NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/24/17

April 24, 2017

Scott Adsit, Tami Sagher, Neil Casey, and Brian StackGenius improvisors Scott Adsit, Tami Sagher, Neil Casey, Brian Stack, and Michael Delaney spontaneously react to being thrust into theatre scenes of plays they’ve never seen or read; while steadfastly keeping to the script are Broadway, TV, and/or film stars Krysta Rodriguez (NBC’s Trial & Error and Smash; Broadway’s First Date), Cristin Milioti (FX’s Fargo, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, Broadway’s Once (Tony nominated), Amy Rutberg (CBS’ Bull, Netflix’s Daredevil, HBO’s Recount), Alvin Crawford (Broadway’s The Lion King, Candide, Buddy), and Carla Briscoe (Blue Caprice, Providence), all mixing it up for actor/director Stephen Ruddy‘s Gravid Water (8:00 pm, $7 (always rapidly sells out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing), UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th 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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): A dozen PIT comics—who in the past have included such talents as Katie Hartman, Keisha Zollar, and Sarah Nowak—each have 5 minutes to perform a solo character piece at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The PIT Character Showcase Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV) tries out new stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Nore Davis

7:00 pm ($7): Trio improv group Unicorn Women (Mary Bridget Welch, Virginia Hamilton, and Christine Lawless) host a show about accepting everyone at The PIT Mainstage: We Accept You: A Uni Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stellar storytellers 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), Katharine Heller (host of podcasts Tell The Bartender and The Struggle Bus; seminal improv group Naked in a Fishbowl), and Gaster Almonte (Comedy Central) share tales of courage and/or cowardice at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Mara Wilson (former iconic child star of Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire; author of Where Am I Now?; cast member of podcast Welcome to Night Vale): What Are You Afraid Of?

[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 Monday

7:30 pm ($7): A dozen improvisors impersonate a wide range of celebrities doing a fundraising show hosted by “Randy Newman” at The Magnet theatre: Randy Newman’s Very Good Telethon

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United) performs a solo stand-up show at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Judah Friedlander Live at Village Underground

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Jermaine Fowler (star of CBS sitcom Superior Donuts; star of Showtime special Give ‘Em Hell, Kid; MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; Trump Vs. Bernie, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central’s @midnight, The Meltdown, and Drunk History; IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang), Byron Bowers (Adam Levine’s House Party, The Eric Andre Show), Nour Hadidi, Ryan Beck, and Ester Steinberg perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash): Night Train

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts an all-star lineup of Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, Paul Mecurio, Liza Treyger, Nick Griffin, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB East theatre, an improv show somehow performed in both English and Spanish by bilingual comics—including Charlie Todd and Morgan Miller—that springboards off an interview with an audience member about an experience in a Spanish-speaking country or with a Spanish-speaking person: Fifty/Cincuenta

…and in the second other of this double bill, singing & dancing improvisors make up a musical on the spot based on an audience member’s home town: Fancy Man

8:00 pm ($7): Musical improv at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) from group Good Catch

8:00 pm ($10): A group of actors and improvisors attempt to duplicate the success of UCBT’s Gravid Water by putting improvisors in the middle of classic theatre scenes at The PIT Mainstage. UCBT uses top Broadway and improv talent for its show, making it extraordinary. The participants of this show aren’t quite at that level, but the format is so strong that this might work anyway, despite the awful title: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Two scripted solo productions featuring multiple characters, with the first a one-man show by Woody Fu and the second a one-woman show by Chet Siegel, all at The Magnet theatre: Chinese Characters and Chewed Up

9:00 pm ($7): Improv teams make up scenes springboarding off 30-second videos they’ve never seen before at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by improv group Ice Cold Milk: Curated Chaos

9:30 pm ($7): Four indie improv groups—My First Tattoo, Just Gravy, The Wrasslers, and Rivals—each make up scenes at The PIT Mainstage: Rivals and Friends

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform at this free weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love): Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 ($7): House sketch groups The Classic and Bundt try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($7): Seven sharp female UCB performers create comedy as a fundraiser for Callisto, a nonprofit that creates technology to combat sexual assault and support survivors, at the UCB East theatre: Enthusiastic Consent: A Comedy Show To Stop Perverts

