NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/3/17

September 3, 2017

The Adventures of Danny & Mike PodcastYou may remember Danny Tamberelli & Mike Maronna playing sharp-tongued brothers in Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Now grown up, they host a podcast—which they’ll be taping live on stage tonight in Brooklyn with guests Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; 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), Matteo Lane (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code), and Sally Burtnick (The Special Without Brett Davis, co-host of The Macaulay Culkin Show): The Adventures of Danny & Mike Podcast (7:30 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Joe Bill, Louis Kornfeld, and Rick Andrews…or enjoy a rare NYC performance by one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (above left; Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre), as he joins sharp improv duo Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews to make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews with Super Special Guest Joe Bill (7:30 pm; $10, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street)

Other notable shows this Sunday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 1:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($14-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among nine Labor Day Weekend shows, with four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane); the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue); and the 8:00 & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Patrick McCartney, Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott make up scenes “with guests from around the world” at The PIT Mainstage: Centralia: The International

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12) 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 ($57.25 plus 2-drink min.): A stand-up star who was the host of BET’s Comic View; co-starred in Showtime’s Queens of Comedy, and starred in specials including The Queen Stands Alone and Chandelier Status; co-starred in films including Friday After Next, Soul Plane, and Dirty Laundry, and has appeared on Oprah, Jay Leno, The View, and many other TV shows headlines one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Sommore

7:30 pm ($7): Christian Finnegan (co-star of A&E’s Black and White; Conan O’Brien; three Comedy Central specials, Netflix special The Fun Part; TBS, VH1, MSNBC, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Nate Fridson (host of Dark Spots, comedy album Best Guy So Far), Carolyn Busa, Kendall Farrell, Eman El-Husseini, and Paul Oddo perform stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City) and hosted by Robert Dean: If You Build It

7:30 pm ($5): Kiri Oliver & Heidi Vanderlee (Early Riser) perform and are interviewed about “that one song you’ll never forget” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Patrick Cartelli & Evan Forde Barden: Repeater: A Little Show About Big Songs

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Improvisors (who are also experienced Shakespearian actors) David Brummer, George Hider, and Conor Mullen perform new plays from the Bard made up on the spot springboarding off an audience suggestion at The PIT Underground: As You Will: Shakespearean Improv

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Justin Hires, Mike Brown, Paul Hooper, Martin Morrow, Marie Fausin, and Aminah Imani perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Kenny DeForest, and/or Clark Jones with music from DJ Will Winner: Comedy Night at the Knit

9:00 pm ($10): Kinda dumb 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger & Danny DeVito comedy Junior (in which Arnold gets pregnant) is screened & savaged by comics Sally Brooks, Greg Stone, Jacob Williams, and FreddyG at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck: Junior Screening & Mocking

10:30 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes springboarding off randomly selected facts printed on Snapple bottle caps at The PIT Underground: Snapple Facts

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

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-$12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/11/16

September 11, 2016

Jena Friedman and Joe BillIt’s a good night to be at The Magnet, with Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show) delivering true personal stories based on audience suggestions and then watching those tales brought to life by 10 female improvisors—including Megan Gray: That’s What She Said; and then at 9:00 pm improv living legend Joe Bill makes up scenes with Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews: Kornfeld & Andrews & Bill (7:30 pm & 9:00 pm, $7 per show, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street)

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

6:00 pm ($5): Springboarding off an audience suggestion, improvisors provide a close look at some exotic group or subculture at The PIT upstairs theatre: DocuProv

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 ($10): A comedic play with bite about the Hollywood experience for minorities, in which “four black actors in Room 4 have just realized they’re stuck in a time loop, auditioning for the same role of ‘Drug Dealer #2’ over and over. What once felt like a messed-up metaphor has become a literal existential nightmare. Get them out of there” at The PIT upstairs theatre written by Marina & Nicco, and with an eight-man cast…one of whom plays a literal Magical Negro: Room 4

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows—Phat Camp, My Name is Dom Hanks, and Choo Choo Boogie—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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-ups Trey Galyon, Mary Radzinski, James Hesky, Doogie Horner, and Alison Zeidman performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Dan Fisher, Shaun Murphy, and Mark Walton: Any Given Sunday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Groups are provided with the titles of improv forms that don’t actually exist and have 24 hours to create that form so they can perform it tonight at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Pluto Presents Fake Forms

