NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/27/15

April 27, 2015

TV Alert: Fran Lebowitz, is on Jimmy Fallon;
Jane Krakowski is on Seth Meyers;
Cedric the Entertainer is on Conan O’Brien;
killer lineup of Kevin Pollak, Eddie Izzard,
and Tom Rhodes are on @midnight

In Other News: Ben Affleck is taking a lot of heat for covering up the fact that an ancestor of his owned slaves. “People should be open about their family roots,” said one genealogy expert. “Besides, it was a long time ago. Who really even cares anymore?” concluded professor Sam Hitler.

Magical Negro Speaks

Jamil Ellis performs his memorable FringeNYC 2014 one-man show about the depiction of race in Hollywood at 7:00 pm at a sold-out CultureHub, but you can watch it for free via any Internet device live-streamed here. Directly following the show will be a panel discussion about diversity in show biz that I’m guessing will be worth tuning into all by itself: Magical Negro Speaks

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:25 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Becky Krause, and Tracy Mull—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

7:00 pm ($7): Comics pay improvised tribute to what will hopefully be one of the greatest movies of all time at The Magnet theatre: Avengers: Age of Ultron

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic storytellers Blake Midgette, Mark King, Forrest Haigh, Sean O’Brien, and Nick Mullen performing on the premise “Sometimes people are dicks. Then they tell us about it onstage. It’s great!” at Brooklyn’sOver the Eight (594 Union Ave) for this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Nick Padilla: Antagonist Storytelling Series

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Paul Hooper

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Nick Griffin, Carmen Lynch, and Sherrod Small at the 7:30 show; Ryan Hamilton, Judy Gold, Lenny Marcus, Joe List, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and an all-star lineup of Todd Barry, Joe Machi, Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you don’t mind standing): Top improvisors and Broadway & TV stars—who tonight include Scott Adsit, Cady Huffman, Ellie Kemper, Brian Stack, Amy Rutberg, Tami Sagher, and Julie Sharbutt—crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Terrific musical comedy groups North Coast (improv rap), Pop Roulette (musical sketch), andNancy (musical sketch from duo Michael Wolf & Colin O’Brien), plus solo songs from Eliot Glazer (Broad City, Haunting Renditions), all performing at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Andrew Michaan (Portlandia), Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Dan Boulger, Nate Fernald, and Sam Johnson performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and Kenny DeForest (hosts of Comedy Night at the Knit): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

8:30 pm ($7): In this double-bill, a one-man show by Sebastian Conelli about moderately sad characters, and then a duo sketch show from Robert Cuthill & Christian Paluck about “two fathers in their 40s seeking to add meaning to their lives by reflecting on the relationships of those around them” at The Magnet theatre: Just a Little Sad and#whocares

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days(stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Sean Hart, Kristen Acimovic, and Joel Weidl, plus exceptionally superb writers) and Roanoke: Maude Night: Legs For Days and Roanoke

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phil Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Matteo Lane, and Jenny Zigrino performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Adrienne Iapalucci, Pete Lee, Monroe Martin, Damien Lemon, Ben Kronberg, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller and/or Dee Marie: Gentrification

10:15 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing): Whiplash

Monday 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 theStand 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—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/19/14

September 19, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Gary Busey's One-Man Hamlet

The return of top FringeNYC 2014 comedy shows Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl)

Magical Negro Speaks

…and Magical Negro Speaks, all tonight via the FringeNYC Encore Series

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; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): A prank call show that asks you to “Bring a number. Tell us about your victim. Sit back and don’t laugh” at The Magnet theatre: Prank Phone Calls with Charles Rogers

7:00 pm ($10): All-female character & sketch comedy (comics not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Carly Ann Filbin: Lady Parts

7:00 pm ($10): Musical improv from the group that hosts the weekly Pitch jam, tonight performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: [title of team]

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($18): Jamil Ellis provides a smart, funny take on how African-Americans are portrayed in Hollywood movies that’s both entertaining and well worth experiencing (for my full review, please click here). This FringeNYC 2014 encore performance is happening at the Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, between 24th & 25th Streets): Magical Negro Speaks

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me,College Humor), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), and Drew Michael (TBS) performing stand-up at the One and One Bar’s Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sherrod Small and More at The Stand

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot: Vern and Royals

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A comedic game show that pits stand-up comics against each other at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Natalie Shure & Chip Dwyer: Stand-Up Showdown

