NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 6/30/15

June 30, 2015

TV Alert: Kumail Nanjiani is on Conan O’Brien;
Kumail, Jonah Ray, and Kumail’s wife
Emily Gordon are on @midnight;
and the three folks above return for another season
of The Meltdown at 12:31 am on Comedy Central;
plus Inside Amy Schumer‘s spectacular Season 3 continues
with Episode 9, “Wingwoman,” at 10:00 pm,
followed by Another Period, all on Comedy Central

Uptown Showdown: Vacation vs. Staycation

Jared Logan, Ophira Eisenberg, Streeter Seidell, Hasan Minhaj, Aparna Nancherla, and Dan Wilbur debate Vacation vs. Staycation at Uptown Showdown

Vacation

…and speaking of such things, please note that these comedy listings will be going on vacation in July and August, in part so I have time to co-produce & edit a short story comedic fantasy anthology titled Ghosts on Drugs (if you’re a comic I like and you might care to submit a story for this collection, please email me for details). However, I’ll still be comprehensively covering the FringeNYC Festival in August—just as I have every year since 2003.

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-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free showthat lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:00 pm ($5): “A computer beeps at random intervals, might be 2 seconds, might be 10 minutes. Every time it beeps, and only when it beeps, the performers jump into a new scene. What happens when nothing you can do can make the scene go longer nor end sooner? When only this instant is guaranteed?” at The PIT downstairs lounge: /Switch/

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Jona Zalay tries out new material for the next three nights at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Jono Zalay

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Michael Che, Dave Attell, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, Jessica Kirson, Pete Davidson, Dov Davidoff, Sam Morril, and Sean Donnelly, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): After watching a clip from The Golden Girls, storytellers share how that episode changed their lives, with Michelle Buteau, Carolyn Castiglia, Athalie Paynting, and host Robin Gelfenbien at Astoria Queens’QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): A Very Special Episode

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups: Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 at the door or $22 in advance online): The burning issue of “Which is better, vacation or staycation?” is debated by superb comics Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), Streeter Seidell (writer for SNL, former Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’sPranked), and Dan Wilbur (SomeEcards). For a sample of what goes on at this show, check out Michael Showalter making a case for cats vs. dogs here and Kristen Schaal making a case for old people vs. babies here. If you’re amused, you can experience this concoction live tonight at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, off 95th Street) hosted by Matthew Love: Uptown Showdown: Vacation Vs. Staycation

8:00 pm ($5): Comics (not announced) give TED-style talks on such topics as “Saving the World Through Evil Karate”or “Mannequins Are Our Superiors” at UCB East hosted by Aaron Kheifets: Basically Genius

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albumsComedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Cole Escola, Julia Loken, and David Drake performing stand-up at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by John Early (30 Rock, Broad City) & Jacqueline Novak (Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor): Cakeshop Comedy: Wyatt Cenac, Amber Nelson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 in advance online): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Liza Treyger (upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), and Sam Evans perform comedic characters who in turn perform karaoke at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf & Lynn Bixenspan: Stand Up and Sing—The Character Karaoke Party: Myq Kaplan, Sasheer Zamata, Liza Treyger, and More

9:00 pm ($7): Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle showAsk Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) guest-hosted by NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) produced and hosted by Sachi Ezura, Robert Dean, Clark Jones, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 online; the latter is recommended as this show frequently sells out): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a spectacular 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

9:30 pm ($5): At this monthly game show, Josh Patten (writer for SNL’s Weekend Update), Meredith Scardino (writer for The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Colbert Report), and Josh Gondelman (writer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver) compete to see who can perform the best celebrity impressions at the UCB East theatre hosted by Andy Beckerman (host of podcast Beginnings, co-host of Two Comics One Stage) & Ramsey Ess: Snap Impression

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Joyelle Johnson, Calvin S. Cato, and Alexis Guerreros performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

[FREE] 10:00 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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and lesser-known stand-ups performing at this free weekly show at the UCB Easttheatre typically hosted by Matteo Lane: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 3:00 pm: Open mic for parents and other comics who may have trouble going out at night but can steal the time during the day at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Momedy Open Mic

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:15 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

[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 upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host:The Dump

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

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

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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.

