NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 11/6/16

November 6, 2016

Last night at Carnegie Hall, Tig Notaro mercilessly teased us for around 10 minutes about whether or not she’d actually managed the unlikely feat of having the Indigo Girls sing at the end of her set. Example: Tig: “Would you like to see the Indigo Girls perform?” Audience: “Yes!!!” Tig: “Then go buy tickets to an Indigo Girls concert! What’s wrong with you? This is a comedy show!!” But after convincing most members of the audience to give up hope, Tig actually did bring the Indigo Girls on stage to play half a dozen of their hits…creating one of the most magical moments of the festival.

And later that same night at Carnegie Hall, a now-healthy Tracy Morgan spent over an hour describing his adventures recovering from being almost killed by a Walmart truck—and celebrating the money he hinted that Walmart paid him, allowing him to buy a house in a much more affluent neighborhood: “I forgave the driver. I’m not even mad at him no more. But you know who is mad at him? All my new white neighbors.” There’s just one day left of the spectacular New York Comedy Festival.

Jim & Jeannie GaffiganThis final day of the Seventh Annual New York Comedy Festival features Jim Gaffigan and his wife Jeannie interviewed at a free 3:00 pm show at Storefront for Art and Architecture

Big Jay Oakerson's "What's Your F@%king Deal?!"…and Big Jay Oakerson and friends doing crowd work (filmed to be broadcast on Seeso) today through Thursday, with tickets a mere $5, at The Bitter End, and more. For the full schedule, please click New York Comedy Festival 2016

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

5:30 pm ($5): Improvisors who cut across all regions and schools come together for one evening at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Supernova

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($10): Anna Drezen (superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters, movement, and sketch; author of How May We Hate You; Editor-at-Large for Reductress), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), Adam Tod Brown, Jeff May, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Unpopular Opinion’s Rolling Thunder Comedy Revue

6:00 pm ($5): Character comics impersonate celebrities for this takeoff of Match Game at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Celebrity Guess Match

6:00 pm ($7): One-woman shows by Ann Herberger (a former fundraiser for Jeb Bush) and by Becca Schall playing six characters at a school, at The Magnet theatre: Don’t Hate Me Because I’m a Republican and Schooled

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

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

7:00 pm ($5): Two teams compete via improv games pulled from a bucket at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Bucket of Fun

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nine-person improv group The Internet Disagrees makes stuff up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): The Internet Disagrees

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, 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 the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:30 pm ($7): A one-man show by Woody Fu, who says he “spent 21 years as an honorary Jew and 15 years as a neurotic New Yorker. Only recently has he realized that he is Asian and has emotions. Join him on this special night as he finally becomes a man,” plus an opening act from group My Dark Little Corner, all at The Magnet theatre: Asian Gracefully

7:30 pm ($5): Dana Krashin and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT downstairs lounge: Student Driver Indie Road

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Comedy treasures Bobcat Goldthwait and Sean Patton, plus Solomon Georgio, Clare O’Kane, Eric Dadourian, Sam Jay, and David Gborie, all performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Lance Bangs: Flophouse

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Ophira Eisenberg (NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ The Late Late Show, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Michelle Billon (Chelsea Lately, Craig Ferguson), Kevin Iso, and Dan Goodman performing stand-up at UCB East guest-hosted by Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT upstairs theatre: Electoral Dysfunction-Eve Spectacular

8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Aubrey Kyburz in which she hosts a convention devoted to all things Aubrey at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): AubreyCon 2016

8:30 pm ($5): Improvisors who read a book or play assigned last week now do a show revolving around it at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Bad Habits: Book Club

8:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy duo Anthony Jackson & Jeff Mondoro performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: New Team Honeybear: Hardboiled

9:00 pm ($7): Typically solid stand-ups perform at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Suggestions for jokes are gathered from the audience and then pro stand-ups are forced to incorporate them into their sets at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Will Carey: You Can Use That

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Improv springboarding off of wedding announcements published by The New York Times at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Forever

