NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 6/30/15

June 30, 2015

TV Alert: Kumail Nanjiani is on Conan O’Brien;
Kumail, Jonah Ray, and Kumail’s wife
Emily Gordon are on @midnight;
and the three folks above return for another season
of The Meltdown at 12:31 am on Comedy Central;
plus Inside Amy Schumer‘s spectacular Season 3 continues
with Episode 9, “Wingwoman,” at 10:00 pm,
followed by Another Period, all on Comedy Central

Uptown Showdown: Vacation vs. Staycation

Jared Logan, Ophira Eisenberg, Streeter Seidell, Hasan Minhaj, Aparna Nancherla, and Dan Wilbur debate Vacation vs. Staycation at Uptown Showdown

Vacation

…and speaking of such things, please note that these comedy listings will be going on vacation in July and August, in part so I have time to co-produce & edit a short story comedic fantasy anthology titled Ghosts on Drugs (if you’re a comic I like and you might care to submit a story for this collection, please email me for details). However, I’ll still be comprehensively covering the FringeNYC Festival in August—just as I have every year since 2003.

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free showthat lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:00 pm ($5): “A computer beeps at random intervals, might be 2 seconds, might be 10 minutes. Every time it beeps, and only when it beeps, the performers jump into a new scene. What happens when nothing you can do can make the scene go longer nor end sooner? When only this instant is guaranteed?” at The PIT downstairs lounge: /Switch/

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Jona Zalay tries out new material for the next three nights at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Jono Zalay

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Michael Che, Dave Attell, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, Jessica Kirson, Pete Davidson, Dov Davidoff, Sam Morril, and Sean Donnelly, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): After watching a clip from The Golden Girls, storytellers share how that episode changed their lives, with Michelle Buteau, Carolyn Castiglia, Athalie Paynting, and host Robin Gelfenbien at Astoria Queens’QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): A Very Special Episode

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups: Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 at the door or $22 in advance online): The burning issue of “Which is better, vacation or staycation?” is debated by superb comics Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), Streeter Seidell (writer for SNL, former Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’sPranked), and Dan Wilbur (SomeEcards). For a sample of what goes on at this show, check out Michael Showalter making a case for cats vs. dogs here and Kristen Schaal making a case for old people vs. babies here. If you’re amused, you can experience this concoction live tonight at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, off 95th Street) hosted by Matthew Love: Uptown Showdown: Vacation Vs. Staycation

8:00 pm ($5): Comics (not announced) give TED-style talks on such topics as “Saving the World Through Evil Karate”or “Mannequins Are Our Superiors” at UCB East hosted by Aaron Kheifets: Basically Genius

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albumsComedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Cole Escola, Julia Loken, and David Drake performing stand-up at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by John Early (30 Rock, Broad City) & Jacqueline Novak (Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor): Cakeshop Comedy: Wyatt Cenac, Amber Nelson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 in advance online): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Liza Treyger (upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), and Sam Evans perform comedic characters who in turn perform karaoke at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf & Lynn Bixenspan: Stand Up and Sing—The Character Karaoke Party: Myq Kaplan, Sasheer Zamata, Liza Treyger, and More

9:00 pm ($7): Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle showAsk Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) guest-hosted by NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) produced and hosted by Sachi Ezura, Robert Dean, Clark Jones, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 online; the latter is recommended as this show frequently sells out): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a spectacular live shot-for-shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

9:30 pm ($5): At this monthly game show, Josh Patten (writer for SNL’s Weekend Update), Meredith Scardino (writer for The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Colbert Report), and Josh Gondelman (writer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver) compete to see who can perform the best celebrity impressions at the UCB East theatre hosted by Andy Beckerman (host of podcast Beginnings, co-host of Two Comics One Stage) & Ramsey Ess: Snap Impression

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Joyelle Johnson, Calvin S. Cato, and Alexis Guerreros performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and lesser-known stand-ups performing at this free weekly show at the UCB Easttheatre typically hosted by Matteo Lane: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 3:00 pm: Open mic for parents and other comics who may have trouble going out at night but can steal the time during the day at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Momedy Open Mic

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:15 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host:The Dump

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

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

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 1/20/15

January 20, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Sarah Silverman and Kumail Nanjiani are
guest-hosted by Jim Gaffigan on The Late Late Show;
Ali Wong, Nick Thune, and Ben Kronberg are on @midnight;
Episodes 1 & 2 of the new season of The Kroll Show
at 7:30 & 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Langan Kingsley, Jared Logan, and Joe Pera

