NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 2/21/17

February 21, 2017

Best New York Comedy: The ShowDon’t miss this site’s live show Best New York Comedy, featuring stellar stand-ups Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Inside Amy Schumer, finalist on Last Comic Standing), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, Bravo, Oxygen), Clare O’Kane (Viceland, Semi-Famous, SpongeBob SquarePants), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Ashley Brooke Roberts (MTV’s Guy Code, Nat Geo, co-host of UCB’s Fresh Out), Filip Jeremic (exceptional comedic actor/chameleon; co-star of The PIT’s The Wigging Hour and UCB’s Characters Welcome), and Katie Hartman (fearless dark comedy writer/performer; sketch groups Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting and Hartman & Carl, improv group Gypsy Danger), produced by Hy Bender and hosted by genius musical improvisors Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman: Best New York Comedy (9:30 pm, $7, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th 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:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

[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, preceded at 6:00 pm by an improv jam open to the audience: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($7): A night of comedy to cheer the troops of Star Wars’ Rebel Alliance Comics are taped performing sketch and characters as submissions for the prestigious Montreal Just For Laughs Festival at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Morale Boost: Stand-Up Comedy for the Rebel Troops

7:00 pm ($5): A showcase for brand new scripted shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—this week featuring Total High Impact Fever Rangers and A Fantastic Networking Opportunity at The PIT Underground produced by the wonderful Ronny Pascale and hosted by Anne Victoria Clark (freelance contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update): Pilot Season

7:00 pm ($7): Improv group Lazy Fair performs, and also hosts improv groups Biscuit Out and Rebel 5, at The PIT Mainstage: Lazy Fair and Friends

[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 ($7): The inventive Julio Torres (writer for Saturday Night Live) performs stand-up and sketch at the UCB East theatre: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat: My Favorite Shapes

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Storytellers tell tales on this month’s self-discovery theme Who Am I? at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Ben Lillie & Erin Barker: The Story Collider

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s couples are Lisa Kleinman & Casey Jost (spouses), Phoebe Robinson & Michelle Buteau (pals), Rae Sanni & Sharron Paul (pals), and Sean Donnelly & Robert Dean (pals), all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by lovers Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): Couples Therapy

[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 ($10): Sketch and improv comics “create a brand new show in only one week, and then perform improvised sketches based off of your suggestions, just like The Second City used to do” at The PIT Mainstage: Old School Sketch Show

[FREE, plus FREE BEER] 8:00 pm: Enjoy a comfy seat and a free beer while you watch comedy at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Couch Cave Live

[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

8:30 pm ($5): “When an office full of big city escalator salesmen is given the news that all but two will be fired at the end of the week, the tough-talking escalator boys have to come up with a way to lift themselves up to a higher floor…or risk falling all the way down” written & co-starring Calvin Cole, Emily Duncan, and Jon Hudson at The PIT Underground: Glengarry Glen Escalator

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($10): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Will Forte (long-time SNL cast member; writer, producer, and star of FOX’s Last Man on Earth), Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and two Comedy Central Half Hour specials, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy albums You Let Me Down and The Depression Auction), Drew Michael (writer for Saturday Night Live), 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 ($7): An improvised game of Dungeons & Dragons at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Campaign

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Character comics perform a sketch show parodying a popular YouTube channel—with special guest Melissa Villasenor (cast member of Saturday Night Live)— at the UCB East theatre hosted by Becky Chicoine & Sudi Green: Theme Party

9:30 pm ($7): Improv comedy focused on personal relationships and hosted by a father-daughter duo at The PIT Underground: Daddies Issues

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that books comics from the same original area (i.e., outside of NYC) to perform long sets at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Trey Galyon: I’m Not From Here

10:30 pm ($7): Two sitcom pilots are performed in a staged reading at The PIT Underground: Co-Pilots

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, improv group Dr. Snake 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv veterans to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

6:00 pm ($5): Walk-in stand-up open mic at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Giggles & Bits Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5 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] 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

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale (PIT Associate Artistic Director): Tuesday After Class: Slow Jam

11:00 pm ($5): Ten stand-ups whose names are drawn from a “golden bowl of destiny” will be given stage time, along with a few invited stand-ups, at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Will Purpura: 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!

