NYC Top Comedy Choices for October 2017 (updated 10/20)

October 20, 2017

For at least the rest of this year, I’m replacing the daily comedy listings on this site and HyReviews.com with monthly listings so I can more fully focus on several projects. These include my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts On Drugs (for details, please click here), a comedy screenplay that needs a lot of research, and some other challenging items that’ll require extra time and energy.

However, I’ll still provide last-minute info on shows that especially merit attention, so please feel encouraged to check in regularly for updates. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe my BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications, and/or to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny).

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

All that said, here are a few extra special recommendations for the remainder of October (updated on Friday 10/20):

Jeff GarlinA national comedy treasure who co-stars on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and ABC’s The Goldbergs, and who has a uniquely laid-back, anecdote-based stand-up style that’s a delight, headlines at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeff Garlin (Friday 10/20 and Saturday 10/21 at 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm; $46.50 plus 2-drink min.; Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

David Lawson: "The Prequels"Superb storyteller David Lawson (The Flyer Guy, No Oddjob) performs a hilarious and fascinating one-man show “about those three Star Wars movies most people hate. About how art can mean something different at different ages, discovering the limits of one’s own nerddom, the thrill of watching a movie stoned, the final massive cultural event before social media took over, telling the elder at synagogue you think the anti-Semitic character is comedy gold, and the warmth of loving a certain movie trilogy that is so universally loathed,” with opening stories by Lynn Bixenspan (sharp host of Relationsh!t), Nick Padilla (co-host of ASS), and Andrew Sanford: David Lawson’s The Prequels (Friday 10/20 at 7:00 pm, $10, The Tank at 312 West 36th Street between Eighth & Ninth Avenues)

NYC SketchFest NYC 2017The Sixth Annual NYC SketchFest runs four days, Thursday 10/19-Sunday 10/22, at all three of The PIT’s theatres. Notable groups performing include City Hall, Nameless Numberhead, Funny as Tech, National Scandal, Just Karen, The Chris and Paul Show, Dinner for One, Uncle Function, Aspergers Are Us…and lots more, including Dominique Salerno’s brilliant The Box Show. Most shows are $10 each, but the sensible thing to do is buy an all-you-can-see pass for a mere $40: NYC SketchFest 2017 (Thursday 10/19 6:00 pm-Midnight, Friday 10/20 6:00 pm-12:30 am, Saturday 10/21 3:00 pm-12:30 am, Sunday 10/22 5:00 pm-11:30 pm; $10 per show or $40 for an all-you-can-see pass; The PIT Mainstage & The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street and The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

The Scientists: CancerComics give funny pseudo-scientific lectures about cancer, featuring John Reynolds (co-star of Search Party, cast member of Stranger Things), Jen Spyra (writer for Stephen Colbert), Mamoudou N’Diaye (Comedy Central), and Sachi Ezura (producer for The Rundown with Robin Thede), and then are fact-checked on the spot by Dr. Neal Shukla (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) and Malka Greene (Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation). It’s all brought to you by seeker-of-truth hosts Blythe Roberson (The Onion, McSweeney’s, TheNewYorker.com) & Madelyn Freed: The Scientists (Tuesday 10/24, 8:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

The 10th Annual Schtick or TreatFor the 10th year of this fabulous annual event, over 40 NYC comics get a couple of minutes each to do a set as a famous comedian (e.g., Louis C.K., Amy Schumer, George Carlin, Jimmy Fallon, Rodney Dangerfield…the possibilities are endless) hosted by Mark Normand & Matt Ruby: The 10th Annual Schtick or Treat (Sunday 10/29 at 8:00 pm, $15, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Judah Friedlander: "America Is The Greatest Country In The United States"Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United) releases a black & white stand-up special via Netflix on Halloween that he wrote, performed, directed, produced, and edited from numerous sets he performed this year at the West VIllage’s Comedy Cellar. TItled America is the Greatest Country in the United States, much of the material is a response to our current insane Trump era. According to Judah, the 84-minute special “mostly satirizes American Exceptionalism, including U.S. domestic & foreign policy; it’s a comedy about racism, sexism, imperialism, climate change, health care, LGBTQ rights, fascism, drones, and mass incarceration.” For the trailer, please click here.

