NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/27/16

July 27, 2016

Jim O'Grady and Jeff HillerJim O’Grady and Jeff Hiller (above), Adam Wade, and Steve Whyte tell stories about “Coming Clean” at one of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country hosted by Dave Martin: The Nights of Our Lives: Coming Clean (8:00 pm, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including an open-to-all improv jam at 6:00 pm; group Lovers, which includes the spectacular Dana Krashin and Tracy Mull at 7:00 pm; and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($5): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), Carmen Lagala, Rae Sanni, and Tim Platt performing at the only stand-up show at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Chris Duffy: The Sensible Show

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Gary Vider (America’s Got Talent 2015 finalist; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Matt Wayne (Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, co-host of See You in Hell), and Sagar Bhatt performing stand-up at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, 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) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features three house groups making up scenes on the spot: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, HBO), Monroe Martin (finalist on Last Comic Standing), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays) performing stand-up at The Stand (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Wednesday: Judah Friedlander, Paul Mecurio, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Comedy group Awful DJ (Bill Grandberg, Josh Lay and Cory Cavin) screens classic music videos, provides color commentary, and then asks the audience to definitely rank each video (“It’s not just comedy, it’s science) at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Awful VJ: Definitively Ranking Every Music Video

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Storytellers Jessica Delfino, Shane O’Neill, and Tracey Segarra tell tales revolving around a monthly theme at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country hosted by Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, owner of The Story Studio): Risk!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

8:30 pm ($10): A one-woman show by Amanda Xeller “featuring characters and scenarios that are earnest, honest, wonderful, and very very silly” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Pegasus

8:30 pm ($5): Chris Roberti hosts sketch, improv, and/or more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Chris Roberti Presents

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, and other NYC comics “discussing the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this weekly podcast taping at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Kat Radley, Herbie Gill, Chris Calogero, and Joe Gerics performing for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($8): Moody McCarthy (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Alison Leiby (VICE; host of It’s a Long Story), Liz Magee, Casey James Salengo, and Josh Comers performing stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1, comedy album He Has Friends): Scrambled Sets with Jon Fisch

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a sketch show parodying Hollywood’s depiction of women and motherhood: M.I.L.P: Moms I’d Like to Portray

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “Bob Eimicke, a 62 year old lawyer and father who has zero comedy experience, converted from Catholicism to Judaism in order to marry his Jewish wife…and his son is making him talk about it on stage. Everyone’s going to have a great time, except for Bob:” My Dad Dumped Jesus

9:30 pm ($5): A five-woman play described as follows: “After graduating college, sorority sisters make a pact to come together during various periods in their life at that time of the month to celebrate their sisterhood. They soon learn, even if you belong to the most prestigious sorority of beavers, life can get messy—PERIOD! It’s Sisterhood of Traveling Pants meets Requiem for a Dream if it was written by a teenage girl with a cast that have all done at least two improv classes and background work on HBO’s Girls” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Blood Pact

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): This super-affordable weekly club stand-up show features 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), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), Jon Rudnitsky, Dean Delray, and Ian Lara performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): $5 Funnies with Judah Friedlander and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Aaron Jackson & Josh Sharp improvise scenes on the spot about “the Hole-iest Hump Day on the Vatican Calendar” at UCB East: Ass Wednesday

11:00 pm ($5): Becky Chicoine (co-host of Theme Party) hosts this takeoff on a talk show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Night Late

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Walk-in open mic storytelling show, with each yarn-spinner (selected via names from a bucket) getting up to 8 minutes to tell a true and funny tale at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Vincent Chang: Flynn’s Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez & Parker Denton: Recess

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Four booked NYC stand-ups, plus one open spot for an audience member whose name is pulled from a bucket, plus drop-in spots for up to five TV-credited comics who care to walk in! Spots are at least 5 minutes each, but go up by a minute per comic for every TV-credited drop-in spot that isn’t filled (e.g., if no drop-ins appear, every comic will receive up to 10 minutes per set). It all happens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Daniel Ahrens: Drop-In/The Bucket

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

7:30 pm ($5): Open mic for storytellers, with names pulled from a bucket and 5 minutes of stage time for each selected yarn-spinner, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Molly Cameron & Sharon Spell: Gems

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans: The Improv Jam

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; 99-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 Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$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!)

