NYC Top Comedy Choices for November 2019: Last Updated Monday 11/11

November 11, 2019

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

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

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications.

Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter at @hybender, and/or to visit the desktop and ad-free version of this site at HyReviews.com. (I’m also on Instagram at @hybenderny and Facebook at hybender; but honestly, you’ll be doing me the most good if you follow and retweet me on Twitter.)

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 November 2019 (with much more to come soon) include:

John Mulaney and Pete HolmesMonday 11/11: New York Comedy Festival 2019 is over, but its fond memories will linger for years. Personally, I want to give special thanks to two of the greatest comics ever, Pete Holmes and John Mulaney, for bringing the fest to a spectacular close at Pete’s (almost instantly) sold out show Sunday night at Brooklyn’s Murmrr Theatre. John was an unannounced opener, and an enormously happy and much-beloved surprise. And Pete reminded NYC why he’s one of the finest and most joyful stand-ups of all time. Gratitude and blessings to both of these giants.

Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve: 2 Year Anniverary ShowMonday 11/11: Celebrating their show’s Second Year Anniversary are stellar comics Aparna Nancherla (co-star of HBO’s Crashing, Netflix’s Master of None, and Comedy Central’s Corporate), Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), and Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk), who tonight host Todd Barry, Joyelle Nicole Johnson, Rob Haze, Jes Tom, James Fritz, and more performing stand-up, plus music from DJ Donwill: Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve: 2 Year Anniverary Show (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street—take R subway to Union Street; 10:00 pm afterparty at Parklife at 636 Degraw Street)

Mark Normand & Joe List: "Tuesdays With Stories"Monday 11/11: Ace comics Mark Normand & Joe List take their popular weekly yarn-spinning podcast with guests to the Comedy Cellar stage (on a Monday, but suspend your disbelief and have fun): Tuesdays With Stories Live (8:00 pm, $15 plus 2-item food/drink min., West Village’s Village Underground at 130 West 3rd Street off Sixth Avenue)

Big Jay Oakerson, Dave Smith, and Luis J. Gomez: "Legion of Skanks"Monday 11/11: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; co-host of podcast The SDR; stellar comedy special Live at Webster Hall; Netflix’s The Degenerates), Dave Smith (FOX; host of podcast Part of the Problem), Luis J. Gomez (special Luis J. Gomez Presents Luis J. Gomez), and tonight’s slated guests Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp stand-up; HBO’s Crashing, Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, AMC’s Better Call Saul, E!’s Chelsea Lately, stand-up album The Depression Auction) and Kerryn Feehan (Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike TV; co-host of Frantic Mondays) “discuss the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this free weekly podcast taping: Legion of Skanks (9:30 pm, Free!, The Stand Upstairs at 116 East 16th Street)

Clare O'Kane, Courtney Maginnis, and Lorelei RamirezMonday 11/11: Deliciously long stand-up sets from each of two recently married comics: Clare O’Kane (Comedy Central Half Hour, Amazon’s Budding Prospects, Viceland’s Flophouse, webseries Semi-Famous; former writer for SpongeBob SquarePants; stand-up album Let It Be) and Courtney Maginnis (Comedy Central, College Humor; host of podcast The Narcisistas and free weekly East Village stand-up show Let’s See, What Else?), plus an opening set from phenom Lorelei Ramirez (fresh, explosively brilliant stand-up; Adult Swim, VICE): Clare O’Kane, Courtney Maginnis, Lorelei Ramirez: The Newlywed Hour (10:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Sherrod SmallMonday 11/11: Sherrod Small (Jimmy Kimmel, A&E’s Black & White, TBS’ Are We There Yet?, NBC’s Showtime at the Apollo, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of podcast Race Wars) performs a deliciously long stand-up set in an intimate West Village club: Sherrod Small (10:30 pm, $20 plus 2-item food/drink min., West Village’s The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)