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10

The PIT Loft
154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

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

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/16/17

May 16, 2017

A rare NYC stand-up set by comedy treasure Jeff Garlin (brilliant comic who stars on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and ABC’s The Goldbergs, and who has a uniquely laid-back, anecdote-based stand-up style that’s a delight), plus stand-ups Peggy O’Leary, Jay Gillespie, and Tyler Richardson, musician Jes Hudak, and more performing for Seth Herzog’s Sweet (9:00 pm, $10, The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Jim Norton (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; hosted HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; former cast member of HBO sitcom Lucky Louie; HBO half-hour One Night Stand; feature film Spider-Man; regular on The Opie & Anthony Show; author of book Happy Endings) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Jim Norton: Work In Progress

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions, preceded at 6:00 pm by an improv jam open to the audience: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($7): Comedic storytellers tell tales accompanied by videos, with tonight’s guests Lucie Pohl (Red Dwarf), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Half Hour), and Chris O’Neil, plus The Improv Group Who Takes Off Real Clothes making up scenes springboarding off the stories, all at The PIT Underground hosted by Harmon Leon: Videotale

7:00 pm ($7): In this double-bill, first gal trio Dani Letsche, Case Watson, and Alison Wien perform sketch comedy, and then duo Chris O’Neill & Paul Valenti—who haven’t performed together for four years—reunite to create yet more sketch comedy, all at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thank You for Your Cervix + The Chris and Paul Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Brett Davis (HBO; creator/host of weekly Manhattan cable TV show The Special Without Brett Davis; co-host of The Macaulay Culkin Show; winner of the 2015 Andy Kaufman Award) performs his best characters for this special hour-long showcase at the UCB East theatre: Brett Davis Is Not Real

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Scientists, geeks, and writers tell tales related to science—with this month’s topic “Invisibility: from the struggle to remain invisible in the field to the struggle to be visible in the lab”—at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Ben Lillie & Erin Barker: Story Collider: Invisibility

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1; staff writer for CBS’ Superior Donuts), Kate Willett (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, VICE’s Flophouse, comedy album Glass Gutter), Luke Mones (Funny Or Die), Ryan Donahue, Eric Neumann, and Stavros Hakias perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Bar Schimmi (54 North 11th Street) hosted by Ryan Reszelbach: Creative Rezistance Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Sketch and improv comics “create a brand new show in only one week, and then perform improvised sketches based off of your suggestions, just like The Second City used to do”—plus an extra special opener for tonight only, star Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), all at The PIT Mainstage produced & directed by Jane Kehoe: Old School Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[FREE; plus FREE DRAFT BEER 8:00-8:30!] 8:00 pm: Doug Smith (Conan O’Brien, co-host of See You In Hell), Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard Lonely and Vicious and Creek Cave Live), Marisa Douenias (Louie), and Nina Daniels (Maron) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Two Boots Pizza Williamsburg (558 Driggs Avenue) hosted by Lucas Connolly, David Piccolomini, and Jake Fromm: Ambush Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): UCB house groups Ice Cold Bev and By the Book make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 9:30 pm): Harold Night, Part 1

[FREE, plus FREE BEER] 8:00 pm: Enjoy a comfy seat and a free beer while you watch comedy at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Couch Cave Live

[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 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

8:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT Underground: Act One

9:00 pm ($7): Clips from B-movies (and worse) are screened in between comics performing stand-up, sketch, characters, and/or improv at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Mitch Lucas: The Super 8 Show

9:30 pm ($7): A semi-scripted sketch/improv show in which 8th graders go on a trip to Washington DC to learn about the pros and cons of porn at the UCB East theatre hosted by Becky Chicoine & Rachel Wenitsky: Theme Party: Class Trip to DC

9:30 pm ($7): “The kids in Ms. Stevens AP English class were given a big assignment when the semester started: creatively combine all the texts on their reading list into one short play. But the life of a senior is busy, and they might have put it off a little too long. See The Catcher in the Rye, Oedipus Rex, Jane Eyre, and more somehow smushed together with teen angst, SAT vocab words, and plot lines from The Vampire Diaries the teens are praying their teacher doesn’t notice” at The PIT Mainstage: Ms. Stevens’ AP English Class Presents: A Play

9:30 pm ($5): UCB house groups Fluffty and Moose make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 8:00 pm): Harold Night, Part 2

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that books comics from the same original area (i.e., outside of NYC) to perform long sets at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Trey Galyon: I’m Not From Here

10:00 pm ($7): Comics perform deliberately stupid sketches, characters, and/or stand-up at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jennica Delancey & Hoyt Schermerhorn: Make America Fart Again

10:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups (not announced) perform at The PIT Underground: Heaps of Comedy: A Stand-Up Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show; breakthrough star performance at the recent White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner; Netflix special Homecoming King) tries out new stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Hasan Minhaj: Experiment Time

