NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 2/8/15

February 8, 2015

Louis C.K. has a new comedy special. Nab it for a mere $5 here.

If you haven’t seen Julie Sharbutt’s Moved, learn more here.

TV Alert: John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight returns to HBO at 11:00 pm

Jay Pharoah

SNL’s Jay Pharoah headlines one last night at Carolines

Mark DeMayo and Ted Alexandro

…and Mark DeMayo is among the comics performing tonight at The Stand

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] 5:30 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmash, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

6:00 pm ($5): Three shows audition for a slot at The Magnet theatre: Amanda Xeller: Darkness Prince, Neil’s Girl, andYellow Gold: The Mixtape

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

7:00 pm ($5): An improvised game show “teaming four short-form performers with two special guest contestants ready to ‘yes and’ anything to win” at The PIT upstairs theatre: ShortGameShow

[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 Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Groups Baby Shoes and Action Park perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah does stand-up and performs his full range of characters (“on SNL I don’t do white people, but if you break me in half like a coconut, white just spills out”) headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jay Pharoah

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, and Sam Morril at the 8:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, and Greg Warren at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, HBO), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, TruTV’s Friends of the People, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing), Oni Perez, David Tveite, and Eman El Husseini performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “Comics divulge their weirdest stories about dating, online and on land—including dramatic readings of the worst OKCupid messages imaginable” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: U Up? A Modern Love Show

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($9.75 online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mark DeMayo, Joe List, and More

8:00 pm ($7): Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), sketch group Soap, and other comics and/or singers including Griffin Newman, Kelly Irene Corson, and Jeremy Ladd performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Shannon Manning: Spark

9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Veteran improvisors make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre for this show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak: People Improvising

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 PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

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: 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 atUCB 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)

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 Saturday 2/7/15

February 7, 2015

Louis C.K. has a new comedy special. Nab it for a mere $5 here.

If you haven’t seen Julie Sharbutt’s Moved, learn more here.

Emma Willmann and Blair Socci

Stand-ups Emma Willmann, Blair Socci, and more tells stories about their most mortifying erotic experiences at the Museum of Sex for Natalie Wall’s Awkward Sex…and the City

Jay Pharoah

Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah headlines tonight and Sunday at Carolines

Ed Herbstman

…and master improvisor Ed Herbstman is slated to join in at tonight’s edition of The Armando Diaz Experience

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

6:00 pm ($5): Musical improv from the group that hosts the weekly Pitch jam, tonight performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: [title of team]

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

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Fried Bologna, Tom Waits For No Man, Kroll & Kreye, and Sad Kids performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Trevor Noah, Ryan Hamilton, Lynne Koplitz, Lenny Marcus, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Trevor Noah, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, Lenny Marcus, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:15 show; Trevor Noah, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Sherrod Small at the 9:15 show; Dave Attell, Ben Bailey, Greer Barnes, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Ben Bailey, Ryan Hamilton, Big Jay Oakerson, and Ricky Velez at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of thevery finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Gary Vider (fun deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro, Ben Bailey, and More

[TOP PICK] 7:00 ($5): Comedic musicians Matt Radlow & Betsy Kenney perform and host other funny musicians (not announced) at what’s likely to be a fun show at the UCB East theatre: Matt and Betsy Do Music

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

7:00 pm ($10): A one-woman show from Ali Levin playing “Miami’s most beloved spicy Cuban holistic wellness counselor, Viviana Cortez is on a quest to answer life’s toughest questions while healing her clients one churro at a time” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Steps to Salbachun with Viviana Cortez

7:00 pm ($5): House improv groups such as Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Annoyance Improv Teams

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars…and occasionally Armando himself”—with tonight’s guest storyteller Robert Weinstein, and among the performers master improvisor Ed Herbstman (co-owner of The Magnet)—at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah does stand-up and performs his full range of characters (“on SNL I don’t do white people, but if you break me in half like a coconut, white just spills out”) headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jay Pharoah

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[FREE] 8:30 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Wolf of Wall Street; host of Midnight Stand-Up), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out), Andy Ross (The Onion), Aaron Glaser (UCB), Chip Dwyer, Shalewa Sharpe, and Lane Pieschel!, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Tom Cowell & Jeff Simmermon: Showcasey Jones

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($16.82 in advance online or $20 at the door; 15% discount on Pleasure Chest products with ticket): Storytellers & comics Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney), Blair Socci (co-host of Nacho Bitches), Emma Willmann (AxisTV’s Live at Gotham), and Mike Kelton (improv groups Witch, UCB TourCo) tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at Museum of Sex (233 Fifth Avenue, off 27th Streets) hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Jamison Guest—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short: Underbelly

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy trio Trike

11:00 pm ($5): According to comedy duo Jenn Welch & Jay Malsky, “We think the world would be a better place if we ran it. So here’s your opportunity, live and in-person, to ask us anything on your mind. And since it’s 11:00 pm on a Saturday, anything on your mind is probably related to sex. So toss out a sexy topic or a sexish conundrum; we’ll have an opinion” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Here’s What I Would Say

11:00 pm ($10): A young improv group performs and hosts guests at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tickle Party: An Intimate Evening

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): An enormously fun freestyle rap contest at UCB East with NYC comics (not announced), plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by superstar human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central): Battlicious

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Amber Nelson (bold, dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: An eclectic monthly talk show hosted by Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), with tonight’s guests Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows; co-host of Myrtle Comedy), Valdaniel Martins (multi-instrumentalist), and April Brucker (Singing Telegram Delivery Puppeteer) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Aftermirth

