NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 8/13/16

August 13, 2016

It’s the first weekend of FringeNYC 2016! My coverage will begin on Monday, but you can start exploring shows here.

MurderfistNYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy, won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group, was written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times, and performs tonight: Murderfist (9:30 pm, $10, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th Street)

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

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

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

6:30 pm ($5): International improvisors use their native languages & diverse backgrounds to make up scenes in unique ways at The PIT downstairs lounge: Passport

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): “Join filmmaker George Lucas (Radioland Murders) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk show host! He’ll be joined by his hilarious talk show sidekick, Jar-Jar Binks, as they revolutionize the talk show format the same way Lucas once revolutionized cinema,” with guests TBD at the UCB East theatre hosted by brilliant improvisor Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers) & Shaun Diston: The George Lucas Talk Show

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

7:30 pm ($5): Clown guests join clown host Icky Shirley Dangle performing a silly show at The PIT downstairs lounge: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

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

7:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): All Aboard the Butter Cruise + Selfish Green Men

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

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

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

7:30 pm ($8): Leighann Lord, Becky Yamamoto, Kerry Coddett, and other female and/or LGBTQ stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Kate Moran: The Revolution

8:00 pm ($10): Real-life roommates Arti Gollapudi & Julian Williams invite over a bunch of their comedy friends—David Bluvband, Janie Stolar, Patti Harrison, Amy Zimmer, Lawrence DeLoach, Andrew Turowski, and Eric Feurer—to hang out and be funny at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Get in the House

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25; no min.): Gary Gulman, Sean Patton, Pete Lee, Sherrod Small, Aaron Berg, Ben Bailey (8:00 pm only) and Roy Wood Jr. (10:00 pm only) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($15 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Top comics (not announced) are interviewed at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Inside Joke

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

8:00 pm ($5): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Alex English, Dan Perlman, and more performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary & Lucas Connolly: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv group that includes such talents as Evan Kaufman (Your Love Our Musical) takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

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

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

9:00 pm ($10): Sketch & character comics perform in hopes of being discovered (“Are you an SNL scout? If so, we’d love you to come. Are you someone else? You can come, we guess, but we don’t really care one way or the other”) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): SNL Come Scout Us

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Evan Morrison, Jason Burke, David Agyekum, Anthony Devito, and Amy Rose Ranger performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Art Cafe & Bar (884-886 Pacific Street) hosted by Ben Totushek & Koshin Egal: The Human Citizen Comedy Show

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

9:30 pm ($6): Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central, TruTV’s Almost Genius; sketch group Murderfist), Khalid Rahmaan, and more performing stand-up or improv at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) guest-hosted by Lindsay Theisen: End of the Line Comedy

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

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

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

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

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

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

19:30 pm ($5): Cole Orloff spearheads a rotating cast of comics performing characters and sketch at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): No Man’s Land

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

11:30 pm ($5): Comics performing at UCB East hosted by non-musicians Matt Radlow & Betsy Kenney: Matt and Betsy Do Music

[FREE] Midnight: “A psychedelic journey through space-time. The stand-ups on this show have seen the other side. They have surfed the waves of consciousness and mastered their superego to a near shamanic level. They are here to guide you on a quest of understanding and wonder. Also, they’re going to be tripping balls” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by “the spirit animal of Evan Jones:” The Only One Tripping

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

Midnight ($5): Indie improv groups Hot Mess and Darcy make up scenes at UCB Chelsea hosted by indie group The St. Louis Rams: Indie Improv Showcase

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets for The Stand Comedy Club, Heavily Discounted via Goldstar

The Stand

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 6/19/16

June 19, 2016

SkankfestThe first day of politically incorrect comedy festival Skankfest featured such greats as Kurt Metzger (above left), fest co-creator Christine Evans and Big Jay Oakerson (above middle), and award-winning sketch group Murderfist (above right). This is the second and final day, running for 14 hours starting at noon (for the complete schedule, please click here): Skankfest (Noon-2:00 am, $50 to see any and all shows, The Creek in Queens’ LIC at 10-93 Jackson Avenue)