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Improvisors & stand-ups perform a show based entirely around the oddball Twitter comments of superstar musician Kanye West at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Brian Mitchell & Jose Acevedo: Kanye Confidential: Improvised Kanye Tweets

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, HBO’S Def Comedy Jam, TBS’ Sullivan & Son; Comedy Central one-hour special Father Figure), Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Emily Galati (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), Nick Youssef (NBC’s Animal Practice, host of Occasionally Awesome podcast), Jay Light, and Luz Pazos performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($7): Comedy groups are invited to perform any improv form (except montage) hosted by improv group My Brother’s Girlfriend at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Do Something Weird with My Brother’s Girlfriend

10:30 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray & Christina Dabney at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

11:00 pm ($7): Short stories are used as springboards for improvised scenes in this improv form created by Louis Kornfeld at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Fact or Fiction

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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 who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Stu Melton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($5 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

11:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre 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 Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: Base 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): 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 1/7/15

January 7, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Louis CK Alert: If you’ve got tickets to Louis’ sold out show at
Madison Square Garden, don’t forget it’s tonight at 8:00 pm.

TV Alert: Bill Maher and Nick Kroll are on Jimmy Kimmel;
Fred Armisen is on Jimmy Fallon;
Jessica St. Clair is on The Late Late Show guest-hosted by Drew Carey;
Brett Gelman, Paul Scheer, and Andy Daly are on @midnight

Mike Birbiglia

At UCB Chelsea, a top storyteller inspires ace improvisors to create amazing scenes at Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

The Two-Man Movie

…and brilliant improvisors Anthony Atamanuik & Neil Casey make up a feature film on the spot in The Two-Man Movie

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-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and/or more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Buchanan, Astronomy Club, and Big Revival: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, “When Trevor and Craig, two business adversaries, suddenly realize they’re identical twin brothers, they decide to switch places, reunite their divorced parents, and become a family again. But there’s a few problems: Dad is too busy fucking sewer boys, and Mom’s vagina fell off her body and crawled away! Will Trevor and Craig be able to reunite the family they never knew they wanted? Also, it’s a musical. Basically The Parent Trap for horrible, disgusting people:” Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “Six months ago, Karin and Glenn started emailing each other every time they cried. Then they wrote a comedy show about feelings. To test the theory of ‘Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy,’ Karin and Glenn will perform some sketches, dance a little bit, and then tell you some very personal stories that they shouldn’t be talking about in front of this many people,” directed by Stone Cold Fox’s Leslie Meisel & Brandon Gulya: This Is Going to Hurt

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gregg Rogell and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Dan Soder, Pete Davidson, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, Carmen Lynch, Sam Morril, Andrew Schulz, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon; breakout star of the most recent season of Last Comic Standing), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Mike Gaffney (Last Comic Standing), Julie Kottakis, Gina Brillon, Tim Warner, and Jason Chatfield performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club(358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Brooke Arnold: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow,and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Brigid Boyle, Evan Kaufman, Richie Moriarty, Matt Donaher, and Trevor Livingston performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Matt Catanzano & Richie Moriarty: Simply Unemployable Live

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up teams from all over the country compete for laughs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen: Border Wars

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcomUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Ryan Reiss (Howard Stern Show), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Robyn Schall, Megan Gailey, Andy Fiori, and Damo Hicks performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis:Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both brilliant members of the legendary Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB Chelsea as The Two-Man Movie

9:30 pm ($5): Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Toby Muresianu, and Mary Houlihan performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code GRIFT; no min.): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), John Moses, Chris Cotton, and John Porch performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Finoia: Dan Soder, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Leslie Meisel & Kate Riley chose UCB comics to write sketches for the opposite sex, then cast and directed the scripts. Tonight’s show is the result of this fun experiment—featuring the very best bits from 2014!—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: He Said, She Said: Best Sketches of 2014

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Guilt Trip

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv 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)

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
(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 Wednesday 8/14/13

August 14, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2013 coverage, updated daily, please click here.

Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer

UCB Chelsea’s the place to be tonight, with Saturday Night Live stars Kate McKinnon & Vanessa Bayer performing at Broad City Live…

Amy Heidt

…Amy Heidt debuting one-woman show A Problem Like Maria…

Zach Woods and Neil Casey

…and Zach Woods & Neil Casey doing duo improv as Casey & Woods

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Two ace improvisors, Neil Casey (writer for SNL) and Zach Woods (cast member of The Office), make up duo scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Casey & Woods

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: One of the finest stand-ups in the world, Ted Alexandro (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Ted Alexandro

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($5): Jake Hart, Sue Smith, Justin Akin, and Geoff Grimwood are panelists for this game in which “four smart, funny people are quizzed on odd and obscure bits of trivia that just might save your life (probably not, though)” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by MIchael FIsher: Pop Quiz Hotshot

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm show ($10.35 in advance online, $15 at the door; price includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller, host of Funny Story, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room; currently releasing a new storytelling album each month), Larry Smith (“the real Larry Bloom from Orange is the New Black“), Tara Clancy (New York Times Magazine, Moth GrandSlam Champion), and more tell tales to celebrate this show’s Second Year Anniversay at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) and that includes free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features groups Hotspur and Never Never: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): An evening with Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), and maybe one or two of his stand-up friends, at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Nick DiPaolo

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the wonderful Amy Heidt comes back to us from LA to perform a new one-woman show about “a community theater production of The Sound of Music:” A Problem Like Maria

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Jim Santangeli and Nate Smith try to determine Who’s More Awesome?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any squabbling) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Saturday Night Live stars Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, and Chris Kelly join Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer (Broad City) at UCB Chelsea for this “delicately crafted hour of fun.” Kate, missed you twice this month; but tonight, Fringe notwithstanding, hope to finally see you at Broad City Live

9:30 pm ($5): “Jonathan Blank and Samara Doucette say what everyone else thinks on dates, but never says; so join them and guest comedians as they divulge all of their wildest and most embarrassing dating stories. This monthly storytelling show contains the truth and nothing but the truth, but most of the stories are more surreal than if David Lynch directed romantic comedies. Everything from wild hookups to emotional breakups are on the table.” Tonight’s storytelling guests (not announced) perform at The PIT downstairs lounge: This is Awkward: True Stories of of Love, Lust, and Lubrication

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 10:00: NYC stand-ups Sean Donnelly, Jaqi Furback, Josh Carter, Doogie Horner, and John F. O’Donnell performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show) and/or Nathan Anderson (Uncoolio): /r/standup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Hey Girl, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky) and Charla Lauriston host as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; plus Sasheer is going to be a huge star, so catch her in this intimate setting while you can. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Streeter Seidell; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Vic Henley (David Letterman, Comedy Central Presents), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Vic Henley, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

 Wednesday 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 for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Benel Germosen: Cracking It

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Wednesday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): Biweekly open-mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Lucas Hazlett: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with group Bloomer: Magnet Improv Mixer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/23/11

December 23, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Neil Casey

Comedy genius Neil Casey and a mob of UCBT talent performs a one-night-only sketch show you don't want to miss...

Neil Casey's Sentimental Irish Christmas

...Neil Casey's Sentimental Irish Christmas

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

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): One of the best shows at UCB Chelsea last year was a one-night-only affair in which comedy genius Neil Casey co-wrote & co-starred in “an evening of whiskey-soaked sketch, music, and poorly remembered stories recounted slurringly in celebration of the anniversary of the Incarnation of the Child Christ.” Neil’s essay retracting “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” was one of the funniest to ever grace any comedy stage—and I’d encourage him to do it again tonight, and every year. Either way, come for the new magic spun by writers Neil Casey, Michael Trapp, and David White and some of UCBT’s finest performers, all directed by Neil’s wonderful Krompf improv partner Ryan Karels: Neil Casey’s Sentimental Irish Christmas

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($24.50 & 2-drink min.)  A unique comedy star headlining one more night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfried

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A celebration of the winners and runner-ups of this year’s improv team tournament at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm doors, 8:15ish pm show ($8): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer sets onJimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphyiscal GraffitiHigh Times), and Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, IFC) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall with host Caroline Creaghead: Creaghead & Company Mandatory Office Party

