NYC Top Comedy Choices for February 2018: Last Updated Saturday 2/24/18

February 24, 2018

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Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to my BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications, and/or to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny).

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for what’s left of February 2018 include:

Dancify That!Saturday 2/24: A unique game show in which an oddball Internet video is screened, and then over a dozen contestants have three minutes to prepare a dance routine inspired by what everyone just experienced. It’ll all be judged by Keisha Zollar (HBO’s Divorce, Orange Is the New Black, MTV; writer for The Opposition with Jordan Klepper; ace improv trio Doppelganger, sketch group Astronomy Club) and more comics TBA and hosted by Deborah Lohse: Dancify That! (10:00 pm, $20, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)It's a Guy ThingSaturday 2/24: Hosts Mitra Jouhari & Catherine Cohen “are gals who just don’t get ‘guy stuff.’ They’ve invited comics to give them lectures on guy stuff so that they can finally fit in,” with tonight’s bearers of wisdom Josh Sharp & Aaron Jackson (Comedy Central’s The Opposition), Kelsey Caine, Drew Anderson, Fareeha Khan, and Sandy Honig: It’s a Guy Thing (8:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Yardsale Comedy NightSaturday 2/24: Sixteen comics—including John Reynolds, Connor O’Malley, Ana Fabrega, Matt Barats, and Gary Richardson—perform characters, songs, and a variety of other comedic bits: Yardsale Comedy Night (10:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Risk!Saturday 2/24: PLEASE NOTE: This show has SOLD OUT. Comics and comedic storytellers Vanessa Golenia, Andrea Allan, Richard Cardillo, and David Drake join pioneering sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to tell well-crafted tales of comedic adventure: Risk! (7:00 pm, $15, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Dumb People TownSunday 2/25: The Sklar Brothers and Dan Van Kirk perform and host other comics TBA perform improv and stand-up for this recording of their podcast: Dumb People Town (7:30 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Gravid WaterMonday 2/26: Brilliant improvisors stumble into theatre scenes of plays they’ve never seen—performed by superb Broadway, TV, and/or film stars—and make up their dialogue while the actors commit to staying in character and on book. The result is amazingly fun, hosted by actor/director Stephen Ruddy: Gravid Water (8:00 pm, $12, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

Aparna Nancherla and Jo Firestone: "Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve"Monday 2/26: Josh Gondelman (Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s phenom Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker; stand-up comedy album Physical Whisper), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; CBS’ Two Broke Girls, Comedy Central’s The Opposition, IFC’s How Shit Works, MTV; co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Kenice Mobley, and more perform stand-up for this weekly Brooklyn show hosted by Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Aparna Nancherla (co-star of HBO’s Crashing, Netflix’s Master of None, and Comedy Central’s Corporate), and Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk): Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Star Wars: An Erotic Live ReadingTuesday 2/27: Star Wars erotic fan fiction—e.g., Fifty Shades of Rey, a sexually intense retelling of Star Wars: A Force Awakens—is read with feeling by comics Lane Moore (HBO’s Girls; host of Tinder Live; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo; writer for The Onion, McSweeney’s), Julia Johns (writer for MTV’s Girl Code), and Jessie Bangarang Atkinson (host of Family Liquid Dinner, cast member of A Drinking Game NYC), plus “Force Off,” a Star Wars-themed audience interactive game that awards prizes, all hosted by Rob Roan: Star Wars: An Erotic Live Reading (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

The Educated Guess Science FairWednesday 2/28: Sad scientists Jo Firestone & Steven DeSiena host a throwback to grade school science fairs…but run by NYC comics. Walk the open exhibits from 7:00 to 8:15ish pm, where each participant is being tasked to prove a half-baked hypothesis of his or her choosing using disciplinary methods that might be true. There’ll be poster boards, quirky dioramas, tri-fold cardboard, flasks, lab coats, and haphazard experiments. Then at 8:30 pm awards will be presented by scholars “who are maybe at the top of their respective fields. All this and much, much more, we bet:” The Educated Guess Science Fair (7:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street; take R subway to Union Street)

The Stephen King and I: "The Shining"Wednesday 2/28: Tabitha Vidaurri (MTV, WFMU, Funny or Die), who has read every single one of Stephen King’s 54 novels, hosts this monthly show devoted to the master of horror, with tonight’s topic The Shining: The Stephen King and I (7:30 pm, $7, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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 weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for November 2017: Last Updated Tuesday 11/21/17

November 21, 2017

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to my BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications, and/or to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny).