[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 & 9:30 pm ($15; no min.): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; former co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America) and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Sunday: Sean Patton and More

7:30 pm ($5): Comics find new takes on popular songs via “staged readings, dramatic recitations, updated lyrics, mimed interpretations, covers of classics…they sky’s the limit” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Matt Zambrano (Fly You Fools!, The Story Pirates): Lyric Nouveau

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 ($5): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Nathan Fridson, Rojo Perez, Gary Anderson, and Lucie Steiner 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm Stand-ups Chanel Ali, Tom Brady, Tom Cassidy, Alexis Guerreros, and Catherine Cohen performing at Queens LIC’s The Standing Room (4738 Vernon Blvd.) hosted by Christi Chiello (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, TruTV) & Petey DeAbreu (host of Petey’s World): White Chocolate Sundaes

8:30 pm ($5): John Minus & Dillon Stevens report on what’s happening in the world of Geek, and also host stand-ups Samantha Bednarz, Gabe Pacheco, and Mike Brown, all at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The G.E.E.K. Show

8:30 pm ($5): A group of 18 improvisors is divided into two 9-person teams—who then fiercely compete for your laughs, with prizes awarded at the end. Come judge them at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Annoyance Presents Improv: Goons

8:30 pm ($5): Improv group Trophy Wives makes up scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge: Trophy Wives: The Honeymoon Phase

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Group Medusa turns a calamity selected by the an audience member into an improvised documentary live on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Medusa Presents Improv Against Humanity

9:00 pm ($5): Duo improv at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Kevin Scott & Patrick McCartney Improvise

[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

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

[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

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!)

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:

The Stand

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/10/15

May 10, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeff Garlin

Jeff Garlin concludes his headlining run at Carolines

Joe Bill

…improv legend Joe Bill performs at The Magnet

Jena Friedman

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

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

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmash, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

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

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

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

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

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

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

7:30 pm ($7): Four improvisors make up scenes—along with their mothers!—at this special Mother’s Day show atThe Magnet theatre: I Love You, Mom

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Todd Barry and Sam Morril at the 9:45 show; and an especially great lineup of John Mulaney, Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Kurt Metzger, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using code MOM; no min.): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing,VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien): Mark Normand, Rachel Feinstein, Christian Finnegan, and More

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly atUCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/6/14

June 6, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Michael Che and Chris Distefano each star in a
Comedy Central Half Hour; Julian McCullough is on Jimmy Fallon;
Eddie Izzard is on Seth Meyers

Joe Bill

Breathtaking improv genius Joe Bill will likely put on one of the finest shows you’ll ever see at Chica Go-Go!

The Wizard of Oz

…and improvisors recreate Dorothy’s journey off the top of their heads at Entirely From Memory: The Wizard of Oz

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, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Julian McCullough, Greer Barnes, Kyle Dunnigan, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Julian McCullough, Greer Barnes, Kyle Dunnigan, and Dan Soder at 8:45 show; Neal Brennan, Julian McCullough, Greer Barnes, and Kyle Dunnigan at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Julian McCullough, Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of 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.), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Razor-sharp and hilarious sketch comics Lauren Olson & Jana Schmieding perform sketch, and also host sketch from a bunch of their friends, at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

7:00 pm ($5): The wonderful Pay Shay and Brett Wean perform duo improv at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Wean/Shay

[TOP PICK]7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones (who also directed), Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in show biz, hire them.) This new collection of sketches revolving around extreme NYC residents ranges from stupidly cruel to transcendent, with an overall effect that’s oddly charming: Stone Cold Fox Bites the Big Apple

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A stand-up show that also “parodies everything you love and hate about sports” with NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Cody, Joel Walkowski, and/or Sam Evans: Bush League

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): 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, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Phil Hanley (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard Lonely and Vicious), Anthony P. Devito, Rojo Perez, and Dustin Wesley performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Neruda Williams…who will be celebrating the birthday of one of these comics with cake and beer: The Happy Happy Birthday Show

