NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/10/13

June 10, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Oliver

Comedy genius John Oliver takes over The Daily Show for the summer; be sure to tune in every Monday-Thursday at 11:00 (and also be happy for Jon Stewart, who’s off directing a movie)

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most prestigious comedy theatres in the world)

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

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

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre)

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

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; hosts headliners on weekends, Comedy Juice Tuesdays at 10:00 pm; 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.)

Today’s (Monday’s) Open Mics

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

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

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

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

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

[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

More to come tomorrow…


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/20/12

June 20, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

Newsadoozies

Enjoy dancing orphans, a cannibalistic sex cult, and more in the 30-minute dark musical romp Newsadoozies…

John Flynn

…and then catch John Flynn tell tales of dating at This is Awkward: True Stories of of Love, Lust, and Lubrication…

John Oliver

…or come to a free blowup show outdoors with Daily Show stars John Oliver, Kristen Schaal, John Hodgman, Wyatt Cenac, Al Madrigal, Rory Albanese, and more at Central Park SummerStage

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

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

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

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Graceland and Kinsey: Lloyd Night

7:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield (VH1) and comedic rapper Andrew Singer (Atom TV): Positively Awesome

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A wonderful—and free!—outdoor concert at Central Park, withDaily Show star stand-ups John Oliver, Kristen Schaal, John Hodgman, Wyatt Cenac, Al Madrigal, Rory Albanese, and more at Central Park SummerStage

Even though SummerStage is spacious enough to accommodate hundreds of visitors, it’s not uncommon for every square inch of ground to be occupied with folks eager to laugh. It’s therefore recommended you arrive early for this lovely comedy party to ensure you get in, and can nab either a seat or a comfortable spot on the grass. (And consider bringing a large blanket…)

Directions to SummerStage

SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

From the East side: Take the #6 subway to 68th Street and Lexington,
or the M1/M2/M3/M4 bus to 72nd Street and 5th Avenue;
enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;
and then walk a bit following the map above.

Traveling crosstown: Take the M-66 or M72 bus to Fifth Avenue;
enter the part at 69th Street and Fifth Avenue;
and then walk a bit following the map above.

 From the West side: Take the 1/2/3/B/C subway to 72nd Street,
or the M7/M10/M11 bus to 72nd Street and Central Park West;
enter the park at 72nd Street and Central Park West;
and then walk a whole lot following the map above.

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Kevin Michael Murphy, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., Kevin Michael Murphy’s ieg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, “Matt Hobby & Mary Grill have a love deeper than one thousand really deep oceans. Through storytelling and sketch comedy, Matt & Mary show you the characters who helped them on their journey from fiancés to newlyweds:” Tying the Knot

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Paul Oddo, Neil Constantine, Jeff Wesselschmidt, Seaton Smith, and Joe Zimmerman performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ryan Conner (freelance writer for SNL, BBC): Free Healthcare

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Becky Yamamoto, Aaron Sweeney, Kat Radley, and Meena Dimian performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar with hosts Negin Farsad, Amy Albert, and Beth McGregor for their free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, host of Sideshow Goshko), Jason Marcus, Corey Reppond, Katie Compa, and Jon Savoy performing at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) produced by Emily Epstein White and hosted by Selena Coppock & Danny Cartwright:Connotation

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): A rare opportunity to see an acclaimed UK improv troupe visiting from Oxford University and performing at UCB East for one night only: The Oxford Imps

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Jonathan Blank and Samara Doucette say what everyone else thinks on dates, but never says; so join them and guest comedians as they divulge all of their wildest and most embarrassing dating stories. This monthly storytelling show contains the truth and nothing but the truth, but most of the stories are more surreal than if David Lynch directed romantic comedies. Everything from wild hookups to emotional breakups are on the table.” Tonight’s storytelling guests at The PIT downstairs lounge are John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!) and Sara Jonsson (Camp Sunshine): This is Awkward: True Stories of of Love, Lust, and Lubrication

9:30 pm ($5): Two sketch shows I haven’t yet seen at UCB Chelsea: Brent Sullivan presents fake profiles he used to communicate via social networks with people he’d normally be terrified to contact at Profiles in Cowardice; and a (mostly) one-man show by George Kareman titled Incredibly Extreme and Extremely Incredible

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled performers include Paul Odo and Caitlin Bitzigaio; for the full lineup, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “Oscar Montoya heads to gay rehab for a weekend of renewal while Jen Tullock and a cast of various others attempt to help him find his way” in this sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Pray It Away with Oscar & Jen

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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/19/11

December 19, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Oliver

Comedy genius John Oliver performs tonight at both the Morrison Motel and Whiplash...

Julie Klausner and Michael Showalter

...Julie Klausner and Michael Showalter (above), Andrea Rosen, and more perform at The Moon Show...

Reggie Watts

...and Reggie Watts makes unique music at Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): World-class storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of The Adam Wade Show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here) hosts a show at The Magnet that’s “like watching the characters of The Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption,” with tonight’s guests Dale Davidson (invaluable FringeNYC staffer & Magnet improvisor), Matt Sheerfek, and John Brennan: Adam Wade’sWhatever Happened to the Nerds?

