NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/27/17

January 27, 2017

Point Break Live

The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 movie classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers—keep an eye on David Carl playing the Gary Busey role, and expect extra laughs when a random audience member (maybe you) is chosen to take on the Keanu Reeves character—all at Point Break Live (8:30 pm, $30, Brooklyn’s Bell House at 149 7th Street in Brooklyn; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

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:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Friday

7:00 pm ($10): A solo show from Tim Eberle providing “meditations on modern masculinity from a man who never really became one. A comedy told through, monologue, rhyme, and open cries for reassurance” at The PIT Mainstage: I Am (Still) Not a Man: A One Sort-of-Man Show

7:00 pm ($7): “Improvisers create scenes inspired by essays written about personal experiences and show that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine” at The Magnet theatre: You Are Not Alone: An Uplifting Show About Depression

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, “Becky Abrams is determined to go on a date with every boy she can, and you’re damn right that she’s going to enjoy it while she does:” A Date with Every Boy

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a sketch show based on the experiences of comedy couple John Murray & Silvija Ozols as Silvija tried to get pregnant: Infertile

7:30 pm ($10): Two improv groups each make up a musical on the spot at at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): [title of team] and Royals

[$] 7:30 pm ($12): 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 (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

7:30 pm ($10):”Five comics connect their stand-up sets into one giant mutant set” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Molly Horan: Human Centipede Comedy Show

7:30 pm ($10): A group of six comedic actors performs sketch at The PIT Underground: Uncle Function

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($41 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the legendary Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($16.82 online, $20 at the door—includes free beer and wine): At this best sexy NYC storytelling show, performers Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Cinemax, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; host of Right Now; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love, host of Ed Sullivan on Acid), and Subhah Agarwal (Comedy Central, TruTV, Fusion) tell tales of erotic encounters gone awry at The Pleasure Chest (1150 Second Avenue, between 60th & 61st Streets) hosted by the wonderful Natalie Wall: Awkward Sex…and the City

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A comedic play written by Charlie Walden and performed by over a dozen comics about how “on July 12, 1979, an ill-fated radio promotion turned Comiskey Park into the largest anti-Disco rally in the history of mankind. Explosive shock jock Steve Dahl filled the stadium beyond capacity with his ‘anti-disco army,’ comprised mostly of the beer-swilling and grass-smoking teens who listened to his radio show and wanted to see some disco records detonated. Anyway, things got violent…” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Disco Demolition

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Clark Jones (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), Harrison Greenbaum (Comedy Central, Mad Magazine), Robyn Schall, Jay Nog, and Kenny Warren performing stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt and hosted by Ashley Morris: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show from Amanda Miller playing “15-year-old Kevin, who was sent to Camp Smile Power, an anger management camp, on a plea bargain with the Brooklyn Justice system. His crime? Throwing a rock at Donald Trump’s head” at the intimate PIT Attic (behind and above the Mainstage): Camp Smile Power: Curing Anger One Smile at at Time

8:00 pm ($5): A 90-minute variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Tom Brink & Keele Howard-Stone: Wolf Spirit with Tom and Keele

[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 Sebastian Conelli (2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Alexandra Dickson, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): 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, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] ($10; includes free pizza if you arrive early): 9:00 pm:Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Marisa Douenias (Louie), Corinne Fisher (co-host of popular Guys We Fucked podcast), and Tyler Fischer performing stand-up at a location in Brooklyn (near the Morgan Avenue L subway stop) to be revealed after you buy your ticket, hosted by Lucas Connolly (Comedy Central): The Secret Loft Show

9:00 pm ($10): Stand-ups Sydnee Washington, Usama Siddiquee, Will Purpura, Jesse Wolmart, and Glo perform at The PIT Underground hosted by Isaura Dos Santos: Stand Up and Chill

9:00 pm ($10): Comics perform solo characters to create submission tapes for the Montreal Just for Laughs festival at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Character Showcase

