NYC Top Comedy Choices for October 2019: Last Updated Saturday 10/5

October 5, 2019

I’m one of the finest ghostwriters in the country; my 20+ books include two New York Times bestsellers, a phenom megaseller that hit #16 on Amazon.com and has sold over 330,000 print copies to date, and an interview book with legendary author Neil Gaiman that hit #240 on Amazon.com. I’ve also written five Dummies books and a Complete Idiot’s Guide. I cover comedy as a labor of love. But if you need help with a book, let’s chat, because there’s no one better at ghostwriting, editing, and/or coaching. To learn more about my services, please visit BookProposal.net and then email me at hy@hyreviews.com.

Do you like cross-genre stories (fantasy/comedy, SF/comedy, fantasy/horror, etc.)? Please visit my podcast, Ghosts On Drugs, by clicking here.

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications. Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny), and/or to visit the desktop and ad-free version of this site at HyReviews.com.

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

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for October 2019 (with much more to come soon) include:

Paul ReubensSaturday 10/5-Sunday 10/6: Highlights of the second day of New York Comic Con included a wonderful hour with Paul Reubens (above) as he answered audience questions by telling numerous stories about his career, including the almost miraculous set of circumstances leading to his hiring Tim Burton to direct Tim’s first feature film; a fascinating talk by Michael Uslan on the long, difficult journey he took to get the first modern Batman film made (which was also directed by Tim Burton), and how he came to cast Jack Nicholson as The Joker off of a promotional photo from The Shining; Felicia Day promoting her new book Embrace Your Weird while being so poised, dynamic, and charming that “weird” is the last word that would occur to anyone attending; TNT’s new AEW Wrestling group showing themselves to be quick wits and great showmen—including staging a fight at the end that brought everyone in the audience up from their chairs and rushing toward the stage; Connor Ratliff, pretending to be Star Wars’ George Lucas, doing one squirt into the air of Billy Dee Williams’ old fragrance “Undeniable” and finding it filled the huge room we were in with the appeal of a noxious gas (one panelist exclaimed, “Oh no! It’s triggering my asthma!”), screening and panel discussions of HBO’s Watchmen, Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken and Primal; and more than I have time to relate. Am rushing off to try and get into this morning’s panel The Walking Dead. If you’re attending today, just know that there’s a ton to see—including comedy panel “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee—Election 2020″ (Saturday at 4:30 pm, Room 1A10),

I’m attending all four days. If you spot me, please feel encouraged to come over, say hey, and share your personal highlights from the fest: New York Comic Con 2019 (Thursday-Saturday 10:00 am-10:00ish pm, Sunday 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Jacob K. Javits Convention Center at 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th Streets)

Chris HardwickSaturday 10/5: Don’t tell anyone, but tonight is the last chance to spend an evening with the immensely popular and charming host of AMC’s Talking shows, NBC’s The Wall, podcast ID10T, and more performing jokes and Q&A: Chris Hardwick (7:00 pm & 10:00 pm, $41 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

Chaos TheorySunday 10/6: This solo production, which debuted at last year’s FringeNYC and is now enjoying a monthly revival at LES’ Caveat, starts out pretending to be a scientific lecture about and demonstration of chaos theory.

But it’s really a highly interactive show that uses comedy and thoughtfully structured game-play for nudging audiences to explore their wishes and desires, push past boundaries, connect with everyone around them, and be open to anything.

It’s all courtesy of writer/performer Jessica Ellen Creane, who cycles between faux-shyly giving illustrated talks about such things as fractals, love, and velociraptors, making herself fearlessly vulnerable, and improvising quick-witted responses to audience choices. For example, when Creane asked me to name a goal, I replied, “writing and selling a movie.” She immediately gave me the best pep talk I’ve ever had, stating beyond doubt that I’d succeed. In gratitude, I added, “I’ll cast you in it.” Without missing a beat, and fully committing to her scientist character (wearing thick black-frame glasses with no lenses), Creane tossed off, “I’m not good at acting” before moving on to help someone else. That she even thought of that line demonstrates what a superb actress Creane is…and how completely she performs in the moment.

