NYC Top Comedy Choices for January 2020: Last Updated Wednesday 1/22

January 22, 2020

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

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for January 2020 (with much more to come soon) include:

Freestyle Comedy ShowWednesday 1/22: Stellar comics Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’BrienStephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, HBO’s 2 Dope Queens, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week EverComedy Central Half Hour, stellar Comedy Central special Don’t Be Yourself, comedy album Still Got It; hosts podcast Tuesdays With Stories; tours with Amy Schumer), Sam Jay (writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents, Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup, MTV’s SafeWord; former host of Adult Swim’s Ricking Morty; stand-up album Donna’s Daughter), and Joe List (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour, Netflix’s The StandUps, comedy albums So Far No Good and Are You Mad at Me?) perform stand-up and more for this interactive audience show that will probably include a rap battle, all hosted by Brendan GayCharles Engle & Santiago AngelFreestyle Comedy Show (7:00 pm, $10 cover and no min., The Stand Upstairs at 116 East 16th Street)

Stars at The StandWednesday 1/22: Great lineup of Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’BrienStephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, HBO’s 2 Dope Queens, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week EverComedy Central Half Hour, stellar Comedy Central special Don’t Be Yourself, comedy album Still Got It; hosts podcast Tuesdays With Stories; tours with Amy Schumer), Dan Soder (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; HBO special Son of a Gary; Dudley Mafee on Showtime’s Billions; films Trainwreck, Drunk Parents; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Netflix’s The Standups, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, hosts with Big Jay Oakerson Sirius XM’s The Bonfire), Ron Bennington (host of radio shows Bennington and Unmasked), Jessica Kirson (stellar hour-long special Talking to Myself currently streaming on Comedy Central; HBO’s Crashing, The Tonight Show, The View, Last Comic Standing, Celebrity Apprentice, This Week at the Comedy Cellar, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Joe List (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour, Netflix’s The StandUps, comedy albums So Far No Good and Are You Mad at Me?), and Richie Redding (HBO) perform stand-up at an elegant Union Square club: Stars at The Stand (7:30 pm, $15The Stand Mainstage at 116 East 16th Street)

The Story ColliderWednesday 1/22: This long-running monthly stage series & podcast presents true personal tales related to science, with this month’s storytellers Michelle Tong (top left corner above; med student and poet), Victoria Ruiz (right of Michelle; Assistant Professor of Medicine at NYU), Anders Lee (right of Victoria; co-host of Pod Damn America), and more TBA hosted by Erin Baker & Nisse Greenberg (above right): The Story Collider (7:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Ben SinclairWednesday 1/22: Ben Sinclair (co-creator, co-director, and co-star of HBO’s High Maintenance) is the guest of this NPR comedy trivia show taped live in Brooklyn hosted by the wonderful Ophira Eisenberg (one of the finest comedic storytellers and stand-ups in the country; author of bestselling book Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy, comedy album Bangs!; NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime) with music by Jonathan CoultonAsk Me Another (7:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue. PLEASE NOTE: This show has SOLD OUT.)

John Lutz and Scott Adsit: "John and Scott"Wednesday 1/22: Genius comics John Lutz (long-time staff writer & performer for Seth Meyers; numerous VO characters for such animated series as American Dad; seven seasons as staff writer for Saturday Night Live; cast member of 30 Rock) and fellow 30 Rock cast member Scott Adsit (HBO’s Veep; voice of robot Baymax in Disney’s Big Hero 6; co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) form a super-smart and hilarious star duo crafting in the moment one of the very finest improv shows you’ll ever see: John and Scott (9:00 pm, $9UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street off Eleventh Avenue)

Thirty ThirtyWednesday 1/22: Derek Gaines (NBC’s Will & Grace; Jaybird on The Last O.G.; former host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show) and Napoleon Emill (Carolines’ Comedy Madness 2018 champion) each perform a 30-minute stand-up set to hone an upcoming special or album hosted by Nore Davis (HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, Showtime’s Boardwalk Empire, MTV; album You Guys Are Dope) & Nash Rose (producer for Stellar Comedy): Thirty Thirty (9:00 pm, $10 cover and no min., The Stand Upstairs at 116 East 16th Street)

