NYC Top Comedy Choices for June 2018: Last Updated Saturday 6/23

June 23, 2018

Need a book or screenplay? Hire me. To learn about my writing services, please visit BookProposal.net.

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications. Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny), and/or to visit the desktop version of this site at HyReviews.com.

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for June 2018 (with more to come soon) include:

Jamie LeeSaturday 6/23: The co-star & co-writer of HBO’s stellar series Crashing, which is a wonderfully honest and accurate depiction of NYC’s comedy scene (and returning for its third season in January), headlines with a deliciously long stand-up set at Carolines: Jamie Lee (7:30 pm & 10:00 pm, $27.25 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

You Get a SpoonSaturday 6/23: Julia Johns (member of sketch group All Female Reboot; former writer for MTV’s Girl Code) and Mads Jensen (RookieMag.com) perform stand-up, characters, and/or more, then enthusiastically endorse some product they love…which will be handed out to lucky members of the audience! Hosted by the wonderful Chris Duffy (staff writer for NatGeo Explorer, host of You’re the Expert), who makes this promise for one audience member per show: You Get A Spoon (4:00 pm; $13.71 online, $15 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Katie BoyleSaturday 6/23: Seven comics—including Lucie Pohl (Germany), Jon Fisch (Massachusetts), Leah Bonnema (Maine), and Sean Finnerty (Ireland)—perform stand-up that might include material about where they originally came from and the journey that led them to NYC, all hosted by the charming Katie Boyle (above; from Ireland): Transplants (7:30 pm, $7, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Laughter in the ParkSunday 6/24: NYLaugh.org’s free summer stand-up shows, which happen Sundays 2:00-4:00 pm at parks all over the city, kicks off its 2018 series today at Staten Island’s Wolfe’s Pond Park with Jon Fisch, Moody McCarthy, Tammy Pescatelli, and Leonard Outzs. All subsequent shows will take place in Manhattan—specifically, The Battery (on Castle Clinton Lawn, in front of the National Monument) July 1st and 15th, Washington Square Park (at Garibaldi Plaza, on the east side of the Fountain) July 8th, and Tompkins Square Park (on the Old Bandshell Lawn) July 22nd: Laughter in the Park (2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Free!, Staten Island’s Wolfe’s Pond Park at 420 Cornelia Avenue)

Sidekickin’ It with Julian Velard and Wyatt CenacMonday 6/25: Singer/songwriter/musician Julian Velard (pianist for NPR’s Ask Me Another; albums include Fancy Words For Failure) fulfills his lifelong dream is to be a Late Night Talk Show Sidekick, “playing Paul Shaffer to different David Lettermans in the hopes of finding his soulmate,” with tonight’s stellar guests Wyatt Cenac (star of TBS’ Friends of Earth; former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park; albums Comedy Person, Brooklyn, and Furry Dumb Fighter; host of Night Train), Nikki Glaser (host of You Up on SiriusXM Comedy Central Radio; star of former Comedy Central series Not Safe; films Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty; hour-long special Perfect; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight; NBC’s America Ninja Warrior: Celebrity Edition; podcast You Had to Be There), Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; The View, @midnight, HBO, CBS, VH1), Michael Cruz Kayne (HBO’s Crashing, The Chris Gethard Show; ace musical improv group Baby Wants Candy, UCB Saturday night improv group What I Did For Love, co-host of monthly comedy show The Exhibition), and more: Sidekickin’ It with Julian Velard (8:30 pm, $12, Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3 at 196 Allen Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop)

Morgan Miller: "Dirty Laundry"Monday 6/25: Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and host of This is Not Happening) and more TBA—mostly stand-ups, but maybe also something different such as an extreme character, a juggler, or a magician—perform for this free weekly show hosted by the multi-talented Morgan Miller (above; sharp improvisor, sketch comic, and stand-up): Dirty Laundry (11:00 pm, Free! (make reservation here), UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

