NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/19/17

June 19, 2017

Michael Che and Janine BritoMichael Che (SNL Weekend Update star; former star correspondent for The Daily Show and staff sketch writer for Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, The Today Show, The View, Comedy Central Half Hour; Netflix special Michael Che Matters), Janine Brito (VH1’s Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party; former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), Kenice Mobley, Tanael Joachim, and Yedoye Travis perform stand-up or storytelling hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park, Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train (8:00 pm; $8; Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Judah Friedlander…and Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United), Liz Miele (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged, comedy album Mind Over Melee), Eddie Brill (former long-time booker for David Letterman), Jeff Lawrence, and Barry Ribs perform stand-up hosted by the exceptionally kind and charming John Morrison at Morrison Motel (8:30 pm; $20 at the door—which includes one drink—if you mention code HyReviews.com or BestNewYorkComedy.com [otherwise $25]; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319 because this show often sells out; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia 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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

7:00 pm ($7): A sketch show that asks, “Are you tired of boys? Have you been mad at your dad since you were 12 for literally no reason? If the only thing you love holding more than puppies is a grudge, this is for you—sketch for the working girl, complete with heels to change into after you walk to work in sneakers” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Male Gauze

7:00 pm ($7): Musical improvisors make up a fairy tale with song and dance at at The PIT Mainstage: Once Upon a Time

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Liza Treyger (fresh, fierce, fearless stand-up; Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), Kyle Ayers (Fuse’s Uproarious; written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Joe List (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy albums So Far No Good and Are You Mad at Me?), and Langston Kerman (cast member of HBO’s Insecure; Adam DeVine’s House Party; written for Chris Rock’s hosting of the Oscars and Comedy Central’s Problematic) perform stand-up for this summer-themed show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Tommy McNamara (The Onion): Tommy McNamara’s Summer Beach Bash

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker), Sally Kohn (CNN, The Daily Beast), and Nicole Silverberg (Reductress, Truth & Iliza) chug two beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody Lindquist: Two Beers In

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Judah Friedlander, Dan Soder, Sam Morril, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a one-man play by Geoff Garlock about memories of a classic music festival: Rock and Roll Will Never Die

…and in the second other of this double bill, a faux TV episode by sketch group Nipsey in which “As a father/daughter duo, Albert and Corinne work great. As co-owners of a cigar store-turned-vape shop, they’ve got a lot to learn! And when the big Vape Expo comes to town Darcy, Gayle, and Heath have kooky ideas about how to make waves!:” Nipsey: Vape Lyfe

8:00 pm ($7): Musical improv at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) from group Good Catch

[FREE] 8:00 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] 8:30 pm ($6): 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, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot) hosts this monthly stand-up & music show, with tonight’s stellar guests Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of Battlicious), Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Andy Beckerman (host of podcast Beginnings, The Pete Holmes Show, co-host of Couples THerapy), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life, Moth GrandSlam Champion, comedy album & show And I Am Not Lying), and Negin Farsad perform at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Myq Kaplan & Friends

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Character comics—including brilliant writer/performers Filip Jeremic, Phoebe Tyers, and more—perform solo bits demonstrating their impressive talent at UCB East hosted by Frank Garcia-Hejl & Justin Tyler. This is one of my favorite monthly events, and I especially recommend it if you’re a producer, casting director, or other industry pro in search of sharp comedy actors: Characters Welcome

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jaqi Furback, Kendra Cunningham, Samantha Ruddy, Zane Golia, Richie Tolway, and Gabriel Pacheco perform at this free weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love): Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 ($5): House sketch groups A Few Sandwich Lovers and Archnemesis try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($7): Following today’s fasting on Ramadan, Muslim comics celebrate being able to eat and drink again by performing on stage at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Duaa Osman & Leila Ben-Abdallah: Not Even Water?!

9:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform this show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

9:30 pm ($7): Storytellers Gabrielle Schutz, Cathryn Lynne, and Michelle Drozdick each tell a 5-minute tale, and after each yarn improvisors make up scenes springboarding off the details at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with tonight’s improv groups Batteries Not Included, Queen of the Bees, and Thank You, Spaceman: Tell Us Again!

