NYC Top Comedy Choices for August 2019: Last Updated Tuesday 8/27

August 27, 2019

I’m one of the finest ghostwriters in the country; my 20+ books include two New York Times bestsellers, a phenom megaseller that hit #16 on Amazon.com and has sold over 310,000 copies to date, and an interview book with legendary author Neil Gaiman that hit #240 on Amazon.com. I’ve also written five Dummies books and a Complete Idiot’s Guide. I cover comedy as a labor of love. But if you need help with a book, let’s chat, because there’s no one better at ghostwriting, editing, and/or coaching. To learn more about my services, please visit BookProposal.net and then email me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications. Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny), and/or to visit the desktop and ad-free version of this site at HyReviews.com.

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for August 2019 (with more to come soon) include:

Colin QuinnTuesday 8/27: Broadway, TV, and film star, and one of the most beloved stand-ups in the biz, Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, national comedy treasure) tries out new material for his next solo show at this intimate Comedy Cellar venue: Colin Quinn (7:00 pm, $10 plus 2-item food/drink min., West Village’s The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)

Julian VelardTuesday 8/27: Singer/songwriter/musician Julian Velard (pianist for NPR’s Ask Me Another; albums include Fancy Words For Failure) plays a bunch of his wonderful songs in a show he describes as follows: “To mark 19 years of treading water in the music business, Julian will play his originals that have received minor radio airplay outside the United States, left-of-center covers of obscure tracks by 1970s singer/songwriters, and slow acoustic interpretations of modern pop hits.The songs will be punctuated by self-conscious quips and the occasional berating of an audience member. This is a rare intimate performance by Velard, something he only does once a month or so:” Julian Velard Plays Another Show (7:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Reggie WattsTuesday 8/27 (also Wednesday): Reggie Watts is the bandleader of CBS’ Late Late Show with James Corden, has a Netflix special titled Spatial…and is unlike anyone else. Natasha Leggero tells the story of how, years ago, she came to a Reggie show where he sang a song about eating breakfast. Natasha turned to a mutual friend and said, “Wow, that’s really good. I haven’t heard it before, is it new?” The friend, who’d spent the day with Reggie, replied, “No, you don’t get it. That’s literally what he had for breakfast this morning.” Natasha spent a few moments taking in that Reggie had made the song up on the spot, and then declared, “Reggie Watts has more talent in his little finger than most people have in their entire bodies.” One of the all-time greats in the biz makes a now-rare NYC stage appearance riffing and making up songs in the moment, with comic Hannah Einbinder as opener. Reggie Watts (8:00 pm, $35, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Ira Glass 2Tuesday 8/27: Great lineup of Ira Glass (host of This American Life), Lucy Wainwright Roche (stellar singer/songwriter), Nikki Glaser (host of You Up on SiriusXM; star of former Comedy Central series Not Safe; Comedy Central and Netflix specials; films Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty), and more hosted by Elna Baker (NPR’s This American Life, bestselling author of The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance) & Kevin Townley (Men in Black III, The Sitter, My Super Ex-Girlfriend): The Talent Show: Control Freak (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

First ImpressionsTuesday 8/27: Eight comics and one audience member compete to win the heart of a celebrity single through rounds of Q&A and challenge questions, with the help of a relationship expert, hosted by Taylor Ortega (HBO’s Succession, Shego in Disney Channel’s live-action Kim Possible, TruTV), Yoni Lotan (Netflix’s Russian Doll, HBO’s High Maintenance, Above Average), and John Trowbridge (Huffington Post): First Impressions: A Live 90s Dating Show (7:00 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Marvel ComicsTuesday 8/27: Every Tuesday at 8:00 pm, comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club (8:00 pm, Free!, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Reggie WattsWednesday 8/28: Reggie Watts is the bandleader of CBS’ Late Late Show with James Corden, has a Netflix special titled Spatial…and is unlike anyone else. Natasha Leggero tells the story of how, years ago, she came to a Reggie show where he sang a song about eating breakfast. Natasha turned to a mutual friend and said, “Wow, that’s really good. I haven’t heard it before, is it new?” The friend, who’d spent the day with Reggie, replied, “No, you don’t get it. That’s literally what he had for breakfast this morning.” Natasha spent a few moments taking in that Reggie had made the song up on the spot, and then declared, “Reggie Watts has more talent in his little finger than most people have in their entire bodies.” One of the all-time greats in the biz makes a now-rare NYC stage appearance riffing and making up songs in the moment, with comic Sarah Squirm as opener. Reggie Watts (8:00 pm, $35, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue; buy in advance, because this show will almost certainly sell out)