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

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

6:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Becca Schall playing characters at a grade school; plus a comedic play about friends who look like siblings at this showcase for new scripted works at The Magnet theatre: Show Offs: Man in the Wire and Megan & Alan: On Brand: Not Quite Right

6:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show in which “Consuelo is down on her luck, determined to finish Catholic high school and earn money to go to college. A flyer she finds for ‘Girls Who Code’ changes her life, making her determined to be the first girl in her family to get a scholarship and study Computer Science” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Consuelo Explains It All

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

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

[$] 7:00 pm ($20): This Harry Potter parody is crippled by a mediocre script, but is spared from being an utter waste of time by inventive direction from the highly talented Kristin McCarthy Parker (Hold On To Your Butts), and a large and mostly likeable cast (including the wonderful Langston Belton…who doesn’t get to do nearly enough) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic

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

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

7:30 pm ($7): “A unique fusion of variety show and pulp superhero story, with all of the strengths of both and none of their weaknesses. And remember, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do not see this show”at the Magnet theatre: Crisis!: The Improvised Comic Book

7:30 pm ($5): A 30-minute musical about professional wrestling at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Singin’ in the Pain: A Wrestling Musical

7:30 pm ($10): Stand-up or characters from Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of 2 Dope Queens), Julio Torres (inventive experimental stand-up/sketch comic), Brett Davis (character comic; co-host of The Macaulay Culkin Show), Poppy Red, Matt Beacon, and Asterios Kokonos at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Griffin Newman & Joe Garden : Griff & Joe’s Father’s Day Spectacular

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

8:00 pm ($5): Michelle Buteau (daily host of VH1’s Morning Buzz; FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Gary Vider (America’s Got Talent 2015 finalist; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Sara Armour, Shane Torres, Anthony DeVito, Frank Liotti, and Saurin Choksil performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): An improvised game of Dungeons & Dragons at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Campaign

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Brad Lawrence performs a new autobiographical show “about the legacy of the two men who would have been a father to him but for all the things that got in the way” at Brooklyn’s Standard ToyKraft (722 Metropolitan Avenue, 3rd Floor; take the L to Graham Avenue): The Measure of a Man

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Superb comic Tracy Mull performs the rare and difficult art of solo improv—in a competition against herself!—with the help of the wonderful Langston Belton for this improv meta-show that both parodies and celebrates all things improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tracy vs. Tracy: Competitive Solo Improv

8:30 pm ($5): Improv group Goons performs in a competitive event at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Annoyance Presents Improv: Goons

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

9:00 pm ($5): A six-person sketch show about women’s rights written by, directed by, and starring Katie Sicking (College Humor, Funny Or Die) at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Micah Sherman: Patriarchy II: Fist of Extremism

9:00 pm ($7): Typically solid stand-ups perform at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 3:30 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:30 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 7:00 pm: All forms of improv are welcome at this jam at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Rory Scholl & Jason Specland: In a Jam

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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

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

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

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar

The Stand

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/20/15

April 20, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Amy Schumer is on David Letterman
(Season 3 of the stellar Inside Amy Schumer debuts
tomorrow at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central);
Dick Van Dyke and Jenny Slate are on Conan O’Brien
(repeated from 12/16/14);
Ron Funches, T.J. Miller, and Steve Agee are on @midnight

The Hungry Hungry Games

A not-to-be-missed musical parody of The Hunger Games plays at 7:00 & 9:30 pm at The PIT: The Hungry Hungry Games

Rob Cantrell and Murderfist Save the Earth - A 4-20 Spectacular

…and 4/20, the Christmas for stoners, is celebrated at The Magnet’s Sebastian’s Amazing 4:20 Hour, The Stand’s Frantic Mondays, and The Knitting Factory’s Rob Cantrell and Murderfist Save the Earth: A 4/20 Spectacular