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar

The Stand

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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, 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 6/23/14

June 23, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Whitney Cummings is on Conan O’Brien;
Bill Maher is on The Daily Show;
Eddie Murphy is on Arsenio Hall;
Ali Wong is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 5/22)

Jeff Hiller

Dynamite musical improvisor/actor Jeff Hiller is among the talents at this week’s NYC run of Baby Wants Candy

Tom Papa

…and star stand-up Tom Papa and other powerhouse comics perform at the 9:30 pm Comedy Cellar

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:

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from Mikael Walter, Kevin Young, Christopher Simpson, Paul Travisano, and Tyler Foltz at The Magnet theatre: Citizen Models

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Becca Taubel performs a one-woman show that aims to “give a glimpse into what it’s like to always be slightly off from the norm” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Left FIeld

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Abigoliah Schamaun (carny stand-up; co-host of Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar and Dick’s Open Mic) hones a 30-minute stand-up set this week every night through Thursday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Abigoliah Schamaun

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of young improvisors performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Free Improv Monday

[TOP PICK][$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Michael Che, Big Jay Oakerson, and Jessica Kirson at the 7:45 show; great all-star lineup of Neal Brennan, Dave Attell, Tom Papa, Nick Griffin, and Nick Thune at the 9:30 show; and Todd Barry, Paul Mecurio, Mark Normand, and Monroe Martin at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ray Ellin: Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Broadway & TV stars and top improvisors—Scott Adsit, Tami Sagher, Amy Warren, Julie Sharbutt, and many more—crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you might be able get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure, by such ace talents as Jeff Hiller and Ashley Ward. BWC is running every night through Thursday at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street). Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, 22 Jump Street, Arrested Development), 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), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), and Nate Fernald performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer & Joe Stanton: Splitsider’s Dog and Pony Show

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Billy Wayne Davis, Cameron Esposito, and Drew Michael performing stand-up, plus music from Shonali Bhowmik (Tigers & Monkeys, Variety SHAC), at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Seaton Smith (FOX’s The John Mulaney Show, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour): Night Train

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Lukas Kaiser (senior writer/producer for Spike TV), and Andrew Short performing stand-up, plus comedic singing from Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by 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) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Alamo (which includes Siobhan Thompson) and Moriarty (which includes Kara Klenk): Maude Night: Alamo and Moriarty

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-ups Nick Thune, Jordan Carlos, Subhah Agarwal, Nore Davis, Mo Mandel, Clara Bijl, and Justin Flanagan performing for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($5): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

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

6:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min.): Booked open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic for this 2-hour show at Klimat Lounge (77 East 7th Street) hosted by Gregory Joseph. To get on the performance list for future shows, email Gregory at evgigglepit@gmail.com: East Village Giggle Pit

[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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at danmaxfox@gmail.com) and 3 minutes for each comic who signs up on the spot (sign-up starts at 6:45 and ends at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Muchmore’s Stand-Up Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

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: 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.

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 5/25/12

May 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeff Hiller

Jeff Hiller will weave his special magic as he makes up a musical tonight on Diamond Lion…

Vic Henley

…and the super-likeable Vic Henley headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite writer/actress/improvisors, the brilliant and luminous Lauren Olson, teams with Jon Bander and Karsten Cross at The PIT upstairs theatre to perform at improv trio Mr. Gorsky

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal Improvisors who’ve previously created viral sketch videos performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Candy Slice Comedy

7:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies:” Double Date

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident in Crisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, pastry buns, and jello shots at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jonathan Powley: Buns and Puns

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and comedic actor who’s hosted NBC’s Last Comic Standing and MTV Jams, and performed on HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA, TBS, and feature films, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Bill Bellamy

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): A musical comedy at The Magnet “inspired by the real life plans of the US military to build a bomb that would make their enemies gay. The show is a cautionary tale set in a not-to-distant America that is a xenophobic, homophobic wet dream. This timely political piece is not only topical but extremely on point, leaving no stereotype unscathed.” Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden & Steve Whyte: Gay Bomb

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Vic Henley is one of the most likeable stand-ups in the biz. He’s co-headlining tonight and Saturday with Kevin Flynn—who I’ve never seen, but is probably terrific too—at the Gotham Comedy Club: Vic Henley & Kevin Flynn

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring Jeff Hiller (30 Rock, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), and Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show): Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($5): “Where there is a stage and a piano, she will be there. Where there are strangers with embarrassing stories, she will be there. Where there is a group of people willing to sit and watch someone make up songs, she will be there. A one-woman musical improv journey through the lives of the audience. You tell the story, Rebecca Vigil sings the soundtrack” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Vigilante

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

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

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($8): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Greg Warren, Nore Davis, sketch troupe Carousel of Characters, and sketch troupe Chess Club performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Danny Jolles: Danny’s Funhouse

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A screening of a 2010 feature film by the Upright Citizens Brigade written, co-directed, and co-starring Matt Besser, and also briefly featuring Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts (Ian almost steals the movie by simply delivering a doctor’s diagnosis…) at UCB East—which is a perfect venue for films because it used to be an indie movie theatre: Freak Dance

P.S. If you can’t make this screening, you can alternatively pay to see the movie for a brief time online via various streaming film sites and/or buy its soundtrack to enjoy anytime via iTunes.

