NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday May 8, 2018

May 8, 2018

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Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this 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 version of this site at

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 Tuesday May 8h include:

Nikki Glaser, Nick Thune, and Nimesh PatelTuesday 5/8: Nikki Glaser (host of You Up on SiriusXM Comedy Central Radio; star of former Comedy Central series Not Safe; films Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty; hour-long special Perfect; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight; NBC’s America Ninja Warrior: Celebrity Edition; podcast You Had to Be There), Nick Thune (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, CBS, ABC, Comedy Central; comedy albums Thick Noon and Folk Hero, special Good Guy), Nimesh Patel (exceptionally sharp stand-up; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, TruTV; written for Chris Rock hosting the 2016 Oscars; co-host of Broken Comedy), Kerry Coddett (HBO’s Wyatt Cenac: Problem Areas and Crashing, BET’s The Rundown, Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show, MTV’s Joking Off), The PIN (UK sketch group visiting NYC), and more perform for host Seth Herzog’s (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, @midnight, CBS, VH1) seminal weekly stand-up & variety show: Sweet (9:00 pm, $10, The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)

Fake the NationTuesday 5/8: John Hodgman (bestselling author of The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require, and That Is All; Humor Editor of The New York Times Magazine; former star correspondent of The Daily Show; former iconic personification of a PC in Apple Mac ads) and John Fugelsang (former host of America’s Funniest Home Videos) discuss politics from a comedic perspective hosted by Negin Farsad: Fake the Nation (7:30 pm, $15, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Handmaid’s Tale: The MusicalThursday 5/10: This musical parody of Margaret Atwood’s novel and the Hulu series is set in 2028 Brooklyn, “depicting modern millennials in a dystopian near future and the phoneless perils they endure,” written by and co-starring Marcia Belsky & Melissa Stokoski: Handmaid’s Tale: The Musical (7:00 pm, $20, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Jacqueline NovakThursday 5/10: This show focused on gender diversity features stand-ups Jacqueline Novak (above; exceptionally smart, fresh stand-up; Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO; comedy album Quality Notions; book How to Weep in Public), Brian Faas (Broad City), Eman El Husseini (opens for Patton Oswalt), Ayo Edebiri (The Rundown with Robin Thede), Victoria Hoffman, Marissa Goldman, and Darian Lusk: The ‘SUP Show: A Comedy Showcase for Female, Queer, and Gender Non-conforming Voices (9:30 pm, $10, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

GAYme ShowFriday 5/11: A game show that describes itself as follows: “Ever talk to a straight guy and think, ‘Jesus Christ you’re boring!’ Join gay-ass hosts Matt Rogers & Dave Mizzoni as they gay up the straights—who tonight are Sebastian Conelli and Patrick Noth—through games and trivia. Life lines include one woke woman and a wise queer—who tonight are Sasheer Zamata and Brandon Scott Jones. Come witness the ultimate test of who Is honorarily Gay As Fuck:” GAYme Show (11:15 pm, $10, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street) 5/12: Via sketch, song, dance, song, and funny lectures, a landmark US Supreme Court case is re-tried by comics and a guest judge, with tonight’s topic Guns asking “Is that the 2nd Amendment in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”, featuring the fabulous Pretty Sad White Girls and many more: All Rise: Law on Guns (7:00 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Paul Wady,: "Guerilla Aspies"Tuesday 5/15: UK comic Paul Wady, author of The Guerilla Aspies Handbook: A Neurotypical Society Infiltration Manual, invites you to join him on the autism spectrum: Guerilla Aspies (9:30 pm, $10, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil: "Your Love, Our Musical"Saturday 5/19: World-class singing improvisors Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). Tonight will be extra special, as the show is celebrating its Fourth Year Anniversary. I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (7:00 pm; $16.89 in advance online or $20 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex 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 East
153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Hell’s Kitchen on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$12

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

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/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and 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 or, or for any other reason by emailing me at

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/5/11

October 5, 2011

For full details, please visit

Sesame Street and And I Am Not Lying

Joey Mazzarino, the head writer of Sesame Street, is among the guests of new UCB West show "Employee of the Month;" Cyndi Freeman mixes storytelling, burlesque, stand-up, and sword swallowing at "And I Am Not Lying"...

Nick Thune

...Nick Thune performs in LIC at The Creek's "Monsters"...