Langan Kingsley, Jared Logan, and Joe Pera are among the stellar comics performing with a loved one and/or close friend at Andy Beckerman’s & Naomi Ekperigin’s In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn practices a show he’s previously performed off-Broadway and presumably has more plans for (a TV taping?) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre for this Monday through Thursday only:Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Micah Sherman (brilliant improv & sketch comic; Myq & Micah, Baby Wants Candy, The Baldwins, Act One, Second City) has created a TV pilot. Come see its world premiere screened tonight at The PITupstairs theatre, followed by a Q&A session with Micah: Pilot Screening of Micah Sherman’s Improvising

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s improv groups make up musicals based on audience suggestion, creating epic stories on the spot using song and dance:Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Smalls, Apollo, and The Enemy at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro, Hannibal Buress, Robert Kelly, and Keith Robinson at the 7:30 show; Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Lenny Marcus, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jermaine Fowler, Carmen Lynch, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($11.30 in advance online, $15 at the door): Andrea Alton tells unsettling stories, sings and dances, and hits on women in the audience as her very funny character Molly “Equality” Dykeman, “the loveable but barely lucid security guard at PS 339 who dabbles in a bit of poetry, a bit of Percocet, and a lot of drink; plus dinosaurs, zombies, giant sink holes, Kim Jong Un, and guests.” The latter tonight are Allen Warnock (The Knick, I Just Want My Pants Back), Sabrina Chap (Bindlestiff Family Cirkus), Chris Doucette (joke writer for Jane Lynch), Tym Moss, and Emma Willmann, all performing at LES’ 21-A Clinton Street: Molly’s North Korea Armageddon Family Hour

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s extremely talented guests are Langan Kingsley & Gary Richardson (couple), Jared Logan & Kara Klenk (couple engaged to be married), Joe Pera & Nathan Min (friends with a similar but relatively unique comedy style), and Ashley Brooke Roberts & Jim Tews (friends and comedy show co-hosts) performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets), hosted by Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast) & Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City) for this show formerly titled “Couples Therapy:” In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): Strong lineup of Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter & Ray DeVito: Ted Alexandro, Nick DiPaolo, Nick Vatterott, and Chris DiStefano

8:00 pm ($5): Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’sRussell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV) hosts a talk show, with guests Calise Hawkins, Janelle James, Shakir Standley, DJ Zeke, Vladimir Caamano, and Josh Gondelman talking and/or performing stand-up at the UCB Easttheatre): CCC Retreat: In Between With Nore David

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “The best stand-ups in the city will take to the stage armed with jokes, quirky observations, and anecdotes. Simultaneously, the producers will craft a battery of trivia questions for the audience based entirely on the comics’ material. Competitors of all levels are welcome, no matter how much you watch TMZ. You can walk in the door with a blank slate and come out victorious! All that’s required is your attention and short-term memory” atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Observational Trivia Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Wolf of Wall Street; host of Midnight Stand-Up), Kat Burdick, Julio Torres, Calvin Cato, Liz Magee, and Shane Torres performing atBunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, JF Harris, Sue Smith, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

8:00 pm ($5): Improvisors springboard scenes off TV commercials at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Commercial Made Me Do It

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon andConan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN), and more at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet: Sean Patton, Jackie Kashian, Jared Logan, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Joe DeVito, Jason Kanter, and Betsy Carroll performing at the only comedy club in the East Village and hosted by Scott Rogowsky (Running Late): Eastville Comedy Club: Sean Patton, Frank Conniff, Adam Newman, and More

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh). Tonight expect a religious theme (if you’re easily offended, for God sakes go somewhere else); and performing stand-up or character sets in between Tony bits will be Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), and Ann Carr (Comedy Central, VH1, Web seriesThe Actress), all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Rob Cantrell, Jeffrey Joseph, Ann Carr, God, and More

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch from seven comics, plus stand-up from Kyle Grooms, at The PIT upstairs theatre produced & directed by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Great lineup of Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), 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; podcastYou Had to Be There), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’sLast Comic Standing) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Alexis Guerreros & Mike Cannon: The Illuminati Party: Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Cipha Sounds, and Monroe Martin

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Tim Racine, Seth Cockfield, Dan Crossley, Christy Coffey, and Lukas Kaiser performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis playing a new character at every show—which tonight will be Japanese-themed: The Tuesday Special

