NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/15/16

June 15, 2016

Mark Normand and Rachel FeinsteinThis super-affordable club show features Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, Comedy Central special Only Whores Wear Purple, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Monroe Martin (finalist on Last Comic Standing), Vladimir Caamano (WB), and more: $5 Funnies at The Stand (10:00 pm, $5, no min., The Stand at 239 Third Avenue off 20th Street)

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including an open-to-all improv jam at 6:00 pm; group Lovers, which includes the spectacular Dana Krashin and Tracy Mull at 7:00 pm; and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Anna Drezen (superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters & movement, sketch; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Dan Chamberlain (superb sketch comic), sketch duo Good Cop/Great Cop, and Colin Burgess performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by the wonderful Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star): The Sensible Show

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12-$14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Storytelling about fathers from host Kambri Crews (who wrote a book about her dad), David Lawson (The Flyer Guy at Solocom 2015), Will Neville, Andrea Katsanakos, Robin Gelfenbien, and Gastor Almonte at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Role Models: Father’s Day Edition

7:30 pm ($5): Storytellers share tales of bad dates, and then improvisors create scenes that make those bad dates even worse at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ryan Darden: Bad Date Theater

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features three house groups making up scenes on the spot: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6): Terrific comics Jo Firestone, Julio Torres, Dan Licata, John Reynolds, Mary Houlihan, Carmen Christopher, and group Clam Up performing sketch or stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Matt Barats & Gary Richardson: B-B-B-B-Bits with Barats & friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Michelle Collins (The View) and friends perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Magic Mich XXL

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

8:30 pm ($10): A one-woman show by Laura Oberbeck at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Laura

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Comedic storytellers Corinne Fisher (Guys We Fucked Podcast), Billy Procida (The Manwhore Podcast), and Brian Scott Doyle tell tales about losing their virginity at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Angela Cobb: My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, The Nightly Show), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Michelle Biloon (E!’s Chelsea Lately), and more performing for this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): 301 Views

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a sketch show parodying Hollywood’s depiction of women and motherhood: M.I.L.P: Moms I’d Like to Portray

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “Bob Eimicke, a 62 year old lawyer and father who has zero comedy experience, converted from Catholicism to Judaism in order to marry his Jewish wife…and his son is making him talk about it on stage. Everyone’s going to have a great time, except for Bob:” My Dad Dumped Jesus

9:30 pm ($5): Amber Nelson and other stand-up comics guide you through “a typical day at school” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Lillian DeVane, Guitler Raphael, and Kofi Thomas: Hall Pass

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy group Math, Science, and the Humanities (Heather Potts, Matt Laud, Martin Nolan, and Zach Kohn) performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Comedy Smacked by Math, Science and the Humanities

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue), hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors pair up as scene-inventing duos for one night only at the UCB East theatre hosted by Leslie Meisel (Broad City, 30 Rock, Nurse Jackie, HBO’s Bored to Death) & Brian Faas: Couples Skate

10:30 pm ($5): Two sketch comedy groups perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Josh & Madde & Friends Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): “Every month James Dwyer & Jackie Jennings spend too much time on a big, dumb idea for a show that they will perform once and then never again” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: A Big Dumb Thing

Wednesday 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Walk-in open mic storytelling show, with each yarn-spinner (selected via names from a bucket) getting up to 8 minutes to tell a true and funny tale at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Vincent Chang: Flynn’s 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 at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

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: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez & Parker Denton: Recess

[FREE] 7:00 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 upstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Daniel Ahrens: Drop-In/The Bucket

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Camel Butt

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs theatre hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans: The Improv Jam

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; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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

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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 11/9/14

November 9, 2014

Want to be on an NBC prime time show? It’s your last day
to audition for America’s Got Talent; details here.

