NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 6/24/14

June 24, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Louis C.K. is on Jimmy Fallon; Melissa McCarthy is on David Letterman; Roseanne is on Jimmy Kimmel; David Sedaris is on Craig Ferguson; Nikki Glaser, Ron Funches, and Doug Benson are on @midnight

Jim Norton

Stars Jim Norton…

Jim Breuer

…and Jim Breuer are among the stand-ups at a live taping of Tom Papa’s radio show Come to Papa

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Magnet Musical Megawatt

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00: “Music. Stories. Puppetry. Bitches,” featuring storyteller Michelle Onufrak, stand-up from Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV) and Jay Welch, Broadway-themed puppetry from Lauren Maul, music from Killy Mockstar Dwyer, plus “a panel/coven of Bitches,” all at The Duplex downstairs bar (61 Christopher Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Selena Coppock & Marilyn Summers: Bitchcraft: Gay Pride Edition

7:00 pm ($5): A solo show by Darcy Burke “applying the principles of Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth to the 1987 Denver Broncos” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Drive: Power of Myth

7:00 pm ($5): A duo sketch show from Iliana Inocencio & Madonna Marie Refugia about “sex-ed Filipina nurses Bing and Veng embarking on a journey to remember” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Nurse Bing’s and Nurse Veng’s Super Filipino Adventure

[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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea weekend house groups Bucky, The Stepfathers, Airwolf, and Death by Roo Roo at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK][$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Neal Brennan, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Dov Davidoff at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, and Marina Franklin at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Wil Sylvince, and Monroe Martin at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Jim Breuer (former SNL cast member, co-star of film Half Baked), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show), Cynthia Koury, and more performing for a Sirius XM Radio taping at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue) hosted by Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials): Come to Papa: Ted Alexandro, Jim Norton, Ryan Hamilton, Jim Breuer, and More hosted by Tom Papa

[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] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code BUSINESS; no min.): Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Pete Holmes Show CNN, TBS), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Nick Thune (Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon), Brooks Wheelan (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Alison Leiby (host of It’s a Long Story), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Chris Thayer, and Cameron Esposito performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jared Logan, Michelle Wolf, Nick Thune, Brooks Wheelan, Alex Koll, and More

8:00 pm ($8): An hour of stand-up from house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: National Scandal

8:00 pm ($10): Ryan Conner (MTV’s Ridiculousness, NFL Network) performs an hour of stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge: Ryan Conner For the Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Sarah Tollemache (immortal story That’s Not My Shit), Ben Kissel, Chris Griggs, Soren McCarthy, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up or sketch for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC comics Jeff Simmermon, Adam Mamawala, Aaron Kominos-Smith, and Ramon Rivas II performing a mix of stand-up and sketch at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award): Last Week Was Packed

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Matt Wayne, Colin Burgess, Mikey Heller, and more performing at the UCB East theatre hosted by Bill Stiteler & Tony Zaret: School Drools

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Billy Wayne Davis (Last Comic Standing), Cameron Esposito (The Onion), and Matteo Lane performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Bridey Elliott (razor-sharp rising star; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Witstream, Fambly), Nick Thune (Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon), Kyle Grooms, and more performing stand-up or sketch at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo): Sweet

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

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Jim Tews, Chris Thayer, and Cameron Esposito performing at the UCB East theatre hosted by Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine): Blaria Live Stand-Up Comedy

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Gretchen Poole & Kaitlin Fontana perform duo sketch comedy “about a friendship that bends time, space, and sanity” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Cagey: Sketch for the Learn-ed

[TOP PICK] 9:45 pm-1:00 am ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea weekend house groups The Curfew, What I Did For Love, Grandma’s Ashes, and The Law Firm at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

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

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam hosted by group Judith at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Judith Jam

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

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 Tuesday 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

[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 guest co-host Ethan Stanislawski: The Dump

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:15: Sign up at 9:30 pm for the opportunity to make up a musical on the spot with The Magnet improv group Aquarius: Magnet Musical Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:30 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam hosted by group Bodega Cats at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Bodega Cats 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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/19/14