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for what’s left of November (with more to come) include:

Dark SpotsTuesday 11/21: Comics perform their darkest, saddest, and most traumatically funny bits for this monthly catharsis machine—with tonight’s guests TV & movie star Janeane GarofaloJo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; 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), Dulcé Sloan (powerhouse comic who’s the newest correspondent of The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, @midnight), Casey James Salengo (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents), Dina Hashem (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Seeso’s Night Train), Chris LakerMehran Khaghani, and Jess Salomon— hosted by Shane TorresNate Fridson, and Alison ZeidmanDark Spots (8:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Ashley Brooke RobertsTuesday 11/21: Two superb comics, Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable—as you can see above—stellar co-host of Fresh Out and Camp; former writer for Nat Geo Explorer and MTV’s Guy Code; UCB Maude sketch groups The Prom and Absolutely) and Matt Koff (staff writer for The Daily Show), each perform a 30-minute stand-up set hosted by Julia Johns (writer for MTV’s Girl Code): Ashley Brooke Roberts and Matt Koff (8:00 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar at 406 Third Avenue)

Adam Pally and Ben SchwartzWednesday 11/22: Two-thirds of legendary improv trio Hot Sauce (Gil Ozeri is in LA) make up scenes for your amusement: Pally & Schwartz (8:00 pm, $7 [sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing], UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Sasheer Zamata and Keisha ZollarWednesday 11/22: Two-thirds of legendary improv trio Doppelganger (Nicole Byer is in LA), plus guest improvisor Tim Meadows, make up scenes to dazzle you: Doppelganger: Sasheer Zamata & Keisha Zollar (9:30 pm, $7 [sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing], UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Cool Shit / Weird Shit: "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars"Friday 11/24: While David Bowie’s classic album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars plays from beginning to end, comics perform acts based on the songs, with participants including Matt Dennie, Joel Kim Booster, Michael Wolf, Mo Fry Pasic, and Marcia Belsky hosted by Josh SharpCool Shit / Weird Shit: David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust (Midnight, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Fuckville High's Annual ReunionFriday 11/24: Brilliant improvisors Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, and Brandon Scott Jones spearhead this character-based improv show driven by the following premise: “Six months ago Principal Ratliff accidentally shot himself in the head and lost all of his memories, so the alumni of Fuckville High are making this year’s reunion special. All classes are invited in order to help Principal Ratliff get his memory back! Class of 2014, maybe you can vape in his face? Class of 2000, do you want to lie about how your life is still okay? Class of 1994, wanna talk about how fat/skinny/dead you are? Class of 1985, can you remind Principal Ratliff about that pneumonia epidemic? We are asking for all Classes to attend. Hope to see you there!”: Fuckville High’s Annual Reunion (Midnight, $7, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Pet ProvSunday 11/26: There’s nothing more unpredictable on a stage than an animal. In this endearing monthly show, improvisors perform along with their real-life pet dogs, plus other improvisors TBA, and wonderfully humane host Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv groups The Community Players, Ouiser & Clairee, George/Martha, and The Darklings), all making up scenes for Pet Prov (6:00 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Gravid WaterMonday 11/27: Top improvisors stumble into theatre scenes of plays they’ve never seen—performed by Broadway, TV, and/or film stars—and make up their dialogue while the actors commit to staying in character and on book. The result is way fun, hosted by actor/director Stephen Ruddy: Gravid Water (8:00 pm, $7 [sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing],UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Ronny ChiengMonday 11/27: Ronny Chieng (correspondent for The Daily Show), Lauren Adams (Gretchen in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and Travon Free (writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee) chug a couple of beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody LindquistTwo Beers In (7:30 pm, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and MaeveMonday 11/27: Two of America’s very finest comics, Aparna Nancherla (co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None) and Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), host this weekly stand-up show with Irish comic Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk). Tonight’s guests include Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up and staff writer for The President Show; previously wrote for Jimmy Fallon, SNL, Bill Nye Saves the World, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Alison Leiby (writer for The President Show; VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Joyelle Nicole, and Gary RichardsonButterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Jean and JohnTuesday 11/28: Jean Grae & John Hodgman have written topics on a carnival wheel. In this show they spin the wheel and then chat about whatever subject they land on, along with a surprise guest. What else do you need to know?: Jean and John (8:00 pm, $15The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Feelings: A Talk Show with Giulia RozziTuesday 11/28: Host Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show,Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, TruTV, Playgirl Magazine, comedy album True Love) explores the feeling of Sadness via interviews with Jacqueline Novak (top row right; exceptionally smart, fresh stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; Inside Amy Schumer; comedy album Quality Notions; book How to Weep in Public) and Matt Johnson & Kim Schifino (top row left), plus stand-up by Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig FergusonLast Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard ShowSteve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Kenny DeForest (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), and Joe Zimmerman (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and music by Jessica Rowboat (bottom row left) and DJ Therap-EFeelings (8:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Tamara and Adrian's Tarot Variety ShowThursday 11/30: Brilliant comic Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv groups The Community Players, Ouiser & Clairee, George/Martha, and The Darklings; host of Pet Prov) and Tamara Young host a variety show that incorporates tarot cards—show up an hour early for a free reading!: Tamara’s & Adrian’s Tarot Variety Show (9:30 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following 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-$12