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 1/24/17

January 24, 2017

best-new-york-comedy

Don’t miss the debut of the live stage version of this site. Tonight world-class improvisors Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman (Your Love, Our Musical) will make up songs on the spot springboarding off the stand-up sets of Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; former staff writer for David Letterman, former producer for The Daily Show), Erik Bergstrom (Comedy Central Half Hour, cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Shane Torres (fresh, hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang) and Brett Davis (creator/host of weekly Manhattan cable TV show The Special Without Brett Davis; winner of the 2015 Andy Kaufman Award; will perform as a singing cupcake): Best New York Comedy (9:30 pm, $7, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)

Better yet, arrive at 8:00 pm to also see Rebecca & Evan perform their brilliant relationship improv show Your Love, Our Musical, giving yourself a double-bill of music and laughter.

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Wrong Side of History

[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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, six singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions, followed at 10:15 pm by an improv jam open to the audience hosted by group Pipe Dreams: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($7): Comics are taped performing sketch and characters as submissions for the prestigious Montreal Just For Laughs Festival at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): BoogieManja: JFL Showcase Edition

7:00 pm ($5): A showcase for brand new scripted shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—this week featuring Anne Victoria Clark (freelance contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Don’t Touch That,and A2Z at The PIT Underground produced by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: Pilot Season

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

7:30 pm ($10): Raquel D’Apice, Sue Funke, Anna Reichert, Rachel Lipstein, and Doug Adler perform stand-up and more at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tara Merdjanoff: The Merdjanoff Comedy Variety Spectacular

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): World-class singing improvisors Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life at The PIT Mainstage and then turn it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (and come also see this site’s show, happening in the same theatre at 9:30 pm, in which Rebecca & Evan host top stand-ups and make up songs inspired by the comics’ jokes)

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): “Four writers read their own work for seven minutes or less, and are then judged by three all-star judges. Two finalists are chosen to compete in the finale, a vaguely-literary game to decide the ultimate winner,” with tonight’s authors Porochista Khakpour (author of The Last Illusion and Sons and Other Flammable Objects), Ashley C. Ford (Development Executive at Matter, host of Authorized on Audible), Min Jin Lee (author of Pachinko and Free Food for Millionaires), and Daniel Alarcón (author of Lost City Radio and War by Candlelight) performing for judges Roy Wood Jr., Heben Nigatu, Carson Kressley, and Akilah Hughes—and you—at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga: Literary Death Match

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At this monthly game show, comics Griffin Newman, Jordan Carlos, Natasha Vaynblat, Casey James Salengo, and Moujan Zolfaghari compete to see who can perform the best celebrity impressions at the UCB East theatre hosted by Andy Beckerman (host of podcast Beginnings, co-host of Couples Therapy) & Ramsey Ess: Snap Impression Live

[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

[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

8:30 pm ($7): In this unique show, improvisors make up a complete family & friends intervention based on an audience suggestion at The PIT Underground: Impro-vention

[TOP PICK] 9:00ish pm ($10): Gilbert Gottfried (iconic comedy legend; scores of credits include Robert DeNiro film The Comedian, Showtime’s Episodes, and Comedy Central’s The Jim Gaffigan Show), Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show, comedy album Women and Black Dudes), Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; co-host with Whitney Cummings of E! talk show Love You: Mean It; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, NPR’s This American Life, MTV, VH1), 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 ($7): A monthly stand-up & storytelling show in which comics Natalie Wall (host of superb storytelling shows Awkward Sex and the City and Awkward Poop and the City, and co-producer of Bad Assery), Patti Harrison, Dave Lester, and Mary Cella are encouraged to hold nothing back at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) produced by Caitlin Brodnick & May Wilkerson: Brutally Honest with Caitlin Brodnick

9:30 pm ($7): Emma Willmann, Saurin Choksi, Alex Heller, and group Forever performing stand-up or sketch at the UCB East theatre in the name of a popular comedy site hosted by Brian Park: College Humor Live

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from four friends who met at Vassar College at The PIT Underground: Hugh TV: The Studio Tour

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show that books comics from the same original area (i.e., outside of NYC) to perform long sets at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Trey Galyon: I’m Not From Here

10:30 pm ($5): Comics perform solo characters at The PIT Underground hosted by Eliza Kingsbury & Jewel Elizabeth: We’re Doing It For the Art: A Character Show

11:00 pm ($5): Going beyond the classic Harold, improv group Brightlight 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

6:00 pm ($3): A chance for gals to get on stage and improvise with veteran female comics at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Blair Silverman and friends: Lady Jam

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] 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

9:30 pm ($5): A walk-in open mic for comics performing solo characters at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Fresh: A Character Open Mic

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

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale (PIT Associate Artistic Director): Tuesday After Class: Slow 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 Mainstage 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!