April 19, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Amy Schumer is among the stand-ups at Dave Attell’s
Comedy Underground at 1:00 am on Comedy Central

Ophira Eisenberg

Ace storytellers Ophira Eisenberg (above), Kevin Allison, Myq Kaplan, and more talk about awkward sex at What’s My Name? Live

Jim Breuer

…and it’s the last night to catch Jim Breuer headline 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:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Chemda of Keith and the Girl hosts the What’s My Name show with the following superb comics talking about awkward sex moments: Ophira Eisenberg, Myq Kaplan, Kevin Allison, Christian Finnegan, Katharine Heller, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: What’s My Name? Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ted Alexandro, Mark Normand, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Ralph Harris, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Kevin Meaney, Mark Normand, Ben Bailey, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Lynne Koplitz, and Keith Robinson at the 8:45 show; Kevin Meaney, Mark Normand, Ben Bailey, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and Keith Robinson at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, James Smith, Dan Soder, and Mike Vecchione 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 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Marc Theobald (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up a religion based on an audience suggestion—e.g., The Church of the Carrot, The Church of Crime—and then make up hymns, readings, sermons, sacraments, and more on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Fake Church

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.) A cast member for four seasons of Saturday Night Live who’s also performed on Conan O’Brien, MTV, VH1, and feature films, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim Breuer

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): 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) talks about his love/hate affair with New York City in this blend of storytelling and stand-up at the PIT upstairs theatre: Christian Finnegan’s The Gorgeous Mosaic

9:30 pm ($8): An improv double-bill: Nick Carrillo, Langston Belton, and Devin James Heater perform a post-apocalyptic improvised comedy exploring the relationship of three men trapped in a Generic Underground Shelter, while David Rysdahl & Paul Gutkowski perform monoscenes, at The PIT downstairs lounge: G.U.S. and Albino Sunburned Girl

[TOP PICK]10:00 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), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB East that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Complete Performer

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Gay and lesbian comedy at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michelle Delgado: Queer in the Cave

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

[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] [$] 11:00 pm ($15 at the door or $11.34 online): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK]11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Women and gay men perform comedy as straight men for this unique show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Scott Talentt: Dudes Being Dudes Being Dudes

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of The Dream Show), Myka Fox, and more performing stand-up or sketch at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

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”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: 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 Friday 5/11/12

May 11, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For a review of Broadway’s Seminar, please click here.
For some of NYC’s greatest storytellers, please click here.

Jo Koy

Jo Koy headlines at Carolines…

Jim Breuer

…SNL’s Jim Breuer headlines at Gotham…

D'Arcy Carden

…and D’Arcy Carden is among the top sketch comics in “Crisistown”

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

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

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 that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies” in 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 inCrisistown, 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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.)  An energetic regular on Chelsea Lately who’s also appeared on Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, VH1, and his own Comedy Central special headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jo Koy

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 [vs. $15] 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: The third annual comedy tournament featuring 40 improv groups…only one of which will triumph. Tonight four improv troupes battle for superiority, pride, and glory at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena, Round 8

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.) A cast member for four seasons of Saturday Night Live who’s also performed on Conan O’Brien, MTV, VH1, and feature films, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim Breuer

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock): Diamond Lion

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [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), Big Jay Oakerson, Dean Edwards, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: An all-musical comedy night with David Carl, The Vigilante, Killy Dwyer, Eli Saers, and David Cope & Harp performing at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Lerman and Tim Dimond: Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy

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

[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 ($10): 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): At The PIT upstairs theatre, an actual NYC model is interviewed about all aspects of his or her career, and then improvisers create scenes based on the model’s life: Look Book

11:00 pm ($8): At The PIT downstairs theatre, former members of The Washington Improv Theatre—Zhubin Parang (The Daily Show, Charlemagne), Dan Hodapp (Someday The Cake, The Scene), Zack Phillips (Beige, Surfing, Gadget), Natasha Rothwell (Hodapp & Rothwell, Seer/Sucker), and Jason Saenz (Onassis)—reunite to make stuff up on an NYC stage: The Landlords

[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 upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/16/11

April 16, 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.