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 Wednesday 7/24/13

July 24, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Buy Kumail Nanjiani’s dynamite Comedy Central special for just $5 here

You Can't Always Get What You Want

NYC storytellers tell How I Learned You Can’t Always Get What You Want…

Mike Birbiglia

…and Mike Birbiglia watches his stories come alive—and mutate—at improv show Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: PIT founder Ali Farahnakian talks and answers questions for 44 minutes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ali’s Hour (Actually 44 Minutes)

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for Zach Woods, Christina Gausas, Will Hines, Chelsea Clarke, and more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central) tries out new stand-up material every night through Wednesday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Joe List

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features groups First Lady and Apollo: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC authors, playwrights, and more tell true tales about How I Learned You Can’t Always Get What You Want for this monthly show at Happy Ending (302 Broome Street) hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned…You Can’t Always Get What You Want

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, “Aaron & Brian lead their lonely friend Erik on a surreal, nightmarish odyssey to ‘get his dick wet.’ Elderly lesbians, impromptu Fosse numbers, dueling Katherine Hepburns, and the ominous Old Valley are all pit-stops on this journey to happiness, or at least maybe getting laid,” written by and starring Aaron Jackson, Erik Dies, and Brian Glidewell: Erik Dies, You’re Stupid and We Hate You

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Jim Santangeli and Nate Smith try to determine Who’s More Awesome?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines perform color commentary on an improv set by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: The Brothers Hines: Play by Play

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, Peter Aguero, Michelle Markowitz, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s topic Worst Bosses, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky, sketch group The Prom) and Charla Lauriston host as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; plus Sasheer is going to be a huge star, so catch her in this intimate setting while you can. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Jena Friedman, Craig Rowin, Rob Lathan, Aaron Jackson, and Veronica Osorio; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

11:00 pm ($5): Four groups of NYC comics take on roles in short scenes from legit stage plays and try to make them funny at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ralf Jean-Pierre: Funny People

[$] 11:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Kyle Grooms (Comedy Central Presents, Chappelle’s Show), and Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): The Nasty Show: Kurt Metzger, Jon Fisch, and More

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 for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Benel Germosen: Cracking It

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

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 Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Lucas Hazlett: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with group Brick: Magnet Improv Mixer

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.)

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 2/21/12

February 21, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.

Ted Alexandro

Ted Alexandro is at Sweet...

Kumail Nanjiani

...and Kumail Nanjiani is among the stars at ComedyJuice

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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), Eric Drysdale (writer for The Daily Show, The Colbert Report), and Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, NPR’s This American LIfe) performing at Lolita Barhosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Todd Glass (Last Comic Standing, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Rory Scovel (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel), and Subhah Agarwal performing at UCB East for a comedy variety show produced by Sara Schaefer & Scott Moran: Hot Dang

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comic book industry pros joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PITdownstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

8:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Sandino, Still Mike, Mr. Crime, Grandma’s Ashes, and Deckard—and at 11:00 pm advanced improv students play with reverse chronology in which the show starts with the last scene and ends with the first—all at Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): Veteran improv troupe SidViscous debuts a change-of-pace scripted comedic play about “what happens when a gay single father gets caught in a lie and has to pretend his daughter is his wife whenever these mobsters are around, but can’t let his ex-wife or the private investigator she’s hired find out what he’s up to” at The PIT upstairs theatre: My Daughter, My Wife

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), sketch troupe Elephant Larry, accordianist Franz Nicolay, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Pool (484 Union Avenue) along with sketches from Moon regulars Camille Harris, Jordan Clifford, Bryan Condon, James Beard, Tim Skinner, and Timothy Whitney, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles:The Moon Show

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): 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 Glass (Last Comic Standing, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, NPR’s This American LIfe), and Will Forte (Saturday Night Live alum, MacGruber) and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm (no cover, one drink min.): Emily Heller, Selena Coppock, Noah Garfinkel, and Robert Dean performing stand-up on tonight’s topic of Reincarnation for this weekly show at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) hosted by George Gordon: The Afterlife