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, group Some Kid performs whatever type of long form improv it likes at the UCB East theatre: Harold on the Run

11:00 pm ($7): Three improv groups each perform a murder mystery addressing the question “Who Murdered Phil?” at The PIT Underground hosted by group Frog Basker: You’re Dead To Us, Phil

11:00 pm ($7): Improv teams make up scenes springboarding off 30-second videos they’ve never seen before at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by improv group Ice Cold Milk: Curated Chaos

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 the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5): Walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Giggles & Bits Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv veterans to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

6:00 pm ($5 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] [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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Tuesday Night Open Mic

11:00 pm ($5): Ten stand-ups whose names are drawn from a “golden bowl of destiny” will be given stage time, along with a few invited stand-ups, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Will Purpura: 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

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/10/15

May 10, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeff Garlin

Jeff Garlin concludes his headlining run at Carolines

Joe Bill

…improv legend Joe Bill performs at The Magnet

Jena Friedman

…and Jena Friedman tries out a one-woman show at The Annoyance

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] 5:00 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show,former staff writer for David Letterman) tests out a one-woman show she’ll be performing at this August’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, directed by Jodi Lennon, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Jena Friedman: American C*nt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS) tries out material tonight, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Jared Logan

7:00 pm ($5): Improv revolving around Mother’s Day featuring Zoe Farmingdale, Jay Malsky, Jeff Momdoro, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre: Mother’s Day Spectacular

[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): Four improvisors make up scenes—along with their mothers!—at this special Mother’s Day show atThe Magnet theatre: I Love You, Mom

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.): A brilliant comic who’s co-star on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and ABC’s The Goldbergs, and who has a uniquely laid-back, anecdote-based stand-up style that’s a delight, headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeff Garlin

[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, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry and Sam Morril at the 9:45 show; and an especially great lineup of John Mulaney, Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Kurt Metzger, and Big Jay Oakerson 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] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using code MOM; no min.): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing,VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien): Mark Normand, Rachel Feinstein, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Aparna Nancherla, Dan Hodapp, Sarah Nowak, Morgan Philips, Pat Shepherd, and Richie Moriarty make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre for this weekly show produced by Sarah Nowak & Micah Sherman: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Music from The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors) and Eliot Glazer (Broad City, Haunting Renditions), and stand-up from 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!), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Rob O’Reilly (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), and Josef Anolin, all performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Improv from groups Dr. DJ (Gary Richardson. Shaun Diston, James Dwyer, and Jackie Jennings) and Wilson (Conner O’Malley, Wes Haney, Adam Rubin and Sam Weiner) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dr. DJ and Wilson

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews—plus tonight’s super-special guest, improv genius Joe Bill—at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews & Joe Bill

9:00 pm ($7): Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Matt Wayne (co-host of See You in Hell), Amanda Seales (VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Smart, Funny, and Black), and Brian Allen Mitchell performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

9:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which typically includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Act One

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($5 online using code MOM; no min.): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-upsin 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; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): The spectacular Tracy Mull loves short-form improv games with a passion, and so is the perfect host for this jam that lets audience members—including you—put their names in a bucket. Tracy will then repeatedly pull out a name and a game and facilitate improv magic at The PIT upstairs theatre:Sunday School Short-Form Jam

[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 Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[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.

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 5/9/15

May 9, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Reese Witherspoon hosts Saturday Night Live
at 11:29 pm on NBC

Best Of Blogologues

Last chance to see a superb theatrical comedy troupe act out absurd material from the Web: Best of Blogologues

Jeff Garlin 4

…and the wonderful Jeff Garlin continues his headlining run at Carolines

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 6:00 pm ($11.50 via Goldstar [vs. $20 at the door]): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winningDavid Letterman writer) performs a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction andaudience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Total, Miss Piggy, See Harold Run, and Lack Lobsternome performing at The Magnettheatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): All all-gal group of improvisors who include Tami Sagher and Abra Tabak swap personal stories and then use them as springboards for improv scenes at the UCB East theatre: The Living Room

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 downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[$] 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 Dave Attell, Ryan Hamilton, Russ Meneve, Dov Davidoff, and RIcky Velez at the 10:30 show, and Dave Attell, Ryan Hamilton, Marina Franklin, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sherrod Small 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