Jim Breuer

Former SNL cast member Jim Breuer headlines tonight 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:

[TOP PICK] [$] 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($49.50): One of the finest comics in the country, Mike Birbiglia’s credits include the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live; the book Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories; and his hit off-Broadway show Sleepwalk with Me. Mike’s now returned to the stage, once again creating his unique blend of stand-up and storytelling, for an all-new one-man show at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) slated to run through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch troupe Foolhardy Manor performing an all-new show “in which decisions aren’t made, important discussions are avoided, and situations we don’t want to think about get swept under the rug. This show may or may not help us work some stuff out. We’re also pleased to be debuting the world’s first-ever 3D comedy video. We’ll provide the glasses. And if you’re wondering if a fun, new video is just another distraction from us resolving our issues, you’re probably right:” Unresolved Issues

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.) A cast member for four seasons of Saturday Night Live who’s also performed on Conan O’Brien, MTV, VH1, and feature films, headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim Breuer

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:30 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup hasn’t been announced; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): 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. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight’s edition of Baby Wants Candy

[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 interviews an audience member about where he or she grew up and then creates an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch duo Chris O’Neill and Paul Valenti describe themselves as “vaudeville gold for a 2011 crowd.” Whatever. They’re funny. Especially the bit with the nose. Come catch their latest material tonight at The Chris and Paul Show

[FREE] 11:45 pm : A weekly chance for you to shine, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Richard M. Nixon has clawed his way back into elected office: Director of the Heavenly Choir. For his premiere concert he’s putting together a slew of dead celebrities eager to show off their musical chops. It’s a once-in-a-after-lifetime event!” The participating comics in this rollercoaster event that’s likely to be a mix of very bad bits and very funny ones include Will Hines, Jawnee Conroy, Ryan Karels, Rob Lathan, Aaron Glaser, Geoff Garlock, Don Fanelli…and many more: Live From Heaven: Richard M. Nixon’s Mandatory Fun-Time Concert

 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 Friday 4/10/09

April 10, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jim Breuer

Jim Breuer

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:

[$] a former cast member of Saturday Night Live who’s also performed a Comedy Central hour-long special, appeared frequently on Conan O’Brien, co-starred in the film Half Baked, and is an acclaimed stand-up comic, headlining tonight and Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Jim Breuer (8:00 pm & 10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] comedy stars Wyatt Cenac (correspondent for The Daily Show) and Paul F. Tompkins (host of VH1’s Best Week Ever, commentator on Countdown with Keith Olbermann) visit Jessica Chaffin & Jamie Denbo playing book authors offering sage advice to Jewish singles at Ronna & Beverly’s All Jew Revue (8:00 pm),

comics experiencing the rush of performing with no clothes on in The Naked Comedy Showcase (8:00 pm),

stand-up comics Brad Loekle (TruTV’s The Smoking Gun Presents, host of The Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour), Beth Stelling (Chicago Underground Comedy), Lisa Kaplan (here! TV’s Hot Gay Comics), and more at a gay-themed comedy show hosted by Jenny Rubin: The Back Room (9:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers (9:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] a killer lineup of top national comedy stars at Stand Up NY’s late show, including 30 Rock’s Judah Friedlander, Dave Attell, Ted Alexandro, Jessica Kirson, and Vic Henley: Judah Friedlander and More (10:00 pm),

singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical (10:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] a sketch show (with some improv thrown in) that just won its superb stars the 2009 ECNY Award for Best Sketch Comedy Group: Derrick (11:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] UCBT’s free monthly open-mic stand-up show, where deliciously odd things tend to happen around 1:30 am, hosted by lightning-quick & hilarious Pete Holmes (Comedy Central, VH1; one of the finest comics in the country) at Gutbucket (12:20ish am),

[$] and 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 at Carolines: Paul Mooney (12:30 am).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.