Classic Black DudeWednesday 1/22: The Lucas Brothers (bottom left above; Jimmy Fallon22 Jump Street, Netflix’s The Lucas Bros: On Drugs and Lady Dynamite, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company and Arrested Development, HBO’s Crashing), Larry Owens (top left; joyful, hilarious musical comic; staff writer for TruTV’s Paid Off; HBO’s High Maintenance; feature film To Dust), Josh Johnson (top right; writer for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central Half Hour, Kevin Hart’s Hart of the City), and Paris Sashay (bottom right; BET) are interviewed by host Clark Jones (HBO’s Crashing, Comedy Central) for his podcast: Classic Black Dude Live (10:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Why Your Train is F*cked: The G TrainThursday 1/23: This monthly comedic show about the MTA is usually full of compaints, but tonight sings the praises of…the G Train! “The New York Times said it best in 2016, with an article titled, ‘Once Mocked, the G Train Is Now Cool. Kind Of.’ Honestly, we think the G line kicks ass and is massively misunderstood. The trains may be short, but their hearts are large. So we’re going to spend an hour and a half telling you why The Little Light Green Line That Could really can,” hosted by Meg Pierson (TEDx, Alchemy Comedy) and Justin Williams (Comedy Central; host of Death Comedy Jam): Why Your Train is F*cked: The G Train (7:00 pm; $16.89 online or $20 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Branson ReeseThursday 1/23: “From the mind of Dungeon Master Branson Reese (above; Cartoon Network, Swan Boy), comics, artists, and storytellers join together to spin webs that thrill your heart and break your bowels,” with Tim Platt (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central, Sesame Street; member of The Story Pirates and Cartoon Monsoon; host of podcast Hampton High), Carly Monardo (Adult Swim, Nick Jr.), Chris Hastings (Dr. McNinja, Gwenpool, Adventure Time), Ali Fisher, and Joe LeporeRude Tales of Magic Live (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Risk!Thursday 1/23: Comedic storytellers TBA join pioneering sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State; owner of The Story Studio) at what’s typically one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk! (9:30 pm, $15, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Jourdain Searles and Bronwyn Isaac: Thursday 1/23: Jourdain Searles (The New York Times) and Bronwyn Isaac (Showtime, Vice) host this podcast “dedicated to exploring all of the tropes and pitfalls of the romantic comedy genre from a place of love. The duo will be bringing their brand of playful but incisive criticism to the rom-com classic Love Actually, joined by cultural critic and popular Youtuber Kyle Kallgren (Brows Held High), who will help them answer the ultimate question about this movie: Is it full of romance or delusion? Or perhaps more accurately, is there a difference between romance and delusion?:” Bad Romance Live Show: Love Actually (10:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Sim Yan Ying: Friday 1/24-Sunday 1/26: This solo show is described as follows: “”In my four years of living in New York, I’ve only ever swiped right on white men.’ In this semi-autobiographical stand-up drama, Sim Yan Ying takes a bitingly honest look at white worship, postcolonial baggage, and politically correct culture. She tears apart her escapades with white men in New York and delves into her experiences growing up in Singapore, throwing into question how and why we are sometimes complicit in the very things we outwardly reject:” I Love White Men (7:00 pm, $22, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Internet Explorers-AmazonFriday 1/24: “Amazon is a crazy big corporation. So big, in fact, it’s hard to even wrap your head around it. Web hosting, groceries, streaming video, home surveillance, holiday gifts…you can get almost anything from Jeff Bezos’ mega-company…” The online store & Web services company that changed the world, Amazon.com, is explored by host Mark Vigeant (Funny Or Die, Prairie Home Companion) with Kashmir Hill (The New York Times), Dhruv Mehrotra (Gizmodo), Caroline Haskins (Buzzfeed News), Samantha Reece (Head Writer of Buzzfeed’s BTW) and Rollie Williams (host of An Inconvenient Talk Show), plus music by Darren WilliamsInternet Explorers: Amazon.com (9:30 pm, $13.71 online or $15 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Great Moments in Weed History LiveFriday 1/24: This popular podcast by Abdullah Saeed & David Bienenstock (above right) “blazes joints, cracks jokes, and explores the people, places, and events that make up the complex and fascinating 10,000+ year past of weed and weed culture, from Barack Obama’s time in the Choom Gang, to an exclusive first-hand account of how the Hollywood sign briefly became the Hollyweed sign,” tonight with guest Ben Sinclair (above left; co-creator, co-director, and co-star of HBO’s High Maintenance): Great Moments in Weed History Live (10:00 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Dave Hill: Friday 1/24: Dave Hill (WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake; books Tasteful NudesDave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and Parking the Moose; comedy album Let Me Turn You On) gives his first-person account of different periods throughout history, while Jodi LennonJim Biederman, and Chris Gersbeck “call bullsh*t on most of what he’s saying:” for this live-on-stage recording of Dave’s weekly podcast: Dave Hill: History Fluffer (10:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Mission to ZyxxSaturday 1/25: “A fully improvised, obsessively sound-designed science fiction comedy following a team of misfit ambassadors attempting to establish diplomatic relations in the remote and crappy Zyxx Quadrant. Join the crew and celebrate the upcoming Season 4 launch with a special live episode:” Mission to Zyxx (5:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin: Saturday 1/25: Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin (co-hosts of highly popular weekly Brooklyn stand-up showcase Comedy at The Knit) host this live-on-stage recording of their podcast that tests stand-ups on their masterful knowledge of an intriguing subject (TBA), with tonight’s guests Stavros Halkias (Comedy Central Stand-Up, IFC; co-host of podcast Cum Town; host of Fat Tuesdays) and Paris SashayThe UnOfficial Expert Live (7:30 pm; $13.83 online before day of show, $15 at the door; Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Carly Ann Filbin: Saturday 1/25: Carly Ann Filbin (luminous sketch comic/comedic actress/writer; on-camera correspondent for Cosmopolitan.com; host of Let Me Break You Up: An Anti-Dating Game Show) pushes boundaries with this comedic game show in three segments: straight date, lesbian date, and gay date. Carly says, “Romance today isn’t what it used to be—swiping, clicking, dick-picing. It’s time we went retro with an old fashioned IRL dating show! Millennials choose their hottie based on how well they answer questions like ‘If you wanted morning sex, how would you initiate it?’, all while I make fun of them because, well, why not? Let’s make some love connections or, at the very least, a one-night stand to talk about at brunch:” Young Hot Sluts: A Matchmaking Show (8:00 pm; $15 at the door or $14.30 online; Brooklyn’s C’mon Everybody at 325 Franklin Avenue—take the G subway to Classon Avenue)

