NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 11/2/16

November 2, 2016

Louis C.K. is performing his most recent Madison Square Garden show one more time, on Friday December 16th at 8:00 pm. I saw this show thanks to Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review, and found Jason’s observations & insights to be spot-on. Louis managed the almost miraculous feat of delivering a vulnerable, intimate performance for 18,000 people, turning them into a single delighted group mind. It was masterful, reminding us of the heights stand-up can reach; and one of the best shows I ever expect to see. (Am hoping it gets turned into an HBO special; but even if that happens, there’s nothing quite like experiencing it live…) To nab tickets, please click here.

Judah Friedlander, Michelle Buteau, and Jo FirestoneThis second day of the Seventh Annual New York Comedy Festival features Judah Friedlander, Michelle Buteau hosting Judah, Mark Normand, and Sasheer Zamata, Jo Firestone hosting a dating show, and more. For the full schedule, please click New York Comedy Festival 2016

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Joe Zimmerman (Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Sensible Show

7:00 ($5): A sketch show in which “after an unexpected fart shakes the foundation of their marriage, Off-Off-Off Broadway’s favorite married couple decide to separate, sharing custody of their adult son” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: ‘Til Death Do Us Fart

[FREE] 7:00 pm-midnight: Five free hours of improvisation—including an open-to-all improv jam at 6:00 pm; group Lovers, which includes the spectacular Dana Krashin and Tracy Mull at 7:00 pm; and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($5): The host of Creek Cave Live tries out stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Casey James Salengo

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12-$14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Mindy Raf (singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; alter ego Leibya Rogers) performs a one-woman show about love and relationships at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Mindy Raf: Keeping My Kidneys

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features three house groups making up scenes on the spot: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): The spectacular Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) hosts this show in which “comics represent you onstage in a live dating game! You may cringe and remain as anonymous as you want in the crowd…or arrive at 7:30 pm to be paired up with a comic and tell everything there is to know about you in 10 minutes or less, and then let them guide your love life in great and maybe horrible ways.” Tonight’s comics are Myq Kaplan, Aparna Nancherla, Naomi Ekperigin, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Gary Richardson, Nick Maritato, and Kevin Iso. “Out of over 100 couples matched, four couples have managed to develop actual long-term relationships. One couple just moved in together. It’s amazing and defies all odds” at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Comedian Friends of Single People

8:00 ($5): Sketch comedy revolving around the Presidential election at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Election Hot Takes 2016

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Sam Morril (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour) performs a solo stand-up show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Sam Morril: You’ve Changed

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

8:30 pm ($5): Storytellers share tales of bad dates, and then improvisors create scenes that make those bad dates even worse at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ryan Darden: Bad Date Theater

8:30 pm ($5): Three long-form improv sets revolving around “a Happening designed to Gather Experience, Experience Gathering, and Hather Gearience” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Will and Maya’s Gathering Experience Happening

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Nathan Macintosh, Casey James Salengo, and David Drake performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Gutter Bar (200 N 14th Street) hosted by Saurin Choksi: Comedians You Should Know

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Leah Bonnema, Adam Lowitt, DC Benny, Dan Frigolette, Justin Williams, TJ Del Reno, and Doug Key performing for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Lance Weiss & Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:00 pm ($7): Musical improvisors Katie Hammond & Daniel Tepper, singer Camille Harris, improvisor Rory Scholl, and puppeteer AJ Cote performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Mike Gregorek—who might invite you on stage: Man Interviews Audience

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Genius comics Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teams up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (staff writer for Seth Meyers; previously cast member of 30 Rock, and six years as staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

9:30 pm ($5): “Wilboro Shakespen and Christopen Marlboro are roommates with a terrible secret…they’re history’s greatest playwrights! They’ve also got a terrible mission—to write history’s greatest play, or else get evicted from their chill bach’ pad!” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Shakespen & Marlboro

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United) answers your questions at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jonas Barnes: Judah Friedlander

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($8): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code,), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), Ricky Velez (former correspondent for The Nightly Show), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Jared Freid, and Lil Freckles performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Liza Treyger (Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately): Liza Treyger and Friends

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($10, plus 2-item food/drink min.): A parody game show in which male stand-ups Kurt Metzger, Sam Morril, Chris DiStefano, and Aaron Berg each performs a 5-minute set, and then female stand-ups Lynne Koplitz, Tammy Pescatelli, Gail Bennington, and Kerryn Feehan try to decide if they’d bang him. (Not for every taste.) It all happens at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue) hosted by married couple RIch Vos & Bonnie McFarlane: Would You Bang Him?

