NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/17/13

June 17, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Daniel Kitson is performing in NYC running July 7-13; grab tickets here

Tom Shillue and Kevin Allison

Three of the finest storytellers in the country—Tom Shillue, Kevin Allison…

Melanie Hamlett

…and roving adventurer Melanie Hamlett—perform at tonight’s free East Village extravaganza “Adventures with Melanie Hamlett”

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE (normally $7, but free tonight via an outdoor sponsor)] 7:00 pm: A powerhouse lineup of star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller, host of Funny Story, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room; currently releasing a new CD each month), star storyteller Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!), and Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show) will tell true tales of hair-raising adventures, and also share shorter anecdotes on the fly in a campfire setting, with wonderful host Melanie Hamlett (two-time Moth StorySlam Champion; Dr. Oz; co-author of book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, roving adventurer who tours the globe to find memorable tales). This is among my all-time favorite shows. Please join me at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) for surreal travel slides, camp intimacy, and astounding stories at Adventures with Melanie Hamlett

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Rachel Hamilton & Ruby Marez perform sharp duo improv at The Magnet theatre; plus Shacottha Fields performs solo improv: Hamilton & Marez and 1 Deep

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): “Ever wonder why a super-intelligent ape like Gorilla Grodd would want to do battle with the fastest man alive in The Flash?” Stephie Acevedo, Langston Belton, Tom Brennan, Emerald Catron, Destiny Rivera, and Peter Velez will will talk comic books with comics creators, and then perform comic book improv, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Nerd Is the Word

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors will be touring as representatives of The PIT, and practicing tonight at The PIT downstairs lounge: The PIT TourCo

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Great lineup of Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), 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), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Trevor Noah (South African comic; Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, one-man show Born a Crime), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno): Colin Quinn, Todd Barry, Nick DiPaolo, Trevor Noah, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Giulia Rozzi, Hadiyah Robinson, Mike Vecchione, Jordan Carlos, and Guy Branum perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by Michelle Buteau: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

8:00 pm ($8): At The PIT upstairs theatre, “Come sing along to West Side Story as we watch the classic musical-made-movie! (Due to the time limitations, we will be fast-forwarding through all the non-singing scenes and just improvising those parts to get to the next song.) Prizes are awarded to anyone who did the show once in high school and can get up and do the original choreography:” The West Side Story Sing-A-Long

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Great lineup of 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), John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno): Dave Attell, John Mulaney, Neal Brennan, and More

10:00 pm ($8): In this unique show, the audience texts lines to the improvisers on stage—i.e., it’s “the only show that won’t tell you to put away your cell phones”—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Text Me My Line

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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; 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.)

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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/17/12

October 17, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy

Lizz Winstead, Emily Heller, and more discuss the rise of women in comedy at Brooklyn’s “We Killed”…

Mike Daisy

…and Mike Daisy is among the superb performers at the 10th Anniversary of Jon Friedman’s “The Rejection Show”

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

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Comedy legend Buck Henry (wow!) is among the guests interviewed at UCB Chelsea for this live taping of Ken Freedman’s & Andy Breckman’s radio show WFMU’s 7 Second Delay Live

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge (at 6:00 pm) and upstairs theatre (7:00 pm on) for 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Celebrating the release of a book about the rise of women in comedy, author Yael Kohen interviews Lizz Winstead, Emily Heller, Julieanne Smolinski, and Jesse David at Brooklyn’s PowerHouse Arena (37 Main Street): We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): Becky Yamamoto (rave reviews from The New York Times and The New Yorker; former beard-wearing member of band Stickerbook), Tim Ellis (talented comedic singer/songwriter), Ray DeVito, and Amanda Baramki performing music and/or stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield (VH1) and comedic rapper Andrew Singer (Atom TV): Positively Awesome

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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Red-hot rising star Mamrie Hart, plus a bunch of guys, perform a variety show extolling the wonders of nectar at UCB Chelsea written by & starring Colin Elzie, Pat O’Brien, and Ben Wietmarschen: The Honeymen: A Salute to Honey

…and in the other half of this double-bill, 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