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): An award-winning rock musical debuting a brief run at The PIT with a terrific mostly-gal cast, including its wonderful star and choreographer Ashley-Wren Collins:Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood

9:30 pm ($5): At this unique new comedic storytelling show, “each performer narrates while panelists interrupt and interject until the funniest truth comes out,” with tonight’s guests Micah Sherman (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The Scene), Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon), and Nate Fernald (Team Submarine) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Nina Mozes (Risk!, Stuckey & Murray):Please Interrupt Me

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.) Al Madrigal (newest correspondent of The Daily Show), Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Kumail Nanjiani (David LettermanSaturday Night Live, The Colbert ReportJimmy Kimmel, writer/performer for Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues; winner of the 2009 ECNY Awards for Best Male Stand-Up), Rory Scovel (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central), Jay Pharoah (cast member of Saturday Night Live), and Colin Jost (writer for Saturday Night Live) performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club with host Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Two of the most brilliant, fearless, and innovative comics in the biz, John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central) and Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives), team up to create their special dark version of a comedy variety show at UCB East. Tonight’s guests are John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!), Streeter Seidell (College Humor), and Craig Baldo (Conan O’Brien): The Tony and Johnny Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts 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’sThe Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

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

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

[FREE] 11:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 2/12/12

February 12, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Sean Patton

Sean Patton performs at Beginnings and Sunday Night Stand-Up...

Kumail Nanjiani

...and Kumail Nanjiani performs at Pretty Good Friends

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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash) and Michael Kupperman (surreal cartoonist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and DC Comics) are interviewed about “their earliest creative experiences and the nuances of having a creative career” for a weekly podcast that tonight goes live on the UCB East stage with hosts Andy Beckerman & Mark Bisi: Beginnings

[FREE] 6:00 pm: “Short-form improv teams battle it out for the most points and a prize. C’mon, admit it! You miss the quick-witted fun and audience involvement of short-form improv. A different short-form team joins Mishmash! each month and struts their stuff for a panel of judges (including one judge chosen from the audience) until a winner emerges. There will be a series of completely improvised scenes, stories and musicals all based on your suggestions. Come ready to shout out suggestions, and even shout at the judges,” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Scrimmage

6:30 pm ($5): A monthly screening of new short filmed sketch and comedy produced by members of the Magnet community: Flick Video Showcase

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBwest’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Kumail Nanjiani (David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, Jimmy Kimmel, writer/performer for Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues; winner of the 2009 ECNY Awards for Best Male Stand-Up), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), and Jacqueline Novak performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for guest host Jared Logan’s Pretty Good Friends

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Jamie Kilstein (Huffington Post; co-host of Citizen Radio), Kate Berlant, Assad Motavaselli, and Jon Savoy performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Magnet sketch comics performing new material: Ripe Sketch Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge for a free weekly show typically hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[$] 8:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s a regular on Chelsea Lately and After Lately, has performed on Last Comic Standing, United States of Tara, and Monk, and is the author of the new book Life As I Blow It, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sarah Colonna

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress: Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Vince Averill (founder of this show), Rojo Perez, and Kunal Arora performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Brad Austin, Nate Fridson, and/or Adam Sokol: Comedy at Beauty Bar

9:30 pm ($5): Jarret Berenstein performs a one-man show at The Magnet that “mixes stand-up, sketch, and poorly executed animation:” Boosh. Kla-Klau.

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilary Schwartz (VH1’s Why am I Still Single?), Jessimae (VH1), and Kate Wolff performing at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/11/11

November 11, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Kumail Nanjiani

Two of the best: Kumail Nanjiani performs for an hour at UCB East in "Just Me Talking"...