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

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): This improv show is based on a Mullaney Chain (pioneered by Kevin Mullaney) in which the host invites a guest to improvise with him or her, then the guest independently invites a third person, who then invites a fourth person, and so on, creating a one-time-only lineup that will be a surprise to everyone involved at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kurt Guenther: The Telephone Show

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket, drawings every half hour), providing 4 minutes per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Intestinal Fortitude

[ALMOST FREE] 5:30 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic

8:30 pm ($5): Experienced hip-hop improvisers perform scenes with “anyone willing to stretch that hip-hop improv muscle; it’s a fun supportive environment where scenes turn into a rap song, beatbox, freestyle, or rap battle” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Raymond Morency & Richie Alfson: Off Top!: A Hip Hop Mixer

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night at the Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team 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; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

The 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!)

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 11/3/15

November 3, 2015

Jim Gaffigan and Tom PapaTop stand-ups Jim Gaffigan, Kurt Metzger, Dave Hill, Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, Big Jay Oakerson, and more perform for this live taping of host Tom Papa’s popular radio show: Come to Papa (8:00 pm, $10 plus two-item min., Village Underground at 130 West 3rd Street)

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nore Davis (for video samples, please click here and here) tries out stand-out material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Nore Davis

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

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold atHarold Night

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($7.37 online using code BREAKOUT, plus 2-drink min.) Stand-up Jono Zalay headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jono Zalay

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): A monthly wild pun competition hosted by father-daughter duo Fred Firestone and Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow, The Incredible Game Show Showcase, and lots more), with 18 audience members competing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street; take R subway to Union Street):Punderdome 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): An eclectic group of comics & writers performing stand-up and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by recent UK transplants Jon Ronson (New York Times bestselling author of The Men Who Stare At Goats and more; screenwriter; This American Life) and Maeve Higgins (Irish TV & radio star): I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?

8:00 pm ($5): A monthly show about obsessions with pop culture, tonight featuring Dana Rossi (Soundtrack Series), Sari Catz (Full House), and Langston Kerman (HBO) at UCB East hosted by Damian Bellino & Anne Rodeman: So Into It: A Fanatic Variety Show

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

8:30 pm ($10): The BigQuizThing.com website comes to life via this challenging multimedia quiz show, with prizes, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Big Quiz Thing

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Superb stand-ups performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sachi Ezura, Clark Jones, Robert Dean, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters—such as Donald Trump—in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh), plus NYC stand-ups perform sets in between Tony’s rants, all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show

10:00 pm ($5; no min.): This super-affordable weekly club show features a mix of superb and pretty good stand-ups performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): $5 Funnies at The Stand

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups performing at this free weekly show at UCB Easthosted by Matteo Lane (Comedy Central): Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 6 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

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

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

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

 For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

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)

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-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)

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:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

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 Saturday 11/10/12

November 10, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan (above), Robin Williams, Aziz Ansari, Bill Maher, Susie Essman, Morgan Murphy, Michael Showalter, Hannibal Buress, and Nikki & Sara are among the stars performing tonight as part of the New York Comedy Festival

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] November 7th-11th: Among the stellar events at this year’s New York Comedy Festival are shows by comedy titans Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Aziz Ansari, Bill Maher, Pete Holmes, Colin Quinn, Kevin Hart, Brian Regan, the Wayans Brothers, and lots more, as well as interviews with such giants as Ricky Gervais and Robin Williams. For the complete massive schedule, please click: New York Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK]  [DISCOUNTED] November 7th-12th ($7 off most shows if you use discount code FANS online): A gathering of many of NYC’s best storytellers—who tonight participate in The Gotham Storytelling Panel Discussion and The Story Collider—packed into five evenings at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The First Annual Gotham Storytelling Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

[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

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Florence and Sad Kids at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A comedy quiz show full of heavily researched quirky facts in which comedy contestants get points if their answers are correct but get more points if their answers are “quite interesting” at UCB East created & hosted by Katey Healy-Wurzburg: The Fascinator