Because this show relies so deeply on interaction, each edition will be different based on the decisions made by you and your fellow audience members. Along the same lines, how much you enjoy it, and genuinely get out of it, will depend heavily on what you bring to it.

For me, it was a **** (out of 4) show. If you come experience this—and you should—I hope you have a wonderful time too; and that it moves you closer to your dreams.

Chaos Theory (7:00, $27.63 in advance online or $30 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

The Story Collider: Enter at Your Own Risk 2Monday 10/7: Comedic storytellers and/or scientists TBA share tales on this month’s theme of opening doors and taking chances: The Story Collider: Enter at Your Own Risk (8:00 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

The Nerds and the BeesTuesday 10/8: Gabe Gonzalez (Scruff, MTV News) and Steve Dean (dating industry consultant & relationship coach) will choose audience members with dating woes and use data to transform their lives by helping them find who they’re looking for. “Along the way we’ll hear some crazy stories, learn insane truths about the dating industry, and meet some new people:” The Nerds & the Bees (9:30 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Rebecca VigilWednesday 10/9: Rebecca Vigil (above; powerhouse improv singer; Your Love Our Musical, The Vigilante), Doug Smith (Conan O’Brien, co-host of See You In Hell), Nore Davis (HBO, Showtime, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Netflix; album You Guys Are Dope), Rita Sengupta (Buzzfeed), and Brittany Carney perform music or stand-up for hosts Sean Crespo, Katina Corrao, and Matt Little: Lasers in the Jungle (9:30 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Phoebe RobinsonThursday 10/10: Phoebe Robinson (co-star of HBO’s 2 Dope Queens; host of podcast Sooo Many White Guys; Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code; feature films What Men Want and Netflix’s Ibiza; author of Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay and You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain) is giving us New Yorkers one last chance to enjoy her national stand-up comedy tour, which runs tonight at Bowery Ballroom and then moves on to venues in California and Philadelphia: Phoebe Robinson: “Sorry, Harriet Tubman” Tour (6:00 pm doors, 7:00 pm show; $35; East Village’s The Bowery Ballroom at 6 Delancey Street)

Andrea Jones-RooyThursday 10/10: Andrea Jones-Rooy, who is a Professor and Director of Undergraduate Study at the NYU Center for Data Science—and also a fire-wielding circus performer—uses data-driven political research to answer such questions as “What does majority rule even mean and what are the consequences of it?”, “Are we actually getting more polarized?”, and “Why, despite the historical records in the midterm election, do so many candidates and leaders still look the same?”: Political Circus: Why Democracy is F*cked (And What to Do About It) (7:00 pm, $15, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

MortifiedThursday 10/10: Enjoy a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) shared by their original authors before total strangers at this popular monthly show: Mortified (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Modern WhitneyThursday 10/10: Comics Pat Regan, Lily Marotta, and Tawanda Gona try to figure out and articulate the meaning of a piece of art. Then an actual art expert tells them what the piece is generally considered to be about and its cultural impact. Plus select audience members—maybe including you—will draw their art on the spot and have it interpreted by the comics. According to hosts Matt Hartin & Akmal Tajihan, “This is the only show you’ll want to Van Gogh to:” Modern Whitney (9:30 pm; $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Brian Posehn 11Friday 10/11: The wonderful Brian Posehn (hilarious stand-up, comedic actor, and writer; recurring roles on The Big Bang Theory, New Girl, The Sarah Silverman Program, Just Shoot Me, Mr. Show, and more; star of indie film Uncle Nick; Netflix special The Fartist; writer of Marvel Comics’ wildly popular Deadpool; author of book Forever Nerdy) correspondents on The Opposition with Jordan Klepper) graces Brooklyn with his wild wit for one night only: Brian Posehn (7:30 pm; $25, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)