All Is Forgiven: A Non-Religious Comedy Show About ReligionWednesday 6/27: Storytellers Cassie Grimaldi, Tim Barnes, Robin Gelfenbien, Rocky Goldstein, and Pat Byrne share tales about how faith has affected their lives hosted by Ian Goldstein: All Is Forgiven: A Non-Religious Comedy Show About Religion (7:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Q.E.D&DWednesday 6/27: A guest comic, two audience members selected on the spot, and hosts Glen & Wade play a game of Dungeons & Dragons “as a multimedia epic, with music, visual guides, drinking games, and a stand-up comedy set that will be woven into the story:” Q.E.D&D (9:00 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Kevin Geeks Out About DanceThursday 6/28: A glorious collection of hilarious film & TV clips and lectures by mass media experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher (Emmy-nominated writer whose work has appeared on HBO, Comedy Central, and AMC; former host of AMC’s The Sci-Fi Dept.) and guest co-host Kate Wilkinson (Wig Wurq website “judging pop culture’s wigs from lace fronts to split ends”), this month focusing on dance (and if you don’t already know how fun this theme is, please click here), with scheduled guests Tallie Medel (immensely talented comedic dancer/actress and rising star who’s a member of the fabulous Cocoon Central Dance Team), Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 13 million people on YouTube, please click here), Wendy Mays (host of the Pet Cinematary podcast), and Cristina Cacioppo (cinema programmer for Alamo Drafthouse): Kevin Geeks Out About Dance (7:30 pm; $15—buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and fascinating ideas often sells out; Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at 445 Albee Square West—take the 2/3 subway to Hoyt Street)

Why Your Train is F*cked: A Love/Hate Show About the History of the MTA

Why Your Train is F*cked: A Love/Hate Show About the History of the MTAThursday 6/28: Learn the early history of the MTA via fun lectures, sketches, and more at the second of this comedic history series about NYC transit, with guests TBA, hosted by Meg Pierson (TEDx, Alchemy Comedy) and Justin Williams (Comedy Central; host of Death Comedy Jam): Why Your Train is F*cked: A Love/Hate Show About the History of the MTA (7:00 pm; $16.89 online, $18 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Ashley Brooke Roberts and Jim TewsThursday 6/28: Stand-ups TBA perform for stellar hosts (above) Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable rising star stand-up, sketch comic, and actress; former writer for NatGeo Explorer and MTV’s Guy Code; UCB Maude sketch groups The Prom and Absolutely) and/or Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing; host of Homeschooled; New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York; comedy album I Was in Band): Fresh Out (9:00 pm, $9, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Matt Rogers & Bowen Yang: "Las Culturistas Live: I Don't Think So, Honey"Friday 6/29: Fifty comics (TBA) gather to each share a minute’s worth of observations about a bit of pop culture with which he or she can’t be bothered, with hosts Matt Rogers & Bowen Yang (above; hosts of the acclaimed Las Culturistas podcast): Las Culturistas Live: I Don’t Think So, Honey (8:00 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Sydnee Washington: "Death of a Bottle Girl"Friday 6/29: A one-woman show by Sydnee Washington (MTV2’s Vidiots, co-host of podcast The Unofficial Expert) about her decade as a high-earning cocktail waitress and why, after a decade of working in NYC nightlife, she decided to hang up her server dress forever: Death of a Bottle Girl (9:00 pm; $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Soft Core!Friday 6/29: Host Chris Gersbeck screens a silly porn movie, and comics Jenn Wehrung, Kat Burdick, Matt Smith McCormick, and Calvin Cato riff on it MST3K-style: Soft Core! (9:00 pm, $15, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

RelationshitFriday 6/29: Storytellers share tales of relationships in front of a panel of comics and therapy experts, who then give advice, with tonight’s guests Emily Winter (writer for Fusion’s Come Here and Say That, TVLand, and The New Yorker; co-host of The BackFatlorette, Backfat Variety, and Side Ponytail) and more TBA hosted by Lynn Bixenspan & Morgan Pielli: Relationshit (9:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