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—push boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Sandford: Permission to Fail

10:30 pm ($7): Comics perform sets revolving around one or more of the seven deadly sins, and then improvisors make up scenes springboarding off the material at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Seven Deadly Sinprov

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Stu Melton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm ($3): A walk-in stand-up open mic hosted by Katherine Dudas and a walk-in improv jam hosted by Collin Gossel somehow happen at the same time at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Improv Open Mic Stand-Up Jam

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($5 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

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 The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Walk-in weekly open mic that favors an act beyond joke-telling (storytelling, characters, etc.), which receives 5 minutes on stage vs. just 3 minutes for stand-up, at Brooklyn’s The Topaz (251 Bushwick Avenue) hosted by Colin Michael & Fitzgerald Burgess: Late Mic

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Walk-in character open mic, with 3 minutes on stage if your name that you wrote on a slip of paper is drawn from the bucket at UCB East hosted by Natasha Vaynblat: Out Sick: Character Jam

11:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: Base Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 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 Monday 5/15/17

May 15, 2017

Hari Kondabolu and Ophira EisenbergHari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents; former writer & correspondent for FX’s Totally Biased), Ophira Eisenberg (NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ The Late Late Show, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), John Fugelsang (former host of America’s Funniest Home Videos), Robin Fox (Nickmom Night Out, Lifetime, WE), and Mick Diflo perform stand-up hosted by the exceptionally kind and charming John Morrison at Morrison Motel (8:30 pm; $20 at the door—which includes one drink—if you mention code HyReviews.com or BestNewYorkComedy.com [otherwise $25]; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319 because this show often sells out; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia 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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

7:00 pm ($7): Skilled improvisors David Rysdahl & Paul Gutkowski make up a play on the spot at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) as improv duo True East

7:00 pm ($7): Improv from group Pez Junket, plus stand-up from Louis Melendez and Aaron Rosen, at The PIT Mainstage: Pez Junket and Friends

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

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy groups The Nitro GIrls and Just Karen perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Character comics—including brilliant writer/performers Filip Jeremic, Phoebe Tyers, and more—perform their favorite solo bits for this “Best Of” show demonstrating their impressive talent at UCB East hosted by Frank Garcia-Hejl & Justin Tyler. This is one of my favorite monthly events, and I especially recommend it if you’re a producer, casting director, or other industry pro in search of sharp comedy actors: Characters Welcome: Best Of Show Edition

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Monroe Martin (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, finalist on Last Comic Standing, MTV), Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Billy on the Street), Merrill Davis (Comedy Central’s Anotehr Period), Rob Haze, and Drew Michael perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, host of First Set, comedy album True Love): Night Train

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts a great lineup of Judah Friedlander, Michelle Wolf, Carmen Lynch, Sam Morril, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a one-man play by Geoff Garlock about memories of a classic music festival: Rock and Roll Will Never Die

…and in the second other of this double bill, sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope’:” O.S.F.U.G. The Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

8:00 pm ($7): “A live episode of the long-forgotten 1978 musical TV show In the Giant’s Soup” peformed by Kirk Stevens & Mike Wirsch at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): In The Giant’s Soup

[FREE] 8:00 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] 8:30 pm ($10): Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers) performs stand-up with thosts Joe Pera (hilarious deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show) and Dan Licata (The Chris Gethard Show; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show), plus music from Holland Patent Public Library, Leapling, and Yazan, all at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right (146 Broadway): Dan & Joe’s Stand-Up & Music Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Robert Kelly (Louie, HBO, CBS’ upcoming The 2-2, two Comedy Central specials) hones a long stand-up set at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Robert Kelly Working Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Kate Willett (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, VICE’s Flophouse, comedy album Glass Gutter), Myka Fox (SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Liz Barrett, Alex Ptak, Dean Masello, and Momoh Pujeh perform at this free weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love) and RIchard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:00 pm ($7): Harrisburg Improv Theatre founders Jake Compton & Paul Barker make up scenes based on the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist at The Magnet theatre: Missed Connections Two-Prov

9:00 pm ($10): A two-person play by Courtney Ulrich & Ryan Wesley in which “five years after the fateful Ham Factory fire of 2012 that cut short her acting career, former Ham Factory owner turned Life Coach Jon Ham helps Courtney on her journey of redemption as she remounts her unauthorized one-woman adaptation of The Miracle Worker titled The Worker’s Miracle” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Courtney, Ryan, and The Great Ham Factory Fire of 2012