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Dara Katz & Betsy Kenney host a crazed parody of a dance tournament featuring “nine amateur (or worse) teams performing choreographed dances” for a rotating panel of comic judges—and you—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Nationals: An Amateur Comedy Dance Tournament

[TOP PICK] 11:15 pm ($5): The first round of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB East hosted by Pat Baer: 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Walk-in open mic storytelling show, with each yarn-spinner (selected via names from a bucket) getting up to 8 minutes to tell a true and funny tale at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Vincent Chang: Flynn’s Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Camel Butt

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Advertisements

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/15/16

September 15, 2016

Louis C.K.Louis C.K. is performing a show one last night at Madison Square Garden that received a rave review from Jason Zinoman of The New York Times (to read it, please click here). MSG isn’t my preferred venue for stand-up, which works best in more intimate settings; but Jason’s been tough on Louis’ shows in the past, so his current review made seeing this irresistible, and I’ll be there tonight. Plus if you’d enjoy experiencing Louis soaking up the loving energy of over 15,000 comedy fans, this is an amazing opportunity to do so: Louis C.K. at Madison Square Garden (8:00 pm, $30-$70, MSG at Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets)

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

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

7:30 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Alingon Mitra (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Last Comic Standing), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), Rojo Perez (MTV), and Sam Evans performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($5): Group Hot Boss hosts comedy about jobs at The PIT downstairs lounge, capped by an audience member excoriating his or her boss and coworkers: Hot Boss: Happy Hour

7:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes with the lights turned off, using everyday objects to add layers of sound—like a radio play created on the spot—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) : Dim-Prov: Improv in the Dark

7:30 pm ($5): Stand-ups from Reddit—David Angelo (The Daily Show), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), Lucien Steiner (HBO), Tommy Rey, Eli Sairs, Danny Vega, and Stu Melton—performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Dominic Fogarty: The Reddit Show

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A comic who’s been a cast member of MAD TV and The Howard Stern Show, acted in a bunch of feature films, and co-hosts FOX News Radio’s The Nick and Artie Show headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Artie Lange

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A comic who’s performed on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, starred in hour-long Comedy Central special Shovel Fighter, made over 50 appearances on Chelsea Lately, spent two years as a cast member of Mad TV, and was a wacky neighbor on NBC’s Up All Night headlines at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Matt Braunger

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Comics Bowen Yang, Erin Gloria Ryan, and Tanael Joachim get drunk and then compete to present the best scientific dissertation on this month’s subject of Ignorance to a panel of genuine scientists at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Joanna Rothkopf, Shannon Odell, and Jordan Mendoza: Drunk Science

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a sketch show parodying Hollywood’s depiction of women and motherhood: M.I.L.P: Moms I’d Like to Portray

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a mini-play “exploring everything you love about karaoke: mediocre singing, friendship, Tsing-Tao, accidental meet cutes, homicidal Korean women, and of course your favorite 90’s jams!”: Let’s Check Out That Karaoke Spot!

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Comics audition to be included in Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch list at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Monroe Martin (finalist on Last Comic Standing): Comedy Central Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, themed improv show Hear No Evil (improvisors wear earplugs preventing them from hearing what’s happening on-stage), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): A stand-up who’s appeared on Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio performs a long set at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Jamie Kilstein

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups originally from Chicago performing tonight: Matteo Lane (Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code, host of Chemistry), Ashley Bez, Tim Barnes, Amy Shanker, and Ross Kelly at Brooklyn’s Hungry Ghost Cafe/Bar (781 Fulton Street, between Fulton and South Oxford Streets) produced by Keenan Steiner and guest-hosted by Caitlin Peluffo: Comedy at the Corner

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch, stand-up, and music featuring Catherine Cohen, Steven Markow, Fran Hoepfner, Jamie Brew, and more performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: An Evening with Kitty & Stove

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

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Detention + Gun Club

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Superb storyteller David Lawson (The Flyer Guy at Solocom 2015) performs a one-man show about video games “with stories about secretly playing an ultra-violent Nazi-killing game at a Jewish Community Center, a former boss with a Grand Theft Auto-related secret, how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have tried to censor video games, and more” at The PIT downstairs lounge: No Oddjob