Janeane Garofalo

...and Janeane Garofalo headlines at the Eastville Comedy Club

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] November 11th-13th: Among the stellar events at this year’s New York Comedy Festival are shows by comedy titans Tracy Morgan (11/11 at the Beacon Theatre), Bill Burr (11/11 at Carnegie Hall), Louis C.K. (11/12 at the Beacon Theatre), and Sarah Silverman (11/12 at BAM); shows by comedy stars Kumail Nanjiani (11/11 at UCB East), Bill Maher (11/12 at the Beacon Theatre), Norm MacDonald (11/12 at Town Hall), and Kathy Griffin (11/12 at Carnegie Hall); three panels on the art of comedy writing & performing (11/12 at UCB East), plus a panel discussion with the writers of Saturday Night Live (11/13 at the Paley Center); and a leisurely chat with Ricky Gervais (11/13 at the 92nd Street Y). For the complete massive schedule, please click: New York Comedy Festival

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Some of The Magnet’s finest comics—including the brilliant and delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at last year’s FringeNYC)—team up with Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz to deliver comedy as sketch troupe Good Morning, Ladies in this show charmingly titled Fuck You, I’m Reasonable

7:00 pm ($5): At this PIT double-bill, award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Roger Hailes, Matt Ruby, Liam McEneany, Leah Bonnema, Jason Saenz, and Carolina Hidalgo performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) at this biweekly show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the best scripted ensemble shows to grace UCB West for some time, troupe Stone Cold Fox performs hilarious parodies of off-off-Broadway theatre, as well as some of the very best sketches it’s crafted over the years, in a tight hour-long show directed by comedy genius Neil Casey (who, after also recently directing stellar one-person shows by Kate McKinnon and Mike Still, apparently can do no wrong), featuring delightful performances by Fran Gillespie, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden (watch for these three gals playing existential Truth or Dare), John Murray, Nate Smith, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jonathan Fernandez, and the writing of Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Owen Parsons, and Michael Trapp: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art

7:30 pm ($10): NYC comics that Time Out New York selected to showcase—Kurt Braunohler, Eliza Skinner, Adrienne Lapalucci, BriTANick, Damien Lemon, Sean Donnelly, and Gabe Liedman—performing at UCB EastTime Out Live

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): This acclaimed 10-year-and-counting sketch troupe has “amassed a cultish following and a cast who blindly throw themselves into the most questionable of onstage situations, bless their black little hearts….join them for a hilariously unsettling look at growing older, having children, killing your dreams, and settling.” For examples of the troupe’s work, please clickhere and here, and then come to The PIT downstairs lounge to see Spurn

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello; plus in the other half of this double-bill, troupe Epic Beards

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($18): The winning team that created Pope!: An Epic Musical (a big hit at last year’s FringeNYC) and The Spidey Project (a media sensation) is now developing a pirate musical at The Magnet about “the dashing young hero Declan as he seeks out the vicious Martin La Foe, the second most famous pirate ever,” with book and lyrics by Justin Moran & Jon Roufaeal, and music by Adam & Matt Podd: Nightfall on Mirango Island

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($14): A red-hot rising star who’s one of the most thoughtful stand-ups in the biz, has appeared on David LettermanSaturday Night Live, The Colbert ReportJimmy Kimmel, and Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues, and won the 2009 ECNY Award for Best Male Stand-Up performs a solo show at UCB East for one night only: Kumail Nanjiani: Just Me Talking

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 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, and more (but do you even need more?) performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): “Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is on the ground in New York City, and he’s assembled a team of investigative experts to uncover the biggest conspiracy yet. The New World Order might keep Conspiracy Theory off the air, but we take the action outside the ring and straight to the people…because they can cancel a TV show, but they can’t cancel the truth,” with James Adomian as Jesse Ventura, Anthony Atamanuik as David Icke, John Gemberling as Sirhan Sirhan, plus Rob Lathan (Conan O’Brien), Ron Krasnow, Brad Steuernagel, and Todd Womack doing crazy shit at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Conspiracy Theory Live with Jesse Ventura

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB West’s all-star members ofThe Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: An all-musical comedy night with Camille Harris, David Smithyman, Glennis McMurray, and Hardcore Boris performing at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Lerman and Tim Dimond: Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from hosts Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team) Clayton Early (Harvard Sailing Team), and Chris Roberti (New Excitement), plus guests The Chris & Paul Show, Adrienne Iapalucci, Only Son, and—via Skype—the Harvard Sailing Team at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Monster Show

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB West making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Three of the finest improvisors alive—Chris Gethard, John Gemberling, and Anthony Atamanuik—plus stellar improvisors John Frusciante, Silvija Ozols, Chelsea Clarke, and D’Arcy Carden make stuff up to delight you at UCB East for one night only: UCB NYC Improv All-Stars

