NYC Top Comedy Choices for October 2017 (updated 10/4)

October 4, 2017

On Hiatus

I didn’t take any time off during the summer, but am putting this site and HyReviews.com on hiatus for part of the fall so I can more fully focus on several projects. These include my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts On Drugs (for details, please click here), a comedy screenplay that needs a lot of research, and some other challenging items that’ll require extra time and energy.

I’ll be off for at least a month, so please check back here on November 1st for an update.

Meanwhile, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and while it’s not as complete as this daily site, you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, here are a few extra special recommendations for October:

New York Comic Con 2017Running Thursday 10/5 through Sunday 10/8 is New York Comic Con, one of the largest annual cultural events in the country—according to NYCC, last year it attracted over 185,000 people! In addition to comic books and anime, this ultimate fan fest features many comedians and spotlights lots of TV comedy series. I’ll be attending all four days; if you spot me, please feel encouraged to come over, say hey, and share your personal highlights from the fest: New York Comic Con 2017 (Thursday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00ish pm, Sunday 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Jacob K. Javits Convention Center at 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th Streets)

Lane Moore: "Tinder Live"After a way fun Saturday at New York Comic Con, keep your fan buzz going on by heading over to Brooklyn to spend your evening with comedy superhero Lane Moore (above middle; HBO’s Girls; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo; writer for The Onion, McSweeney’s), who will use her powers of irresistible charm and lightning wit to have amazing fun with random men she finds on Tinder…while a packed audience watches her every choice with fascination. Offering comments and suggestions during this super-adventure will be Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000; Cinematic Titanic) and Akilah Hughes (writer for Hello Giggles, former writer/producer for Fusion). This show usually sells out, so I recommend nabbing tickets ASAP for Tinder Live (Saturday 10/7, 8:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Donwill and Wyatt Cenac: "Shouting at the Screen"Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes street in this delightful series by Wyatt Cenac (star of TBS’ Friends of Earth; former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park; albums Comedy Person, Brooklyn, and Furry Dumb Fighter; host of Night Train) and Donwill (ace comedy DJ; hip-hop group Tanya Morgan), in which the boys watch a blaxploitation movie and yell comments at it throughout. In addition, they provide obscure film trivia and drinking games. The exact nature of tonight’s screening will be a happy surprise, but chances are it’ll be related to horror and/or Halloween: Shouting at the Screen (Thursday 10/12, 9:30 pm; $15, Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at 445 Albee Square West—take the 2/3 subway to Hoyt Street)

Kevin Geeks Out About HagsploitationOn Halloween month, this glorious collection of hilarious film & TV clips and guest media experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher focuses on the most terrifying subject imaginable: being an aging actress in Hollywood. This show covers the gamut, “from the former Hollywood A-listers who gained second careers in b-movie grindhouse fare, to post-modern witches and psycho-biddies. The power of the hag is like no other, whether they are reminiscing about better times from a decaying home to tormenting younger women with mind games and/or axes.” For a sneak peek video, please click here. Presenters include movie gurus Bob Satuloff, Cristina Cacioppo, Jamie Righetti, Tom Blunt, Tenebrous Kate, Wendy Mays, and Trav S.D.: Kevin Geeks Out About Hagsploitation (Thursday 10/19, 7:00 pm; $15—buying in advance is highly recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and fascinating ideas typically sells out; Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at 445 Albee Square West—take the 2/3 subway to Hoyt Street)

The 10th Annual Schtick or TreatFor the 10th year of this fabulous annual event, over 40 NYC comics get a couple of minutes each to do a set as a famous comedian (e.g., Louis C.K., Amy Schumer, George Carlin, Jimmy Fallon, Rodney Dangerfield…the possibilities are endless) hosted by Mark Normand & Matt Ruby: The 10th Annual Schtick or Treat (Sunday 10/29, 8:00 pm, $15, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Again, I’ll be attending all four days of New York Comic Con; will also be at most of the shows above; and will probably be at lots of other comedy shows this month. If you spot me, please feel encouraged to come over and say hey.

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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/21/17

September 21, 2017

Kevin Geeks Out About Stephen King, Vol. 2A spectacular collection of hilarious film & TV clips and guest pop culture experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing, for a second round, on one of the greatest horror writers of all time (for a video teaser, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Stephen King, Vol. 2 (9:30 pm, $16 [buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas often sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)…