Thank You For Coming OutSaturday 1/25: Candid conversations about coming out with a diverse array of LGBTQ+ persons (TBA) for a podcast sponsored by Gay City News, the largest LGBT newspaper in the country: Thank You For Coming Out (9:30 pm, $16.89 online or $20 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Julia Claire & Kate Willett: Saturday 1/25: Julia Claire & Kate Willett, “two nice ladies doing socialism,” host this “feminist political comedy podcast” with guests Katie Halper and Mohanad ElshiekyReply Guys Live (10:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Jo Firestone & Manolo Moreno: Sunday 1/26: The spectacular 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; HBO’s Crashing, Comedy Central’s Broad City; co-host of Butterball; comedy album The Hits) & Manolo Moreno host this show revolving around games created by their listeners, with tonight’s stage version including audience members playing those games for prizes: Dr. Gameshow Live (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

The Sopranos-The MusicalSunday 1/26: Mary Houlihan (The New Yorker; Difficult People, The Chris Gethard Show, Cartoon Monsoon) & Nick Naney (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central) spearhead “a special lost episode HBO’s classic The Sopranos put on by a local high school’s drama department,” with the other cast members Bardia Salimi Tommy McNamara, and Betsy KenneyThe Sopranos: The Musical (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street; part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival)

Jordan Klepper's Debate Club: Monday 1/27: Jordan Klepper (star of docuseries Klepper; former star of Comedy Central’s The Opposition and correspondent for The Daily Show) hosts a comedic debate about whether the US should pay reparations, with Kenice Mobley (host of podcast Love About Town, co-host of The Pasta Show), Michael Cruz Kayne (sketches on Seth Meyers and The Chris Gethard Show; HBO’s High Maintenance; former writer for @midnight and Billy on the Street; member of ace musical improv group Baby Wants Candy and UCB Saturday night improv group What I Did For Love; co-host of monthly comedy show The Exhibition)Nelini Stamp (National Organizing Director at the Working Families Party), and Coleman Hughes (undergrad at Columbia University who’s written for The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The National Review): Debate Club: Should the US Pay Reparations? (9:30 pm, $22.20 online or $25 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

An Evening of Humorous Readings 3Tuesday 1/28: Readings of short humor pieces by sharp writers & comics TBA, plus hosts Brian AnglerLuke Burns, and James Folta (all writers for The New Yorker and McSweeney’s)An Evening of Humorous Readings (7:00 pm—arrive at 6:30 to hang out a bit with the guests, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Sam Taggart, Marcia Belsky, and Drew Anderson: Tuesday 1/28: Comics TBA perform for this monthly stand-up showcase named after Stevie Nicks and hosted by Marcia BelskySam Taggart, and Drew AndersonStevie (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Jordan Klepper's Debate Club: Tuesday 1/28: Jordan Klepper (star of docuseries Klepper; former star of Comedy Central’s The Opposition and correspondent for The Daily Show) hosts a comedic debate about whether the US should pay forgive student loan debt, with Michael Cruz Kayne (sketches on Seth Meyers and The Chris Gethard Show; HBO’s High Maintenance; former writer for @midnight and Billy on the Street; member of ace musical improv group Baby Wants Candy and UCB Saturday night improv group What I Did For Love; co-host of monthly comedy show The Exhibition)Lou Perez (former producer for Impractical Jokers; half of sketch duo Greg and Lou), and more: Debate Club: Should the US Forgive Student Loan Debt? (9:30 pm, $22.20 online or $25 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Moses StormWednesday 1/29: Moses Storm (co-starred in NBC’s Sunnyside; Conan O’Brien; Last Comic Standing, This is Us,, Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here, NPR’s Livewire) performs a solo show in Brooklyn for one night only: Moses Storm (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

How I Learned In The Beginning: Origin StoriesThursday 1/30: Stellar storytellers 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; HBO’s Crashing, Comedy Central’s Broad City; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow; live-on-stage co-host of Butterball; comedy album The Hits), Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, host of Stoops2Stages, co-host of Sandwich, comedy album Immigrant Made), David Heatley (The New Yorker; Qualification: A Graphic Memoir), Angel Yau (Asian American Film Thing), and Julian Fleisher (Joe’s Pub: The Naked American Songbook) tell tales about how they started out hosted by Blaise Allysen KearsleyHow I Learned In The Beginning: Origin Stories (9:30 pm, $13.71 online or $15 at the door, Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

We Love You 4Friday 1/31: Alise Morales (above right; News & Politics Editor of Betches; Reductress, Above Average), Michael Hartney (top left; TV Land’s Throwing Shade, Broadway’s School of Rock; co-host of Characters Welcome), Natasha Vaynblat (left; Comedy Central, IFC, Funny or Die, McSweeney’s, Reductress; ace improv group What I Did For Love), and John Trowbridge (Huffington Post videos; co-founder of BOOGIEMANJA) perform comedy for hosts Amanda Giobbi & Ariel Gitlin (middle), who ask you to “join us as we welcome some people we love to do some comedy they love and that we think you’ll love too:” We Love You: A Fucking Positive Comedy Show (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade at SubCulture
45 Bleecker Street; What used to be a top comedy venue called UCB East has sadly gone under, but some of its shows live on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at respected East Village indie theatre SubCulture at Bleecker & Lafayette Streets, direclty by the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop; shows $7-$14

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/W 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.

Fat Black Pussycat Lounge
130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s smaller, intimate, and lower-priced sister venue (next door to Village Underground), which serves as its primary home for solo shows and experimental shows—which means it’s sometimes the most exciting choice; 2-item min.