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Smart, fun sketch comedy & talk show that’s happening at The PITupstairs theatre but is actually a TV series in development from host/creator Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central, IFC, Hot Tub Variety), with tonight’s guests including Jon Benjamin (star/creator of  Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van; FOX, Adult Swim, MTV’s Human Giant) and “a secret awesome guy,” plus phenom house band Adira Amram and the Experience: Night of the Living with Kurt Braunohler

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet event, 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, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

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

[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCBT schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB West stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

 For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/27/11

June 27, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Pete Holmes and Kumail Nanjiani

Beloved stand-ups Pete Holmes and Kumail Nanjiani are briefly back from LA this week and performing tonight at Whiplash

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): World-class storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of The Adam Wade Show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here) hosts a show that’s “like watching the characters of The Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption,” with tonight’s yarn-spinners Kristen Lange, Jenice Matias, Steven Berkowitz, and Robert Weinstein, plus music from Jake Goldman—and a prize for some lucky audience member of a free cake!—all at Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Austin troupe Confidence Men perform their NYC debut with an improvised two-act play in the style of David Mamet. “What makes them unique? Everything: the rhythm, the style, the tone, and the willingness to go serious and/or dark:” Improvised Mamet

7:00 pm & 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:30 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Larry Bailey, Kyle Fincham, Kate Hendricks, David DeVito, Amanda Baramki, and Meena Dimian performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pubhosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Film, and Broadway & off-Broadway stars Bill Camp (Public Enemies, Rounders; Broadway: Coram Boy, Jackie, Saint Joan), Maria Dizzia (Cradle and All; Tony Award nominee for In The Next Room), Brad Fleischer (Broadway: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Helen Kim (Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Death Proof, Grindhouse), and Cristin Milioti (30 Rock; Broadway:Coram Boy, Lieutenant of Inishmore) mixing it up with some of the greatest  improvisors in the world—Scott Adsit (30 Rock, Moral Orel, John & Scott), Tara Copeland (Baby Wants Candy, Mother, The Other Guys), Michael Delaney (Conan O’Brien, The Other Guys, The Stepfathers), Anthony King (brilliant Artistic Director of UCBT, Gutenberg The Musical!, The Curfew), and John Lutz (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, John & Scott)—as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on last year’s Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and musical guest Ted Leo—plus for all of June, as house band the super-amazing Adira Amram and the Experience (winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act)—performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. This show was previously a wonderful theatrical event that cost $18 and up. Don’t miss this run at The PIT that allows you to catch the gals for a mere $10: Naked in a Fishbowl

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Rachel Feinstein (finalist on last year’s Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up; host of Entertaining the Bartender), Nate Bargatze, Scott Moran, and Ryan Conner performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; TLC, blogger for trutV; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1,Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of UCBT’s very finest house sketch comedy troupes Fambly(spearheaded by wonderful rising star Mamrie Hart); plus in the other half of this double-bill house troupe Neighbor Boy (which might not feature great material, but includes such talents as Kate Hess, Amber Nelson, and Timothy Dunn), all trying out new bits at Maude Night

9:30 pm ($5): “A drama written by teen Jerome McDonough that teaches teens about the evils of alcohol abuse. A talented and twistedly funny group of adults (the Marumsco Valley Players) will present the hard-hitting play, stage directions and all—while under the influence!:” Alky

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Anthony Jeselnik (one of my all-time favorite stand-ups; former staff writer/performer for Jimmy FallonConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central Presents; debut comedy CD Shakespeare), Jon Benjamin (star of new Comedy Central series Jon Benjamin Has a Van), and David O’Doherty (award-winning writer/stand-up visiting from Ireland; to get a feel for this extraordinary storyteller, please click here and here and here)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/15/11

May 15, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Jenny Slate and Kumail Nanjiani

Jenny Slate and Kumail Nanjiani are focused at making you laugh tonight at "Pretty Good Friends"

