NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/26/13

September 26, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Flynn

It’s your last chance to give one of NYC’s most beloved comics a hug before he gets on a plane tomorrow to LA: John Flynn Is Leaving…

Richard Lewis

…while Richard Lewis headlines through Sunday at Carolines

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] 5:00 pm-1:00 am: Bid a fond farewell to one of the most beloved comics in the NYC comedy community who’s about to move to LA—a multiple threat who can tell stories, perform stand-up, sing and dance, and become a shark (above)—at the Smithfield Bar (215 West 28th Street, within walking distance of UCB Chelsea). John says “Yes, we’re going to LA and will probably never see you again, so please come to see us on our last night in New York. We’re getting to Smithfield around 5:00 and will be drinking and eating all night. If you don’t know Smithfield, it’s one of the only decent bars in the neighborhood. Good beer selection and better food than you’d expect, so you snobs will be okay there:” John Flynn Is Leaving, Drop By to Say Bye

6:00 pm ($5): “Experts and historical figures discuss the most important topics of the day in this comedy panel show” at UCB East hosted by Erik Tanouye and/or Will Hines: What’s All This Then, America?

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20 at the door or $26.50 online using discount code DAISEY; no food/drink min.): MIke Daisey is one of the finest and most respected storytellers alive; and he’s not resting on his prior achievements. Just within the past year Mike churned out an amazing nine new shows at Joe’s Pub (including such instant classics as Fucking Fucking Fucking Ayn Rand and Five Technical Rehearsals in India)…and that was a mere prequel. Mike is now embarked on telling 29 new shows in a row in a 29-night, 44-hour monologue that’s “a living theatrical novel.” See it live at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place), or experience it at your convenience for FREE via iTunes (I’ll be doing a mix of both): All the Faces of the Moon

7:00 pm ($5): An audience suggestion is turned into singing and dancing scenes on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge by musical improv group Good Catch

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($41 & 2-drink min.)  A comedy star who’s snared just about every major credit a comic can—and is a long-time cast member of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm—headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Richard Lewis

7:30 pm ($5): Anthony DeVito (Conan O’Brien, VH1, FX), Jason Saenz (sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Rachael Parenta (Gawker.com, contributor to book What Was I Thinking?: Bad Boyfriend Stories; for sample video, please click here), Brendan Fitzgibbons (The Onion), and Robert Dean performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm show ($8): This monthly show in which people tell stories revolving around songs tonight features Slash Coleman (author of The Bohemian Love Diaries, PBS special The Neon Man and Me), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Julia Wiedeman (host of UCB East Monday open mic, one-woman show Naked People), and Mike Brown at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Dana Ross: The Soundtrack Series

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Storytellers Robin Gelfenbien, Michelle Onufrak, Lisa Kleinman, and Dusty Ballard tells tales about this month’s theme of The Show Must Go On, and then hosts Anna Roisman & Katie Haller sing songs they’ve written pre-show about those stories, at The PIT upstairs theatre: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no drink 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), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), plus Daily Show staffers Jena Friedman, Rory Albanese, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Paul Mecurio, Jena Friedman, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Party Pooper (long form improv murder mystery in which “each performer will receive an envelope revealing exactly who he or she is, and whether or not he or she is the one who-done-it, followed by a 50-minute single-scene murder mystery made up on the spot,” directed by Peter McNerney), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Micaela Blei at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) pitting MalBec against The Wrath: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7.20 online or $10 at the door): Stand-up comics, storytellers, and sideshow attractions at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience hosted by Matteo Lane and Abigoliah Schamaun: Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar

8:00 pm ($5): Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness) performs stand-up and discusses issues with tonight’s guest Daniel Pinchbeck at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Greg Barris: Mind Warriors

8:30 pm ($6): Stand-up from Seaton Smith, Cipha Sounds, Kate Berlant, Lukas Kaiser, and Will Hines performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall produced by Cipha Sounds and Lukas Kaiser: Radness