Battle of the Divas: Lindsay Lohan vs. Hilary Duff…or join a pop culture debate on one of the weightiest issues of the 2000s—Lindsay Lohan vs. Hilary Duff—featuring comics Brian McIntyre (arguing for Lindsay) and Marcia Belsky (arguing for Hilary), plus diva drag performances by Elizabeth James and music from DJ Molly Austin, with fabulous hosts Christi Chiello (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, MTV’s Girl Code, TruTV) & Matteo Lane (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code): Battle of the Divas: Lindsay Lohan vs. Hilary Duff (7:30 pm; $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Other notable shows this Thursday include:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors James Dwyer & Jackie Jennings perform their vision of a Church of Scientology “audit” (“‘The Church of Scientology provides free Audits at our NYC location for anyone interested in going clear.’ Once you are clear you will never see the ones you love again.”), with James as L. Ron Hubbard and Jackie as new potential member David Miscavige at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Audit

[$] 7:00 pm ($20): Peter Michael Marino plays around with the audience in a mix of improv and scripted comedy (with staging by stellar director Michole Biancosino), and then attempts to pull off the very difficult feat of creating an entertaining one-man improv show inspired by what he’s learned about the audience at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), running Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through 9/30: Show Up

7:00 pm ($7): Magicians do improv and improvisors perform magic in this collision of mildly popular art forms starring Rich Kameda, Scott Benjamin, Lee Barrett, and David Frasure at The PIT Mainstage: The League of Magical Improvisers

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Superb improvisors Adrian Sexton (Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv groups Ouiser & Clairee, George/Martha, and The Darklings; host of Pet Prov), Jay Malsky (highly talented, super-charged improvisor & character comic; host of This Live Show; UCB sketch group Pretty Boys; FringeNYC solo show Elaine Stritch: Still Here; Solocom & UCB solo show Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend), and other members of PIT Wednesday improv group The Community Players make up a play on the spot at The PIT Underground: The Community Players Present Theatre/Theater/Theatah

7:30 pm ($7): Alex English (writer for BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede), Sagar Bhatt (Last Comic Standing), Jules Posner, Rebecca Shortall, and more perform stand-up at UCB East produced by Carol Hartsell and hosted by Sean Crespo & Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): World-class singing improvisors Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). Playing at The PIT Mainstage for a mere 10 bucks (this show has sold out at other venues for twice the price), I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($30): Stand-up, TV writer, and bestselling author Jen Kirkman headlines at the Highline Ballroom (431 West 16th Street), with an opening set by Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central, MTV, comedy album True Love): Jen Kirkman: The All New Material Girl Tour

8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups starting at 8:00 pm, themed improv show The Setup at 10:00 pm, and improv competition Inspirado at 11:00 pm, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Alison Leiby (writer for The President Show; VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Brendan Fitzgibbons (MTV’s Guy Code, The Onion, co-host of Gandhi, Is That You?), Jules Posner (SF Sketchfest), Billy Prinsell, and Loyiso Gola perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by rising stars Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, host of Homeschooled, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) and/or Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code blog): Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($8): Clare O’Kane (Amazon’s Budding Prospects, Viceland’s Flophouse, webseries Semi-Famous; former writer for SpongeBob SquarePants), Jen Kwok (ABC’s Quantico. HBO’s High Maintenance, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, MTV, PBS), Lawrence DeLoach, Jodi Coyote, Jill Weiner, and Taffy Jaffe perform stand-up or storytelling at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sue Funke & Katie Compa: Happy Place Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Non-Daily Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC magicians (and maybe some visiting wizards) try out new material, with some stand-up thrown in, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by mind reader Eric Dittelman (America’s Got Talent, Ellen): Amazeballs

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Improv duo 2 Puerto Ricans (Taylor Gonzalez & Will Martinez) won its third victory in a row last week, beating former Lloyd Night team Slingshot by 56 votes to 37. Tonight 2PR faces UCB East Friday night improv group Take It Personal, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Michael Kayne (The Chris Gethard Show), Scott Sharp, Rosebud Baker, and Tron Alan perform stand-up at the UCB East theatre hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons & Lance Weiss: Gandhi, Is That You?

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.

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-$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!

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 Thursday 7/20/17

July 20, 2017

Kevin Geeks Out About Kaiju (Giant Monsters)From my favorite monthly show, a spectacular collection of hilarious film & TV clips and guest pop culture experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and guest co-host Brian Solomon (author of new book Godzilla FAQ: All That’s Left To Know About the King of the Monsters) focusing on Japanese-style creatures who are preposterously large (for a video teaser, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Kaiju (Giant Monsters) (7:30 pm, $15 [buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas often sells out]; Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at 445 Albee Square West—take the 2/3 subway to Hoyt Street)…

Gilbert Gottfried…and a one-of-a-kind treasure of a comedy star, whose scores of credits include numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Seth Meyers, @midnight, and Comedy Central Roasts—and who’s acted in the Robert DeNiro film The Comedian, such animated features as Aladdin and Lego Batman 3, Showtime’s Episodes, Comedy Central’s The Jim Gaffigan Show, classic documentary The Aristocrats, and brand new documentary Gilbert—headlines for one night only at Carolines: Gilbert Gottfried (7:30 pm, $27.25 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 7/21/17

