NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/21/17 (Summer Edition)

June 21, 2017

John Lutz and Scott AdsitGenius comics John Lutz (staff writer for Seth Meyers; cast member of 30 Rock, six years as staff writer for Saturday Night Live) teams with fellow 30 Rock cast member Scott Adsit (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) to form a super-smart and hilarious star duo crafting in the moment one of the very finest improv shows you’ll ever see: John & Scott (8:00 pm, $7 (sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing), UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)…

John Gemberling…and you know the Del Close Marathon is near (it’s this Friday through Sunday) when such legendary comics as John Gemberling (above) and Matt Besser (co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade) start appearing on UCB stages. In this blend of improv and interview, “Logan is 7 years old and hosts a late night talk show in his bedroom when he’s supposed to be asleep. The monster in his closet is his warm-up comic, furious because he knows he’s imaginary! His sidekick, Bunny, is a stuffed animal terrified at the thought of meeting another rabbit, and his house band is a motley crew of action figures and misfit toys. There will be music, real guests, and genuine conversation until Logan eventually gets too tired and falls asleep…probably” featuring stellar comics Connor Ratliff, Sebastian Conelli, and more: Way Past Your Bedtime (11:00 pm, $5 (even if it sells out of seats, you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing), UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

I won’t be publishing comprehensive listings during the summer. But for many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/7/17

April 7, 2017

Anthony AtamanuikAnthony Atamanuik is thoroughly hilarious as Donald Trump—and this evening “he’s giving a luxurious speech from the East Room of the White House. Join him and his paid audience as he updates America on his first 100 days:” Trump Dump: The Presidential Address (6:00 pm, $5; if this sells out of seats, you can still probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing; UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)…

Kevin McDonald and John Gemberling…and stars Kevin McDonald (The Kids In The Hall) and John Gemberling (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City, NBC’s Marry Me, and FOX’s Making History) are the guests of brilliant improvisor & character comic Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers), who transforms into “filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick (Griffin Newman) as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema:” The George Lucas Talk Show (Midnight, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm. 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Friday

7:00 pm ($10): The Magnet theatre hands out its annual awards to its own performers at The Maggies

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Justin Silver (host of Funny for Fido podcast, author of The Language of Dogs) & Eric Neumann (“I am yet to have a year that financially tops my Bar Mitzvah year. If you book me, you can help make this sad reality go away”) each perform a 30-minute stand-up set one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Justin Sliver and Eric Neumann

7:00 pm ($10): Comedy group Terrorbird performs dark sketch comedy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Terrorbird

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.) The co-creator & co-writer of CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NBC sitcom Whitney is also a star stand-up who’s performed on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, TBS, E!, and Chelsea Lately…and is headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Whitney Cummings

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a mild parody of girl bands via “the world’s first Asian-American pop group from the USA. Join Baby Rice, Quirky Rice, Edgy Rice, Competitive Rice, and Brown Rice as they kick off their tour by dancing, singing, and rapping about boys, friendship, and systemic racism/oppression:” AzN PoP!: Live in Concert

…and in the second other of this double bill, Mark Vigeant springboards off audience suggestions to create and launch a website on the spot: Let’s Make a Website

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

7:30 pm ($10): Six New York comics telling stories of where they came from (one from Canada, another from Portland) and the journey that led them to NYC performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Katie Boyle (who’s from Ireland): Transplants

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit, new comedy album Hot Flashes), Zach Sims, and Erik Bransteen perform stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and hosted by Mike Lebovitz: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): A musical parody of the Star Wars movies with periodic solid moments, and that includes superb comics Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman (Your Love, Our Musical), and terrific singer Tarik Davis (whose “bromance” duet with Evan as Finn & Poe is the highlight of the show). Unfortunately, most of the time the script doesn’t quite hit the mark; but if you’re a die-hard fan, you might get a kick out of this production playing through May 6th at The PIT Mainstage: Star Wars: The Farce Awakens

8:00 pm ($5): At this uniquely heckler-friendly show, “every audience member gets a bag of crazy shit to throw at stand-ups. Show your love or your hate with flowers, Nerf guns, stuffed animals, water balloons, candy, and anything else we give you to toss. The audience picks their favorite comic to win $$$, and comics pick their favorite audience heckler to win a prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Gregory W. Hall &Teresa Sheffield: Mob Rule

8:00 pm ($7): A play about a high school student finding a genie who can grant three wishes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Pop Punk High

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Alexandra Dickson, Silvija Ozols, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:00 pm ($7): An audience member with a decision to make becomes the basis of an improvised court trial at The PIT Underground: The People’s Court