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Jason Saenz (sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Emily Heller and/or Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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 and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): An unforgettable tale of clowns by Melanie Hamlett (brilliant storyteller/writer; three-time Moth StorySlam Champion, host of Adventures With Melanie Hamlett, amazing blog, roving adventurer), plus 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 Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Hallie Cantor, and Jolenta Greenberg sharing true tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s theme Revolting at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country guest-hosted tonight by David Crabb: Risk!: Revolting

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy based on one of the very, very finest series to ever grace a TV screen, Breaking Bad, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Heisenberg & Friends Breaking Bad Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink 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), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), and Kyle Dunningham (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno): Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glaser, Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Comedy, music, and lots of love” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick J. Reilly: I Love You Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1989 dreadful SF mess Slipstream; for the embarrassingly bad trailer, please click here) at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Upstart improv group Namaste crushed What I Did For Love two weeks ago, then did the same against The Brothers Hines and Never Never, and last week spanked Improv Nerds 92-48. Tonight this champion will face Hungry Boys at UCB Chelsea when these teams compete for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): This sketch comedy/talk/variety show tonight features guests Shannon O’Neill doing lord knows what, Will Hines doing stand-up, LePinke Especial performing burlesque, and more at UCB East hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($14 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), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), and TuRae (Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Vic Henley (David Letterman, Comedy Central Presents): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Ari Shaffir, and More

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: All-gal open-mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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 ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:00 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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.)

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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/25/13

September 25, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

B.J. Novak

At UCB Chelsea, “The Office” star B.J. Novak reads his Uncollected Stories…

John Flynn

…and then it’s John Flynn’s final NYC storytelling show before he abandons the thousands who love him for LA: “The Nights of Our Lives”

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20 at the door or $26.50 online using discount code DAISEY; no food/drink min.): Why is genius yarn-spinner Mike Daisey telling 29 new stories in a row (working off mere one-page outlines) in a 29-night, 44-hour monologue? Part of the answer appears near the start of Show #10: “I’ve always been willing to throw myself right off a cliff. It’s a beautiful feeling to know that below awaits the water or the rocks. When you’re suspended in that high arc above the brilliant blue, for a moment you are released, you are free…because you could live or die. I crave that.” If you crave seeing that, catch Mike live at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place); or experience this epic adventure at your convenience for FREE via iTunes: All the Faces of the Moon

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make stuff up based on the tracks of a hip-hop album at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Anthology

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Writer and actor B.J. Novak (The Office, Inglourious Basterds) “shares original pieces of comedic fiction” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: B.J. Novak: Uncollected Stories

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Meggie Spellman (UCBT’s The Prom) and Anne Clark (The PITs Totally, Yes!) perform duo sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Black Magic Lab Variety Show

[$] 8:00 pm ($15; no drink min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Al Madrigal (correspondent for The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Al Madrigal, and More

[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

[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 CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Chris Millhouse (The Daily Show), Jeff Kreisler, and Cory Jarvis 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): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Never Never and First Lady: Lloyd Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Melanie Hamlett, Adam Wade, Tara Clancy, wonderful host Dave Martin, and the ‘we already miss him’ departing John Flynn—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s topic Tales of New York, at the UCB Chelsea theatre. Dave Martin writes, “It’s the beloved John Flynn’s final performance in New York City and we are planning to rob him of all his worldly possessions so that he has no means by which to make the journey to the Left Coast. If you come to the show you might get a ‘free’ iPhone. Or one of those dental floss picks:” The Nights of Our Lives

9:30 pm ($5): Something involving comics and theatre acting—the description is almost impossible to decipher—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Funny People

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink 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), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glaser, Greer Barnes, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this 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: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show) and/or Nathan Anderson (Uncoolio): /r/standup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Hey Girl, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky) and Charla Lauriston host 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 include Brandon Gulya; 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

[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), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Vic Henley (David Letterman, Comedy Central Presents), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Vic Henley, and More

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[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 5 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by 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 ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Wednesday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): Biweekly open-mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[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 chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Lucas Hazlett: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with group Horses: Magnet Improv Mixer

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.)

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 8/19/13

August 19, 2013

For my FringeNYC 2013 coverage, updated daily, please click here.

