NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/8/16

October 8, 2016

The Marx SistersLong form improv performed by 10 women comics (including Magnet Artistic Director Megan Gray) about the behavior of a theatrical troupe, both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each week—which tonight is an all-female version of The Marx Brothers: The Cast: The Marx Sisters Edition (10:30 pm, $10, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street)

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Emily Winter, Patrick Hastie, Jared Dryden, and Mike Mercadal each perform a different 10-minute stand-up every Saturday in February at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Grant Lindahl: The 8

6:00 pm ($5): Four Indie improv troupes performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Big Black Car 2, plus improv group The Quitters, make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC2 and The Quitters

7:00 pm ($10): “On every improv team there is the glue, the person who just tries to hold shit together while everyone descends into madness around them. Longtime UCB performer Silvija Ozols gathers some of her favorite gluey types to perform a fully improvised show. Will they stick to each other? Or will they end up huffing themselves into oblivion? Has this analogy been taken too far or is there room for one last pun? GLUE be the judge!” at the UCB East theatre: Gluebag

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch group PEP shares clips from fake shows that never actually at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Clip Show: A Sketch Show

7:00 pm ($5): Improv group Dim Wit makes 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): Dim Wit

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Chris Duffy—takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($7): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Electoral Dysfunction

7:30 pm ($5): Panels, sketches, and more revolving around subjects of interest to nerds at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Great Nerd Debate

7:30 pm ($8): Female and/or LGBTQ stand-ups Jenn Welch, Sarah Kennedy, Arti Gollapudi, Laura Michelle, Joanna Briley, Samantha Ruddy, and Alex Song performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) guest-hosted by Kara Buller: The Revolution

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Gypsy Danger (which includes brilliant comics Katie Hartman and Evan Kaufman, and which will make up a feature film on the spot) and The Baldwins (which includes brilliant comics Micah Sherman and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gypsy Danger: The Improvised Movie and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): A one-man show by Dom Manzolillo performing a varitey of characters at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): My Name is Dom Hanks

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Julia Johns, Menuhin Hart, Sam Rubinoff, and Chris Scopo performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary & Lucas Connolly: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv group takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from sharp comics John Murray, Sean Casey, Jackie Jennings, Glenn Boozan, Joanna Bradley, Chad Carter, and Caroline Cotter at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Rick Andrews make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Nick Vatterot, Rachel Lenihan, KC Arora, Jono Zalay, Royce Wynn, and Matt Levy performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Art Cafe & Bar (884-886 Pacific Street) hosted by Ben Totushek & Koshin Egal: The Human Citizen Comedy Show

9:30 pm ($5): Long-form improv with a playful title directed by Conner O’Malley at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Michael Jordan Steakhouse

9:30 pm ($6): NYC stand-ups performing stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) guest-hosted by J. Fox Jones: End of the Line Comedy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), and Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die)—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford and Noah Gardenswartz are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril, with hosts J. W. Crump: Gas Station Horror

10:30 pm ($5): “A monthly show produced by Anthony Oberbeck; every show is new, every show is beautiful” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Beautiful Horses

10:30 pm ($5): Seven 3-person teams compete in this game show at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Top Dog Pantheon

[$] 11:00 pm ($18): “When a washed-up reality TV producer is fresh out of ideas on how to get back in the game, he decides to reunite the horrible reality TV family that originally brought him fame and discover the secret that split them apart years ago. He decides to get them to confess the only way he knows how: under duress. After reuniting the family for what they think is a one-night special, the producer stages an attack on Beverly Hills by ISIS” at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Blatantly Blaine: A New “Family” Musical

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced by Fredric Goldstein: Last Stop Laughs

11:30 ($5): “Matt Radlow & Betsy Kenney are not musicians, and neither are their friends. But that won’t keep them from delivering one hour of non-stop music-themed comedy directly to your brains” at the UCB East theatre: Matt and Betsy Do Music

Midnight ($5): A sketch show by Monique Moses playing “French Canadian adult film star Boobz LeRue, a brassy national treasure chest who rose to stardom by being the only sexy film lady to remain fully clothed during her entire pornographic career” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: You Can Live With Me