Troll 2Astonishingly terrible 1990 movie Troll 2 is about a family pursued by vegetarian goblins who seek to transform them into plants so that they can eat them. Originally titled Goblins, US distributors doubted anyone would buy it as is, and so aimed to trick audiences who enjoyed 1986 movie Troll into thinking this was its sequel…but it’s not, at all. Watch it screened and commented upon by lightning-quick top comics Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on MST3K), Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers), Jake Vevera (co-host of Idiots on Parade podcast), and Freddy G (NPR) hosted by Chris Gersbeck: Troll 2 Screening & Mocking by Frank Conniff, Aparna Nancherla, and More (11:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)…

Natalie Wall, Dava Krause,, and Charla LauristonNatalie Wall (above left) hosts the best sexy storytelling show in NYC, this month with comics Charla Lauriston (above right; former writer for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Dava Krause (above middle; co-host of The Fantasy Suite podcast), and Athalie Paynting (two-time Moth StorySlam winner) telling tales of erotic encounters gone awry: Awkward Sex…and the City (8:00 pm $20—which includes free beer and wine—at The Pleasure Chest at 1150 Second Avenue, between 60th & 61st Streets)…

David Lawson: "Flyer Guy"…and speaking of storytelling, David Lawson tells fascinating tales about the three years he made his living handing out flyers in Times Square…while competing with a wide variety of unusual characters for the attention of tourists. This one-man show—which David is about to perform at festivals around the country—is funny, real, and recommended: Flyer Guy (7:30 pm, Free!, Offside Tavern at 137 West 14th Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 7/22/17

Anybody— An Improvised Historical Hip-HoperaHighly talented hip-hop improv group North Coast attempts to create a Hamilton on the spot by making up a musical based on an audience suggestion of a famous historical figure: Anybody— An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera (9:30 pm, $15, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

Oh, Scuh a Good Show, Oh…or see Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special, Billy on the Street; for Joel’s Conan set, please click here), Emmy Blotnick (rising star; staff writer for Comedy Central’s The President Show; writer for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Roast of Rob Lowe, and Not Safe with Nikki Glaser; MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Ashley Nicole Black (writer & correspondent for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee), Alexandra Song (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Ana Fabrega (Portlandia, The Jim Gaffigan Show, The Chris Gethard Show, host of Sundays with Ana), Sebastian Conelli (ace improvisor; UCB’s Friday night The Law Firm and The Magnet’s The Friday Night Show; member of 2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy), Alex English, and Kevin Seamon perform in Brooklyn hosted by Ethan Beach (MTV): Oh, Such a Good Show, Oh (10:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 7/22/17

Roy Wood Jr, Kevin Bartini, and Josh GondelmanIt’s week #3 of a 4-Sunday series of free outdoor comedy shows in July at NYC parks. This afternoon’s lineup features Josh Gondelman (above right; Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker; stand-up comedy album Physical Whisper), Roy Wood Jr. (above left; correspondent for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, TBS’ Sullivan & Son; Comedy Central one-hour special Father Figure), Kevin Bartini (above middle; warm-up comic for The President Show, and previously for Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show, and The Nightly Show), :Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, TruTV; written for Chris Rock hosting the 2016 Oscars; co-host of Broken Comedy), and Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, @midnight, Sirius XM): Laughter in the Park (2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Free!, the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park by the 7th Street entrance)…

50 Lady Bits: An Evening of Junk Jokes …and this stand-up benefit show for Planned Parenthood features a breathtaking collection of female comedy talent, including Aparna Nancherla, Jo Firestone, Liza Treyger, Lane Moore, Sasheer Zamata, Emmy Blotnick, Giulia Rozzi, Christi Chiello, Ana Fabrega, and many more, for a total of 50—all telling jokes about their genitalia! Hosted by Sachi Ezura & Halle Kiefer, it’s 50 Lady Bits: An Evening of Junk Jokes (8:00 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PIT Loft
154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; 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!

