NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 11/28/16

November 28, 2016

Rachel Dratch, Cady Huffman,and Scott Adsit

Star improvisors including Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Scott Adsit (co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel; half of genius improv duo John & Scott), Brian Stack (long-time writer for Conan O’Brien and Stephen Colbert), and Tami Sagher (writer for HBO’s Girls, NBC’s 30 Rock, Broad City; movie Don’t Think Twice) and TV/movie/Broadway stars including Cady Huffman, Jeff Hiller, and Mark Gagliardi crash improv into classic theatre scenes for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water (8:00 pm, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

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

[TOP PICK] 6:30 ($5): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show) and Sarah Tollemache (Comedy Central) each perform a 30-minute stand-up set at the UCB East theatre: Matt Koff and Sarah Tollemache

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Wonderfully witty comedic musician Erin Hall performs both new songs and established crowd-pleasers at the UWS Apple Store by Lincoln Center. Come be delighted, at no charge, by Erin and Her Cello

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A comic who’s written for MTV2, Billy on the Street, and The Onion performs stand-up (for a sample, please click here) every night through Wednesday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Neal Stastny

7:00 pm ($5): Michael Kandel, Joe Miciak, and Zach Tomasovic perform sketch comedy revolving around the city of Boston at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Visit Boston

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): House groups perform their finest sketches of the past year at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams: Best in Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 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) and a 7:30 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Anthony Atamanuik (Trump vs. Bernie, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Tony Show), Sasheer Zamata (cast member of Saturday Night Live), and Andrew Rose Gregory (Songify This, Auto-Tune the News) chug two beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody Lindquist: Two Beers In

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Sal Vulcano (co-star of TruTV’s Impractical Jokers), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; comedy album Good Year), Emily Gelati, Andrew Colin, and Pedro Gonzalez performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Mike Lawrence, Dan Soder, Sam Morril, Mike Yard, Rory Albanese, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

8:00 pm ($5): Comics perform solo character bits at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Imposter Character Show

8:00 pm ($10): A group of actors and improvisors attempt to duplicate the success of UCBT’s Gravid Water by putting improvisors in the middle of classic theatre scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre. UCBT uses top Broadway and improv talent for its show, making it extraordinary. The participants of this show aren’t quite at that level, but the format is so strong that this might work anyway, despite the awful title: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($6): A safe place to try out new material, with tonight’s stand-ups Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; former co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), Bob Powers (author of Happy Cruelty Day, writer of The Triumph Election Special), Eric Kirchberger (HBO, Comedy Central), and Casey Balsham performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by 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): New Release Day with Christian Finnegan

9:00 pm ($5): Sketch duo Maggie Lalley & Becca Beberaggi perform desperate sketch comedy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Maggie and Becca Live Their Lives

9:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from underrepresented voices at The Magnet theatre: Remix: Diversity Sketch

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, Chrissy Shackelford performs a (mostly) one-woman show as Diane Shangri-La, “legendary film star of the 60s and 70s who the world’s most famous sex symbol until Hollywood kicked her to the curb for turning the ancient age of 35. Now she’s back with original characters and impressions to prove that her career is Not Dry Yet

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch group Nipsey explains how things work in Nipsey Presents Science

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phil Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

9:30 pm ($5): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Improvisors & stand-ups perform a show based entirely around the oddball Twitter comments of superstar musician Kanye West at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Brian Mitchell & Jose Acevedo: Kanye Confidential: Improvised Kanye Tweets

10:30 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world-who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea typically hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the best stand-ups in the country; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There). Reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Stu Melton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