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 & 10:00 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.): A brilliant comic who’s co-star on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and ABC’s The Goldbergs, and who has a uniquely laid-back, anecdote-based stand-up style that’s a delight, headlines tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeff Garlin

[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

[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—who tonight is Christine Gentry—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” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Stellar improv groups The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman, Sarah Nowak, and Brigid Boyle) and Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Baldwins and Big Black Car

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($24.75 via Goldstar [vs. $29 at the door]): 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 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

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

8:00 pm ($8): “When the long-time owner of Ski Mountain dies, everyone expects the mountain to be passed down to his beloved daughter Jocelyn. However, his evil older son Ernest appears at the funeral and takes his lawful control of the mountain. Ernest’s first order of business is to fly in a Swiss mountain and stack it on top of Snow mountain…making a double mountain. While everyone loves the double mountain at first, it becomes clear that Ernest has ulterior motives when he continues flying in Swiss mountains, stacking them higher and higher. With a crisis on their hands, Jocelyn, a reclusive trailer rater named Bearnie, and the employees and residents of Snow Mountain must save the day” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Crisis on Ski Mountain

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Allison Leiby & Alyssa Wolff: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[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 Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Anthony O’Connell, Liz Magee, Dave Ebert, and Niles Turner, all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by sketch duo Girls with Brown Hair: Show/Tell Show

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 in advance online): A top-notch theatrical troupe that’s equally fine at compelling acting and split-second comedy uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes. Any Blogologues performance is worth catching, but this compilation of its very best sketches after 15 themed shows, and starring its top comics Allison Goldberg, Jen Jamula, and Wendy Joy Cooley, is a must-see. Take advantage of this last night (of a two-night run) at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Best of Blogologues

[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

9:30 pm ($5): An improv show describing itself as “a lights up, lights down, mix-up mash-up, comme ci comme ca, anything goes kinda show” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dim Wit

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups at this monthly show that describes itself as follows: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford and Noah Gardenswartz are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Master improvisor Ed Herbstman (co-owner of The Magnet) teams for one night only with Peter McNerney to make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[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 ($5): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Philip Markle (Executive Director of The Annoyance Theatre): Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy spearheaded by such members as Henry Zebrowski (co-star of Wolf of Wall Street). This group won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group, was written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times, and performs tonight at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

11:00 pm ($10): With the help of social media, writers & performers put together an entire sketch show from scratch in one intense day and then perform it at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sktch Shw

11:30 ($5): “Matt Radlow & Betsy Kenney are not musicians, and neither are their friends. But that won’t keep them from delivering one hour of non-stop music-themed comedy directly to your brains” at the UCB East theatre: Matt and Betsy Do Music

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), and more performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco, Steven Slate, and Lisa Herring: The Andy Rocco Show

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 Evans: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:30 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet Improv Mixer

[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):Fishbowl

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.

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 Thursday 5/7/15

May 7, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Tina Fey is on David Letterman;
Chris Hardwick is on Conan O’Brien;
Jen Kirkman, Blaine Capatch, and Colton Dunn
are on @midnight;
Episode 5.5 of Louis C.K.’s always extraordinary series Louie, “Untitled,” is at 10:33 pm, 11:36 pm, and 1:44 am on FX

Jeff Garlin

A brilliant comic with an infectious sense of humor headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Jeff Garlin

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: According to The Creek website, tonight an iconic star will be trying out material at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: John Leguizamo

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band) performs a one-man storytelling show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall about being a son (for a video sample, please click here): Daddy Issues

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Superb “overactors” Pat Swearingen, Jay Malsky, and more make up a ridiculous soap-operish TV movie on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Made For TV Movie

7:00 pm ($5): Duo sketch comedy about life in NYC at The PIT upstairs theatre: Rotten Apple

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.): A brilliant comic who’s co-star on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and ABC’s The Goldbergs, and who has a uniquely laid-back, anecdote-based stand-up style that’s a delight, headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeff Garlin

7:30 pm ($5): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Ray DeVito (Sirius XM), Jaqi Furback (VH1), Toby Muresianu, and Mark Giordano performing stand-up atUCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Greer Barnes, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:45 show; Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, and Greer Barnes at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show atVillage Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) seamlessly blends stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience. In this show Chris achieves a new maturity to his already stellar career with a beautifully honest look at his experiences with mental illness and suicide that reaches exceptional heights at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays) performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Nick DiPaolo, Damien Lemon, and More

[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 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group Cockadoodle Don’t