Broad City: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, and Amy Poehler

On this final day of a spectacular New York Comedy Festival week, Amy Poehler, Abbi Jacobson, and Ilana Glazer of Broad City are interviewed by Seth Rogen at The Paley Center, available free online at 6:40 via live streaming

Rachel Feinstein

…Rachel Feinstein tapes her new comedy album live at Subculture

Michael Che

…and Michael Che and other stand-ups are psychoanalyzed by Mark Normand & Matt Ruby at We’re All Friends Here

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 3:00 pm ($12): The debut of “a musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen written by two people who have never seen Wicked or Frozen,” written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmash, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

6:00 pm ($7): Sharp comics Justin Peters & Kelly Buttermore perform duo improv, plus solo improv from Pepita, atThe Magnet theatre: From Justin to Kelly and Pepita

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:40 pm: Broad City’s Executive Producer Amy Poehler, stars Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer, and director Lucia Aniello are interviewed by Seth Rogen at The Paley Center. Tickets at the venue are sold out, but you can watch free online via live streaming by clicking Id Isn’t Always Pretty: An Evening with Broad City

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15 at the door or $16.50 in advance online): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour) performs a live taping of her new comedy album at Subculture (45 Bleecker Street, right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop): Rachel Feinstein

[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): Sketch comedy groups Baby Shoes and Wendigo perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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, new comedy albumBangs!), Brooks Wheelan (former cast member of Saturday Night Live), Luke Cunningham, David Angelo, Rajiv Satyal, and Logan Guntzelman performing stand-up at UCB East guest-hosted by Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.): An acerbic stand-up star who’s appeared on Oprah, Jay Leno, Bill Maher, The View, and many other TV shows—and several films, to boot—headlining one last night at the CarolinesComedy Club: Sommore

[$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): No notable headliners officially scheduled tonight, but you can go in hope of drop-ins at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Max Bernstein and Andy Farnsworth, sketch from Tim Girrbach, improv from Diddler on the Roof, palm reading from Alyssa Potter, and comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Bar None(98 Third Avenue) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15 at the door or $16.52 in advance online): Michael Che (new SNL Weekend Update co-host; former star correspondent for The Daily Show and staff writer for Saturday Night Live; David Letterman,Comedy Central, VH1), Kaytlin Bailey, and more TBA perform stand-up sets and then are interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

9:00 pm ($7): Two one-man sketch shows from Jarret Berenstein (about rich people) and Shawn Wickens (reenacting classic SF movie Zardoz) at the Magnet theatre: Eccentric Billionaires and One-Man Zardoz

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jess Salomon, Joe Zimmerman, Ross Parsons, and Bill Stiteler performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors David Carl, Julie Sharbutt, Ashley Ward, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8 at the door or $9.53 online): “Eliot Glazer, a classically trained vocalist-turned-comedian, takes some of pop music’s most infamous songs and turns them into highbrow, sweeping ballads. An intimate night of bad music made good” at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street): Haunting Renditions with Eliot Glazer

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

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 hosted by James Ferrarella: 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 PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

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

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello:Lance Bass Space Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/25/14

July 25, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: Marc Maron is on Carson Daly (repeated from 5/7);
Whitney Cummings & Cameron Diaz are on Chelsea Lately (from 7/17);
Kurt Braunohler & Joe Zimmerman each star in Comedy Central Half Hour
specials starting at midnight

Rachel Feinstein

Rachel Feinstein is among the stand-ups performing three shows at the Eastville Comedy Club

Mary Lynn Rajskub

…and Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe on FOX’s 24) headlines through Sunday at the Carolines 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): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), 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), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm: “Alí Bibi is a traditional Muslim woman with a sense of humor. She has been doing stand-up comedy every time she is able to leave the house without her husband noticing” honing a long stand-up set every night this week through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: The Good, The Bad, and the Burka

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) “Chloe” on FOX’s 24 is actually a talented stand-up, and she headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mary Lynn Rajskub