Notable Ongoing Theatrical Comedy Shows

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm, or 4:30 pm on Sundays, through 1/8/17 ($28-$48; use code BBOX20 for discounts): Comedy genius Chris Gethard performs his superb one-man show about anger, depression, perseverance, and the healing power of laughter, seamlessly blending stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience at The Lynn Redgrave Theater (45 Bleecker Street, right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop): Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm weeknights, 5:00 pm matinees this weekend, plus 9:30 pm this Saturday night, through 12/3 ($24.50 online using discount code JOSIE24): One of my favorite comics, Josie Long, is visiting from the UK to perform a blend of storytelling & stand-up through December 3rd that, in the wake of Brexit, is about “wanting more from life than it might be up for giving out.” Josie’s trying to emotionally cope with the far right hijacking her country through outrageous lying and rule breaking, demonstrating that they represent the worst in us rather than the best we’d hope for in our leaders, echoes all that’s happened to Americans since our own recent election. So a small silver lining to Trump’s win is that it’s made Josie’s show utterly relevant to what most New Yorkers are feeling right now… Catch it at The Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): Josie Long: Something Better

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm; plus 2:00 pm matinees on Saturdays; or 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm on Sundays, through 1/15/17 ($37-$139; use code OHBOX111 for discounts): I haven’t seen this, so can’t comment on its merits; but you should be aware that two of the sharpest and funniest comics in the biz, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, are performing as their old men characters in this Broadway show at the Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street): Oh, Hello

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.

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 11/1/16

November 1, 2016

Whoopi Goldberg, Rachel Dratch, and Mitch HedbergThis first day of the Seventh Annual New York Comedy Festival features Gilbert Gottfried interviewing Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin McDonald interviewing Rachel Dratch, a tribute to Mitch Hedberg, and much more. For the full schedule, please click New York Comedy Festival 2016

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($19.11 online using discount code BNFAM, plus 2-drink min.): Jamie LeeLo interviews Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), David Carl (hilarious, charismatic rising star; Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), and more at the Carolines Comedy Club: Brunch Night with Jamie LeeLo

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Whatever Happened to the Nerds? and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), featuring guest storyteller Nick Stevens (CBS Sports comedy host; Comedy Central, AMC, KROQ Radio) at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue): The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

7:00 pm ($5): A one-man show in which Filip Jeremic plays six different characters taking six different trips in search of love at The PIT upstairs theatre: Trippin’

7:00 pm ($5): The host of Creek Cave Live tries out stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Casey James Salengo

7:00 pm ($5): Musical improv group Mint Condition performs again for one night only at The PIT downstairs lounge: Mint Condition Reunion Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 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): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door): A monthly wild pun competition hosted by father-daughter duo Fred Firestone and Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author with Fred of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), with 18 audience members competing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street; take R subway to Union Street): Punderdome 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), and Matt Rogers performing and/or being interviewed for this show about obsessions with pop culture on tonight’s topic Back 2 School at UCB East hosted by Damian Bellino & Anne Rodeman: So Into It: A Fanatic Variety Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 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 at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($5): Comics perform scripted characters, then make up scenes with an improv group while still in character, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Characters Unwelcome

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Sam Morril (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour) performs a solo stand-up show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Sam Morril: You’ve Changed

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Rojo Perez, and Mike Denny performing stand-up at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Liza Treyger (Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately): Cakeshop Comedy: Mark Normand, Sean Donnelly, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

8:30 pm ($5): “A few months ago Zachary Brenner interviewed every woman who has ever dumped or rejected him. He then wrote a comedy show inspired by their answers” at The PIT downstairs lounge: (A) Sexual Creature

[FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($7): Rory Scovel (Conan O’Brien, NBC Undateable, ABC’s Modern Family, Inside Amy Schumer, @midnight; for sample stand-up video, please click here), Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The New Yorker), Camille Harris (highly appealing singer/sketch comic/cutie; co-host of The Weekend Drop; SXSW; music album Silly Jazz), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): Skilled improvisors David Rysdahl & Paul Gutkowski make up a play on the spot at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) as improv duo True East

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Dan Chamberlain (hilarious larger-than-life character actor & sketch performer; sketch writer for Above Average), Alison Leiby (VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Raj Sivaraman, and Carmen Lagala present funny lectures on silly topics—e.g., “Octopuses: Squishy Satans of the Sea”—at the UCB East theatre produced by Kara Klenk and hosted by Jim Tews: Homeschooled—A Comedic Lecture Series

