NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 10/19/14

October 19, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Joe's Video Show

The wonderful Joe Pera hosts comedy short films from over a dozen talents in Brooklyn at Joe’s Video Show

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:

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($25): This last night of The Magnet’s Sixth Annual New York Musical consists of a fundraising cancer research event for Gilda’s Club that features top female musical improvisors—including Tara Copeland’s group Generation G: New York Musical Improv Festival Finale: Gilda’s Club Benefit Show

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nick Alexander (Sirius XM) hones a long stand-up set tonight, Monday, and Tuesday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Nick Alexander

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm doors, 7:30 pm show ($5 at the door or $6.70 online): Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here) hosts an evening of comedy videos from over a dozen talented filmmakers, including Daniel Koren (Emmy-nominated composer), Dan Opsal & John Wyatt Haskell (Jimmy Fallon), John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Mitch Magee (Funny Or Die), and more at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Joe’s Video Show

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), sketch duo David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) & Katie Hartman (stellar sketch comic; Hartman & Carl, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), Conner O’Malley (Seth Meyers, The Chris Gethard Show), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), sketch duo Good Cop Great Cop, Andrew Fisher, and Mary Houlihan performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show: Halloween Edition

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Theatrical improvisors make up a complete play on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Veteran improvisors Doug Stoley, Beth White, David Rysdahl, and Devin Heater, and guest improv groups Family Haircut and Kibble & Nits, join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Doug Smith (co-host of See You In Hell), Michelle Biloon, Casey Balsham, and Steve Hernandez performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show and Nikki Glaser, Ross Bennett, UK star Jeff Leach, Sam Morril, and Joe List (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Alise Morales, Tessa Skara, and Leah Spigelman, improv from troupes Fancy Man and Bowlcut Harry, and comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Bar None (98 Third Avenue) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Daniel Kilpatrick, Megan Gailey, Steve Hernandez, and Aaron Weaver performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Julie Sharbutt (stellar actress and comic; improv shows include Gravid Water, Grounds for Divorce, Chairs, Ace One, Birds), Steve Siddell (The Scene), Liz Wisan (Yale School of Drama), Evan Kaufman (Gypsy Danger), and more make up “quality, patient” theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups attempt to “out-filth each other in this show where no punches are pulled and no topics are off limits” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The Dirt

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello: Lance Bass Space Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

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

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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/18/14

October 18, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Improvised Opera

Tragedy is writ large for laughs at The PIT’s The Improvised Opera

The Improvised Sondheim Project

…and The Improvised Sondheim Project is among the highlights at Day #3 of The Magnet’s New York Musical Improv Festival

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] [$] 5:30 pm-12:30 am ($10-$15 per show): It’s the third of four nights of The Magnet’s Sixth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, featuring groups from NYC, Chicago, and more performing for seven hours, with highlights including the 9:30 pm double-bill of Stacked and The Improvised Sondheim Project. For the complete schedule, please click New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12): Improvisors aim for “the comedy, drama, and vocal juiciness of a Mozart masterpiece made up on the spot; come hear beautiful arias appear out of nowhere as someone’s beloved is ravaged by a cheese monster, Gary Busey, or anything else the audience suggests” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Opera

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): No notable headliners scheduled tonight; four of the shows are at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Ben Kissel (MTV, Spike TV; Murderfist, The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen) hones a long stand-up set one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Ben Kissel

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm  ($12.50 online using discount code VOICE; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Dominick (former warm-up comic for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, host on Sirius Radio XM), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Nikki Glaser, Christian Finnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on Louie, HBO, and CBS’ upcoming The 2-2, and starred in two Comedy Central specials, headlines one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club (with Jon Fisch opening): Robert Kelly

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Kris Tinkle (The Artie Lange Show), Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show), Dan Licata (co-host of Dan+Joe+Charles Show), and Andy Farnsworth, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Lizzie Martinez & Sean O’Reilly: Showcasey Jones

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her improv partner Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical at The PIT downstairs lounge: Your Love, Our Musical