Jena FriedmanTuesday 11/12: Jena Friedman (wry dark political stand-up; star of Adult Swim’s Soft Focus; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, @midnight, The New Yorker, Netflix mockumentary Undecided; former staff writer for David Letterman and Roseanne; former producer for The Daily Show) performs a solo show described as follows: “As America slips into fascism, Jena celebrates free speech while she still has it in this unapologetic political hour of comedy. Fresh off a critically acclaimed 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival run, Jena brings her unique insight and acerbic wit at a time when politics in America and worldwide has become more contentious and divisive than ever.” This show was part of the New York Comedy Festival, and quickly sold out. Another performance was added…and it quickly sold out too. Don’t miss this additional chance to experience Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice (10:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Comic Book ClubTuesday 11/12: Every Tuesday at 8:00 pm, comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club (8:00 pm, Free!, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Josh Gondelman: Wednesday 11/13: Josh Gondelman (one of the sharpest comics in the country; writer/producer for Showtime’s Desus & Mero; previously Emmy & Peabody Award-winning writer/producer for HBO’s phenom Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker; author of book Nice Try; stand-up albums Dancing On a Weeknight and Physical Whisper), Katie Boyle (co-host of podcast The Shift; host of Transplants Comedy), Zain Sharif, Jared Goldstein, and Ronnie Fleming perform stand-up hosted by Emily Winter, Julia Shiplett, Carolyn Busa, and/or Ben Wasserman: Side Ponytail Comedy (8:00 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s Friends and Lovers at 641 Classon Avenue)

Caitlin Peluffo and Mike DruckerWednesday 11/20: Mike Drucker (left; hilarious stand-up and staff writer for TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; previously staff writer for Comedy Central’s The President Show and nearly 400 episodes of NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, and contributing writer for Saturday Night Live), Caitlin Peluffo (right; Stephen Colbert), Richie Owens, and more TBA perform stand-up hosted by Emily Winter, Julia Shiplett, Carolyn Busa, and/or Ben Wasserman: Side Ponytail Comedy (8:00 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s Friends and Lovers at 641 Classon Avenue)

Patrick McCartney: Friday 11/29: Patrick McCartney (member of acclaimed theatrical improv group Centralia) performs a comedic solo show about addiction and recovery, directed by Shira Piven (HBO’s Divorce and Room 104, Amazon’s Transparent), that’s received raves from the likes of Elizabeth Gilbert (superstar author of Eat Pray Love), who wrote, “Patrick McCartney is a phenomenally gifted performer, whose work I have admired for years. But we almost lost this extraordinary artist to alcoholism and drug addiction—which would have been a tragedy on so many levels. Now McCartney has returned to the stage with a one-man show about his struggle with substance abuse. Miraculously, it manages to be simultaneously brilliant, devastating, hilarious, humble, searching, and triumphant. Go see it. It’s a beautiful piece of work:” Sinister Kid (7:00 pm, $12, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Michelle Buteau 8Sunday 12/1: Michelle Buteau (HBO’s 2 Dope Queens and High Maintenance, Netflix’s Russian Doll, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, Amazon’s The Tick, VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight; films Always Be My Maybe and Someone Great; comedy album Shut Up) performs a deliciously long stand-up set: Michelle Buteau (7:30 pm (sold out) & 9:30 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/W to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

The Stand
116 East 16th Street; Club closest to competing with Comedy Cellar, featuring top stand-ups on a main stage and upstairs stage; no drink min.—support this policy!

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

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

Eastville Comedy Club
487 Atlantic Avenue (near the Barclays Center); only comedy club in Brooklyn; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; some shows have 2-drink min., but many don’t

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

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

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

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

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

Contact Hy

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

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

You can also find me on Twitter at @hybender, Instagram at @hybenderny, and Facebook at https://Facebook.com/hybender.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 11/8/15

November 8, 2015

Pete Holmes and Michelle WolfWorld-class stand-ups including Pete Holmes (briefly back in NYC to remind us why we miss him) and Michelle Wolf (still making NYC a better place every day) performing at Comedy Cellar Sunday (7:30 pm, $14 plus 2-item min., Comedy Cellar at 117 MacDougal Street between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane)

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 3:00 pm ($24 online with discount code BULLIESAREDELICIOUS): The very best FringeNYC musical of 2014 about a lonely fat kid who responds to his bullying classmates by eating them—with operatic music composed & orchestrated by the brilliant Christian De Gré, and book by Christian, Serrana Gay, and Joseph Reese Anderson—returns with lots of new material at The COW ( 21 Clinton Street) through November 22nd: Fatty Fatty No Friends

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 7:15 show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase: Church!