7:00 pm ($8): Stand-up, sketch comics, and improv groups mix up their regular routines; plus host Kissing Disease performs an improvised monoscene based on an audience member’s suggested obstacle at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kissing Disease Tries Something

7:00 pm ($5): At this PIT downstairs double-bill, Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure” as Hodapp & Rothwell, and then all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): An LA-based stand-up performs for an hour at UCB Chelsea as part of the New York Comedy Festival: An Evening With Jerrod Carmichael

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): At The Magnet, improv grandmasters Ed Herbstman and Armando Diaz, ace improvisor Christina Gausas, and Ed’s wife & brilliant writer Melanie Hoopes make up scenes as Connect 4; and in the other half of this double-bill, Rebecca “Bex” Sohn performs a one-woman showcase of a variety of characters “ranging from sexy cop to sexually repressed substitute teacher to frustrated psychic” at Live Bex Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.17 in advance online, $10 at the door): Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), and Josh Gondelman (Laughing Skull Festival winner) performing sets and then being interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door; SOLD OUT online, but there might be some standing room standby tickets): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s guests Michael Showalter, Dave Hill, Debbie Shay, Gabe Leidman, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall as part of the New York Comedy Festival: The Party Machine

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Rob O’Reilly (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Jane Borden (former Comedy Editor of Time Out New York, author of I Totally Meant to Do That), and Jerrod Carmichael performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Maddog Mattern (to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): “Ashley Rebecca King and Gregory von Portz present a post-dinner poolside party for their hippest and most sophisticated friends. Menthol-cool musical stylings and intellectual discourse abound as you are treated to a floor show with a carefully chosen set list, curated by the world’s foremost cover-band artists, that changes monthly. Dip in; it’s never the same dive twice. For tonight’s entertainment: Life: A Retrospective” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Moon Pools

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): The return of one of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, playing at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this opportunity to see the Chicago-based 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

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 and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up Ron Krasnow is turning 40. To make him feel worse about that, a mob of comics gather to roast him, including Jeffrey Joseph, Amber Nelson, Erik Bergstrom, Anthony Devito, Nick Turner, and Mike Recine. It’s all happening at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Roast of Ron Krasnow

[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 ($15): LA-based Morgan Murphy (fresh, original, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls, former staff writer for Jimmy Fallon) graces NYC for an hour at UCB Chelsea as part of the New York Comedy Festival: An Evening With Morgan Murphy

[TOP PICK] 10:30 ($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 in 2010 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist: Late and Dirty

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and this year crushed 12 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

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

11:00 pm ($8): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

Midnight ($5): “Jason Saenz and Riley Soloner have invited the worst people in NYC to come and talk about their sh*tty situations in front of a studio audience in hopes that they can better themselves and turn their lives around. HAHAHA! Just kidding! We’re exploiting these people of ratings! This month’s episode: Stop Bullying Me, You F@cking Asshole!” featuring nearly two dozen comics performing at UCB Chelsea, including Rob Lathan, Nicole Byer, Zach Broussard, and Caitlin Brodnick: Late Night Trash

[FREE] Midnight: A small army of comics pay homage to the cult classic film Rocky Horror Picture Show at The PIT upstairs theatre: Rocky Whorer PIT-ure Show

[FREE] Midnight: Mike Dobbins is a unique stream of consciousness comic (for an interpretive dance of his breakup, please click here). Tonight he shares his special perspective on life at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Mike Dobbins Blows Your Little Mind

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, 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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/5/12

May 5, 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.

