NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/8/14

May 8, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Marc Maron is on Conan O’Brien; Matt Besser is on @midnight; Lisa Kudrow is on Craig Ferguson

Mara Wilson

Movie star Mara Wilson (above), and TV stars Wyatt Cenac and Matty Blake share stories at Katharine Heller’s Tell the Bartender

Molly Lloyd

…and wonderful comedic actress Molly Lloyd (above), Dave Hill, and Jon Friedman tell tales of movies at Low Standards with John & Matt

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 ($5): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Allison Castillo (HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, FOX), and Babe Parker (for observations on Dominos, please click here) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Andy Blitz, Dan Soder, and More

7:00 pm ($8): Katie Hartman (sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) and Kevin Shimko perform duo improv creating relationship driven, probably dark, definitely quirky, one-acts made up on the spot; and so will improv group Sent from Parts Unknown, all at The PIT downstairs lounge: A Night of Improvised One-Acts with Katie Hartman and More

[$] 7:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): The Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?, and who’s performed stand-up on Jay Leno and his own Comedy Central Presents special, headlines tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Ben Bailey

[$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:45 show; Dov Davidoff, Marina Franklin, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Ari Shaffir, Kurt Metzger, Jon Fisch, 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sharp comic Alan Starzinski (Sandino, Fat Penguin) performs a clever one-man sketch show in which he plays characters ranging from Aquaman to Gary Busey to the rescue pilot at the end of Jurassic Park at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Guys You Love to Hate

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a full-blown musical about “three polygamist pop stars on the hunt for their brother husband,” starring Caitlin Davis, Kaleigh Malloy, and Elizabeth May (with some help from Dave May): Missionary in Manhattan: A Mormon Musical

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door, or $11.59 in advance online): Storytelling from Mara Wilson (feature films Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda, Welcome to Nightvale), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), and Matty Blake (30 Rock, Orange Is The New Black, producer of The Actors Grind Podcast), plus game “Craigslist Ad or Casting Notice?”, at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by the quick-witted & endearing Katharine Heller (Naked in a Fishbowl): Tell the Bartender

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: 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, author of Tasteful Nudes), Jon Friedman (MTV producer, Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), and Molly Lloyd (wonderful comedic actress; member of ace sketch group Stone Cold Fox and ace improv group Airwolf) telling stories about movies at Videology (308 Bedford Avenue) hosted by John Murray & Matt Fisher: Low Standards with John & Matt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), John Roberts (YouTube star), John Early (30 Rock), and Ryan Donahue performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Love Story (begins with a significant moment in a romantic relationship, and explores the world the couple inhabits and the characters & relationships in their lives), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Neil McNamara at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($12): “Exploring the crazy world of Tinder, the hot new dating app that hooks up local singles based solely on physical attractiveness, with helpful and oftentimes ridiculous tips, tricks, and real-time swiping” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Tinder Live

8:00 pm ($8): Two musical improv groups make up song-and-dance-based stories on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Washingtons and Moose

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Mike Guild knows everything about movies and films. He will take you through the landscape of the cinema, along with comic guests Jake Hart, Will Carey, and Ben Conrad, to discuss everything going on the weird landscape that is Hollywood—plus everyone in the audience will win a unique prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Movie Night With Mike

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC comics (not announced) performing stand-up or songs at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jay Dean: In The Garage

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Drew Dowdey, Mike Gillerman, Justine Marino, and Mike Cannon performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Sketch group Martha hosts this variety show, featuring songs from Summer and Eve, character sketch from Veronica Osorio, and stand-up from Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom) and Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit), all performing at the PIT upstairs theatre: All You Can Eat

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

9:30 pm ($5): Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Jacqueline Novak (Comedy Central, College Humor), Dan Hopper (College Humor), and Will Stephen (College Humor) perform stand-up or sketch at this monthly show hosted by a popular comedy site at UCB Chelsea: College Humor Live

[TOP PICK]10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), and Crystian Ramirez performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Neal Brennan, Ari Shaffir, Dan Soder, Christian Finnegan, and More

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Brooks Wheelan (cast member of Saturday Night Live), and Matteo Lane performing at this weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv group Fuck That Shit had a magnificent winning streak this year, scoring 13 victories in a row. But last week the anarchist juggernaut was finally stopped by an aerial assault when UCB East weekend group Airwolf grabbed the championship with a definitive vote of 115-68. Tonight the new high-flying king will vie with challenger The Regulars, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