[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): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any fighting) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Andy Hendrickson (TBS’ The Comedy Festival), Chris Difate (voice of Grand Theft Auto videogame characters), Taylor Ketchum, Kunal Arora, Scott Schendlinger, and John Campanelli performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[META-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Killer lineup of Mike Daisy (one of the finest and most respected storytellers in the world; The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs), New Yorker cartoonists Andy Friedman and David Sipress, Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), and Rich Zeroth (rejected by Orbitz) sharing memorable tales of their material being turned down—and celebrating the 10th Anniversary of this wonderful monthly show—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon): The Rejection Show

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/19/12

March 19, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Come see me judge NYU and Columbia stand-ups on 3/20 at the Gotham Comedy Club.

The Rejection Show: Failed TV Pilots Edition

Jon Friedman hosts razor-sharp comics sharing their shattered TV dreams at The Rejection Show: Pilot Season Edition

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

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

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

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 atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): NYC’s writers & performers have just survived another TV Pilot season—and comics Jessi Klein, Jon Gabrus, Jordan Carlos, Noah Garfinkel, and Max Silvestri will tonight share the debris of their shattered dreams at UCB East, accompanied by songs that will probably make fun of them from Stuckey & Murray, at all Jon Friedman’s wonderful The Rejection Show: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat—Pilot Season Edition

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, first up is a witty and ultimately exhilarating exploration of baring it all by fabulous long-time nudist Julia Wiedeman (who I had the great fortune of seeing about a decade ago as she walked around with zero clothing, like a glorious tigress, in broad daylight on the streets of the East Village): Naked People

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a musical about 19th century New York in which “uptown the aristocrats and robber barons think they own the city, while downtown thieves, pimps, and she-males believe they do; but the real kings of the city, the only truly free ones, are the news boys—and for some reason, they’re all British!,” with book & lyrics by Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau & Kevin Carter, and direction by Christopher Gladysz & Lauren Conlin Adams: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Understated and brilliant comic Heather Lawless, Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Gabe Liedman (co-host of Big Terrific), and musical guest Ronald Reagan performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner): Hot Tub Variety

8:00 pm ($10): Mamrie Hart (rising star; You Deserve a Drink, Celebrity Funeral, Maude Night, BoF), Becky Yamamoto, Kara Klenk, and more performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Glennis McCarthy: Gorgeous Women

[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): Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Maureen Langan (HBO, Joy Behar Show, ABC News, FOX, MSNBC, WE, The Onion; 2009 MAC Award for Best Female Comic), Ross Bennett (Comedy Central), Angry Bob, Chris Doucette, and Jeff Kreisler performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, a mini-play from Chris Nester & Ross Taylor about aspiring Country Western musicians: The Oakwood Boys; and in the other half of this double-bill, Kevin Cobbs & Alessandro King perform sketch or improv set in old-time Hollywood: Listen, Kid!

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (for details, please click here) 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): 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): After hosting for years in a shrunken venue, Sharon Spell breaks out into the lovely UCB East theatre for her offbeat comedy variety show, with tonight’s guests Amy Stiller, Birch Harms, Disalamanac, Squirm and Germ, and The Shrink Dancers: The Big Shrink

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Gabe Pacheco, Jessie Geller, Samma Jamma, Onifre Perez, Calvin Cato, and Tom Steffen performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

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 and typically hosted by 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 Wednesday 8/17/11

August 17, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2011 Festival, please click here.

The Newlywed Game logo

Writers telling humiliating tales of being turned down by The Newlywed Game...

Animal Planet logo

....Animal Planet, and more at Jon Friedman's wonderful "The Rejection Show"

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

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

8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

8:30 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Kareem Green, David Stone, and Mike Kaiser performing stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner: Monsters

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Top comics and writers sharing memorable tales of their material being turned down—tonight including Adam Newman & Jessie Cantrell (Animal Planet rejection),
Matt Koff (The Newlywed Game rejection), Andrew Goldstein and “Donald Trump” (Comedy Central Roast rejection), and a special rejection-y appearance by Giulia Rozzi—all at Jon Friedman’s wonderful The Rejection Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

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

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 Tuesday 7/26/11

July 26, 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.