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 Wednesday 6/14/17

June 14, 2017

Kevin Geeks Out About Spider-ManA spectacular collection of hilarious film & TV clips and guest pop culture experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing on one of the most iconic characters in comic book history (for a video teaser, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Spider-Man (9:30 pm, $16 [buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas often sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)

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 hours of free improvisation—including musical improv from group Vern (which includes superb singer & comic Julie A. Feltman) at 7:15 pm, such stellar improvisors as Pat Swearingen and Langston Belton in Hero Complex at 8:30 pm, and star instructors such as Dana Shulman, Adrian Sexton, Chris Booth, and sometimes even PIT owner Ali Reza Farahnakian at The Faculty at 10:00 pm, all at The PIT Mainstage: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

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

7:00 pm ($7): “Two faded and half-insane former stars of Old Hollywood host a late night TV movie show in which they reminisce, lie, gossip, fight, and inadvertently reveal dirty truths” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Hollywood Mausoleum

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 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 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

7:30 pm ($10): An interactive comedy game show in which contestants compete on spelling ability and the audience is invited to sabotage them, with Kyle Ayers (written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), and a live band at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): We Bee Spelling

7:30 pm ($7): Drag queens Helluva-Bottom Carter and Cholula Lemon try to prepare dishes while professional chef Jasmine Sheth tries to be a drag queen at this show mixing comedy and cooking at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Adrienne Cooper: The Food Funny

7:30 pm ($5): Extending the improv showcased at UCB Chelsea’s Tuesday Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features house groups Hotel Hotel, Zaddy, and seventeen also making up scenes via the long improv form called The Harold: Lloyd Night

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy and solo characters by Mike Brian, Chris Migliaccio, Paul Cohen, and guests at The PIT Underground: Backdoor Barbecue

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): An eclectic group of comics & writers—who tonight are Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), Joe Berkowitz (writer/editor for Fast Company; author of Away with Words), Angela Ledgerwood (host of book interview series LIt Up), and Gary Richardson (brilliant improvisor; Comedy Central)—performing and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by recent UK transplants Jon Ronson (New York Times bestselling author of The Men Who Stare At Goats and more; screenwriter; This American Life) and Maeve Higgins (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk, host of Maeve in America): Cool Kids

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Michelle Collins (The View) and friends perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Magic Mich XXL

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Sarah Larson (The New Yorker), Ziwe Fumudoh (The Onion, Reductress), Jim Gaylord (artist; MoMA, Dear Scammer), and Weena Pauly (actress) present material that “has been cut, rejected, abandoned, or is otherwise lying dead on the desktop* at Judson Memorial Church (239 Thompson Street) with celebrity guest bartender Dia Felix, hosted by the quick-witted and wonderful Amanda Duarte: Dead Darlings

8:00 pm ($8): Alana Massey, Allyson Gross, Blythe Robinson, and Thomas L. Strickland “talk about weird stuff they care deeply about while extremely drunk—with PowerPoint” on this month’s topic Fan Clubbing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Drunk Education: Fan Clubbing

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central’s South Beach, host of Ambush Comedy and The Secret Loft Show), Harmon Leon (host of Videotale), Adam Selbst, and Momoh Pujeh “tell their funniest true stories,” plus open mic slots for audience members (maybe you), at Brooklyn’s Excelsior Bar (563 Fifth Avenue, between 15th & 16th Streets) hosted by Sean O’Brien & Chris Ryan: Dummies & Company

8:00 pm ($7): Improvisors make up scenes that abruptly jump from generation to generation inspired by songs from different decades at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Turntable Time Travelers

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Stand-ups tell deliciously long tales, with tonight’s yarn-spinners Marina Franklin (Trainwreck, Louie, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Half Hour), and host DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), all performing at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Storytelling

8:30 pm ($7): Storytellers share tales of bad dates, and then improvisors create scenes that make those bad dates even worse at The PIT Underground hosted by Ryan Darden: Bad Date Theater

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, and other NYC comics “discussing the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this weekly podcast taping at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jena Friedman (wry dark political stand-up; Stephen Colbert, @midnight, The New Yorker, Adult Swim, Netflix mockumentary Undecided; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), J-L Cauvin (Craig Ferguson; Adam Carolla), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Brian Jian (Last Comic Standing), Stone and Stone (Last Comic Standing finalists), and Sharron Paul (Lady Parts Justice League) performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: Double Plus Good Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals),Katie Hannigan (MTV’s Inside Joke), Tyler FIscher (America’s Got Talent), Courtney Fearrington, and Alexis Guerreros perform for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Lance Weiss & Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Improv duos compete for your laughs and votes at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Two-Prov Tournament Round #3

9:00 pm ($7): Improvisors select characters at random from a bucket and then make up scenes as those characters at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Characters Improv

9:15 pm ($10): Sketch comedy groups Kiss On The Lips, 301 Views, and Hot Moms perform for this monthly show at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Bonner Demling: Sketch Block

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): Dramatic readings of actual text fights, after which a panel of comics (not announced) probe them for meaning, repercussions, and stupidity—with audience members invited to add their two cents—at The PIT Underground hosted by Sarah Marie Degni & Avital Isaacs: Text Fight Town Hall

9:30 ($7): A show in which over a dozen talented female improvisors parody all-gal opinion shows such as The View at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Female Gaze

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Satirical commentary on nerdy pop culture news by John Minus & Dillon Stevens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): The G.E.E.K. Show

