NYC Top Comedy Choices for December 2017: Last Updated Monday 12/17/17

December 18, 2017

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to my BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications, and/or to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny).

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

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for December include:

The President ShowMonday 12/18: Stellar talents of Comedy Central’s The President Show, including star Anthony Atamanuik, co-star Peter Grosz, head writer Emmy Blotnick, executive producer (and former head writer) Christine Nangle, and writer/actor John Reynolds get together to perform an improv show live on stage: The President Show Live (9:30 pm, $9, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

 

Naomi Ekperigin and Ashley Brooke RobertsMonday 12/18: Naomi Ekperigin (above left; dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Ashley Brooke Roberts (above right; energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; stellar co-host of Fresh Out and Camp; former writer for Nat Geo Explorer and MTV’s Guy Code; UCB Maude sketch groups The Prom and Absolutely), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV), Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special, Billy on the Street; for Joel’s Conan set, please click here), Nicole Boyce, and Tim Harmston perform for this weekly Brooklyn show hosted by Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Aparna Nancherla (co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None), and Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk): Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Morrison MotelMonday 12/18: Jessica Kirson (The Tonight Show, The View, Last Comic Standing, Celebrity Apprentice, HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit, comedy album Hot Flashes), and more perform stand-up hosted by the exceptionally kind and charming John Morrison: Morrison Motel (8:30 pm; $20 at the door—which includes one drink—if you mention code HyReviews.com or BestNewYorkComedy.com [otherwise $25]; you can make a reservation by calling 212.989.9319, or otherwise simply show up; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia Street)

Sweet ChristmasTuesday 12/19: The Christmas edition of Seth Herzog’s seminal weekly comedy show features Alex Brightman (Tony nominee; Broadway’s School of Rock, upcoming Broadway musical Beetlejuice, Showtime’s SMILF), Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also a star writer/correspondent for The Daily Show; previously staff writer & performer for Seth Meyers; stellar HBO hour-long special Nice Lady), Sal Vulcano (co-star of TruTV’s Impractical Jokers), Sean Conroy (writer/performer for Adult Swim’s Mr. PIckles and Seeso’s Gentlemen Lobsters; former writer for Key and Peele; podcast The Long Shot, legendary improv group The Swarm), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Julian Velard (acclaimed singer/songwriter/pianist; NPR’s Ask Me Another), and much more: Sweet Christmas (9:00 pm, $10, The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)

Nog! Nog! Who's There?Tuesday 12/19: Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic and enormously likeable stand-up, sketch comic, and actress; stellar co-host of Fresh Out and Camp; former writer for Nat Geo Explorer and MTV’s Guy Code; UCB Maude sketch groups The Prom and Absolutely), Matt Koff (staff writer for The Daily Show),The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; CBS, IFC; have opened for Weird Al Yankovic, Alice Cooper, and Lynyrd Skynyrd; albums Ladies Don’t Spit and Don’t Beat Around the Bush), Natasha Vaynblat (Funny or Die, McSweeney’s, Reductress;, improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely, one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), and host Julia Johns perform for this holiday show that features an audience sing-along: Nog! Nog! Who’s There? (8:00 pm, $5, Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar at 406 Third Avenue)

Jean Grae & John HodgmanWednesday 12/20: Jean Grae & John Hodgman have written topics on a carnival wheel. In this show they spin the wheel and then chat about whatever subject they land on, along with a surprise guest. What else do you need to know?: Jean and John (8:00 pm, $15, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Ring in the ResistanceThursday 12/21: Comedy titans Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There) and Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), plus Will Butler (indie rock band Arcade Fire), Mamarazzi, and more perform for this fundraiser (for three groups sharing the proceeds equally) aiming to help Democrats win back Congress and New York State seats: Ring in the Resistance (8:00 pm, $50+, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Hari KondaboluWednesday 12/27: Brothers Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents; fascinating TruTV documentary The Problem with Apu) and Ashok Kondabolu (Dap in Das Racist) spontaneously interact with each other, sharing family stories, discussing current events, and more: The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

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

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

The PIT Loft
154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for December 2017: Last Updated Saturday 12/16/17

December 16, 2017

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to my BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications, and/or to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny).