The Chris and Paul ShowSaturday 6/30: Award-winning vaudeville-style sketch duo Chris O’Neill & Paul Valenti perform their favorite bits for this special show: The Best of the Chris and Paul Show (8:00 pm, $15, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Laughter in the ParkSunday 7/1: NYLaugh.org’s free summer stand-up shows, which happen Sundays 2:00-4:00 pm at parks all over the city, sponsors its second 2018 event today at The Battery (on Castle Clinton Lawn, in front of the National Monument) with headliner Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents special; co-host of My Wife Hates Me podcast; author of book You’re Better Than Me) and other comics TBA. Subsequent shows will happen at Washington Square Park (at Garibaldi Plaza, on the east side of the Fountain) July 8th, The Battery again July 15th, and Tompkins Square Park (on the Old Bandshell Lawn) July 22nd, with lineups TBA: Laughter in the Park (2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Free!, Staten Island’s Wolfe’s Pond Park at 420 Cornelia Avenue)

Kerry CoddettSunday 7/1: Kerry Coddett (above; writer for HBO’s Wyatt Cenac: Problem Areas; HBO’s Crashing, BET’s The Rundown, Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show, MTV’s Joking Off; host of Brooklyn, Stand Up!) and indie music duo Strange Parts (Attia Taylor & Corey Duncan) perform and are interviewed about “that one song you’ll never forget” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Patrick Cartelli & Evan Forde Barden: Repeater: A Little Show About Big Songs (8:30 pm, $5, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Dear Diary: Comics Read Their Weird Childhood JournalsMonday 7/2: Comics share their observations, fears, dreams, and insanities growing up by reading from their childhood diaries, featuring Lauren Culp, Matt Dittus, Ruthie Dreyer, Emily Evans, Jennifer Gersbeck, Dana Norris, Michael Salgarolo, and Emily Walsh and host Maggie Lalley: Dear Diary: Comics Read Their Weird Childhood Journals (8:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Independence DayTuesday 7/3: Roland Emmerich’s & Dean Devlin’s 1996 film Independence Day is actually quite entertaining—and also a milestone in the history of Hollywood blockbusters (it was the highest-grossing movie of its year). That said, there’s plenty about it to make fun of. Tonight it’ll be screened and mercilessly skewered by comics Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic; author of How to Write Cheesy Movies and 25 MST3K Films That Changed My Life In No Way Whatsoever), John Fugelsang (host of Tell Me Everything on Sirius XM; former host of ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos), and Jenn Wehrung (BBC; co-host of Soft Core!), who make this solemn promise: “We will be fast forwarding through the Randy Quaid scenes.” Their cruelty will be contrasted by exceptionally kind host Chris Gersbeck (co-host of Soft Core!, which is essentially a porn version of this show, and Bunk Bed Time Open Mic): Movies R Dumb: Independence Day (9:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
123 East 24th Street; 88-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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

The Magnet
254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett 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—moving to Union Square this summer; 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
moving to Brooklyn in June 2018, please stay tuned; 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!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

Special thanks to comedy photographers supreme Anya Garrett and Mindy Tucker for creating so many of the stellar photos that grace this site…and the sites of hundreds of NYC comics.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.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.

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, provide feedback on my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me to develop your book or screenplay (please visit BookProposal.net or HyOnYourScript.com), or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday May 7, 2018

May 7, 2018

Need a book or screenplay? Hire me. To learn about my writing services, please visit BookProposal.net.

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications. Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny), and/or to visit the desktop version of this site at HyReviews.com.