[TOP PICK]10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Aaron Weinstein (Carnegie Hall), and Frankie Strauss (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): TV star Diane Guerrero (Orange Is the New Black), ace improv/sketch comic Natasha Rothwell (Hodapp & Rothwell, The Story Pirates, The Curfew, Dinner), and The Cocoon Central Dance Team are interviewed and/or perform at this late night talk show hosted by the spectacular dancing Jamie LeeLo at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): “Nine performers attempt to recreate the story of Dorothy using only what they can remember from the film. Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience. Performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth. And one lucky audience member will be given a horn that he or she can honk three times. Once honked, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in the story but makes perfect sense given where they are in the tale” at this unique mix of scripted & improv comedy at The Magnet theatre: Entirely From Memory: The Wizard of Oz

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), Kevin Iso, musician Lynette Williams, and more performing stand-up, sketch, or songs at UCB East hosted by Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey NBC series; MTV; host of School Night): Something Cool Stand-Up

Friday 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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Hour-long open mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic. Check-in is at 5:45 at the new Comedians Club of New York (158 West 72nd Street), which was formerly The Triad Theatre: Comedians Club Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[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 prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/2/14

May 2, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

There are still tickets available to see Chris Hardwick
headline at Carolines on Saturday @midnight

Joe Bill

Breathtaking improv genius Joe Bill will likely put on one of the finest shows you’ll ever see at Chica Go-Go!

Julie Sharbutt

…and Julie Sharbutt and friends improvise in their underwear at Instamacy

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12.50 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Improv from performers in their underwear—Julie Sharbutt, Shaina Stigler, Tim Racine, Langston Belton, and Michael Greene—plus fully clothed guest improvisor Joe Schiappa make up scenes befitting their outfits at The PIT upstairs theatre: Instamacy

[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), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Razor-sharp and hilarious sketch comics Lauren Olson & Jana Schmieding perform sketch, and also host sketch from a bunch of their friends, at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

[$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): The weekend booker appears to have gotten lazy, but tonight’s lineups include Gregg Rogell, Marina Franklin, Dov Davidoff, James Smith, and Lenny Marcus, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.; sold out tonight, but you can still grab tickets for Saturday @midnight): One of the quickest, sharpest, and funniest hosts ever (@midnight, Talking Dead, Talking Bad; CEO of Nerdist) headlines tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris Hardwick

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers) does a show based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($12.50 online using code JERROD; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Carmen Lynch, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Fearless, innovative dark comedy gal duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) return to The PIT upstairs theatre to create fresh sketch comedy every month, with tonight’s guests The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; new album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors): Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jo Firestone (rising star; Punderdome 3000, host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Mike Cannon, Katie Hannigan, Brendan Eyre, Kevin Iso, John Rosenberger, Drew Michael, and Jeremy Essig performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Casey James Salengo & Ryan Beck: The Big Weird Patio

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A stand-up show that also “parodies everything you love and hate about sports” with NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Cody, Joel Walkowski, and/or Sam Evans: Bush League

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): 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, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

9:30 pm ($8): 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] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($12.50 online using code JERROD; no min.): Jerrod Carmichael (Neighbors, Lucas Bros. Moving Co.), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jerrod Carmichael, Carmen Lynch, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Dave Rosinsky, Sean Lynch, Kerry Coddett, and Freddy Sheffield performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Neruda Williams…who will be celebrating the birthday of one of these comics with cake and beer: The Happy Happy Birthday Show

[TOP PICK]10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Andrew Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, AdultSwim.com) & Naomi Experigen, and Michael Hartney (Logo TV, ace sketch group Legs for Days) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($10): “Eight performers attempt to recreate the story of Batman using only what they can remember after watching a film adaptation. Some will watch Christian Bale, others Michael Keaton, and some Adam West. Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience. Performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth. And one lucky audience member will be given a horn that they can honk three times. Once honked, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in the story of Batman but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story” at this unique mix of scripted & improv comedy at The Magnet theatre: Entirely From Memory: Batman

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Matt Dennie (brilliant sketch show GUMP. co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Shakir Standley (MTV), Emma Willman, musical guest Lynette Williams, and more performing stand-up, sketch, and songs at UCB East hosted by Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey’s upcoming NBC series Tooken; MTV; host of School Night): Something Cool Stand-Up

Friday 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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Hour-long open mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic. Check-in is at 5:45 at the new Comedians Club of New York (158 West 72nd Street), which was formerly The Triad Theatre: Comedians Club Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[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 prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/3/13

