NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/23/17

July 23, 2017

Roy Wood Jr, Kevin Bartini, and Josh Gondelman: "Laughter in the Park"It’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 between Avenues A & B)…

…and a stand-up benefit show for Planned Parenthood features a breathtaking collection of female comedy talent, including Aparna Nancherla, Jo Firestone, Liza Treyger, Emmy Blotnick (above left), Lane Moore (above right), Sasheer Zamata, Ana Fabrega (above middle), Giulia Rozzi, Christi Chiello,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)

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 7/24/17

Janeane Garofalo and Lili TaylorStars Janeane Garofalo and Lili Taylor—who play sisters in the Broadway revival of Marvin’s Room, running through August 27th at the American Airlines Theatre—are the guests of this NPR weekly comedy trivia show taped live in Brooklyn and hosted by the wonderful Ophira Eisenberg (NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ The Late Late Show, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!): Ask Me Another (7:30 pm, $25, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil: "Your Love, Our Musical"…or marvel at world-class singing improvisors Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil interviewing an audience couple about their love life and then turning it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). Plus tonight offers the extra treat of music from a hot dog DJ. I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (8:00 pm; $10, which is super cheap—;this show has regularly sold out at $18 at other venues; The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

Chris Lamberth…or check out Chris Lamberth (HBO’s High Maintenance; film Can You Ever Forgive Me? with Melissa McCarthy; host of The Mundane Festival podcast) tonight, or any night this week through Friday, at a free show that’s letting him hone a long stand-set set: Week at the Creek: Chris Lamberth (7:00 pm, Free!, Queens LIC’s The Creek at 10-93 Jackson Avenue)

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 7/25/17

Chelsea White, Jessie Jolles, and EA HanksChelsea White (above left; writer/producer for MTV’s Girl Code) and Erin Leafe (writer) bring their podcast about ghosting and other scary dating stories to the stage, with tonight’s guests Jessie Jolles (above middle; MTV; half of sketch duo Soren & Jolles) and EA Hanks (above right; Huffington Post): Ghosted Stories Live (7:00 pm, $7, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)…

…and every Tuesday, eight singing & dancing improv groups—who tonight are Captains, Warm Blooded, Kittyhawk, Pyros, Squash, Public Pool, Honeymoon, and Wonderland, all typically led by the best improv pianist in the biz, Frank Spitznagel (above)—make up musicals on the spot based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt (6:00 pm for free musical jam that gives you the chance to get on stage with veteran performers; 7:00 pm-11:00 pm for paid shows—which are a mere $10 for the entire evening; The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 7/26/17

Dave Hill: "Witch Taint: The Black Metal Dialogues Live"Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; @midnight, Inside Amy Schumer, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, This American Life; host for HBO and Cinemax; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore; comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Phil Costello (Dave’s bandmate in groups Valley Lodge and—with Moby—Diamondsnake), and Greg Barris (MTV’s All That Rocks, host of Heart of Darkness) perform Dave’s epic email exchange with a Norwegian black metal record label while pretending to be “Lance, a teenager living with his parents in Gary, Indiana who also just so happens to be the lead singer and sole member of the most extreme, brutal, and Satanic black metal band of all-time, WitchTaint, and hopes to get signed on the strength of one excruciatingly bad song called Necrodreamraper.” To get a feel, visit Dave’s website devoted to these emails, The Black Metal Dialogues, and then come enjoy the stage version: Witch Taint Live (8:00 pm; $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Confession: Coming Clean…storytellers Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code, co-host of Fresh Out), Mike Kelton (MTV), and Sean O’Brien (stand-up) tell comedic tales on this month’s theme Coming Clean at David Martin’s The Nights of Our Lives (8:00 pm, $7, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)…

The Red Flag…or see Sophie Julia, Kat Timpf, Chris Manzo, Francis Ellis, and Carolyn Gitomer tell stories and jokes about dating at Carolines: The Red Flag: A Comedy Dating Show (7:30 pm, $11 cover using discount code REDFLAG online (otherwise $22) plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

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 Sunday 7/16/17

July 16, 2017

Langston Kerman, Myq Kaplan, and Sherrod Small: "Laughter in the Park"It’s week #2 of a 4-Sunday series of free outdoor comedy shows in July at NYC parks. This afternoon’s lineup features Myq Kaplan (above middle; one of the quickest minds in comedy; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Sherrod Small (above right; writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Langston Kerman (above left; cast member of HBO’s Insecure; Adam DeVine’s House Party; written for Chris Rock’s hosting of the Oscars and Comedy Central’s Problematic), Gary Vider (America’s Got Talent 2015 finalist; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), and Leighann Lord (HBO, Comedy Central, Lifetime; frequent co-host of StarTalk Radio podcast; author of Dict Jokes): Laughter in the Park (2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Free!, the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park by the 7th Street entrance)…