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

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for December include:

Michelle Buteau, Abbi Crutchfield, and Lane Moore: "Tinder Live"Saturday 12/16: A show celebrating the app that redefined online dating, with the lovely and quick-witted Lane Moore (above right; HBO’s Girls; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo; writer for The Onion, McSweeney’s) going on a live Tinder safari for guys while a packed audience watches her every choice with fascination. Offering comments and suggestions during the adventure are tonight’s guests Michelle Buteau (above left; VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), Abbi Crutchfield (above middle; host of TruTV’s You Can Do Better; Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV, VH1), and Jordan Carlos (HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City and The Nightly Show, Showtime, MTV’s Guy Code, Guy Court, VH1, Adult Swim). This show usually sells out, so I recommend nabbing tickets ASAP for Tinder Live (8:30 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil: "Your Love, Our Musical"Saturday 12/16: World-class singing improvisors Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (7:00 pm; $15, which is a good deal—this show has regularly sold out at $18 at other venues; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Jamie Aderski: "Cry Baby: My (Reluctant) Journey Into Motherhood"Saturday 12/16: Jamie Aderski performs exceptionally honest and funny tales of what it was like for her to become a mom (for a trailer, please click here) in this popular one-woman show that’s been extended to run every Saturday night in December: Cry Baby: My (Reluctant) Journey Into Motherhood (7:00 pm; $12, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Pet ProvSunday 12/17: There’s nothing more unpredictable on a stage than an animal. In this endearing monthly show, improvisors perform along with their real-life pet dogs—today including Sarah Taylor and her “very special Yorkie named Sir Lancelot who’s got the zoomies real bad in anticipation, you don’t want to let him down!”—plus other improvisors TBA, and wonderfully humane host Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, co-host of Tamara’s & Adrian’s Tarot Variety Show, improv groups The Community Players, Ouiser & Clairee, George/Martha, and The Darklings), all making up scenes for Pet Prov (6:00 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Picture This!Sunday 12/17: In this unique show, animators spontaneously bring the jokes of guest stand-ups to visual life with lightning speed & wit. Part of the fun is that the comics don’t know what the animators will draw and the animators don’t know how the comics will react. Tonight’s stand-up lineup consists of Chris Redd (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Doug Smith (Conan O’Brien, co-host of See You In Hell), Rosebud Baker, MIke Albanese, Greta TItleman, and Kevin O’Brien, produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Ian Fidance: Picture This! (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Naomi Ekperigin and Ashley Brooke RobertsMonday 12/18: Two of America’s very finest comics, Aparna Nancherla (co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None) and Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), host this weekly Brooklyn stand-up show with Irish comic Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk). Tonight’s guests include Naomi Ekperigin (above left; dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Ashley Brooke Roberts (above right; energetic, enormously likeable stand-up; stellar co-host of Fresh Out and Camp; former writer for Nat Geo Explorer and MTV’s Guy Code; UCB Maude sketch groups The Prom and Absolutely), Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special, Billy on the Street; for Joel’s Conan set, please click here), and Tim Harmston: Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Morrison MotelMonday 12/18: Jessica Kirson (The Tonight Show, The View, Last Comic Standing, Celebrity Apprentice, HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, award-winning blog Sandpaper Suit, comedy album Hot Flashes), and more perform stand-up hosted by the exceptionally kind and charming John Morrison: Morrison Motel (8:30 pm; $20 at the door—which includes one drink—if you mention code HyReviews.com or BestNewYorkComedy.com [otherwise $25]; you can make a reservation by calling 212.989.9319, or otherwise simply show up; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia Street)