10:00 pm ($7): Comedy group Yes performs and hosts stand-ups, improvisors, and more at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): We Are Yes

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes about obsessions at the UCB East theatre: The Fix

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers) hosts this “anything might happen comedy chaos” monthly show. Tonight “twice every 100 years people gather to read their most beloved and interesting greeting cards, in honor of now-deceased greeting card lover Phyllis Frankel” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Jo Firestone Presents The Unexpectashow: Phyllis Frankel Reading of the Greeting Cards

11:00 pm ($7): Comics of varying abilities perform stand-up at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Try To Standup Again

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Monthly open mic for stand-up, characters, storytelling, improv, music, or anything else, providing 4 minutes per person—and a extra minute beyond that if the performer pays a compliment to a fellow performer in the room. Sign up via email by noon today at thecomplimentarymic@gmail.com for one of the 9 reserved spots, or try to nab one of the 5 walk-in spots tonight at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenn Wehrung & Coree Spencer: The Complimentary Mic

6:00 pm ($5 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 Mainstage hosted by Anthony Velez: 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

11:00 pm ($5): Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes per comic, with sign-up at 10:00 pm (maximum of 12 comics, so arrive early), at The PIT Underground hosted by Max Halpert: Awkward High Five Open Mic

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

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East hosted by members of improv group Fluffty: Rotisserie Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/25/17

May 25, 2017

Trevor Noah has the week off, but Anthony Atamanuik is still creating one of the very best shows on TV. Tune in to Comedy Central at 11:30 pm for a new episode featuring former CIA officer Evan McMullin discussing fake news: The President Show

Kevin Geeks Out About Famous MonstersA spectacular collection of hilarious film clips and guest movie & TV experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing on vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other creatures of horror (for a video teaser, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Famous Monsters (9:30 pm, $16 [buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas often sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)

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

[TOP PICK] 5:30 pm ($5): Enjoy some of NYC’s best character comics when funny actors who survived the initial auditions for Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs Festival gather to be judged further at the UCB East theatre: Just for Laughs Character Audition Callbacks

6:00 pm ($7): A parody of comedy group reunions at The PIT Mainstage: Saint York

6:00 pm ($7): Duo improv & storytelling from Asian gal comics Aryn Cristobal & Missy Maramara at The PIT Underground: Spit in NYC

7:00 pm ($5): Professional clowns perform a silly show in hopes of changing your life at The PIT Underground: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy Improv from a six-person group performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Sunday School Dropouts

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

7:30 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Shalewa Sharpe (Keith and the Girl; comedy album Stay Eating Cookies), Sarah Kennedy, Liz Magee, Rob Haze, Kevin Froleiks, and Damon Millard performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Alex Fleming & John Bilancini: Stand and Deliver

7:30 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups Boris Khaykin, Neel Nanda, Tyler Richardson, and Melinda Taub perform at UCB East produced by Carol Hartsell and hosted by Sean Crespo & Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A pop culture debate, with this month’s topic Madonna vs. Cher argued by Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, plus drag performances, and music by DJ Molly Austin, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Matteo Lane & Christi Chiello: Battle of the Divas: Madonna vs. Cher

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Michelle Collins (The View) and friends perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Magic Mich XXL

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Chloe Hilliard (The Nightly Show, Last Comic Standing, MTV, TruTV), Dave Lester (Sirius XM), and Jon Laster (BET) perform stand-up, plus music from Thug Passion, at The Mockingbird (25 Avenue B, between 2nd & 3rd Streets) for this new free weekly show hosted by Ayanna Dookie & Mike Brown (MTV) followed by a party: King Hippo Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storytellers share their true “coming out” tales, and then improvisors make up either a play or a musical based on each story at The PIT Mainstage: Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Hero (making up a brand new superhero…played by eight improvisors exploring such questions as “What does it mean to be a hero? What does it mean to be human?”), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($3): Emmy Blotnick (rising star; staff writer & warm-up comic for Comedy Central’s spectacular The President Show; writer for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Roast of Rob Lowe, and Not Safe with Nikki Glaser; MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Patti Harrison (Seriously.TV), Amy Buchwald, Eudora Peterson, and Yaari Nadav Tal perform stand-up at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Yotam Tubul & Lisa Franklin: Runnin’ on Empty

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Comics compete with on-the-spot tweets…and you decide the winner in real time using your smart phone” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shelby Taylor: Like Me

8:00 pm ($7): A parody of female stereotypes in sitcoms at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Unique Lady Bits

8:00 pm ($7): Comics perform stand-up, sketch, improv, and/or more at The PIT Underground hosted by Jared Wilder: Laugh and a Draft