David Lawson, Angel Yau, and Erika Elton: Story Fest 2017…it’s the final day of a weekend storytelling festival at the PIT Loft, with 5 shows running a total of 7 hours. Notable events include VHS Presents at 5:30 pm (comics David Lawson (above left), Angel Yau (above middle), and Elann Danziger screen embarrassing videos they made years ago to hype themselves and share anecdotes about them) and Singeling at 8:30 pm (tales of dating, plus advice from professional dating coach Erika Elton (above right)): Story Fest 2017 (4:00 pm-11:00 pm, $10 per show, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)…

Picture This!…or see this unique show in which animators spontaneously bring the jokes of guest stand-ups to visual life with lightning speed & wit. Tonight’s comedy lineup consists of Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; @midnight, Inside Amy Schumer, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, This American Life; host for HBO and Cinemax; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake; books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore; comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special, Billy on the Street; for Joel’s Conan set, please click here), Noah Gardenswartz (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Molly Ruben-Long (Someecards; co-host of Well Behaved podcast), and Mara Wiles (Viceland’s Flophouse), produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Ian Fidance: Picture This! (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Wyatt Cenac and David Cross…or join Sasheer Zamata (cast member for three seasons of Saturday Night Live) as she hosts Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park; albums Comedy Person, Brooklyn, and Furry Dumb Fighter; host of Night Train), David Cross (comedy legend; Mr. Show, Arrested Development, Modern Family), Cocoon Central Dance Team (delightful trio of immensely talented comedic dancers/actresses and rising stars Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani), and Maria Heinegg (host of The Worst Thing podcast) performing stand-up or dance, plus music from DJ Donwill, all at Sasheer Zamata Party Time (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…and finally:

Go out tonight; but set your recording device to HBO at 9:00.

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 7/17/17

Mike BirbigliaMike Birbiglia (feature films Don’t Think Twice and Sleepwalk with Me; three Comedy Central specials, multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live) is one of the most sensitive and observant comics in the biz. This week he’s allowing audiences into his process as he tries out new material. I don’t usually get the opportunity to list this show because it rapidly sells out way in advance; but tonight a set number of tickets have been put away for at-the-door sales. Arrive early to enjoy Mike Birgiblia: Working It Out (7:00 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Phoebe Tyers and Filip Jeremic…and character comics—including brilliant writer/performers Phoebe Tyers (above left), Filip Jeremic (above right), and many more—perform solo bits demonstrating their impressive talent at UCB East hosted by Frank Garcia-Hejl & Justin Tyler. This is one of my favorite monthly events, and I especially recommend it if you’re a producer, casting director, or other industry pro in search of sharp comedy actors: Characters Welcome (9:00 pm, $5, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 7/18/17

A monthly wild pun competition that’s been enormously popular in Brooklyn expands its audience tonight to Chelsea by playing at the fancy Highline Ballroom. As always, it’ll be hosted by father-daughter duo Fred Firestone and Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; 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 with Fred of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers). Enjoy the spectacle as 18 audience members—maybe including you—compete in Punderdome 3000 (8:00 pm, $20, Chelsea’s Highline Ballroom at 431 West 16th Street)…

Dave Hill and Melissa Villasenor…or see a live taping of a terrific weekly Sirius XM Radio comedy show, with Dave Hill (above left), SNL’s Melissa Villaseñor (above right), Judy Gold, Gregg Rogell, Paul Morrisey, and Phil Hanley performing stand-up and/or sketch, plus music from Helio Alves and the Come to Papa Trio, hosted by Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials): Come to Papa (8:00 pm, $10 plus two-item min., Village Underground at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Third Annual Muslim Funny Fest…and this annual comedy mini-fest (four shows over three days) is a rare NYC gathering of Muslim stand-ups, including Aasif Mandvi (HBO’s The Brink; former correspondent for The Daily Show), Maysoon Zayid (self-described “Palestinian Muslim with cerebral palsy, from New Jersey;” cast member for two seasons of As the World Turns; former pundit for Keith Olbermann; Queen Latifah show), Ramy Youssef (Stephen Colbert), Wali Collins (David Letterman), Dina Hashem (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Seeso’s Night Train), Gibran Saleem (MTV), Azhar (one-man show Ultra American…which he’ll perform Thursday at 9:30 pm to close the festival), Preacher Moss, Aman Ali, Suzie Afridi, Moses the Comic, and more hosted by Dean Obeidallah (CNN, Comedy Central’s Axis of Evil, SiriusXM’s The Dean Obeidallah Show, one-man show I Come in Peace). For complete details, please click Third Annual Muslim Funny Fest (8:00 pm tonight, 8:00 pm Wednesday, and 7:30 pm & 9:45 pm on Thursday; $25 per show, plus 2-drink min.; Comic Strip Live Comedy Club at 1568 Second Avenue off 81st Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 7/19/17