Nog! Nog! Who's There?Tuesday 12/19: Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic and enormously likeable stand-up, sketch comic, and actress; stellar co-host of Fresh Out and Camp; former writer for Nat Geo Explorer and MTV’s Guy Code; UCB Maude sketch groups The Prom and Absolutely), Matt Koff (staff writer for The Daily Show),The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; CBS, IFC; have opened for Weird Al Yankovic, Alice Cooper, and Lynyrd Skynyrd; albums Ladies Don’t Spit and Don’t Beat Around the Bush), Natasha Vaynblat (Funny or Die, McSweeney’s, Reductress;, improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely, one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), and host Julia Johns perform for this holiday show that features an audience sing-along: Nog! Nog! Who’s There? (8:00 pm, $5, Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar at 406 Third Avenue)

Jean Grae & John HodgmanWednesday 12/20: Jean Grae & John Hodgman have written topics on a carnival wheel. In this show they spin the wheel and then chat about whatever subject they land on, along with a surprise guest. What else do you need to know?: Jean and John (8:00 pm, $15, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Ring in the ResistanceThursday 12/21: Comedy titans Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There) and Jo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), plus Will Butler (indie rock band Arcade Fire), Mamarazzi, and more perform for this fundraiser (for three groups sharing the proceeds equally) aiming to help Democrats win back Congress and New York State seats: Ring in the Resistance (8:00 pm, $50+, The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Hari KondaboluWednesday 12/27: Brothers Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents; fascinating TruTV documentary The Problem with Apu) and Ashok Kondabolu (Dap in Das Racist) spontaneously interact with each other, sharing family stories, discussing current events, and more: The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

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

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

The PIT Loft
154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for November 2017 (updated Monday 11/20/17)

November 20, 2017

For at least the rest of this year, I’m replacing the daily comedy listings on this site and HyReviews.com with monthly listings so I can more fully focus on several projects. These include my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts On Drugs (for details, please click here), a comedy screenplay that needs a lot of research, and some other challenging items that’ll require extra time and energy.

However, I’ll still provide last-minute info on shows that especially merit attention, so please feel encouraged to check in regularly for updates. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications, and/or to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny).

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

All that said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for what’s left of November (with more to come) include:

Melanie Owens, Emily Mathwich, and Jen Adams 2The spectacular 4-day Solocom festival, featuring over 100 new comedic solo shows, concluded last night at 11:00 pm; but while it’s over, the last day’s best of the fest still merit recognition. I spent nearly 11 hours at Sunday’s Solocom scouring for notable talent at The PIT’s Striker and Underground theatres. I never made it to The Loft, with apologies to all the wonderful comics who performed there.

That noted, standouts on the final day of Solocom included Melanie Owens relating what it was like to have a stroke at age 28—and the effects of brain surgery on bangs—with extraordinary joyfulness and juiciness, turning a potential trauma into an opportunity to be a luminous and sexy force for life who’s also way funny; Emily Mathwich proving herself a highly compelling comedic actress in a mini-play she wrote in which the world has been nearly destroyed and her only hope for survival is a relationship she forms with Siri (titled Hey, Siri, Am I Gonna Die?); and Jen Adams cleverly and hilariously articulating what we’re really thinking when we spout cliche responses—e.g., “I can’t wait to see your one-man show!” = “I have to go to this, don’t I.”

As Adams points out, some solo shows can be little more than an obligation imposed on friends. But in the hands of superb talents like the comics above, and scores more performing on all four days of Solocom, the one-person show is a vibrant form for sharing and creating experiences that can be as riveting and funny as the best offerings from Broadway or Hollywood. Huge kudos to everyone involved at The PIT for their continued support of this magical festival.