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Comics perform stand-up sets and then go on dates with each other as part of the live show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Rob Harper & Rachel Coleman: We’re All Getting Laid

[FREE] Midnight: Comics compete in freestyle rap battles and rap games at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Noah Savage and DJ’d by Will Winner: So You Think You Can Rap

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

3:30 pm ($5): Experienced hip-hop improvisers perform scenes with “anyone willing to stretch that hip-hop improv muscle; it’s a fun supportive environment where scenes turn into a rap song, beatbox, freestyle, or rap battle” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Raymond Morency & Richie Alfson: Off Top!: A Hip Hop Mixer

4:00 pm ($5; your ticket provides $3 off a drink at nearby Pioneers Bar): Walk-in lottery style open mic (sign-up starting at 2:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Swing Riders Open Mic

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show, with names drawn out of a bucket, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Rachel Coleman: Let’s Be Friends

[FREE] 5:00 pm-7:00 pm: Walk-in comedy open mic (lottery system, with sign-up starting at 4:30 pm) providing each selected comic 4 minutes on stage at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chris Gersbeck & Veronica Garza: Murray Povich Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Put your name in a bucket for this open mic for stand-up, sketch, music, or anything else you want to work out on stage at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Josh Bates & Brian Pisano: Make Out Party: An Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Walk-in open mic, with names drawn from a bucket (sign-up starts at 6:50 pm), and a designated beer drinker on stage who might chime in at any moment to riff with you during your set, at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Amy Shanker, Brett Hiker, and Cameron Ford: Power Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for character bits, stand-up, etc. at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Elise Edwards: Discount Disco

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.

Advertisements

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/26/15

December 26, 2015

Mike Lawrence describes his winding career path, from seven years of working a drive-through window at McDonald’s to currently being a staff writer at Emmy Award-winning series Inside Amy Schumer, for my new podcast here.

Armando Diaz and Megan GraySuperb improvisors Armando Diaz (co-owner of The Magnet) and Megan Gray (Artistic Director of The Magnet) make up scenes in back-to-back shows The Armando Diaz Experience and Staten Island Diaz (7:30 pm & 9:00 pm, $10 per show, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street off Eighth Avenue)

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:

6:00 pm ($5): Four Indie improv troupes performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Improvisors Sebastian Conelli, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and more make up scenes using (probably terrible) British accents at the UCB East theatre: ‘Ello, Guv’nah!

7:00 pm ($5): A rotating cast of superb improvisors who, for some reason or other, left their PIT house groups. A current house team performs the first set and then The Quitters perform the second at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Quitters

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($5): Stand-ups including Liz Miele (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged) perform at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lauren Krass: Laughter School Special

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman, Sarah Nowak, and Brigid Boyle) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv group that includes such talents as Evan Kaufman (Your Love Our Musical) takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($16.25 online using discount code DAYAFTER; no min.): Dan St. Germain, Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Saturday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Armando Diaz, Megan Gray, Sebastian Conelli, and Louis Kornfeld (the last three comics all from Staten Island) make up scenes for this monthly show at The Magnet theatre: Staten Island Diaz

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Brandon Scott Jones, Chelsea Clarke, and more make up scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Mashed

9:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups performing for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Experiment Comedy Gallery (20 Broadway) hosted by Camille Harris, Camille Theobald, and Mo Fathelb: The Weekend Drop

9:00 pm ($10): Comics dissect current events at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tracey Carnazzo: Hashtag Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): A holiday celebration with stand-up, short form improv, a sing-a-long, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jonathan Portee: Holiday Hangover

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio’s Last Podcast On The Left  “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the Left Live

10:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up scenes based on audience tales of their holiday parties at the UCB East theatre: Christmas Hangover

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each time—with this week is Holiday—at The Magnet theatre: The Cast: Holiday Edition

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Freddy Goldstein: Last Stop Laughs

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Comics share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($8.45 online using discount code DAYAFTER; no min.): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): Dan St. Germain and More at The Stand Midnight