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Hip-hop improv group North Coast—which includes Evan Kaufman (genius musical improvisor of Your Love Our Musical; VH1)—attempts to create a Hamilton on the spot by making up a musical based on an audience suggestion of a famous historical figure at The PIT Mainstage: Anybody: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera

9:30 pm ($5): Annoyance Artistic Director Philip Markle performs sketch, cabaret, and more with friends at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Sparkle Zone

9:30 pm ($7): Stand-ups Ashley Brooke Roberts (Nat Geo, co-host of Fresh Out, MTV’s Guy Code blog), Dan Licata (The Chris Gethard Show; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show), Charlie Kasov (MTV’s Guy Code), and Courtney Fearrington performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jessica Watkins: Homespun Comedy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which typically features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnet theatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: “Comics compete in a pageant-style show designed to showcase the not-so-glitz or glamorous bits of their lives. It’s a celebration of the absurdities, as comics compete in new twists on standard pageant categories like Q&A and Talent, and are judged by celebrity judges…and you. Join us as we disrupt everything you thought you knew about pageants” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Little Miss Rock Bottom

10:00 pm ($7): Stellar comics Jay Malsky, Chris Booth, and Adrian Sexton host a musical celebration of George Michael and Leonard Cohen at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Hallelujah: A Faithful Tribute to George Michael and Leonard Cohen

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors James Dwyer, Craig Rowin, Connor O’Malley, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and Shaun Diston make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[$] 10:30 pm ($12):10:30 pm ($10): David Angelo (David Letterman), Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out and Homeschooled, author of Felines of New York), Blair Socci (MTV), Gastor Almonte (Comedy Central), and Brian Park (College Humor) performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): A mix of stand-up, sketch, music, and/or improv at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Carmen Christopher: The Juice

10:30 pm ($5): James III is working out a show at The PIT Underground: James III & Friends

11:00 pm ($5): Comics perform “cold” in sketches they’ve never seen until they’re handed the pages moments before the show begins at The PIT Mainstage: Flying Blind

[FREE] 11:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced & hosted by Chris Gersbeck, Lauren Hope Krass, and/or Peter Bandyk: Casual Sets

11:30 pm ($7): As a movie is screened, five improvisors provide all the dialogue, sound effects, score, and narration on the shot at The Magnet theatre: Dubbed

11:30 pm ($5): Comics pretend to be infants at The PIT Underground: Babies Night

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): Dara Katz & Betsy Kenney host a crazed parody of a dance tournament featuring “amateur (or worse) teams performing choreographed dances” for a rotating panel of comic judges—and you—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Nationals: An Amateur Comedy Dance Tournament

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($7): Comics (not announced) perform stories and songs at this cabaret-style show backed by pianist Henry Koperski and friends at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones: A Lil’ Night Music: Comedians Singing

[FREE] Midnight: Comics present “sure-fire, can’t miss, get-in-on-the-ground-floor, knock your socks off ideas that will not only make a lot of money but will make lives better across the board” and then request your money (whether you give is entirely up to you), with tonight’s entrepreneurs Christina Galston and group Young Business (Ronnie Fleming & Justin Hartough)—plus stand-up from Mike Denny—all at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Ben Conrad: Snake Oil

Friday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sydney Beveridge & Davey Melch: Queens Open Mic Fridays

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 ($5 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

6:00 pm ($5): A weekly walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Friday Night Mics

[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 hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

6:30 pm ($3): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at The PIT Underground for Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Show up at 6:45 pm to place your name in a dog bowl for the chance to get called up on stage and jam with veteran improvisors at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-up starts at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Seena Jon: Mic and Cheese

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea (307 West 26th Street): 150-seater; 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): 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; 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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/27/15

February 27, 2015

Great ticket for Saturday’s nearly sold out Demetri Martin show
The Persistence of Jokes at 7:30 pm at Town Hall here

Point Break Live

A stage recreation of a Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze movie classic: Point Break Live