Amy Schumer

Stand-up stars Amy Schumer (above) and Todd Barry perform one more night at the Eastville Comedy Club…

Jim Gaffigan

…and comedy superstar Jim Gaffigan is at The PIT’s “Fresh Fisch”

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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Ted Travelstead (very funny writer for McSweaney’s), Diana Spechler (author of Skinny), Jenny Rubin (veteran NYC stand-up), and Zero Boy (MTV, The Moth) . Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Grandma Hates Technology, Mannequin Room, and Swartzlander atThe Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), and featuring tonight’s guest storytellers Ed Gavagan, Max Silvestri, and Carolita Johnson: Tales of the Cosmos

7:00 pm ($7): Sketches, improv scenes, and videos from a small army of female comics at The PITupstairs theatre that answer such questions as “Why can’t you touch a black girl’s hair? Why do some of us burn our cheating man’s clothes in his car and can’t wait to exhale? How did Foxy Brown know how to get down? Why can two play that game? Why do mad black women write so many diaries?” and more: Mrs Jones

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic solo performances—storytelling, sketch, and whatever else isn’t stand-up or improv—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Bill Stiteler & Adam Schwartz: Wank

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors 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 ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnetmaking up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Stand-up from comedy superstar Jim Gaffigan (new show Mr. Universeavailable for only $5 online), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Calise Hawkins (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Playboy.com), and Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), plus music from The Jesse Scheinn Band, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Tyler FischerFresh Fisch

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A finalist on two seasons of Last Comic Standing, and who performed on Tourgasm and starred in an hour-long Comedy Central special, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Gary Gulman

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) Two members of Broken Lizard headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Steve Lemme & Kevin Heffernan

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating—at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:30 pm ($10): Summer & Eve (fun comedic musical group), Mike Racine (Comedy Central), Jacqueline Novak (Comedy Central, College Humor; for “response to heckler” video, please clickhere), H. Alan Scott (Sirius XM Radio, famed cookie baker), and Anthony Lopez performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[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

[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): Amy Schumer (9:00 pm only; red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie,HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe at The Magnet makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Drawing from his ongoing series of podcasts, Sam Dingman performs a one-man storytelling show at The PIT downstairs lounge offering “true tales from his days as a taxi driver in New York City, complete with toothless convicts, frozen embryos, murderous city buses, mobbed-up body shops, and much more. Along the way, he finds that no matter how many insane things he sees on the pothole-ridden streets of New York, the craziest one of all may be himself: “The Taxi Tapes

[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

10:00 pm ($8): “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. Some say the two should do improv together…” iO Chicago alums Dannielle Owens-Reid & Blythe Haaga were performing duo improv in Chicago to raves. Then Owens-Reid moved to Brooklyn; so tonight the gals make their magic at The PIT upstairs theatre: Fire & Ice

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

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

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

11:00 pm ($8): An improv troupe that’s performed with Cirque de Soleil and appeared in the filmMystery Team performing at The PIT upstairs theatre, typically opening with a blind date with a member of our audience and then making up scenes based on what they’ve learned: Gentleman Party

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with typically terrific NYC comics (not announced)—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sketch/improv from Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, The Tony and Johnny Show), and stand-up from Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color) and Jarret Berenstein (Young Guns of Comedy), plus James Coker & Marshall Stratton (Casual Sex Offenders) and “a surprise musical guest,” all performing at UCB Chelsea for host Andy Rocco’s Underground Americana

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

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, 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

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/7/12

April 7, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For best TJ Miller comedy videos, please click here.

Pete Holmes

It's a night for top stand-ups, including Pete Holmes with new interview show You Made It Weird...

Jim Gaffigan

...whose guests include comedy superstar Jim Gaffigan...

Ted Alexandro

...plus Ted Alexandro's performing at the Eastiville Comedy Club...