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from troupe Dinner for One

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm  ($12.50 online using discount code VOICE; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Dominick (former warm-up comic for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, host on Sirius Radio XM), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Nikki Glaser, Christian Finnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch groupBeige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Tracey Wigfield (former writer for 30 Rock), Nate Dern (News Editor forFunny or Die), and more form an ace improv group at UCB East that won last year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

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

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

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

11:00 pm ($10): Sketches, rap battles, and improv from the Anthology Players inspired by the life and music of Jimmy Fallon house band The Roots at The PIT upstairs theatre: The B-Side. A Hip-Hop Comedy Show

11:00 pm ($10): A monthly sketch show designed to make you howl at The PIT downstairs lounge: Forever Dog

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($9.75 online using discount code VOICE; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Mike Lawrence, The Lucas Brothers, Adrienne Iapalucci, Big Jay Oakerson, and Monroe Martin

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/16/14

October 16, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Rachel Maddow and Wyatt Cenac are on Seth Meyers;
Jenny Slate is on David Letterman;
Jason Schwartzman is on Jimmy Fallon;
Chelsea Handler and John Mulaney are on Ellen DeGeneres;
Brett Gelman, Jon Daly, and Scott Aukerman are on @midnight

New York Musical Improv Festival 2014

The Magnet kicks off its 6th Annual celebration of song & dance stories made up on the spot: New York Musical Improv Festival

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-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Tonight kicks off the first of four nights of The Magnet’sSixth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, featuring groups from NYC, Chicago, and more performing for five hours at a total cost of just $10. For the complete schedule, please click New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…” sharing tales atThe PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

7:00 pm ($5): Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), Tom Cowell, and Chris Calogero performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Ben Kissel (MTV, Spike TV; Murderfist, The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen) hones a long stand-up set every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Week at the Creek: Ben Kissel

[$] 7:30 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A co-star of CBS’ 2 Broke GIrls headlining for one night only at the CarolinesComedy Club: Jonathan Kite

7:30 pm ($10): Pioneering TV series Will & Grace presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn and Dov Davidoff at the 7:45 show; Colin Quinn, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, and Gina Yashere (hosting) at the 8:00 show; and Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, Wil Sylvince, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist onLast Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Matteo Lane performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jonathan Braylock & Steve Way: The Lockdown: Myq Kaplan, Michelle Wolf, Sabrina Jalees, Phil Hanley, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Eliot Glazer has too many things he wants to share with you, so consider this variety show one big mashup featuring comedy, dance, video, special guests, maybe a dog, and definitely nudity”—with tonight’s guests TBD—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Mashterpiece Theater

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storytelling from Elna Baker (bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please clickhere), and stand-up from Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), and Steve Hely performing at this weekly variety show for stand-up, sketch, and more at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Elna Baker, Erik Bergstrom, and More

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Zainab Johnson (Arsenio Hall, Last Comic Standing, BET’s Comic View), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental,documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Christian Finnegan, Mark DeMayo, Zainab Johnson, and More

8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers friends to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s lineup Avital Isaacs, Brian McCarthy, and Mike Pepino: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NY stand-ups Taylor Ketchum, Brandon Collins, Zach Erwin, and Kali Comedy performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge—”If you like Grindhouse, Kung Fu, Spaghetti Western, Noir, and the entire 1970s, you’ll want to check out:” The Tarantino

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soupand We’re All Friends Here), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and Jay Welch (McSweeney’s) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Jaqi Furback: Big Ups Comedy: Mark Normand, Jason Saenz, Sean Donnelly, and More

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Nick Carrillo, Langston Belton, and Devin James Heater perform a post-apocalyptic improvised comedy—exploring the relationship of three men trapped in a Generic Underground Shelter—at The PIT upstairs theatre: G.U.S.