9:00 pm ($10): NYC sketch comedy groups Café con Sketché and American Danger performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Boogie Manja

9:30 pm ($10): Comedy group His Majesty, The Baby blends sketch, dance, physical comedy, poetry, live music, and/or metaphysical comedy. In this show, “we will argue that most comedy we currently experience is either ethically problematic (e.g., alt-right trolling) or creatively at a dead end (e.g., alt-comedy), or both (e.g., liberal satire, much of which with the advent of Trump has turned into a sad form of wish-fulfillment: HillaryBeatTrump.org). The evening then concludes” at The PIT Mainstage: Don’t Normalize His Majesty, the Baby

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors James Dwyer, Craig Rowin, Connor O’Malley, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and Shaun Diston make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[$] 10:30 pm ($12): Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Peet Guercio (E!), Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central), and Zach Sims (CMT)i performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Stand-ups who are single each perform a set and then participate in a dating game show, choosing among three mystery contestants based on their online dating profiles at The PIT Mainstage: Tinderella

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Comics perform stand-up sets and then go on dates with each other as part of the live show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Rob Harper & Rachel Coleman: We’re Getting Laid

Midnight ($7): Comics form bands to compete for a fake recording contract and the honor of performing “Wonderwall” at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Achilles Stamatelaky & Matthew Star: Seriously, Are You Ready to Rock?!

Friday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sydney Beveridge & Davey Melch: Queens Open Mic Fridays

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

5:45 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5): A weekly walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Friday Night Mics

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

6:30 pm ($3): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at The PIT Underground for Happy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-up starts at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Seena Jon: Mic and Cheese

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea (307 West 26th Street): 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10

Upright Citizens Brigade East (153 East 3rd Street): 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10

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

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

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer): 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 6/26/16

June 26, 2016

Del Close Improv Marathon 2016It’s the final day of the joyous 18th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon, which is running continuously until 9:30 pm. Improv groups from all around the US and Canada—and a few places further away—will finish up performing more than 650 shows, typically in 15- or 30-minute blocks, for over 50 hours. As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, which will cause long waits to get into UCB Chelsea (307 West 26th Street), which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by nine additional venues: UCB East, The Magnet, Theater of the New City (3 theatres), SVA (2 theatres), FIT Haft Auditorium, and the UCB Comedy Podcast Lounge; for details, please click here. For the complete schedule, please click here. To view shows organized by performer, please click here. For information on buying a festival pass, please click here. To buy premium tickets online, please click here. (Please note that if any premium show doesn’t sell out and you have a marathon pass, you can receive a remaining seat free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.) Quite simply, this is the greatest improv festival in the world: Del Close Marathon 2016 (4:00 pm Friday-9:30 pm Sunday, $35 for festival pass plus $10-$20 each for premium shows, 10 venues around Chelsea and the East Village)

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 5:30 pm-10:00 pm ($40 for an all-you-can-see weekend pass or $5-$20 per show): It’s the final day pf a 3-day LGBTQ-themed comedy festival at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge (123 East 24th Street). For a complete list of tonight’s shows, please click here; and for information about the festival, please click Queercom 2016

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among seven shows, with three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-night-only team at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from a six-person troupe at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Sunday School Dropouts

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Kate Berlant (Netflix’s The Characters, MTV, IFC, CNN), Dylan Marron (Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite, Seriously.tv, Welcome to Night Vale podcast), Dan Licata, Madonna Refugia, Matt Schimkowitz, ad Shalewa Sharpe, all at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

8:30 pm ($5): Two improv groups perform, on a rotating basis, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Annoyance Presents Improv: Waiting for Jah + Hal Doll

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Sketch comedy accompanied by live music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): With a Little Feeling

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus FREE FOOD!] 9:30 pm to grab a seat and eat, 10:00 pm for screening: Come watch a new episode of The Jim Gaffigan Show with an audience—and have the opportunity to ask questions afterwards of Ashley Williams, who plays Jim’s wife and will be a special guest tonight! Plus, free food! (“Yes. Free. Food. It’s what Jim would want.”) It all happens at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Jim Gaffigan Show Official Watch Party

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($15; no min.): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, host of Comedy Knockout, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue off 20th Street): Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic

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

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

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar

The Stand

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/18/12

December 18, 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.