Rachel Feinstein 2
The sharp and lovely Rachel Feinstein (stellar Comedy Central special Only Whores Wear Purple; finalist on Last Comic StandingInside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour) headlines this intimate monthly stand-up show, plus Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Artie Lange, VH1), Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Showtime),Jeff Lawrence, and Frank Vignola hosted by the exceptionally kind and charming John Morrison: Morrison Motel (8:30 pm; $20 at the door—which includes one drink—if you mention code HyReviews.com or BestNewYorkComedy.com [otherwise $25]; you can make a reservation by calling 212.989.9319, or otherwise simply show up; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia Street)

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade 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-$12

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-$12

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

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

The PIT Loft
154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/16/12

January 16, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.

Leslie Goshko, Dave Hill, and Wyatt Cenac

Wonderful comics Leslie Goshko, Dave Hill, Wyatt Cenac...

Judah Friedlander

...and Judah Friedlander perform tonight at the Morrison Motel

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 stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch show at The Magnet from troupe Moogle: Eat, Pray, Potluck

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Carol Hartsell’s & John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Another great lineup for this show on a roll: Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Eliza Skinner (ace improvisor/sketch performer temporarily back in NYC), and a genius musical improvisor who has signed too many lucrative contracts to be named (but I’m guessing has memorable hair and a name that rhymes with Veggie Pots) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A monthly show at UCB East featuring “a compilation of my favorite stories and home videos that I’ve been working on for the past two years” from storytelling giant Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here): Adam Wade’s Big Heart

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): For this sketch double-bill at UCB Chelsea, first up is a a meta-comedy in which a real estate agent tries to convince a couple that the actual theatre you’re in would be a great home for them. He does this by putting on a series of scenes that are presented as a random sampling of what UCBT has to offer but that, directly or indirectly, each promote the stage as a wonderful residence. It’s a way fun idea—for a 5-minute sketch. However, this entire show is handled like a single multi-jointed sketch, and 30 minutes is a long time to essentially tell one joke. If the script was further developed to use the internal sketches as stepping stones to achieve a larger and emotionally compelling story, this could become something quite special. Even as is, though, it’s great fun at the start; and if you find it wearing out its welcome after that, you’ll still enjoy sporadic laughs from individual bits and performers—especially standouts Brandon Gulya and Brandon Scott Jones—in the a-bit-too-clever-for-its-own-good This is Not a Sketch Show—A Sketch Show

…and second up is a new one-woman show by Sue Smith about anger, directed by the always inventive and delightful Laura Grey: Minimum Rage

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15 if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $20], which includes one drink; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats): A great lineup of brilliant comics Judah Friedlander (30 Rock, Meet the Parents, How to Beat Up Anybody), Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent of The Daily Show), Dave Hill (star of the Universe), and wonderful storyteller Leslie Goshko (Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, Sideshow Goshko), plus stand-ups Dan Nainan, Zero Boy, and Rock Albers, all performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: PIT owner Ali Farahnakian and the school’s razor-sharp instructors perform improv at The PIT downstairs lounge in The Faculty Part 2: Electric Boogaloo; plus improv troupe Technicolor

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new bits: Neighbor Boy (which tends to be weak on material, but includes such talents as Kate Hess, Tim Dunn, and Beth Appel), and Fambly (which includes wonderful rising star Mamrie Hart, Dan Chamberlain, Veronica Osorio, Nicole Byer, and a sharp crew of writers): Maude Night: Neighbor Boy & Fambly

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Seaton Smith, Maggie Nuthall, Justin Murray, Dave Lester, Brendan Fitzgibbons, Pat Rigby, Jason Saenz, and Tom Dunlap performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host .Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[FREE] 9:30 pm: “In moments of exhaustion, in the space of a hesitation, when a faltering spirit looms large, the sixth man comes off the bench and sparks a revolt against complacency and routine. The sixth man powers the team and washes over that faltering spirit with a cleansing energy. A show in which awesome teams are made even greater with the addition of a special guest improviser. Tag-ins, walk-ons, lay-ons, swinging doors, all manner of support work is allowed and encouraged” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Beckerman and Cory Palmer: Sixth Man

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—with tonight’s guests not yet announced, but please check for an update by clicking here—performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by comedy genius Chris Gethard: Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic at The PITupstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For moreplease visit HyReviews.com.