7:00 pm ($10): Josh Krebs performs a one-man show about such characters as “an angry 13-year-old girl with a penchant for art films, an alcoholic rocker whose claim to fame is a theme to a popular children’s show, and a salesman with a time share of a lifetime on the moon” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Maniac

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, Langan Dice Kingsley establishes herself as a major UCB talent and rising star in this one-woman show demonstrating playful wit, a dancer’s grace, and vocal gymnastics that may make you concerned Langan hurts her voice (but you’ll want her to keep doing it anyway): The Dicewoman Cometh

…and in the second half of this double-bill, 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 Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya; Brandon also directed this show) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in show biz, hire them.) This new collection of sketches revolves around shopping malls: Stone Cold Fox Goes to the Mall

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Hannibal Buress, Gregg Rogell, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:45 show; Colin Quinn, Hannibal Buress, Marina Franklin, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show; and Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Jena Friedman, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 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] 8:00 pm ($8): A mix of storytelling, stand-up, and characters from Caitlin Brodnick, Myka Fox, Charles Gould, Jessie Male, and Jolenta Greenberg for a show providing advice from actual relationship experts Wilson McDermut and Amie Roe at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Relationshit!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Bridey Elliott (razor-sharp rising star; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Witstream, Fambly) hosts this stand-up show featuring Mo Fry Pas, Zach Broussard, and Sarah Tollemache, plus music from Luke Rathborne, all performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave): Hold Onto Your Underwear

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), 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), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), and Kyle Ayers performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar hosted by Tom Cowell & John Anderson: Heavy Metal Laser Plane

[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 the country from brilliant comics Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Jordan Klepper, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), George Gordon, Alison Stevenson, and Dustin Wesley 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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), and Langston Kerman performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher & Brian Jian: Nasal Vice Stand-Up

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

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from duo James Coker & Marshall Stratton, plus guests, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Coker & Stratton

[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: 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

[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 ($10): Dennie & Sharp (superb sketch comics; GUMP, hosts of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Ben Weitmarschen, and Rojo Perez 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 ($12): 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!

11:00 pm ($10): “A member of the audience will give their recollection of a randomly chosen historical event. The Historical Context Players will then reenact the telling of the event in all of its mutilated glory” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Historical Context

11:30 pm ($5): An all-gal improv group creates visceral scenes on the spot at the Magnet theatre: The Stank

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and Allie Kokesh & Natasha Vaynblat performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by superb sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp (GUMP): 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 host 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

[ALMOST FREE] 7:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night): The Lady Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Monday 2/24/14

February 24, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

It’s a big TV comedy night, with the return of The Pete Holmes Show and the debut of Late Night with Seth Meyers

Zach Woods

The Office’s Zach Woods is among the TV, Broadway, and improv stars at Gravid Water

Rachel Feinstein

…Rachel Feinstein performs a 30-minute set in preparation for her Comedy Central special at The Half Hour Run Through

Pete Holmes

…plus two big TV events—midnight on TBS following Conan O’Brien is the return of The Pete Holmes Show

Late Night with Seth Meyers

…and 12:35 am on NBC following Jimmy Fallon is the debut of Late Night with Seth Meyers

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

7:00ish pm (no cover, one drink min.): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet), Bob Greenberg, Christina Galston, Griffin Newman-Newman, and Chris Calogero performing stand-up or sketch at the M. White Bar (446-448 East 13th Street) hosted by Leanne Linsky: Casual Showcase

7:00 pm ($10): Host group FRAÜD, plus guest group Garlic Jackson, perform sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre: FRAÜD and Garlic Jackson