Robin Gelfenbien, A.J. Jacobs, and Adam Wade

Robin Gelfenbien, A.J. Jacobs, Adam Wade, and more tell very funny tales at Le Poisson Rouge for Yum’s the Word…

Andrea Rosen, John Gemberling, and John Mulaney….and at UCB East, John Gemberling (above) & Anthony Atamanuik play annoying sisters Tawney & Joane at The Tony and Johnny Show; plus John Mulaney performs stand-up at Splitsider & Tumblr’s Dog and Pony Show

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm doors, 7:30 pm show ($10 at the door or online; includes free homemade ice cream cakes!; $8 at the door with ID proving you were born in December): Comedic storytelling by A.J. Jacobs (New York Times bestselling author, Editor-at-Large for Esquire), 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, Tales of the Cosmos, and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), David Crabb (frequent host of The Moth, co-host of Ask Me Stories), and Jennifer Tress (xojane, Huffington Post), all telling tales for this monthly show at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street), with a 20% discount for those poor souls born near Christmastime such as host Robin Gelfenbien (December 26th—almost like not having a birthday at all…): Yum’s the Word

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, four of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Aquarius and Legend (at 7:00) and Mint Condition and BEEES! (at 8:30); followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with musical improv troupe Mint Condition to make up stories in song: Musical Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Jon Gabrus (MTV’s Guy Code, sketch partner of Justin Tyler) joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

7:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Shawtane Monroe Bowen featuring storytelling, characters, and a song at The PIT downstairs lounge: I Don’t Even Have Shoes

7:30 pm-Midnight ($5): A special holiday edition of long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Rocks, GoodGirl, The Regulars, Sherlock & Cookies, Salmon Diane, Guthrie, A Sparrow, and Bucky: The Longest Harold Night of the Year

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, co-host of Pirate Party) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer: Splitsider and Tumblr’s Dog and Pony Show

8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), George Gordon, and more performing stand-up on this week’s topic I See the Light at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) produced by Chenoa Estrada, Emily Heller, and George Gordon and hosted tonight by Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices): The Afterlife: I See the Light

8:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from two troupes, National Scandal and Big Business

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by the wonderful Joe Pera, Dan Licata, and Charles Gould: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (for an update, please click here) performing at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, notable hair): Crime & Punishment

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Colin Quinn (former anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update and star of Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Broadway one-man show Long Story Short), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), Captain Kirk Douglas (guitarist/singer of Jimmy Fallon house band The Roots), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, from two of the most brilliant, fearless, and innovative comics in the biz, John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central) and Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives)—with tonight given over to their sisters Tawney and Joane (“Come see these two beer-pickled fuck sluts ruin the show for everyone!”)—at UCB East, plus tonight’s guests Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000), Emmy Blotnick (staff blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV), and Alice Wetterlund (improv troupe Garamond; College Humor), plus producer Andy Rocco: The Tony and Johnny Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 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

[$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Kyle Dunnigan (Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Reno 911), Al Jackson (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, Upload with Shaq, MTV), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, MTV), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, CNN, TBS): ComedyJuice

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

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

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 Tuesday 11/27/12

November 27, 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.

Fancy Pitch Meeting

Comics try to sell TV shows in Brooklyn at Fancy Pitch Meeting…

John Jameson Irish Whiskey

…and John Gemberling reunites with Anthony Atamanuik for the holidays to host The Tony and Johnny Show, which tonight focuses on a Deep Sea Adventure

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:

6:00 pm ($5): A comedic play about one of the most tragic events in American history, written & directed by Brandon Gardener (The Curfew, Improv Nerds), and featuring Brandon Scott Jones as Miss Laura Keene, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln: A Comedy

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, four of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Atticus and Aquarius (at 7:00) and The Montels and Mint Condition (at 8:30); followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with musical improv troupe Mint Condition ! to make up stories in song: Musical Magnet Mixer

7:00 pm ($5): Comics who are sports junkies talk about their passion at The PIT downstairs lounge: Sports! Live!

7:00 pm ($8): All-gal sketch/improv troupe Vacation hosts a variety show featuring Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (duo sketch), Sarah Grodsky (solo character sketch), and Charla Laurlston (stand-up) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Lady Business

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes GoodGirl, Rocks, and Bucky at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $12.75 online): “As a busy TV executive you get soooo tired of sitting through shitty pitches so we’ve done you the favor of condensing the very best ideas from the most hilarious minds in the city and bringing them to you in one sitting. You, after all, are the ones sitting on piles of money (not really, but feel free to check under your seat for a stray bill… you never know) needed to turn their ridiculous dreams into hit TV shows” at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, with pitches from Jeffrey Joseph, Kate Berlant, Adam Newman, Dan Wilber, and more hosted by Caroline Creaghead: Fancy Pitch Meeting