[$] 9:30 pm ($20): A full-blown scripted musical about Donald Trump—”the story of our greatest American, and his rise from humble reality star/heir to the classiest candidate in American history”—at The PIT upstairs theatre: In Trump We Trust

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Superb all-gal lineup of Aparna Nancherla, Michelle Wolf, Emma Willmann, Liza Treyger, Janelle James, Subhah Agarwal, BanterGirl, Ladies of Comedy (LOCA), Aparna Nancherla, BanterGirl, and Ladies of Comedy performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Kerry Coddett: Damn, She’s Funny

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A frat-themed comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Carmen Lagala, Billy Prinsell, and Samantha Ruddy: Creek Bros

11:00 pm ($5): A monthly interview show with stand-up, sketch, and music at The PIT downstairs lounge: Too Late with Chris Hamilton

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, improv group Mermaids performs different types of longform at the UCB East theatre: Harold on the Run

Tuesday 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): A chance for writers and actors to walk in and try out sketches on stage (casting begins at 5:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kristen O’Brien: Cold Cream

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] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Four booked NYC stand-ups, plus one open spot for an audience member whose name is pulled from a bucket, plus drop-in spots for up to five TV-credited comics who care to walk in! Spots are at least 5 minutes each, but go up by a minute per comic for every TV-credited drop-in spot that isn’t filled (e.g., if no drop-ins appear, every comic will receive up to 10 minutes per set). It all happens at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Daniel Ahrens: Drop-In/The Bucket

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tuesday After Class Jam

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

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!)

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:

The Stand

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, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/8/15

June 8, 2015

For more discounted NYC shows, please click here

TV Alert:: Larry David, Jason Alexander,
and Natasha Leggero are on Jimmy Fallon;
Thomas Middleditch, Nick Offerman, and
Ellie Kemper are on James Corden;
Sean Donnelly, Godfrey, and Jen Kirkman are on @midnight

Mike O'Brien

Two brilliant Saturday Night Live stars perform a few blocks from each other: At UCB Chelsea, Mike O’Brien does his one-man sketch show 45 Minutes of Things

Rachel Dratch

…and at The Magnet, Rachel Dratch does sketch with Tami Sagher, Rachel Hamilton, and more in Bummers Presents Running

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

 [FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:25 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Tracy Mull, and Becky Krause— at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5 at the door with the code words NHShow HyReviews, otherwise $10): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Whatever Happened to the Nerds?and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), featuring guest storyteller Terri Trespicio: The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

7:00 pm ($7): A one-woman musical by Lauren Hope Krass about trying to find Prince Charming at The Magnettheatre: Princess Charming

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Kaytlin Bailey (Pink Collar Comedy Tout) tries out stand-up material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Kaytlin Bailey

7:00 pm ($5): Allison Frasca & Tovah Silbermann attempt to pull off the difficult feat of creating a compelling show via improvised dance at The PIT upstairs theatre: 123 123 DANCE: A 45 Minute Ode to Sia

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Colin Quinn, Michael Che, Todd Barry, Mark Normand, Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, Big Jay Oakerson, and Pete Davidson, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brilliant Saturday Night Live writer & performer Mike O’Brien “performs solo sketch and stand-up, reads a short story, and in general, does things. Come out to see experimental comedy as well as comedy that involves no experimentation” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Mike O’Brien: 45 Minutes of Things

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A glorious reunion of Charlie Saunders (who’s moved to LA) with Charlie Todd and Chuck Dauble at UCB East to form their legendary champion three-man improv group C, C,+C Improv Factory

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot) hosts this monthly show, with tonight’s guests Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight, The New Yorker), Jaqi Furback, and Rachel Rosenthal performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue). Described by Patton Oswalt as “like a kid’s show done in Bosnia,” it’s: Myq Kaplan & Friends

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Al Madrigal (correspondent for The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) and Graham Kay performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Cannon & Alexis Guerreros: Al Madrigal, Dan Soder, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Nate Fernald, Drew Michael, and more TBD performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): Producers, writers, and other staff members of TruTV show Impractical Jokers improvise scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Impractical Jokers Staff Infection