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-$12

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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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 weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

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 Tuesday 3/2/16

March 2, 2016

The PIT ShowcaseTen of The PIT’s finest comics show off their talents at this free afternoon event sponsored by a media giant: Hearst Media Showcase (1:00 pm, Free!, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th 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-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including an open-to-all improv jam at 6:00 pm; group Lovers, which includes the spectacular Dana Krashin and Tracy Mull at 7:00 pm, and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times) tries out material every night through Thursday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Keep It Surreal with Rob Cantrell

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, 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) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features three house groups making up scenes on the spot: Lloyd Night

7:30 pm ($5): Comics perform stand-up and then improv games at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jacob Williams (America’s Got Talent, Wild ‘N Out): Stand-Up Wars

8:00 pm ($5): A sketch show about disabilities, and a musical trio, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Bent But Not Broken and An Evening with the Trumpet Boys

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This monthly game show asks roommates to answer questions testing how well they know each other (a la The Newlywed Game) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Tim Unkenholz & Joe Welkie: Roomie Raiders

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—on some weeks veterans, on others ones you may never have heard of—performing for this free weekly show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) hosted by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, and/or Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout

8:30 pm ($5): An audience member with a decision to make becomes the basis of an improvised court trial at The PIT downstairs lounge: The People’s Court

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Kevin McCaffrey (former writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Mike Camerlengo (MTV2’s Joking Off), Frank Liotti (NBC’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent), and more performing for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Gary Levitt, Josh Rabinowitz, Cyrus McQueen, and Yedoye Travis performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: Nasal Vice Stand-Up

9:00 pm ($5): Improvisors are given the suggestion of an entity that’s attacking New York City and then make up a story in which they try to escape at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Escape New York

9:00 pm ($5): Nick Turner, Shalewa Sharpe, and more perform stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jessica Watkins: Homespun Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:15 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 hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:30 ($5): Over a dozen talented female improvisors—including Lauren Adams, Natasha Vaynblat, and Caitlin Bitzegaio—parody all-gal opinion shows such as The View, making up most of the show on the spot based on a loose outline at the UCB Chelsea theatre. The result is often proof that “less is more,” but if you’re very patient there are worthwhile moments to be had from The Female Gaze

10:00 pm ($5; no min.): This super-affordable weekly club stand-up show features Pete Lee, Monroe Martin, Chris DiStefano, Michael Kosta, and Kenny DeForest at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): $5 Funnies at The Stand

10:00 pm ($5): Students of Gary Austin, the founder of The Groundlings, performing improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: Gary Austin’s The Classroom