[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 Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from two sharp house groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue off 20th Street): The Stand Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Aparna Nancherla, Dan Hodapp, Sarah Nowak, Morgan Philips, Pat Shepherd, and Richie Moriarty make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre for this weekly show produced by Sarah Nowak & Micah Sherman: People Improvising

8:00 pm ($5): Typically fine NYC stand-ups performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

9:00 pm ($7): Typically solid stand-ups perform at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

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, drawings every half hour), providing 4 minutes per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue):Intestinal Fortitude

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): The spectacular Tracy Mull loves short-form improv games with a passion, and so is the perfect host for this jam that lets audience members—including you—put their names in a bucket. Tracy will then repeatedly pull out a name and a game and facilitate improv magic at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sunday School Short-Form Jam

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

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

[FREE] 7:30 pm: If you feel like stretching beyond stand-up, this lottery-style walk-in open mic (sign-up starts at 7:00 pm) is for singers, songwriters, musicians, poets, actors, and spoken word artists, with a whopping 7 minutes per performer, at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Mickey Zetts (The Ickles): Words and Music Open Mic Night

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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

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

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

For many mre shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

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

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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!)

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/6/14

November 6, 2014

Want to be on an NBC prime time show?
America’s Got Talent is holding NYC auditions; details here.

TV Alert: Whoopi Goldberg is on David Letterman:
Geena Davis is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Rob RIggle is on Seth Meyers;
Andrea Martin is on Conan O’Brien;
Jim Norton, Kurt Metzger, and Jesse Joyce are on @midnight

Tig Notaro, Sasheer Zamata, and Pete Holmes

Tig Notaro headlines at Town Hall in Boyish Girl Interrupted; Sasheer Zamata & friends at UCB Chelsea declare it’s Party Time!; and Pete Holmes headlines at Brooklyn’s Bell House

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] [$] (11/5-11/9) The New York Comedy Festival features some of the best stand-ups in the world performing headlining sets in such major NYC venues as Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, the Beacon, the NYU Skirball Center, Carolines, and The Stand during November 5-9. Among the stars performing this year are Amy Schumer, Maria Bamford, Marc Maron, Bill Cosby, Bill Burr, Bill Maher, Pete Holmes, Tig Notaro, Dave Hill, Kurt Metzger, Mark Normand, Hannibal Buress, Sasheer Zamata, Aparna Nancherla, Eric Andre, Sommore, Paula Poundstone, and Dane Cook; plus there’ll be interviews with such giants as Jim Gaffigan, and the teams creating TV series Inside Amy Schumer (including Amy), Broad City (including Executive Producer Amy Poehler), and the writers of The Late Show with David Letterman. To explore the entire schedule, please click New York Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Matt Fisher & John Murray (hosts of Low Standards), and Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased) performing stand-up at the UCB East theatre: Splitsider Live: Michelle Wolf, Jena Friedman, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm (SOLD OUT online; you can try for a standby line): Elliott Forrest interviews Jim Gaffigan, a comedy superstar who delights in observational humor about food (his Hot Pockets routine is a classic) and mundane things we take for granted (“I like escalators because they can never break, only become stairs”). As accessible as any mainstream performer alive, while simultaneously a sharp deconstructionist who can work any alternative comedy room with ease, Jim’s appeal is deep and universal. He’s appeared over a dozen times on David Letterman, over two dozen times on Conan O’Brien (for which he created the animated series Pale Force), performed his own Comedy Central Presents special, created a Beyond the Pale comedy album that’s been certified Platinum (the CD and DVD versions have each sold over 150,000 copies), recently released mega-selling book Food: A Love Story, and is filming TV series The Gaffigan Show for TV Land. So there’ll be lots to chat about at The Jerome L. Greene Space (44 Charlton Street): Jim Gaffigan in Conversation

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15 at the door or online): Storyteller David Crabb tells the tale of how he “just found $1,800 in cash. With a little detective work I might be able to find its rightful owner. But will I? Why should I? What bad could possibly happen if I holds onto it for a little while? A lot.” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): $1800