9:30 ($5): House sketch groups Archnemesis and A Few Sandwich Lovers try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform this show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, stellar Comedy Central special Don’t Be Yourself; Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Dan Soder (cast member on Showtime’s Billions; film Trainwreck; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), and more perform for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($7): Improv group That’s Dinner makes up an entire movie that never existed based on a suggestion from the audience at The PIT Mainstage: That’s Dinner and a Movie

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): Storytellers share their true “coming out” tales, and then improvisors make up either a play or a musical based on each story at The Magnet theatre hosted by Laura (Dubbs) Weinblatt: Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event

10:30 pm ($7): Improvisors face the elements—fire, fog, floods, whatever the wind blows—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): FX

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Stu Melton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm ($3): A walk-in stand-up open mic hosted by Katherine Dudas and a walk-in improv jam hosted by Collin Gossel somehow happen at the same time at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Improv Open Mic Stand-Up Jam

6:00 pm ($5 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

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 The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform in this show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: Base Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/19/14

May 19, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Patrick Stewart is on Seth Meyers;
Mike Lawrence and Kurt Braunohler are on @midnight

Colin Quinn

TV & Broadway star Colin Quinn performs at Morrison Motel

Neal Brennan

…and Neal Brennan (above), Dave Attell, Judah Friedlander, and more form an exceptional lineup for the 10:00 pm Comedy Cellar

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A quadruple-bill of the relatively rare form of solo long form improv from Just Ben (Ben Jones), 1 Deep (Shacottha Fields), The Aaron Golds (Aaron Gold), and Home Alone (Jesse Acini) at The Magnet theatre: The Solo Show

7:00 pm ($10): The fabulous Meredith Hackman (The Saddest Sketch Show) and Kara Durrett perform duo improv at The PIT upstairs theatre as PowerCouple

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of young improvisors performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Free Improv Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim), Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), W. Kamau Bell (Totally Biased), Joe Zimmerman, Steve Wrigley, and Saurin Choksi performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by the Kondabolu Brothers: Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Ripley (which includes brilliant comedic writer Marguerite Spellman) and Absolutely (which includes stellar comic Bridey Elliot): Maude Night: Ripley and Absolutely

8:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match.” On the improv side is team Detroit; while the stand-ups are Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), and Brendan Fitzgibbons (McSweeney’s), all performing at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

[FREE] 8:00 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] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($20 if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $25], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 for reservations is recommended): Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Showtime), Robin Fox, Frank Vignola, and Kevin Flynn performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe guest-hosted by Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Showtime) for producer John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

8:30 pm ($5): A triple-bill of sketch groups performing at The Magnet theatre: The Theme From Jurassic Park, Cool Blanche, and Eye of Tigh

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey’s upcoming NBC series Tooken; MTV; host of School Night), Tyler Gildin, Kareem Green, and Randy Syphax performing stand-up at this monthly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted & produced by sisters Kerry Overfab Coddett & Krystal Coddett: Brooklyn, Stand Up

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), and Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Greg Barris: Unbunned

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Alamo (which includes Siobhan Thompson) and Moriarty (which includes Kara Klenk): Maude Night: Alamo and Moriarty

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 Kendra Cunningham, Ray DeVito, Jayson Cross, Momoh Pujeh, Omar Shaukat, and usual host Pat O’Shea performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) guest-hosted by Richard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK][$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Exceptionally great lineup of Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show, comedy album Women and Black Dudes), 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), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Mark Normand (rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Neal Brennan, Dave Attell, Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), Brian Parise, Subhah Agarwal, JF Harris, and Kevin Dombrowski performing for this free weekly stand-up show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays: Dan St. Germain, Gary Vider, Matt Ruby, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen: 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 & 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at danmaxfox@gmail.com) and 3 minutes for each comic who signs up on the spot (sign-up starts at 6:45 and ends at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Muchmore’s Stand-Up Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

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

[FREE] 10:30 pm: 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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/18/13

March 18, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Louis C.K. has made a promo. Watch it here.