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at theBarrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 5:00 pm ($18.50 online using discount code ADVANCE ): One of the very best shows at FringeNYC 2010 was an award-winning comedy from NYC’s own Faye Lane, a luminous storyteller and singer who will charm your socks off—and possibly give you a moon pie to boot—at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. This marvelous event recently received a 2011 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy and a nomination for the 2011 MAC Award for Special Production. Please read my review by clicking here, watch Faye make a pecan pie by clicking here, and then take advantage of this revival running Sundays through June to experience the hilarious and unforgettable Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBT’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Jenny Slate (SNL, HBO), Kumail Nanjiani (David LettermanSaturday Night Live, The Colbert ReportJimmy Kimmel, writer/performer for Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues; winner of the 2009 ECNY Awards for Best Male Stand-Up), John Roberts (YouTube star), and Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hallhosted by comedy giant Eugene Mirman: Pretty Good Friends

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Thomas Dale, Mad Dog Mattern, Nick Maritato, and more performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): Stellar Australian comic who’s been a regular on Opie & Anthony and who performed his own HBO special, I Swear To God, headlining for one more night at Carolines: Jim Jefferies

8:00 pm ($5): “Strange, mysterious, beautiful, and disgusting, this show will dazzle you with sketch comedy… and magic!” from The Weird Sisters; plus for the other half of this double-bill, the Old Timey Radio Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at The PIT’s downstairs loungefor a free weekly show: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Stand-ups Rob Cantrell, Owen Smith, Cameron Esposito, and Brian Babylon performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) guest-hosted by Damien Lemon: Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nick Vatterott, Andy Haynes, Michael Terry, and George Flanagan performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar at Vince Averill’s & Jesse Popp’s free weekly showBeauty Bar Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Two improv groups competing for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with less well-known troupes and an escalating challenge component—at Magnet Inferno

[$] 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining at Carolines: Paul Mooney

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Adam Sank, Paul Case, Chris Doucette, Brian Barry, Shawn Hollenbach, and Jessimae gather to roast the host of this free weekly gay-themed show atTherapy on Brad Loekle’s 33rd birthday: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 4 minutes per comic, at The PIT’s downstairs loungehosted by Rob Stern: Vicious Cycle

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/15/10

May 15, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Sean Patton

Red-hot rising star Sean Patton (above), Kumail Nanjiani, Matt McCarthy, and many more celebrate Sean Donnelly's birthday tonight at Lil' Seany Boy

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 ($10): A musical about “a pious Pope framed for a crime he didn’t commit…betrayal, Holy War, foot-stompin’ musical numbers” and everything else it takes “to entertain the Hell right out of you” in Pope: The Musical

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisor Christina Gausas and friends she originally made in Chicago—which include writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors, all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): A small army of superb stand-ups celebrating host Sean Donnelly’s birthday—Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Kumail Nanjiani (David LettermanSaturday Night Live, The Colbert ReportJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, Verizon FIOS guy, Front Page Films), Blaine Perry & Pat Stango, Phoebe Robinson, Nick Turner, Steve Bossous, Rory Scovel, and Nick Cobb—performing in Ochi’s Lounge at Lil’ Seany Boy

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($33.48 online if you use code VIPMAY, plus 2-item minimum): A stand-up who’s performed frequently on Conan O’Brien and David Letterman, and who’s performed a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special and numerous Comedy Central Roasts, headlining tonight through Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Greg Geraldo

8:00 pm ($5): Will Nunziata and Jerry Miller performing a two-man sketch show designed as a love letter to the dystopian films of the 70s, 80s, and 90s:” Dystopia Gardens

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

9:00 pm ($5): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:30 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codePISANO, otherwise $20): A Chicago-based troupe that’s wowed audiences around the world with their skill at creating a completely improvised hour-long musical. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment; even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are made up on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last August for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event at the magical Baby Wants Candy

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

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

10:30 pm ($5): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

Midnight ($5): John Flynn, Jon Gabrus, Pam Murphy, Bill Grandberg, and more risk seeing a whole lot of dicks as they interact with the newest Web sensation at Chatroulette Live!