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/6/16

July 6, 2016

Your Love, Our MusicalWorld-class singing improvisors Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here) for their phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (8:00 pm; $10, which is super cheap; this show has regularly sold out at $18 at other venues; Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street—take R subway to Union Street)

More recommendations for the best in NYC 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): Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), John Early (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp), Gary Richardson (IFC), and Ian Anderson performing at the only stand-up show at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Gary Richardson: The Sensible Show

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Staged readinging of works so bad they’re good—unsellable screenplays, baffling dramatic works, hardcore fan fiction—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), hosted by Alex Estrada & Ronan Babbitt: Table Work

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 ($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

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

7:30 pm ($5): Is a hot dog a sandwich? Is MJ better than Lebron? That’s the sort of thing debated by hosts Tyler Rothrock & JP Roy, along with tonight’s guest comics Josh Rosen & Bryan Yang, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Definitely Right!…Maybe!?

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, ace improvisors Connor Ratliff, Molly Lloyd, Terry Withers, and more somehow create an improvised murder mystery on the spot—with the audience helping to commit the crime: The Terry Withers Mysteries

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, Roy Wood, Jr., Monroe Martin, Derek Gaines, and Aaron Berg performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Wednesday: Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, and More

[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): “In the magical town of Sparkleberry, everyone’s an artist, writer, and creative spirit. Citizens of Sparkleberry are kind, compassionate creatures, with hearts of gold, but they’re also total idiots. But that hasn’t stopped them from writing and performing their hearts out. Join me and my theater troupe as we show you select scenes from some of their greatest works” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Snippets From Sparkleberry

8:30 pm ($5): “Social media meets improv as graduates of the PIT Improv Program transform their innermost tweet- and blog-length thoughts into scene after scene, all inspired by a single suggestion” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Biscuit Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, and other NYC comics “discussing the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this weekly podcast taping at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

9:00 pm ($5): Andy Sandford (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, The Beards of Comedy), Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard Lonely and Vicious and Creek Cave Live), Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout), and Jordan Temple performing stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Travis Irvine & Jessica Watkins: Homespun Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Leah Bonnema (VH1, IFC’s Comedy Drop, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Khalid Rahmaan, Jon Laster, Ian Abramson, and Erik Monica performing stand-up for this free weekly 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): Improvisors use details from audience members to make up a robbery at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Captive Audience: An Improvised Heist

[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

9:30 pm ($5): Film clips, reviews, jokes, and audience games all revolving around movies at The PIT downstairs lounge: Movie Buffs

9:30 ($5): Over a dozen talented female improvisors—including Lauren Adams, Natasha Vaynblat, and Caitlin Bitzegaio—parody all-gal opinion shows such as The View, making up most of the show on the spot based on a loose outline at at the UCB Chelsea theatre. The result is often proof that “less is more,” but if you’re very patient there are worthwhile moments to be had from The Female Gaze

[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): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

10:30 pm ($5): Booked comics try out stand-up, characters, songs, etc. at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Liz Noth, Jessica Morgan, Erin Bartley, and/or Casey McCormick: First Looks

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone, Connor Ratliff, David Bluvband, and other superb improvisors perform in this: “On behalf of humanity, The Academy has studied the human experience and is now prepared to impart its wisdom upon you, the audience, by utilizing the endangered art of Dramatic Improvisations. Come with an open heart, leave with an expanded mind. Do not be afraid. NOTE: THIS IS NOT A COMEDY PERFORMANCE” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: STRIFE: An Improvised Theatrical Experience

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 (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm), with each yarn-spinner 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 Mike Guild: 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: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez & Parker Denton: Recess

[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] 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 theatre 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

[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 lounge hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

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: 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: A gay-themed opportunity to perform improv—especially musical improv—on the UCB East stage: …XYZ 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.