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Improvisors—who include powerhouse musical improvisor Rebecca Vigil—take an audience suggestion of a band and then make up an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge: PIT Behind the Music

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—possibly performing in a camp tent—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Aaron Friedman: Campfire Comedy

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company,Arrested Development), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Sefa Urgenc performing stand-up at this weekly show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Lloyd team Rizzo easily defeated Improv Nerds last week with an audience vote of 83-40. Tonight it aims for a third victory, this time against duo Play by Play (improv veterans Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines), competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday 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] 5:30 pm: All-gal open mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by the spectacular Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Joe Galan hosts a clowning workshop & open stage: “Clowns have only one true directive: To play! This is part workshop, part playground where we will use exercises geared towards exploring new voices, bodies and games. Either show off a piece in progress or jump onstage blind and ready to follow your sense of fun. Whether you’re interested in learning more about clown technique and physical comedy or just overcoming coulrophobia, this jam is a fun and safe environment to explore your onstage instincts” at The PITupstairs theatre: No Make-Up: A Clown Jam

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

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 Thursday 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 Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage atThe Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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)

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 11/6/11

November 6, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Tara Copeland

Genius musical improvisors Tara Copeland (above), Baby Wants Candy, and more perform at Gilda's Club Benefit to top off The Magnet's 2011 New York Musical Improv Festival...

Erin Lennox

...and Erin Lennox and guests Arden Myrin, The Bandana Splits, and more perform at the delightfully quirky I Like You Too Show

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 3:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[TOP PICK] 4:00 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Initial Public Offering and Hit ‘N Run Musical Improv each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: IPO and and Hit “N Run

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Comedy geniuses Dave Hill (HBO, This American Life) and Neil Casey (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, plus Philip Jackson (Dance Beast, Johnny Tables) participate in “a weekly podcast that assembles a new panel of comedians and weird characters to give funny advice, or at the very least relate to the people’s problems with their own stories” at UCB Easthosted by Andy Rocco: Here to Help

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes BEEES!!!and North Coast each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: BEEES!!! and North Coast

[FREE] 6:00 pm: At this monthly show, “three improv teams swap two performers each, pick a long-form style out of a hat, and then perform with their new rosters” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Yankee Swap

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00ish pm: Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TVChelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty,Comedy Central Presents, co-host of Righteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon; host ofMonsters, co-host of Too Cool For School and If You Build It), and Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1) performing stand-up at at Brooklyn’s Belleville (330 5th Street) for this monthly extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here) and tonight’s guest host Mike Recine (Comedy Central), plus customized songs about each performer from adorable gal trio The Bandana Splits: Erin Lennox’s I Like You Too Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBwest’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($20 at the door, $29 online): An amazing comedic freestyle hip-hop group—including genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan—using audience suggestions as a springboard for creating improvised music inspired by jazz, rap, and comedy, performing at theGramercy Theater (127 East 23rd Street): Freestyle Love Supreme

7:30 pm ($5): Non-UCB improv troupes CSO and Beatloaf compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB East for Indie Cage Match

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please clickhere) who’s a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour that featured top Middle Eastern-American comics, and an actor who’s performed on ABC’ s Better off Ted and Knights of Prosperity, FOX’ s Life on a Stick, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25): In this fund-raising super-show at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Baby Wants Candy and Jill Bernard’s Drum Machine, improv genius Tara Copeland, and singer/songwriter Mikki Hommel each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Gilda’s Club Benefit: Closing Show of the 2011 New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), and Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for comedy giant Eugene Mirman’s Pretty Good Friends

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedyand Stripped Stories), Danny Solomon (soon moving to LA), Chris Thayer, and more performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge for a free weekly show typically hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Rob Stern: Vicious Cycle

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents), Glenn Wool (UK comedy star), Ross Hyzer, Danny Solomon, and Anthony Devito performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Andy Haynes, and/or David Cope: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilarious singer/songwriters Mel & El (monthly show at 92Y Tribeca), Maureen Langan (Jay Leno, Joy Behar, Comedy Central, Howard Stern), and Mark Maietta (HereTV’s Hot Gay Comics) performing at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

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 11/4/11

November 4, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jester's Dead

Top Gun goes Shakespearean in the cleverly executed Jester's Dead...

R. L. Stine's Goosebumps

...mega-selling author R. L. Stine is among the guests at 100 Interviews Live...