[FREE] Midnight: “Mother Oslo (a.k.a. Oslo The Gay Black Metal Southerner) will host and read scriptures from the most unholy book of all eternity. The Black Metal Bible. Come for the damnation, stay for the sacrifice” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Black Metal Chvrch

Midnight ($5): Two sketch groups compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by Alden Ford & Justin Tyler: Backyard Brawl

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evans: The Amateur Hour

For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

 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:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

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 Saturday 11/28/15

November 28, 2015

Please help beloved comedy performer Dana Krashin get her dream job
by voting once a day thru 12/3 here (a quick & easy way to be a hero)

Staten Island Diaz: Megan Gray, Sebastian Conelli, Louis Kornfeld, and Armando DiazSuperb improvisors Armando Diaz, Megan Gray, Sebastian Conelli, and Louis Kornfeld (the last three comics all from Staten Island) make up scenes for one night only: Staten Island Diaz (9:00 pm, $10, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street off Eighth Avenue)

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:

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 10:00 pm, and Midnight ($15-$25; no min.): Typically terrific stand-ups performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Saturday

6:00 pm ($5): Four Indie improv troupes performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($5): An all-gal improv show mixing women from The PIT’s free improv nights with those on PIT improv house teams—and that includes such talents as Ashley Ward—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ladies of the PIT

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

7:00 pm ($5): House improv groups Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Santeria + Improv Frogs

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

7:30 pm ($7): Storytellers and stand-ups are encouraged to tell brutally honest tales at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Caitlin Brodnick or Lauren Krass: Brutally Honest! A Night of Thanks

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:00 pm ($10 per show): The three final rounds of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB East hosted by Pat Baer: 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv group that includes such talents as Evan Kaufman (Your Love Our Musical) takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A Thanksgiving dinner goes horribly wrong in this comedic play directed by Philip Markle (Artistic Director of The Annoyance) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Annoyance Thanksgiving Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC comics “attempt to unravel the worlds craziest conspiracy theories” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ray Kump: False Flag

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, Sean Casey, Jackie Jennings, Joanna Bradley, Chad Carter, and Joel Weidel at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm ($24.75 via Goldstar [vs. $29 at the door]): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

9:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups performing for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Experiment Comedy Gallery (20 Broadway) hosted by Camille Harris, Camille Theobald, and Mo Fathelb: The Weekend Drop

9:00 pm ($10): Comics dissect current events at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tracey Carnazzo: Hashtag Comedy

9:30 pm ($10): A one-woman show by Jamie Aderski in which she “presents to you the things she wants to hide…there will be cookies, charts and crafts, people from her past, and song,” plus an opening act by magician David Frasure, all at The PIT downstairs lounge: I Just Disappear

9:30 pm ($5): Nate Starkey, Chris Griggs, and Walter Murphy perform trio improv at The PIT upstairs theatre as Captain Chaos

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio’s Last Podcast On The Left  “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the Left Live

[$] 10:00 pm ($15): Andy Kindler performs a long stand-up set, with the superb Joe DeVito opening, at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Andy Kindler: Live and Even More Impersonal

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each month, at The Magnet theatre: The Cast

10:30 pm ($5): A variety show showcasing an eclectic range of diverse performers at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Rita Chinyere: DIP—Diversity In Progress

11:00 pm ($5): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge: World’s Fair

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Freddy Goldstein: Last Stop Laughs

[FREE] Midnight: “Bringing comedy back to its vaudeville and cabaret roots, a no holds barred strictly R-rated comedy show featuring filthy stand-up and storytelling sandwiched between some of the hottest burlesque acts in the city” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Charles Stunning & Freddie Heinemann: Raunchy Risque

Midnight ($5): Two sketch groups compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by Alden Ford & Justin Tyler: Backyard Brawl

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

3:00 pm ($5; your ticket provides $3 off a drink at nearby Pioneers Bar): Walk-in lottery style open mic (sign-up starting at 2:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Swing Riders Open Mic