9:00 pm ($5): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Anthony DeVito (Adam Devine’s House Party), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Danielle Perez (Jimmy Kimmel), Blair Socci (MTV’s Girl Code), and Steve O’Brien (Team Submarine) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($6): Zahra Noorbakhsh (delightful Iranian-American writer/actress/stand-up visiting from San Francisco; co-host of #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast; New Yorker-acclaimed FringeNYC show All Atheists Are Muslim), Charlie Kasov (MTV’s Guy Code), Lauren Hope Krass, Vicky Kuperman, Davey Stevey Dave, and Vicki Ferentinos performing stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sue Funke & Katie Compa: Happy Place Comedy

9:00 pm ($10): “Seattle’s premier—and quite possibly only—dyke comedy collective features stand-up, sketch, improv, and a whole lot of crystals” performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Deep Lez

9:00 pm ($5): Indie improv groups Third Eye Blind Island and Butters make up scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Super Indie Takeover

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Non-Daily Show

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

[FREE] 10:30 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced & hosted by Chris Gersbeck, Lauren Hope Krass, and/or Peter Bandyk: Casual Sets

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group The Mannequin Room destroyed the dreams of troupe The Nightmare with a crushing victory of 90-17. Tonight TMR faces Area 52, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Sarah Tollemache (Last Comic Standing), Jon Laster (BET), and Justin Williams performing stand-up at the UCB East theatre hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons & Lance Weiss: Gandhi, Is That You?

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open mic that lets you try out solo characters on the UCB East stage hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

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

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (34 Pell Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (with names selected from a bucket) to do anything you want for 5 minutes—”chat, rant, plug, tell a story, be a character, play a game, review a new religion”—for a podcast recorded at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Mike Guild & Mike Mercadal: The Open Mic Podcast

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursdays After Class Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:

The Stand

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 3/6/16

March 6, 2016

Louis C.K. shares his thoughts about Donald Trump here. Also, Louis has a notable new TV series, Horace and Pete, that isn’t actually on TV but is available for small fees via his website here (and that I hope to get caught up on this week if I can force myself to take a small break from obsessively watching election coverage…)

Brooklyn Brain JamThree amazing nerdy comedy shows—Kevin Geeks Out, The Big Quiz Thing, and Nerd Nite—join forces to bring you five hours of nonstop mind-blowing entertainment (for the complete schedule, please click here): The Third Annual Brooklyn Brain Jam (2:00 pm-7:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

At the Museums…and if you haven’t had your fill of nerd fare during the day, join Tracy Mull & Will Neville this evening as they share highlights of their visits to a bunch of New York City’s museums—which number in the hundreds, ranging from The Metropolitan Museum of Art to The Intrepid Air & Space Museum to The New York City Fire Museum—in this charming show, complete with photos: At the Museums with Mull & Neville (8:30 pm, $5, The PIT Downstairs Lounge at 123 East 24th Street)

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

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, including Mishmash, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Michael Venzor: Mishmash: The Long and Short of It

5:30 pm ($5): Improvisors who cut across all regions and schools come together for one evening at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Supernova

6:00 pm ($7): “A unique fusion of variety show and pulp superhero story, with all of the strengths of both and none of their weaknesses. And remember, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do not see this show”at the Magnet theatre: Crisis!: The Improvised Comic Book

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Angela Dohrmann & David Razowsky perform duo improv at The Magnet theatre: Angela Dohrmann & David Razowsky

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

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

7:30 pm ($5): Dana Krashin and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT downstairs lounge: Student Driver Indie Road

8:00 pm ($8): Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), Julio Torres (inventive experimental stand-up/sketch comic), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), and Nate Fernald performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Kyle Ayers: Dicking Around with Kyle Ayers

8:00 pm ($5): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Greg Johnson, Greg Stone, Clark Jones, Neel Nanda, and Khalid Rahmaan performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors, plus improv musician Alan Schmuckler, make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre for this weekly show produced by Sarah Nowak: People Improvising

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nine-person improv group The Internet Disagrees makes stuff up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue):: The Internet Disagrees

8:30 pm ($5): Improvisors Andrew Warner & Zach Cherry interview an audience member about his or her favorite movie and then make up their own version of the film on the spot—plus long-form improv groups Your Future and The Testosterones 2020—at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Andrew and Zach Ruin Your Favorite Movie