The Cowmen

...and The Cowmen sing in Brooklyn bowling alley The Gutter at "Get Loose"

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie; and another genius improv troupe consisting of trio Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) performs as Outlook of the Poet

[$] 7:30 pm ($16.50, plus 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, MTV, and AMC headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy ClubNick Cobb

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free drink!): The Sklar Brothers (stars of MTV’sApartment 2F; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; Emmy-winning episode of HBO’sCurb Your Enthusiasm; ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; co-creators & stars of four seasons of ESPN’s Cheap Seats), Nick Thune (Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Jason Good (Comedy Central, Howard Stern), and Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, Minute to Win It) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The debut at UCB West of this talk show about people with dream jobs and how they got them. Tonight’s guests are Rachel Dratch (cast member of Saturday Night Livefrom 1999 through 2006), Joey Mazzarino (head writer of Sesame Street), Murray (cast member ofSesame Street), and Tillie (Dog/Artist/Mother/Daughter) and her assistant F. Bowman Hastie; plus music from EOTM Band of the Month & Scott Adsit, an awards ceremony, and sheetcake—all hosted by Catie Lazarus: Employee of the Month

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storytelling, stand-up, and carny join forces to bring the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, hosted by stellar storyteller & burlesque performer Cyndi Freeman, and with fully clothed storytellers Jeff Simmermon (This American Life, The Moth) and Brad Lawrence (FringeNYC, The Moth), stand-up Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, FOX), sword swallower Adam the First Real Man, and second artistic stripper Runaround Sue, all performing at Brooklyn’s Union HallAnd I Am Not Lying Live

8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $6.84 online with discount code Supermango): Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Vic Henley (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, Bruno), Erin Judge (Comedy Central; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Mike Trainor (TruTv’s Smoking Gun), and “a secret guest” performing at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, off Bleecker Street) with host Dan Allen: Sacapuntas!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This monthly show at Brooklyn’s The Gutter (200 North 14th Street) tonight features The Cowmen, a jaw-dropping dark comedy musical group, with members of Murderfist; and seeing these guys sing their songs of death in a bowling alley is all the reason needed to attend. Also performing will be stand-ups Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1, College Humor), Travis Irvine (Troma Films), Jason Saenz (co-host of Too Cool For School), Jared Fried , and Mookie Thompson, with hosts Aaron Glaser & Lee Rubenstein (Lee’s last show before moving to LA!): Get Loose

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA for first 30 people, from Artichoke Pizza!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mark Giordano (MadMan,, Mike Trainor (TruTV’s World’s Dumbest), Alison Leiby, and Joe Larson performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Negin Farsad’s & Amy Albert’s free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

8:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Kicks, The Imposters, Featherweight, Phooka, Brick, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Brick at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Open mic stand-up (with sign-up starting at 8:00) at Brooklyn’s Belleville (330 5th Street) hosted by Josh Guarino: The Belleville Mic

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then UCBT Harold Night house troupes Very Good Kiss and Mr. Crime make up scenes without relying on the usual long-form “Harold” rules at Cheating on Harold

[FREE—plus FREE CUPCAKES and “maybe strippers”] 9:00ish pm: Host Sharon Spell’s birthday show, with stand-ups James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), Sue Funke (adorable), and Carrie Gravenson, music from comics Pat O’Shea and Colin Dempsey, cupcakes from Damn Queer Cupcakes…and “maybe strippers”—at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

9:00 pm ($7): The Second Anniversary of this monthly show at Under St. Marks, with host Christian Polanco performing a 30-minute stand-up set, plus guests Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Phoebe Robinson (host of Case of the Mondays Comedy), Thomas Dale (MTV), and Jonathan Morvay, and guest host Chris DiStefano: And Then What Happened: Two-Year Anniversary Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Razor-sharp stand-up Rory Scovel (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon,Comedy Central) and his friends, including Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Nick Thune (Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Scott Moran, and Kate Berlant, performing atUCB West in celebration of Rory’s new comedy CD: Dilation Album Release Show

10:00 pm ($10): Carla Rhodes, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Ventriloquist,” performing a show that blends ventriloquism, comedic storytelling, and rock music (with the aid of her band The Extravaganzas). Carla’s dummies include Mick Jagger & Keith Richards; Herschel Ragbottoms, a pigeon living under old newspapers in Tompkins Square Park; the fear-mongering Under Bed Alligator; and cantankerous salt-water-taffy-obsessed 1920’s gentleman Cecil Sinclaire. It all happens at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, off Bleecker Street): The Continuing Story of Carla Rhodes

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

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

For full details, please visit

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