Mindy RafMindy Raf (VH1, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; singer/songwriter alter ego Leibya Rogers) has been a respected and beloved member of the comedy community for over a decade. In this one-woman show, however, Raf achieves a whole new level of comedy greatness. Her script weaves a complex tapestry from her past relationships, anxieties, arcane bits of knowledge (e.g., she explains how the Dark Web can record you while you’re masturbating), and sexual preferences (which include being bi and polyamorous) that’s thoroughly compelling. At the same time, Raf delivers a performance so intimate and in-the-moment that it almost feels as if she’s revealing herself spontaneously

Along similar lines, when anything unexpected happens (such as an audience member snapping fingers to a background song, or another audience member getting up and crossing the stage at a delicate moment to go to the bathroom), Raf is lightning-quick in providing a response so spot-on that it couldn’t have been better if she’d planned it.

With this show, Raf has developed into a star talent who demands attention.I highly recommend this wonderful production, which is having a brief Off-Broadway run tonight and this weekend, and then moves on in August to play for 28 performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

By the way, don’t get put off by the oddball title. This show has nothing to do with illness; and the only body organs it focuses on are the vagina and the human heart: Mindy Raf: Keeping My Kidneys (8:30 pm tonight, 2:30 pm this Saturday & Sunday; $15; 59E59 Theater at 59 East 59th Street between Madison & Park Avenues)…

Julio Torres: "My Favorite Shapes"Julio Torres (staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Billy on the Street, HBO’s High Maintenance, Louis C.K.’s Horace and Pete) is honing a fresh, clever one-man show that (like Mindy directly above) he’ll be performing at next month’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You can enjoy Julio’s production tonight, Thursday, or Friday at UCB Chelsea, or on Saturday or Sunday at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Julio Torres: My Favorite Shapes (6:30 pm tonight & Thursday, 7:30 pm Friday, $7-$12, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street; or 8:00 pm Saturday & Sunday, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Gad Elmaleh…and a comic who’s a superstar in France playing to 12,000-seat stadiums, but is just starting to get known in the US (Seth Meyers, The Daily Show, Comedians in Cars; feature films Coco, Priceless, La Doublure, Midnight in Paris; for a May 2016 stand-up set & interview on Conan, please click here and here), performs in an intimate 50-seat West Village lounge: Gad Elmaleh (9:00 pm, $20 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)

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 Sunday 7/9/17

July 9, 2017

Gina Yashere, Mark Normand, and Greer Barnes: "Laughter in the Park"Today kicks off a series of four free outdoor comedy shows Sundays in July at NYC parks in the Village, Brooklyn, and the UWS (see poster above for details). This afternoon’s superb lineup features Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, stellar Comedy Central special Don’t Be Yourself; Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Greer Barnes (HBO’s Crashing, David Letterman, Louie, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game; comedy album See What I’m Saying), Gina Yashere (correspondent for The Daily Show; HBO’s Crashing, Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, @midnight, Showtime 1-hour special Skinny Bitch), and Alingon Mitra (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Last Comic Standing): Laughter in the Park (2:00 pm-4:00 pm, Free!, Washington Square Park at Garibaldi Plaza, on the east side of the Fountain)…

Josh Gondelman…or if you prefer your comedy indoors, come enjoy an Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver who’s performed stand-up on Conan O’Brien, written for The New Yorker, and released the smart, fresh, bestselling stand-up comedy album Physical Whisper headline for one night only at Carolines: Josh Gondelman (7:30 pm, $11 cover using discount code JOSH online (otherwise $20) plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 7/10/17