Christine Bullen

…the irresistible Christine Bullen displays her job skills in My Melonbasket

Natasha Leggero

…and star Natasha Leggero continues her headlining run 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] [$] [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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), James Mattern, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 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 stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Lynne Koplitz, Lenny Marcus, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Lynne Koplitz, Dov Davidoff, RIcky Velez, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Tom Papa, Dan Soder, Lynne Koplitz, and Dov Davidoff at the 8:45 show; Tom Papa, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, Dov Davidoff, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 10:30 show; and Todd Barry, Greer Barnes, Big Jay Oakerson, Ricky Velez, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 12:15 am show, with all of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” atThe Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

7:00 pm ($5): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm ($10 for each of these three different “episodes” that together comprise “Part 2”): Part 2 of a 3-part series that tries to capture the spirit of anime such as Dragon Ball Z on stage. Part 1 did so with very limited success; the costumes were fun, the cast was cute (especially lead Madeleine Bundy, whose musical theatre voice was the best “special effect” in the show), but the script was consistently flat, arbitrary, and juvenile, making it almost impossible to care about anything that happened, while genuine top anime is much more nuanced and gripping. Plus the fight sequences, which should by definition be spectacular, were too often anemic. Of course, Part 2 might be better; and either way, it’s worth at least $10 to check out any random episode and experience this as a novelty. Episode 1 at 7:00 pm is coupled with improv group Simply Unemployable, which includes the wonderful Rebecca Vigil; Episode 2 at 8:00 pm is coupled with G.U.S., a unique improvised post-apocalypse show about the last three men on Earth; and Episode 3 at 9:00 pm is coupled with Shrink, an improvised puppet therapy show, all at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kapow-i GoGo Part 2: Kapow-i GoGo Z

7:00 pm ($5): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

7:00 pm ($6): Eli James, Jen Keefe, Martha Cipolla performing stand-up; Madonna Eleganza Refugia & Briana Kelly performing musical sketch; and Kim Parker & Nicholas Feitel performing improv, all at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by brilliant sketch writer Meggie Spellman and Anne Clark: Black Magic Lab Variety

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) Natasha Leggero is a razor-sharp and irresistible stand-up and actress who stars on E’s Burning Love; was the best judge ever on Last Comic Standing; has performed on Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Adult Swim, and FX, and aComedy Central Presents special; and killed on Comedy Central’s classic roast of James Franco with her witty, biting writing. Tasha will provide much-needed warmth to NYC headlining tonight through Sunday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Natasha Leggero

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, delightful dynamo Christine Bullen proves herself a fresh rising star in a one-woman show about her the various odd jobs one can find in NYC by answering Craigslist ads: My Melonbasket

…and in the second half of this double-bill, AJ Patton and Timmy Wood perform duo sketch comedy as Hype Squad

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): 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 ($30): The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 film classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers—including the incredible David Carl (Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet)—at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues): Point Break Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

8:00 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

8:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy group Richard will try to make you laugh for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Richard

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Lindsay Boiling: Creek Cave Live

[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

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club:Pablo Francisco

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15; SOLD OUT of seats, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[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, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Strong lineup of Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), Katie Hannigan (MTV), Nate Fridson, and Tyson Karrasch 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: Dave Hill, Nick Vatterott, Jessica Delfino, and More

9:00 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Juice

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Musical improv group Premiere—which features the best improv piano player in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—springboards off an audience suggestion to create a complete story with song and dance at The Magnettheatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer) performs a one-woman show about how “when she was 11 years old she became obsessed with the Bigfoot phenomenon: the hunters, the hoaxes, and the true believers. That same year, her homeroom classmates perpetrated a hoax of their own. They convinced the faculty that Cyndi was a thief, an instigator of fist-fights, and an agent of mayhem. It had all been lies and, by their high school years, the kids who had participated apologized and Cyndi forgave them. But the teachers still believed the legend that Freeman was a violent pathological liar. Friendships were lost, parents lived in fear, and only the children knew, and accepted, the truth. Weaving together fun trivia about the Bigfoot myth and darker tales about the fiction that surrounded her during her formative years, Freeman talks of truth and lies, motivations both hidden and obvious, and the resilience it takes to survive childhood” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) as part of the Frigid New York Festival: I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot: A Story about Bullies, Monsters, and Hoaxes