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evans: The Amateur Hour

 For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

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:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

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 Monday 11/10/14

November 10, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Eric Idle is on Craig Ferguson;
Deon Cole, Eliza Coupe, and Donald Faison are on @midnight

Jessica Williams

The Daily Show’s wonderful Jessica Williams guest-hosts stand-up with Phoebe Robinson at Night Train

Leslie Meisel

…the wonderful Leslie Meisel (who’s a new mom) performs in sketch show Stone Cold Fox Goes to the Mall

Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

…and Magnet artistic director Megan Gray and improv friends make up Unoriginal Lifetime Movies

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Ace gal improvisors Megan Gray, Rosie Whalen, and more springboard an audience suggestion to create a terrible Lifetime TV movie (“come prepared to watch a live film filled with heartbreak, disease, violence, despair, hope, courage, sassy neighbors, murders, heroes, whores, assholes, dumb babies who take up all your time, revenge, love, sex, hate, and chocolate”) at The Magnet theatre: Lifetime Unoriginal Movies

[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) featuring guest storyteller Thomas Pryor (author of I Hate the Dallas Cowboys: Tales of a Scrappy New York Boyhood) at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include a strong lineup of Tom Papa, Mark Normand, Nick DiPaolo, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Dan Soder (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Rachel Feinstein, Big Jay Oakerson, Zainab Johnson, and Joe List (hosting) at the 11:30 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joanna Bradley demonstrates she’s a fine performer who needs to work with a tough editor, as her material doesn’t come across as funny so much as harsh and angry—which doesn’t do justice to her genuine acting and comedic talent. But maybe one-woman has improved since I’ve seen it. Find out atI Am Very Important People

…and in the second half of this double-bill is one of the finest sketch groups in the country. Its writers include stellar comics Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya (Brandon also directed this show); and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in show biz, hire them.) This new collection of sketches revolves around the mass shopping experience: Stone Cold Fox Goes to the Mall

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Janeane Garofalo, Naomi Ekperigin, Corrine Caputo, and more share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Jessica Williams (star correspondent on The Daily Show) & Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine) guest host while Wyatt’s out of town, with stand-ups Alingon Mitra, Shakir Standley, Byron Bowers, and Matteo Lane performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

8:30 pm ($7): Political comic Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, Showtime, Citizen Radio) performs stand-up, and then leads his friends springboarding improv scenes off of “social and political stories from the lives of audience members” at The Magnet theatre: A People’s Guide to Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10 at the door or $13.53 online using discount code BIGDADDY): Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band) tells seven stories about his relationship with his dad at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), plus an opening story from guest Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show; The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam Champion): Daddy Issues

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Ace improvisors Shannon O’Neill and Tami Sagher team with guests Brandon Scott Jones, Chelsea Clarke, and Morgan Grace Jarret to brilliantly make up scenes on the spot at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improv/sketch comics Laura Grey, Connor Ratliff, Matt Dennie, Josh Sharp, Natasha Vaynblat, and Kristen Acimovic perform sketches that are a joint effort of UCB and IFC.com, debuting tonight at the UCB East theatre: IFC & UCB Comedy Original Series

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), Randy Syphax, Vladimir Caamano, and Rell Battle performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) typically hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly comedy variety show featuring sketch, character bits, and stand-up at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Comedic Information

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the Leo Allen, Aparna Nancherla, or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

11:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match” at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

Monday 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] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

6:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min.): Booked open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic for this 2-hour show atKlimat Lounge (77 East 7th Street) hosted by Gregory Joseph. To get on the performance list for future shows, email Gregory at evgigglepit@gmail.com: East Village Giggle Pit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket and 5 minutes per performer, at the Slake Bar (251 West 30th Street) hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Story Hour (Open-Mic Storytelling) with Julia Wiedeman

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at danmaxfox@gmail.com) and 3 minutes for each comic who signs up on the spot (sign-up starts at 6:45 and ends at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Muchmore’s Stand-Up Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony(274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base 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)

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

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
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 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 Saturday 11/12/11

November 12, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Nate Dern, Megan Gray, and Jeff Lepine

UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Magnet Artistic Director Megan Gray, and PIT Artistic Director Jeff Lepine have a semi-serious discussion about the state of comedy beyond stand-up at "Inside NYC Improv and Sketch"

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

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

[TOP PICK] 1:30 pm ($5): As part of the New York Comedy Festival, a panel discussion at UCB Eastabout comedy on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and more, with the superb participants including Mark Douglas (creator & star of The Key of Awesome) and Julie Klausner (host of How Was Your Week): Comedy in the Digital Space

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[TOP PICK] 3:00 pm ($5): As part of the New York Comedy Festival, a panel discussion at UCB Eastabout the current state of improv & sketch, with the star participants including new UCBT artistic director Nate Dern, new Magnet artistic director Megan Gray, PIT artistic director Jeff Lepine, and thoroughly original & wonderful writer/performer Shannon O’Neill : Inside NYC Improv and Sketch

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[TOP PICK] 4:30 pm ($5): As part of the New York Comedy Festival, a panel discussion at UCB Eastabout the craft of comedic storytellling, with stellar participants including Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Catherine Burns (Artistic Director of The Moth), Jane Borden (treasured Comedy Editor of Time Out New York), John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!), Seth Lind (NPR’s This American Life, Told), and Todd Bieber (host of Animated Stories—which comes on following this show at 7:00 pm): The Craft of Comedy Storytelling

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes The Storks, Swartzlander, and Scoresby at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[FREE] 6:00 pm: A “sacrificial” improv team performs a quick set, then is split up among three other waiting improv troupes, each of which then performs a full set. This ritual letting go for the good of the whole takes place at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Sacrifice

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives) headlines at this monthly UCB East show that also lets audience members tell their stories, with the best tale turned into an animated short film premiering the following month. Hosted by Todd Bieber, it’s Animated Stories

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Drawing from his ongoing series of podcasts, Sam Dingman performs a one-man storytelling show at The PIT downstairs lounge offering “true tales from his days as a taxi driver in New York City, complete with toothless convicts, frozen embryos, murderous city buses, mobbed-up body shops, and much more. Along the way, he finds that no matter how many insane things he sees on the pothole-ridden streets of New York, the craziest one of all may be himself:” The Taxi Tapes

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions, at UCB West all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnetmaking up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 in advance online, $15 at the door): Christian Finnegan, Victor Varnado, Mike Lawrence, Lauren Hennessy, Yannis Pappas, and more participate in a live version of Match Game at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Keith and the Girl and Ben Lerman: Keith and the Girl: Match Game Live

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[FREE] 8:00 pm: From the producers of The Scene, improvisors at The PIT downstairs lounge make up one-act plays on the spot: Act One

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Carmen Lynch (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony), and Danny Solomon (soon moving to LA; for stand-up video about the price of NYC drinks, please click here), performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB West’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, and more (but do you even need more?) performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($7): A young improv troupe that includes the wonderful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at last year’s FringeNYC; sketch troupe Good Morning, Ladies) performs at The Magnet in a show whose title promises playfulness: The Messaround

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Stand-up and burlesque are weirdly blended together—with scheduled guests including Jared Logan, Mark Normand, Matt McCarthy, Matt Ruby, Nick Turner, and more atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won last year’s ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—performing this monthly show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB West interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($8): NYC stand-ups Bonnie McFarlane, DC Benny, Ray Ellen, and Katy Olson performing at The PIT upstairs theatre for a podcast that’s designed to provide free therapy for host Joe Matarese: Fixing Joe

Midnight ($5): Writers & performers at UCB East—tonight including stellar talents Ben Rodgers, Violet Krumbein, and John Frusciante—attempt to combine the organic energy of improv with the consistency of scripted comedy by putting on a sketch show written & rehearsed in a single day: Sketch Cram

Midnight ($5): Young improvisors at UCB West make up scenes about Armageddon with the stellar directorial help of Will Hines: End of the World

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups in a late-night talk show format at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Che: Michael Che’s Community Service

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

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.