New Year, Healthier You: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 10/18/10

October 18, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ted Alexandro and Todd Barry

Two of the finest stand-ups in the country, Ted Alexandro (headlining at Morrison Motel) and Todd Barry (headlining at Whiplash)

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($15 at the door on $18.50 online with discount codeFISHFAN): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see.

In last week’s show, Molly Knefel’s breakthrough moment—passionately kissing Brenna Palughi in the spirit of open-minded experimentation—somehow got twisted into “a mistake,” and a source of rising tension for all the characters. Among the memorable aftershocks was Brenna calling Molly “young and stupid;” and Lauren Seikaly observing, “I thought two women would get along better as a couple; but it really doesn’t work that well when emotions are flying from both directions. It’s actually easier when the woman is emotional and the man just ‘takes it.'” Also memorable was Lauren telling Molly that she’d better get along with Brenna, or otherwise “you can’t hang around with us anymore.” Considering Lauren produces the show, that could’ve been interpreted as a threat to fire Molly—but only if there was any real-life tension behind the staged tension… So will Molly keep her job, or can we look forward to a sexual harassment lawsuit? Come find out tonight…

Although every episode is a wonderful theatrical event, readers of this site no longer have to pay theatrical prices; you can see this show for a mere $15 by mentioning code FISHFAN at the door. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then get in the habit of attending the Soho Playhouse to experience the always fresh and surprising Naked in a Fishbowl

7:00 pm ($5): Kelli Porterfield performs a one-woman show about five residents of Joplin, MO:Mirror Mirror On The Wall

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online or $8 at the door): Brilliant and irresistible comedic singer/songwriter Shayna Ferm (catch Shay Thursdays at The PIT starring in Grease 3: Threase), Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), and UK comedy star Glenn Wool performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Lee Camp (The Onion, The Huffington Post), Streeter Seidell (CollegeHumor.com), Julia Segal, Mike Birth, and “a surprise guest” performing stand-up in theLolita Bar for Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big LakeMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives,author of book Weird New York), John Mooney (Comedy Central, 30 Rock), Mark Normand (Last Comic Standing), Nick Turner (College Humor, host of Too Cool for School), and Sam Morril performing at Aces & Eights (34 Avenue A, off 3rd Street) for John Szeluga’s Not Friday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brothers Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel) and Ashok Kondabolu (Dap in Das Racist) host a talk show, with tonight’s guest the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central, host of Whiplash): The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, High Treason and Slow Burn, trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($5 cover if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $10], plus $7 drink minimum; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats): Ted Alexandro (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, Verizon FIOS guy, Front Page Films, The Other Guys, comedy CD Come Clean), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central’sLive at Gotham, WE Network, blog Cats, Comedy, and Candy—for sample cat video, please clickhere), Maureen Langan (HBO, Comedy Central, WE Network), Baratunde (Web Editor of The Onion), and more performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A rare chance to catch a popular UK comedy star briefly visiting NYC:Tom Allen Toughens Up

9:30 pm ($5): “Actors enter with cell phones, not knowing what the night will hold. Their job: To speak aloud whatever they hear through their earpieces. The phones start to ring and the real-time adventure begins. Spontaneous conversations, narrated journeys, and unique experiences overlap as the night’s theme sporadically emerges: Line One

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Todd Barry (HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central PresentsThe Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), UK comedy star Glenn Wool, Chris Laker (“I know it’s hard to believe I’m 37, but I appear much younger if you look at my accomplishments”), and visiting LA stand-ups Karen Gilgariff, DJ Douggpound, and Josh Fadem—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) atWhiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on Leo’s show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills on this new stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and Erin Lennox: Fresh

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/21/10

June 21, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Laurie Kilmartin and Wyatt Cenac

Star stand-ups Laurie Kilmartin, Wyatt Cenac, and many more perform tonight at John Morrison's Morrison Motel