May 3, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Joe Bill

At The PIT, breathtaking improv genius Joe Bill is slated to blow the roof off at Chica Go-Go…

Leah Rudick

…and Leah Rudick (above) & Katie Hartman perform as fearlessly dark sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

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 happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[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 (might be 9:00 pm only), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), 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), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite people in the world, the delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at FringeNYC; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor) co-stars in this sketch comedy show with Jana Schmieding, and a bunch of young performers, at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), and improvisor/sketch comic Will Hines (The Stepfathers, The Brothers Hines, Small Men) perform stand-up/or and sketch at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen (co-host of The Moon Show): Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Ladies Night, The Lady Jam) hosts this on-the-fly monthly show at UCB Chelsea in which she crafts a uniquely intimate, organic experience by conducting interviews with members of the audience: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Fearless, innovative dark comedy gal duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) return to The PIT upstairs theatre to create fresh sketch comedy every month, with tonight’s guests the wonderful Mindy Raf, and sketch duo Joanna Bradley & Laura Wilcox: Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show he’s been developing for months for this off-Broadway run (through June 3rd) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

8:00 pm ($5): D&D-style epic fantasy improv, plus nerdy stand-up, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Eric Grundhauserled as your Dungeon Master

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[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 ($10): 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, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A gathering of terrific comedic musicians, who tonight are Squirm & Germ, The Reformed Whores, Cock Lorge, and Positive Feedback performing at UCB East hosted by superb musical group Summer & Eve (for samples, please click here): Earworm Funny Music Party Show

9:30 pm ($10): At The PIT upstairs theatre, an improv troupe makes up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($8): All-gal improv troupe Deer Babies performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Womanhattan

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code WARD, 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. BWC is running every Friday night through April 4th at the Soho Playhouse. Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Melanie Hamlett (brilliant storyteller/writer; two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, co-author of the book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, amazing blog, roving adventurer), Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Jon Tyler (The Moth), and Alex Edelman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Over a dozen of the talented gal improvisors and sketch comics at The Magnet—including Artistic Director Megan Gray, Lauren Olson, Elena Fishbein, Kimberly Ferguson, and Beth Newell—aim to “give you a dark and twisted late night explosion:” The Clubhouse

[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): NYC stand-ups not yet represented by a manager or agent—tonight including Pat O’Shea (host of Ed Sullivan on Acid)—at UCB East hosted by Luke Thayer & JL Cauvin: Unmanageable Stand-Ups

[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 prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

 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 5/18/12

May 18, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Joe Bill

Brilliant improvisors including the legendary Joe Bill…

Amey Goerlich

….and the lovely Amey Goerlich perform at Chica Go Go…

The Gay Bomb

…and a spirited young cast explores a proposed US government project: Gay Bomb: The Musical

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): The Magnet’s new house sketch troupe Company 29 consists of such wonderful talents as Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman FringeNYC show Our Condolences; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor) and Peter McNerney (former Magnet Artistic Director; half of improv troupe Trike). Tonight it debuts a show that “takes a look at all things American, from Johnny Appleseed to Ira Glass. It’s a character driven sketch show sure to make Neil Diamond proud:” Company 29 Presents America

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Phoebe Robinson (100 TV Shows To See Before You Die, Sirius XM Radio), Kevin Barnett (College Humor), Richard Chassler (Comedy Central, MTV, VH1), and Adam Mamawala performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) for this biweekly stand-up show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): Layer by layer, improvisers build a town based on an audience member’s suggestion for the town’s name, while artist Asher Rogers paints a large map of the town based on the improvisers’ descriptions. This cool-sounding show is at The PIT downstairs lounge: Our Town

7:00 pm ($5): PIT improvisors Nate Starkey & Chris Grace makes stuff up as Starkey & Grace

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

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

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Andy Rocco (The Tony & Johnny Show, Underground Americana), Dylan Love, Diana DeLuna, Nimesh Patel, and more performing stand-up at One and One (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A glorious collection of hilarious genre film clips from super-fan Kevin Maher and friends at 92 Y Tribeca. If you love SF, fantasy, comic books, pinball machines, or just overall pop culture silliness, this is a must-see—and one of my all-time favorite shows. Grab a ticket for Kevin Geeks Out: Grab Bag

[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A regular on ABC’s Happy Endings headlining through Saturday at Carolines: Daman Wayans Jr.