[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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) dreams up a different incredible idea each month to surprise you . This time “Four contestants will square off head to head to narrate nature videos. Games start easy, but pretty soon the animal and plant dynamics will start to throw them for a loop! We separate the David Attenboroughs from the Movie Phone Guys tonight!” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow: Competitive Nature Documentary Narration Games

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez & Parker Denton: Recess

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host—plus, tonight only, a screening of this show’s new webseries!: The Dump Open Mic Storytelling & Screening

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Camel Butt

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: A gay-themed opportunity to perform improv—especially musical improv—on the UCB East stage: …XYZ 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; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar: Click the Image to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 3/27/15

March 27, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Will Forte is on Jimmy Fallon;
Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell are on
 James Corden (repeated from 3/25)

Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference
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-9:30 pm ($75 for the entire 3-day conference, which starts today, or $40 per day, at the door or online): To my eye, well over half of the finest comics alive are women. As just one quick example, the best filmed comedies on TV right now are Louie C.K.’s Louie (okay, guy), Abbi Jacobson’s & Ilana Glazer’s Broad City (two gals), and Inside Amy Schumer (gal). But industry hiring practices still overwhelmingly favor male comics. This and other issues will be tackled at Bad Assery, a new 3-day conference produced by Natalie Wall (host of storytelling showAwkward Sex and the City) and Shaina Stigler (member of musical improv group Dagger). Although Bad Assery isn’t calling itself a festival, it’s featuring performances by some of the greatest comics in the country, so I expect it’ll be a highly entertaining event for anyone who loves comedy. It all happens today through Sunday at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) and Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). To nab tickets ($75 for all three days or $40 for a single day), please click here; and then look forward to enjoying Bad Assery: The Women and Comedy Conference

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A staged version of a TV episode written just for this show, with tonight’s subject Parks & Recreation presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Artie Lange, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 7:00 show, and Dave Attell, Marina Franklin, Joe Tucker, Ricky Velez, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 12:15 am show, with all of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm ($5 at the door or $6.95 online, plus $10 drink min.): Camille Harris (irresistible singer/sketch comic/cutie; featured player on The Moon Show, music album Silly Jazz) performing songs along with Wayne Tucker and David Linard at the Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop): Camille Harris and More at Rockwood Stage 3

7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” atThe Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

7:00 pm ($5): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

7:00 pm ($5): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, arguably the two best scripted shows currently at UCB on a single wonderful double-bill. First, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about her the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and then a smart, hilarious parody of The Wizard of Oz involving zombies, feminism, and the Hollywood system that must not be missed, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed and co-starring the fabulous Laura Grey: Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A Groundlings-trained improvisor, sketch comic, and stand-up who’s a regular on Chelsea Lately and After Lately headlining tonight through Saturday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Fortune Feimster

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A superb Back to the Future parody with songs and special effects live on stage. The show starts out too slowly in the present time, but becomes quite fun once Marty travels to the past; and by Act 2 it’s a hilarious romp that I highly recommend. The show is by Christopher W. Barnes (book), Ryan Mercy (music) and Christopher W. Barnes (lyrics), produced by Ronny Pascale, and featuring a cast of over a dozen comics performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: That 80s Time Travel Movie: The UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’sGuy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan) sponsored by stellar comedy club The Stand: The Stand Presents Judah Friedlander, Ben Bailey, Jermaine Fowler, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($21.69 online or $25 at the door): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Joyelle Johnson, Anthony DeVito, Frank Liotti, Charles McBee, and Katherine Williams performing stand-up for a fundraiser at Flux Factory (39-21 29th Street) in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Liz Magee: Funny by Nature Fundraiser: Ted Alexandro, Aparna Nancherla, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Marina Franklin, and More

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

8:00 pm ($5): “Long, long ago, by the banks of the river Marinara, where breadstick trees grew in unlimited amounts, in the steamy valley of mozzarella, there was a sleepy little hamlet known as the town of pizza. And the people of this town were a simple, smiling folk, who loved soft drinks, and arcade games, and maintained a friendly family atmosphere. Oh, they were an eclectic bunch: a mayor with a gluttonous lust for power; a bum who tasted glory but lost it all; a fisherman desperate for one last bite. But in one house lived a man who was…a little different” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Slice of Life