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s appeared on Jon Fisch Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1, and The Apprentice headlining tonight at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jon Fisch

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

9:00 pm ($10): This show claims it “will test your limits of good taste and push the boundaries of what you consider funny. Nothing is off limits and no punchline is ‘too soon.'” I’m not sure how that makes it different from any other downtown comedy show, but I’m just reporting… Tonight’s guests are John Milhiser, Nick Turner, Julian Kross, Paul Hooper, and more performing at UCB East hosted by Chris Wilkes (Thunder Gulch): After Dark

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Mike Yard, Aaron Berg, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($8): Improvised scenes by duos based on an infamous relationships section of Craigslist at The PIT upstairs theatre: Missed Connections

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) bringing their A-game—because their sets are captured at this new monthly show as audition tapes—performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Grass Route

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, IFC), Pat Stango (co-host of Don’t Touch Me There), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Too Cool For School and If You Build It), Tony Zaret (USA Network; Channel 101), Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry (Last Comic Standing), and half-man/half-turkey Turkey Claus (genetic holiday freak) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by rock band Fortress of Attitude: A Very FOA Christmas Eve Eve

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

[$] 10:30 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) Utilizing its network of expert talent scouts, the Carolines Comedy Club has managed to locate a few Jewish comedians in New York City. The results are on stage tonight and Saturday celebrating the Festival of Lights: The Chosen Ones

11:00 pm ($5): Four sketch troupes compete for audience approval at The PIT, hosted by Bleak Comedy: Iron Sketch

11:00 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCBT schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

 For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/15/11

June 15, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Anthony Atamanuik

Come celebrate Anthony Atamanuik's birthday as he and Neil Casey perform astonishing improv at "The Two-Man Movie"

 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 at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Political stand-up Jamie Kilstein performing a one-man show: No War, No God, No Nickelback

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Nick Cobb (Comedy Central, MTV), Jason Good (Comedy Central), Owen Smith (Comedy Central, Everybody Hates Chris), and Karl Hess performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with guest-host Sean Donnelly: Monsters

[FREE] 9:00ish£ pm: Storyteller Brian Samonek, the Cocoon Central Dance Team, and stand-ups Joe Garden (Editor of The Onion, co-author of The New Vampire’s Handbook), Cary Prusa (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), and Catie Lazarus (Sesame Street, Huffington Post) performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Michael Kayne, Winston Noel, Amber Petty, Mike Still, Ashley Ward, and a guest improvisor (not yet announced)—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion; plus in the other half of this double-bill, Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Bill Dawes (Broadway’s Lombardi), Rachael Parenta (2011 Women in Comedy Festival), and Sam Pepper (Unknown Comedy Hour at the Duplex) performing at the Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge (542 Tenth Avenue, between 45th & 46th Streets) for a gay-themed show hosted by Adam Sank: That Sank Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/4/11

May 4, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Anthony Atamanuik and Neil Casey

Anthony Atamanuik & Neil Casey perform the near-unbelievable feat of making up a feature film on the spot as The Two-Man Movie

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] 2:00 pm: “Something worth watching. Could be a movie, or a TV show. Might be populist and unapologetically entertaining, or hard to find and harder to understand. But you will always leave saying, ‘I am glad that I saw that.'” Hosted by The PIT’s Chris Grace, today’s free film is the director’s cut of an amazing though not exactly funny 1984 feature: Amadeus

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie; and comedy geniuses Gavin Speiller (Death by Roo RooRogue Elephant), Ben Rodgers (Reuben Williams, co-host of Cage Match), and Jon Gabrus (Conan O’Brien, Best Week Ever, The Nights of Our Lives) comprise one of the most hilarious improv trios in NYC as troupe Outlook of the Poet