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:25 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Becky Krause, and Tracy Mull—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 online; the latter is recommended because both the early and late shows are likely to sell out): This musical parody of The Hunger Games is a small miracle, having been written by Christopher W. Barnes (book & lyrics) and Ryan Mercy (music) in just a few weeks, and then cast, directed (again, by Barnes) rehearsed, and mounted on stage in a mere month. It’s not perfect—especially Act One, which runs 90 minutes but would work much better with 20-30 minutes chopped out—but it provides so many pleasures that it’s well worth your patience. Highlights include Pat Swearingen, who almost single-handedly steals the show as hilariously over-the-top TV host Caesar; Natalie Sullivan demonstrating delightful range as muscle-bound and stiff-necked, and yet sweet-voiced, star Katniss; sharply observed jokes about movie racial stereotypes; sly pop culture references, such as when Katniss gets her hands on a bow and proclaims a la Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd “At last! My arm is complete again!;” and much more. The UNAUTHORIZED series produced by Ronny Pascale et al has been a consistent jewel in the crown of The PIT upstairs theatre, but this newest production tops them all and should not be missed: The Hungry Hungry Games: An UNAUTHORIZED! Musical Parody

7:00 pm ($7): Anarchic improv and/or sketch comedy from nearly a dozen comics at The Magnet theatre: The Stank

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up & character actress Karen Batista tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Lon g Island City: Week at the Creek: Karen Batista

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Jermaine Fowler, Carmen Lynch, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Joe Machi, Rachel Feinstein, Jeff Leach, Sherrod Small, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Todd Barry, Ryan Hamilton, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Two of the sharpest improvisors in NYC, Shannon O’Neill (The Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, The Stepfathers, UCB-NY Artistic Director) and Tami Sagher (superb staff writer for Broad City; former writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006) invite their brilliant improvisor pals Ellie Kemper and Connor Ratliff to make up scenes with them at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Renowned 4/20 fan Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times) and drug-like sketch group Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch team; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award) host this raucous celebration of 4/20 with Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), and Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), plus musical guest Unicorn Smack, all at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): Rob Cantrell and Murderfist Save the Earth: A 4/20 Spectacular

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Character comics who typically include rising stars Leslie Meisel (Stone Cold Fox), Christine Bullen (one-woman show My Melonbasket, sketch group Goodbye Handsome), and many more performing bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV, creator of webseries Clench & Release), Matteo Lane (Comedy Central), Mary Mack, Joel Kim Booster, and Andrew Michaan performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 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

8:30 pm ($7): “What happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring five additional comics at The Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: (212) (which includes wonderful rising stars Langan Kingsley and Russ Armstrong, plus Cody Lindquist, Eddie Dunn, and Rob Cuthill, and stellar sketch writers such as Georgie Aldaco) and One Idiot (which includes Maggie Ross, Carrie McCrossen, Kristy Lopez-Bernala, Allie Kokesh, and Nathan Min): Maude Night: (212) and One Idiot

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Performing 4/20-themed stand-up are Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Derek Gaines, Subhah Agarwal, Alex Pavone, Luis J. Gomez, and Vladimir Caamano for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Mike Lawrence, Ari Shaffir, Nate Bargatze, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($7): “Sebastian will be hanging out on stage on 4/20. Straight chillin’. During the hour, he will have his friends come up and give presentations about things that they think will BLOW HIS MIND. This show will give you tons of useless amazing facts to fill your brain (if you can remember them). A few lucky audience members will be asked to come on stage and try to blow Sebastian’s and the audience’s minds. So come prepared with cool shit to share!” at The Magnet theatre: Sebastian’s Amazing 4:20 Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm (reserved seats are all taken, but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

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

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name i pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

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

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/11/14

October 11, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Bill Hader hosts Saturday Night Live at 11:29 on NBC

Murderfist

A free panel on women in comedy at 1:00 pm, and Murderfist at 11:00 pm, are among the highlights of Day #3 of The PIT’s Sketch Festival

Loopy

…and Kevin Maher presents an amazing array of pop culture SF/fantasy/comic book lectures…