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for Monay May 7th include:

Nat Towsen's Downtown Variety: Fifth Anniversary ShowMonday 5/7: TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Sasheer Zamata (cast member for three seasons of Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, Amazon’s Transparent, TBS’ People of Earth), Jimmy Webb (Trash and Vaudeville), and more perform and/or are interviewed by host Nat Towsen (VICE, College Humor)—who will also be doing a trivia contest with prizes for the audience to celebrate doing this show five years: Downtown Variety Hour: Fifth Anniversary Show (7:30 pm, $9, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Sean Patton, Jamie Lee, and Roy Moore Jr.Monday 5/7: Sean Patton (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien; Comedy Central’s Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight, This Is Not Happening, and The Meltdown; VH1, TruTV, IFC, Viceland; feature film Wifed Out; former co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America), Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and host of This is Not Happening), Jamie Lee (co-star of & writer for HBO’s Crashing; TruTV, Conan O’Brien, MTV’s Girl Code, The Pete Holmes Show), Brendan Eyre (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central), Kyle Ayers (Fuse’s Uproarious; written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Alingon Mitra (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Last Comic Standing), Robert Dean, and more perform for this seminal weekly stand-up show: Whiplash (10:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Fake the NationTuesday 5/8: John Hodgman (bestselling author of The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require, and That Is All; Humor Editor of The New York Times Magazine; former star correspondent of The Daily Show; former iconic personification of a PC in Apple Mac ads) and John Fugelsang (former host of America’s Funniest Home Videos) discuss politics from a comedic perspective hosted by Negin Farsad: Fake the Nation (7:30 pm, $15, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Handmaid’s Tale: The MusicalThursday 5/10: This musical parody of Margaret Atwood’s novel and the Hulu series is set in 2028 Brooklyn, “depicting modern millennials in a dystopian near future and the phoneless perils they endure,” written by and co-starring Marcia Belsky & Melissa Stokoski: Handmaid’s Tale: The Musical (7:00 pm, $20, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Jacqueline NovakThursday 5/10: This show focused on gender diversity features stand-ups Jacqueline Novak (above; exceptionally smart, fresh stand-up; Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO; comedy album Quality Notions; book How to Weep in Public), Brian Faas (Broad City), Eman El Husseini (opens for Patton Oswalt), Ayo Edebiri (The Rundown with Robin Thede), Victoria Hoffman, Marissa Goldman, and Darian Lusk: The ‘SUP Show: A Comedy Showcase for Female, Queer, and Gender Non-conforming Voices (9:30 pm, $10, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

GAYme ShowFriday 5/11: A game show that describes itself as follows: “Ever talk to a straight guy and think, ‘Jesus Christ you’re boring!’ Join gay-ass hosts Matt Rogers & Dave Mizzoni as they gay up the straights—who tonight are Sebastian Conelli and Patrick Noth—through games and trivia. Life lines include one woke woman and a wise queer—who tonight are Sasheer Zamata and Brandon Scott Jones. Come witness the ultimate test of who Is honorarily Gay As Fuck:” GAYme Show (11:15 pm, $10, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

All Rise: Law on GunsSaturday 5/12: Via sketch, song, dance, song, and funny lectures, a landmark US Supreme Court case is re-tried by comics and a guest judge, with tonight’s topic Guns asking “Is that the 2nd Amendment in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”, featuring the fabulous Pretty Sad White Girls and many more: All Rise: Law on Guns (7:00 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Paul Wady,: "Guerilla Aspies"Tuesday 5/15: UK comic Paul Wady, author of The Guerilla Aspies Handbook: A Neurotypical Society Infiltration Manual, invites you to join him on the autism spectrum: Guerilla Aspies (9:30 pm, $10, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
123 East 24th Street; 88-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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

The Magnet
254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett 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!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.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.

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, provide feedback on my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me to develop your book or screenplay (please visit BookProposal.net or HyOnYourScript.com), or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/20/13

December 20, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rob Cantrell

Comedy club headliner depth for just $5: Rob Cantrell…

Jamie Lee

…and Jamie Lee each perform for 30 minutes at UCB East’s Big Long Sets…

Stephen Rannazzisi

…plus Stephen Rannazzisi headlines at Carolines…

Pete Dominick

…and Pete Dominick headlines at Gotham

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 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), 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.), Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 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 Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander and Ali Wong at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Russ Meneve, and Ali Wong 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