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Andrew Law (Seth Meyers), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV; co-star ofGUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Katie Kester (host of The Later Show), Ramon Rivas II (Nerdist), and Sharon Spell (host of Big Shrink) performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Forever Dog about ” a seemingly sleepy town sitting at the base of an active volcano” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Volcano Town

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy blended with dance, poetry, and live music at The PIT downstairs lounge from groupHis Majesty, The Baby

11:30 pm ($7): “What happens when two men-children refuse to grow up and attempt to host a demented kid’s show from their apartment,” starring Alan Fessenden (improv groups The Weave and Hello Laser) and Louie Pearlman (The Story Pirates), and featuring five additional comics at The Magnet theatre: Apt. 33

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Real-life lovers Diana Kolsky & Murf Meyer bring you the live counterpart to their saucy podcast, a fun, ballsy, raucous variety show about the audience” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Menage a Trois Radio Live

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts, with tonight’s theme The Thanksgiving Day Parade, at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

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 theStand 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 improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge forHappy 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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-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.)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/13/14

November 13, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jon Stewart is on David Letterman;
Jim Carrey is on Jimmy Kimmel and also on Ellen DeGeneres;
Mike Lawrence is on Seth Meyers;
Tom Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, and
Ben Garant are on @midnight

Point Break Live

David Carl and more in a stage recreation of a Keanu Reeves/Gary Busey/Patrick Swayze movie classic: Point Break Live

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 ($5): Strong lineup of Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Dive Comedy), 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), Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), and George Gordon performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:00 pm ($10): Improvisors pretend to be from 1813 England at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Austen Family Improv Players

7:30 pm ($5): A puppet improv & sketch troupe consisting of Nate Brown, Jacqueline Harper, Allison Moy Hayhurst, Julia M. Smith, and David Bizzaro perform at The PIT downstairs lounge: Team Lopez: Improv/Sketch Puppetry

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A TV star who was a cast member of MTV’s Punk’d and is now a cast member of FX’s The League headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Stephen Rannazzisi

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Dave Rosinsky, Josh Homer, Charlie Gaeta, Connie Perry, Brian Parise, and Jeff Cerulli performing stand-up, plus comedic musical duo Squirm & Germ, all at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Deepak Ananthapadmanabha & Hiram Becker: AbeMixture

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Paul Mecurio, Greer Barnes, Zainab Johnson, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; and Dave Attell, Joe Matarese, Big Jay Oakerson, and Kyle Dunnigan at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($30): The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 movie classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers—keep an eye on David Carl, a rising star playing the Gary Busey role, and expect extra laughs when a random audience member (maybe you) is chosen to take on the Keanu Reeves character—all 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): Point Break Live

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Ramy Youssef, and Daniel Shar performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jonathan Braylock & Steve Way: The Lockdown: Aparna Nancherla, Mike Lawrence, Carmen Lynch, and More

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter & Ray DeVito: Gary Gulman, Dan Soder, Jessica Kirson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show from Christian Capozzoli: Nutso Facto

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “Six months ago, Karin and Glenn started emailing each other every time they cried. Then they wrote a comedy show about feelings. To test the theory of ‘Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy,’ Karin and Glenn will perform some sketches, dance a little bit, and then tell you some very personal stories that they shouldn’t be talking about in front of this many people,” directed by Stone Cold Fox’s Leslie Meisel & Brandon Gulya: This Is Going to Hurt

[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 Micaela Blei at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with agame-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Alex Castle, and more performing at this weekly variety show for stand-up, sketch, and more at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Jo Firestone and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) joking about their culture—Jewish, African-American, Asian, geek, whatever—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shak Standley & Paul Higbie: The Black Bar Mitzvah

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

9:00 pm ($10): Improv spinning off the mythic TV series The Golden Girls at The PIT downstairs lounge: Four Broads and Cheesecake: Golden Girls Improv