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to try out sketches for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/21/11

July 21, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Andrea Rosen

UCBT is the place to be tonight, with four incredible shows in a row:
Andrea “Might Give Birth Any Second” Rosen’s Ding Dong Meow

Amy Heidt

Amy Heidt’s & Jeff Hiller’s The Last Resort

John Lutz

…improv genius John Lutz with Meagan O’Brien in Just One Scene

Fran Gillespie

…and sole improvisor (and reigning champ) Fran Gillespie vs. stellar musical improv troupe Diamond Lion at Cage Match

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two of the finest comedic actors in NYC, Amy Heidt and Jeff Hiller, debut a one-act comedy about love and murder that you don’t want to miss (and schedule permitting, I’ll be there too): The Last Resort 

…and the second half of this double-bill features one of the very best shows at UCBT. Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that Andrea’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances that will grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Wonderful comic Kurt Braunohler “relates how he destroyed a 13-year relationship in the dumbest, most complicated way possible, with bar fights, naked men, walruses, and an audition for Sasha Baron Cohen” in the one-man show The Amish Guide to Fucking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Some of the Magnet Theatre’s finest improvisors make up theatrical plays on the spot: Playhouse

8:00 pm ($5): David Foster (HBO, Showtime, MTV), Jamie Lee (VH1, Last Comic Standing), and Damien Lemon, and more performing stand-up at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by comedic rapper Andrew Singer and the delightful Abbi Crutchfield: Positively Awesome

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): John Lutz co-stars on 30 Rock, and previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live; but what’s most important to know for this show is John’s one of the most hilarious improvisors alive. Tonight he teams with Meagan O’Brien to focus on Just One Scene

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Movie star Janeane Garofalo, Molly Knefel (Naked in a Fishbowl, John & Molly Get Along), Nick Rutherford, and more performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT’s basement lounger for The Scene

[$] 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In a squeaker, superb improv troupe Doppleganger was toppled by audience votes of 74 to 62 for a lone performer: Fran Gillespie. Tonight Fran attempts to repeat her remarkable feat against one of the finest musical improv troupes in the country, DIamond Lion. This is a show you don’t want to miss, as brilliant improviors fight for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Magnet improv troupes Listen, Kid! and Brick compete for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/7/11

July 7, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Jeff Hiller and Amy Heidt

Two of the finest comedic actors in NYC, Jeff Hiller and Amy Heidt, team up to create a new 30-minute play about love & death...

The Last Resort

...The Last Resort

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): A delightful comedic singing duo (according to Molly, “really smart, funny, talented, awesome people with great bods; Molly is bitter, heavily medicated and she reads poetry”) performing at 92Y Tribeca an intimate hour of music and more: Mel & El: Our Time of the Month

7:00 pm ($5): Lizzie Redner performs several odd characters in this one-woman show: Room Full of Bulldogs

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two of the finest comedic actors in NYC, Amy Heidt and Jeff Hiller, debut a one-act comedy about love and murder that you don’t want to miss (and schedule permitting, I’ll be there too): The Last Resort

…and the second half of this double-bill features one of the very best shows at UCBT. Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that Andrea’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances that will grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Wonderful comic Kurt Braunohler “relates how he destroyed a 13-year relationship in the dumbest, most complicated way possible, with bar fights, naked men, walruses, and an audition for Sasha Baron Cohen” in the one-man show The Amish Guide to Fucking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jane Borden (treasured Comedy Editor of Time Out New York, author of I Totally Meant to Do That), Eric Ledgin (Jimmy Fallon), and Adam Jacobson (Chester) performing at The PIT’s basement lounge on the topic Independence with young hosts Michelle Markowitz & Bryan Rucker who say they’re Failing Our Twenties

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Some of the Magnet Theatre’s finest improvisors make up theatrical plays on the spot: Playhouse

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of three booked stand-ups and six open-mic stand-ups (the latter drawing their names from a bucket) at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by comedy duo Team Submarine: A Time to Kill

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent of The Daily Show), Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), and Livia Scott (stellar comedic chameleon;Law & Order, Snatched, sketch troupe Meat) joining delightful hosts Shonali Bhowmik and Andrea Rosen for Variety SHAC

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not yet announced) make up one-act plays on the spot in The Scene