The Stand
116 East 16th Street; Club closest to competing with Comedy Cellar, featuring top stand-ups on a main stage and upstairs stage; 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
487 Atlantic Avenue (near the Barclays Center); only comedy club in Brooklyn; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; some shows have 2-drink min., but many don’t

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.

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.

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

Special thanks to comedy photographers supreme Anya Garrett and Mindy Tucker for creating so many of the stellar photos that grace this site…and the sites of hundreds of NYC comics.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.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, provide feedback on my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me to develop your book or screenplay (please visit BookProposal.net or HyOnYourScript.com), or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

You can also find me on Twitter at @hybender, Instagram at @hybenderny, and Facebook at https://Facebook.com/hybender.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/17/13

April 17, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Catch Scott Adsit perform duo improv for one night only with Julie Sharbutt (Gravid Water) at The PIT; details here

Dave Hill

Dave Hill tells hilarious stories at “Yum’s the Word” (with free ice cream cake!) and “Big Effing Deal: A Terrible Mistake”…

John Lutz

…and John Lutz (above) and Scott Adsit perform as genius improv duo “John & Scott”

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] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Cammi Climaco (co-host of Ask Me Stories) hosts this weekly hour-long open-mic storytelling show, with typically six audience members chosen from a bucket of names getting to tell tales for 6-7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge: Cammi Climaco’s Storytelling Open Mic: Six by Six

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing 3 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Max Corbel & Benel Germosen: Cracking It

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

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Dr. Champagne, Flower GIrl, Featherweight, Chet Watkins, Bloomer, The Wrath, Nintendo, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Nintendo at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm to Midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced, but you can check for an update here) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the delightful host Abbi Crutchfield and comedic rapster Andrew Singer: Positively Awesome

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm show ($10 at the door, $12.50 in advance online; price includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Stellar storytellers 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), Tracy Rowland (Emmy-award winning writer & TV producer; The Moth, The Liar Show), Josh Blau (The Moth podcast), and Blaise Allysen Kearsley (How I Learned, The Rejection Show) telling tales about this month’s theme Socially Awkward at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) and that includes free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes City Mouse and Huxtable: Lloyd Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

Note: If you’re a Scott Adsit fan, please also check out his one-time-only PIT show tomorrow.

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Killer storytellers lineup of 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), Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Jared Logan (rising stand-up star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, CNN, TBS, host of ComedyJuice), and Jessie Cantrell & Mike O’Gorman telling tales about A Terrible Mistake at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street), hosted by Beth Hoyt & Trish Nelson: Big Effing Deal: A Terrible Mistake

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

8:00 pm ($5): Mike Brown (co-host of Vicious Cycle) performs a relatively rare form of improvisation—a one-man show—at The PIT downstairs lounge (to view last week’s show, which was video recorded, please click here): Mike Brown Solo Improv Extravaganza

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($8 at the door or $10.70 in advance online): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Nick Turner & Acquaintances

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any squabbling) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Joey Gay (Last Comic Standing), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Shannon Coffey (Comedy Central), J.F. Harris, and Matt Jenkins performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Peter Grosz (HBO’s Veep and Curb Your Enthusiasm, Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report and Key & Peele, numerous Sonic commercials) debuts a show at UCB Chelsea described as follows: “Do you like to cook? Do you think you’re a good home chef? Well, guess what? You’re not. Let chef Michael Denardi show you everything you didn’t know that you didn’t know about preparing food. His personality is as bold as his cooking, and his take-no-prisoners passion and high-energy food preparation is matched only by his love for all things local, organic, micro-brewed, house-cured, and dungeon-smoked. Warning: This might seem like just a 45-minute cooking demonstration; but you will also learn life lessons that will blow your mind. Please wear a helmet:” Recipe For Success with Chef Michael Denardi

9:30 pm ($5): Each booked performer has 10 minutes to do whatever he or she chooses—stand-up, sketch, improv, music, dance, or something beyond categorization. “It’s simple, it’s fun, and it might get crazy” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Guerrilla Theatre

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Rising stand-up stars—Mark Normand, Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, Dan. St. Germain, Michael Che, Emily Heller, Jeffrey Joseph, Dan Soder, Barry Rothbart, Calise Hawkins, Joe List, Pat Dixon, and/or Nick Turner—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regulars