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/16/10

January 16, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Stellar NYC comics have fun with comic books at Comics Love Comics

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 ($3): Stand-ups doing comic book related material at one of NYC’s best comic book stores, Jim Hanley’s Universe, with tonight’s superb guests Kumail Nanjiani (David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, Jimmy Kimmel, writer/performer for Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues), Sara Schaefer (brilliant, inventive, luminous comic; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing, The Awkward Kings of Comedy), Myq Kaplan (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Human Giant), Dan Mintz (HBO’s Lucky Louis, Comedy Central Presents, Important Things with Demetri Martin), Jake Youngmore, and show producer Matt Maragno: Comics Love Comics

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Lightning-fast & thoroughly hilarious Pete Holmes (Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, John Oliver and Friends, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The New Yorker, host of hit shows Punch Up Your Life and Gutbucket), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, Verizon Fios guy, Front Page Films), Giulia Rozzi (VH1, co-host of Stripped Stories), Claudia Cogan (MTV, Logo, here! TV), Pat Stango & Blaine Perry (Don’t Touch Me There), Raquel D’Apice, Morgan Venticinque, and Mark Anthony Ramirez performing in Ochi’s Lounge at Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisor Christina Gausas and friends she originally made in Chicago—which include writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors, all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 suggested donation): Jamie Lee (who’s also the producer and host), Pat Stango, Ray Devito, Kara Klenk, Kate Berlant and Calise Hawkins performing at Karma Lounge for a show benefiting an animal shelter: Diamonds in the Fluff

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history, genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($5): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

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

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

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

10:30 pm ($5): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Comedy duo Chris O’Neill and Paul Valenti won the Best Sketch Troupe award at the Snubfest Comedy Festival in Chicago and the New Jacks Comedy competition at Comix; and tonight will demonstrate why at The Chris and Paul Show

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): An open contest to see who can create the most shockingly funny & filthy sketch running three minutes or less. If you’re easily offended, don’t even consider attending; but if you appreciate comedy that pushes the envelope without hurting anyone (with the possible exception of prudes), you’ll applaud this wild, uninhibited breaking of taboos to get laughs. If a routine is dreadful (many will be), the festivities will be maintained by superb hosts Gil Ozeri, John Flynn, and John Frusciante at The Dirtiest Sketch in NYC Contest

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/18/09

April 18, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

janeane-garofalo-at-comix

Janeane Garofalo

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] a world-class sketch troupe specializing in physical comedy and music: Drop Six (7:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] star improvisation from writers & performers at 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show who joyously declare Let’s Have a Ball (7:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] a movie and TV superstar—who’s also a comedy genius—delivering a deliciously long headlining set at the elegant Comix Comedy Club tonight and Sunday: Janeane Garofalo (8:00 pm & 10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] clever wordplay, conceptual comedy, and relentless silliness—in an all-new show based around the already-goofy film Con Air—from sketch troupe Elephant Larry (8:00 pm),

[$] [DISCOUNTED] star stand-up Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Adult Swim), Rachel Feinstein (Comedy Central, VH1, CNN, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Late Night Stand-Up at Eastville (8:00 pm & 10:00 pm),

[FREE] a special edition of this free comedy show in Queens’ Long Island City in which the hosts—the three members of star sketch/improv troupe Derrick—each perform a 25-minute stand-up set: This Is New York (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] one of my all-time favorite improv troupes—which in 2008 broke the UCBT improv competition record for winning streaks with 17 triumphs in a row, and this year delivered a magnificent performance to capture the Cage Match Championship—the brilliant and daring members of Death by Roo Roo (9:00 pm),

organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track! (9:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] inventive & hilarious sketch comedy from The Harvard Sailing Team (9:30 pm),

[$] comedy club lineups that tonight include one of the most brilliant & hilarious rising stars in New York: Anthony Jeselnik and More at Comedy Cellar (9:45 pm & 11:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] improvised furious action from world-class troupe Reuben Williams (10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, quick-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer (10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] and rising star comics Kumail Nanjiani (Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report) and Thomas Middleditch (genius improv troupes Baby Wants Candy and Improvised Shakespeare) proving themselves to also be nerds by hosting this fun show about the video game industry, tonight with special guest Chris Gethard (brilliant storyteller & improvisor, and author of Weird New York): Game Bros. Live! (midnight).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.