Emma Vernon: Friday 10/11: Multitalented rising star Emma Vernon (hip-hop musical improvisor, stand-up, actor, writer, and romance expert) uses her exceptional matchmaking skills to bring together love applicants and have them experience their first dates live on stage…while using improvisors to instantly create the settings for those dates (e.g., a music festival, a bowling alley, under the sea). To get a feel for this long-running monthly extravaganza, please click here, and then nab tickets for In A World: The Dating Show (8:00 pm, $12 online or $15 at the door,, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Cat Cohen, Lane Moore, Liz Plank, and Scott Rogowsky: Friday 10/11: A show celebrating the app that redefined online dating, with the lovely and quick-witted Lane Moore (above middle; author of bestselling book How to Be Alone; HBO’s Girls; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo; writer for The Onion, McSweeney’s) going on a live Tinder safari for guys while a packed audience watches her every choice with fascination. Offering comments and suggestions are guest comics Scott Rogowsky (bottom row; NBC’s The Voice, WB’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us; host of wildly popular trivia game app HQ Trivia), Liz Plank (right; Senior Producer and Political Correspondent at Vox Media; author of book For the Love of Men), and Cat Cohen (left; Seth Meyers; host of podcast Seek Treatment): Tinder Live (8:30 pm, $18 at the door or $19.51-$22.76 online; Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Terrorbird sketch comedyFriday 10/11: Surreal sketch group Terrorbird performs a new oddball series of scenes designed to unsettle and delight you: Terrorbird (8:00 pm, $12, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Found Footage FestivalSaturday 10/12: Hilariously oddball amateur VHS videos discovered & curated by Joe Pickett (The Onion) & Nick Prueher (The Colbert Report), with this year’s finds including the 1987 Miss Junior America Wisconsin pageant, a mysterious tape labeled “bonion sergery,” home movies taken at a Canadian hose factory, and a fitness video called Jugglercise: The Found Footage Festival Volume 9 (8:00 pm; $17, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Carly Ann FilbinSaturday 10/12: Carly Ann Filbin (luminous & delightful sketch comic/comedic actress/writer; on-camera correspondent for Cosmopolitan.com; host of Let Me Break You Up: An Anti-Dating Game Show) explains this comedic game show as follows: “Romance today isn’t what it used to be—swiping, clicking, dick-picing. It’s time we went retro with an old fashioned IRL dating show! Millennials choose their hottie based on how well they answer questions like ‘If you wanted morning sex, how would you initiate it?’, all while I make fun of them because, well, why not? Let’s make some love connections or, at the very least, a one-night stand to talk about at brunch:” Young Hot Sluts: A Matchmaking Show (8:00 pm; $15 at the door or $14.30 online; Brooklyn’s C’mon Everybody at 325 Franklin Avenue—take the G subway to Classon Avenue)

Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher: Sunday 10/13: Corinne Fisher & Krystyna Hutchinson (authors of F*CKED: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed) record their wildly popular Guys We Fucked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast live on stage: Guys We F*cked (7:00 pm; $22.32 in advance online or $24 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

West Wing Writers: Tuesday 10/15: Members of the West Wing Writers group (which includes former Presidential speechwriters) break down their favorite speeches, give behind-the-scenes looks at the speech drafting process, and even lead you in crafting your own keynote speech, all hosted by Chandler Dean (McSweeney’s): SpeakEasy (7:00 pm; $12; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Molly Gaebe: Thursday 10/17: Host Molly Gaebe invites female storytellers, comics, and historians to share the tales of “some of the greatest women the world has ever known, but history erased” for this live-on-stage podcast recording, with this month’s theme Women in the Horror Genre tackled by guests TBA: Nevertheless She Existed: Horror Queens (7:00 pm, $17 online or $20 at the door, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Picture This!Saturday 10/19: In this unique show, animators spontaneously bring the jokes of stand-ups Rosebud Baker, Dee Nasty, Rebecca O’Neal, Chanel Ali, and Doug Smith to visual life with lightning speed & wit. Part of the fun is that the comics don’t know what the animators will draw and the animators don’t know how the comics will react. Produced by Sam Varela & Brandie Posey and hosted by Samantha Ruddy: Picture This! (7:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade at SubCulture
45 Bleecker Street; What used to be a top comedy venue called UCB East has sadly gone under, but some of its shows live on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at respected East Village indie theatre SubCulture at Bleecker & Lafayette Streets, direclty by the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop; shows $7-$14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/W 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.