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased; member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger, sketch troupe The Prom, and Harold Night troupe Bucky) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; plus Sasheer is going to be a huge star, so catch her in this intimate setting while you can. Tonight’s scheduled guests haven’t been posted as I write this, but please check for the updated complete lineup—which should not start with JC Coccoli who, while adorable, topped last week’s list—by clicking 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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Punctual Drunks interviews an audience member about his or her favorite fairy tale, and then picks up the story where it left off so you can find out how it really ended, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Your Favorite Fairy Tale

[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] 11:00 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), and Sam Morril (Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, Kurt Metzger, and More

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 Monday 12/3/12

December 3, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Scott Adsit

Scott Adsit performs as half of genius improv duo John & Scott…

Colin Quinn

…and Colin Quinn performs stand-up at Comedy Cellar

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

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($1): Cammi Climaco (co-host of Ask Me Stories) hosts this weekly hour-long open-mic storytelling show (which should really be at least 90 minutes, but at least The PIT is finally providing some regularly scheduled space to storytelling…), with audience members chosen from a bucket of names getting to tell tales for 6 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge: Cammi Climaco’s Storytelling Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5 cover for comics, no cover for audience with code HyReviews, plus 1-drink min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 1/2 minutes per set and 20 comics crammed into 2 hours—at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal Street) for John Morrison’s Village Motel

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): World-class storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Tales of the Cosmos and The Adam Wade Show; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), hosts a show at The Magnet that’s “like watching the characters of The Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption,” with tonight’s guests the students from Adam’s storytelling class: Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?

7:00 pm ($5): UCB Chelsea house troupe Bellevue debuts a sketch show: The Baby Had It Coming

7:00 pm ($5): A storyteller spins monologues that improvisors then turn into scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Room 101

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Inspired by the popular blog My High School Boyfriend Was Gay, this superb show at UCB East “celebrates our most tragic, hilarious, and heinous teenage memories, full of chaste hugs, Grease sing-alongs, and trips to the stage door to accost the cast of Rent,” with true stories tonight from John Early (30 Rock), Marla Mindelle (Broadway musicals Cinderella and Sister Act), Mara Wilson (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire), and Kambri Crews (author of Burn Down the Ground), with hosts Damian Bellino, and the super-delightful Camille Harris whose piano playing and singing will make you grin and dance in your seat: My High School Boyfriend Was Gay

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): TV & Broadway star Colin Quinn, Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Modi (HBO’s The Sopranos, Comedy Central), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno), and more performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Colin Quinn, Judah Friedlander, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, , FX’s Totally Biased), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), and Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Night Train with Wyatt Cenac

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Joyelle Johnson (opens for Maria Bamford), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Aparna Nancherla (FX’s Totally Biased), and Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Grand Victory Bar (245 Grand Street) for this twice-a-month extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of The Orphanage; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here) and Nick Maritato, followed afterwards by wild karaoke party: DTF

8:00 pm ($8): A news show self-described as “wacky” from Margo Rose, with tonight’s guests Caryn Rosenthal & Maryjane Fahey (authors of Dumped), Jan Uczkowski, and Adrian Martinez at The PIT upstairs theatre: Margo Rose Live

8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, sketch comedy from The Weird Sisters, Listen Kid!, and We’re Matt Weir: Listen, Matt Weir’d Sisters

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), and Sam Morill performing at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar hosted by Grant Gordon & Louis Katz: Sack Magic

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new material: Supereasy (which includes comedy chameleon Livia Scott) and Dinner (which includes terrific writers Silvija Ozols and Caitlin Bitzegaio, and performers Don Fanelli and Eddie Dunn): Maude Night: Supereasy and Dinner

9:30 pm ($8): Improv troupe Maybe Sherman makes up scenes involving mobsters at The PIT upstairs theatre: MafiaProv

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set, and then a seasoned headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another), Ray Devito, Kendra Cunningham, Ari Teman, Ken Schultz, and Deepu Gill performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 pm ($5): 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Elon Gold (correspondent on Jay Leno, FOX’s Bones), Wil Syvince (Comedy Central), and more performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Nikki Glaser, Godfrey, and More