9:30 pm ($10): Close-up parlor magic by Jordi Magomero at The PIT upstairs theatre: Jordi Magomero: Dreams about Magic

9:30 pm ($5): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), sketch duo Good Cop Great Cop, Liza Treyger, and more performing stand-up or sketch at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by a popular comedy site: College Humor Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): This monthly storytelling & variety show is dedicated to an artist or a work of art that has had a significant impact on the lives of various performers from around the city. This month spotlights 1990s Mormon boy band Hanson at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Oscar Montoya: I Will Always Love You…Hanson

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

10:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv team My Privacy competes against Warren for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf, Sarah Tollemache, and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night Open Mic

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

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

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

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

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/3/14

April 3, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Honestly, I can’t get past the fact Andy Daly’s character in Review has no credible motivation for the idiotic things he does. (“Comedy” doesn’t mean “Throw storytelling rules out the window…”) Still, any series featuring the luminous & brilliant Jessica St. Clair automatically has its existence justified; plus the writing staff includes wonderful comics Leo Allen and Andy Blitz. That said: 10:00 pm on Comedy Central.
Also, tune into @midnight for comedy giants Patton Oswalt & Brian Posehn.

Forrest Gump

At UCB Chelsea, first come to see Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp perform a brilliant parody of a film classic in GUMP

Games of Thrones

…and then catch a tribute to this Sunday’s return of an all-time great TV series: Game of Thrones Season Premier is Extravaganza

Point Break Live!

…or see a parody of a different type of “classic” at the stage recreation of a Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey flick: Point Break Live

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 ($5): Celebrating this year’s One Year Anniversary in its new location is a great lineup: TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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.), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), and Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents) tries out stand-up material every night through Sunday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Louis Katz

[$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Mike Yard hosts tonight’s lineups, which include Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:45 show; Paul Mecurio, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Ryan Hamilton at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, James Smith, Jon Fisch, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp prove themselves among the finest writer/performers at UCB with a consistently charming and hilarious version of Forest Gump that covers the entire film in 30 minutes, and features a deliciously funny Jenny played by Brandon Gulya, who also directed, resulting in one of the best sketch shows currently playing on an NYC stage: GUMP

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a full-blown musical about “three polygamist pop stars on the hunt for their brother husband,” starring Caitlin Davis, Kaleigh Malloy, and Elizabeth May (with some help from Dave May): Missionary in Manhattan: A Mormon Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($26): The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 movie classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers—keep an eye on David Carl, a rising star playing the Gary Busey role, and expect extra laughs when a random audience member (maybe you) is chosen to take on the Keanu Reeves character—all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Point Break Live

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 8:00 pm (FREE online using code JFL; no min.): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, TruTV) hosts stand-up auditions for the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 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 Welded (musical improv that takes two seemingly separate scenes and fuses them together), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Jed Teres 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] 8:00 pm ($5): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central), and Kenny Z 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

8:00 pm ($8): Two musical improv groups make up song-and-dance-based stories on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Slick Zombie & Hemlock

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Perry Strong, David Finklestein, Alyssa Wolff, and Neruda Williams performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun and/or Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Leah Bonnema & Tim Warner: Modern Day Philosophers

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Great lineup of Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), Matt Wayne (co-host of See You in Hell), and Robbie Collier performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A tribute to one of the all-time greatest shows in TV history (and which is thankfully returning to HBO this Sunday night), featuring such stellar sketch comics as Aaron Jackson and Brandon Gulya performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by Alan Starzinski and Kate Riley (as Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen): Game of Thrones Season Premier is Extravaganza

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch, improv, and audience participation, with tonight’s special guest Brette Goldstein (NYC casting director) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Night Out with The Pin-Up Squirrels

9:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe The Jessicas (which includes dynamic actress Jessica Sherr) makes stuff up with guest improvisor Julia Morales, plus opening improv groups Puh-Sow! and Stefan and Friends, all at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Jessicas Have a Crush on Langston Belton