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Calvin S. Cato, Patrick J. Mitchell, Kate Hendricks, Joe Larson, and Asie Mohtarez performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

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 John Morrison’s Motel Luca

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): Michael Showalter (MTV’s The State, comedy troupe Stella, writer/star of feature films The Baxter and Wet Hot American Summer and Comedy Central’s Michael & MIchael Have Issues; author of bestselling book Mr. Funny Pants), Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller, and author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), Andrea Rosen (brilliant stand-up & storyteller; HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central’s Stella, Variety SHACThe Nights of Our Lives, Ding Dong Meow, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up), and more performing at 92Y Tribeca, along with sketches from Moon regulars such as co-producer Jordan Clifford,  the delightful Camille Harris, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles at this special edition of The Moon Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($14.83 online or $12 at the door): Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special), Jon Glaser (creator/star of Adult Swim’s Delocated, long-time writer & sketch performer forConan O’Brien, voiceover actor for Comedy Central and Adult Swim), “Adam the Real Man,” and musical guest River City Extension 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 with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A top comedy musical night featuring Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’sLegally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Tom Shillue’s barbershop quartet Scollay Square, Buckwheat Groats, and more performing at UCB East hosted by Max Silvestri (co-host of Big Terrific): Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents, co-host of Righteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Alice Wetterlund (College Humor), John F. O’Donnell (Comedy Central, co-host of 50 First Jokes), Robbie Collier, and “a special guest” performing at the One and One Bar (1st Street & First Avenue) for this new weekly stand-up show hosted by Louis Katz, Tim Dimond, and J. F. Harris: Raw Guts

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A silly holiday sketch/character comedy tradition at UCB Chelsea that makes fun of all things preppy, tonight featuring such talents as Violet Krumbein, Will Hines, Rob Lathan, Craig Rowin, Katie Schorr, and many more, hosted by Alex Scordelis and Chris Schell: The Brooks Brothers Christmas Clambake

8:30 pm ($5): Improv at The Magnet revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies” in Double Date, plus improv from troupe Honey

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm doors, 9:00 pm show ($20, which includes 1 drink; please note this show hassold out, but there’s a small chance of getting in via a stand-by line if folks who made reservations don’t show up): A killer lineup of John Oliver, Myq Kaplan, Hannibal Buress, Carmen Lynch, Lee Camp, Liz Miele, and Steve Rosso performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: PIT owner Ali Farahnakian and the school’s razor-sharp instructors perform improv at The PIT downstairs lounge in The Faculty Part 2: Electric Boogaloo; plus improv troupe Technicolor

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the most respected and influential improv troupes of all time that was legendary for its lightning-fast reactions is reunited for one night only at UCB Chelsea with members Andy Secunda, Sean Conroy, and Michael Delaney: The Swarm

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Pat O’Shea (host of Ed Sullivan on Acid) and Brooke Van Popplen & Giulia Rozzi (hosts of Dive Comedy), who normally alternate their biweekly shows at the same time and location, join forces tonight by welcoming NYC stand-ups Carla Rhodes, Kara Klenk, Jessimae Peluso, Stone and Stone, John F. O’Donnell, and more at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid & Dive Comedy Join Forces Spectacular

[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

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens” at The Magnet hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

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—with tonight’s guests 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), star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Sean Conroy (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, legendary improv troupe The Swarm), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Too Cool For School and If You Bu=ild It), Sean O’Connor, and Zach Sherwin—performing at UCB Chelsea with wonderful Sean Patton (killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language): 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 full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/25/11

July 25, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

John Oliver and Anthony Jeselnik

Two of the greatest stand-ups in comedy history, John Oliver and Anthony Jeselnik, tonight at Whiplash

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 in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

7:00 pm ($5): Joe Moses became a YouTube star with A Very Potter Musical. In this show, he uses sketch, improv, and music to “share his unique perspective on what it’s like to be a young artist in NYC, and an online celebrity:” The Joe Moses One Man Showses

7:00 pm & 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ 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 9:30 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, ABC’sApartment 23, TBS’ Lopez Report, Comedy Central, FOX’s In the Flow), Phoebe Robinson (normally this show’s host, but Phoebe’s doing a set tonight), Mara Herron (Sirius Radio), Carrie Graveson, Seaton Smith, and Joe Machi performing stand-ups at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pubtonight guest-hosted by Jessimae Peluso (Tyra Banks Show, TruTV): Case of the Mondays Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Film, and Broadway & off-Broadway stars Jonathan Kaplan (Tony nominee for FalsettosDiary of Anne Frank on Broadway) Cristin Milioti (30 RockCoram Boy, Lieutenant of Inishmore on Broadway) Stephen Ruddy (Skype Duet, Chekhov’s Gun), Amy Rutberg (The Divine Sister, Our Leading Lady) and Julie Sharbutt (Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night, Maladies) mixing it up with some of the greatest  improvisors in the world—Scott Adsit (30 Rock, Moral Orel, John & Scott), Tara Copeland (Baby Wants Candy, Mother, Diamond Lion, The Made Up Musical, The Other Guys), Michael Delaney (Conan O’Brien, The Other Guys, The Stepfathers), John Lutz (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, John & Scott), and Michael Patrick O’Brien (Saturday Night Live)—as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Baron Vaughn (star of USA’s Fairly Legal, co-star of USA’s Facing Kate and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Eric Ledgin (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Kate Beaton (stellar cartoonist: Hark! A Vagrant), and as house band the super-amazing Adira Amram and the Experience (winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), 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 ($10): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. This show was previously a wonderful theatrical event that cost $18 and up. Don’t miss this five-week Monday evening run, concluding August 15th, at the elegant Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) that allows you to catch the gals for a mere $10: Naked in a Fishbowl