7:00 pm ($7): A cast of eight perform a mini-play, with music and dance, written by Rosie Whelan and directed by Louis Kornfeld and co-starring both: “What if you came home for Christmas but nobody was there? Follow Andy through a nightmarish quest to find the lost magic of Christmases past” at The Magnet theatre: Ugh, A Christmas Story

[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.) Tonight is the kick-off of a brand new collection of sketches from these sexy performers: Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($5): Comedy club headliner depth for just $5: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), and Jamie Lee (staff writer/performer for The Pete Holmes Show; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, VH1) each perform 30-minute sets at UCB East hosted by Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV): Big Long Sets

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CNN, TBS), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever, Olde English, College Humor, host of Fresh Out), Tyler Fischer (host of The Tyler Fischer Show), Christian Polanco, and Josh Branham performing stand-up at the One and One Bar (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($17.50 online using code JUDAH; 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), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest writer/performers alive. This year he took a huge risk by doing a show in which he doesn’t speak a word, and doesn’t even interact with the audience, but instead walks around the stage playing a series of recordings of his and other voices—which is either highly artistic and poignant, or like watching a recorded radio program in a darkened theatre, depending on how you feel about it. You can read a carefully balanced and nuanced review from Jason Zinoman of The New York Times here and a blunt review from Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post here. This is a sprawling, detail-packed scripted show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is something special. This is the next-to-last night of the run, which ends December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (29 Jay Street): Analog,Ue

8:00 pm ($10): “Sing along to your old favorite Christmas songs as rainbow-faced dancers create choreographed dances before your very eyes!” at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jo Firestone: Christmas Songs with Rainbow Dancers

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 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 through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Steve Rannazzisi

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This monthly 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

[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 performed on Comedy Central, MTV, and CNN, and hosts the acclaimed radio show Stand Up!, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pete Dominick

[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] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Phil Jackson, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

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 ($8): Siobhan Beasley (United Nations), Robert A. George (New York Post), Kate Spaulding (Adjunct Professor for Labor Studies), Lucas Zachary Hazlett (MTV), David Kimball-Stanley (Joan Wilder), Oscar Montoya (Borealis), Tim Wainwright (Christianity Today), and Mandy Schmeider gather to make fun of politics at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($17.50 online using code JUDAH; 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), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A “competitive talk show” to determine the best talk show guest in “a hybrid of two of America’s least respected television genres, talks shows and games show,” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Guy Branum: Talk Show: The Game 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): Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever, Olde English, College Humor, host of Fresh Out), Halle Kiefer (MTV, Vulture, host of Splitsider’s Dog and Pony Show), and Harvey Eyeballs performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

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

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] 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.)

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 Thursday 8/29/13

August 29, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For a comedy lesson from Patrick Stewart, please click here.

Adam Wade and Jamie Lee

Stellar storytellers Adam Wade and Jamie Lee perform at Brooklyn’s “Low Standards with John & Matt”…

Ellena Chmielewski

…Ellena Chmielewski’s fresh, witty mini-play about relationships is performed one last time: “Standards & Practices”…

Sharon Spell

…and Sharon Spell debuts a one-woman show about loss at Brooklyn’s Brick Theatre: “You’re Doing Great! A Bold-Faced Lie”

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): Brilliant improvisor Ellena Chmielewski proves herself to also be a brilliant comedic writer, and a young, fresh voice about relationships, in this mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea she co-wrote with John Zachary Townsend, and that holds the seeds for a longer commercial stage production and/or a series on a network like MTV. Come enjoy watching the foundation of a promising career at one of the best-scripted shows to grace UCBT in a while (and if you know Ellena, urge her to star or co-star in her next production, because she’s a gifted performer too): Standards & Practices

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up who hosts the weekly comedy podcast You Know What Dude! tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Robert Kelly