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Sharp improvisors from UCBT, The Magnet, The PIT, and more try their hand at stand-up at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Improvisers Standing Up

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Doppleganger has a history of toppling champions. It did so again last week by stopping Boy Butter’s winning streak in its tracks, racking up 81 votes to BB’s 46. Tonight the gal trio will go up against Dance Break—which ironically includes Ellena Chmielewski, who’s also a member of Boy Butter, giving this brilliant improvisor another chance at victory—as the two groups compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Magnet improv troupes Listen, Kid! and Trike compete for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/6/10

December 6, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ted Alexandro and Jeff Hiller

World-class stand-up Ted Alexandro performs tonight at Whiplash, brilliant improvisor Jeff Hiller makes up a musical on the spot at Diamond Lion...

Naked in a Fishbowl

...and Brenna Palughi (left) and Daliya Karnofsky (right) tonight may once again subtly express skepticism at the plans of the breathtaking Lauren Seikaly at the wonderful theatrical improv show Naked in a Fishbowl

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($15 at the door on $18.50 online with discount codeFISHFAN): 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, Brenna Palughi provided an unforgettable description of her experience drinking a liter of salt water to achieve a “master cleanse.” With that warning, watch the video and be forever altered…

Although every episode is a wonderful theatrical event, readers of this site no longer have to pay theatrical prices; you can see this show for a mere $15 by mentioning code FISHFAN at the door. 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: Fine NYC stand-ups Roger Hailes (Comedy Central), Mark Normand (Last Comic Standing; co-host of We’re All Friends Here), Myka Fox (Comical Radio), Mara Herron (Sirius Radio), and Kevin Barnett (College Humor) performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): An all-gal improv troupe consisting of Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell, with tonight’s guest guy improvisor Paul Wielunski (Bad Luck Rising), performing as Goldie and the Hawns

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online or $8 at the door): Myq Kaplan (finalist on this summer’s Last Comic StandingConan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special), Adam Lowitt (Producer at The Daily Show, co-host of stand-up show It Is It), and musical guest Amy Miles (Michael Showalter’s The Baxter, David Wain’s The Ten, Children’s Hospital) 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, Stone Cold Fox and Gorilla Gorilla, trying out new bits at Maude Night

8:00 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host ofRighteous Kill), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel), and Ben Kissel (Roundtable of Gentlemen) performing at the White Rabbit (145 East Houston Street) for John Szeluga’s Not Friday

8:00 pm ($5): “Best friends Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixell created an Internet phenomenon by challenging pairs of women to double date them and documenting the hilarious results for YouTubers everywhere. Two hundred dates later, their experiences were translated into reenactments, educational songs, and valuable lessons in everything from dancing to kissing. Tonight, these dating experts employ audience-recounted horror stories as inspiration for improvised scenes, in an attempt to enlighten you on the art of romance:” Dating Coaches

[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 Jon Gabrus (The Law Firm)—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 Ted Alexandro (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials, recent perfect set at Carnegie Hall opening for Louis C.K.), Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveLouie, Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson), 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 11/13/10

November 13, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Oliver

John Oliver, one of the funniest—and nicest—stand-ups alive, concludes his not-to-be-missed show tonight headlining at Comix

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] 5:00 pm-Midnight ($15 per show): Terrific comedic singing troupes that magically craft an entire musical on the spot are showcased tonight at The Magnet, with top shows including the world-renowned Baby Wants Candy and Jeff Hiller’s Dream Team (with cast members from  30 Rock, Broadway’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and more), all at the New York Musical Improv Festival

7:00 pm ($8): Does it get any better than Twilight-themed improv? Find out tonight at Twiprov

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Christina Gausas, Scott Adsit, Becky Drysdale, Anthony King, and more—including writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, andThe Daily Show—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors, all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41.02 online if you use codePLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A star correspondent of The Daily Show, and one of the sharpest and funniest stand-ups in the world, performing a not-to-be-missed headlining run concluding tonight (the Sunday show was canceled due to a last-minute conflict) at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: John Oliver

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Jesse Popp, Raquel D’Apice, Grant Gordon, and “a very special guest” performing stand-up at The Triple Crown Alehouse & Restaurant (330 7th Aveue, between 28th and 29th Streets) at Sean Donnelly’s Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—and the Cage Match Champion for two years in a row!—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): 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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which doesn’t always ht the mark but provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won this year’s ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group: Murderfist: Late and Dirty

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A comedy genius, and star of the Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake, hosting his own extravaganza—which goes beyond a stage show to have the makings of a hit MTV series—with tonight celebrating the show reaching a landmark: The Chris Gethard Show: One Year Anniversary

[$] 12:30 am ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.