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($9.75 online using code JFL; no min.): Terrific lineup of Mark Normand (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show; for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), 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), and Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Mark Normand, Mike Lawrence, Michelle Buteau, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre, with tonight’s guest comics TBA: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv group Fuck That Shit easily won its 9th victory in a row against team Gulf Oil with a score of 71-45. Tonight FTS aims goes up against a prestigious UCB East weekend improv group, What I Did For Love, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for 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

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

[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

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

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

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at 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-$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: 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 Friday 12/6/13

December 6, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Pete’s most recent guests include comedy giants John Mulaney and Marc Maron. For highlights of The Pete Holmes Show, please click here.

Point Break Live

A stage recreation of a Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze movie classic: Point Break Live…

Ben Bailey

…Ben Bailey (Cash Cab) performs at the 8:00, 10:00, and midnight shows at The Stand, and also the 12:15 am Comedy Cellar…

Susie Essman

…and Susie Essman (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 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), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite people in the world, the delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at FringeNYC; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor), and her talented comedy partner Jana Schmieding spearhead a sharply written & performed sketch show at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

7:00 pm ($8): Christmas-themed Sketches about “Santas, Scrooges, snowmen, and the absurd notion of peace on earth” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Perfect Gift: A Holiday Sketch Show

7:00 pm ($8): Improv spinning off the mythic TV series The Golden Girls at The PIT downstairs lounge: Four Broads and Cheesecake: Golden Girls Improv

[$] 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 lineups include Gary Gulman and Ryan Hamilton at the 7:00 show; Greer Barnes and James Smith at the 8:00 show; Jeff Ross, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show; Jeff Ross, Ryan Hamilton, and Lynne Koplitz at the 10:00 show; Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, James Smith, and Tony Woods at the 10:30 show; and my [TOP PICK] Rich Vos, Ben Bailey, Nick Griffin, Tony Woods, Big Jay Oakerson, and host Keith Robinson at the 12:15 am show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($5): Stand-up from Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, The Office, Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York) and Michael Haar (East Village Radio), and sketch from The Sabzi Brothers (Jawnee Conroy & Bardia Salimi) and The Moon Players (Jordan Clifford & Tim Skinner), all at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen (co-host of The Moon Show): Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) does a show based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($26): The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 movie classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers—keep an eye on David Carl, a rising star playing the Gary Busey role, and expect extra laughs when a random audience member (maybe you) is chosen to take on the Keanu Reeves character—all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Point Break Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Rich Vos, Ben Bailey, Dan St. Germain, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest writer/performers alive. His NYC production last year was the most revealing I’ve seen from him, but distancing at the same time, essentially opening himself up to tell us that he’s not very good with trust or intimacy. This year he’s doing a show in which he doesn’t speak a word, but instead plays recordings of his and other voices (draw your own conclusions…). I haven’t seen this because of massive deadlines, but you can read a carefully balanced and nuanced review from Jason Zinoman of The New York Times here and a blunt review from Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post here. Expect a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is something special. Nab tickets for this run playing every day except Mondays from November 22nd through December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): Analog,Ue

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Terrific comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, a.k.a. Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, reprise their delightfully dark FringeNYC comedy about the rise and fall of a child star at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Underdeveloped and Overexposed Life and Death of Deena Domino

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Just waking up for your graveyard shift at the strip club? Brewing that first pot of coffee before your overnighter at the parking garage? Then wake up with hosts Ross Hyzer and Eric Grundhauser as they welcome the hottest guests of the 90s, and a fresh perspective on news and pop culture that’s sure to keep people talking all night long” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Good Morning Nights

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up (numerous appearances on Conan O’Brien, HBO one-hour special) headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Susie Essman

[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 NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): 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, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Phil Jackson, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Rich Vos, Ben Bailey, Russ Meneve, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; SOLD OUT, but you can show up early and request being added to a standby list): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Eliza Kingsbury (smart, inventive young comedic actress to keep an eye on; for a sample video, please click here), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Nat Towsen (co-host of The Moon Show), and Eddie Brawley performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Indie musical improv troupe Petting Zoo takes an audience member’s confession and turns it into a Broadway musical on the spot for this Two Year Anniversary celebration at The Magnet theatre: Petting Zoo