[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 ($5): Hour-long open mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic. Check-in is at 5:45 at the new Comedians Club of New York (158 West 72nd Street), which was formerly The Triad Theatre: Comedians Club Open Mic

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

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

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

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 the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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 Friday 7/26/13

July 26, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Leslie Meisel

The hilarious Leslie Meisel…

Molly Lloyd

…and Molly Lloyd will start your Friday with laughs in the latest from Stone Cold Fox…

Julie Sharbutt

…while Julie Sharbutt performs a free improv duo show with The Daily Show’s Zhubin Parang in “Chairs”

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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 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 (possibly 9:00 pm only), Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Mike Yard (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast clobbered some of the best groups in NYC last year at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight it takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT upstairs theatre: North Coast

7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” at The Magnet theatre written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Jim Tews (“clawing his way to the middle for nearly a decade”) tries out material at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Jim Tews

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols, each of whom briefly pop up on stage) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. This all-new sketch show is pretty much hilarious from beginning to end. Part of the fun is the room the script gives Brandon Scott Jones and Molly Lloyd to shine as two of NYC’s finest comedic performers (if you’re in the biz, for goodness sakes hire them; they can do anything…). Plus Leslie Meisel almost steals the show when playing a tough broad ready to drag any guy into the sack. This is as great a sketch show as you’re likely to see this summer. If you feel like laughing, kick off your evening right with Stone Cold Fox: A Triumph… Channing Tatum is Electric!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), Jeremy Bent (improv group Bucky), Dawn Luebbe (sketch group Onassis), Matt Starr (sketch group The Prom, First Lady), Alan Starzinski (improv group Sandino), and Stephanie Streisand (sketch show The 2017 Tony Awardz) performing character bits at UCB Chelsea hosted by Justin Tyler and Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using code CQUBTX online or at the box office): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, just a few blocks from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) running through August 8th: Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is enjoying a Friday night run this summer at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—is likely to keep you entertained. Plus this latest version of the show brings in guest performers each week to keep things fresh: Telly Savalas Live and Friends

8:00 pm ($10): Jenny Jaffe (staff writer for MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live) hosts this variety show featuring Mike Blejer, Sean Ireland, Matt Rogers, Sudi Green, and Chelsea Davison at The PIT upstairs theatre: Camp Time

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, videos, and more at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre with Jeffrey Joseph and hosts Ron Krasnow & Joel Walkowski: The Short Bus

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Chris Gethard, Anthony Atamanuik, Brandon Gardner, Phil Jackson, and Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: The wonderful Julie Sharbutt (improv shows Gravid Water, Mystic Improv, The Scene, Birds) and Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show; improv shows What I Did For Love, HUNK, The Scene) perform duo improv “exploring a world of deeply felt character relationships while sitting in chairs” at the The Walker Theatre (5th Floor of Tisch School of the Arts) (721 Broadway): Chairs

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[$] 10:30 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Amy Schumer (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, great new DVD/CD Amy Schumer: Mostly Sex Stuff), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show): Amy Schumer, Greer Barnes, and More

10:30 pm ($10): Laura Willcox (Comedy Central, MTV), Rob Stern (G4TV), and Tomas Delgado performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): An all-gal longform improv group from Boston makes stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge: WNBA

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A rotating cast drawing from over a dozen of the talented gal improvisors and sketch comics at The Magnet—including Artistic Director Megan Gray, Lauren Olson, Elena Fishbein, Kimberly Ferguson, and Beth Newell—aim to “give you a dark and twisted late night explosion:” The Clubhouse

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts from John Frusciante, Laura Wilcox, Brennan Mulligan, Jo Firestone, Kiki Tarkhan, and more at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Midnight ($5): Two sketch groups, Coker & Stratton vs. Brawler, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by sketch troupe Sidecar: Backyard Brawl

[TOP PICK] [$] 12:15 am ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Amy Schumer (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, great new DVD/CD Amy Schumer: Mostly Sex Stuff), Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), and Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show): Amy Schumer, Dave Attell, and More

Friday Open Mics

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 (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern, Sarah Tollemache, and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Fambly: Liquid Courage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/19/13

