MTV, College Humor, new comedy CD Not for Horses), and John F. O’Donnell performing stand-up for a free outdoor show—yes, in the middle of a heat wave, so don’t wear much—at Tompkins Square Park, at the Old Bandshell Lawn (off 7th Street & Avenue A): Laughter in the Park

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (for details, please click here) at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Open

6:30 pm ($5): A show auditioning for a run at The Magnet with no description beyond this intriguing title: Old Timey Radio Show

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Jane Borden (treasured Comedy Editor of Time Out New York, author of I Totally Meant to Do That), James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), Carmen Lynch (also a finalist on Last Comic Standing), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Nick Rutherford, and Tom Dunlap performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

8:00 pm ($5): A sketch show from new and potentially filthy troupe Turboner Bigote

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT’s downstairs lounge for a free weekly show typically hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[$] 8:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed numerous times on David Letterman and Jay Leno, starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, and starred in a second Comedy Central special titled Mitch Fatel is Magical, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with openers Ophira Eisenberg and Michael Somerville): Mitch Fatel

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Music from the unforgettable dark comedy group The Cowmen and more at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Murderfist’s Holden McNeely & Ed Larson: Stage Fright

[TOP PICK]  9:30 pm ($5): Improv troupe Phooka goes scripted with a sketch show about “tales of the wild and weird people, places, and events this side of Crazytown; true stories of all things that most folks only whisper about—and those who hear wish they didn’t!;” plus in the second half of this double-bill, “a magical world of female centaurs, space gladiatrixes, serpent gods, and Glenn Close as fantasy artist Julie Bell takes audience members on a ride through her life’s work and explains the strange and mundane inspirations behind her masterpieces…unleash your inner robobird!”: Phooka and Julie Bell

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Carolyn Castiglia (hilarious stand-up and white rapper; VH1, MTV), Yamaneika (BET), and Chantal Carerre (Boston Comedy Festival) performing stand-up at a free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 4 minutes per comic, at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by Rob Stern: Vicious Cycle

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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