[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: 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): Broadway & off-Broadway stars Jonathan Kaplan (Broadway: The Diary of Anne Frank, Falsettos (Tony nominee)), Jennifer Grace (Theatre World Award Winner for Our Town), Haviland Morris (Broadway: Arcadia, Tartuffe; Sixteen Candles), and Julie Sharbutt (The Good Wife) and top improvisors Zach Woods (The Office; The Stepfathers), Chad Carter (The Daily Show; Respecto Montalban), Tami Sagher (30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother; Second City), and Matt McGorry (Orange is the New Black; College Humor) crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Playboy.com), Erik Charles Nielsen (Conan O’Brien, Community), Justin Williams (Comedy Central), and Solomon Georgio performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour) and Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central) each perform a 30-minute stand-up set at UCB East in preparation for their upcoming comedy specials: Comedy Central: The Half Hour Run Through

8:00 pm ($10): Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon), Dane Hanson, and Joe Cocozzello performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[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: W. Kamau Bell (former star of Totally Biased), Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, former writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Katie Compa, Sara Armour, Dave Temple, and Charles McBee performing at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) with DJ Liza Dye and host Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of School NIght): Free Cable

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sharron Paul, Harrison Greenbaum, Michael Joyce, and Paul Hooper, plus musical guest Rubin Kodheli, performing 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 tonight’s guest host Seth Cockfield: Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Great lineup of Abbi Jacobson (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City) and Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, The Tony and Johnny Show) tell tales about this month’s theme of School, and then hosts Anna Roisman & Katie Haller sing songs they’ve written pre-show about those stories, at The PIT upstairs theatre: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

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 ($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.): Great line-up of Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), 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), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), 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): Todd Barry, Kevin Meaney, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Jim Tews (co-host of Cheat Hair), and George Gordon perform stand-up and then discuss the week’s national & international news events at the upstairs Stand Up NY Labs (236 West 78th Street) hosted by Chris Laker: The Week

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo), Mike Cannon, Jeffrey Katsman, and Samantha Bednarz performing for this free weekly stand-up show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays

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

[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; 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 Wednesday 7/21/10

July 21, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Hy’s take on Last Comic Standing, please click here.

Rachel Feinstein and Jeff Garlin

Rachel Feinstein headlines tonight at the Gotham Comedy Club, while Jeff Garlin is a guest on Marc Maron's WTF at the Comix 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:

6:30 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with two installments running back to back every Wednesday at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($19.33 online if you use code VIPJULY, plus 2-item minimum): Comedy legend Marc Maron hosts two live-on-stage tapings of his podcast WTFwith stars from HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s 30 Rock, and more live at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Marc Maron’s WTF with Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, Judah Friedlander, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Charlyne Yi, winner of the prestigious Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for Paper Heart, will “share songs and tales of doomed love, and perhaps woo you with a little magic, if you know what I mean… wink wink;” help Charl hone her show for the upcoming Edinburgh Festival at A Little Time with Charlyne Yi

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.) A hilarious observer of dating rituals and other odd behavior, and who’s currently among the top seven remaining stand-ups on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, headlining for one night only at the Gotham Comedy Club: Rachel Feinstein

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Michelle Collins, Ben Kronberg, DC Benny, and Brent Sullivan performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Gabe Liedman and Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb comics Peter Grosz (writer for The Colbert Report, star of over 100 Sonic fast-food commercials) and John Lutz (writer & occasional actor on SNL since 2004;recurring character on 30 Rock) perform acclaimed two-man improv in 2 Square

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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Hy’s take on Last Comic Standing, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/8/10

July 8, 2010

For videos of Last Comic Standing star Natasha Leggero, click here.

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rachel Feinstein

Last Comic Standing finalist Rachel Feinstein performs tonight at Comedy Below Canal

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 ($15): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are Elna Baker (brilliant storyteller, talented cartoonist, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance), Matt McCarthy (beloved stand-up and comedic actor; Comedy Central, AMC, Verizon FIOS guy, Front Page Films, comedy CD Come Clean), Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), Katina Corrao (HBO, Logo), and Lee Camp (Comedy Central, The Onion)—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to share tales on tonight’s theme “Heroism: Saving the Day” at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch show from Chris & Rebecca Smith, two members of world-class sketch troupe The Harvard Sailing Team who are married to each other: The New York Smiths