July 19, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Brandon Scott Jones

Dynamite comedic actors Brandon Scott Jones…

Molly Lloyd

…and Molly Lloyd shine brightly in the latest from Stone Cold Fox…

Joe DeRosa

…and Joe DeRosa headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 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 (possibly 9:00 pm only), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld perform duo improv at The Magnet theatre: MegaLou

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols, each of whom briefly pop up on stage) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. This all-new sketch show debuted last week, and is pretty much hilarious from beginning to end. Part of the fun is the room the script gives Brandon Scott Jones and Molly Lloyd to shine as two of NYC’s finest comedic performers (if you’re in the biz, for goodness sakes hire them; they can do anything, including drama…). Also wonderful is Leslie Meisel, who’s very sharp and talented, though sometimes held back by her tendency to play sketch as sketch (i.e., go a bit beyond the more nuanced character choices of Brandon and Molly). Even so, Leslie almost steals the show when playing a tough broad ready to drag any guy into the sack. And nit-pickiness aside, all the performers are razor-sharp comics, and this is as great a sketch show as you’re likely to see this summer. If you feel like laughing, kick off your evening right with Stone Cold Fox: A Triumph… Channing Tatum is Electric!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): John Flynn (rising star storyteller/actor; Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!), Anna Rose Roisman, and Uncle Frank Gauthier tell “stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe” at UCB East hosted by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here): Tales of the Cosmos

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the One and One Bar (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) produced by Lukas Kaiser & Ben Conrad: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using code CQUBTX online or at the box office): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, just a few blocks from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) running through August 8th: Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is enjoying a Friday night run this summer at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—is likely to keep you entertained. Plus this latest version of the show brings in guest performers each week to keep things fresh: Telly Savalas Live and Friends

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($53 & 2-drink min.) Former co-host of The Man Show and Loveline, and now host of one of the most popular comedy podcasts on the Net, headlining—and doing a live podcast—tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Adam Carolla

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A razor-sharp comic who’s performed on HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, stars in a Comedy Central Presents special, and released comedy CD The Depression Auction), headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joe DeRosa

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Chris Gethard, Anthony Atamanuik, Brandon Gardner, Phil Jackson, and Abra Tabak at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): A variety show featuring “dramatic and hilarious readings of real material culled from ridiculous emails, consumer reviews, love letters and more” at The PIT downstairs lounge: He Said, She Said

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Chicago-based TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are a widely acclaimed improv duo performing at The Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street) tonight through Monday: TJ & Dave

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups and more performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A rotating cast drawing from over a dozen of the talented gal improvisors and sketch comics at The Magnet—including Artistic Director Megan Gray, Lauren Olson, Elena Fishbein, Kimberly Ferguson, and Beth Newell—aim to “give you a dark and twisted late night explosion:” The Clubhouse

Midnight ($5): Stand-up from Kate Berlant, Zach Broussard, Ashley Brooke Roberts, and more at UCB East, plus plus comics that did well at the 7:00 pm Hot Chicks Room open mic, hosted by Nate Dern, Sarah Tollemache, and Paul Oddo: Beastmasters: Up From the Mic

Friday Open Mics

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 (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern, Sarah Tollemache, and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Fambly: Liquid Courage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/18/13

May 18, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Top comics on TV: Watch Andrea Rosen’s new docuseries here
and check out Pete Holmes’ new Comedy Central special/DVD here.

Julian McCullough and Whitney Cummings

Julian McCullough and Whitney Cummings perform stand-up at Village Underground & Comedy Cellar…

Al Madrigal and Molly Lloyd

…Al Madrigal performs at The Stand; and Molly Lloyd improvises every Saturday at 8:30 with her ace group Airwolf

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] 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”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 5:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($35 using code CQUSTX online or at the box office): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show he’s been developing for months for this off-Broadway run (through June 3rd) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

[FREE—and FREE BEER TASTINGS!] 6:00 pm: The debut of a unique comedy show that features free tastings of local microbrewed beer, plus tonight’s stand-up guests Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Emmy Blotnick (MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live), and Jared Freid, and music by band Final Gravity, all performing at the Comedy Bar (134 West 29th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: The Homebrewed Mic

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Grand Falloon, Rubin, The Gang, and 4Some performing at The Magnet to kick off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 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 (possibly 9:00 pm only), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($8): A sketch comedy troupe performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel: A Sketch Show

7:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more 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 ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($12.50 online with code AL; no min.): Al Madrigal (correspondent for The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Al Madrigal, Kevin Meaney, Rachel Feinstein, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Whitney Cummings (star of NBC’s Whitney; HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV), Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s This American Life, MTV, VH1), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue) hosted by Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style): Whitney Cummings, Julian McCullough, Gary Gulman, Lynne Koplitz, and More

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($30): Trevor Noah, a South African comic who’s appeared on Jay Leno and Chelsea Lately, performs a one-man show about “a search for identity in a world obsessed with labels” on Wednesdays-Saturdays through June 8th at The Culture Project (45 Bleecker Street). I can’t rate this until I see it—which will happen tonight—but Noah has a great reputation: Born a Crime

8:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast clobbered some of the best groups in NYC last year at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight it takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[$] 8:00 pm ($11.34 online or $15 at the door): Two of the most respected PIT improv groups performing on this weekly double-bill at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and last year crushed 15 improv groups in Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups JR Havlan (7-time Emmy winning writer for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), John Moses (Sirius XM), Luis J Gomez (MTV), Robyn Schall, and Amy Raugust performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit): Comedy at Irish Exit

[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 Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($11.34 online or $15 at the door): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time”—for a sample, please click here—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:15 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Whitney Cummings (star of NBC’s Whitney; HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), and Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’S Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Whitney Cummings, Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB Chelsea that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($12.50 online with code AL; no min.): Al Madrigal (correspondent for The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Al Madrigal, Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, Marina Franklin, and More

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A “fake talk show/sketch show” written by Zach Sims (who’ve soon moving to LA), Nick Maritato, and Danny Solomon, and featuring around a dozen comics such as Ashley Brooke Roberts, Ross Hyzer, Zach Broussard, Dan Wilbur, and Robert Dean, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Too Late with Zachary Sims

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter:” Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Whitney Cummings (star of NBC’s Whitney; HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV), Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s This American Life, MTV, VH1), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), and Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Whitney Cummings, Julian McCullough, Gary Gulman, Lynne Koplitz, and More

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from a troupe born in a Boston college and tonight performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Astronaut Theatre

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night): The Lady Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show) performs a full 30-minute set, plus an opening set by Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Jermaine Fowler for the Half Hour

[TOP PICK] [FREE] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight (FREE online with code MADNESS; no min.): Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Jessimae Peluso (MTV’s Girl Code, Failosophy; Last Comic Standing, Chelsea Lately, Tyra Banks, TruTV), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Dan Soder, Jessimae Peluso, Damien Lemon, and More

Midnight ($5, or FREE if you show up in costume): “A scandalous night of downright sexy improv…beware of partial nudity, strong sexual themes, and the possibility to be dragged on stage for a not-so-wholesome game of Truth or Dare” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Yes, Yes, Yes…And

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/17/12

August 17, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Molly Lloyd and Rebecca Vigil

Molly Lloyd is one of the stellar sketch performers of Stone Cold Fox; powerhouse Rebecca Vigil belts out improvised songs as The Vigilante

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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; WNYC, Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s guests Carter Edwards, Ed Gavagan, and Steve Zimmer, plus accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko

7:00 pm ($5): Improv at The Magnet that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom. As for its writers, they sizzle when at their best; but when I saw this new show about two months ago, it was a work in progress. Regardless of the current state of the script, you’re virtually guaranteed a good time from the all-star cast—Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden, and Johnathan Fernandez. (The scary faces Molly Lloyd makes are worth the trip all by themselves…) Directed by ace improvisor Ryan Karels: Stone Cold Fox: You Probably Think This Show Is About You

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Pera (very funny deadpan comic; I recently saw him sing beautifully and then smash three dozen plates to pieces; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here), and Zach Broussard (sketch troupe Fambly) host “the only comedy show aimed exclusively at older women with a penchant for younger men, featuring stand-up from some of NYC’s funniest boy-toys, cougar dating games, and discounts on chilled white wine” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Cougar Night

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on Jay Leno and Chelsea Lately headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: John Caparulo

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30ish pm: Colin Jost (writer for Saturday Night Live; Jimmy Fallon), Phoebe Robinson (100 TV Shows To See Before You Die), Kevin Barnett (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor), Team Submarine (MTV), and “a surprise guest” performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Annie Lederman (and followed by wild Karaoke!): Pirate Party

8:30 pm ($7): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The Magnet as troupe Lead McEnroe