[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 Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena, Round 9

[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

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Showtime, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sebastian Maniscalco

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring Tim Martin (ace improv troupe Airwolf): 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), Greer Barnes (Comedy Central), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), 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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): This new Magnet improv show makes clever use of the Web: “Give us a topic, a name, a question on any subject and the cast—including ace improvisors Alex Marino and Jesse Falcon—will answer it using the full power of the Internet and the combined mental acumen of five intellectual juggernauts. Also, maybe some improv. What you will learn cannot be unlearned! What do you want to know?”: Search Engine

[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

Midnight ($5): Toby Knops (PIT Associate Artistic Director), Tilda Helen (Producer for The Food Network), and musical guest David Carl (Barnstormer, Frank Pfefferkorn) as talk show guests at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Paul Gutkowski: Sex in the Late Night Air

[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 prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/3/12

February 3, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.

Phoebe Robinson and Joe Bill

Phoebe Robinson performs stand-up at "Beautiful Comedy" and "Undefined;" breathtaking improv genius Joe Bill will likely put on one of the finest shows you'll ever see at "Lights Out, Shirley!"

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: Sharp NYC character comics—including Lauren Olsen (brilliant writer/sketch/improv performer at FringeNYC and The Magnet), Tim Dunn (UCBT sketch performer), and Oscar Montoya (Midnight Movie at Montoya’s at The PIT)—try out their material for the upcoming Montreal comedy festival at The PIT upstairs theatre: Just for Laughs Showcase

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Ace Magnet improvisors who are married—and who sometimes include improv genius Ed Herbstman, plus Melanie Hoopes, Matt Evans, Christine Walters, Maggie Kemper, Robert Cuthill, Ryan Rodgers, Christian Paluck, Michele Laikowski, and/or Kelly Moylan: The Mamas and the Papas

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Phoebe Robinson, Roger Hailes, Justin Murray, Pat O’Shea, Christian Polanco, and “a confirmed national headliner” performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) for this biweekly stand-up show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

[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 more than earned the slot with its first Friday effort, This is Not Art, which was one of the very best comedy shows of 2011. This month it debuted its second show, Crisistown—which so far is a mixed bag. The good news is the cast has developed into one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough to be a star on his or her own. However, the writing on opening night was often sloppy and repetitive rather than tight and sharp. Perhaps the problem is the new format: “A scripted interactive comedy show that puts you, the audience, in charge. You get to vote on what happens next.” It’s a fun approach designed to tempt audiences to see the show repeatedly (just as people will return to a favorite improv group week after week). But it means generating a lot more material than will be performed on any given show; and spreading the writing out like that has, so far, resulted in a lot of weak scenes. The up side of the open-ended structure is it’s never too late to improve the writing, and to even entirely replace dull scenes with great ones (and I’ll be attending this show again at some point on the assumption it’s evolving). But either way, between the material that’s already solid and the all-star cast, this top troupe is continuing to deliver a quite enjoyable way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot:Diamond Lion

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): 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?

8:00 pm ($5): “It may be made up on the spot, but there is a method to the madness. In this show players explore the structure of improv by performing unique forms provided by the community and abroad” at The PIT downstairs lounge: True to Form

[$] 8:00 pm ($18 at the door or $20.34 online): Storyteller Martin Dockery (The Moth, The Liar Show; acclaimed as “fantastic” by The New York Times) and Canadian actress Vanessa Quesnelle performing a self-described “high-energy, high-comedy, highly surreal play about a guy trying to get a girl into his flying bed. Tempting her with the forbidden promise of a wild flight through paradise, they must negotiate a bizarre and harrowing journey through a wilderness of seduction, temptation, and betrayal at the Under St. Marks Theatre (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Oh, That Wily Snake

[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 ($7): Veteran improv duo Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld are joined at The Magnet by improv star Christina Gausas (Conan O’Brien, The Colbert Report, Let’s Have a Ball): Gausas & MegaLou

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soupand We’re All Friends Here), Kurt Metzger (Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), Jeff Wesselschmidt (Rooftop Comedy), and Jacqeline Novak performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Amber Nelson, Annie Lederman, and Ashley Brooke Roberts: Mustache Party