10:00 pm ($5): A rotating cast of veteran improvisors make up scenes based on improvised monologues from tonight’s guest Roman Rimer at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by someone who’s probably wonderful: Whiplash

11:00 pm ($1): If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jared Reed: Fresh

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/12/12

September 12, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Gramps

At UCB Chelsea, one of the country’s finest sketch troupes retires tonight at Gramp’s: The FInale…

Scott Adsit

…and then improv genius Scott Adsit (above right) teams with fellow genius John Lutz as John & Scott

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A special final performance of Gramp’s, which at its height with Kate McKinnon (now a cast member of Saturday Night Live) was not only the finest of UCBT’s Maude teams but one of the best sketch comedy groups in the country. Kate’s busy rehearsing tonight for SNL (which returns this Saturday 9/15), but Gramp’s writers and 20 superb performers will help blow the roof off at UCB Chelsea for Gramp’s: The Finale

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Four free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($8): “Desperation, dictatorship, and punches to the testicles are just some of the themes in the second run of the sketch show written by Gabe Capone (National Scandal) and Ryan Darden (Nuns on the Run). It’s silly, cerebral, and unapologetically dark” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Gabe and Ryan’s Facebook Timeline

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Kinsey and Hoops: Lloyd Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A live recording of host Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash) and nearly a dozen NYC stand-ups—including Reid Faylor, Lee Camp, Dave Waite, and Danny Lobell—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Stand-Up Records

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Livia Scott (magical comedic chameleon; Conan O’Brien, Livia’s Castle of Enchantment), Josh Gondelman (G4’s Attack of the Show), Aalap Patel, Calvin S. Cato, and Nathan Rand performing at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) hosted by Selena Coppock, Dan Cartwright, and/or Emily Epstein: Connotation

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[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

9:00 pm ($5 if you say “Double Dutch Bus,” otherwise $8): Stand-up Brendan McLaughlin, music from Jen Kwok, character comedy from Adam Haway, and sketch from troupes The Chris & Paul Show, The Release, and Sketch Tiger performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Annie Solstad Laferriere: September Sketch Block

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Playboy.com), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), Mike Cannon (MTV), and Dan Hirshon performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:00 pm ($5): Mindy Raf (brilliant comedic singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor, YA novelist; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers), Kara Klenk (host of If You Build It), and Thomas Dale performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Leah Bonnema & Jessimae Peluso: The K-Hole Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer created Broad City as a Web series, which was then picked up for development as a TV series for FX…and is also a monthly stage show at UCB Chelsea. Tonight’s theme is Oprah for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Jena Friedman, Casey Jost, and Emmy Blotnick; for the complete list, 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] 11:00 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 more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/8/12

August 8, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For comprehensive coverage of FringeNYC 2012, please click here.

Sean Donnelly

Sean Donnelly headlines for one night only at Carolines…

John Lutz

…and improv genius John Lutz (above) performs with fellow genius Scott Adsit as John & Scott

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 upstairs theatre for PIT 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 The Party Lions, Silver Fox, Featherweight, Brick, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Leviathan, and Horses performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Silver Fox at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($5 if you use code BREAKOUT, plus 2-drink min.) One of the nicest guys in comedy—who has hosted more shows around NYC than almost anyone—headlines tonight, with openers Giulia Rozzi, Matt Wayne, and Dennis Rooney, for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Sean Donnelly

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Kinsey and Hoops: Lloyd Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Several delightful female comics are on tonight’s lineup: Calise Hawkins, Phoebe Robinson, Bridgid Ryan, Meg Ferrill, Rae Sanni, and Jim Tews, all performing at the Niagra Bar (112 Avenue A & 7th Street) for this biweekly show hosted by Charla Lauriston: Fun Comedy Good Times Why Not?!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): JC Coccoli (Key & Peele; looks great in a hat), Nimesh Patel (co-host of Broken Comedy), Team Submarine, Jay Nog (Rooftop Comedy), Meghan Hanley, and Craig Mahoney performing at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) hosted by Selena Coppock, Dan Cartwright, and Emily Epstein: Connotation

