NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/18/17

April 18, 2017

Moshe Kasher: "Problematic"Don’t miss the debut of lightning-quick wit Moshe Kasher’s weekly half hour TV series Problematic, “a talk show that actually talks. Each episode will delve into a single topic of online outrage—impeachment, the dark web, ideological changes of heart, the liberal case for guns—and examine how it shapes our culture. With the help of experts, comedians, and questions from both in-studio and online audiences, Kasher will solve every problem that has ever existed by the end of the episode, bringing peace and harmony to the Internet once and for all while paving the way for a Winfrey/Schwarzenegger co-presidency in 2020.” Set your recording device to 10:00 pm on Comedy Central for Problematic

Mark Normand…and live on stage, enjoy Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central special Don’t Be Yourself, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer)…

Tariq Trotter / Black ThoughtTariq Trotter (a.k.a. Black Thought; co-founder & rapper/MC for legendary band The Roots; regular sketch performer on Jimmy Fallon, and exceptionally quick, witty guy), award-winning Canadian surreal sketch duo The Templeton Philharmonic (Gwynne Phillips (HBO’s Sensitive Skin, PBS’s Odd Squad) & Briana Templeton (SyFy’s The Expanse, CTV’s The Beaverton)), Barry Sobel (Johnny Carson, pioneering Comedy Central star, HBO, numerous films), Melanie Maras (originally from Indonesia; hosts Shoot ‘Em Up storytelling show in LA), singer Julian Velard, and more performing for Seth Herzog’s Sweet (9:00 pm, $10, The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)

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

6:00 pm ($10): Stand-ups Jon Laster, JP McDade, Christina Sirabian, Catherine Cypher, and more perform at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Aakash Kothari & Emily Duke: Bonanza

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Jim Norton (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; hosted HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; former cast member of HBO sitcom Lucky Louie; HBO half-hour One Night Stand; feature film Spider-Man; regular on The Opie & Anthony Show; author of book Happy Endings) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Jim Norton: Work In Progress

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions, preceded at 6:00 pm by an improv jam open to the audience: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($7): Kerstin Porter performs a sketch show pitting Americans against British customs officers at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Brexit in American

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Ryan Schutt tries out new material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Ryan Schutt

7:00 pm ($7): A showcase for brand new scripted shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—this week featuring sketch groups Moshpick and Sketchy at The PIT Underground produced by the wonderful Ronny Pascale and hosted by Shelby Slauer (a golden retriever; Funny or Die, Reductress, co-host of 2 Dumbs at Muchmore’s): Pilot Season

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), Lane Moore (HBO’s Girls; host of Tinder Live; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo, writer for The Onion, McSweeneys), and Gianmarco Soresi (Seeso; sketch group Uncle Function; acclaimed FringeNYC play <50%) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by the charming Ruby Karp: We Hope You Have Fun

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s couples are Jo Firestone & Brett Davis (lovers), Emmy Blotnick & Matt Koff (pals), John Murray & Matt Fisher (pals), and Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin (pals), all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by lovers Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): Couples Therapy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central special Don’t Be Yourself, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Sam Morril (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, America’s Got Talent), Kyle Ayers (written for CBS, Comedy Central, TBS, BBC, The New York Times), Chloe LaBranche, and Ziwe Fumudoh perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Bar Schimmi (54 North 11th Street) hosted by Ryan Reszelbach: Creative Rezistance Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Melissa Villaseñor (newest star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Tom Thakkar (VICE, NPR), Teresa Lee (Reductress), and George Gordon perform stand-up hosted by Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Charles Gould (Comedy Central), and Dan Licata (The Chris Gethard Show) at Brooklyn’s NY Distilling Company (79 Richardson Street; take L subway to Lorimer Street): Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[FREE; plus FREE DRAFT BEER 8:00-8:30!] 8:00 pm: Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes), and Zach Sims performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Two Boots Pizza Williamsburg (558 Driggs Avenue) hosted by Lucas Connolly, David Piccolomini, and Jake Fromm: Ambush Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch and improv comics “create a brand new show in only one week, and then perform improvised sketches based off of your suggestions, just like The Second City used to do” at The PIT Mainstage: Old School Sketch Show

8:00 pm ($5): UCB house groups Fluffty and By the Book make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 9:30 pm): Harold Night, Part 1

[FREE, plus FREE BEER] 8:00 pm: Enjoy a comfy seat and a free beer while you watch comedy at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Couch Cave Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ryan Hamilton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with consistently fresh ideas and great crafting of language; Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime) performs a rare NYC solo stand-up show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Ryan Hamilton Doing His Hour

[FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

8:30 pm ($5): “When an office full of big city escalator salesmen is given the news that all but two will be fired at the end of the week, the tough-talking escalator boys have to come up with a way to lift themselves up to a higher floor…or risk falling all the way down” written & co-starring Calvin Cole, Emily Duncan, and Jon Hudson at The PIT Underground: Glengarry Glen Escalator

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): A semi-scripted party celebrating the 100th birthday of “a famous fruit magnate,” with guests Christi Chiello, Sam Taggart, Sam Reece, Allison Spence Brown, Mo Fry Pasic, Tim Platt, Rachel Joravsky, and Rachel Pegram at the UCB East theatre hosted by Becky Chicoine & Sudi Green: Theme Party: 100th Birthday

9:30 pm ($7): Sketch group Mountain Rapids Soda performs a play in which oddball characters trapped together out on the high seas must uncover a killer in their midst at The PIT Mainstage: Boat Show Expo: A Murder Mystery

9:30 pm ($5): UCB house groups Moose and Some Kid make up scenes using the long improv form called The Harold at the UCB Chelsea theatre (see also 8:00 pm): Harold Night, Part 2

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that books comics from the same original area (i.e., outside of NYC) to perform long sets at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Trey Galyon: I’m Not From Here

10:00 pm ($7): Comics perform scenes from plays they’ve always wanted to act in—plus stand-up by Jordan Temple and storytelling by Karolena Theresa—at The PIT Underground: Funny People

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, group Mermaids performs whatever type of long form improv it likes at the UCB East theatre: Harold on the Run

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv veterans to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

6:00 pm ($5): Walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Giggles & Bits Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Tuesday Night Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale (PIT Associate Artistic Director): Tuesday After Class: Slow Jam

11:00 pm ($5): Ten stand-ups whose names are drawn from a “golden bowl of destiny” will be given stage time, along with a few invited stand-ups, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Will Purpura: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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.