Jena Friedman and Giulia Rozzi

Jena Friedman and Giulia Rozzi share daring tales at NYC’s best new storytelling show, Adventures with Melanie Hamlett…

Ophira Eisenberg's "Screw Everyone"

…and stellar comics Ophira Eisenberg, Myq Kaplan, Janine Brito, and more perform stand-up 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:

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

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: After Cammi Climaco’s show ends (see 6:00 pm above), race on down to this other open-mic storytelling show, 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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8.71 online, or $7 at the door if it doesn’t sell out in advance…but it very well might): Melanie Hamlett is a Moth Grandslam Champion, co-author of the book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, and a contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com. She’s also a roving adventurer who tours the globe to find memorable tales. Tonight Melanie hosts her extraordinary monthly storytelling show at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) with fellow brave souls 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), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), and Jeffrey Marx (ABC’s The Glass House, Web series Five Awesome Guys, Occupy Wall Street). I’ll be attending this; come join me for travel slides, a campfire vibe, and amazing stories: Adventures with Melanie Hamlett

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs bits from a show he’s developing for an off-Broadway run that looks 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 ($8): “A trio of very needy comedians—Lucas Klauss, Matt Moskovciak, and Ben Stadler (This Is Not A Sketch Show: A Sketch Show)—host a show featuring funny sketches, great guests, and, depending on the audience’s reaction, up to three suicides. Please come and laugh real loud so they don’t die,” directed by Brandon Gulya, at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Bilderbergers Suicidal Comedy Hour

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch troupe Shelby Company performs oddball bits for this Magnet sketch show show that in the past has included two-timing monsters & presidential ninjas: Ephemerama

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm show ($10—which includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Superb storytellers Kimberlee Auerbach Berlin (The New York Times, 3-time Moth StorySlam winner, author of memoir The Devil, the Lovers, and Me), Amy Klein (NPR, The New York Times), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life, The Moth podcast), and R. Eric Thomas (TEDx Philly, Risk!) telling tales about this month’s theme Social Media at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) and that includes free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish pm: Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co -host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Anthony DeVito (Conan O’Brien, VH1, FX), and Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Spike Hill (184 & 186 Bedford Avenue, off N 7th Street) hosted by Will WInners & Kyle Ayers: Game Night: Mark Normand, Michael Che, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish pm ($5): Terrific all-gal lineup of Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy) Ilana Glazer (Broad City), and Carolyn Taylor (TV writer/actress; Second City), plus token male Sean Donnelly (MTV, FOX News; host of many shows), performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street) hosted by Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV): Jennifer Laugh Hewitt

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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of this show’s best lineups ever: Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (daring dark comedy gal duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman; Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) , and Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon) each performing one of their most popular sketches and one of their personal favorites in what’s likely to be a way fun revue at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), J. LaLonde (blog Word Thug), and Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, host of Tell Your Friends) sharing their tales of passion that, this month, revolve around the theme of eye-popping surprise at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jefferson: Bare: True Stories of Sex, Desire, and Romance…and Surprise!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Allison Castillo (HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, FOX), and Michael Hogan (The Daily Show) performing stand-up, plus an interview with QuestLove of The Roots, at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 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), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), and Modi (HBO’s The Sopranos, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Erik Rivera (Jay Leno, MTV): Judah Friedlander, Nick DiPaolo, Gary Gulman, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Johnathan Fernandez (Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, MTV, sketch troupe Stone Cold Fox) performs his favorite characters and sketches, aided by the wonderful Leslie Meisel (30 Rock, HBO, sketch troupe Stone Cold Fox), Davram Stiefler, and Cody Lindquist performing at the UCB East theatre: Johnathan Fernandez Characters & Sketch

[FREE] 8:00ish pm: NYC stand-ups Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), Emmy Blotnick (staff blogger for Jimmy Fallon), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), Sarah Tollemache (host of Last Night,; immortal story That’s Not My Shit), Jacqueline Novak, Zach Broussard, Andy Sanford, Zach Sims, and Steve O’Brien performing at Brooklyn’s Grand Victory Bar (245 Grand Street) for this twice-a-month extravaganza hosted by Nick Maritato and the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox: DTF

[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): 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), Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, new book Screw Everyone), Janine Brito (staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Lee Camp (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, Showtime, The Onion), Harry Terjanian (Sirius XM Radio), and Mick Diflo performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Great lineup of Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Joyelle Nicole Johnson performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Mike Denny, and/or Michael Che: Broken Comedy: Joe DeRosa, Gary Vider, Nick Vatterott, Joe List, and More

