NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/24/17

July 24, 2017

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; Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union 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)

NYC Comedy Picks for Thursday 7/27/17

Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, TruTV, Playgirl Magazine, host of First Set, comedy album True Love), Liz Miele (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, animated webseries Damaged, comedy album Mind Over Melee), Wanjiko Eke (co-host of LA show Witch Hunt), and Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever) perform stand-up perform stand-up in the East Village produced by Carol Hartsell and hosted by Sean Crespo & Katina Corrao:: Lasers in the Jungle (7:30 pm, $7, UCB East at 153 East 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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/17/11

November 17, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Lili Taylor

Spectacular film & TV star Lili Taylor tells stories about family at "Risk!"...

Julia Wiedeman

...Julia Wiedeman celebrates baring all in her memorable sketch show "Naked People"...

The Last Testament: A Memoir by God wtih David Javerbaum

...and Emmy-winning author David Javerbaum discusses his new book with NPR's Ira Glass: "The Last Testament: A Memoir By God"

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

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): An exploration of baring it all by fabulous long-time nudist Julia Wiedeman (who I had the great fortune of seeing about a decade ago as she walked around with zero clothing, like a glorious tigress, in broad daylight on the streets of the East Village): Naked People; plus a parody of The Bachelor written by Leila Cohan-Miccio & Caitlin Bitzegaio and directed by Beth Appel: The Final Rose; and a sketch show starring Sue Galloway titled Pose: A Magazine for Women, all auditioning for a regular spot on the UCB Chelsea schedule at Spank

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn and tonight’s brilliant guest host Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; writer for Glamour, Elle; NPR’s This American Life; co-host of red-hot The Talent Show): Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): A delightful comedic singing duo (according to Molly, “really smart, funny, talented, awesome people with great bods; Molly is bitter, heavily medicated and she reads poetry”) performing at 92Y Tribeca for an intimate hour of music and more: Mel & El: Our Time of the Month

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Susie Essman

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): “If you were alive in the 70’s, you may have attended some ‘Key Parties’ where you were randomly paired with someone to go home with and engage in free spirited coitus. (Today we either stay at home alone or congregate at an improv theater.) Key Party combines the 70’s arrangement with modern anxiety, exploring the rich moments leading up to that act of coupling and the fallout that follows” at UCB East with stellar comics Jordan Klepper, Laura Grey (delightful old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm), and guest improvisors: Key Party; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv based on the iPods, CDs, and mp3 players provided by audience members, executed by superb performers Fran Gillespie, Ryan Karels, Megan Neuringer, Jesse Falcon, Silvija Ozols, Doug Moe, Lou Perez, Sue Galloway, and Emily Axford: Soundtrack USA

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 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—executed by a Broadway-caliber cast, and with several memorable show-stoppers—is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

7:30 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet co-owner helming The Armando Diaz Experience, plus house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Phooka, and Hello Laser performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with Friday Night Sh*w pitted against Scoresby at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): In this double-bill at UCB Chelsea, Leah Gotcsik & Marty Johnson perform their sketch show Somebody’s in the Doghouse

…and then there’s a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but raw pig, written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Tegart (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by hot comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams: Pig: A Restaurant

8:00 pm ($5): “Best friends Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixell created an Internet phenomenon by challenging pairs of women to double date them and documenting the hilarious results for YouTubers everywhere. Two hundred dates later, their experiences were translated into reenactments, educational songs, and valuable lessons in everything from dancing to kissing. Tonight, these dating experts employ audience-recounted horror stories as inspiration for improvised scenes, in an attempt to enlighten you on the art of romance” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Dating Coaches

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Will Hines, Brendan Fitzgibbons, Toby Muresianu, Frank Gallo, and Jess Dweck, and improv By Abbie Harper & Matt Silver, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by comedic rapper Andrew Singer and Kara Klenk: Positively Awesome

[FREE] 8:00 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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game showPointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Michelle Collins (FOX, MTV, VH1), and Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel) performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Emmy winner David Javerbaum, the former Head Writer & Executive Producer of The Daily Show, has written the greatest collection of memoirs since The Bible—because his collaborator was God. As Javerbaum explains it, “with the Earth He Godded so magnificently drawing to a Mayan-induced close,”it was time to “break His 1,400-year literary silence with His final masterpiece.” Tonight Javerbaum discusses his book, The Last Testament, with NPR’s Ira Glass (host of This American Life) at 92Y Tribeca for what promises to be a memorable “telleth-all:” The Last Testament: A Memoir by God Discussed by David Javerbaum & Ira Glass

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are Lili Taylor (astonishing, unforgettable actress; star of cult film I Shot Andy Warhol, co-star of HBO’s Six Feet Under), Aaron Wolfe & Naomi Azar (The Moth, NPR’s This American Life), Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, co-host of Citizen Radio), and Jan Warner (Pull Me Back, Poetry of Resilience)—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme Family at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it plus like-minded comics on the UCB Chelsea stage—tonight including Streeter Seidell, Jake & Amir, Jon Rineman, Alice Wetterlund, and hilarious Front Page Films shorts starring Pete Holmes & Matt McCarthy—at CollegeHumor Live

[$] 9:30 pm ($24.50 & 2-drink min.) A TV star who was a cast member of MTV’s Punk’d and is now a cast member of FX’s The League headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Stephen Rannazzisi

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[FREE] 9:30 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Round 3 of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB Chelsea—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly open-mic stand-up show, with each comic given five minutes, at UCB East hosted by Rob Stern & Amber Nelson: Gutbucket

11:00 pm ($5): Young improvisors from Evanston, Illinois making their NYC debut at The PITdownstairs lounge: Dilly Bar

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.