Chris ColferChris Colfer (Kurt Hummel on Glee, a role that won him a 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and three consecutive (2013-2015) People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Comedic TV Actor; #1 New York Times Bestselling author of book The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell) is tonight’s guest of this NPR weekly comedy trivia show taped live in Brooklyn and hosted by the wonderful Ophira Eisenberg (NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ The Late Late Show, Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!): Ask Me Another (7:30 pm, $25, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

Leanna Grennan, Eudora Peterson,, and Arti Gollapudi…and a show that showcases physical comedy and “the weird, the beautiful, the gross, and, ultimately, the human” tonight features comics Leanna Grennan (above left), Eudora Peterson (above middle), Milly Tamarez, Jes Tom, and Chris Burns hosted by Arti Gollapudi (above right): Yourself, Your Body (7:30 pm, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 7/11/17

Joel Kim BoosterJoel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien; Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; Billy on the Street; for Joel’s Conan set, please click here) records his first stand-up comedy album, with help from comics Aaron Jackson, Josh Sharp, Patti Harrison, Matt Rogers, Bowen Yang, Henry Koperski, and Tiffany Topol tonight and tomorrow: Joel Kim Booster: Model Minority (8:00 pm tonight & Wednesday; $15—nab 2-for-1 tickets online using code BOGOBOOSTER; Ars Nova Theatre at 511 West 54th Street, off 10th Avenue)…

Katie Hannigan…and rising stand-up Katie Hannigan (Oxygen, Seeso, College Humor; complains about being 5′ 3″ by observing “The world is not built for a short woman,” then pauses reflectively and adds, ” …or, really, any woman;” for a sample set, please click here) headlines for one night only at Carolines: Katie Hannigan (7:30 pm, $11 cover using discount code MOUSIE online (otherwise $18) plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 7/12/17

Judd Apatow

As producer, director, and/or writer, Judd Apatow has had a hand in many of the most beloved comedy TV series and films of the past 20 years, including HBO’s Girls, Crashing, and The Larry Sanders Show, and movies Trainwreck, The Big Sick, Anchorman, Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, Funny People, The 40-Year-Old Virgin…and many, many more. Still seeking challenges, Apatow is now honing his skills as a stand-up comic, and will be performing at Gotham tonight and tomorrow with the goal of making you laugh multiple times per minute: Judd Apatow (9:30 pm tonight & Thursday, $25 plus 2-drink min., Gotham Comedy Club at 208 West 23rd Street)…

Sean Patton..and speaking of stretching comedy muscles: Sean Patton is famed in NYC as one of the very finest stand-ups alive. What’s less known is Sean’s freshness, power, and depth as a storyteller. In this hour-long solo show he’s honing for next month’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sean tells a myriad of tales about growing up in New Orleans, and somehow manages to tie together such themes as farts, balls, bed-wetting, and eternal love. Enjoy this extraordinary writer/performer in Sean Patton: Number One (8:00 pm; $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Literary Death Match with Aparna Nancherla…or check out this bookish game show in which four writers each read their own work for seven minutes or less. An all-star panel of judges then selects the two best to compete in the finale, a vaguely-literary battle to decide the ultimate winner. Tonight’s stellar judges are Aparna Nancherla (co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, host of Comedy Knockout, MTV’s Guy Code), Kashana Cauley (writer for The Daily Show), and Loryn Brantz (award-winning children’s book author of Feminist Baby and Harvey the Child Mime,and two-time Emmy Award-winning illustrator). And the contestants are all award-winning writers: Rakesh Satyal (author of Blue Boy and No One Can Pronounce My Name), Lisa Ko (author of The Leavers; included in Best American Short Stories 2016), Jamie Brickhouse (author of Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and My Mother; three-time Moth StorySlam winner), and Lauren Duca (columnist for Teen Vogue), all hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga: Literary Death Match (8:00 pm, $15, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

The Story Collider: Painful Moments in Scienceor listen to scientists, geeks, and comics—including Raj Sivaraman (stand-up; co-host of Universe City podcast), Gail Thomas (Moth StorySlam winner), and Jean Le Bec (Moth StorySlam winner)—tell tales related to science, with this month’s theme Painful Moments, hosted by Ben Lillie & Erin Barker: The Story Collider: Painful Moments in Science (7:00 pm, $10, The Kraine Theatre at 85 East 4th Street off Second Avenue)