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Justin Silver (star of CBS’ Dogs in the City), Brendan Fitzgibbons, and Alex Koll performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar hosted by Louis Katz & Grant Gordon: Sack Magic

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new material: Supereasy (which includes comedy chameleon Livia Scott) and Onassis (which includes such talents as Lauren Adams and Frank Hejl): Maude Night: Supereasy and Onassis

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Ken Schultz, Kendra Cunningham, Gabe Pacheco, Rachel Parenta, Bryan Walsh, and Jeff Cerulli performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 pm ($5): The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues, Sharon Spell, Anna Callegari, and Sue Smith: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

10:00 pm ($8): A group of actors and improvisors attempt to duplicate the success of UCBT’s Gravid Water by putting improvisors in the middle of classic theatre scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre. UCBT uses top Broadway and improv talent for its show, making it extraordinary. The participants of this show are unannounced; but the format is so strong that this might work anyway, despite the awful title: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

10:00 pm ($5): A variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits at The Magnet hosted by Jon Bander: What’s to Get?

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

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

[FREE] 11:00 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

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 11/19/12

November 19, 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.

Todd Barry

World-class stand-up Todd Barry, Cory Kahaney, and more perform at John Morrison’s Morrison Motel…

Melanie Hamlett

…and international adventurer Melanie Hamlett hosts vibrant storytellers, including Adam Wade, at Told

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

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

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

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

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 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 too-brief run in NYC (through November 21st) and nab tickets at the lovely Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, between First and Second Avenues)—especially for tonight, which features a Q&A session with Simon afterwards: Simon Amstell: Numb—With Q&A Post-Show

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12 at the door or $11.30 online): Brilliant storyteller & roving adventurer Melanie Hamlett (Moth Grandslam Champion, Marie Claire Magazine, amazing blog) guest-hosts this month’s edition raising funds for Sandy relief, performing with fellow yarn-spinners 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), Ed Gavagan (for a story about being selected as a murder victim for a gang initiation, please click here), Michael Che (IFC’s Bunk, Comedy Central), Slash Coleman, and Zero Boy telling tales revolving around the “Come Hell or High Water” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place) produced by Seth Lind (NPR’s This American Life): Told: Come Hell or High Water

7:00 pm ($5): Becky Yamamoto (rave reviews from The New York Times and The New Yorker; former beard-wearing member of band Stickerbook), and Tanisha Long perform a two-gal sketch show at The PIT downstairs lounge directed by Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting): You’ve Ruined My LIfe

7:00 pm ($5): At The Magnet, a one-woman show in which “Trudy Carmichael takes you on a journey through the trials and triumphs of her less than illustrious career and more than lackluster love life. Through a collection of song parodies, mash-ups, originals (and an improvised encore for good measure), Trudy strikes many a bittersweet note in this soulful and soul-searching solo cabaret” titled Trudy Carmichael: My Life on the V List

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($28 with discount code BBOX [otherwise $40]): The return of one of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, playing at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this opportunity to see the Chicago-based 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Dan Gurewitch (College Humor), and Josh Ruben performing stand-up at UCB East: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00ish pm: Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color, MTV, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV), Anthony Devito (MTV), and Peggy O’Leary (sketch troupe Bleak Comedy) performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Grand Victory Bar (245 Grand Street) for this twice-a-month extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of The Orphanage; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here) and Nick Maritato: DTF

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storytellers David Crabb (co-host of Ask Me Stories), Kelli Dunham (Queer Memoir), William Mullin (Closet Cases), Michele Carlo (author of Fish Out of Aqua), and Graham Nolan, plus musical guest Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 9 million people on YouTube, please click here), at The PIT upstairs theatre: Bare! True Stories of Sex, Desire and Romance

[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): 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), Cory Kahaney (David Letterman, Bill Maher, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents, The View), Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, , FX’s Totally Biased), Tom Ryan (David Letterman, Bill Maher, Comedy Central, Showtime), and Tony Kelly (BBC America’s Primeval, Total Recall, PS I Hate You) performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street, between Bleecker & West 4th Streets and Sixth & Seventh Avenues) for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, “strange, mysterious, beautiful, and disgusting, this show will dazzle you with sketch comedy… and magic!” from witchy duo Angela DeManti & Emily Shapiro—plus, tonight only, guest improv troupe Eaglefox: The Weird Sisters