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show “randomly pairs duos from the world of comedy. They have one week to prepare a comedy set for the physically and emotionally taxing Battlebowl where these teams will compete against one another”—with tonight’s contestants Christi Chiello & Becca Kauffman, John Reynolds & Dru Johnston, Edy Modica & Gary Richardson, Nora Isabella & Ben Wasserman, Mike Abrusci & Joel Kim Booster, and Charles Gould & Madonna Eleganza Refugia—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis & Darren Mabee:The Lethal Lottery

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Casey James Salengo: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Connor Ratliff, Jordan Klepper, Don Fanelli, Silvija Ozols, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5 at the door or $6.27 online; the latter is recommended because this will probably sell out): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host ofPunderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this show in which Jo and other improvisors live-dub over muted episodes of well-known sitcoms—which tonight are Will and Grace and, more dangerously, The Cosby Show—to create entirely new story lines on the spot. “Watch as your classic Friends episode takes on a film noir spin, or how everyone in Cheers just wants to talk about pizza” at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue): Live Dubbed Sitcoms

9:30 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Ali Levin in which “Miami’s most beloved spicy Cuban Holistic Wellness Counselor Viviana Cortez is on a quest to answer life’s toughest questions while healing her clients one churro at a time” at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Steps to Salbachun

9:30 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Juice

9:30 pm ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Marina Franklin, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnettheatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Andrew Law (Seth Meyers), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV; co-star ofGUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Katie Kester (host of The Later Show), Ramon Rivas II (Nerdist), and Sharon Spell (host of Big Shrink) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): “A showcase of bizarre comedy entertainers. Can power producers Nick Zielinski and Micah Phillips pull off this high stakes show or will their evil overlords destroy them? Come and find out” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Starlight Entertainment

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Forever Dog about ” a seemingly sleepy town sitting at the base of an active volcano” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Volcano Town

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy blended with dance, poetry, and live music at The PIT downstairs lounge from groupHis Majesty, The Baby

11:30 pm ($7): A sketch show from Ari Miller, Dmitry Shein, Trumane Alston, and Michael Delisle at The Magnettheatre: Bedlam

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Fearless, innovative dark comedy gal duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) briefly return to The PIT downstairs lounge (while Leah is in NYC for the weekend) to show off their darker B-side sketches. In their words, “Katie and Leah get it. You don’t go to a Rolling Stones concert waiting to see Jagger sing ‘Paint it Black.’ You didn’t spend $300 on scalped tickets to watch Beyonce perform ‘Single Ladies’ or ‘Drunk in Love.’ You want the obscure! The less catchy! The slightly shitty! Well, we’ve got them for you! Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (known throughout the entire world as the Beyonce of sketch comedy) is back at The PIT for one night only performing the weirder, wilder, and wonderful B-Side sketches that you love, you just don’t know it yet,” plus musical guests The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors): Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “For over nine years, you have been able to count on the UCBW to bring you hot comedy wrestling action each and every Thursday night at Cage Match. For an unprecedented tenth year, UCBW will present its signature show—the grandpappy of ’em all—WrestleSlamMania X! Rivalries have been brewing, and everything will come to a full boil when the full roster of UCBW MegaStars appears in the squared circle! Hilarious real wrestling matches live! Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!:” WrestleSlamMania X

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Friday 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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge forHappy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-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.)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. 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, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/26/15

February 26, 2015

Camren Bicondova & John Doman (Gotham’s Seline Kyle & Don Carmine Falcone) this Saturday night; to learn more, click here

Aparna Nancherla

Brilliant, lightning-quick comics Aparna Nancherla…

Keisha Zollar

…and Keisha Zollar tell stories about their most mortifying erotic experiences at the Museum of Sex for Natalie Wall’s Awkward Sex and the City

Natasha Leggero

…and star comic Natasha Leggero—who, like Aparna above, has one of the best laughs in the universe—will singlehandedly thaw NYC as she headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($18): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a live, shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit) tries out a show that has something to do with him singing at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Josh Sharp Sings