John Flynn and Jeff Simmermon

Stellar storytellers John Flynn, Jeff Simmermon, and Robin Gelfenbien are the guests at tonight’s East Village extravaganza Adventures with Melanie Hamlett…

Mike Drucker and Mark Normand

…and hilarious stand-ups Mike Drucker, Mark Normand, Todd Barry, and more perform at Morrison Motel

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): A powerhouse lineup of storytelling show hosts John Flynn (rising star storyteller/actor; Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives, host of Oh, Hey Guys!), Robin Gelfenbien (host of Yum’s the Word; VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC), and Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying) telling true tales of hair-raising adventures, and also sharing shorter anecdotes on the fly in a campfire setting, with wonderful host Melanie Hamlett (three-time Moth StorySlam Champion; Dr. Oz; co-author of book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, roving adventurer who tours the globe to find memorable tales). This is among my all-time favorite shows, and one of the only comedy events for which I’m taking a break from FringeNYC. Please join me at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) for surreal travel slides, camp intimacy, and astounding stories at Adventures with Melanie Hamlett

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up who’s performed on HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, and Comedy Central tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Bonnie McFarlane

[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

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Eugene Mirman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), Becky Yamamoto (rave reviews from The New York Times and The New Yorker; former beard-wearing member of band Stickerbook), Nat Towsen (co-host of The Moon Show), and Ahmed Bharoocha performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour): Night Train

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and more performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): John Mulaney, Tom Papa, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at the Niagra Bar (112 Avenue A & 7th Street) for this weekly show hosted by Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012) & DJ CnC: Crickets

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15 if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $20], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is recommended): Terrific lineup of Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), and Frank Vignola performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel: Todd Barry, Mark Normand, Mike Drucker, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): A triple-bill of the relatively rare form of solo long form improv from 1 Deep (Shacottha Fields), Andy, Please! (Andy Moskowitz), and Pepita (Elana Fishbein) at The Magnet theatre: Solo

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1) performs a club-length headlining set at The PIT upstairs theatre: Dan St. Germain

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Tami Sagher (former writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006) and Chris Gethard (comedy genius; The Office, Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York) perform duo improv at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Sagher & Gethard

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) presumably auditioning for spots on a Comedy Central show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Comedy Central Showcase

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Subhah Agarwal, Angel Castillo, Dave Wisell, Dean Masello, Debbie Bazza and Mack Lindsay performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here) and more performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Dave Attell, Nick Griffin, Mark Normand, and More

10:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet from a group that promises to create “a universe of unique sensation, demonstrations, and displays appealing to the sensible and nervous alike:” The Boss

[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 the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Monday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

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

10:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

[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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night. 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 Jarrid Reed: Fresh

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.)

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 Thursday 1/17/13

January 17, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For a review of Anthony Jeselnik’s new DVD Caligula, please click here.

John Flynn

John Flynn performs one of the best one-man shows you’ll see this year for the final taping of his first comedy album…

Sasheer Zamata

…and rising star Sasheer Zamata & her troupe Doppelganger will work hard & smart for your laughs at a fierce Cage Match

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Michelle Markowitz & Bryan Rucker (hosts of Failing Our Twenties) guest-host tonight’s open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress (which regular host John Flynn is over at UCB Chelsea performing a stellar one-man show—please see the 8:00 pm listings): Oh, Hey Guys!

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv troupe Adorable mixes with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Punchbowl and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Fran Gillespie, Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Tim Martin, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot (formerly named Diamond Lion): KOSMOS Musical Improv

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): John Flynn (superb storyteller/actor/host; The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!) delivers one of the best one-man shows you’re likely to see anywhere, spinning a series of hilarious stories about his experiences growing up gay that are universal, tightly written, and performed with exceptional skill. Don’t miss this last chance to be a part of history and have your laughs recorded for this taping for John’s comedy album at the UCB Chelsea theatre: John Flynn’s Live Comedy Album Taping