Adam Wade and Jon Friedman

Two of the most beloved nice guys in comedy, Adam Wade and Jon Friedman, perform one-man shows in "Cool as Nice"...

Sean Patton and Eric Andre

...and two of the most beloved wild men in comedy, Sean Patton and Eric Andre, perform tonight at "Righteous Kill"

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:

7:00 pm ($5): Duo improv from team Snazzle Dazzle ; and improv revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies” in Double Date

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Two one-man shows from top comedic storytellers beloved for their sweet, vulnerable styles: Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here) and Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show) performing at Brooklyn’s Union HallCool at Nice

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott, and Marvel Assistant Editors Ellie Pyle and Rachel Pinnelas, talk about Dan’s new story arc Spider Island with super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage, as well as conduct a lively & hilarious discussion aboutfour-color pop culture, at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Jennifer Dziura, who hosts Brooklyn’s Spelling Bee and writes women’s blog TheGrindstone.com, debuts a one-woman show about women through the ages, from Eve to Oprah: The History of Women in 60 Minutes

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Airwolf, Mr. Crime, Grandma’s Ashes, Sandino, American Cousinl, and at 11:00 pm advanced UCBT students acting weird—all at Harold Night

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): 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), Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Jane Borden (treasured Comedy Editor of Time Out New York, author of I Totally Meant to Do That), James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, ABC’s Apartment 23, TBS’ Lopez Report, Comedy Central, FOX’s In the Flow), and Maysoon Zayid (self-described “Palestinian Muslim virgin with cerebral palsy, from New Jersey;” cast member for two seasons of As the World Turns; pundit for Keith Olbermann) performing at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

9:30 pm ($8): Two one-woman shows from Peter Michael Marino’s Flying Solo class: “Becky Flaum thinks she’s Julia Roberts. And Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore, even Katherine Heigel. But she isn’t. Her high cinematic hopes for her love life start to get in the way of reality on her quest for the perfect co-star” in Hopeless Romantic Comedy; and “What is success and what is failure? A tale of a girl growing up, figuring out what is important to her and learning that she can have her cake and eat it too!” in One Fat Step at a Time

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

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

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 6/11/11

June 11, 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.

It’s the finale of the magical SketchFest NYC 2011 at UCBT.
Among the most notable participants during today’s 12-hour fest are:

Meat Sketch Comedy Elephant Larry

Meat and Elephant Larry

Marvel Comics The Onion News Network

…panels from Marvel Comics and The Onion News Network

The Other Other Guys Craptacular

…and The Other Other Guys and The Closing Night Craptacular

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 1:00 pm – 2:00 am: One of the most delightful comedy festivals to grace NYC, this seventh annual SketchFest boasts shows from The Onion, The Whitest Kids U’ Know, Marvel Comics, and a one-night-only reunion of acclaimed all-gal troupe Meat. And it concludes with what’s often the most delightful event of the whole shebang, a Craptacular featuring material from festival participants too rude or bizarre to fit into their regular shows, and this year hosted by Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show).

To get a feel for some of the best troupes who’ll be participating, please click here.

Produced by Alex Zalben, who has excellent comedic taste, this is an extravaganza worth experiencing. The past three days of SketchFest have featured superb shows from such stellar troupes as Kurt & Kristen, Pangea 3000, Harvard Sailing Team, Murderfist, BriTANick, Fraidy Cat (starring Meghan O’Neill), The Pyramid Shew (starring Megan Kellie and directed by Laura Grey), and stellar musical acts from Adira Amram, Shayna Ferm, Mindy Raf, Murderfist (as The Cowmen), and Snakes (Adam Lustick, Billy Scafuri, and Chloé Wepper).

This final day runs over 12 hours, from 1:00 pm till however long the midnight Craptacular takes. Many of these shows will almost certainly sell out, so buy tickets in advance for the ones you want ($10 each); or, even better, simply opt for the $40 all-you-can-see pass to get into any and every show of this final day of SketchFest NYC 2011

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (Second City, Baggage with Jordan Klepper at UCBT), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) performing an improvised play in What a Year!