Fat Black Pussycat Lounge
130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s smaller, intimate, and lower-priced sister venue (next door to Village Underground), which serves as its primary home for solo shows and experimental shows—which means it’s sometimes the most exciting choice; 2-item min.

The Stand
116 East 16th Street; Club closest to competing with Comedy Cellar, featuring top stand-ups on a main stage and upstairs stage; 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
487 Atlantic Avenue (near the Barclays Center); only comedy club in Brooklyn; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; some shows have 2-drink min., but many don’t

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.

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

Special thanks to comedy photographers supreme Anya Garrett and Mindy Tucker for creating so many of the stellar photos that grace this site…and the sites of hundreds of NYC comics.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.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.

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, provide feedback on my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me to develop your book or screenplay (please visit BookProposal.net or HyOnYourScript.com), or for any other eason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/11/15

October 11, 2015

For a day-by-day guide to Comic Con highlights,
please click Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

On Saturday I saw Chris Carter, David Duchovny, and Mitch Pileggi interviewed by Kumail Nanjiani, plus a screening The X-Files Season 10’s first episode (which is slated to air January 24, 2016 on FOX). The series return looks to be a solid one, dealing with the issues of our time—government surveillance, rise of police states, manipulation of media, etc. And most importantly, the chemistry is still there between Mulder and Scully. When asked what prompted the revival, Carter explained, “I got a call telling me David was interested in coming back.” That apparently did the trick… I won’t give anything away, but for a trailer of Episode 10.1, please click here.

This final Day #4 of Comic Con highlights include:

Kizumonogatari

Wabbit

Star Trek

Gotham and Supergirl

Goosebumps and Mad Magazine

Sleepy Hollow 3

  • Sleepy Hollow screening, followed by a Q&A with series executive producers and cast (4:15-5:15, Main Stage 1-D)

Virtually all 150,000+ Comic Con tickets are sold out, but if you’ve already nabbed one for today, there’s a whole bunch to enjoy.

And noteworthy shows happening outside of Comic Con tonight include:

And noteworthy shows happening outside of Comic Con today include:

  • The Andy Kaufman Awards: Comics including Jo Firestone (who should easily win unless she self-sabotages), Julio Torres (who might win if he wasn’t up against Jo), and more compete for this annual award often chosen with astonishing stupidity, but hopefully this year things will go well. Hosted by Elayne Boosler, the show has sold out of seats, but you might be able to get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing ($15, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)
  • Make My Baby Laugh: Wonderful parents & improvisors Mary Theresa Archbold & Pat Shay challenge comics to make laught babies, toddlers, and/or other children who don’t get typical stand-up references (2:00 pm, $5, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th Street)
  • Nice Tits: A one-woman comedic show by Amy Marcs about dealing with breast cancer (4:00 pm, $15, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th Street)

For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

For a day-by-day guide to Comic Con highlights,
please click Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

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; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv (e.g., Gravid Water, Adsit & ?), sketch (Maude Night), solo shows, and one-act comedic plays, but also hosts one of the very finest stand-up shows in the city (Aparna Nancherla’s Whiplash)

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

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

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-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)

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.)

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:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

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 Saturday 10/15/11

October 15, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Incredible Hulk

The writers of Marvel Comics' "Incredible Hulks"...