8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laserperforming improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Cast (long form improv about the behavior of a theatre troupe both on-stage and off-stage), at 10:00 pm by sketches from a team of writers performed by Adam Twitchell & Kate Emswiler in The Adam & Kate Project, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): John Early (30 Rock, Comedy Central, Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), and Brett Davis (host of The Tuesday Special, co-host of The Macaulay Culkin Show) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Clowns guests (not announced) and clown hosts Icky Shirley Dangle & d Chunky Cricket Discharge performing a silly show at The PIT downstairs lounge: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups, Salt and Gun Club, make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Salt + Gun Club

8:40ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Eric Neumann (MTV), Adam Mamawala (MTV), Julie Kottakis, Mahesh Kotagi, Carolyn Busa, and LeClerc Andre Darguin performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Franklin Bar and Lounge (739 Franklin Street) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan & Mike Eltringham: It’s Sooo Up and Coming

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): A play written by Joe Cilio & Gabriel Laks, and starring Joe Cilio & Andrew Block, about “a young writer on the rise. His first novel, Good Lark Upon Ye Good Hartsdale, was the toast of the literati. There is enormous pressure upon him to write a worthy sophomore effort, but alas, Marshall is out of ideas. That’s when the letter arrives. Marshall has been accepted to the prestigious Morgendale Writers Retreat. But with Mr. Morgendale not everything is as it seems. Religion, science. boats (this play takes place on a boat…)” at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog: Forever Dog Presents New Fire

9:00 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentaryMetaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, co-star of GUMP, co-host ofCool Shit/Weird Shit), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Kiran Deol, Cameron Mazzuca, and Brendan Eyre performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews:Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Two improv house teams, O’Hare (with Nick Lachey) and Nugget (Brit Belsheim and a different guest each show), make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): O’Hare + Nugget

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seth Meyers Writers: Crate Night With Set Fires

9:30 pm ($5): Marina Tempelsman, Niccolo Aeed, and friends improvise scenes set on the planet Mars at The PITupstairs theatre: Marina & Nicco & Griffin on Mars

9:30 pm ($7): Storytelling from Emily Flake (writer/cartoonist; The New Yorker, The New York Times); stand-up from Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), and Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio); and songs from Chris Mills and Louie Pearlman, all performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Shannon Manning:Spark

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10, plus $10 drink min.): A terrific music comedy night with The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), Camille Harris (irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; The Camille Harris Show; new music album Silly Jazz), rap parody duo Squirm & Germ, and The Dreamstalks performing at the Rockwood Music Hall (185 Orchard Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop) hosted by Paul Valenti: The Reformed Whores, Camille Harris, and Squirm & Germ at Rockwood Stage 3

10:00 pm ($5): An autobiographical one-woman show by Kerstin Porter about Disney movies, love songs, and searching for your soulmate at The PIT downstairs lounge: Girl With Love In Her Window

11:00 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Tom Lisi, Adrian Davidson, Jessica Georgina Clark, James Ill, and Liz Magee perform stand-up at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch: Totally Normal Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” directed by Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Airwolf and Area 52 compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata host this stand-up show, with tonight’s guests Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, The Nightly Show), Rolly Moe (oddball storyteller), and Patrick Schroeder at the UCB Easttheatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening monthly at UCB East hosted by Mike Sapp: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee:Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

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

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [AMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A storytelling open mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Chris Booth:Bar Tales & Blowhards

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/15/13

July 15, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeff Garlin

Jeff Garlin (above left) in interviewed by Academy Award winner Michael Moore at the 92nd Street Y…

Reggie Watts

…music improv comedy genius Reggie Watts performs at Night Train…

Standards & Practices

……and co-writer & director Ellena Chmielewski’s show about relationships returns to UCB Chelsea: Standards & Practices

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: Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show) tries out new stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Christian Finnegan

7:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy co-starring Megan Maes that will entertain you “in the name of overthrowing the established order and subverting your trust in what is real and what is illusion” at The PIT upstairs theatre from group Sleepy Dr. Dre

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors will be touring as representatives of The PIT, and practicing tonight at The PIT downstairs lounge: The PIT TourCo

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15-$36 online or at the door): Jeff Garlin (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, ABC’s The Goldbergs, writer/director/star of new feature film Dealin’ With Idiots) will be interviewed by Academy Award winner and living legend Michael Moore at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Concert Hall (1395 Lexington Avenue, between 91st and 92nd Streets). Really, what else do you need to know? I’ll be attending this; come join me for Jeff Garlin Interviewed by Michael Moore