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft making up a play on the spot in Theory of Everything

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup hasn’t been announced; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight’s edition of Baby Wants Candy

[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] 10:00 pm ($7): Ace 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 hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), stand-up Sheng Wang (Comedy Central), white rapper Carolyn Castiglia (VH1), and “a surprise guest” performing at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by Laura Prangley: Too Soon

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch troupes The Nice Brothers (Adam Newman & Trevor Williams), The New Deal, and Weekend of Regret, plus stand-ups Karl Hess and Sean Hart, performing at the The Brooklyn Lyceum (227 Fourth Avenue) hosted by all-gal sketch troupe M.A.D. and all-guy sketch group Sidecar: Gentrify Brooklyn

10:30 pm ($7): Improv from the four guys of Phooka

11:00 pm ($5): All-gal improv from Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell, plus stand-up from Michelle Wolf, and sketch from gal groups Firth and Funkle Todd:Goldie and the Hawns: A Night of Women in Comedy

[$] 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.

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 Wednesday 1/19/11

January 19, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

Elna Baker with chimp

World-class storytellers Elna Baker (above), Adam Wade, Sara Schaefer, and Seth Herzog show & discuss childhood movies tonight at Jon Friedman's The Rejection Show

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): Brilliantly talented cartoonists for The New Yorker and national comic strips compete for audience applause as they employ their quick wits and drawing skills to meet various comedic challenges in this wonderful show featuring Hilary Price (Rhymes With Orange), Eric Lewis (Animal Nuz, The New Yorker), Matt Diffee (The Rejection Collection, The New Yorker), and Drew Dernavich (The New Yorker)—plus a musical guest—hosted by delightful comic Patrick Borelli (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central)—all at Fisticuffs!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Doctors, writers, storytellers and/or nerds Naomi Azar (psychologist and yoga instructor), Johanna Clearfield (storyteller at The Moth), Seth Lind (host of storytelling showTold), Erin Barker (writer), Jefferson (writer), Steve Zimmer (computer programmer), and host Ben Lillie tell funny tales at this monthly show that tonight focus on a trimly subject for NYC’s flu season—Pathology—at Brooklyn’s Pacific Standard (82 Fourth Avenue): The Story Collider

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($28 online using discount code TMANIA): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 90 minutes with a true genius of comedy. Please note this is a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up…and not for every taste. But whether you’re ultimately grabbed by the story or not, it’s worth experiencing if only for Daniel’s lightning-quick flashes of humor. For example, at the performance I attended a woman sitting in the front row had the incredible gall to start reading. Daniel sweetly responded, “Ooh, that’s a subtle yet effective form of criticism. I’m certainly not cross with you, just too nosy about what you’re reading to plow on. Look, you’re still reading. What a lack of faith you have in live entertainment.” Place your faith in Daniel, check out write-ups in The New York Times by clicking here andhere, and catch this show running every day except Mondays through January 30th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church

8:00 pm ($5): Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC; popular blogs NYisretarded.blogspot.com and RockBottom; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories) hosting this free weekly NYC stand-up comedy show, with tonight’s guests Liz Miele, Al Jackson, Joe List, Pat O’Shea, and Sara Jo Allocco—plus musical guests Ryan Roger & Jeff Gretz—performing at Brooklyn’s Hank’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Saloon(46 Third Avenue at Atlantic): Dive Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Billy Eichner provides a fun, energy-filled show fueled by his love of celebrity pop culture in Billy Eichner Goes Pop! ; plus for the second half of this double bill, young talents perform a loud and mildly amusing sketch show about cops in The Sit Down and Shut Up NYPD Variety Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Bruce Cherry, Kristeen von Hagen, Dan Hirshon, Chris Doucette, Elihu Dietz, and Lisa Kirchner performing at this free weekly show hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Robin Fox, Adam Lehman, and Kara Klenk performing at the Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge (542 Tenth Avenue, between 40th & 41st Streets) for a free weekly gay-themed comedy show hosted by Adam Sank: That Sank Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A blowout lineup of phenomenal storytellers & comics—Elna Baker , Adam Wade, Sara Schaefer, and Seth Herzog—share movies they made as kids, along with highly entertaining tales about these cinematic masterpieces, at a very special edition of Jon Friedman’s & guest host Mamrie Hart’s wonderful The Rejection Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing 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. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.