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone) and her storytelling, stand-up, and musical friends Andy Christie, Micaela Blei, Leah Bonnema, and Julian Velard celebrate the release of Ophira’s comedy album Bangs! at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Bangs! Comedy Album Release Party

[$] 7:45, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, and Dane Cook, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): Lightning-fast & thoroughly hilarious star Pete Holmes (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; The Pete Holmes Show, You Made It Weird podcast, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Ugly Americans, VH1’s Best Week Ever, staff writer for NBC’s Outsourced, The New Yorker) headlines at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues; take the R to 9th Street or the F to 4th Avenue): Pete Holmes

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($40-$70, depending on seat location): Tig Notaro (hilarious deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central Presents, The Sarah Silverman Program, Last Comic Standing; for stand-up video about Tig’s name, please click here) performs at Town Hall (123 West 43rd Street, between 6th Avenue & Broadway): Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ari Shaffir hosts this spectacular show featuring Jim Norton, Mark Normand, Mike Lawrence, and Bridget Everett at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): This Is Not Happening

[TOP PICK] 8:00 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] 8:00 pm ($5): Dave Hill, Phoebe Robinson, Brooks Whelan, and Alex Castle performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Love Story (improv that begins with a significant moment in a romantic relationship and explores the characters and relationships in their lives), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Rob Penty at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A live comedy game show hosted by Keith & The Girl at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City : You Can’t Say That

8:00 pm ($10): Amy Marcs performs a one-woman show about her experiences with breast cancer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Nice T!Ts

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15 at the door or online): Sara Benincasa, Caitlin Brodnick, Justin Cameron, and Ben Lillie tell tales related to science at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Erin Barker: The Story Collider

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): “Super secret” stand-up guests for this New York Comedy Festival edition at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($25): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There) interviews guests—who have to lie about everything—at The Jerome L. Greene Space (44 Charlton Street): Lies with Sara Schaefer

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live) hosts a party with gal-pal stand-ups Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom) and Nicole Byer, fearless dark sketch comedy duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman; Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC), and music by Handjob Academy, all performing at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Sasheer Zamata Party Time!

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): 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) & Liza Treyger conduct an oddball and way fun content of asking questions, with tonight’s answerers Aparna Nancherla, Bridget Everett, Michelle Buteau, Chris Distefano, Matteo Lane, Megan Gailey, Hamm Samwich, and Josh Zepps at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: How Many Questions Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15): Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents) performs a long set at the UCB East theatre: Nate Bargatze

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:00 pm ($12): Mark DeMayo was an NYC cop for 20 years—who then retired to pursue his true passion, comedy. Mark blends stand-up and storytelling in this engaging and funny one-man show about his time on the force at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Peter Michael Marino: 20 & Out

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups My Privacy and TourCo compete 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 the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY 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 PIT upstairs 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 Junior Varsity 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 the Old 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 at The 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 Saturday 10/12/13

October 12, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Pete Holmes

One of our greatest comedy treasures, Pete Holmes, talks about his new TBS show (following Conan O’Brien, and produced by Conan) at 4:15 pm at New York Comic Con

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, 7:30 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:30, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Julian McCullough at every show, plus Mark Normand at the 12:15 am show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [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), Moody McCarthy, Harris Stanton, Justin Silver, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal improvisors Ashley Ward, Brigid Boyle, Alexis Saarela, and Elizabeth Findlay perform at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Taco Supreme

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Anthony DeVito, Eli Sairs, Seth Cockfield, and Daralyn Kelleher performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar hosted by Ali Prier & Scotland Green: The Killing Joke

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more 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

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[$] 7:30 pm ($15 at the door or $16.52 online): Jenn Dodd plays numerous characters in this production that shows off her wit and versatility at Stage Left Studio, 214 West 30th Street (off Seventh Avenue), on the 6th Floor: No Show: A One-Woman Show

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-item min.): Co-host of CBS’ The Talk, voice of Lana on FX’s Archer, star of a one-hour Comedy Central special, former host of E!’s Talk Soup and co-star of CBS’s Ghost Whisperer, a memorable girlfriend from NBC’s Friends, and a co-star of film Bedtime Stories, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Aisha Tyler

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sarah Tollenmach, Aaron Glaser, Matteo Lane, Craig Mahoney, Noah Gardenswartz, and Rachel Coleman performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