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

[$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hemlock and Dagger

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Junion Varsity, Featherweight, The Boss, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by The Blackout (scenes are edited by blackouts created by the director in the booth, and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), tonight featuring Weekend of Regret vs. Flower Girl: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Great lineup of Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, CNN, TBS, host of ComedyJuice), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Joe Pera (very funny deadpan comic; I recently saw him sing beautifully and then smash three dozen plates to pieces; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here), Sandy Danto (Mad TV), James Harris, and Shalwewa Sharpe performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney perform new sketches at UCB Chelsea, as well as host stand-up and improv guests: BriTANicK: The Monthly Mankerthon

9:30 pm ($8): Gal duo Tamsi & Samsi (Tamsi New & Samantha Reece Schecter) perform sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre, offering helpful advice on How to Be Nice, Pretty and Invisible

[FREE] 9:30 pm: All-gal improv troupe Vacation makes stuff up about battling the post-holiday winter blues at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Vacation Fights the Sads

[$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Modi (HBO’s The Sopranos, Comedy Central), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sam Morril (Comedy Central) and Andy Hendrickson performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Jena Friedman, Sherrod Small,and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the awesome 1975 Hong Kong rip-off of Japan’s Ultraman: Infra-man (self-described as “six million light years beyond believability;” for a trailer, please click here)—at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Doppelganger (Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar) has proved itself to be one of the most organic and fiercely funny improv groups in the country. Tonight it goes up against a UCBT weekend troupe, What I Did For Love, that typically includes UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), and Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion). The foundations of UCB Chelsea will quake as these titans compete for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Joe List (Comedy Central), and Harry Terjanian (Andy Kaufman Award finalist) perform for a showcase of NYC stand-ups not yet represented by a manager or agent at UCB East hosted by Luke Thayer & JL Cauvin: Unmanageable Stand-Ups

[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Lynn Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Syle), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color, MTV, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), and Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV): The Nasty Show: Jay Oakerson, Lynn Koplitz, Paul Mecurio, 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 Saturday 1/5/13

January 5, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Flynn, Kevin Allison, and Dan St. Germain

Two great storytelling shows tonight: John Flynn, Kevin Allison, and more at The Liar Show, and Dan St. Germain and more at Adam Wade’s Tales of the Cosmos

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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($8 cover plus $7 drink min.; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!), John Flynn (rising star storyteller/actor; Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!), Andy Ross (Mad Magazine, The Onion), and Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, The BTK Band). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Kelly & Justin, The Afterparty, and Sad Kids at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[FREE] 6:00 pm: “A monthly show that you control. Your suggestions, blurt-outs, and whatever else you feel like doing or saying will guide us through an hour of good times” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: YBTHR

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain, Emily Blotnick, and Julia Joseph tell “stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe” at UCB East hosted by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here): Tales of the Cosmos

7:00 pm ($5): Hip hop musical improv at The PIT downstairs theatre from Nick Brown, Don Romaniello, and Michael Short pretending to be NYC police officers: Rap Crimes Division

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 at the door, $18.88 in advance online): TV & movie star Gilbert Gottfried, 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), and more performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House hosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

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

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up, sketch comics, and improv groups mix up their regular routines; plus host Kissing Disease performs an improvised monoscene based on an audience member’s suggested obstacle at The PIT downstairs lounge: Kissing Disease Tries Something

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who won Last Comic Standing Season 3, has performed on Jay Leno, and starred in his own Showtime one-hour special Who’s Paying Attention?, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Alonzo Bodden

8:30 pm ($10): Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing), and Kath Barbadoro performing stand-up at UCB East guest-hosted by Nick Turner: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($20): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, Craig Ferguson, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Dante Nero performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Marina Franklin, Hannibal Buress, and More

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (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), 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), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

9:00 pm ($5): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—with tonight’s comics Amber Nelson, Eli Sairs, Jim VanBlaricum, Robert Dean, Mike Cody,Taylor Clark, Shakir Standley, Brad Austin, Nate Fernald, Alex Fossella, Max Boyajian, and Joel Walkowski performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short (who has promised to steal a policeman’s gun, live on stage): Underbelly