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Trey Galyon, and more performing stand-up at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) produced by Chenoa Estrada, Emily Heller, and George Gordon and hosted tonight by George Gordon: The Afterlife

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($65 retail or $40 here): 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

8:00 pm ($5): Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by “weirdo” Mike Bocchetti : Being Normal Sucks

8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not yet announced, but for an update please click here) at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) produced by Chenoa Estrada, Emily Heller, and George Gordon: The Afterlife

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comics Jenny Donoghue, Matthew Robert Gehring, Josh Lay, and Melissa Klein each showing off his or her best solo character work, plus music from the lovely Reformed Whores, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sam Martin & Branson Reese: Comedy Expo

8:00 pm ($8): A dozen sharp talents deliver brand new sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre: Big Business

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by the wonderful Joe Pera, Dan Licata, and Charles Gould: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (for an update, please click here) performing at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, notable hair): Crime & Punishment

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): 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; new book Tasteful Nudes), 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), Chris Barron (leader singer of The Spin Doctors; brought shaggy beards and Peruvian hats into vogue in the 90’s), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Joe Zimmerman (The Beards of Comedy), Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Matt Nedostup, and David Agyekum performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Steve O’Brien, Robert Dean, and/or Kevin McCaffrey: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Sherlock & Cookies, The Regulars, and Guthrie—plus advanced improv students “strips the Harold down to its component parts and rearranges them into a rhythmically complex, mashup-inspired performance piece” for a form called Scramble NYC—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, from two of the most brilliant, fearless, and innovative comics in the biz, John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central) and Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives)—with tonight’s theme “Deep Sea Adventure”—at UCB East, plus tonight’s guests Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), and Michelle Wolf (IFC’s Bunk), as well as producer Andy Rocco: The Tony and Johnny Show

9:30 pm ($8): A variety show based on the Middlenotes podcast at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Ryan Beck & Kyle Ayers: Middlenotes Comedy Show

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up and sketch at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, typically hosted by sketch troupes Savage Animal and/or Jerk Practice: Savage Animal

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): 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), Kyle Dunnigan (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, The Sarah Silverman Program),   Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Alison Forns (writer for Saturday Night Live), and Josh Rabinowitz (MTV’s I Just want My Pants Back) performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

11:00 pm ($1): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

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

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 Tuesday 5/29/12

May 29, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Gemberling

Comedy genius John Gemberling co-stars for the last time at his dark sketch/improv show before moving to LA to make Hollywood his personal bitch: The Tony & Johnny Show…

Jon Glaser

…and wonderful comics Jon Glaser (above), Heather Lawless, Jon Daly, and Larry Murphy perform at Brooklyn’s Mr. Coconuts Comedy Show

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm (Please note new time and new venue!): Comics creator Joe Hill (Locke & Key) joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast clobbered some of the best improv troupes in NYC earlier this year at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight come see this troupe perform on its own for a full hour at The Magnet: North Coast

7:00 pm-9:00 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Creature, GoodGirl, and The Pox at this first half (see 9:00 pm for more) of Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Andrew Norelli (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central), Costaki Economopoulos (Showtime, Bob & Tom), Adam Cozens, and more performing at Lolita Bar hosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($5): H. Alan Scott (Oprah, The Huffington Post, superb cookie baker) hosts this gay-themed comedy show with guests James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), Eliot Glazer (VH1’s Best Week Ever, It Gets Betterish, My Parents Were Awesome), Grumpy Films (Fuse.tv), and Molly Pope performing scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge: The #SRSLYLOL Life of @HAlanScott

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Joe Pera (very funny deadpan comic; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here), Justy Dodge (co-host of Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Ashley Brooke Roberts, John Milhiser, Thomas Dale, and Jason Saenz performing at UCB East hosted by Amber Nelson and Rob Stern: Late Night Stand

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Phoebe Robinson, Carole Montegomery, Joyelle Nicole, Dan Frigolette, Drew Dowdey, Chris Scopo, and Josh Wesson performing at the One and One Bar (1st Street & First Avenue) for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, TruTV, Tyra Banks) & Sergio Chicon: Comedy Punch

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5 at the door, $7.63 in advance online): Heather Lawless (fresh, hilarious, unique stand-up; Comedy Central, Wonder Showzen, member of Variety SHAC), Jon Glaser (star of Adult Swim’s Delocated; long-time writer/performer for Conan O’Brien), Jon Daly (hilarious improvisor & character comic; HBO’s Life & Times of Tim, MTV’s Human Giant, Mother), and Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) performing for this monthly show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Gabe Delahaye (Senior Editor of Videogum.com): Mr. Coconuts Comedy Show