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Electric Company; for video samples, please click here), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Sasheer Zamata (rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky, sketch group The Prom; host of UCBT’s School Night), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, host of Big Long Sets), and Josh Gondelman performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brilliant improvisor Ellena Chmielewski proves herself to also be a brilliant comedic writer, and a young, fresh voice about relationships, in this mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea she co-wrote with John Zachary Townsend, and that holds the seeds for a longer commercial stage production and/or a series on a network like MTV. Come enjoy watching the foundation of a promising career at one of the best-scripted shows to grace UCBT in a while (and if you know Ellena, urge her to star or co-star in her next production, because she’s a gifted performer too): Standards & Practices

…and in the second half of this double-treat, Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, IFC) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy) debut a sketch show “about men who stay out of the fray—because the fray is chock full of death, basketball, and lions. Come and sit this one out with us:” Guilty Bystanders

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nick Turner & Acquaintances) performing at the Niagra Bar (112 Avenue A & 7th Street) for this weekly show hosted by Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012) & DJ CnC: Crickets

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Storytellers Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show, Tales of the Cosmos, and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), Diana Spechler (The New York Times, Oprah Magazine), Kate Greathead, Anna Rose Roisman, and Cassie Sneider share true tales about this month’s theme Fireworkss at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by Andrew Linderman: Local Stories: FIreworks

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Solo character comedy from ace sketch comic Henry Zebrowski (HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Michael and Michael Have Issues, award-winning sketch group Murderfist), Veronica Osorio (sketch group Fambly), Frank Hejl, Josh Ruben, and Dion Flynn performing at UCB East hosted by Conner O’Malley: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Killer lineup of Whitney Cummings (star of NBC’s Whitney; HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV), Amy Schumer (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, great new DVD/CD Amy Schumer: Mostly Sex Stuff), Matt Lamp (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Erik Rivera (Jay Leno, MTV): Whitney Cummings, Amy Schumer, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: ace team Fambly (which consists of Bridey Elliott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Veronica Osorio, Dan Black, Zach Broussard, and a sharp crew of writers) and Bellevue: Maude Night: Fambly & Bellevue

9:30 pm ($10): Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nick Turner & Acquaintances), and Troy Alan performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by twins Todd Stone & Adam Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[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 the 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 Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Raquel D’Apice, Miguel Dalmau, Deepu Gil, Jeff Sussman, and Angry Bob performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) hosted by Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Killer lineup of Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), and Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Erik Rivera (Jay Leno, MTV): Dave Attell, John Mulaney, Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, Mark Normand, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Improv from a group that includes such talents as Megan Gray performing at The Magnet theatre: Junior Varsity

[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 the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Monday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

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

10:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night. 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 Jarrid Reed: Fresh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/18/10

August 18, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Hy’s coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2010 Festival, please click here.

Jeff Garlin

Jeff Garlin (above left) hosts a night of stellar stand-up, with guests including Jessi Klein and Amy Schumer, at Jeff Garlin's Combo Platter

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Seven family members, friends, coworkers and a neighbor of seven weeks accidentally ruin their final goodbyes,” performed by such stellar talents as Lennon Parham and Leslie Meisel; and “seemingly unrelated or meaningless episodes of multiple personalities, bizarre delusion, and general perversion, suggesting a deranged mind,” co-written and performed by Paul W. Downs, in the double-bill Oh My God, I Heard You’re Dying! and The Paul Downs Syndrome

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jess Wood, Paul Mecurio, Aparna Nancherla, Jay Bois, and Mike Cotayo performing at this free weekly show hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Totally J/K; author of new book Look at This F*cking Hipster), and Dave Holmes performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and Max Silvestri:Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Adira Amram (fresh, sexy, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter), Patrick Borelli, Becky Yamamoto, Andy Haynes, JC Coccoli, Aparna Nacherla, and Andrew Shultz performing at the East Village’s Angels and Kings with delightful dark humor host Jena Friedman:Entertaining the Bartender

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($5 cover if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $10], plus $7 drink minimum; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats): Sharp stand-ups Myq Kaplan, Jamie Kilstein, Stephen Kruiser, Frank Vignola, Harry Terjanian, Brian Longwell, and Julia Gorin have fun with politics at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Politicas to the Left of Me, Politics to the Right of Me

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($5): Wonderful stand-ups Jessi Klein, Amy Schumer, and more at a show hosted by the equally wonderful co-star of HBO’s Curb Your EnthusiasmJeff Garlin’s Combo Platter

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Hy’s coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2010 Festival, please click here.