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at UCB East typically hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted byJamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic with 5 minutes per performer; email prequelmic@gmail.com by Sunday to go into a lottery system for next Tuesday, or simply walk in tonight and place your name in a bucket for possible selection, at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Claudia Cogan, Katie Compa, and/or Garry Hannon: The Prequel Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 12/19/12

December 19, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Jared Logan

Razor-sharp rising star Jared Logan headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club

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: Open-mic stand-up providing 3 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Max Corbel & Benel Germosen: Cracking It

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

7:00 pm ($5): Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Keisha Zollar (ace improv troupe Doppelganger, Andy Kaufman Award finalist), and Josh Carter performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield (VH1) and comedic rapper Andrew Singer (Atom TV): Positively Awesome

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Dr. Champagne, Horses, Bloomer, Brick, Nintendo, Chet Watkins, Flower Girl, and The Wrath performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Flower Girl at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($7.37 if you use code BREAKOUT online or by phone, plus 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, CNN, and TBS, and is host of ComedyJuice Tuesday nights at Gotham, headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jared Logan

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Cammi Climaco & David Crabb host this monthly open-mic storytelling show, with audience members telling tales for 6 minutes each, at the Happy Ending Lounge (302 Broome Street, between Eldridge and Forsythe): Ask Me Stories

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Spooky Ghost and Graceland: Lloyd Night

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Gabe Liedman and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Giulio Gallarotti (MTV’s Totally Clueless), Danny Palmer, and Mike Brown performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines perform color commentary on an improv set by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: The Brothers Hines: Play by Play

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Comics tells stories about their experiences with acid, mushrooms, and other recreational drugs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Psychedelic Stories: Tales of Trips Past

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Rising stand-up stars—Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, Mark Normand, Dan. St. Germain, Pat Dixon, Emily Heller, Michael Che, Joe List, and/or Nick Turner—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regular Suspects

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

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 Monday 10/15/12

October 15, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ted Alexandro and Myq Kaplan

Stand-up giants Ted Alexandro, Myq Kaplan, and more perform at John Morrison’s Morrison Motel…

The Dark Lords of Comedy and DTF

…three rising stars—Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, and Dan St. Germain—do stand-up as The Dark Lords of Comedy; and the spectacular Erin Lennox hosts Mark Normand, Emily Heller, and more at new Brooklyn show DTF

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: Weekly hour-long open-mic storytelling show, with audience members chosen from a bucket of names getting to tell tales for 8 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

6:00 pm ($5 cover for comics, no cover for audience with code HyReviews, plus 1-drink min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 1/2 minutes per set and 20 comics crammed into 2 hours—at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal Street) for John Morrison’s Village Motel

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12 at the door or $11.30 online): Storytellers Jeff Simmermon (co-host of And I Am Not Lying), Naomi Azar (Story Collider) , ) Ilaria Amadasi (Drafts Ensemble), and Clay McLeod Chapman telling tales about this month’s topic “Words Words Words” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place) with host Seth Lind (NPR’s This American Life): Told: Words Words Words

7:00 pm ($5): Jen Curran is moving to Los Angeles. Join her before she leaves at this show performed by her and some close friends at The PIT downstairs lounge: Jen Curran, Until We Meet Again (Moving to LA)

7:00 pm ($8): In this unique show, the audience texts the improvisers on stage their lines—i.e., it’s “the only show that won’t tell you to put away your cell phones—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Text Me My Line

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($20): The return of one of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, playing at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this opportunity to see the Chicago-based 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

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 One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): W. Kamau Bell (host of Totally Biased), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and Jermaine Fowler & Kevin Barnet as HomoThugs performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Mike Denny, and/or Michael Che: Broken Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00ish pm: Bridey Elliott (David Letterman, Witstream) debuts a stand-up show just for kicks, with tonight’s guests Ted Travelstead (Vanity Fair, author of Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), and Jacqueline Novak performing at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar (1120 Manhattan Avenue): Captain Howdy Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00ish pm: Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), Michael Che (IFC’s Bunk, Comedy Central), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Grand Victory Bar (245 Grand Street) for this twice-a-month extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of The Orphanage; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here) and Nick Maritato: DTF

8:00 pm ($5): Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, , FX’s Totally Biased), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Michael Che (IFC’s Bunk, Comedy Central), Gabe Liedman (co-host of Big Terrific), and Team Submarine performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sam Morril: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storytellers Robin Gelfenbien, Nisse Greenberg, Aaron Wolfe, and Glennis McCarthy, plus songs from Ben Lerman, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Bare! True Stories of Sex, Desire and Romance