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Fine lineup of Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show); for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), and Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy) performing stand-up, plus sketch from trio Boat, at UCB East hosted by Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable, co-host of School Night): Something Cool Stand-Up

[$] Midnight ($20; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Ben & Josh, and Giulio Gallarotti performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Dan St. Germain, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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 hosts Erin Lennox and/or Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[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

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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 Friday 11/15/13

November 15, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Point Break Live

A stage recreation of a Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze movie classic: Point Break Live

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, 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 lineups include SNL’s Darrell Hammond at the 7:00 and 8:00 shows, and Dave Attell and Kurt Metzger at the 12:15 am show, with all shows 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

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): 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.), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($8): An audience suggestion is turned into singing and dancing scenes on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge by musical improv group Good Catch

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish pm: Strong lineup for this Second Anniversary show consisting of Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, The Office, Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot 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), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), and Jonathan Morvay performing stand-up at the One and One Bar (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour: Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Kate Berlant, Nick Vatterott, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. Tonight is the kick-off of a collection of the very best sketches the team has performed since it began in 2011: Stone Cold Fox: The Best of 75 Years

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($26): The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 film classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues): Point Break Live

7:30 ($5): Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central) and Jim Tews (“clawing his way to the middle for nearly a decade”) each perform 30-minute sets at UCB East hosted by Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV: Big Long Sets

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from Hot Buffet

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups aiming to slay audiences at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Destroy All Humans

[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 NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): 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, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Phil Jackson, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Jacqueline Novak, Matteo Lane, Mike Recine, and Adam Mamawala performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: Nasal Fisting Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($19.62 in advance online, $25 at the door): A top-notch theatrical troupe that’s equally fine at compelling acting and split-second comedy uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes. This 15th edition of the series (begun in 2011) focuses on Fame at the LES’ COW Theatre (21-A Clinton Street): Blogologues: Fame – Show Us Your Tweets. #twerkingtothetop

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

9:30 pm ($8): Comics and political pundits (not announced) gather to make fun of politics at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Justin Grace, Mike Pullan and James Ferrarella, who also promise “skits, arm wrestling, jeopardy, contests, drinking, and everything else you would do on an” Almost Saturday Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) Natasha Leggero is a razor-sharp and irresistible star who was the stand-out judge on the final Last Comic Standing; who’s performed on Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, The Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, and FX, and a Comedy Central Presents special; and who recently killed on Comedy Central’s roast of James Franco with her witty, biting writing. Moshe Kasher has performed on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Chelsea Lately, MTV, IFC, and written the book Kasher in the Rye. Both of these not-to-be-missed LA comics are headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher

[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

[$] 10:30 pm ($15): Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), Jon Braylock (host of The Lockdown), Langan Kingsley (McSweeneys), and Luke Thayer (Tyra Banks; co-host of The Living Room) performing at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($8): A book release party for Comedy Under Attack: The Golden Age and the Headwinds by Carl Unegbu, with stand-up from Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry stand-up; Conan O’Brien; writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing), and Josh Rabinowitz (Comedy Central) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Dean Masello: Comedy Under Attack Book Release Party

11:00 pm ($10): Singer/songwriter Jaime Cepero (NBC’s Smash), fashion designer & blogger Taylor Morgan, and stand-up Mike O”Gorman (VH1’s Best Week Ever) at a late night talk show hosted by Jamie Leelo at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A rotating cast drawing from over a dozen of the talented gal improvisors and sketch comics at The Magnet—including Artistic Director Megan Gray, Lauren Olson, Elena Fishbein, Kimberly Ferguson, and Beth Newell—aim to “give you a dark and twisted late night explosion:” The Clubhouse

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts, with tonight’s theme The Thanksgiving Day Parade, at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

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 hosts Erin Lennox and/or Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[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

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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.