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Jonathan Blank and Samara Doucette say what everyone else thinks on dates, but never says… so join them and guest comedians as they divulge all of their wildest and most embarrassing dating stories! This monthly storytelling show contains the truth and nothing but the truth. However, most of the stories are more surreal than if David Lynch directed romantic comedies. Everything from wild hookups to emotional breakups are on the table:” This is Awkward

9:30 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s in-house sketch comedy troupes, Arbuckle (which includes performers Pam Murphy and Violet Krumbein) and Stone Cold Fox (which includes performers Fran Gillespie, Nate Smith, and John Murray), trying out new bits at Maude Night

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include 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), Anthony Jeselnik (one of my all-time favorite stand-ups; former staff writer/performer for Jimmy FallonConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central Presents; debut comedy CD Shakespeare), Nick Turner (host ofMonsters, co-host of Too Cool for School and If You Build It), Chris Laker, and Dan Soder—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at 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 hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 11/13/10

November 13, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Oliver

John Oliver, one of the funniest—and nicest—stand-ups alive, concludes his not-to-be-missed show tonight headlining at Comix

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] 5:00 pm-Midnight ($15 per show): Terrific comedic singing troupes that magically craft an entire musical on the spot are showcased tonight at The Magnet, with top shows including the world-renowned Baby Wants Candy and Jeff Hiller’s Dream Team (with cast members from  30 Rock, Broadway’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and more), all at the New York Musical Improv Festival

7:00 pm ($8): Does it get any better than Twilight-themed improv? Find out tonight at Twiprov

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Christina Gausas, Scott Adsit, Becky Drysdale, Anthony King, and more—including writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, andThe Daily Show—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors, all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41.02 online if you use codePLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A star correspondent of The Daily Show, and one of the sharpest and funniest stand-ups in the world, performing a not-to-be-missed headlining run concluding tonight (the Sunday show was canceled due to a last-minute conflict) at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: John Oliver

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Jesse Popp, Raquel D’Apice, Grant Gordon, and “a very special guest” performing stand-up at The Triple Crown Alehouse & Restaurant (330 7th Aveue, between 28th and 29th Streets) at Sean Donnelly’s Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—and the Cage Match Champion for two years in a row!—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which doesn’t always ht the mark but provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won this year’s ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group: Murderfist: Late and Dirty

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A comedy genius, and star of the Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake, hosting his own extravaganza—which goes beyond a stage show to have the makings of a hit MTV series—with tonight celebrating the show reaching a landmark: The Chris Gethard Show: One Year Anniversary

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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/12/10

November 12, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Oliver

John Oliver, one of the very finest stand-ups in the biz, performs a not-to-be-missed show this weekend headlining at Comix...

...while The Magnet hosts a broad range of talented singing & dancing comics for its New York Musical Improv Festival

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-1:00 am ($15 per show): Terrific comedic singing troupes that magically craft an entire musical on the spot are showcased tonight at The Magnet, with shows from Diamond Lion, The Made Up Musical, Veal, Choral Rage, Vox Pop, and Reset List: New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm: Chicago-based veteran sketch/improv comic Bob Kulhan performs his acclaimed one-man show for one night only: Shecky Kulhan: Theater of the Mind

7:00 pm ($8): Award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41.02 online if you use codePLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A star correspondent of The Daily Show, and one of the sharpest and funniest stand-ups in the world, performing a not-to-be-missed headlining run through Sunday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: John Oliver

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches titled Ms. Larsen’s ClassThe Harvard Sailing Team

10:30 pm ($10): Jonathan Gabrus, Sue Galloway, and other fine improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Wonderful musicians Ted Leo and Geoff Garlock, and wonderful authors Julie Klausner (I Don’t Care About Your Band) and Rob Sheffield (Talking To Girls About Duran Duran), joining “opinionated audiophile John Frusciante hosting a revolving panel of music-loving comedians, writers, and musicians for a live monthly discussion about the state of music past and present, what you should and shouldn’t be listening to, and why KISS sucks so much. It is a guarantee that your favorite band will at some point be brought up, dissected, and either praised to the rafters or dismissed with the wave of a hand that knows how to properly handle vinyl:” Break Up Your Band

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.