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Janine Brito (staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Evan Williams, and Gabe Pacheco performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: 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), Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, VH1), and Morgan Evans tell stories about movies at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) hosted by John Murray and Matt Fisher: Low Standards with John & Matt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Blackout (long form improv in which “scenes are edited solely by blackouts created by the director in the booth and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene”), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Tim Manley at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) pitting Trike against 1 Deep: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “It’s the last day of summer camp and we’re gonna put on a show. Everyone’s going to be there showing off their stuff: the counselors you have crushes on, the kid who supposedly wet his bed, the girl at camp you’ve been trying to get into the woods. So let’s all gather in the north field for one last night of songs, stories, and skits before our parents pick us up” at this character sketch extravaganza at UCB Chelsea hosted by John Frusciante, Tim Martin, Adam Frucci, and Ben Rameaka: The Last Day of Summer Camp Extravaganza

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7.20 online or $10 at the door): Stand-up comics, storytellers, and sideshow attractions at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience hosted by Matteo Lane and Abigoliah Schamaun: Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar

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

9:00 pm ($5): Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Baratunde Thurston (Digital Editor of The Onion), Greg Stone, Greg Warren, Beth Stelling, and Thomas Lennon performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Emily Heller and/or Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Longtime UCBT stars Neil Casey (writer for The Amy Schumer Show; Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) in a two-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea that starts out hilariously, then loses some steam as it gets conceptually self-indulgent, but overall is worth catching: Small Men

9:30 pm ($8): A sketch comedy group that includes writers for College Humor, The Late Show, and ESPN at The PIT upstairs theatre: Garlic Jackson

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Sharon Spell (host of The Big Shrink) performs a one-woman show about her parents passing away within three weeks of each other—which she’ll somehow make funny—at Brooklyn’s The Brick Theatre (575 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L subway to Lorimer or G to Metropolitan): You’re Doing Great! A Bold-Faced Lie

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Kyle Dunnigan performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Dave Attell, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Comedy, music, and lots of love” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick J. Reilly: I Love You Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Saturday UCBT improv giant What I Did For Love had a fight on its hands last week, beating challenger Grammer by a relatively thin margin of 73 votes to 61. With four consecutive wins to date, WIDFL tonight competes with team Namaste at UCB Chelsea for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Gina Yashere (Showtime 1-hour special, Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Gina Yashere, and More

Thursday 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: All-gal open-mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Jefferson (host of Bare) is tonight’s guest co-host at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress hosted by the wonderful John Flynn (rising star storyteller/actor; Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives): Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

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 Thursday 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 Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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.)

 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 Tuesday 10/9/12

October 9, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jamie Lee

Stunning stand-ups Jamie Lee and…

Nikki Glaser

…Nikki Glaser perform at “ComedyJuice”…

Katie and Kevin Make Shit Happen

…and Katie Hartman & Kevin Shimko perform duo sketch at “Katie and Kevin Make Shit Happen”

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] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, each of four of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Mint Condition and BEEES! (at 7:00) and Aquarius and Legend (at 8:30); followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with musical improv troupe Legend to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A TV & Broadway stand-up star hones material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre—for free!: Colin Quinn Tries Stuff Out

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) and Kevin Shimko (Pyramid Scheme) perform oddball dark sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Katie and Kevin Make Shit Happen

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators Bill Willingham (Fables) and Daniel Way (Deadpool) joining 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: Comic Book Club

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Rocks, Guthrie, and The Regulars at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), and Cymbals Eat Guitars (Barsuk Records) are interviewed about “their earliest creative experiences and the nuances of having a creative career” for a weekly podcast that once a month goes live on the UCB East stage with hosts Andy Beckerman & Mark Bisi: Beginnings

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Original comedic songs are showcased, with tonight’s performers Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by nearly 11 million people on YouTube, please click here), Katie Hartman (half of sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting), Ashley Brooke Roberts, Beardonna, and J Hobart at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Justin Perez & Shaina Stigler: Totally Requesty

8:00ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Mike Recine (Comedy Central), Jeff Dye (Last Comic Standing), Hadiyah Robinson, and Jason Saenz performing on this week’s topic Monument at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) produced by Chenoa Estrada, Emily Heller, and George Gordon and hosted tonight by Josh Gondelman: The Afterlife: Monument