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15 if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $20], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is recommended): 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.), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), JR Havlan (7-time Emmy winning writer for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher), Carmen Lynch (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Janine Brito (writer for FX’s Totally Biased), and Grant Cooper performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, a mini-play from Chris Nester & Ross Taylor about aspiring Country Western musicians: The Oakwood Boys: The End of the World

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10 at the door or $10.70 in advance online): Three of the hottest rising star nerds of stand-up perform at Brooklyn’s Union Hall—Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Mike Lawrence (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), and Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1): The Dark Lords of Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new bits: Fambly (which includes wonderful rising star Mamrie Hart, Nicole Byer, Dan Chamberlain, Veronica Osorio, and a sharp crew of writers), and Biege (which includes Dan Hodapp, who recently co-starred in FringeNYC smash hit Tail! Spin!): Maude Night: Fambly and Beige

9:30 pm ($5): The debut of 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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set, and then a seasoned headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Charlie Kasov, Rachel Parenta, Hilary Schwartz, John Mooney, Nathan Macintosh, Taylor Ketcham, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

10:00 pm ($5): A variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits at The Magnet hosted by Jon Bander: What’s to Get?

[FREE] 10:30 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

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Karaoke at the UCB East Bar for the 9:30 BYOT improvisors and more: Karaoke Night at the Hot Chicks Room

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by someone wonderful (while Leo Allen is in LA): Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jared Reed: Fresh

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/18/11

November 18, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Year of a Million Dreams

Rising stars & best buds Dan St. Germain & Jared Logan debut a show devoted to sketch comedy: Year of a Million Dreams...

Todd Barry and Stephen Rannazzisi

...plus Todd Barry headlines at the Eastville Comedy Club and Stephen Rannazzisi headlines at the Carolines Comedy Club

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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Some of The Magnet’s finest comics—including the brilliant and delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at last year’s FringeNYC, improv group Dunk)—team up with Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz to deliver sketch comedy as troupeGood Morning, Ladies

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): “Coinciding with the nationwide midnight screening of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, a bunch of PIT improvisors who know nothing about the story reenact scenes from the book as narrated by a true fan. Team Jacob. Team Edward. Who wins? Nobody…:”Twilight by Dummies

7:00 pm ($5): Nate Starkey and Chris Grace performing improv at The PIT as duo Starkey & Grace

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the finest scripted shows to ever grace UCB Chelsea, troupe Stone Cold Fox performs hilarious parodies of off-off-Broadway theatre, as well as some of the very best sketches it’s crafted over the years, in a tight hour-long production directed by comedy genius Neil Casey (who, after also recently directing stellar one-person shows by Kate McKinnon and Mike Still, apparently can do no wrong), featuring delightful performances by Fran Gillespie, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden (watch for these three gals playing existential Truth or Dare), John Murray, Nate Smith, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jonathan Fernandez, and the writing of Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Owen Parsons, and Michael Trapp. Don’t miss one of the sharpest and funniest comedy shows of the year from the first sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCBT weekend schedule: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—tonight featuring guests Ben Rodgers (The Curfew), Nate Dern (Sandino), and improv pianist supreme Frank Spitznagel—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Evan Morgenstern, Raquel D’Apice, Calvin Cato, Beth McGregor, and Alison Leiby performing at Karma Lounge (51 First Avenue, off 3rd Street) hosted by Evan Morgenstern: SNC Hot Blooded

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass—executed by a Broadway-caliber cast, and with several memorable show-stoppers—is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($26.75 & 2-drink min.) A TV star who was a cast member of MTV’s Punk’dand is now a cast member of FX’s The League headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Stephen Rannazzisi

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello; plus in the other half of this double-bill, troupe Epic Beards

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: At this unique show, comics play videos they’ve made about themselves and then perform sets, with tonight’s guests Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Daniel Kilpatrick (Comedy Central), Kate Berlant (Rooftopcomedy.com), Greg Stone (host of Savage Practice), and Taylor Clark (“funny, weird man visiting from Seattle”) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Charlie Kasov & Gabe Pacheco: Anecdotal Evidence

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): This acclaimed 10-year-and-counting sketch troupe has “amassed a cultish following and a cast who blindly throw themselves into the most questionable of onstage situations, bless their black little hearts….join them for a hilariously unsettling look at growing older, having children, killing your dreams, and settling.” For examples of the troupe’s work, please clickhere and here, and then come to The PIT downstairs lounge to see Spurn