2011 New York Musical Improv Festival

...and The Magnet showcases top comedy troupes tonight at its New York Musical Improv Festival

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 lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Choral Rage(NYC) and Hidden Falls (Boston) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage and Hidden Falls

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): This isn’t really a comedy show, but it’s at The PIT and is pretty cool, so what the heck: authors R. L. Stine (Goosebumps), Julia Segal (comic), and Mark Malkoff (My Damn Channel) discuss the creative process at 100 Interviews Live

[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 Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), Dan Klein (The Law Firm), and Ari Scott (Thunder Gulch)—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello; plus in the other half of this double-bill, troupe Epic Beards

[$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please clickhere) who’s a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour that featured top Middle Eastern-American comics, and an actor who’s performed on ABC’ s Better off Ted and Knights of Prosperity, FOX’ s Life on a Stick, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Eight small improv teams compete as part of a 32-team tournament starting tonight at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena Small Team Tournament, Round 4

[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] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes The Made-Up Musical (NYC) and Happy Karaoke Fun Time (Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Made-Up Musical and Happy Karaoke Fun Time

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred in his ownComedy Central Presents special, and has performed on Conan O’Brien, ABC, VH1, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Paul Mecurio

[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): A half-hour stand-up set from one of the most beloved comics in NYC, who’s performed on Comedy Central, created and hosts the IFC game show Pointless, co-hostsHot Tub Variety, and is a triple 2011 ECNY Award winner: Kurt Braunohler: 30 Minutes; and in the second half of this UCB East double-bill, sketch comedy from duo Two Fun Men

[$] [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): Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central Presents), Aaron Berg, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village:Eastville Comedy Club

[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 ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Diamond Lion (NYC) and Stacked (Chicago) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Diamond Lion and Stacked

[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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): This show begins with a delightful concept—Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare—and then executes it with the joyful craft only a sharp, tight theatrical ensemble can create. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but especially memorable are Kate Turnbull as the love interest, Dan Hartley as Maverick, and Vayu O’Donnell who steals every scene he appears in with his hilariously deadpan delivery as Iceman. While this is playing at The PIT for a mere $10, it’s really legit Fringe theatre, and I hope it eventually makes its way to FringeNYC or Edinburgh—or better yet, develops more songs and gets a commercial run as a musical. Meanwhile, don’t miss this opportunity to see a way fun parody of a cult classic for about half of what you oughta be paying: Jester’s Dead

[FREE] 11:45 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with improv veterans to make up musicals on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[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 UCB West 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 UCBT 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 Tuesday 11/1/11

November 1, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Schtick or Treat

Over 30 NYC comics gather to impersonate other comics at The 4th Annual Schtick or Treat...

Todd Barry

...a stand-up star practices a long set before taping it for his new Comedy Central special at An Hour with Todd Barry...

2011 New York Musical Improv Festival

...and The Magnet kicks off the 2011 edition of its New York Musical Improv Festival

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

[$] 7:00 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Hello and Mint Condition each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Hello and Mint Condition

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Witty writers offering delightfully wry lectures about  this month’s topic “Crime & Punishment”—e.g., why Shakespeare is the supreme crime writer; why we turn our criminals into heroes; how to stay legal in China; and The Evolution and Domestication of the Common Superhero—at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for Charles Star’s comedic show Adult Education

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A brand new episode of a classic sitcom written (by Luke Ward) as if it was happening during the height of the show’s popularity, with tonight’s subject Three’s Companyperformed at The PIT featuring wonderful comedic actresses Laura Grey (Horrorgasm, Klepper & Grey) as Janet and Lauren Olson (Our Condolences, Good Morning Ladies) as Chrissy: To Be Continued

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Billy Princell, and more performing stand-up at UCB East for a comedy variety show produced by Sara Schaefer & Scott Moran on behalf of a great late actor: After Hours with Gene Hackman and Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comics industry pros joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 plus 2-drink min.): Conan O’Brien staff writers—who may include Brian Kiley, Todd Levin, Laurie Kilmartin, Andres Du Bochet, Brian McCann, and/or Jesse Pop, plus host Jimmy Pardo—performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club while Conan spends a week in NYC. Please note a similar show happens tomorrow at UCBT West for just $5; but if you like prefer comedy clubs, this will probably be lots of fun: An Evening with The Conan Writers