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) Natasha Leggero is a razor-sharp and irresistible stand-up and actress who stars on E’s Burning Love; was the best judge ever on Last Comic Standing; has performed on Jay Leno,Chelsea Lately, The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Adult Swim, and FX, and a Comedy Central Presents special; and killed on Comedy Central’s classic roast of James Franco with her witty, biting writing. Tasha will provide much-needed warmth to NYC headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club:Natasha Leggero

7:30 pm ($5): Alingon Mitra, Joe Zimmerman, Negin Farsad, Jono Zalay, and Drew Michael performing stand-up atUCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Keith Alberstadt, and Jessica Kirson at the 7:45 show; Greer Barnes, Jessica Kirson, Pete Davidson, Sherrod Small, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Matarese, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Pete Davidson, Lynne Koplitz, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Jon Fisch (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing,VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), and Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Mark Normand, Dan Soder, Jessica Kirson, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the talented Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely) performs a smart, funny one-woman show mixing sketches about the types of teachers she’s encountered with video tales of her own experiences during four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

…and in the other half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Shlongform (eight improvisors attempt to mix short form and long form improv together to leverage the strengths of both approaches), at 10:00 pm by Jana Schmieding singing about longing for love in Classic Singles: Ballads of Loneliness, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Dava Krause, and Brendan McLaughlin Mark performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Martha hosts this variety show featuring stand-up from Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), characters from John Swan, and improv from group Golden Pie, all performing at the PIT upstairs theatre: All You Can Eat

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Mike Brown, Brandon Collins, Daniel Tirado, and Marc Theobald performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): A 7-member comedy group performs sketches, storytelling, improv, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bueller

[FREE] 8:00 pm: All-gal improv group Saint Nancy hosts stand-up, sketch, and improv at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Saint Nancy Presents Mostly Handsome

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($16.82 in advance online or $20 at the door; 15% discount on Pleasure Chest products with ticket): Storytellers & comics Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Keisha Zollar (Orange Is the New Black, MTV, Comedy Central, ace improv trioDoppelganger,, sketch group Astronomy Club), Emma Tattenbaum-Fine, and Meghan O’Malley tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at Museum of Sex (233 Fifth Avenue, off 27th Street) hosted by Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Amy Schumer (red-hot rising star; Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Fallon), James Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($5): Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and more performing at UCB Easthosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): An partially improvised punk rock sketch show in which “Alan Murphy is a media mogul. He owns a private club…and he owns a broken heart. But don’t worry, he also owns a swinging libido and a dog-eared copy ofThe Joy Of Sex. Newly divorced, Alan has turned to punk rock music to channel his aggression and emotions. Alan invites you to the CD release party of Songs of Pain, a concept album. Alan will sing, tell stories, and maybe even sign a titty or two” at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog: Forever Dog Presents Alan Murphy and His Punk Rock Band

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($9.93 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Shoshana B. Roberts (star of 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman, which had been seen over 39 million times on YouTube), Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), Bill Weir (CNN journalist/host), Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy on The Sopranos), Larry Levine & Sophia Takal (makers of indie film Wild Canaries), and Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash) being interviewed or performing at the Carolines Comedy Club:Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Shark Tank Live brings your favorite reality competition show off the screen of NBC to the stage. Watch as budding entrepreneurs get their chance to pitch their business ideas such as Russian Brides in A Rush, Cocaine a Cola, and Funeral Snuggies at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Shark Tank Live

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Buck Angel, James Judd, Travis Cook, Jamie Pinto, Lindsay Hoffman, and host Kevin Allison tell stories revolving around the theme Gross at The PIT upstairs theatre for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Billy Prinsell (Rooftop Comedy), and Calvin S. Cato (The Alcoholic Gamer podcast) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) produced by Jaqi Furback, Taylor Clark, and Owen Straw: Big Ups Comedy

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” directed by Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Higgins and Ultimate Body compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but there’s a whole lot of people in it performing at the UCB East theatre: $$$

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

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

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

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [AMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A storytelling open mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Chris Booth:Bar Tales & Blowhards

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith 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-$20)

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-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.)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. 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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 Saturday 12/6/14

December 6, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: James Franco hosts Saturday Night Live at 11:29 pm on NBC