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Billy on the Street), Lucie Steiner (writer for HBO’s upcoming Jon Stewart show), Josh Johnson (Jimmy Fallon), Matt Reimann (The New Yorker), and Sam Zee (creator of Comedy Quarterly) perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Emily Winter, John Payne, and Janet Manley: BackFat Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince hosts Sean Patton, Liza Treyger, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Killer lineup of Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; staff writer for Emmy-winning Inside Amy Schumer; frequently invited lightning wit on @midnight; star of Comedy Central Snapchat series You’re Wrong with Mike Lawrence; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1; staff writer for CBS’ Superior Donuts), Erik Bergstrom (Comedy Central Half Hour, cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, writer for TBS’ People of Earth), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by rising stars Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) & Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The writers of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Alfredo: Late Show Writers Improv

9:30 pm ($7): Improv group Giggle Mountain makes up scenes at The PIT Mainstage: Giggle Mountain

9:30 pm ($7): Two sitcom pilots are performed in staged readings directed by Nancy Melchert at The PIT Underground: Co-Pilots

9:30 pm ($7): Lani Harms hosts standup by Jaboukie Young-White, characters by Emma Rogers, improv by group Sausalito, and music by Alex Pomerantz & Adam Snackwell at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Late Night with Lani

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Dan King: Swamp Thing

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Last week indie improv group Funky Hard Beats tore down team Hotel Hotel by winning 90 votes to 21. Tonight champion FHB, with four victories in a row, competes with improv group Snapshirt for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

11:00 pm ($5): Improv with feedback at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Matthew Woods & Dan Miller: Improv MD

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

5:45 pm-8:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 4-5 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic Thursday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up with 4 minutes per comic (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jake Vevera & Amy Liszka: The QED Thursday Mic

6:00 pm ($5 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

6:00 pm ($3): A weekly improv jam open to the audience in which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

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 (34 Pell Street, 2nd 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 a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A recorded-for-podcast walk-in open mic providing 5 minutes on stage for whatever you want to perform—stand-up, sketch, song—with names drawn from a bucket at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Mercadal & Will Watkins: Unsung Heroes

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:00 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursday After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: Barf Up the Jokes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/27/17

April 27, 2017

Anthony AtamanuikGo out tonight, but set your recording device to the glorious debut of Anthony Atamanuik‘s quick-witted and deliciously dark impersonation of Donald Trump showcased in this new Comedy Central weekly series airing at 11:30 pm (between The Daily Show and @midnight): The President Show

Kevin Geeks Out About Wizards…and enjoy a spectacular collection of hilarious film clips and guest movie & TV experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing on the magical, arcane, and mind-popping (for a video sampling, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Wizards (9:30 pm, $16 [buying in advance is recommended, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas usually sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)

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:

[$] 6:00 pm-9:00 pm ($15): This event aims to “bring together artists of various disciplines and backgrounds and foster a home for intersectional feminism. All proceeds will be donated to the ACLU.” Performers include Sarah Kennedy, Chewy May, Abby Feldman, Hann Cowger, Srilatha Rajamani, and Franqi French at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Anita Flores: Nasty Women Unite Fest

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): A play directed by the wonderful Langan Kingsley, and written by & co-starring Matt Barats & John Reynolds, about “on the night when the girls ask the boys, it’s finally the teacher’s turn” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Sadie Hawkins Day: Love Knows No Bounds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Sandi Marx (Moth StorySlam champion), Robin Gelfenbien (host of storytelling show Yum’s the Word; VH1, Sirius, FringeNYC), Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love, host of Ed Sullivan on Acid), and Bill Chambers (Ten Foot Rat Cabaret) performing at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) featuring such treats as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes hosted by Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic/pianist; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, Internet Action Force): Sideshow Goshko

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nore Davis (HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, Showtime’s Boardwalk Empire, MTV) tries out new stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Nore Davis

7:00 pm ($7): Comics perform solo characters at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Sarah Smallwood Parsons & Brittany McDonald: Perfect Strangers: A Character Show

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

7:30 pm ($7): Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Joyelle Nicole, Kenice Mobley, and Ryan Schutt performing at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($7): Indie improv group Screwdriverz makes up scenes at The PIT Underground: The Toolbox

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Dynamite musical improvisors including Zack Willis, Aaron Jackson, Lauren Adams, Josh Sharp, Jeff Hiller, and/or more recently destroyed 10 improv groups in a row at Thursday’s Cage Match. Come see why audiences can’t resist how these superb comics make up stories with songs at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Rumpleteaser: Musical Improv

8:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups Tim Dillon, Maria Wojciechowski, Marie Faustin, Joe Glasgow, Rojo Perez, and Guitler Raphael performing at Brooklyn’s Dean Street (755 Dean Street) hosted by Brian Erick: Dean Street Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storytellers share their true “coming out” tales, and then improvisors make up either a play or a musical based on each story at The PIT Mainstage: Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, indie improv group Eaves, themed improv show Titanic (exploring love stories beyond Jack & Rose that might have taken place during the doomed voyage), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Comics compete with on-the-spot tweets…and you decide the winner in real time using your smart phone” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shelby Taylor: Like Me

8:00 pm pm ($7): Improv groups Lumbercon, With Wings, and I Swear to God Carol perform scenes springboarding off audience “Throwback Thursday” suggestions—plus characters by Matt Gehring—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): #TBT

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince hosts Judah Friedlander, Joe Machi, Adrienne Iapalucci, Phil Hanley, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

8:30 pm ($7): Attorney Daniel Miller lectures on the 4th Amendment and then improvisors make up scenes based on his legal teachings at The PIT Underground: Drunken Civics

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Anna Drezen (writer for Saturday Night Live; superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters, movement, and sketch; author of How May We Hate You) Brendan McLaughlin (VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live), Kevin Iso (Adam Devine’s House Party), and Heather Thomson performing at UCB East hosted by rising stars Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) & Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code): Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups Jon Laster (Comedy Cellar), Nick Pupo (Halt and Catch Fire), Zach Sims (MTV), Chanel Ali, Chewy May, Dan Fisher, and Jes Tom performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Alex Fleming & John Bilancini: Stand and Deliver

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The writers of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Alfredo: Late Show Writers Improv

9:30 pm ($7): Stand-up, sketch, and panels discussions based around a single topic (not announced) at The PIT Mainstage: Based On

9:30 pm ($7): Improv from groups Animal Interpol and Top Secret Zoo at The PIT Underground: Animal Interpol and Top Secret Zoo

9:30 pm ($7): Lani Harms hosts interviews, sketch, characters, improv, and/or more at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Late Night with Lani

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Dan King: Swamp Thing

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week UCB Saturday night improv group Airwolf defeated indie improv group Horse Girl in a relatively close race, 87 votes to 72. Tonight the champion, with two victories, competes with indie improv group Funky Hard Beats for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

11:00 pm ($5): Improv with feedback at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Matthew Woods & Dan Miller: Improv MD

11:00 pm ($7): Two sitcom pilots are performed in staged readings directed by Nancy Melchert at The PIT Underground: Co-Pilots

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

5:45 pm-8:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 4-5 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic Thursday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal stand-up open mic at UCB East hosted by 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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

6:00 pm ($5 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

6:00 pm ($3): A weekly improv jam open to the audience in which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

6:30 pm ($5): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT Underground: Ladies Night Open Mic

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 (34 Pell Street, 2nd 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 a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A recorded-for-podcast walk-in open mic providing 5 minutes on stage for whatever you want to perform—stand-up, sketch, song—with names drawn from a bucket at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Mercadal & Will Watkins: Unsung Heroes

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:00 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursday After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: Barf Up the Jokes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/20/17

April 20, 2017

Kevin Geeks Out About WizardsOn this 4/20, enjoy a glorious collection of hilarious film clips and guest movie & TV experts hosted by super-fan Kevin Maher and friends focusing on the magical, arcane, and mind-popping (for a video sampling, please click here): Kevin Geeks Out About Wizards (7:00 pm; $15, Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at 445 Albee Square West—take the 2/3 subway to Hoyt Street)

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storytellers Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion), Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer), and Colin Wilhm tell true comedic tales, with host Rory Scholl (Chicago City Limits, The Moth, BTK Band) giving you the chance to win prizes by answering trivia questions based on each story, plus stand-up from Yaari Nadav Tal, all at Brooklyn’s Terra Firma (119 Ingraham Street): Pop Quiz Stories

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Ryan Schutt tries out new material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Ryan Schutt

7:00 pm ($5): Adam Hamway performs his impression of Jimmy Fallon hosting The Tonight Show,with fellow impressionists playing celebrity guests, at The PIT Mainstage: Fallon Tonight

7:00 pm ($7): Stand-ups tell stories which improvisors then turn into TV movies at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Catherine Cypher, Emily Duke, and Christina Sirabian: Live or Die

[$] 7:30 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.) A writer/comic who plays Leon Black on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has performed on Saturday Night Live, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV, The Chris Rock Show, and in such feature films as Pootie Tang and Mr. Deeds, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: JB Smoove

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

7:30 pm ($7): Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), John Trowbridge, Courtney Fearington, and Ashley Hamilton perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo & Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($7): All-gal stand-up, this month featuring Becca Beberaggi, Ashley Bez, Samantha Ruddy, Katrin Higher, Wanjiko Eke, and Ariel Leaty performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jourdain Searles: Madams of the Universe