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Improv master Ed Herbstman joins Rick Andrews for one night only to perform duo improv at The Magnet theatre: Ed Herbstman & Rick Andrews

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tom Cassidy & Matt Pavich: Have Fun

9:00 pm ($10): This Harry Potter parody is crippled by a mediocre script, but is spared from being an utter waste of time by inventive direction from the highly talented Kristin McCarthy Parker (Hold On To Your Butts), and a large and mostly likeable cast (including the wonderful Langston Belton…who doesn’t get to do nearly enough) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic

9:00 pm ($5): Indie improv groups make up scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Ian Herrin: The Ian Herrin Improv Hour

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket, drawings every half hour), providing 4 minutes per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Intestinal Fortitude

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:30 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] 7:00ish pm: If you feel like stretching beyond stand-up, this lottery-style walk-in open mic (sign-up starts at 7:00 pm) is for singers, songwriters, musicians, poets, actors, and spoken word artists, with a whopping 7 minutes per performer, at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Mickey Zetts (The Ickles): Words and Music Open Mic Night

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[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

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; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar

The Stand

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/9/15

April 9, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Amy Schumer is on Conan O’Brien;
Keith Alberstadt is on Seth Meyers;
Matthew Perry, Aubrey Plaza, and Thomas Lennon
are on James Corden (repeated on 3/31);
Jamie Lee is on Carson Daly (repeated from 2/23);
Pete Holmes, Matt McCarthy, and Jamie Lee are on @midnight;
and see below

Louie

Louie is the best comedy show on TV in large part thanks to Louis C.K.’s continually pushing at the boundaries of what’s doable on a weekly series—and unlike virtually any other TV comic, not by being exceptionally loud, vulgar, or shocking, but by being extraordinarily subtle, smart, artful, and insistent on discovering and sharing truths. Season 5 kicks off tonight on FX at 10:33 pm (with repeats at 11:35 pm and 1:41 am). If you missed episodes of previous seasons, get caught up for free here.

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:

6:30 pm ($5): Musical comedy duo Michael Wolf & Colin O’Brien are Nancy, and they’re auditioning a 25-minute show music & sketch show in hopes of earning a run at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Nancy: Songs in the Key of Life

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Lane Moore (The Onion), Emily Epstein White, and Jason Kanter performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish pm: Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host ofBlaria Live), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Sam Evans, Calvin S. Cato, Erik Lazenski, and Camille Theobald performing stand-up, plus music from Xilomen Cofield, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, and Dan Soder at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Nick Griffin, Carmen Lynch, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Ari Shaffir, Damien Lemon, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Brilliant comedy talents David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), and Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) team up to become singing explosive forces of nature (when I saw the first version of this in June they almost destroyed the stage, with cake, champagne, and imaginary blood everywhere) at The PIT upstairs theatre: David and Katie Get Re-Married

[META-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Great lineup of Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Parks & Recreation, The Office, Conan O’Brien IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow,and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Matt Goldich (staff writer for Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, VH1), and Julio Torres performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) guest-hosted by Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; author of Tasteful Nudes): Myrtle Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man meta-show by Joel Weidl (Goat, Death by Roo Roo) which Joel declares is the last time he performs as a lowest common denominator Jeff Foxworthy-like character who he personally finds offensive so he can pursue higher forms of art—such as playing Werner Herzog having an existential crisis from ordering a burrito at Chipotle (which is actually a brilliant bit and show-stopper…). Joel doesn’t always hit the mark, but his production is so filled with ideas, energy, and verbal and visual jokes that you’re almost certain to have fun at American Weidl

…and then the smartest, funniest parody currently playing at UCB, in which Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz tackles zombies, homophobia, weak scripting for female protagonists, and the Hollywood studio system, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed and co-starring the fabulous Laura Grey. If you see only one scripted show at UCB this month, make it the charming and hilarious Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics Katie Haller (co-host of You Probably Think This Song is About You) Lisa Kleinman (co-host of Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show), Jen Keefe, and Danny Tenzer share their shit stories—needing to go at the worst moments, major accidents in pants, and so on—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by the wonderful Natalie Wall (host of superb storytelling show Awkward Sex…and the City, co-producer of Bad Assery): Awkward Poop…and the City