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Mint Condition and Aquarius

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand- Up), Colin Jost (writer for Saturday Night Live; Jimmy Fallon, host of Fooling Around with Colin Jost), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes The Regulars, Bucky, and Sandino at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The final performance of this weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, that co-stars brilliant, fearless, and innovative John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central), who is moving to LA. (Yes, we’re losing another NYC comedy treasure…). The show’s other co-star, Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives) will reveal how the show will go on at UCB East with tonight’s guests Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion), sketch duo Jon Gabrus & Justin Tyler, and Chris Braiotta (Silent Cal Radio podcast): The Tony and Johnny Show

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, Comedy Central special), Andrew Norelli (Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Aquarius to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

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

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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/1/12

May 1, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For a review of Broadway’s Seminar, please click here.

For some of NYC’s greatest storytellers, please click here.

99 Comics For The 99%

Andy Blitz, Adira Amram, Sara Schaefer, Jon Glaser, Jared Logan, Eric Slovin, Tom Shillue, and over 90 other comedians perform at a fundraiser for Occupy Wall Street: 99 Comics For The 99%...

Amy Schumer

...and the lovely Amy Schumer performs at ComedyJuice

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] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Witty writers offering delightfully wry lectures about this month’s topic “Characters,” which range from Feeding Descriptions of Literary characters into Police Composite Sketch Software to How Actors’ Faces, Bodies, and Hair Color Define Their Careers at theHousingworks Bookstore Cafe for Charles Star’s comedic show Adult Education

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast clobbered some of the best improv troupes in NYC earlier this year at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight come see this troupe perform on its own for a full hour at The MagnetNorth Coast

7:00 pm ($5): Improv scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge springboarding off Mother’s Day cards supplied by the audience: Mother May I

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Comedy genius Chris Gethard and Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist) joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussionabout four-color pop culture The debut of this wonderful show about comic books at its brand new location Pianos (158 Ludlow Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5.90 in advance online): A breathtaking 99 comics—including Andy Blitz, Adira Amram, Sara Schaefer, Jared Logan, Eric Slovin, Jon Glaser, Tom Shillue, Sasheer Zamata, John Flynn, Jon Friedman, John Frusciante, Jon Gabrus, Rob Cantrell, Mike Lawrence, Stuckey & Murray, Summer & Eve, Seth Herzog, Streeter Seidell, sketch troupe Murderfist, sketch troupe Fambly, Amber Nelson, Craig Rowin, Jamie Kilstein, Giulia Rozzi, Abbi Crutchfield, Erin Lennox, Adam Newman, Adam Lowitt, Phoebe Robinson, Negin Farsad, Will Hines, RG Daniels, Selena Coppock, and Sean Hart—performing for around three hours straight at UCB East hosted by Anthony Atamanuik & John Gemberling (The Tony & Johnny Show): 99 Comics For The 99%

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star Kristen Schaal (one of the funniest women alive; shining star correspondent on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and NBC’s 30 RockComedy Central Presents half-hour special; star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; co-author of bestselling book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex), Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), and Dan Crossley (semi-finalist of the 2011 Kaufman Awards) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Andy Kaufman Fun House

8:00 pm ($5): Retta (Donna on NBC’s Parks and Recreation), Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Aidan Bishop (visiting from Dublin), and more performing at Lolita Bar hosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes The Regulars, Bucky, The Pox, Surfing, Johnny Romance, and Sandino—and at 11:00 pm advanced improv students clash theatre into improv via the wonderful form Gravid Water—all at Harold Night

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Brendan Fitzgibbons, Jen Remauro, and Adam Chisnall performing at the One and One Bar (1st Street & First Avenue) for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, TruTV, Tyra Banks) & Sergio Chicon: Comedy Punch

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door, $12.75 online): A monthly storytelling show from Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life), Cyndi Freeman (The Moth, burlesque star) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam champion) at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, with tonight’s guests stand-up Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel), and burlesque star & storyteller duo Mat Fraser & Julie Atlas Muz: And I Am Not Lying

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Rosencrantz and Aquarius

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Retta (Donna on NBC’s Parks and Recreation), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up, sketch, videos, and more at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre with Jeffrey Joseph and hosts Ron Krasnow & Joel Walkowski: The Short Bus

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Amy Schumer (red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’sBest Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Gene Pompa (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, In Living Color), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Aquarius to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

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

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