Kevin Geeks Out About Comic Con

…which you can see free if you present the image above at the door: Kevin Geeks Out About Comic Con

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] 1:00 pm-Midnight ($8 per show or $60 for festival pass): This third day of a four-day sketch comedy festival is playing at both the upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge of The PIT, with individual shows costing $8 and an all-you-can-see festival pass costing $60. Highlights include a free panel about Women In Comedy at 1:00 pm and ace sketch group Murderfist at 11:00: New York City Sketch Festival

[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): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, 12:15 am, and 1:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, and Jessica Kirson at the 7:00 show; Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Jessica Kirson at the 7:15 show; Colin Quinn and Dane Cook at the 8:45 show; Colin Quinn, Dane Cook, Ryan Hamilton, and Greer Barnes at the 9:15 show; Dane Cook, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Jessica Kirson, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 10:30 show; Dane Cook, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, and Lenny Marcus at the 11:15 show; and Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, Sam Morril, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A short comedic play in which “disgraced journalist Clay Fishman finds out our world is not what it seems and reptile aliens control every aspect of our society. With the help of his teenage daughter Tallie and crackpot conspiracy theorist J.J. Jones, Clay goes on an adventure spanning time and space to save mankind” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Terrible Them

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41 & 2-drink min.) Anthony Jeselnik is one of my favorite stand-ups of all time, with a special gift for crafting dark and shocking short jokes, and a lightning-quick mind that allows him to play with any audience in the moment. This genius Emmy-nominated comic is the star of Comedy Central series The Jeselnik Offensive, former writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon, and has also performed on Conan O’Brien, HBO, a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, and his great comedy CDs Shakespeare and Caligula. Anthony is headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Greatest: Anthony Jeselnik

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] [FREE] 8:00 pm (FREE when you present the image in the upper right of this page): Kevin Maher brings back his genius show Kevin Geeks Out in homage to Comic Con, with pop culture guests R. Sikoryak (writer/illustrator of brilliant book series Masterpiece Comics), Nick Nadel (writer for The Onion), Rusty Ward (YouTube’s Science Friction, redneck comic Jeff Balrogworthy), screenwriter M. Sweeney-Lawless, Professor Geoff Klock, and more performing at The Studio at Webster Hall (125 East 11th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues): Kevin Geeks Out About Comic Con

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Choice film clips and live performances pay homage to Wonder Woman, featuring Cyndi Freeman, Geoff Klock, Ariel Italic, and host Tom Blunt, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Bullets and Bracelets: A Tribute to Wonder Woman

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Sue Smith, Correy Reppond, the show’s producer Lukas Kaiser, and more, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Ian Fidance & Lizzie Martinez: Showcasey Jones

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Brendan Eyre, Evan Davis, Luke Thayer, Justin Williams, Naomi Karavani, Noah Savage, and Trey Galyon performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre guest-hosted (while Peggy O’Leary’s out of town) by Lucas Connolly: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Tracey Wigfield (former writer for 30 Rock), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and more form an ace improv group at UCB East that won last 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] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): T.J. Miller (red-hot comedic actor & hilarious sketch comic; David Letterman, co-star of HBO’s Silicon Valley and former ABC sitcom Carpoolers; co-star of numerous movies including Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Cloverfield, and Get Him to the Greek; for video samples, please click here), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): T.J. Miller, Big Jay Oakerson, Jessica Kirson, and More

[$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Nick Kanellis & Elana Fishbein make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford and Noah Gardenswartz are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

11:30 pm ($5): Jim Santangeli and Charles Gould are guests, while Anthony Apruzzese and a mob of other comics perform sketch at this hybrid variety/talk show co-hosted by Josh Sharp (GUMP) at the UCB East theatre: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Genius storytelling from Elna Baker (bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), stand-up from Mike Drucker (Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s) and Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central), and characters from David Ebert (sketch group Alamo), all performing at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/12/14

April 12, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you missed Morgan Murphy on @midnight Thursday,
watch it here; and also check out Morgan’s comedy album here