Keisha Zollar

Keisha Zollar hosts a panel at noon and 2:30 pm at The PIT for An Uncomfortable Conversation About Race

Norm Macdonald

…and Norm Macdonald headlines tonight and Sunday at Carolines

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

[$] Noon and 2:30 pm ($30 per show): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) moderates “a fast-paced panel discussion about race and related issues…incorporating humor and truthful discussion into a butt-clenching, cocktail party killing, and tense subject for many Americans. We will invite questions from the Internet, audience members, family, friends and strangers too” at The PIT upstairs theatre: An Uncomfortable Conversation About Race

1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 7:00 pm ($10 per show): College improvisors from Yale, NYU, Sarah Lawrence, Fordham, and more compete in three rounds at The Magnet theatre: Chicago Improv Festival: College Improv Tournament

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($10 cover plus $10 drink min.; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are John Grady (Blue Man Group), Tara Clancy (The Paris Review), Ryan Britt (Nerve.com), and Steven Berkowitz (Scientific American). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Allan Havey, Robert Kelly, and Zainab Johnson at the 7:00 show; Jeff Ross, Greer Barnes, Allan Havey, Robert Kelly, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:15 show; Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Robert Kelly, Jermaine Fowler, and Keith Robinson (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Ted Alexandro, Greer Barnes, Kyle Dunnigan, Allan Havey, Carmen Lynch, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Ari Shaffir, Trevor Noah, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Rachel Feinstein, Allan Havey, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

7:00 pm ($5): Duo sketch comedy from Chris Aurilio and Anik Sood performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: PulpRiot

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($54.50 & 2-drink min.): Hilarious, quick-witted Norm MacDonald got the biggest laugh ever out of Conan O’Brien when he began by declaring that if Carrot Top is the star of the new movie of another guest, a good title for the film would be “Box Office Poison.” Conan then asked the guest for the actual title, and she responded Chairman of the Board. Conan turned to Norm and said, “Do something with that, you freak.” Without missing a beat, Norm replied, “I bet Board is spelled B-O-R-E-D.” Conan, and the audience, went into hysterics. Norm was a popular cast member of Saturday Night Live for five seasons and the anchor of Weekend Update for three seasons. In addition, Norm has written for Roseanne, acted on such prime-time sitcoms as ABC’s The Drew Carey Show and NBC’s NewsRadio, and even starred in his own ABC sitcom The Norm Show, which ran for three seasons. Norm is also a razor-sharp and acclaimed stand-up comic, and well worth catching. He’s headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Norm Macdonald

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Gary Gulman, Dan St. Germain, Jessica Kirson, Christian Finnegan, and More

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

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show), Charlie Kasov, Anthony Appruzzese, Gonzolo Cordova, Marcia Belsky, Jimmy LeChase, and Jordan Temple, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Showcasey Jones

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

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

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Improvisors make up a religion based on an audience suggestion—e.g., The Church of the Carrot, The Church of Crime—and then make up hymns, readings, sermons, sacraments, and more on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Fake Church

9:30 pm ($10): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sharif Ali and/or Kelly Ann Rockwell: World’s Fair

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Jamison Guest—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Gary Gulman, Dan St. Germain, Jessica Kirson, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short: Underbelly

[$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy revolving around outer space from a troupe born in a Boston college and tonight performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Astronaut Theatre

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): An enormously fun freestyle rap contest at UCB East with NYC comics (not announced), plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by superstar human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central): Battlicious

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone, new comedy album Bangs!), Josh Rabinowitz (TruTV’s Friends of the People), and more performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($15; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), 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 (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), James Mattern, and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Dan St. Germain, Monroe Martin, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: An eclectic monthly talk show hosted by Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), with guests TBA at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Aftermirth

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evanshost: The Amateur Hour

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. 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, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/31/14

January 31, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Check out excerpts from  one of the best comedy albums of the year:
Morgan Murphy: Irish Goodbye

Give the People What They Want

Tonight’s your last chance to catch Julie Sharbutt, Keisha Zollar, Dan Hodapp, Micah Sherman, Chris Roberti, and other stellar talents in this play collection by Greg Kotis (Urinetown): Give the People What They Want