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A burlesque comedic play about the iconic female characters in Disney animated films at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) spearheaded by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Tribute to the Ladies of Disney

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1) and Julian Velard (singer-songwriter) host this show mixing stand-up and music, with tonight’s guests Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central) and Har Mar Superstar (singer/songwriter Sean Tillmann) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Comfort Zone

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

8:00 pm ($5): A rotating cast of NYC comics perform characters in a specific setting—e.g., a small town’s PTA meeting, a Holistic Wellness Convention, a political rally for donuts—with each show totally different at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Dodd & Jamie Aderski: Characters at…(BLANK)

8:00 pm [DISCOUNTED] ($7.50 online with code ComedyWeek—or attend the 10:00 pm taping, which is free via the same code; no min.): Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) records his first stand-up comedy album tonight, with the help of your laughs, at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Paul Virzi Comedy Album Recording

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups, Salt and Gun Club, make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Salt + Gun Club

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Ashley Morris, Kevin Iso, Drew Michael, and Zack Chapaloni performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Two improv house teams, O’Hare (with Nick Lachey) and Nugget (Brit Belsheim and a different guest each show), make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): O’Hare + Nugget

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Sketch troupe The Grape Dutches of York performs a show set in an amusement park “immersively, with 3D and 4D effects” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Enchantment Park

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Blogologues (ace theatrical troupe spearheaded by Allison Goldberg & Jen Jamula that uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), and Charles Gould (co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show) performing at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Will Stephen for a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

10:00 pm [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] (entirely free online with code ComedyWeek; no min.): Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) records his first stand-up comedy album tonight, with the help of your laughs, at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Paul Virzi Comedy Album Recording

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” directed by Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Goat and Curtains compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but there’s a whole lot of people in it performing at the UCB East theatre: $$$

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening monthly at UCB East hosted by Mike Sapp: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [AMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A storytelling open mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Chris Booth:Bar Tales & Blowhards

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith 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-$20)

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/4/10

November 4, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For the best of Bill Hicks, please click here.

Louis C.K.

One of the finest comics of all time performs a not-to-be-missed show tonight at Carnegie Hall: "Louis C.K.: Word"

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:

6:30 pm ($5): Young talents make up comedy scenes based on a popular board game in Clue: The Improvised Edition

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): The invaluable Jane Borden (Comedy Editor for Time Out New York) presents her picks for some of the finest comics in NYC—genius storytellers Chris Gethard and Adam Wade, sketch master Kurt Braunohler, stand-ups Joe DeRosa, Sara Schaefer, and Mike Vecchione, and more—performing at Time Out Live

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($35-$55, depending on seat location): One of the finest stand-ups in the history of comedy, who’s currently also making television history with his phenomenal FX series Louie, performing at the bargain cover price of $35-$55 (and I’m not just saying that, I gratefully purchased my $55 ticket months ago…)—and with “openers” including world-class stand-up Ted Alexandro—for one night only at the legendary Carnegie Hall: Louis C.K.: Word

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): W. Kamau Bell (FringeNYC one-man show Ending Racism in About an Hour), Bridget Everett (cabaret show At Least It’s Pink), and Jeff Kreisler (Get Rich Cheating) performing in the triple-bill The Three Party: A Night of One-Person Shows

8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $5 online with discount code Supermango): Victor Varnado, W. Kamau Bell, Greg Leitman, and Marc Theobald performing at Dan Allen’s & Ray Devito’s monthly comedy event ¡Sacapuntas!

8:00 pm ($8): The Magnet’s co-owner Armando Diaz performs monologues on the spot and improvisors then act out scenes based on them at The Armando Diaz Experience

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing stand-up on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killerset on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1): Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A blowout lineup of Ted Alexandro (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials) and Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim) joining sensual hosts Margot Leitman (VH1, Spike TV) and Giulia Rozzi (MTV, VH1.com) in telling true tales about their sex lives—plus comedic songs from superb duo Stuckey & Murray—at the best sexy storytelling comedy show in NYC: Stripped Stories

[$] 9:30 pm pm ($16.50 & 2-drink min.) Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; MTV, Comedy Central), Josh Rabinowitz, and Nick Vatterott performing stand-up at the Carolines Comedy Club’s Breakout Artist Comedy Series

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the country—who tonight include phenomenal comics Anthony Jeselnik (writer/performer for Jimmy FallonConan O’Brien, HBO,Comedy Central Presents; debut comedy CD Shakespeare), Ted Alexandro (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials), and John Mulaney (writer/performer for Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’sBest Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here)—with guest host Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake;Magic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For the best of Bill Hicks, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 11/3/10

November 3, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For the best of Bill Hicks, please click here.