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item food or drink min.): NYC stand-ups Randy Syphax, Drew Dowdey, Ashley Morris, and Kali Mao performing at The Village Lantern Downstairs Club (167 Bleecker Street) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan and/or LeClerc Andre: Unarmed and Dangerous Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10; sold out, but if you arrive early you can get on a waiting list to take the seats of no-shows): A sketch show on the theme running with SNL star Rachel Dratch, Tami Sagher (superb staff writer for Broad City; former writer for 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and Inside Amy Schumer; writer and producer for Mad TV, 2001-2006), Rachel Hamilton, Melanie Hoopes, and Jean Villepique performing at The Magnet theatre: Bummers Presents Running

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Lover (which includes superb comedy writer Marguerite Spellman) and Dangerous Woman (which includes brilliant sketch writer/performer and rising star Lauren Olson, plus Doug Widdick and Becky Chicoine): Maude Night: Lover and Dangerous Woman

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phil Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Solid lineup of Al Madrigal, Dan Soder, Adam Newman, Adrienne Iapalucci, Barry Rothbart, Liz Miele, Mike Vecchione, Jordan Carlos, Graham Kay, and Tom Cassidy performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Al Madrigal, Dan Soder, Adam Newman, Adrienne Iapalucci, Barry Rothbart, Liz Miele, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-nigh-only team at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

10:15 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from groups Screwdriverz and Gyre at The Magnet theatre: Psycho

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing): Whiplash

Monday 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] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base 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-$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)

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.

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 Monday 2/23/15

February 23, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you’d like a prime seat to Saturday’s Demetri Martin show
at Town Hall (Row 2 Loge, dead center) for my cost ($61.90),
please email me at hy@hyreviews.com.

TV Alert: The cast of the fabulous It’s Always Sunny
In Philadelphia
 is on Conan O’Brien;
Paul F. Tompkins, and puppets Star Schlessinger
and Hot Dog, are on @midnight

Myq Kaplan

Myq Kaplan, one of the finest & most quick-witted stand-ups in in the biz, is among the attractions at The Mehran Show

Rachel Dratch

..and Rachel Dratch is among the star-packed cast of tonight’s Gravid Water

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) seamlessly blends stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience. In this show Chris achieves a new maturity to his already stellar career with a beautifully honest look at his experiences with mental illness and suicide that reaches exceptional heights at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

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 I’ll try to catch at least some of it for that reason; and either way, it’s worth at least $10 to check out any random episode and experience this as a novelty. Part 2 is debuting tonight at The PIT upstairs theatre, with Episode 1 at 7:00 pm 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:Kapow-i GoGo Part 2: Kapow-i GoGo Z

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include a great lineup of Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Mark Normand, Greer Barnes, Rachel Feinstein, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Keith Alberstadt, Sherrod Small, and Sam Morril at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Big Jay Oakerson, Cipha Sounds, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Top improvisors and Broadway & TV stars—who tonight include Rachel Dratch, Michael O’Brien, Mike Birbiglia, Sandy Rustin, Amy Warren, Cristin Milioti, Julie Sharbutt, Peter Grosz, and Michael Delaney—crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): 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), Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), Sue Smith, and Rekha Shankar being interviewed and/or performing at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), and more performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield(622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Jon Ronson (New York Timesbestselling author of The Men Who Stare At Goats and more; screenwriter; This American Life), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on this season’s Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen), and Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Mehran Khaghani: The Mehran Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days (stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Sean Hart, Kristen Acimovic, and Joel Weidl, plus exceptionally superb writers) and Roanoke: Maude Night: Legs For Days andRoanoke

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, 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), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Subhah Agarwal, Casey Balsham, and Lafayette Wright performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Joe Pera, Cipha Sounds, Monroe Martin, and More

10:00 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller and/or Dee Marie: Gentrification

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday 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] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base 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-$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)

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/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 Sunday 3/16/14

March 16, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch performs at matinee children’s show Two Juice Minimum