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia has long been one of the finest stand-up comics in the country, with credits including the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; and the comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live. But what puts Mike in a class all his own is a unique style he’s developed that mixes the razor-sharp hilarity of the finest stand-up with the depth of emotionally moving theatre. Mike pioneered this approach with his previous off-Broadway hitSleepwalk with Me (which he then turned into a New York Times bestselling book, Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories); but he’s raised his game to a whole new level with this show, which is regularly selling out—for good reason. The $35.50 (discounted via code BOX) price is about what you’d pay at a comedy club…and it’ll buy you one of the richest experiences you’re ever likely to receive from art. To enjoy world-class laughs while being taught how to value what’s truly important, grab tickets while you can at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop); this utterly brilliant one-man show is slated to run only through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free drink!): Joe Derosa (Comedy Central Presents), Joe List (Comedy Central), Maddog Mattern, and Andy Hendrickson performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-drink min.): Amy Beckerman hosting stand-ups Robin Cloud, Lisa Kaplan, Amy Albert, and Scout Durwooda performing at the RF Lounge (531 Hudson Street) for Dykes on Mics

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1, host of Sweet) and Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, FUSE) each perform 30-minute sets for filming at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central): Herzog & Hailes Stand-Up Taping

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Will Hines (UCBT superstar), Joe Garden (Features Editor of The Onion, co-author of The Devious Book For Cats and The Dangerous Book For Dogs), Paul Mecurio (The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), and Michele Carlo (The Moth) performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two of the finest improvisors on the planet, Christina Gausas (Conan O’Brien, The Colbert Report, Let’s Have a Ball, Adsit & Gausas) and Becky Drysdale (Baby Wants Candy, Let’s Have a Ball), are new improv duo Drysdale & Gausas

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Helen Hong (host of Logo TV’s Setup Squad), Sheba Mason, and Neil Thornton performing at the Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge (542 Tenth Avenue, between 45th & 46th Streets) for a gay-themed show hosted by Adam Sank: That Sank Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/29/10

October 29, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Neil Casey and Anthony Atamanuik

Comedic horror written by Matt Walsh and performed by such scary-smart stars as Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik: "Killgore: The New Blood"

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 ($10): Marc Bonnée, member of acclaimed sketch troupe Drop Six, goes solo with this show consisting of character bits and one-man sketches loosely tied to the theme of excess: Too…

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35.57 online if you use code PLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A star of MTV, Road Trip, and Freddy Got Fingered headlining tonight and Saturday at the Comix Comedy Club: Tom Green

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & midnight ($15): “In ancient times, an evil spirit would rise from hell every Halloween and appear incarnate at the UCB Theater…where he would soak the stage (and parts of the audience) with a ridiculous amount of fake blood. Now that demon is back, ready to unleash a gory, hopelessly bloody torrent of vengeance…and a ridiculous amount of fake blood. Fortunately, the beast only slaughters those who are rife with selfishness, greed, hatred, and a few people who just suck (though a little bit of fake blood sometimes gets on the audience). That demon’s name is Killgore.” This show is written by legendary UCB co-founder Matt Walsh and stars such comedy geniuses as Anthony Atamanuik & Neil Casey (Death by Roo Roo, Two Man Movie), and will run three times tonight and tomorrow night to celebrate Halloween. Come wearing cheap washable clothes and enjoy Killgore: The New Blood

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A blowout One Year Anniversary edition, with phenomenal comedy talents Sean Patton, Reggie Watts, Hannibal Buress, and Jesse Popp performing at O’Hanlon’s(14th Street off 1st Avenue), hosted by Matt Ruby: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A groundbreaking and surreal improv/sketch troupe performing with new guests each Friday and making a valid complaint: Centralia: We Were Supposed To Have Flying Cars By Now

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches titled Ms. Larsen’s ClassThe Harvard Sailing Team

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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): “In 1976, 1977, and 1978, Paul annually taped his zany Halloween show. Now, through the use of Doc Brown’s time machine, Paul will travel to the future—all the way to the year 1985—to bring his light-hearted satirical look at television variety specials with a new generation of celebrities. Join Paul and his guests, Christa McAuliffe, Gary Coleman, Sammy Davis, Jr., Soleil Moon Frye, Hulk Hogan, Cyndi Lauper, and Vincent Price as they celebrate the Halloween season as only Paul can” at The Paul Lynde Halloween Special: 1985

[$] 12:30 am ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.