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter:” Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford—makes stuff up at UCB East based on hellish experiences of audience members: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($20 & 2-item food/drink 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) Joe Matarese (David Lettterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing, VH1), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friendlander, Joe Matarese, Ryan Hamilton, and More

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

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

Midnight ($5): Jessica Delfino (enjoys singing songs about her vagina, as demonstrated by her CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; created wildly popular YouTube animated short film I Wanna Be Famous), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Ben Kronberg (Comedy Central), Boris Khaykin (College Humor), Greg Brainos, and Steve Slate (as DJ Snob) performing at UCB Chelsea with host Andy Rocco at Underground Americana

[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

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 Thursday 1/3/13

January 3, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Flynn

Rising star John Flynn performs his best stories and jokes for the live taping of his first comedy album at UCB Chelsea…

Nicole Byer

…but first John hosts his storytelling show Oh Hey, Guys at UCB East with force-of-nature guest Nicole Byer…who later competes in a titantic “Doppelganger vs. Good Dad” battle at UCB Chelea’s Cage Match

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Delightful force of nature Nicole Byer (Doppelganger) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, hosted by the wonderful John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv troupe Adorable mixes with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a brand new show looking at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Punchbowl and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), and “a special guest” performing at UCB East hosted by Dan Allen & Ray Devito: Sacapuntas!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “For over a year, Patrick Waldo scrawled his moustache tag on countless advertisements around New York City, entertaining commuters and causing thousands of dollars in damage. After a three month investigation, the NYPD put an end to his spree when they arrested Waldo under felony charges of graffiti, criminal mischief, and fucking shit up,” written & starring Patrick Waldo, and directed by Nate Dern & John Flynn: Moustache Man: Confessions of a NYC Graffiti Artist

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a sketch show about one of the sadder aspects of the human condition: Lonely People

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

[$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), Modi (HBO’s The Sopranos, Comedy Central), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): Tom Papa, Gregg Rogell, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hemlock and Dagger

[$] 8:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who won Last Comic Standing Season 3, has performed on Jay Leno, and starred in his own Showtime one-hour special Who’s Paying Attention?, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Alonzo Bodden

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Featherweight, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by The Blackout (scenes are edited by blackouts created by the director in the booth, and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), tonight featuring Weekend of Regret vs. Rubin: The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from troupe Secrets Club at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Matter of Trust

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The spectacular Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), plus Mike Drucker, Seaton Smith, Tim Dillon, Zach Sims, and Noah Garfinkel performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): John Flynn (superb storyteller/actor/host; The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!) is one of the most underrated comics in NYC. Tonight John will address that at UCB Chelsea by performing his best stories and stand-up for posterity before an enthusiastic audience—which hopefully will include you: John Flynn’s Live Comedy Album Taping

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($22 & 2-drink min.) A razor-sharp stand-up who’s performed on HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, as well as FX’s Louie and radio show Opie & Anthony, starred in his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, created the comedy CDs The Depression Auction and Return of the Depression Auction, and co-hosts the weekly NYC stand-up show Righteous Kill headlining tonight and Thursday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Joe DeRosa

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink 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), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, Craig Ferguson, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), and Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1982 Dario Argento horror movie Tenebrae (which is supposed to be quite good, with a 7 ranking on IMDB)—at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of the country’s finest improv troupes, Doppelganger (Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar), goes up against Improv troupe Good Dad (comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus) in a titantic competion for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): “Jack Dishel is best known as a songwriter and musician, touring all over the world performing as Only Son and also playing lead guitar in The Moldy Peaches. Last year he exploded onto the comedy scene, doing multiple runs of hour-long shows at the Sidewalk Cafe and The PIT—without ever repeating material. It’s sometimes hilarious, sometimes dark, but always interesting. Whether speaking as one of his many characters or in his own voice, his ideas come through loud and clear, and it’s a fast hour. Let’s see what happens when Dishel brings the drunken night club insanity into The PIT upstairs theatre:” Jack Dishel: Drinking & Talking

11:00 pm ($5): A sketch comedy radio show/podcast live on the UCB East stage, with tonight’s parody sequel The Hobbit 4: Left Handed Radio

[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Jay Oakerson: The Nasty Show: Big Jay Oakerson, Mark Normand, Jon Fisch, 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 Wednesday 11/21/12

November 21, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

My favorite fast food place, Tuck Shop, got hit hard by Sandy. Please check out its amazing meat & veggie mini-pies; the 68 East 1st Street store is near UCB East and open very late…and is run by a fiery Aussie redhead who’s a delight.