Janeane Garofalo

...and Janeane Garofalo's at The PIT's Fresh Fisch

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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Erin Barker (Moth GrandSlam champion, co-host of The Story Collider), Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam champion, BTK Band), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), and Steven Berkowitz (Moth StorySlam winner). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Wando, Orange Augustus, and Upstate at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), and featuring tonight’s guest storytellers Shonali Bhowmik (Variety SHAC), Adam Cozens, and Daniela Schiller: Tales of the Cosmos

7:00 pm ($7): Sketches, improv scenes, and videos from a small army of female comics at The PIT upstairs theatre that answer such questions as “Why can’t you touch a black girl’s hair? Why do some of us burn our cheating man’s clothes in his car and can’t wait to exhale? How did Foxy Brown know how to get down? Why can two play that game? Why do mad black women write so many diaries?” and more: Mrs Jones

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15 at the door, $19 in advance online): An amazing comedic freestyle hip-hop group, using audience suggestions as a springboard for creating improvised music inspired by jazz, rap, and comedy, with Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, plus Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale (the writer and director the Broadway hit In the Heights, which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical), and more performing at the Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd Street, between Lexington & Park Avenue South): Freestyle Love Supreme

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm (please note this is the new time slot for this show previously on at 10:30; $10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors 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 ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnet making up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Stand-up from TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo and The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac, sketch from Anti-Social Wife, and music from The Jesse Scheinn Band and a special guest who maybe will improv beatbox at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Tyler Fischer: Fresh Fisch

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door or $7.63 online): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s guests Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous rising star stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel), Lane Moore, and Team Submarine performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: The Party Machine

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

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating—at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[FREE] 8:00 pm: From the producers of The Scene, improvisors at The PIT downstairs lounge make up one-act plays on the spot: Act One

[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, Showtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

8:30 pm ($10): Matt McCarthy (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death, host of AMC’s Action Pack, Comedy Central, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys, host of Marking Out), Nick Cobb, Scott Moran, Leah Bonnema, and Jim Tews performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special headlining at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joey Kola

[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

[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): Killer lineup of Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Big Jay Oakerson, Maddog Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Two of the most respected improvisors in the country, Magnet co-owner Armando DIaz and UCBT star Christina Gausas, team up for one night only: Diaz & Gausas

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 at the door, $19 in advance online): Pete Holmes, one of the finest stand-ups alive, hosts this new interview show that tonight features another of the finest stand-ups alive, Jim Gaffigan, plus other top comics (possibly Michael Ian Black) at the Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd Street, between Lexington & Park Avenue South): You Made It Weird

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), superb dark comedy musical group The Cowmen, award-winning dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist, The Nearly Naked Lady Band, and more celebrate the 30th birthday of Joe List at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Joe List 30th Birthday Party/Concert/Show

[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): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

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

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with typically terrific NYC comics (not announced this month)—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sketch/improv from John Gemberling (genius improvisor & comedic character actor; Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Death by Roo Roo, The Tony and Johnny Show) and Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, The Tony and Johnny Show), stand-up from Jared Freid (Tru TV), music from The Campion Brothers, and more at UCB Chelsea with host Andy Rocco: Underground Americana

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) participate in the fake taping of a bad late-night TV comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Brad Steuernagel: Comedians Off Of the Leash

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, 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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/18/10

December 18, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Brad Garrett and Jim Gaffigan

Tonight Brad Garrett headlines at Comix, and Jim Gaffigan headlines at the Best Buy Theater

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 & 9:30 pm ($40-$50): A comedy superstar who delights in observational humor about food (his Hot Pockets routine is a classic) and mundane things we take for granted (“I like escalators because they can never break, only become stairs”). As accessible as any mainstream performer alive, while simultaneously a sharp deconstructionist who can work any alternative comedy room with ease, his appeal is deep and universal. He’s appeared over a dozen times on David Letterman, over two dozen times on Conan O’Brien (for which he created the animated series Pale Force), performed his own Comedy Central Presents special, and created aBeyond the Pale comedy album that’s been certified Platinum (the CD and DVD versions have each sold over 150,000 copies). And he’s headlining one more night at the Best Buy Theater (1515 Broadway at 44th Street): Jim Gaffigan

7:00 pm ($8): Ben Masten and Sam Dingman perform all-new sketches and songs via an act The Onion says, via back-handed compliment, “manages to sell even flimsy premises with smarts and winning chemistry:” Audience of Two: We Hardly Know What’s Up