Mark DeMayo

…and cop turned stand-up Mark Demayo performs his one-man show about his 20 years in the NYPD: 20 & Out

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] 3:00 pm ($10): The spectacular Rachel Dratch (former Saturday Night Live cast member) performs in this sketch and stand-up show for kids—with no irony, this is for children aged 4-10—hosted by Mark Malkoff at The PIT upstairs theatre: Two Juice Minimum

[FREE] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris O’Neil: Mishmash Variety Hour

6:00 pm ($7): Live traditional Irish songs, performed by John Borland & Brendan Jordan, are used as springboards by eight sharp improvisors—including Megan Gray—to create an hour of scenes made up on the spot at The Magnet theatre: SceneSongs: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

6:00 pm ($10): Sketch, improv, and audience participation, with tonight’s special guest Ali Farahnakian (SNL, owner of The PIT) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Night Out with The Pin-Up Squirrels

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), John Milhiser (Saturday Night Live, sketch group Serious Lunch), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, VH1), sketch group Good Cop Great Cop (Funny or Die), and more performing stand-up or sketch—plus surprises—at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Brian McElroy: The Macaulay Culkin Show

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

7:30 pm ($7): New groups Baby Shoes and Action Park perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Todd Barry, Gary Gulman, Dov Davidoff, and Gina Yashere at the 8:00 show; Nick Griffin and Gina Yashere at the 9:45 show; and Mark Normand, Joe Matarese, Marina Franklin, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Guest improvisors Micah Sherman, Joe Schiappa, and Kevin Cragg, guest improv groups Gypsy Danger and Junior, and host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl), make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Live stage readings of popular Saved By The Bell episodes, with each cast member allowed an optional 3-minute Zack Morris style “time out” for episode-specific stand-up or a fan fiction bonus scene at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Bayside Myself

8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $12.62 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), Jolenta Greenberg, Louis Peitzman, and Alex Edelman performing stand-up or storytelling at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Mara Wilson: What Are You Afraid Of?

8:00 pm ($5): Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), Robert Dean (co-host of Comedy at Alligator Lounge), David Smithyman, Chris Lamberth, and Julio Torres performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Miguel Dalmau, Gabe Pacheco, and Drew Michael performing stand-up at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Jim Tews (co-host of Cheat Hair), Carmen Lagala, Andrew Michael, and Jay Welch performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

9:00 pm ($7): Sketches written, performed, and directed by literally dozens of female comics at The Magnet theatre: Lady Sketch Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm ($15): Typically terrific NYC stand-ups (not announced this week) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City and Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show; former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace): Comedy Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Mark DeMayo was an NYC cop for 20 years—who then retired to pursue his true passion, stand-up comedy. Tonight Mark debuts a one-man show sharing the highlights of his time on the force at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Peter Michael Marino: 20 & Out

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

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

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

[FREE] 5:30 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 Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

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

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 2 minutes per walk-in performer picked at random from a bucket of names, at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jonathan Morvay and/or Evan Williams: Child Support

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

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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 Monday 1/27/14

January 27, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rachel Dratch

A star-packed show, including Rachel Dratch…

Amber Tamblyn

…and Amber Tamblyn at a spectacular edition of Gravid Water

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): Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers, Stone Cold Fox) gets ready for the Sochi Winter Games at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Connor Ratliff’s Second Annual Olympic Workout

[FREE] 7:00ish pm: All-gal lineup of Emmy Blotnick, Sharon Spell, Peggy O’Leary, Mary Houlihan, and Andrea Ilene performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Spike Hill (184 & 186 Bedford Avenue, off N 7th Street) hosted by Marcia Belsky: Saw Her Stand Up There

7:00 pm ($8): A (more or less) solo show by Meg Griffiths about “a hardened female New York City landlord who threatens to evict each of her tenants unless someone admits to killing her prized heirloom hydrangea bush in this comedic who-done-it” at The PIT upstairs theatre: It Came From Below

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of young improvisors performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Free Improv Monday