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, sketches from group BOAT; and then Joanna Bradley demonstrates she’s a fine performer who needs to work with a tough editor, as her material doesn’t come across as funny so much as harsh and angry—which doesn’t do justice to her genuine acting and comedic talent. Here’s hoping she learns lessons from this one-woman show: I Am Very Important People

8:00 pm ($10): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($18): Rising star comic David Carl transforms into Gary Busey to act out Shakespeare’s greatest play using paper puppets, interactive video, lines from Hollywood action movies, an endearing childlike sense of wonder…and genuine comedic star power. This was my second favorite show at the recent FringeNYC 2014 (out of over 60); and is actually one of the funniest shows in New York, on any stage. (For my full review, please click here.) If you didn’t get a chance to catch GBOMH before, don’t miss this chance to experience it tonight at the Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, between 24th & 25th Streets):Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl)

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing), and Molly Ruben-Long performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): 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, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Stone and Stone (Last Comic Standing), Joe Alfano, Meghan Hanley, Cyrus McQueen, and Brian Jian performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: Nasal Vice Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($18): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, please click here) enjoys an encore performance tonight at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from troupe The Uncanny Valley at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Dean Cain Story

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

[DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sherrod Small and More at The Stand

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

10:00 pm ($10): Keith Malley (Keith and The Girl) and more agnostic or atheist stand-ups performing at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Keith Lowell Jensen (Stand Up! Records): Ha Ha Heathens

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Amber Ruffin (Seth Meyers), Claire Mulaney (SNL), and BLOMKY! (BAM) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

11:00 pm ($5): Duo sketch comedy from Chris Aurilio and Anik Sood performing at The PIT downstairs lounge:PulpRiot

11:30 pm ($7): A veteran house improv group performs at The Magnet theatre: Hello Laser

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

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.50 online using discount code TWO; no min.): Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Chris Distefano and More at The Stand

[TOP PICK] [$] 12:15 am ($20, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Solid lineup of Dave Attell, Russ Meneve, John Joseph, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, Damien Lemon, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Friday

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 theStand 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): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge forHappy Hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 8/24/14

August 24, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 show ratings & rankings, please click here.
For show reviews, please click here. For news about
added performances for sold out shows, please click here.

Magical Negro Speaks

On this final day of FringeNYC 2014 many shows have already sold out in advance, but ones that haven’t and are great include Magical Negro Speaks, One Woman Gone Wrong, and 2014: When We Were Idiots

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal improv group Pin-Up Squirrels performs and hosts other improv groups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Play Date With the Pin-Up Squirrels

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from trio Pat May, Elena Skopetos, and Michael Delisle at The Magnet theatre: The Rolling Scones

[$] 7:30 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.) A veteran comedic actor in both TV and feature films headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: John Witherspoon

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Blowout summer comedy event featuring over 20 comics or groups including Jon Glaser, Dave Hill, Bridey Elliott, Joe Pera, Jo Firestone, Brooke Van Poppelen, Megan Neuringer, Dan Chamberlain, Murderfist, Good Cop Great Cop, and many more performing stand-up or sketch for 5 minutes each at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Trevor Noah, Keith Alberstadt, and Lynne Koplitz (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Ben Bailey, Trevor Noah, Gregg Rogell, and Carmen Lynch at the 9:45 show; and a great lineup of Ted Alexandro, Ben Bailey, Kurt Metzger, Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($9.75 online using discount code BEN; no min.): Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Smokey Suarez, Moses The Comic, and hosts Amanda Seales (VH1) & Marc Lamont Hill performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Smart, Funny, and Black

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Sam Morril, Alingon Mitra, Liza Treyger, Alison Leiby, Matteo Lane, Evan Williams, and Emma Willman performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups “have to perform their mental gymnastics while carrying the burden of an entire culture on their backs; and when all is said and done, only one can walk away with The Trophy of Insensitivity, which allows a one-time use of a pre-determined slur. The winner of the prize will be determined by a select few audience members, so don’t miss your chance to give away hate speech guilt-free” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by AJ Thompson and Koshin Egal: The Quota

9:00 pm ($7): A one-man sketch show from Matt Wassung at The Magnet theatre: It’s Pronounced Wassung

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Michael Kosta, Alex Falcone, Tom Cowell, and Ryan Beck performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($9.75 online using discount code BEN; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Mark Normand, Michelle Buteau, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello: Lance Bass Space Mic

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.