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($18): The winning team that created Pope!: An Epic Musical (a big hit at last year’s FringeNYC) and The Spidey Project (a media sensation) is now developing a pirate musical at The Magnet about “the dashing young hero Declan as he seeks out the vicious Martin La Foe, the second most famous pirate ever,” with book and lyrics by Justin Moran & Jon Roufaeal, and music by Adam & Matt Podd: Nightfall on Mirango Island

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who hosted FX’s The X-Show and starred in Hurt Bert, and also starred in his own hour-long special for Comedy Central, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Bert Kreischer

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Stellar comics Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill) and Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star;Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here) debut this show atUCB East focused on sketch comedy, with tonight’s guests Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Stuckey & Murray (terrific comedic singing duo; Chelsea Lately, NBC, VH1, Fuse), and Henry Zebrowski (award-winning troupe Murderfist): Year of a Million Dreams: A Night of Comedy Skits

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Todd Barry (one of the finest stand-ups on the country; 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) and other NYC stand-ups performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): Duo Andy Emeritz & George Lakis performing at The PIT downstairs lounge “a musical comedy about America’s once greatest boy band. In the 80’s, Five Alive was on top of the world…until they were fleeced by their manager. Years later, their now-deceased manager’s fortune is up for grabs to the first of his washed-up bands to score a number one single. With their chart-topping ‘Kiss You With Tongue’ a distant memory, Five Alive reunites as a duo of desperate has-beens, exploring a montage of hilarious original songs and classic 80’s tunes for a final shot at fame and redemption:” Five Alive! The Musical

[$] 9:30 pm ($15): A fundraiser for raising awareness about men’s health issues (with a special focus on cancer) featuring 23 NYC comics performing at The PIT upstairs theatre—and somehow it’ll all tie into November being the official month for moustaches: Movember Live

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Mindy Raf (brilliant comedic singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor, YA novelist; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers), Henry Zebrowski (award-winning sketch troupeMurderfist, College Humor), Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), Louis Katz (HBO, Comedy Central), Anthony DeVito (Jerk Practice), and Kevin Barnett (College Humor) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek for the First Year Anniversary of this free monthly show hosted by Jackie Zebrowski, Julia Johns, and Sharron Paul: Twat’s Up!

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart and Grace Helbig welcome NYC talents for a TV morning talk show—that’s happening at The PIT upstairs theatre late at night—with guests Baratunde Thurston (The Onion, How To Be Black), Leslie Guyton’s Movement Workshop dance group, and musical group The Spring Standards: The Morning Show with Hobart and Grace

11:00 pm ($5): Comedic magician Arthur Meyer, prop comic Cameron Esposito, and the reportedly funny Cocoon Central Dance Team performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): Six stand-ups you might not have heard of and and three judges who may or may not be well-known in a competition at The PIT—which is a theatre that isn’t really associated with stand-up. So this is a show I don’t quite understand, but maybe you’ll have fun anyway: The PIT Stand-Up Competition

11:30 pm ($10): improvisers Bianca Casusöl as Madam Ant, Nina Klemow as Fanny Price, and Alex Marino as Larry Lazlo use burlesque dancing at The Magnet to tell a story “and titillate the audience with some seductively fun choreographed burlesque numbers:” Whisky Tango Foxtrot: Burlesque Improv Revue

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

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 10/3/11

October 3, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

The Sklar Brothers

The Sklar Brothers perform at Whiplash...

Jared Logan

...and Jared Logan hosts stand-up TV auditions at UCB East for Comedy Central

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: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Sean Donnelly (host of Lil’ Seany Boy), Ariel Carson (Pillow Talk), Ray Marshall (Funny Side Up podcast), Emma Willmann, and Adam Lucidi performing stand-up at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Top NYC stand-ups audition at UCB East for spots in a new Comedy Central series, with the participants Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host ofWhiplash), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Mike Recine (Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham), Streeter Seidell (College Humor), Adam Newman (College Humor), Ben Kronberg (Carson Daly), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing), and Lucas Melondes, hosted by Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill): Comedy Central Stand-Up TV Auditions

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Stand-up Emily Heller (Rooftop Comedy), “surprise guest from LA,” and musical guest Eden & John’s East River String Band performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