John Flynn

UCBT star John Flynn performs his best stories and jokes for the live taping of his first comedy album…

Simon Amstell

…and it’s your last chance to catch UK star Simon Amstell’s one-man show at Theatre 80 St. Marks: “Numb”

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 3 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Max Corbel & Benel Germosen: Cracking It

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): A special pre-holiday gathering of Magnet house troupes Organic Cranberries, Turkey-Bot 2000, A Thanksgiving Story, Millions of Thanksgiving Hugs, Football on the TV, Brick, Macy’s Day Massacre, and Christmas So Soon performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Flower Girl at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Playboy.com) Chris Lamberth (national TV commercial star), Mike Denny (co-host of Bar Matchless), and Matteo Lane (visiting from Chicago) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield (VH1) and her husband Luke Thayer (Tyra Banks; co-host of The Living Room): Positively Awesome

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

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from Joe List (Comedy Central), Micah Sherman (Second City, The Scene), Dan Hirshon (Huffington Post), Ben Kissel, and many more performing at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlines tonight and this weekend at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tracy Morgan

7:30 pm ($5): Celebrating a lesser-known parade via improv at UCB East, featuring superb improvisor Ellena Chmielewski: The Macy’s Day Before Thanksgiving Day Parade

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($26 via the box office or $30 online): UK TV star Simon Amstell (BBC’s Do Nothing, Grandma’s House) performs a brilliant one-man show about the anxieties of success and the meaning of life—and yes, he will tell you the meaning of life before the evening ends (worth the price of admission right there…). While the show is tightly scripted, Simon is one of the most lightning-quick wits in comedy, and at the performance I attended reminded me of Daniel Kitson by crafting many of the best moments on the fly from responses to the audience. (For example, when a woman in the first row abruptly got up to leave Simon did several minutes on that; and when she returned from the bathroom and explained she hadn’t missed anything because she’d seen Numb before, Simon replied, “I don’t know whether that makes it better or worse. Does that mean you waited until the part of the show you liked the least?”) Take advantage of this final chance—the NYC run ends tonight—and nab tickets at the lovely Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, between First and Second Avenues) for Simon Amstell: Numb

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): John Flynn (superb storyteller/actor/host; The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!) is one of the most underrated comics in NYC. Tonight John will address that at UCB Chelsea by performing his best stories and stand-up for posterity before an enthusiastic audience—which hopefully will include you: John Flynn’s Live Comedy Album Taping

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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] [$] [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): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Andrew Schulz (MTV 2’s Guy Code), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 9:00 pm:Al Jackson (Comedy Central Presents; come for Al’s wise advice about choosing a wife), Joe Harrington (MTV), Luke Younger, Jeff Cerulli, and Stephanie Holmes 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): “For over a year, Patrick Waldo scrawled his moustache tag on countless advertisements around New York City, entertaining commuters and causing thousands of dollars in damage. After a three month investigation, the NYPD put an end to his spree when they arrested Waldo under felony charges of graffiti, criminal mischief, and fucking shit up,” written & starring Patrick Waldo, and directed by Nate Dern & John Flynn: Moustache Man: Confessions of a NYC Graffiti Artist

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award) performs a 30-minute stand-up set: Harrison Greenbaum

10:00 pm ($5): Chris Nester & Ross Taylor are aspiring Country Western musicians who “sneak laughs and toe-tapping-tunes in between serious moral lessons based on suggestions from the audience (sinners welcome!)” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Oakwood Boys: MoralityProv

[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

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.