NYC Top Comedy Choices for June 2019: Last Updated Friday 6/7

June 7, 2019

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Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications. Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny), and/or to visit the desktop version of this site at HyReviews.com.

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

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for June 2019 (with much more to come soon) include:

Akilah Hughes, Lane Moore, and Jes Tom: Friday 6/7: A show celebrating the app that redefined online dating, with the lovely and quick-witted Lane Moore (above middle; author of superb bestselling book How to Be Alone; 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 are guest comics Akilah Hughes (above left; HBO’s Pod Save America, MTV, VH1, Fusion; upcoming book Obviously), Jes Tom (above right; Reductress), and Mychal Denzel Smith (author of 2016 book Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education). This show usually sells out, so I recommend nabbing tickets in advance online for Tinder Live (8:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Ophira Eisenberg & Adira Amram: Wednesday 6/12: Two exceptionally appealing comics, 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!) and Adira Amram (spectacular comedic singer & dancer; HBO, Funny or Die; album Hot Jams for Teens), perform and host Josh Gondelman (above; one of the sharpest comics in the country; writer/producer for Showtime’s Desus & Mero; previously Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s phenom Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker; stand-up albums Dancing On a Weeknight and Physical Whisper), Kendra Cunningham (SNL, Jimmy Fallon, The Tyra Banks Show, Law & Order), and Matthew Holtzclaw (magician who Rolling Stone called “unforgettable”): Ophira & Adira (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Erin Hall's Album Release ShowThursday 6/13: The delightful Erin Hall has for years been one of the finest comedic musicians in NYC under the name Erin and Her Cello, performing silly, sly songs while nestling a large instrument between her legs. Tonight Erin celebrates the release of her third studio album, this time of mostly serious songs (though I bet there’s lots of playful wit throughout) titled Great Blue. Opening for Erin will be the Lars Jacobsen Trio, who are part of her band. Listen to one of Erin’s catchy new songs, titled “Taxi,” via YouTube by clicking here (and the live pre-album version here), and then nab tickets for Erin Hall’s Album Release Show (7:00 pm; $20, plus 1-drink min. if you sit on a bar stool or stand, or 2-drink min. if you sit at a table; Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2 at 196 Allen Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop)

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

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade at SubCulture
45 Bleecker Street; What used to be a top comedy venue called UCB East has sadly gone under, but some of its shows live on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at respected East Village indie theatre SubCulture at Bleecker & Lafayette Streets, direclty by the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop; shows $7-$14

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/W 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.

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
487 Atlantic Avenue (near the Barclays Center); only comedy club in Brooklyn; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; some shows have 2-drink min., but many don’t

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 Stand
Lost its space, aiming to move to Union Square sometime in 2019: competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

Special thanks to comedy photographers supreme Anya Garrett and Mindy Tucker for creating so many of the stellar photos that grace this site…and the sites of hundreds of NYC comics.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.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.

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, provide feedback on my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me to develop your book or screenplay (please visit BookProposal.net or HyOnYourScript.com), or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/9/10

August 9, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Hy’s pre-festival coverage of FringeNYC 2010, please click here.

Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal

Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal tonight resurrect their legendary weekly comedy show: Hot Tub Variety

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: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), with guest storyteller Brad Lawrence and improv illustrator Sharon Spell at Under St. MarksThe Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($17.50 online with discount code NIFF): My #1 pick for the2007 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, and Lauren Seikaly, 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 and nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then nab tickets for tonight’s 10th installment at the Soho Playhouse of what’s been extended to a 12-week Monday night run: Naked in a Fishbowl

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Julia Segal, Louis Katz, Gregg Zehentner, Scott Moran, and Laura Prangley performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson (Last Comic Standing): Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:30 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 at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star Kristen Schaal (one of the funniest women alive; shining star correspondent on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the ConchordsComedy Central Presents half-hour special; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-author of new bestselling book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex) and master sketch comic Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central Presents; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets) tonight bring back their legendary weekly sketch & stand-up comedy show, with guests Eugene Mirman, Andea Rosen, Mike Lawrence, and John Roberts performing at Brooklyn’sLittlefield (622 Degraw Street): Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Hannibal Buress (Variety’s 2010 Top 10 Comics to Watch; staff writer forSaturday Night Live; Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, George Lopez; 2010 ECNY Award for Best Male Stand-Up; new comedy CD My Name is Hannibal), Morgan Murphy (brilliant stand-up; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, former staff writer for Jimmy Kimmel and Crank Yankers), Joe Derosa (Comedy Central Presents special), Mike Birch, Asie Mohtarez—plus musical guest Scott Gibson—performing in the Lolita Bar for producer Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: John Mulaney (writer/performer for Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Ali Waller (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Julian McCullough (Comedy Central), and Kevin Bartini (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at a free weekly LES show at Pianos hosted by Adam Lowitt (producer of The Daily Show) and Matt Goldich (Comedy Central, VH1): It Is It

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Stone Cold Fox and Gorilla Gorilla, trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Thomas Middleditch, Eliza Skinner, Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, and Kevin Hines—making up a musical on the spot at Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the country—tonight including TV & film star T.J. Miller (David LettermanOpie & Anthony; co-star of ABC sitcom Carpoolers; co-star of numerous movies including Cloverfield and Get Him to the Greek), Jesse Popp (Comedy Central, co-host of Beauty Bar Comedy), and Mike Drucker (before leaving NYC)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Hy’s pre-festival coverage of FringeNYC 2010, please click here.