Louis C.K.

Interviews with two extraordinary comics tonight: Louis C.K. (above) at the Paley Center for Media, and Lewis Black at Union Square Barnes & Noble

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Star Daily Show commentator and author of the new book I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas interviewed by Bill Scheft at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square (33 East 17th Street): Lewis Black

[TOP PICK] 7:30ish pm ($10 at the door or $12.75 online): A monthly comedy show in which top storytellers tell a personal tale that in some way incorporates a lesson learned at college (for a write-up of last month’s amazing debut, please click here)—with tonight’s lineup consisting of host Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Liar Show), Martin Dockery, (London Fringe Festival award winner), Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion), Andy Ross, and Tracy Rowland—performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for producer Adam Magazine’s You Went to College For That?

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb sketch troupes The Harvard Sailing Team, The Franco & Billy Show, BoF, and Paul Downs performing at this special event: Best of NY Sketch

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Gavin Speiller, Neil Casey, Jon Gabrus, and more performing at this special event: UCBT Improv All-Stars

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($25 live, $10 via closed circuit viewing room): An interview about the extraordinary FX series Louie with its creator/writer/director/editor/star at the Paley Center for Media: A Conversation with Louis C.K.

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($16.50 & two-drink min.): Stand-ups Morgan Murphy, Donnell Rawlings, Joe Mande, Kurt Metzger, and host Bobby Lee performing at the Carolines Comedy Club (while being broadcast on Comedy Central’s Jokes.com!): Jokes.com Live

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include UK star Glenn Wool and Jon Glaser (star of Adult Swim’s Delocated)—guest-hosted by comedy genius Sean Patton (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For the best of Bill Hicks, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/1/10

April 1, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Louis CK, who is one of the funniest men alive, is among the stand-ups performing for a good cause tonight at Karma III

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:

7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Terrific NYC stand-ups Carmen Lynch and Leighann Lord performing deliciously long sets, plus musical act Supersonic Death Monkey, in Ochi’s Lounge at host Eric Vetter’s No Name and A Bag O’ Chips

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($7.44 online if you use code VIPAPRIL, plus 2-item minimum): Comedy giants Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Godfrey, and more perform in this very inexpensive showcase at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Godfrey, and More

7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors directed by James Eason “take an audience suggestion and break it into a million funny pieces,” and veteran improvisors play with “elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde,” in the double-bill The Deconstruction and Sleepover

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Amy Heidt’s one-woman show was one of the very best productions at this past August’s FringeNYC Festival (for my review, please click here); if you didn’t catch it then, don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to see Amy demonstrate her brilliance as both actress and writer. Plus the delightful Andrée Vermeulen performing a one-woman show in which she applies for “The Greatest French Person in the World Award” only to discover a terrible family secret involving waffles—and while performance trumps material here, Andrée is a fresh young talent worth discovering… (for a memorable show highlight, shot with Andrée’s real-life boyfriend Thomas Middleditch, please click here), in the double-bill Amy Heidt: Dominate Yourself! and Andrée Vermeulen: French Toast

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($50 & 2-drink min.) Some of the funniest stand-ups in the business—Louis CK, Dave Attell, Wyatt Cenac, Gary Gulman, and Lizz Winstead—performing a benefit for the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary this one night only at the Gotham Comedy Club: Louis CK, Dave Attell, Wyatt Cenac, and More at Karma III

9:00 pm ($12): Sharp stand-ups Victor Varnado, Claudia Cogan, Lee Camp, Reese Waters, and H. Alan Scott performing at 92Y Tribeca: Comedy Below Canal

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($19.33 online if you use code VIPAPRIL, plus 2-item minimum): Beloved comedy duo Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman host & perform their unique magic at the elegant Comix Comedy Club, with stand-up from friends Joe Mande, Max Silvestri, and “a special guest:” Gabe & Jenny and Friends

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The wonderful Leo Allen, Danny Cohen, and Mike Albo joining hosts Andrea Rosen & Shonali Bhomik at Variety SHAC

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Vibrant improv troupes Reuben Williams and Ragnaröck compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.