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

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[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

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

9:30 pm ($8): Improvisors make up new episodes of a TV classic at The PIT downstairs lounge: Saved by the Bell: The Lost Episodes

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford, Noah Gardenswartz, and Steve Forrest are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB East that won this 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 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 West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform sharp improv at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Murderfist

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): Original comedic songs are showcased, with tonight’s singers Matteo Lane, Colin O’ Brien & Michael Wolf, Sebastian Conelli, and Kathleen Armenti performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Justin Perez & Shaina Stigler: Total Requesty

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and Mike Bocchetti performing stand-up, plus musical guest Tan ft. Giancarlo Dittamo, and “surprise Halloween guests,” at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

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

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”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:30 pm: Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB East event is helmed by Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night): The Lady 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.)

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/7/12

April 7, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For best TJ Miller comedy videos, please click here.

Pete Holmes

It's a night for top stand-ups, including Pete Holmes with new interview show You Made It Weird...

Jim Gaffigan

...whose guests include comedy superstar Jim Gaffigan...

Ted Alexandro

...plus Ted Alexandro's performing at the Eastiville Comedy Club...

Janeane Garofalo

...and Janeane Garofalo's at The PIT's Fresh Fisch

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] 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Erin Barker (Moth GrandSlam champion, co-host of The Story Collider), Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam champion, BTK Band), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), and Steven Berkowitz (Moth StorySlam winner). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Wando, Orange Augustus, and Upstate at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), and featuring tonight’s guest storytellers Shonali Bhowmik (Variety SHAC), Adam Cozens, and Daniela Schiller: Tales of the Cosmos

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15 at the door, $19 in advance online): An amazing comedic freestyle hip-hop group, using audience suggestions as a springboard for creating improvised music inspired by jazz, rap, and comedy, with Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, plus Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale (the writer and director the Broadway hit In the Heights, which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical), and more performing at the Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd Street, between Lexington & Park Avenue South): Freestyle Love Supreme

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm (please note this is the new time slot for this show previously on at 10:30; $10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar 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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Stand-up from TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo and The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac, sketch from Anti-Social Wife, and music from The Jesse Scheinn Band and a special guest who maybe will improv beatbox at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Tyler Fischer: Fresh Fisch

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door or $7.63 online): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s guests Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous rising star stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel), Lane Moore, and Team Submarine performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: The Party Machine

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: From the producers of The Scene, improvisors at The PIT downstairs lounge make up one-act plays on the spot: Act One

[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, Showtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

8:30 pm ($10): Matt McCarthy (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death, host of AMC’s Action Pack, Comedy Central, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys, host of Marking Out), Nick Cobb, Scott Moran, Leah Bonnema, and Jim Tews performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special headlining at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joey Kola

[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): Killer 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; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Big Jay Oakerson, Maddog Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Two of the most respected improvisors in the country, Magnet co-owner Armando DIaz and UCBT star Christina Gausas, team up for one night only: Diaz & Gausas

9:30 pm ($15): “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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 at the door, $19 in advance online): Pete Holmes, one of the finest stand-ups alive, hosts this new interview show that tonight features another of the finest stand-ups alive, Jim Gaffigan, plus other top comics (possibly Michael Ian Black) at the Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd Street, between Lexington & Park Avenue South): You Made It Weird

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), superb dark comedy musical group The Cowmen, award-winning dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist, The Nearly Naked Lady Band, and more celebrate the 30th birthday of Joe List at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Joe List 30th Birthday Party/Concert/Show

[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): 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

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

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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with typically terrific NYC comics (not announced this month)—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) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sketch/improv from John Gemberling (genius improvisor & comedic character actor; Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Death by Roo Roo, The Tony and Johnny Show) and Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, The Tony and Johnny Show), stand-up from Jared Freid (Tru TV), music from The Campion Brothers, and more at UCB Chelsea with host Andy Rocco: Underground Americana

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) participate in the fake taping of a bad late-night TV comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Brad Steuernagel: Comedians Off Of the Leash

[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.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/29/11

June 29, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Arden Myrin and Pete Holmes

Stars Arden Myrin and Pete Holmes are among the thoroughly wonderful guests at tonight's "Totally J/K"