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who starred in his own Comedy Central Presents 1/2-hour special, and performed on David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, and The Howard Stern Show (for Letterman stand-up video, please click here), headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joe Matarese

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

9:00 pm ($10): UCB East hosts “Thin Skin Jonny. They had it all. They were icons, legends, anti-folk superstars. However, tragedy struck and they broke up, citing an alleged statutory charge, gay porn addiction, and Four Loko abuse. Now, two months later, they’re back to do one last show—a benefit! Can they find a way to get along long enough to raise the money needed to re-animate the corpse of Bea Arthur? Maybe, with your help!” Performers include Ari Scott, with direction from Pam Murphy: Thin Skin Jonny: Farewell Reunion Tour

[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): Judy Gold, Big Jay Oakerson, Mike Britt, and more performing stand-up 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

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Eric Ledgin (Jimmy Fallon), Phoebe Robinson, Mike Recine, John F. O’Donnell, and the Cocoon Central Dance Team performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Jeremy Wein: Undefined

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Delightful singing duo The Reformed Whores (Katy Frame and Marie Cecile Anderson) and Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes) join terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) for a comedy variety show at The PIT basement lounge: Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who’ll blow the roof off The Magnet with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. Chicago-based Joe tends to visit NYC at the start of every month, so he’ll probably be at tonight’s performance. But either way, the other superb players are Jordan Klepper (Klepper & Grey, iO, ), Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH!’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer), all declaring Lights Out, Shirley!

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

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

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Gaining weight for no reason? Sluggish? Moody? If you might have a thyroid problem, please check out my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 12/7/11

December 7, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jawnee Conroy and Joe Bill

Fearlessly anarchic Jawnee Conroy and improv legend Joe Bill team up at UCB Chelsea's School Night

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Grappler, The Surge, Leviathan, Horses, Brick, Featherweight, The Wrath, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Wrath at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then genius improvisors Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform as Outlook of the Poet

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($14.45 online using discount code LAUGHTRACK): One of my favorite theatre duos, Rachel Buethe & James Presson, have come out with a new play that updates Hedda Gabler to the world of network TV. It’s a fresh, ambitious work that pushes at the borders between art and reality, entertainment and meaning. And while it’s not a comedy—in some ways, it’s actually an anti-comedy—at its core is a sitcom. For my full review, please click here. If you’re open to something different, don’t miss the too-brief run (ending December 18th) of this vibrant show at Walkerspace (46 Walker Street, near the Canal Street stops of the A/E/C/N/R/1/2/3/6 subways): Friends Don’t Let Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A stand-up who’s a frequent performer on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, and starred in a Comedy Central one-hour special, performs tonight at UCB Chelsea with perhaps a guest or two: Tom Papa and Maybe a Friend

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA for first 30 people, from Artichoke Pizza!] 8:00 pm: Becky Yamamoto (rave reviews from The New York Times and The New Yorker; former beard-wearing member of band Stickerbook), Sean Donnelly (XM Radio; host of Lil’ Seany Boy and co-host of Ochi’s Motel), Raquel D’Apice (The Check Spot, blog The Ugly Volvo; for touching video about lesbians who met in Eastern Europe, please click here), Peter Moses (FunnyorDie.com), and Fariaz Rabban performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Negin Farsad’s & Amy Albert’s free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this weekly show hosted by Nick Turner & Jason Sáenz: Too Cool for School

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Boris Khaykin (Comedy Central’s Atom TV), #Klepper (improv troupe), Jenn Dodd (Identity Theft), Meghan O’Keefe, Subhah Agarwal, Katie Compa, and Sam Grittner performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, first up is a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but raw pig, written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Tegart (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by hot comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams: Pig: A Restaurant 

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a meta-comedy in which a real estate agent tries to convince a couple that the actual theatre you’re in would be a great home for them. He does this by putting on a series of sketches that are presented as a random sampling of what UCBT has to offer but that, directly or indirectly, each promote the stage as a wonderful residence. It’s a way fun idea—for a 5-minute sketch. However, this entire show is handled like a single multi-jointed sketch, and 30 minutes is an awfully long time to essentially tell one joke. If the script was further developed to use the internal sketches as stepping stones to achieve a larger and emotionally compelling story, this could become something quite special. Even as is, though, it’s great fun at the start; and if you find it wearing out its welcome after that, you’ll still enjoy sporadic laughs from individual bits and performers—especially standout Brandon Gulya—in the a-bit-too-clever-for-its-own-good This is Not a Sketch Show—A Sketch Show