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran improvisors make up scenes with improv students from any school (selected by lottery) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Student Mixer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Sunday 11/2/14

November 2, 2014

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

Jay Pharoah

Jay Pharoah headlines at The Stand

Ophira Eisenberg

…and Ophira Eisenberg tells a 25-minute tale at free Brooklyn show Long Story Long

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:

3:00 pm ($10): Amy Marcs performs a one-woman show about her experiences with breast cancer at The PITupstairs theatre: Nice T!Ts

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Fiorito: The Mishmash Mashup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, with tonight’s guests the wonderful Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone), Bradford Jordan (The Moth Radio Hour), and Robin Bady performing at Brooklyn’s BookCourt (163 Court Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

[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): Comedy groups Action Park and Stockton perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Jay Pharoah (cast member of Saturday Night Live) headlines this show that also features Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight) and Helen Hong (Logo’s Setup Squad, Comedy Central, TLC) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jay Pharoah, Brody Stevens, and Helen Hong

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Theatrical improvisors make up a complete play on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Dov Davidoff, and Zainab Johnson at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:45 show, and Marina Franklin and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with all three 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

8:00 pm ($5): Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien,Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), Matt Wayne (co-host of See You in Hell), Sammy Obeid (Lebanese-American stand-up), Megan Gailey, and Michael Joyce performing stand-up at UCB Easthosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), Jonathan Braylock (one man show The Black Experience), Jawnee Conroy (ASSSSCAT 3000), and Amanda Miller, plus sketch from Kokomo, and comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Bar None (98 Third Avenue) hosted by Ali Levin:Sunday Sessions

8:00 pm ($5 and 1-drink min.): Maribeth Mooney produces and stars in this new comedy show that also features stand-up from Leah Bonnema and Brian Grossi, sketch from Krystyna Hutchinson & Corinne Fisher, and music from Erin Harkes, all performing at The Green Room (340 West 50th Street) guest-hosted by Andrew Weiner: Reverend Mooney’s Comedy Confessional

9:00 pm ($7): Lauren Olson (brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor; Nat Geo’s Going Ape; member of sketch & improv groups Genus, Chet Watkins, and 20/400; powerhouse one-woman FringeNYC shows Our Condolences and20/400) and Jana Schmieding spearhead a showcase for comedic characters, with around nine comics performing atThe Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Matt Wayne (co-host of See You in Hell), Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show; senior writer/producer for Spike TV; co-host of Amazingtown), Sarah Tollemache, and Sean Wilkinson performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Ashley Ward, Jon Bander, Sarah Nowak, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Jay Pharoah (cast member of Saturday Night Live) headlines this show that also features Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight) and Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jay Pharoah, Brody Stevens, and Gary Gulman

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups attempt to “out-filth each other in this show where no punches are pulled and no topics are off limits” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The Dirt

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 PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’sLaughing 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 atUCB 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/13/10

December 13, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jay Pharoah

SNL's phenom impersonator Jay Pharoah performs stand-up tonight at Whiplash

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: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($10 at the door or online with discount code RUSH): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see.

In last week’s episode, there were hilarious arguments about holiday gift-giving…and the character played by Katharine Heller got engaged while watching Shaun of the Dead! (Yay, zombies! Yay, Katharine!!!)

Although every episode is a wonderful theatrical event, readers of this site no longer have to pay theatrical prices; you can see tonight’s season finale for a mere $10 by mentioning code RUSH at the door or when ordering online. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then get in the habit of attending the Soho Playhouse to experience the always fresh and surprising Naked in a Fishbowl

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Adam Newman (College Humor), Nick Turner (co-host of Too Cool for School), Susan Alexander, Sean Wilkinson, and Nick Cobb performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): Young, adorable performers make up a musical on the spot as Zamboni Musical Improv

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online or $8 at the door): Pioneering UK comedy star Andy de la Tour (The Young Ones), Moshe Kasher (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, The Onion), and Shaina and Mary Feinberg (“mother/daughter cha-cha sensation”) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Thunder Gulch and Gramp’s, trying out new bits at Maude Night

8:00 pm ($5): Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon), Zach & Zach (Zach and Zach Save The Community Center), and Charles Gould performing at the White Rabbit (145 East Houston Street) for John Szeluga’s Not Friday

8:00 pm ($8): A talk show with guests Myq Kaplan (finalist on this summer’s Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents), Maureen Langan (Fox News, MSNBC), and Baratunde Thurston (The Onion) hosted by Boston-based radio host & comic Brian Joyce: A Live Talk Show To Be Named Later

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15 at the door or $18 online, plus $12 min. if you sit at a table): Brilliant comedic singer/songwriter/actor Micah Bucey and his partner Nicholas Williams performing a tour de force series of parodies in the form of mini-musicals at Joe’s Pub for their intimate and joyful show The Gay Agenda

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, Ashley Ward, and tonight’s guest John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo)—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel:Diamond Lion

10:00 pm ($5): Hip hop musical improv from Nick Brown, Don Romaniello, and Michael Short pretending to be NYC police officers: Rap Crimes Division

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Anthony Jeselnik (one of my all-time favorite stand-ups; writer/performer for Jimmy FallonConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central Presents; debut comedy CD Shakespeare), Jay Pharoah (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Moshe Kasher (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Karen Kilgariff (former head writer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show), and more—guest-hosted by the wonderful Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1) at 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 on this new stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and Erin Lennox: Fresh

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.