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 ($17.50 online with discount code NIFF): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, and Lauren Seikaly, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest and nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then grab tickets for tonight’s third installment at the Soho Playhouse of a 10-week Monday night run: Naked in a Fishbowl

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Roger Hailes (Comedy Central, DTMT), Sean Donnelly (Lil’ Seany Boy, DTMT), Giulia Rozzi (MTV, Stripped Stories), Geno Bisconte (VH1), Tommy Amado, and Matthew Maragno performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s finest house sketch comedy troupes, High Treason (featuring NYC comedy treasure Kate McKinnon) and Slow Burn, trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($5 cover if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $10], plus $7 drink minimum; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats): Superb stand-ups Wyatt Cenac (correspondent for The Daily Show), Laurie Kilmartin (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1’sBest Week Ever), Sara Schaefer (brilliant, inventive, luminous comic; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; host of Tuesday comedy show at The Bell House), Liam McEneaney (host of Tell Your Friends), RG Daniels (host of Sunday Night Stand-Up), Matt Ruby (MTV, host of We’re All Friends Here), and Scott Moran performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia (flat-out one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country; hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on Late Show with David Letterman andLate Night with Conan O’Brien; comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live; off-Broadway show Sleepwalk with Me) is preparing his one-man show for the Just for Laughs Festival—which means you can see a performance worth at least $40 for $5. Seats are sold out; but if you don’t mind standing, come and enjoy Mike Birbiglia: 60 Minutes of New Stories

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: A free sneak preview of the latest Comedy Central series—hosted by its stars, UCB favorites and comedy geniuses Horatio Sanz and Chris Gethard: Big Lake

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/15/10

March 15, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Irresistible rising stars Ophira Eisenberg and Hannibal Buress headline at tonight's gala Morrison Motel

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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A unique mixing of storytelling and burlesque, with superb yarn-spinners Adam Wade, John Flynn, Sara Peters, Ed Gavagan, and Becky Sterling—and in between the tales, clothes-shedding dancers—all performing at UNDER St. Marks for guest host Peter Aguero’s Told: Bare

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sharp NYC stand-ups Dan St. Germain, Louis Katz, Tracy Marhal, Gabe Pacheco, and Nore Davis performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A wonderful pre-St. Patty’s Day lineup, with stars Colin Quinn, Morgan Murphy, Fiona Walsh, and musical guests Andy Fitzpatrick and A Brief View of the Hudson, all performing in the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Thunder Gulch and Gramps’, trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($5 cover if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $10], plus $7 drink minimum; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats): Stellar stand-ups Hannibal Buress (staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up), Ophira Eisenberg (world-class storyteller who’ll be doing a 30-minute set tonight), Lee Camp, Rob Paravonian, Susie Felber Charlie Kasov, and Katherine Williams performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Jon Friedman (Emmy-winning blogger for Jimmy Fallon; The Rejection Show) debuting a one-man show that traces Jon’s career as a comic from home movies to early prank calls to current YouTube videos, with direction from the lovely Carol Hartsell (and by coincidence, they both won a 2010 ECNY Award last week); and Kate McKinnon, Sarah Claspell, Nicole Drespel, Jocelyn Guest, Veronica Osorio, and Aaron Glaser perform a sketch show written by Leila Cohan and Caitlin Tegart about Smith, our nation’s largest women’s college, in the double-bill Bear With Me and This is About Smith

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Sharp NYC stand-ups John Flynn, Ray Devito, Phoebe Robinson, Chris Lamberth, Leah Bonnema, Zach Brousard, Greg Manuel, Irene Bremis, and Seth Joseph performing at Pat O’Shea’s free weekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the country—tonight including the spectacular Adira Amram, John Mulaney (Conan O’Brien; staff writer for Saturday Night Live), Joe Mande (Comedy Central; author of upcoming book on hipsters), and Billy Wayne Davis—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.