NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/28/14

November 28, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jermaine Fowler is on Craig Ferguson;
Wyatt Cenac is on Carson Daly (repeated from 10/27)

Gilbert Gottfried

The wonderful Gilbert Gottfried headlines at Carolines

The Wiz

…and The Wiz gets the MST3K treatment at Midnight Movies with Montoya

 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, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s scheduled lineups are a bit anemic, with the strongest being Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 12:15 am show. All shows are at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), James Mattern, Eliot Chang, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): Comics Marina & Nicco create duo sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre: Marina & Nicco

7:00 pm ($7): Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, and The Boss make up scenes in this show that features different improv groups each week at The Magnet theatre: The Revolver

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.)  One of the funniest guys in comedy headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfried

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Brian McCann (writer & performer for Conan O’Brien for 17 years) performs a one-man show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Brian McCann’s Leisure Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): 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; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Wyatt Cenac, Big Jay Oakerson, Bonnie McFarlane, and More

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot: Vern and Royals

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): 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, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine), Emmett Montgomery, Tyler Richardson, and Priscilla Marie Farina performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “A storytelling show for those who’d rather enter a fugue state than suffer through another holiday season, featuring holiday horror stories from Jason Specland, Adrian Sexton, Emily Johnson, and Tom Brennanby” at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch: Jenn Welch’s Holiday Sh*t Show Spectacular

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Strong lineup of 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; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Todd Barry, Wyatt Cenac, Big Jay Oakerson, Bonnie McFarlane, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre, with tonight’s monologues coming from the improvisors themselves: The Armando Diaz Experience

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups share their process by trying out the freshest ideas from their notebooks at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Notebook Night

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): The fourth round of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB East hosted by Pat Baer: 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Oscar Montoya bids farewell to his long-time comedy partner Julia Morales by providing MST3K-style live commentary to a screening of Diana Ross classic The Wiz at The PIT upstairs theatre: Midnight Movies with Montoya: The Wiz

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Brilliant improvisors Shannon O’Neill, Brandon Scott Jones, and Connor Ratliff spearhead this character-based improv show driven by the following premise: “Six months ago Principal Ratliff accidentally shot himself in the head and lost all of his memories, so the alumni of Fuckville High are making this year’s reunion special. All classes are invited in order to help Principal Ratliff get his memory back! Class of 2014, maybe you can vape in his face? Class of 2000, do you want to lie about how your life is still okay? Class of 1994, wanna talk about how fat/skinny/dead you are? Class of 1985, can you remind Principal Ratliff about that pneumonia epidemic? We are asking for all Classes to attend. Hope to see you there!” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Fuckville High’s Annual Reunion

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A show focused on the classic Beatles album Abbey Road featuring guests Arthur Meyer (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men) and Sunita Mani (music video Turn Down For What) at UCB East hosted by superb sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp (GUMP): Cool Shit / Weird Shit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: “Old grudges are settled and new grudges are formed” when stand-ups have to fight before telling jokes at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Andy Sanford and/or Adam Sokol: Fight Mic

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Happy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/27/12

October 27, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Hocus Pocus

The terrifyingly bad Halloween film Hocus Pocus is screend & mocked at Midnight at Montoya’s…

Tom Green

…and Tom Green headlines at Carolines

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] [$] 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

[FREE] 2:00 pm: Students of David Fino’s Puppetry for Improvisors class demonstrate what they’ve learned at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Puppetry Improv: The Graduation

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

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes The Afterparty, Durian at the Movies, and Human Pyramid at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up Justin Williams (host of Death Comedy Jam) performs along with sketch comics, plus screens his just-released DVD, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Justin Williams: Black and Comfortably Middle Class

[FREE] 6:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Tyler Fischer (host of Fresh Fisch), Alison Leiby, Casey Salengo, Teresa DeGaetano, and Tim Dillon performing in Halloween costumes—which the audience is encouraged to dress up in as well—at the Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston, between Avenues B and C) along with hosts Missy Baker and Liz Days: Comedy Party Spooktacular

7:00 ($5): Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here) and Sean Donnelly (XM Radio; host of countess shows) performing comedy club-length sets at UCB East hosted by Adam Newman (Comedy Central, College Humor): Big Long Sets

7:00 pm ($8): At this PIT downstairs lounge double-bill, Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure” as Hodapp & Rothwell, and then all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

7:30 pm ($7): Seven sharp improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules” at The Magnet theatre: The Weave

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A former writer and current warm-up act for The Daily Show—who’s also performed on Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, CNN, and MSNBC—headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Paul Mecurio

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Each month the Buttski & Glasscock Talent Agency brings you the best of the worst this small town has to offer. As only two career-savvy former showgirls can, they comb through Craigslist ad after Craigslist ad; but you will determine which act gets a one-year contract.” Tonight’s lucky hopefuls are Becky Yamamoto, Kat Burdick, Tim Girrbach, Kevin Bayes, and Kevin Laferriere, all performing comedic characters at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Jenn Dodd: Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comedy star you either love or actively avoid headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tom Green

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing in front of folks they really want to impress (because paying gigs might result) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Industry Showcase

8:30 pm ($10): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Aparna Nanchera, Josh Gondelman, Amaya Perea, Adam Burke, and Miles K performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk & Nick Turner: If You Build It

[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] [$] [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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), 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), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups tell jokes and perform comedy as original characters at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shakir Standley: Out of Character

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

9:00 pm ($5): “Ashley Rebecca King and Gregory von Portz present a post-dinner poolside party for their hippest and most sophisticated friends. Menthol-cool musical stylings and intellectual discourse abound as you are treated to a floor show with a carefully chosen set list, curated by the world’s foremost cover-band artists, that changes monthly. Dip in; it’s never the same dive twice. For tonight’s entertainment: Clueless—an interpretation of the entire Clueless soundtrack” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Moon Pools

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 enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): The return of one of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, playing at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this opportunity to see the Chicago-based 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

[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

10:00 pm ($5): 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] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

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

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney performing at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($5): A sketch/variety show at The PIT upstairs theatre operating from a fun dark premise: “When Vincent Welles died and went to Hell, he soon found out his punishment was to host a variety talk show for all eternity in the fiery underworld. Join Vincent as he, along with his demonic producers and werewolf sidekick Warren Talbot, host special guests and surprises:” Welcome to Hell with Vincent Welles

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154, Aquarius) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies.” Joining him are Greg Portz, Andy Costello, Amanda Peck, and J Hobart B dissecting tonight’s dreadful 1993 Halloween film starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as witches out to steal children’s souls: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Hocus Pocus

Midnight ($5): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) & Anna Suzuki host a variety show at UCB East that’s a mix of forms, with tonight’s performers Chris Lamberth (stand-up), Jenice Mathias (sketch), Paperclip Rockets (improv), and Jeffrey Paul Bobrick (music): The Soul Glo Project

[FREE] Midnight: Stand-up and sketch (performers not announced) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Kingmaker Sketch

Midnight ($5): Sketch troupes Coker & Stratton and Inside Joke Films compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by sketch troupe Sidecar: Backyard Brawl

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.