Darrell Hammond

Last chance to catch Darrell Hammond headline at Carolines

Murderfist

…and chaos is unleashed by dark sketch comedy group Murderfist

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Hannibal Buress at all shows, plus Kevin Meaney, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, Jermaine Fowler, and Mike Yard at the 7:00 show; Paul Mecurio, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin at the 7:15 show; Kevin Meaney, Greer Barnes, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:45 show; Kevin Meaney, James Smith, and Lenny Marcus at the 9:45 show; Paul Mecurio, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, James Smith, and Lenny Marcus at the 10:30 show; and Todd Barry, Dave Attell, Russ Meneve, James Smith, and Big Jay Oakerson at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [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), Harris Stanton, Dave Smith, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’s history, and whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range; and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

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]8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Chris DiStefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Dan Soder, and More

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Tom Cassidy, Tim Dillon, Dina Hashem, Craig Mahoney, Conrad Roth, and Nat Towsen, plus improv group Butts, perform at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A writer and regular panelist on Chelsea Lately and After Lately, and author of New York Times Bestseller Life As I Blow It, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with openers including Sam Morril): Sarah Colonna

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): 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 ($15 at the door or $11.34 online): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): 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 West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Complete Performer

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy; in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group; was recently written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times; and is spearheaded by Henry Zebrowski, who’s a co-star of Wolf of Wall Street, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

10:30 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

11:30 pm ($5): Superb comics Josh Sharp & Matt Dennie host & direct this show starring Anthony Apruzzese and featuring many others—tonight including Tim Platt (Story Pirates, Detroit) and group Life’s Great—at this sketch/stand-up/talk show at the UCB East theatre: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK]Midnight ($10; no min.): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and Chris DiStefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mike Lawrence, Adrienne Iapalucci, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “For over eight years, you have been able to count on the UCBW to bring you hot comedy wrestling action each and every Thursday night at Cage Match. For an unprecedented ninth year, UCBW will present its signature show—the grandpappy of ’em all—WrestleSlamMania IX! Rivalries have been brewing, and everything will come to a full boil when the full roster of UCBW MegaStars appears in the squared circle! Hilarious real wrestling matches live! Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!:” WrestleSlamMania IX

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/18/14

January 18, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Murderfist

An award-winning comedy group performs its favorite sketches of the past year…

Murderfist

…in “Murderfist: Best of 2013”

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

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Ali Wong at 8:45, 9:15, 10:30, and 12:15 shows; plus Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, James Smith, and Lynne Koplitz at the 10:30 show, and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Marina Franklin, and James Smith at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Cool Kid Comedy performing at the PIT downstairs lounge: Cool Kid Comedy Live

[$] [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) and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelseainterview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Improvisors make up a religion based on an audience suggestion—e.g., The Church of the Carrot, The Church of Crime—and then make up hymns, readings, sermons, sacraments, and more on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Fake Church

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Tony Deyo (Conan O’Brien), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), Bill Santiago (Comedy Central), Ken Schultz (National Lampoon), Dave Rosinsky (Whitest Kids ‘U Know), Brett Hiker, and Simmons McDavid performing stand-up 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Derek Gains performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kevin Meaney, Kurt Metzger, Dan Soder, and More

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): DJ Cipha Sounds, Bklyn Mike, Omar the Comedian, and more headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Cipha Sounds Don’t Get Gassed

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.) A former cast member of Saturday Night Live, and who’s appeared on VH1, Showtime, and CNN, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Dean Edwards

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv group Namaste asks an audience member for a transcendent experience and then makes up scenes based on it on the UCB East stage: Namaste: The Light Within

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): 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

9:30 pm ($10): Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer The Vigilante), sharp improvisor Nate Starkey (Shackled, Starkey & Grace), and more as talk show guests at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Paul GutkowskiThe Last Show

[$] 9:30 pm ($11.34 online or $15 at the door): Sketch groups PulpRiot and More Than Friends performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Little Tiny Show