The Amazing Spider-Man

...and "Amazing Spider-Man" are guests at UCB West's "Matt & Brett Love Comics"

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] 1:30 pm & 4:00 pm ($7): Screenings of terrific international comedy shorts at The PIThosted by the Friars Club: Friars Club Comedy Film Festiva, Part 1 & Part 2

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[FREE] 5:30 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Old Timey Radio Show, LD50, and Scoresby at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

7:00 pm ($5): Madmen meets improv in this show at The PIT downstairs lounge in which scenes are made up by Jonathan Desley & Yang Miller based around an advertising agency: Desley-Miller

7:00 pm ($7): Sketches, improv scenes, and videos from a small army of female comics at The PITthat answer such questions as “Why can’t you touch a black girl’s hair? Why do some of us burn our cheating man’s clothes in his car and can’t wait to exhale? How did Foxy Brown know how to get down? Why can two play that game? Why do mad black women write so many diaries?” and more: Sista

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions, at UCB West all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnetmaking up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.)  A star stand-up who’s done half-hour comedy specials for HBO, Comedy Central, and Showtime; was a regular on Comedy Central’sTough Crowd with Colin Quinn and cast member on FOX’s The Jury; appeared repeatedly on Late Night with Conan O’Brien; and guest starred on such TV shows as NBC’s The Office and FOX’sArrested Development, headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy ClubPatrice Oneal

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC comics TBA performing at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[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 West’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, FOX), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please clickhere), Greg Johnson (Sirius XM Radio host), Amber Nelson (co-host of Gutbucket), and Ben Kissel performing stand-up at UCB East, hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.) and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($10): NYC sketch comedy duo Jamaal Sedayao and Brian Lisi at The Magnet providing “unfamiliar, often absurd stories full of unexpected laughs:” Turboner Bigoté

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now at The PIT: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15): Nerds team up with artistic strippers in “this sexy symposium that will settle a feud that has raged since the Golden Age of Comics: Which is superior, DC or Marvel? Arguing on behalf of Team Marvel will be nerd rapper Schaffer the Darklord and his team of marvelous maidens Lefty Lucy, BB Heart, Mary Cyn and Fem Appeal. Leading the arguments for Team DC will be vaudevillian Nelson Lugo with evidence provided by DC darlings Iris Explosion, Magdalena Fox, Victoria Privates, and Cherry Pitz (stellar storyteller Cyndi Freeman). The winner will be determined by your vote. In addition, we’ll have a raffle drawing, and stage a contest for the best-costumed audience member. Think Geek!” The extravaganza will happen at tonight and Saturday at The Tank Theater at TADA (15 West 28th Street, between Broadway & Fifth Avenue):Epic Win Burlesque Presents DC vs Marvel

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[FREE] 10:00 pm: I have no idea what this show is, but it has an intriguing title, is happening at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, and is hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB West interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Comedy springboarding off this weekend’s New York Comic Convention, the fourth largest annual cultural event in NYC (last year it attracted over 96,000 people), with guests Fred Van Lente (writer of Amazing Spider-Man) and Greg Pak (writer of previous hit World War Huik and new series Incredible Hulks), hosted at UCB West by Brett White and Matt Little: Matt & Brett Love Comics

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

[$] 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 the Carolines Comedy ClubPaul Mooney

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 Friday 10/14/11

October 14, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

The fourth largest annual cultural event in NYC, attracting over 96,000 people, New York Comic Con is sold out for every day except TODAY, for which tickets are still available at $45. There will be tons of events about comics, TV, movies, and more, with panelists including such NYC comedy stars as Jessi Klein and Kevin Maher. To learn more, please click the image above.

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 and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Some of The Magnet’s finest comics—including the brilliant and delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at last year’s FringeNYC)—team up with Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz to deliver sketch comedy in Good Morning, Ladies!