8:00 pm ($5): In this double-bill at UCB West, first Leah Gotcsik & Marty Johnson perform their sketch show Somebody’s in the Doghouse; and then a mini-play that pleased the college-age audience I saw it with, but that I wish wasn’t written to be so calculating and by-the-numbers (e.g., the ending was dead obvious within the first few minutes)…but is probably worth seeing if only for the genuinely fresh & funny tailor scene: Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob

8:00 pm ($10): The PIT hosts two one-woman shows: “When small town girl Karen Sklaire gets placed in a South Bronx elementary school to teach drama, she faces the wild challenge with a little wink to Michelle Pfeiffer, Sidney Poitier, and Michael Jackson:” Drama at the Point; and “Becky Flaum thinks she’s Julia Roberts. And Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore, even Katherine Heigel. But she isn’t. Her high cinematic hopes for her love life start to get in the way of reality on her quest for the perfect co-star:” Hopeless Romantic Comedy

8:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show debuting at The Magnet from Katie East about “being a medical freak show, enduring rare and bizarre illnesses, surgical mishaps, and cancer, all before graduating from college. Growing up in and out of hospitals she has found that people with diseases aren’t the only ones who are sick. Her obliviously egocentric characters will grow on you. Benignly, of course:” Sick Girl

[FREE] 9:00 pm: PIT owner Ali Farahnakian and razor-sharp PIT instructors perform improv at The PIT downstairs lounge in The Faculty Part 2: Electric Boogaloo; plus improv troupe Technicolor

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of UCB West’s very finest in-house sketch comedy troupes Dweeb(spearheaded by the razor-sharp Amy Heidt and Stephen Soroka), plus in-house troupe Thunder Gulch (which isn’t what it used to be, but features such appealing talents as Leslie Meisel, Ari Scott, and Amber Nelson), trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Typically stellar comics in a show “where improv and stand-up bleeds in and out of each other. One comedian starts with stand-up. Soon he or she is joined by a second comedian—and the two improvise scenes inspired by the first comic’s stand-up. Eventually the first comic leaves and the second comedian performs stand-up. When that set is over, her or she’s joined by the first comedian and a third comedian. The three improvise scenes inspired by the second comedian’s set. Then comedians one and two exit, and the third comedian performs his/her set until being joined by comedians one, two and a new fourth comedian…and so on. The process continues till we run out of comedians stashed backstage.” It’s all the brainchild of Nick Vatterott, who hosts this bold & messy format at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Klusterphuk

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner & Chelsea Clarke hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—The Sklar Brothers (stars of MTV’s Apartment 2FComedy Central Presents half-hour special; Emmy-winning episode of HBO’sCurb Your Enthusiasm; ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; four seasons of ESPN’s Cheap Seats), Kumail Nanjiani (David LettermanSaturday Night Live, The Colbert ReportJimmy Kimmel, writer/performer for Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues; winner of the 2009 ECNY Awards for Best Male Stand-Up), and Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1, host of Sweet)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien,Comedy Central) at UCB West’s Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/11/11

September 11, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

Ted Alexandro

Star stand-up Ted Alexandro...

Jared Logan

...and rising star Jared Logan perform at UCBeast's "Hot Soup"

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: At this monthly show, “three improv teams swap two performers each, pick a long-form style out of a hat, and then perform with their new rosters. There’s no telling what will happen when you come swap with us” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Yankee Swap

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBwest’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

7:30 pm ($5): Sketch duo Arthur Meyer & John Haskell perform as Two Fun Men, and are followed by a second show I know nothing about, at UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Two Fun Men and Off the Cuff

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): “Special guests” (I don’t know, but am guessing at the level of Janeane Garofalo), plus Greg Johnson (Sirius Radio) and John Wesley Harding performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for the return from summer vacation of comedy giant Eugene Mirman’s Pretty Good Friends

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Presents), Rob O’Reilly (Comedy Central), and Tim Warner performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch troupes Dumkoski and Murder Klown performing their best material at The Magnet: Best of Ripe Sketch Comedy

[$] 8:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A comic’s comic who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno,HBO, FX’s Louie, and three Comedy Central specials headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): 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.), Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; host of Joe Mande Presents at Carolines, co-host of Totally J/K; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster), and Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill) performing stand-up at UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B) hosted by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Andy Haynes, and/or David Cope: Hot Soup

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors team up with poets at The Magnet’s Kiss*Punch*Poem

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, The Liar Show), Margaret Dodge, and Frank Liotti performing stand-up at this gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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