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Al Jackson, Brian Cichocki, Mike Brown, and more performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Mike Denny, and/or Michael Che: Broken Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new bits: Fambly (which includes wonderful rising stars Mamrie Hart, Bridey Elliott, Nicole Byer, Dan Chamberlain, Veronica Osorio, and a sharp crew of writers), and Beige (which includes Dan Hodapp, who hosts weekly improv show The Scene and recently co-starred in FringeNYC smash hit Tail! Spin!): Maude Night: Fambly and Beige

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), Joe Pontillo. Carolina Hidalgo, Jordon Ferber, Nikki Lynn, Jason Saenz, Koshin Egal, Neil Charles and Courtney Hill performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 pm ($5): An open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): A rotating cast of veteran improvisors make up scenes based on the improvised monologues of the co-owner of The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/16/12

April 16, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Colin Quinn

Colin Quinn performs at Big Shrink...

Todd Barry

...and Todd Barry headlines 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:

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

6:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Carol Hartsell’s & John Morrison’s Motel Luca

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

7:00 pm ($5): Young comics performing sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Disappointments

7:00 pm ($5): At The Magnet, Athos Cakiades performs a one-man sketch show exploring “marginal portraits of masculinity:” Cock of the Walk

[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): Comedy genius Kate McKinnon used to dominate UCB Chelsea with her dark and deliciously quirky sketch shows. Now Kate is at Saturday Night Live, the show she was born to shine on. Meanwhile, nobody on an NYC stage has really stepped into the void Kate left…but this show is the closest I’ve seen so far as a contender. Sue Galloway delivers smart, organic, beautifully crafted physical & verbal comedy that’s fresh, specific, at times surreal, and very funny. It’s no easy thing to walk the tightrope between darkness and hilarity, but Sue manages it here with impressive grace. Kudos also go to UCBT’s Artistic Director Nate Dern, who did a brilliant job of providing guidance and judgment as the show’s director. Ignore this production’s lame title and official description, which don’t do it justice, and simply come to see one of the best one-woman sketch shows of 2012: Pose

…and in the other half of this double-bill, the debut of an improv show spearheaded by Nate Dern in which an audience member is interviewed about his or her love life as the springboard for inventive comedic scenes: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Carmen Lynch (sharp & adorable Last Comic Standing finalist; Comedy Central), and Tony Camin The Marijuana-Logues) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful improv trio Doppelganger, delightful singing duo Reformed Whores, and stand-ups Amber Nelson, Kara Klenk, Glennis McCarthy, Annie Lederman, and Kate Berlant performing at UCB East for Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[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): 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), 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), Sue Funke, Mike Trainor, Andy Pitz, and Tony Kelly performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, “different teams of improvisers explore curious and confounding questions of pop culture, science, history, ‘common knowledge,’ and more. Like the Internet, it is full inaccuracies and entertaining nonsense but will always find the truth in the end! Written & hosted by Lisa Flanagan, this is Citation Needed

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups including Dan Soder (and also officially including Arden Myrin, though since Arden’s due at UCB East for Big Shrink at 9:30 that’ll be tricky to pull off) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Matchless (557 Manhattan Avenue) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and/or Nimesh Patel: Broken Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): TV & Broadway star Colin Quinn, Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, Chelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Bridey Elliott (David Letterman), Squirm & Germ, and more performing at UCB East hosted by Sharon Spell and featuring The Shrink Dancers: The Big Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: The Prom (which is overflowing with wonderful talent, including Sasheer Zamata, Stephen Soroka, Amber Nelson, Ari Scott, and Siobhan Thompson), and Everything Rabbits (which includes the lovely & uniquely hilarious Violet Krumbein): Maude Night: The Prom & Everything Rabbits

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Improv spinning off stand-up sets, with typically stellar performers all-round, performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Micah Sherman: Fun

9:30 pm ($8): “An evening of disquieting scenes and considerations” in this sketch comedy show Sarah Nowak & Kevin Townley at The PIT upstairs theatre: Dark Teen Poetry

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Nick Ruggia, Kate Hendricks, Douglas Smith, Garry Hannon, and Kip Potharas performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

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

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

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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 2/20/12

February 20, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Oliver

Comedy genius John Oliver will consider rolling around the floor for your amusement at the Morrison Motel...