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5 if you say “Cherry Bomb,” otherwise $8): Stand-up Adam Lash, solo sketch from Andrew Drinnan, and group sketch from Heady Tonic, The Preservation Society, Desperate Times, and the Wrestling Team performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Naomi Ekperigin.: August Sketch Block

9:00 pm ($5): Mindy Raf (brilliant comedic singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor, YA novelist; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), and Michael Che (Comedy Central) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Leah Bonnema & Jessimae Peluso: The K-Hole Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer created Broad City as a Web series, which was then picked up for development as a TV series for FX…and is also a monthly stage show at UCB Chelsea. Tonight’s theme is Musical Revue, so expect singing and dancing in this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Bridey Elliot and Becky Yamamoto; for the full 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: 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

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/9/12

April 9, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Scott Adsit

30 Rock's Scott Adsit...

John Lutz

...and John Lutz blow the roof off tonight as genius improv duo John & Scott

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 stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with each of the four audience members chosen from the bucket of names getting to tell tales for 7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), along with guest storyteller Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show, The Jon Friedman Internet Program), at Under St. MarksThe Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Carol Hartsell’s & John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TVChelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), and Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from host Kristen Schaal (one of the sharpest & funniest comics alive): Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, tonight features screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are “canceled” at Channel 101

8:00 pm ($8): Improv performed by talented duos at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ampers&nd

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Justy Dodge, Damien Lemon, George Gordon, Matt Wayne, and Amanda Baramk performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and Nimesh Patel, and often featuring free beer: Broken Comedy

9:00 pm ($5): Musical guest Kristin Plater, plus NYC stand-ups Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), Ashley Brooke Roberts, Charlie Kasov, and Nate Fernald performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new bits: Neighbor Boy (which tends to be weak on material, but includes such talents as Kate Hess, Tim Dunn, and Beth Appel, and may get a shot in the arm with the addition of writer Caitlin Bitzegaio), and Fambly (which includes wonderful rising star Mamrie Hart, Nicole Byer, Dan Chamberlain, Veronica Osorio, and a sharp crew of writers): Maude Night: Neighbor Boy & Fambly

9:30 pm ($5): The debut of a monthly stand-up competition at UCB East in which “new and emerging stand-up comics face off against each other in front of a panel of judges eager to provide unsolicited advice and even more unsolicited scores”—the judges being Brian Cichocki (Caroline’s, Stand-Up New York), and Shannon Coffey. If you’re an up-and-coming stand-up, send a video link and brief bio to john@ucbcomedy.com for a chance to participate in Stand-Up Smackdown!

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Improv spinning off sets by NYC stand-ups (not announced, but you can check for an update here), with the improvisors typically including such talents as Micah Sherman, Cathleen Carr, Nick Vatterott, and/or Sarah Nowak performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Micah Sherman: Fun

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who haven’t been announced yet for tonight, but you can check for an update by clicking here—performing at UCB Chelsea and hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic at The PITupstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 3/28/12

March 28, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Scott Adsit and John Lutz

One of the finest comedy duos alive improvise scenes with breathtaking intelligence and skill as John & Scott

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: Five 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 brand house troupes The Surge, Leviathan, Grappler, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Brick, Horses, and Featherweight performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Leviathan at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): John Moses (Rooftop Comedy), Naomi Ekperigin (5 Funny Females), BRAD LOEKLE (TruTV, host of Electroshock Therapy Comedy), and Brea Tremblay performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with host Selena Coppock: Connotation

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (for their photos, please click here) performing at the East Village’sBeauty Bar with hosts Negin Farsad, Amy Albert, and Beth McGregor for their free weekly showComedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[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: Stand-ups Luke Thayer and Toby Muresianu, musician Jen Kwok, and improv troupe Trowbridget performing at this free biweekly variety show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, Ophira Eisenberg, Anthony Atamanuik, Seth Lind, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s theme Coming CleanThe Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform along with side-show attractions such as jugglers, contortionists, and fire eaters at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience: Abigoliah’s Bizzarre Bazaar

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes delightful rising star Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger, The Prom) as host, plus such guests as fiercely talented Nicole Byer (Doppelganger, The Bachelor) and the delightfully exposed Julia Wiedeman (Naked People); for the complete list, 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: 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

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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