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 ($10): Abby Holland performs a one-woman show (mostly; comic Pete Lee appears now and then) about “What does it mean to be a woman? Am I doing it right? Growing up with brothers, I learned how the ‘boys’ did things without really learning how to be a lady. Join me as I navigate through this rough terrain,” directed by the brilliant Ellena Chmielewski (who should be writing and starring in her own shows, but this is the next best thing) at The PIT upstairs theatre: The WoMen in Me

7:00 pm ($7): Two sketch groups performing at The Magnet theatre: CA$H and The Misses

[$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ali Wong, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, James Smith, and Lenny Marcus at the 10:30 show; and Ali Wong, Kurt Metzger, James Smith, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Harris Stanton (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($8): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Anna Roisman (co-host of You Probably Think This Song Is About You), Emma Willmann, and Billy Prinsell performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Andy Spital, Tamara Daniels, and Jordan Wolff: Group Txt

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in the industry, hire them.) Enjoy this new collection of sketches from these sexy performers (which I hope to see soon): Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

7:30 pm ($5): Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted,, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, VH1), and Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View, The Mo’Nique Show) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Abbi Crutchfield & Luke Thayer: All-Inclusive Trip

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 at the door or $16.52 online; the latter is recommended since this might sell out): Tony Award-winning playwright/lyricist Greg Kotis (Urinetown) has written “a collection of seven short plays that explore love, sex, truth, sex, money, sex and justice. In that order” featuring wonderful comedic actors Julie Sharbutt, Micah Sherman, Dan Hodapp, Keisha Zollar, and Chris Roberti at The PIT upstairs theatre. This is the final performance of the run, so do what I’m doing tonight and come experience Give the People What They Want

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Todd Barry, Christian Finnegan, Marina Franklin, Dan Soder, and More

8:00 pm ($8): A one-man show in which “Stephen McCarthy and you make faces and noises at each other, with a slew of characters, some true stories, and weird music” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Journey to the Uncanny Valley

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sam Evans, Emily Winter, Kale Bogdanovs, Nick Maritato, and Taylor Ketchum performing sets to be used as audition tapes—so they’ll be trying extra hard to make you laugh—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts: Caught on Tape

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.): A TV & movie star who created & hosted Last Comic Standing, was a cast member of CBS’ Gary Unmarried and Ghost Whisperer, has done extensive sports broadcasting for ESPN, and has appeared in such feature films as Jerry MacGuire, Pay It Forward, and Hereafter (opposite Matt Damon) headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jay Mohr

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: If you’re a friend or fan of the wonderful Bridget Fitzgerald, consider coming over to say “goodbye for now” before she moves to LA via this party/singalong at Planet Rose (219 Avenue A, between 13th & 14th Streets): Bridget Fitzgerald’s Going Away To LA Drink & Singalong

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Christian Finnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, Dan Soder, and More

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Aaron Weinstein (Carnegie Hall), Boris Khaykin (Huffington Post), and Ray Munoz performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): The debut of this monthly show in which “comics do 3-5 minutes of something they’ve always wanted to do on stage but never had the balls to” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Peter Michael Marino (creator of SoloCon) and the brilliant & lovely Amanda Duarte: Cojones

[FREE] 11:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mick Diflo, Liz Barnett, Max May, Maribeth Mooney, Keith Fuerstenberg, and LaTice performing at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Henry Cruz: Dark Night Comedy

11:30 pm ($5): Eli Itzkowitz & Teddy Shivers host a late night talk show at The Magnet theatre: E&T Live

Midnight ($5): UCB East house manager and tech guy supreme Pat Baer hosts a monthly show about the very medium you’re using to read this, aided tonight by Connor Ratliff (Stone Cold Fox, The Stepfathers), Katey Healy-Wurzburg (Detroit), and Corey Brown: 404ing It: Breaking (Down) the Internet

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) joking about their culture—Jewish, African-American, Asian, geek, whatever—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shak Standley & Paul Higbie: The Black Bar Mitzvah

Friday 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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

11:00 pm ($10): PIT students selected at random mix it up with improv veterans at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Draft

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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.