8:00 pm-11:00 pm ($5): Three full hours of improv at UCB West for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Grandma’s Ashes, Still Mike, Deckard, Very Good Kiss, and Dance Break—followed at 11:00 by advanced improv students (plus Pat Baer) making up The Lost Stories of Philip K. DIckHarold Night

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[$] 8:30 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Aquarius and The Traveling Musical Medicine Show each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Aquarius and The Traveling Musical Medicine Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Come help one of the finest stand-ups in the biz, Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchordsand Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), as he performs at The PIT upstairs theatre to hone an hour-long special he’ll soon be taping for Comedy Central: An Hour with Todd Barry

9:30 pm ($5): Typically terrific stand-ups (not announced this week) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up, sketch, videos, and more at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre with Jeffrey Joseph and hosts Ron Krasnow & Joel Walkowski: The Short Bus

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($8; doors open at 9:30 pm): For the fourth year of this fabulous annual event, over 30 NYC comics get two minutes each to do a set as a famous comedian. This 2011 edition is slated to include impersonations of Anthony Jeselnik, Aziz Ansari, Bobcat Goldthwait, Colin Quinn, David Cross, Emo Phillips, Jerry Seinfeld, Judah Friedlander, Larry David, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Richard Lewis, Rodney Dangerfield, Susie Essman, Todd Barry, Whitney Cummings, Zach Galifianakis, and more. It all takes place at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, between Houston & Bleecker), hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand. For reservations please email schtickortreat@gmail.com, and then come enjoy The 4th Annual Schtick or Treat

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Two of the most brilliant, fearless, and innovative comics in the biz, John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central) and Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives), team up to create their own special version of a comedy variety show at UCB East. Tonight’s guests are new mom Andrea Rosen (brilliant stand-up & storyteller; HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central’s Stella, Variety SHACThe Nights of Our Lives, Ding Dong Meow, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), and Dave Thunder (Conan O’Brien, ESPN): The Tony and Johnny Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): A comedic freestyle rap contest that’s a UCBT staple plays for one night only at The Magnet, featuring some of the funniest & sharpest comics in NYC—plus a volunteer from the audience!—hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien,Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central); and in the other half of this double-bill, musical improv troupe Rosencrantz: The BEATdown and Rosencrantz

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

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 Saturday 11/13/10

November 13, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Oliver

John Oliver, one of the funniest—and nicest—stand-ups alive, concludes his not-to-be-missed show tonight headlining at Comix

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] 5:00 pm-Midnight ($15 per show): Terrific comedic singing troupes that magically craft an entire musical on the spot are showcased tonight at The Magnet, with top shows including the world-renowned Baby Wants Candy and Jeff Hiller’s Dream Team (with cast members from  30 Rock, Broadway’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and more), all at the New York Musical Improv Festival

7:00 pm ($8): Does it get any better than Twilight-themed improv? Find out tonight at Twiprov

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Christina Gausas, Scott Adsit, Becky Drysdale, Anthony King, and more—including writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, andThe Daily Show—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors, all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41.02 online if you use codePLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A star correspondent of The Daily Show, and one of the sharpest and funniest stand-ups in the world, performing a not-to-be-missed headlining run concluding tonight (the Sunday show was canceled due to a last-minute conflict) at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: John Oliver

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Jesse Popp, Raquel D’Apice, Grant Gordon, and “a very special guest” performing stand-up at The Triple Crown Alehouse & Restaurant (330 7th Aveue, between 28th and 29th Streets) at Sean Donnelly’s Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—and the Cage Match Champion for two years in a row!—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

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: Political Subversities

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which doesn’t always ht the mark but provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won this year’s ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group: Murderfist: Late and Dirty

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A comedy genius, and star of the Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake, hosting his own extravaganza—which goes beyond a stage show to have the makings of a hit MTV series—with tonight celebrating the show reaching a landmark: The Chris Gethard Show: One Year Anniversary

[$] 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.