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

[$] 8:00 pm pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up headlining tonight at the Carolines Comedy Club: Susie Essman

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($51.27 online if you use code PLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): Ray Romano’s big brother on the eternal classic sitcom Everybody Loves Raymondproving he also has stand-up chops by headlining tonight at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Brad Garrett

[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

9:00 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 last year 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: Reuben Williams

10:30 pm ($5): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A smorgasbord sketch show featuring a small army of comedy talent, including Julie Klausner, Justin Purnell, Will Hines, Caitlin Tegart, Mike Still, Sidecar, and more, asking you to “Don your gayest apparel (i.e., a festive J. Crew sweater and Ralph Lauren loafers) and come celebrate the Yuletide with your hosts, the Brooks Brothers! Because nothing says Christmas like a clambake. Pour yourself a hot toddy and join your favorite UCB performers as they make a mockery of all things preppy—everything from Sperry Top-Siders, Vampire Weekend, and F. Scott Fitzgerald to the Hampton Jitney, Gordon Gekko, and your younger brother who didn’t get into Princeton and ended up going to Tufts. Eggnog and clams will be served. Seriously:” The Brooks Brothers Christmas Clambake

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/4/10

December 4, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Judah Friedlander and Jim Gaffigan

Tonight Judah Friedlander headlines at Comix, Jim Gaffigan headlines at the Best Buy Theater...

Tracy Morgan and Melanie Hamlett

...Tracy Morgan headlines at Carolines, and Melanie Hamlett bids adieu to NYC at The Going Away Show

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] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller and host of The Liar Show TV pilot; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime), Jim O’Grady (NPR’s This American Life), Peter Lubell (IFC writer/producer), and Martin Dockery (Best of Fest winner at Winnipeg Fringe Festival). Come let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, Moth GrandSlam Champion) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($40-$50): A comedy superstar who delights in observational humor about food (his Hot Pockets routine is a classic) and mundane things we take for granted (“I like escalators because they can never break, only become stairs”). As accessible as any mainstream performer alive, while simultaneously a sharp deconstructionist who can work any alternative comedy room with ease, his appeal is deep and universal. He’s appeared over a dozen times on David Letterman, over two dozen times on Conan O’Brien (for which he created the animated series Pale Force), performed his own Comedy Central Presents special, and created aBeyond the Pale comedy album that’s been certified Platinum (the CD and DVD versions have each sold over 150,000 copies). And he’s headlining one more night at the Best Buy Theater (1515 Broadway at 44th Street): Jim Gaffigan

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Christina Gausas, Becky Drysdale, 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Tracy Morgan

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.22 online if you use code PLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A cast member of 30 Rock, and a performer on VH1’s Best Week Ever, HBO’sCurb Your Enthusiasm, MTV’s Wonder Showzen, NBC’s The Tonight Show, and over 20 films headlining for one night only at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Judah Friedlander

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: One of the finest storytellers in the country, the unique, brilliant, and hilarious Melanie Hamlett (Moth GrandSlam Champion), is heading off to the New Mexico desert for several months to focus on her first book. But before she goes, she’s having a blowout show, party, and auction for comedy services. Don’t miss Kevin Allison (sketch comic of legendary The State, host of Risk!), John Flynn (The Nights of Our LIves), Daisy Rosario (NPR), Shannon O’Neill (The Stepfathers), and more performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City for Melanie Hamlett’s Going-Away Party and Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Brilliantly funny writer/singer Jessica Delfino (enjoys singing songs about her vagina, as demonstrated by her CD Dirty Folk Rock; created the hilarious and wildly popular YouTube animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; has a cool MySpace page, and an even cooler blog; to get a feel for Jessica’s amazing range and talent, please click here), and NYC stand-ups Nick Turner, Matt Ruby, Dan HIrshon, Doug Smith, Damien Lemon, and John Szeluga, performing 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

9:00 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] [$] 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

10:30 pm ($5): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

[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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.