[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 East 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] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please clickhere), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Derek Gains performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kevin Meaney, Dan Soder, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): 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 West Village’s Soho PlayhouseThe Complete Performer

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Gay and lesbian comedy at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michelle Delgado: Queer in the Cave

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis and guest improvisor Rick Andrews make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy; in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group; was recently written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times; and now features the wonderful Amber Nelson as its newest member, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge. This month features the group’s best sketches of the past year:Murderfist: Best Of 2013 Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($20): From the wonderful Gyda Arber and friends, this theatrical event: “Join FutureMate for the latest in post-Cataclysm technology and find your perfect match! Your hosts Matt & Pam will take you through the FutureMate system and help you locate that special someone—who knows, you may even leave with a new mate! Come see all the benefits that await you for doing your part to rebuild our great nation” at Brooklyn’s The Brick Theatre (575 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L subway to Lorimer or G to Metropolitan):FutureMate Meet & Mate Session

11:00 pm ($10): Three comedy groups perform using three different improv forms at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Patrick Cucuta & Gary DeNoia: Triple Threat

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:30 pm: Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at UCB East. As a sidenote, Sasheer Zamata is listed as one of the performers, but that’s obsolete: Sasheer will be on TV tonight as the newest cast member of Saturday Night LiveO.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Women and gay men perform comedy as straight men for this unique show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Scott Talentt: Dudes Being Dudes Being Dudes

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at theComedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/5/13

October 5, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Catch Michelle Wolf for just $7.37 headlining Tuesday at Carolines

Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

The PIT’s Sketch Comedy Festival continues, tonight featuring such stellar groups as Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting…

Murderfist

…and Murderfist

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] 4:30 pm-12:30 am ($8 per show, $50 for all-you-can-see festival pass): A full evening of sketch comedy, consisting of 11 shows playing at The PIT upstairs theater and downstairs lounge, for the 3rd of 4 days of this annual festival running through Sunday: New York City Sketch Comedy Festival 2013

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Ed Gavagan (TED Talks), Christine Gentry (NPR’s This American Life), Erin Barker (The Moth Radio Hour), and Bill Chambers (Ten Foot Rat Cabaret). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:00 pm ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Paul Mecurio at 9:45 and 11:00; and no other heavy-hitters, but that makes me suspect there’ll be some famous drop-ins tonight (no promises, though…), with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:45 pm and 9:45 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [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): 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), Dean Edwards (Saturday Night Live, MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, HBO’s The Sopranos, feature film Scared Shrekless), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no drink min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), and Modi (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Russ Meneve, Marina Franklin, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($18): Comic Matt Graham, who’s a bone fide international Scrabble champion, performs a show about Scrabble and life at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Great III Am

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Reid Faylor, Matteo Lane, Zoe Zimmerman, Peggy O’Leary, and Queen City Cobra performing at this show that asks, “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Matt Wayne & Doug Smith: See You in Hell

[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 (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): While Death by Roo Roo is out of town, Harold Night group Bucky—which includes brilliant improvisor Sasheer Zamata—takes this prestigious spot for one night only, making up scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Michelle Wolf (super-likeable dark comic rising star; MTV, IFC, upcoming show at Carolines—use discount code BREAKOUT), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Jeff Wesselschmidt (Rooftop Comedy), Tyler Fischer, and Shakir Standley perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short: Underbelly

[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 East 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] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): 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 West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform sharp improv at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—says, “Sketchfest really only exists so some sketch comedians can have sloppy drunk sex with a stranger once a year. We’ll supply the giggles to get all your no-holes all lubied up. Show us yours and we’ll show you ours. Also we asked some of our best stand-up friends to come help with some sketch. Come give a greasy kiss to Jared Logan, Amber Nelson, and Ashley Brooke Roberts. We’re doing a two hour set, so make sure you bring drugs. Also come and enter our sketch writing class on Sunday. We won’t be hung over (winky face)” performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with typically terrific NYC comics (not announced)—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($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), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Eli Yudin, and more performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open-mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open-mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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.