Pig: A Restaurant

...while Lauren Conlin Adams stars in the smart comedic sketch play Pig: A Restaurant...

Todd Bieber's Commercial Interruption

...and on the same double-bill, Todd Bieber screens terrible TV commercials to create one of the best solo comedy shows in NYC: Commercial Interruption

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

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

7:00 pm ($5): Young improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Shady Bunch

7:00 pm ($5): An audience interactive one-woman show at The Magnet described as follows: “Tarot cards are an ancient system of divination, steeped in mystery and esoteric wisdom. Marcy Currier is a 33-year-old woman with a million ideas and an unreasonable point of view. Together, they will answer your questions about the great mysteries of life: love, sex, money, and getting the dishes done. This show is about you, so bring questions for…:” Tarot Live!

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

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com, has had his video/film work viewed over 25 million times via such sites asYouTube.comNewYorkTimes.com, and EntertainmentWeekly.com. But before his success, Todd spent a couple of years churning out, as he bluntly puts it, “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania.” If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of ridiculously awful late-night TV ads, or someone who likes to laugh, come enjoy this fascinating and hilarious insider look at microbudget commercials and the creative process (for a trailer, please click here). Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, this debuted in December and was instantly one of the very best solo shows of 2011: Commercial Interruption

…and in the second half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but pig (including “bacon-infused martinis”), written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams (keep an eye out for her Aurora, a hot and hilariously bubble-headed waitress): Pig: A Restaurant

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Superstar stand-up whose name I’m not allowed to say, but he’s pale and tells a lot of jokes about food including Hot Pockets; plus Rory Scovel (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), and Jackie Kashian performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with guest host Jared Logan (rising star;Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of ComedyJuice): Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Some of the most talented women in NYC comedy—Adira Amram, Shannon O’Neill, Sasheer Zamata, Katina Corrao, Emily Heller, and more—performing at The PITupstairs theatre hosted by Glennis McCarthy: Gorgeous Women

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Practicing for their upcoming 30-minute Comedy Central Presentsspecials are Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; host of Joe Mande Presents at Carolines, co-host of Totally J/K; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster) and Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City) at UCB East for this two-set edition of Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

8:00 pm ($5, which includes FREE BEER): Mike Recine, Phoebe Robinson, David Foster, Chris Doucette, and Corinne Fisher performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Matchless (557 Manhattan Avenue) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and/or Nimesh Patel, and featuring free beer: Broken Comedy

[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 highly recommended because this willsell out): John Oliver (star correspondent of The Daily Show, co-star of NBC’s Community, star of Comedy Central’s New York Stand-Up Show, screenwriter, and genius stand-up comic), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel; just returned from India!), Liam McEneaney (host of Tell Your Friends), and more performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Storytellers Elizabeth Blue, Gardiner Comfort, Eloise Eonnet, Chad Hoeppner, Phil Pickens, Matt Moses, and David Lee Nelson tells tales of New York at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Matt Dellapina: This Island

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: The Prom (which includes such talents as Sasheer Zamata, Stephen Soroka, Amber Nelson, and Ari Scott), and Everything Rabbits (which includes the lovely & uniquely hilarious Violet Krumbein): Maude Night:The Prom & Everything Rabbits

[FREE] 9:30 pm: “In moments of exhaustion, in the space of a hesitation, when a faltering spirit looms large, the sixth man comes off the bench and sparks a revolt against complacency and routine. The sixth man powers the team and washes over that faltering spirit with a cleansing energy. A show in which awesome teams are made even greater with the addition of a special guest improviser. Tag-ins, walk-ons, lay-ons, swinging doors, all manner of support work is allowed and encouraged” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Beckerman and Cory Palmer: Sixth Man

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): After hosting her weekly comedy variety show for years in a shrunken venue, Sharon Spell tonight breaks out into the lovely UCB East theatre to present the delightful Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame), Ann Carr (Louie, The Actress), Mitch Magee (HBO’s Funny or Die Presents), The Shrink Dancers, and more: The Big Shrink

10:00 pm ($5): A new variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits atThe Magnet hosted by Jon Bander: What’s to Get?

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who haven’t yet been announced, but you can check for an update here—performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by I have no idea who (but probably someone great): Whiplash

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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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