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Alex Edelman, Angel Yau, and Jonathan Yoni Lotan performing at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street): Party Vortex

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Amazing star-studded show—including Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live, Bob’s Burgers), Jon Glaser (Conan O’Brien, Delocated), Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia, House, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), Jonathan Kaplan (Broadway’s Diary of Anne Frank and Falsettos), and Julie Sharbutt (The Good Wife)—crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): 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), Casey Jost (Head Writer of truTV’s Impractical Jokers, former writer for Jimmy Fallon), Monrock (Last Comic Standing), and Josh Homer performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 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 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), and featuring tonight’s guest storytellers Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion; host of Best in Show) and Bob Powers (author of You Are a Miserable Excuse for a Hero and upcoming The Terrible, Horrible, Temp-to-Perm Debacle): Tales of the Cosmos

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Jim Tews (“clawing my way to the middle for nearly a decade”), and Chris Lamberth performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness) performs stand-up and discusses issues with tonight’s guest Hamilton Morris (Science Editor of Vice Magazine and contributor to Harper’s Magazine) at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Greg Barris: Mind Warriors

[$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Jeff Ross, Carmen Lynch, Robert Kelly, Phil Hanley,TuRae, and Jim David performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Jeff Ross, Carmen Lynch, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Tom Dunlap (Sirius XM Radio), Brian Parise, and Jason Burke performing stand-up, plus comedic singer Tim Ellis (co-host of Manifesto), at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (MTV; co-host of School NIght) screens her new Web series about “an up-and-coming comedian as she navigates the frustrating, clench-worthy situations that inspire her stand-up” and that includes performances SNL’s Sasheer Zamata, Anna Rose Roisman, Caitlin Brodnick, Mike Brown, J.F. Harris, and Angela Cobb at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave): Free Cable: Clench & Release Screening

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Alamo (which includes Siobhan Thompson) and Moriarty (which includes Kara Klenk): Maude Night: Alamo and Moriarty

9:30 pm ($10): A musical Harold—that is, long-form improv with song and dance—at The Magnet theatre from group Big D and the Closers

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; 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), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Mark Normand, Joe Matarese, Nick Griffin, Ophira Eisenberg, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: 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), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories), Crystian Ramirez, Anthony DeVito, Emma Willmann, and Danny Palmer performing for this free weekly stand-up show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays: Dan St. Germain, Adrienne Iapalucci, Mark DeMayo, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller & Dee Marie: Gentrification

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen: Whiplash

Monday 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

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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 stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

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 Monday 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 Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

10:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3; sign up here): If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night. If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills via a 5-minute set at this stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Lorelei Ramirez: Sharing Time With Your Host Mom

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: 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 Monday 4/29/13

April 29, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rachel Dratch

Brilliant SNL stars Rachel Dratch (above) and Jason Sudeikis are among the improvisors at Gravid Water…

Leslie Goshko

…and wonderful storytellers Leslie Goshko (above), Dave Hill, and more try to mislead you at The Liar Show

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

6:00 pm ($5 cover for comics, no cover for audience with code HyReviews, plus 1-drink min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 1/2 minutes per set and 20 comics crammed into 2 hours—at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal Street) for John Morrison’s Village Motel

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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 stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Wonderfully witty comedic musician Erin and Her Cello performs both new songs and established crowd-pleasers at the Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2  (196 Allen Street, near the F subway’s Second Avenue stop). Erin is the real deal, a truly gifted artist, and this show is highly recommended: Erin and Her Cello

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A stand-up who’s appeared on Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio performs a long set at The Magnet theatre: Jamie Kilstein

7:00 pm ($5): Veteran improvisors—including Keisha Zollar and Rob Stern—will be touring as representatives of The PIT, and practicing tonight at The PIT downstairs lounge: The PIT TourCo