[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 (9:00 pm only), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Harris Stanton (SNL, Comedy Central, BET), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Where there is a stage and a piano, she will be there. Where there are strangers with embarrassing stories, she will be there. Where there is a group of people willing to sit and watch someone make up songs, she will be there. A one-woman musical improv journey through the lives of the audience. You tell the story, Rebecca Vigil sings the soundtrack”—quite beautifully, in fact, as Rebecca is not only a sharp improvisor but a powerhouse singer—at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Vigilante

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:30 pm ($10): improvisers Bianca Casusöl as Madam Ant, Nina Klemow as Fanny Price, and Alex Marino as Larry Lazlo use burlesque dancing at The Magnet to tell a story “and titillate the audience with some seductively fun choreographed burlesque numbers:” Whisky Tango Foxtrot: Burlesque Improv Revue

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

Midnight ($5): Natasha Rothwell, Bill Parker, and musical guest Revi Roza are talk show guests at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Paul Gutkowski (for a brief video promo, please click here): Sex in the Late Night Air

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/24/12

February 24, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Kevin Pollack

Kevin Pollack continues his headlining run at Carolines...

Molly Lloyd

...and Molly Lloyd is among the stellar cast members of Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 5:30 pm: Comics perform solo sketches, monologues, etc. as characters at The PIT upstairs theatre: It’s a Character Thing

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

7:00 pm ($5): At this PIT double-bill, Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure” as Hodapp & Rothwell, and then all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal Improvisors who’ve previously created viral sketch videos performing at The PIT downstairs lounge (and why this venue would “pit” two rare all-gal improv troupes opposite each other—see directly above—instead of placing them back to back is beyond me, but I hope a bit more thought goes into scheduling in the future…): Candy Slice Comedy

7:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident inCrisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. The down side is a vast amount of writing is needed to cover every possible audience-driven scenario…which means select scenes can end up sloppy and dull. That actually was a huge problem on opening night, following a “Kevin Costner” storyline. But now that the production’s had time to mature, it’s delivering gold (though you might consider playing it safe and voting for the “giant mice” story just in case the Costner material hasn’t been entirely cleaned up…). A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox:Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot:Diamond Lion

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-item min.): A razor-sharp comic and pitch-perfect impressionist who’s also a movie star in such classics as The Usual Suspects headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kevin Pollak

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups delivering their A game—since they’re being videotaped as they perform sets—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with a different host each week: Mixed Tape

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Veteran improv duo Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld are joined at The Magnet by improv star Christina Gausas (Conan O’Brien, The Colbert Report, Let’s Have a Ball) for this monthly event: Gausas & MegaLou

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15):Actor/storyteller John Grady (Blue Man Group; one-man showSpalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell; NPR; Moth champion) performs a one-man show at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) about “the peculiar and misguided true adventures of a man and his therapy dog; a tale of true love and overcoming obstacles, while staring fear in the face:” Fear Factor: Canine Edition

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.):A TV movie star who was a cast member of Mad TV,and has also performed on NBC and HBO, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Aries Spears

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:00 pm ($10): The writers and correspondents of Web site HelloGiggles.com performing at UCB East, with this month’s theme The Sweetheart Special

[$] [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): DC Benny, Mike Yard, Dan Soder, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village:Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($5): A comedy variety show featuring stand-up, improv, character scenes, music, and more from a variety of NYC comic at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Michael Newman:Minority Report

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The 2012 debut of an annual comedy tournment featuring 40 improv groups…only one of which will survive. Tonight four improv troupes batlle for superiority, pride, and glory at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella:The Arena 2012 Premiere

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “Jack Dishel is best known as a songwriter and musician, touring all over the world performing as Only Son and also playing lead guitar in The Moldy Peaches. This year he’s exploded onto the comedy scene, doing a two-month run of hour-long shows at the Sidewalk Cafe—without ever repeating material. It’s sometimes hilarious, sometimes dark, but always interesting. Whether speaking as one of his many characters or in his own voice, his ideas come through loud and clear, and it’s a fast hour. Let’s see what happens when Dishel brings the drunken night club insanity into The PIT downstairs lounge:” Jack Dishel: Party of One

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Danny Jolles: Danny’s Funhouse

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This new monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill (The Stepfathers): The Lady Jam

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—not announced—performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City—with the host also not announced…but how far wrong can you go with free midnight stand-up?: Fridays at The Creek

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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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