8:00 pm ($8): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: National Scandal

[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

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (for an update, please click here) performing at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, notable hair): Crime & Punishment

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), Alison Leiby (It’s A Long Story), Michael Che (IFC’s Bunk), Nate Fernald (Team Submarine), Matt Wayne, and Eli Sairs performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Steve O’Brien, Robert Dean, and/or Kevin McCaffrey: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes GoodGirl, Salmon Diane, and Johnny Romance—plus advanced improv students make up an entire feature film for a form called The Movie—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, and possibly another special guest, help stand-up Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness) celebrate the release of his comedy album Shame Wave at UCB East: Greg Barris: Shame Wave

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): I attended last week’s show—and it was mind-blowing. The lineup was Nate Bargatze, Ophira Eisenberg, Ted Alexandro, Al Madrigal, Jim Gaffigan…and Jerry Seinfeld! Huge thanks to ComedyJuice, Gotham, and stellar host Jared Logan for an unforgettable event. As for tonight: Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and “a special guest” (no idea who) performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 12/20/09

December 20, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jamie Lee joins Rachel Feinstein, Sara Benincasa, and other sharp comics sharing personal holiday tales at Family Hour with Auntie Sara Christmas Spectacular

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] 7:30 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

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Typically terrific stand-ups performing at a free weekly LES show at Pianos hosted by Greg Johnson: The Comedians

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Stellar stand-ups Anthony Jeselnik (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), Leo Allen (SNL, Conan O’Brien, HBO, Whiplash), Kumail Nanjiani (David Letterman, Michael & Michael Have Issues), Liam McEneaney (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report), Tim Molloy (TV Guide), and more performing at Lolita Bar—with 1950s live jazz music in the background!—at the NYC debut of Jamie Flam’s Be-Bop Jazz Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sharp NYC stand-ups Victor Varnado, Jared Logan, Bobby Miyamoto, Barry Rothbart, Gilad Foss, and Shawn Pearlman performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Sharp NYC comics—who tonight are Rachel Feinstein, Jamie Kilstein, Jamie Lee, Sean Donnelly, Pat Stango, Elon James White, and comedy’s finest cookie baker H. Alan Scott (who will likely be supplying free treats to the audience, which is reason to brave the snow all by itself)—telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives at Ochi’s Lounge for a show hosted by gorgeous rising star Sara Benincasa (CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs): Family Hour with Auntie Sara Christmas Spectacular

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Comedy genius Dave Hill, plus stand-ups Chesley Calloway, Nick Turner, and Erik Bergstrom performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar guest-hosted tonight by Kenny Zimlinghaus (while Vince Averill & Jesse Popp are off for the holidays) at the free weekly show Beauty Bar Comedy

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Terrific gal stand-ups Jackie Monahan, Robin Fox, Adrienne Iapalucci, and Susan Alexander performing at a free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/14/09

September 14, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2009 Encore Series coverage, please click here.

Jamie Lee

Jamie Lee

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

6:30 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Superb stand-ups Sean Patton, Claudia Cogan, Ray Devito, Adrienne Iapalucci, and more perform at this new free weekly show at the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful stand-ups Pete Holmes (The Daily Show, Comedy Central, The New Yorker), John Fugelsang (former co-host of America’s Funniest Home Videos), Rick Overton (HBO, former writer for Dennis Miller Live), Jamie Lee, and Lloyd Floyd performing at Lolita Bar in Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($5): The talented young writer/performers of top UCBT scripted comedy house troupes Stone Cold Fox and Gorilla Gorilla try out their newest sketch material at Maude Night

9:30 pm ($5): The talented young writer/performers of UCBT scripted comedy house troupes Thunder Gulch and Gramps’ try out their newest sketch material at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Typically some of the finest comics in the country—who’ll be listed here as soon as they’re announced—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2009 Encore Series coverage, please click here.