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Broadway, off-Broadway, and TV/film stars Jonathan Kaplan (Broadway: The Diary of Anne Frank, Falsettos (Tony nominee)), Krysta Rodriguez (NBC’s Smash, Broadway: Addams Family, A Chorus Line) Olivia Wilde (In Time, Cowboys & Aliens), and Julie Sharbutt (Maladies, The Good Wife) mixing it up with some of the best  improvisors in the world—Rachel Dratch (former cast member of Saturday Night Live, Second City), Jason Sudeikis (star cast member of Saturday Night Live; film Horrible Bosses), Tami Sagher (30 Rock, Broad City), and Michael Delaney (legendary improv troupes The Stepfathers and The Swarm)—as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The lovely and talented gals (and a couple of guys) of HelloGiggles.com share tales about their horrible break-ups at UCB East, with storytellers Jena Friedman, Nate Dern, Rachel Sklar, Sean Morrow, and Julia Gazdag, plus extraordinary host Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles: The Break-Up Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Matt Lamp (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by TuRae (Comedy Central): Colin Quinn, Tom Papa, Matt Lamp, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Dwayne Kennedy (FX’s Totally Biased), Matt Kirshen (Jimmy Fallon), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), and Ian Karmel (Portlandia, The Groundlings) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.25 online using discount code NORTHERN; no drink min.): Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), Neil Charles, Jamarr Johnson, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Ray Devito and Josh Carter: Northern Discomfort: Nate Bargatze and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($8 cover plus $7 drink min.; 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 stellar yarn-spinners are Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko), Ed Gavagan (WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour), and Steve Zimmer (three-time Moth GrandSlam Champion). 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, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

8:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Jolene Turner based on her actual adventures “working as a server at one of the most regimented restaurants in the country, The American Girl Doll Café, and dealing with the inner chaos of middle age, mixed with booze and bad decisions, which boils to a head within this super sugary-sweet doll world.” Check out this video promo and then come to The Magnet theatre for Doll Talk: A Story of Girlhood

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), JL Cauvin, Adam Conover, and Jacqueline Novak performing stand-up at 25 Avenue A (Avenue A & 2nd Street): The Meaning of Life Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Stellar stand-ups Mark Normand, Michael Che, Dan Soder, Joyelle Nicole Johnson, and more are panelists for the podcast Minority Report at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel: Broken Comedy: The Minority Report Live

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Zoe Zimmerman (The Beards of Comedy), Calvin Cato, and Malwina Andruczyk performing stand-up, plus musical guest Kevin Johnston (The Bright Silence) at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) for this free weekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliant improvisor Ellena Chmielewski proves herself to also be a brilliant comedic writer, and a young, fresh voice about relationships, in this mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea she co-wrote with John Zachary Townsend, and that holds the seeds for a longer commercial stage production and/or a series on a network like MTV. Come enjoy watching the foundation of a promising career at one of the best-scripted shows to grace UCBT in a while (and if you know Ellena, urge her to star or co-star in her next production, because she’s a gifted performer too): Standards & Practices

…and in the second half of this double-treat, “all of the badass-ness of a baddass action film brought to you live on stage” by some of UCBT’s finest talents: Brandon Gulya (writer/co-star), Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, Kristen Acimovic, Eddie Dunn, Tim Martin, and Evan Greenspoon (co-writer) in a sketch comedy that proclaims “First they broke his town. Then they broke his heart. But there’s one thing they’ll never break—his gun!” I haven’t yet caught this, but it sounds great: The Unbreakable Gun

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($6.17 online using code EXPO2013, or $8 at the door): Sketch comics Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at FringeNYC; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor; sketch group Risky Bottom, improv group Chet Watkins), Veronica Osorio (sketch group Fambly), Elyse Brandau (web series Billy and Bonnie), and Sam Martin each showing off his or her best solo character work, plus a stand-up opener by Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1) at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Sam Martin & Branson Reese: Comedy Expo

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set—who tonight are Neil Constantine and Brandon Collins—and then Warren Holstein closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Stellar lineup of Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Veronica Mosey (Comedy Central, Dr. Phil, FOX) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by TuRae (Comedy Central): Dave Attell, Neal Brennan, Nick DiPaolo, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

10:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Whiplash

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jared Reed: Fresh

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

 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.