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($18): Tom X. Chao has a wry, deadpan sense of humor that graces indie theatre only occasionally. This weekend is among those rare times when Tom is performing one of his oddball comedic shows—which has received a glowing review from The New York Times—at the HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue—co-starring Tom and directed by the wonderful John Harlacher: Callous Cad

7:00 pm ($5): At this PIT double-bill, award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), John Moses (Sirius XM Radio), Josh Carter (College Humor), Joe Machi, and Monroe Martin performing stand-up at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) at this biweekly show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the best scripted ensemble shows to grace UCB West for some time, troupe Stone Cold Fox performs hilarious parodies of off-off-Broadway theatre, as well as some of the very best sketches it’s crafted over the years, in a tight hour-long show directed by comedy genius Neil Casey (who, after also recently directing stellar one-person shows by Kate McKinnon and Mike Still, apparently can do no wrong), featuring delightful performances by Fran Gillespie, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden (watch for these three gals playing existential Truth or Dare), John Murray, Nate Smith, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jonathan Fernandez, and the writing of Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Owen Parsons, and Michael Trapp: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—tonight featuring guests Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers) and/or Ben Rameaka (Airwolf)—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.)  A star stand-up who’s done half-hour comedy specials for HBO, Comedy Central, and Showtime; was a regular on Comedy Central’sTough Crowd with Colin Quinn and cast member on FOX’s The Jury; appeared repeatedly on Late Night with Conan O’Brien; and guest starred on such TV shows as NBC’s The Office and FOX’sArrested Development, headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy ClubPatrice Oneal

[$] [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?

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Clayton Carrick-Leslie (visiting from New Zealand), Amaya Perea (visiting from LA), and Miguel Dalmau performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Postmark Cafe (326 6th Street) hosted by  Abbi Crutchfield & Luke: The Living Room

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Eight small improv teams compete as part of a 32-team tournament at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena Small Team Tournament, Round 2

[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] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Pat Stango, Kate Hendricks, Robert Dean, Greg Stone, and “a very special guest” performing stand-up at One and One (76 East 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) in celebration of Sean’s wife’s birthday at Sean Donnelly’s Lil’ Seany Boy: Mariel Birthday Edition

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Ace Magnet improvisors who are married, including improv genius Ed Herbstman, and Matt Fisher, Matt Evans, Christine Walters, Maggie Kemper, Robert Cuthill, Ryan Rodgers, Christian Paluck, and Michele Laikowski: The Mamas and the Papas

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): “WitStream is your 24-hour live comedy ticker. An endless flow of up-to-the-minute comedy and commentary delivered to you in real time: what’s funny about what’s happening, now.” Tonight’s scheduled contributors are Dave Hill, Matt McCarthy, Sam Grittner, Julia Segal, and Bridey Elliot performing at UCB East, plus lines typed remotely from other stellar comics: WitStream Live

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.) and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team) Clayton Early (Harvard Sailing Team), and Chris Roberti (New Excitement) at The PIT upstairs theatre, plus stand-up, music, and more: The Monster Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15): Nerds team up with artistic strippers in “this sexy symposium that will settle a feud that has raged since the Golden Age of Comics: Which is superior, DC or Marvel? Arguing on behalf of Team Marvel will be nerd rapper Schaffer the Darklord and his team of marvelous maidens Lefty Lucy, BB Heart, Mary Cyn and Fem Appeal. Leading the arguments for Team DC will be vaudevillian Nelson Lugo with evidence provided by DC darlings Iris Explosion, Magdalena Fox, Victoria Privates, and Cherry Pitz (stellar storyteller Cyndi Freeman). The winner will be determined by your vote. In addition, we’ll have a raffle drawing, and stage a contest for the best-costumed audience member. Think Geek!” The extravaganza will happen at tonight and Saturday at The Tank Theater at TADA (15 West 28th Street, between Broadway & Fifth Avenue): Epic Win Burlesque Presents DC vs Marvel

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Stellar talents who are comics fans perform monologues and other bits at a show that will appear at this Saturday’s New York Comic Con at 11:00 am, but that for night owls is first happening at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Nedalogues

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Dan Chamberlain, and troupe Moonfight performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

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

[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

Midnight ($5): Sketch comedy troupes Hammerkatz NYU competing with a typically obscure sketch troupe (I don’t know why, that’s just how this show is done) for audience laughs and votes at UCB West, with troupe Sidecar hosting: Backyard Brawl

[$] 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 the Carolines Comedy ClubPaul Mooney

 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.