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] [FREE] 12:30 pm: Michael Showalter (MTV’s The State, comedy troupe Stella, writer/star of feature films The Baxter and Wet Hot American Summer and Comedy Central’sMichael & MIchael Have Issues; author of bestselling new book Mr. Funny Pants) is interviewed about being a book author by Jenny Slate (SNL) at the Bryant Park Reading Room, West 42nd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues in the park): Michael Showalter & Jenny Slate

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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Lightning-fast & thoroughly hilarious Pete Holmes (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Ugly Americans, VH1’s Best Week Ever, staff writer for NBC’sOutsourcedThe New Yorker; co-star of the hilarious Front Page Films), Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here andhere and here), and Michelle Collins (FOX, VH1) joining best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner: Monsters

[FREE] 9:00ish£ pm: Storytellers Kambri Crews (Love, Daddy), Michele Carlo, and Ilana Glazer (Broad City), and stand-ups Elihu Dietz, Garry Hannon, and Matthew Nouriel performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Anthony Atamanuik, Leslie Goshko, John Flynn, Rob Lathan, and wonderful host David Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s theme PrideThe Nights of Our Lives

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

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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 6/28/11

June 28, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Ilana Glazer, Nikki Glaser, and Jon Glaser

Ilana Glazer, Nikki Glaser, Jon Glaser, and more gather for the delightfully silly "Glas/zer Family Reunion"...

Pete Holmes

...and Pete Holmes continues his week-long visit to NYC from LA tonight at "Righteous Kill" and "Sweet"

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: Lauren Adams & Megan Maes performing musical improv, plus stellar guest improv troupe Doppelganger, at Warbucks

7:00 pm ($5): Two tough guys from the 1930s will explain the ins and outs of Hollywood at sketch show Listen Kid! ; and duo improv by Dustin Drury and Andrew Yurman-Glaser in Upstate New York

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), 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 Crohn (stand-up visiting from Boston), Justy Dodge, and musical guest Scott Gibson performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comic book creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage for a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE; plus free BBQ!] 8:00 pm: Jon Glaser (long-time writer for Conan O’Brien, star of Adult Swim’s Delocated), Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing), Aaron Glaser (Funny or Die), and brother & sister Eliot Glazer (author of My Parents Were Awesome) and Ilana Glazer (co-star of Broad City) in a very silly show gathering all the comics in NYC whose last names happen to be Glaser or Glazer (only Eliot & Ilana are actually related) at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): The Glas/zer Family Reunion

8:00 pm ($5; includes free tecate): “A panel of comedians give their hilarious takes on the more grim/sensational crime stories taken from NYC’s daily newspapers. It’s live comedy with a streak of yellow journalism and dark New York flavor” at Queens LIC’s The Creek hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): The New York City Crime Report

8:00 pm ($8): The worlds of “magic, mind-reading, and mutilation” are explored by Matthew Holtzclaw and Prakash Puru: Strange Things

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Mr. Crime, Standard Oil, American Cousin, Sandino, and Airwolf, and at 11:00 pm UCBT students mixing it up with improv veterans—all at Harold Night

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Tambourine & BEEES!

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Pete Holmes (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Ugly Americans, VH1’s Best Week Ever, staff writer for NBC’s OutsourcedThe New Yorker; co-star of the hilariousFront Page Films), Stuckey & Murray (superb singing comedy duo), Colin Jost (writer for Saturday Night Live), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Nick Turner (host of Monsters and Too Cool for School), and guest DJ Matt McCarthy performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) guest-hosted tonight by Roger Hailes (Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show, Live at Gotham): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Pete Holmes (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Ugly Americans, VH1’s Best Week Ever, staff writer for NBC’s OutsourcedThe New Yorker; co-star of the hilariousFront Page Films), Kumail Nanjiani (David LettermanSaturday Night Live, The Colbert Report,Jimmy Kimmel, writer/performer for Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues; winner of the 2009 ECNY Awards for Best Male Stand-Up), Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), and Anton Laroid performing at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

9:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show from Julie Ann Dulude about being raised by strict Catholic parents: Bless This Mess

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free show, audience members can join in with veteran musical improv talents to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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