7:30 pm ($7): Real life couples perform duo improv The PIT Underground hosted by Nate Foster & Raquel Powell: Couples’ Retreat

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a play about the minutiae of small town politics directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel and featuring a seven-person cast: All in Favor

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch gals Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece are hilarious playing 13-year-old boys who are “the Internet’s most viral, most teenage, and most white hip hop duo:” Famous Male Duo

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, indie improv group The Boys, themed improv show Titanic (exploring love stories beyond Jack & Rose that might have taken place during the doomed voyage), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A show hosted by the lovely Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Katy Frame & Marie Cecile Anderson), with guests Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of Battlicious), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Rosebud Baker (staff writer for Elite Daily; host of podcast Netflix Campfire), and Blaze Mancillas (host of podcast Social Abstinence), all at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue: Up N’ Coming

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): An all-gal lineup of stand-ups, storytellers, character comics, and improvisors performing at The PIT Mainstage hosted by the women of group Darling Satan: She Makes Me Laugh

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by stand-up Nick Maritato and improv troupe Priest and the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[$] 8:30 pm ($15): “Eliot Glazer, a classically trained vocalist-turned-comedian, takes some of pop music’s most infamous songs and turns them into highbrow, sweeping ballads. Like a twisted version of MTV Unplugged, Austin City Limits, or VH1 Storytellers, it’s an intimate night of bad music made good,” plus Thorgy Thor (RuPaul’s Drag Race), and stand-up from Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), all at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Haunting Renditions

8:30 pm ($7): Storytellers share tales “so horrible they are hilarious, all for your entertainment” at The PIT Underground hosted by Francisco Breton & Corey Easley (We’re a Genius): Good, Bad Stories

[$] 8:30 pm ($15): Peter Michael Marino improvises a soul-baring one-man show inspired by interactions with the audience (and with the help of stellar director Michole Biancosino) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Show Up

[$] 8:30 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts a variety of stand-ups from Comedy Cellar and more trying out new material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Lauren Maul, Nika McLean, Courtney Reynolds, and Maddy Smith perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Hungry Ghost Cafe/Bar (781 Fulton Street, between Fulton and South Oxford Streets) hosted by Keenan Steiner & guest co-host Thiago Macklin: Comedy at the Corner

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Stone & Stone (Last Comic Standing finalists), Lucas O’Neil, and Bethany Van Delft perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by rising stars Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, host of Homeschooled, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York), and/or Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code): Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($6): Myka Fox (SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes), Scotland Green, Garry Hannon, Lauren Vino, and Darin Patterson performing stand-up or storytelling at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sue Funke & Katie Compa: Happy Place Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): This sketch double-bill at The PIT Mainstage begins with nationally touring comedy troupe The Don’t We Boys (Joe Anderson, Sonny Pandit, and AJ Schraeder), which SF Sketchfest Review described as “Whimsically dark, self-referential, and yielded as many gags-per-second as a Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker film.” And in the second half of the show, comedy troupe Big Britches (Calvin Cole, Emily Duncan, Jon Hudson, and Kantad Svendsgaard) “bring you real characters with real emotions,” and sketches that “hit hard and quick:” The Don’t We Boys and Big Britches

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Non-Daily Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC magicians try out new material, with some stand-up thrown in, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by mind reader Eric Dittelman (America’s Got Talent, Ellen): Amazeballs

10:00 pm ($7): “Improv teachers and coaches read their notes to unfamiliar performers, who will then reenact that show as best as possible,” plus sketch from comedy group New Phones, Who Dis?, at The PIT Underground: Put Me in Coach: An Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Part of the fun of Cage Match is that anything can happen…and that was demonstrated last week when, in a major upset, seemingly unstoppable musical improv group Rumpleteaser (10 wins in a row) was defeated by UCB Saturday night improv group Airwolf in a squeaker, 88 votes to 81. Tonight the new champion airborne canine will try to chomp down on earthbound improv group Horse Girl, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Jeff Cerulli, Alex Carabano, Joe Gerics, and more perform at the UCB East theatre hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons & Lance Weiss: Gandhi, Is That You?

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

5:45 pm-8:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Weekly walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 4-5 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic Thursday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open mic for solo character bits, with names drawn from a bucket and 5 minutes provided to each performer, at the UCB East theatre: Don’t Be Yourself: Character 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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up with 4 minutes per comic (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jake Vevera & Amy Liszka: The QED Thursday Mic

6:00 pm ($3): A weekly improv jam open to the audience in which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

6:30 pm ($5): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT Underground: Ladies Night Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5 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: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A recorded-for-podcast walk-in open mic providing 5 minutes on stage for whatever you want to perform—stand-up, sketch, song—with names drawn from a bucket at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Mercadal & Will Watkins: Unsung Heroes

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursdays After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: Barf Up the Jokes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.