10:00 pm ($5): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv living legend Joe Bill paired with Johnny Conroy, and the wonderful Leslie Meisel (30 Rock, ace sketch troupe Thunder Gulch) are among the dozen+ guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (For tonight’s lineup, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:30 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

For full details, 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 11/26/11

November 26, 2011

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Armando Diaz and Joe Bill

It's a spectacular night for improv, with Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz pairing with Christina Gausas as "Diaz & Gausas," legendary improvisor Joe Bill leading a super-group of Chicago & NYC performers at The PIT for "Screw Doggies"...

Pat Baer

... and Pat Baer hosting the final rounds of UCB Chelsea's annual "3-on-3 Improv Tournament"

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass—executed by a Broadway-caliber cast, and with several memorable show-stoppers—is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Based on her years inside the velvet trenches of Wall Street, Michelle Wolf (co-host of Fresh) introduces you to the characters who deserve every penny of their 20 billion dollars in cash bonuses (actual 2010 figure, via CNNMoney) via this one-woman show at The PITdownstairs lounge: Wall Street Analysis

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): The debut of a comedy quiz show full of heavily researched quirky facts in which contestants Amy Whitehouse, Johnny McNulty, Matt Little, and Shaun Diston get points if their answers are correct but get more points if their answers are “quite interesting” at UCB Eastcreated & hosted by Katey Healy-Wurzburg: The Fascinator

7:00 pm ($5): Asian-American improvisors from UCBT, The Magnet, The PIT, and elsewhere all gather for one night to perform at The PIT upstairs theatre—”These guys are taking everything they know about math, dry cleaning, nursing, academically demanding parents, Tony Jaa, online role-playing games, fish, outsourced call centers, Gojira, and cab driving, and tossing it all in the wok for you to eat up with a hot cup of tea:” InvAsian

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre), spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who’ll blow the roof off for this show at The PIT downstairs theatre where the lights might go off or on at any time. The other players are Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Jordan Klepper (iO, UCB, Klepper & Grey), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor, Theory of Everything), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer, Mint Condition), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer, The Boss). It’s kind of unfortunate this is opposite the first semi-finals round of the 3-on-3 Tournament at UCBT and the one-night-only pairing of Gausas & DIaz (see below); but let’s just call it an embarrassment of improv riches on a magical Saturday night: Screw Doggies

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:00 pm ($5): The semi-finals (at 8:00 & 9:30) and finals (at 11:00) of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB Chelsea—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): One of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly show—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): Stellar Australian comic who’s been a regular on Opie & Anthony and who performed his own HBO special, I Swear To God, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jim Jefferies

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Adam Newman (MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), Justy Dodge (co-host of Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), and Chris Distefano (Carolines) 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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s appeared frequently onDavid Letterman and Craig Ferguson, and starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, headlining through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Nick Griffin

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!), Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1) performing stand-up at UCB East, hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[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

[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): 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.), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[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

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

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A post-holiday very dark comedy show, with Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard ShowMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of bookWeird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter), Sean Patton (red-hot rising stand-up star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Leslie Meisel as Holly Hunter, and Dan Shaki performing at UCB East with host Chris Wilkes (Thunder Gulch): After Dark

11:00 pm ($5): Four sketch troupes compete for audience approval at The PIT, hosted by Bleak Comedy: Iron Sketch

Midnight ($5): Caitlin Tegart directed this UCB Chelsea sketch show that’s “a super-positive lifestyle program for teenage girls hosted by two guys with a huge passion for glossy pop music, Lisa Frank school supplies, and all that the world presents as ‘hip’ to young women during the melodramatic years of adolescence. With help from their outstanding panel of experts, Dan Chamberlain & Jason Flowers rap about entertainment, fashion, boys, and more in an effort to bring empowerment and enlightenment to the teen girl inside all of us:” Cool Show 4 Teen Girlz

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups Ben Kronberg, Kate Berlant, Seaton Smith, and Grant Gordon 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 SteuernagelComedians Off Of the Leash

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

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

 For full details, 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.