Red Hot—Grab Tickets Before They’re Gone:
NYC Comedy Pick for Saturday 7/15/17

Tinder Live with Lane Moore and David CrossA show celebrating the app that redefined online dating, with the lovely and quick-witted Lane Moore (above left; HBO’s Girls; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo; writer for The Onion, McSweeney’s) going on a live Tinder safari for guys while a packed audience watches her every choice with fascination. Offering comments and suggestions during the adventure are tonight’s guests, comedy legend David Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development, Modern Family) and Ashley Nicole Black (staff writer for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee). This show will almost certainly sell out, so I recommend nabbing tickets ASAP for Tinder Live (8:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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 Sunday 7/21/13

July 21, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Check out Myq Kaplan’s stand-up album Meat Robot

Reggie Watts

Reggie Watts performs at 2:00 pm at a free show in Washington Square Park…

Joe List

…and Joe List tries out new material for seven nights straight at free show Week at the Creek

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] 2:00 pm: Reggie Watts (music improv comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Electric Company; for video samples, please click here), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), and Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing for a free outdoor show at Washington Square Park (at Holley Plaza): Laughter in the Park

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

[DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($12.25 online using discount code HEAT; no min.): Carmen Lynch, Seth Herzog, Adrienne Iapalucci, Pat Dixon, Pete Lee, Chris Distefano, Taylor Ketchum, Josh Gondelman, and Angelo Lozada performing stand-up that rips something or someone deserving to shreds at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Invitation to a Beheading

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10; seats are sold out, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz—plus tonight’s 7:30 show features world-class storyteller Melanie Hamlett (two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, co-author of the book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, amazing blog, roving adventurer): ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from Rob Stern and Brian Frange at The Magnet theatre: Stern and Frange

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), and Josh Homer performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” tonight featuring Melissa Caminneci, Ginny Leise and Eva Anderson at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick and Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy), Greg Johnson (Sirius XM), Charlie Kasov (MTV’s Guy Code), Kate Hendricks, Steven Forrest, and Ryan Beck performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy at The Magnet, tonight from groups Risky Bottom (which includes one of my favorite comics, Lauren Olson) and Breakfast for Dinner: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Kenny DeForest, and John F. O’Donnell performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy), Bill Stiteler, Mike Hollan, and Kenny DeForest performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): Aussie comics Karena Thomas & Karli Evans share their duo sketch show with NYC at The PIT upstairs theatre before taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: This Is My Box

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show providing at least 3 minutes per comic (more time if there are fewer comics attending), with sign-up at 3:45, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic comedy, with 4 minutes per performer, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Child Support

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; 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 Sunday 7/14/13

July 14, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Mike Lawrence has a new comedy album; check it out here

Ted Alexandro

Ted Alexandro performs at 2:00 pm at a free show in Tompkins Square Park…

Christian Finnegan

…and Christian Finnegan tries out new material for seven nights straight at free show Week at the Creek

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] 2:00 pm: 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.), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), and Miguel Dalmau performing for a free outdoor show at Tompkins Square Park (at the Old Bandshell Lawn): Laughter in the Park

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show) tries out new stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Christian Finnegan

7:00 pm ($8): Improvisors make up scenes & songs based on the gallery of a guest artist’s work, while guest creates a new painting, sculpture, or other piece inspired by the improvised scenes, at The PIT upstairs theatre, tonight cartoonist Neil Numberman: ArtProv

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10; seats are sold out, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz—plus tonight’s 7:30 show features world-class storyteller Melanie Hamlett (two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, co-author of the book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, amazing blog, roving adventurer): ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast clobbered some of the best groups in NYC last year at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight it takes the stage for nearly an hour at The Magnet theatre: North Coast

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): From Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman (producers of The Scene), improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

8:00 pm ($8): “Four couples, each married less than two years, answer a bevy of questions that reveal just how well these spouses know or don’t know each other” at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kathryn Dunn: Newlyweds!

[$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Amy Schumer (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, great new DVD/CD Amy Schumer: Mostly Sex Stuff), Allan Havey (star of FOX’s Free Ride, David Letterman, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, FX’s Louie, Comedy Central), Matt Lamp (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), and more performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Amy Schumer, Allan Havey, Matt Lamp, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy), Sarah Tollemache (host of Last Night,; immortal story That’s Not My Shit), Max Silvestri (co-host of Big Terrific), Billy Wayne Davis, and Mike Trainor performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Donnelly (MTV’s World of Jenks), Aaron Glaser, Jessie Richardson, Tim Dillon, and Courtney Hill performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

9:00 pm ($7): Sharp NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show): Comedy Night

9:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy at The Magnet from Fat Kids and the sharp, inventive Jacktown: Magnet Sketch Teams

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Nick Naney, Mark Chalifoux, and John F. O’Donnell performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): “Improvised one-acts in the style of prominent playwrights and genres, spontaneously generating an original and hilarious work of instantly important theater right before your eyes” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’S Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show providing at least 3 minutes per comic (more time if there are fewer comics attending), with sign-up at 3:45, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic comedy, with 4 minutes per performer, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Child Support

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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 Sunday 7/7/13

July 7, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For 15th Annual Del Close Marathon highlights, please click here

Myq Kaplan

Myq Kaplan performs at 2:00 in Central Park and at 8:00 at Sunday Night Stand-Up…

Melanie Hamlett

…and world-class storyteller Melanie Hamlett is the monologist at the 7:30 edition ASSSSCAT 3000

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] 2:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Eddie Brill (former long-time warm-up comic and booker for David Letterman), Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Playboy.com) Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, host of Big Long Sets), and Rodney Laney (HBO, Comedy Central) performing for a free outdoor show at Central Park’s Mineral Springs: Laughter in the Park

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour (and a Half)

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10; seats are sold out, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz—plus tonight’s 7:30 show features world-class storyteller Melanie Hamlett (two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, co-author of the book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, amazing blog, roving adventurer): ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld, who are a formidable improv duo on their own, tonight perform with one of the most respected masters of improv, Magnet theatre co-owner Armando Diaz: Armando Diaz & MegaLou

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Kevin McCaffrey (David Letterman, TruTV), Nick Cobb (Comedy Central), Myka Fox, Kelly Fastuca, and Mike Feeney performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), Nore Davis (Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), Joe Machi, David Smithyman , and Mike Stanley performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’S Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Ted Alexandro, Michael Che, Mark Normand, Gary Gulman, and More

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): 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) and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($7): Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central), Simeon Goodson, Mike Stanley, and hopefully more performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jason Saenz (sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Mike Stanley, Jessica Watkins, Raj Sivaraman, and Jason Burke performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), and Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’S Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Todd Barry, Michael Che, Ryan Hamilton, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show providing at least 3 minutes per comic (more time if there are fewer comics attending), with sign-up at 3:45, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic comedy, with 4 minutes per performer, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Child Support

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; 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 Sunday 8/7/11

August 7, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Tom Shillue and Ophira Eisenberg

Tom Shillue and Ophira Eisenberg tell funny stories in Central Park this afternoon at "Laughter in the Park"

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] 2:00 pm: Stellar storytellers Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) and Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; VH1, Showtime, host of TV pilot of The Liar Show), plus stand-ups Helen Hong (Logo’s Setup Squad), Liz Miele (Comedy Central), and Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV) performing for a free outdoor show at Mineral Springs in Central ParkLaughter in the Park

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

7:00 pm ($5): Comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, whose production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was proclaimed “biggest revelation” by the Guardian, performing a brand new sketch show: Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[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

[$] 8:00 pm ($29 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s made a fortune from dysfunction headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Christopher Titus

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Susan Prekel (Comedy Central), David Foster (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, MTV), James Parkinson, Jermaine Fowler, and Jaqi Furback performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Veteran improvisors from Bakersfield, CA—Jeff Lepine (Artistic Director of The PIT), Lorraine Cink (Baby Wants Candy), Michael Lewis, Alex Marino, and Garrett Willingham —get together after five years of not performing together: The Bakersfield Reunion Show; and “Margo Brooke Pelmar & Lucia Brizzi fell in improv love in the early morning hours on a film set. Featured extras, they had been cast as the nameless Girls 1 & 2, but quickly realized they were meant for bigger, more histrionic things—such as this two-gal improv show starring them:” Featured GIrls

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), Ryan Hamilton, Kevin Barnett, and Ramon Rivas performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) guest-hosted by Damien Lemon: Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Neil Charles, Phil Hanley, Taylor Clark, Grant Gordon, Alice Wetterlund, and Robert Dean performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Vince Averill’s free weekly show Beauty Bar Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Anecdotes about growing up “in the soon-to-be ex-Anthracite coal capital of the world” for this one-man show by Joe Dettmore: Stories from the Chronologically Gifted

[$] 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 through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Helen Hong (Logo’s Setup Squad), Ryan Shores, Daniel Horrigan, and Harriet Halloway performing stand-up at a free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy guest-hosted by show founder Adam Sank: 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.