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($34.48 online if you use code VIPJULY, plus 2-item minimum): A hilarious stand-up; cast member of 30 Rock; performer on VH1’s Best Week Ever, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, MTV’s Wonder Showzen, and NBC’s The Tonight Show; and actor in over 20 films, including such hit comedies as Meet the Parents, Zoolander, Full Grown Men, andAmerican Splendor, headlining tonight through Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club:Judah Friedlander

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): “Alternative and mainstream comedians who don’t quite fit in” performing in Ochi’s Lounge at a monthly show hosted by Grant Gordon and the delightful Helen Hong: Odd Baggage

7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors directed by James Eason “take an audience suggestion and break it into a million funny pieces,” and veteran improvisors play with “elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde,” in the double-bill The Deconstruction and Sleepover

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($26.75 & 2-drink min.): A 10-year veteran cast member of Mad TV who’s also performed on numerous other top television shows, headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Michael McDonald

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($37.50 online or at the box office using discount codeALIEN): Sharp comics and 80 Henson puppets collaborating on a show that’s partly scripted and partly improvised: Stuffed and Unstrung

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($12): Christian Finnegan (three Comedy Central specials, commentator on MNBC’sCountdown with Keith Oberman and VH1’s Best Week Ever; Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on this summer’s Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Sean Crespo, and musical guest Mike Doughty performing at 92Y Tribeca’s Comedy Below Canal

9:30 pm ($5): Two talented sketch comedy troupes and a delightful solo act—BriTANick, CollegeHumor, and Andrea Rosen—each performing one of their most popular sketches and one of their personal favorites in a fun revue hosted by James Eason & Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

11:00 pm ($5): Two vibrant troupe troupes, Doppelganger and The Opera, competing for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For videos of Last Comic Standing star Natasha Leggero, click here.

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 3/29/09

March 29, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rachel Feinstein

Rachel Feinstein

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] [$] one of the best and most respected stand-up comics in the biz performing a passionate one-man show about his recent second divorce: Marc Maron: Scorching the Earth (7:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] UCBT’s playground for celebrities and ace improvisors, ASSSSCAT 3000 (paid show at 7:30 pm, free show at 9:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] razor-sharp stand-ups Joe DeVito (Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), Rachel Feinstein (Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Laurie Kilmartin (Comedy Central, VH1, Jimmy Kimmel), Brooke Van Poppelen (sketch duo Macho!), and more at the Comix Comedy Club’s inexpensive Sunday comedy show Five for $5 (7:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] some of the best comics in the biz—Andy Blitz (comedy genius; writer & performer for Conan O’Brien since 1999), Glenn Wool (acclaimed & very likeable UK comedy star), Sean Patton (VH1; nominated for 2009 ECNY Award), and more—joining comedy giants Eugene Mirman & Michael Showalter, winners of the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Hosts, for their weekly shindig at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Tearing the Veil of Maya (8:00 pm),

[FREE] typically superb stand-ups at what’s often among the funniest free productions in NYC, from hosts Greg Johnson and Jacqueline Novak: President Johnson (8:00 pm),

[FREE] star comic Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC, Adult Swim), plus John Knefel (Huffington Post), Matt Maragno (co-host of Now We’re Talking), Sarah Tollemache (Last Comic Standing), and Andy Henrickson (NBC’s Night Shift) at RG Daniels’ free Sunday Night Stand-Up (8:00 pm).

[FREE] sharp NYC comics Mike Drucker (freelance writer for Saturday Night Live and The Onion), Ross Hyzer (23/6.com), John Knefel (Huffington Post), and Jon Lang at Vince Averill’s & Jesse Popp’s free show Beauty Bar Comedy (9:00 pm),

[FREE] and an all-gal stand-up lineup of Jenny Rubin (WE TV, The Back Room), Cara Kilduff (here TV!), Robin Fox, and Adrienne Iapalucci at a free gay-themed show hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour (10:00 pm).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.