ScrappedWednesday 8/28: Mary Twinings & John Celestial interview TV writers and others about the big ideas they had that never made it past the writers’ room: Scrapped (8:00 pm, $10, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Characters Welcome: Thursday 8/29: The talented comics of UCBT group Velvet MommyJon Bander, Kami Dimitrova, Desi Domo, Johnny Drago, Woody Fu, Chrissie Gruebel, Adrienne Ianniciello, and Corin Wells—perform original characters or impersonations directed & hosted by Michael Hartney, Eric Feurer, and/or Sarah Parsons: Characters Welcome: Velvet Mommy (7:30 pm, $7, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling ShowWednesday 8/28: Stand-up and/or storytellers Andrea Coleman, Ann Van Epps, Karen Marder, Freddy Sheffield, and more tell tales about losing their virginity hosted by Angela Cobb (Sirius XM): My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling Show (9:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist Thursday 8/29: Playwright Annie Pulsipher, director Stephen M. Eckert, costumer Olivia Hern, and a cast of 10 (Sebastiana Gullo, Benjamin Culpepper, Chantelle Guido, Jordan Plutzer, Ariel Neema Blake, Logan Faust, Leon Schwendener, Becca Bernard, Zach Herman, and Stephanie Hawkins) create a musical that “replaces that most optimistic of orphans with Paul Ryan’s favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, so as to better educate the youths of today about the glory of Laissez Faire Capitalism. We follow Lil’ Orphan Objectivist in her quest to save Depression-era America from FDR’s tyrannical New Deal. Along the way moochers such as the kindly nun, Sister Hannigan, and fire-brand socialist Vice President Henry ‘Rooster’ Wallace try to dissuade her, but with the power of pure reason and an unshakeable sense-of-self there’s sure to be no New Deal for Christmas!” This is a work in progress, with occasional lags and scenes that go nowhere, and plot that sometimes moves at a snail’s pace and other times skips over too much. But overall the idea is way fun, and there are clever bits throughout; as well as riffs on such Annie favorites as “Handout Life,” “Tomorrow (We Seize the Markets!),” and “I Don’t Need Anything but Me:” Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist (9:30 pm, $15 online or $20 at the door,, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Krystyna Hutchinson & Corinne Fisher: Friday 8/30: Corinne Fisher & Krystyna Hutchinson (authors of F*CKED: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed) record their wildly popular Guys We Fucked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast live on stage: Guys We F*cked (7:00 pm; $22.32 in advance online or $24 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist Friday 8/30: Playwright Annie Pulsipher, director Stephen M. Eckert, costumer Olivia Hern, and a cast of 10 (Sebastiana Gullo, Benjamin Culpepper, Chantelle Guido, Jordan Plutzer, Ariel Neema Blake, Logan Faust, Leon Schwendener, Becca Bernard, Zach Herman, and Stephanie Hawkins) create a musical that “replaces that most optimistic of orphans with Paul Ryan’s favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, so as to better educate the youths of today about the glory of Laissez Faire Capitalism. We follow Lil’ Orphan Objectivist in her quest to save Depression-era America from FDR’s tyrannical New Deal. Along the way moochers such as the kindly nun, Sister Hannigan, and fire-brand socialist Vice President Henry ‘Rooster’ Wallace try to dissuade her, but with the power of pure reason and an unshakeable sense-of-self there’s sure to be no New Deal for Christmas!” This is a work in progress, with occasional lags and scenes that go nowhere, and plot that sometimes moves at a snail’s pace and other times skips over too much. But overall the idea is way fun, and there are clever bits throughout; as well as riffs on such Annie favorites as “Handout Life,” “Tomorrow (We Seize the Markets!),” and “I Don’t Need Anything but Me:” Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist (9:30 pm, $15 online or $20 at the door,, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

North CoastSaturday 8/31: Every Saturday night, a highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour: North Coast (9:00 pm, $12, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist Saturday 8/31: Playwright Annie Pulsipher, director Stephen M. Eckert, costumer Olivia Hern, and a cast of 10 (Sebastiana Gullo, Benjamin Culpepper, Chantelle Guido, Jordan Plutzer, Ariel Neema Blake, Logan Faust, Leon Schwendener, Becca Bernard, Zach Herman, and Stephanie Hawkins.) create a musical that “replaces that most optimistic of orphans with Paul Ryan’s favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, so as to better educate the youths of today about the glory of Laissez Faire Capitalism. We follow Lil’ Orphan Objectivist in her quest to save Depression-era America from FDR’s tyrannical New Deal. Along the way moochers such as the kindly nun, Sister Hannigan, and fire-brand socialist Vice President Henry “Rooster” Wallace try to dissuade her, but with the power of pure reason and an unshakeable sense-of-self there’s sure to be no New Deal for Christmas! Featuring toe-tapping riffs on such Annie favorites as “Handout Life,” “Tomorrow (We Seize the Markets!),” and “I Don’t Need Anything but Me:” Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist (9:30 pm, $15 online or $20 at the door,, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Baby Wants Candy musical improvSaturday 8/31: A top musical improv troupe that has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure, by such ace talents as Becky Drysdale, Zack Willis, Katy Barry, Caroline Martin, Amber Ruffin, Tim Sniffen, and Jeff Hiller, plus stellar improv musicians Dan Reitz (keyboards) & Sarah Mullins (drums/percussion). Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy (10:30 pm, $14, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

Mike Drucker's Thursday 9/5: In this monthly show from Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up and staff writer for TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; previously a staff writer for NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and Comedy Central’s The President Show, and contributing writer for Saturday Night Live), comics read obituaries they wrote for themselves, “honoring the lives they had and making fun of the lives they could have had.” Tonight’s dying-as-we-speak guests are Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes, stand-up album Seen Better Days), Ian Fidance (host of Picture This!; regular on SiriusXM’s You Up? with Nikki Glaser, Comedy Central Radio), Tom Thakkar (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour; co-host of podcast Stand by Your Band), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), Ismael Loutfi (Jimmy Kimmel; staff writer for Netflix’s Patriot Act), and Lizzie Martinez: My Obituary Show (7:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Stand
Lost its space, aiming to move to Union Square sometime in 2019: competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

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

Contact Hy

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

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for August 2019: Last Updated Monday 8/26

August 26, 2019

I’m one of the finest ghostwriters in the country; my 20+ books include two New York Times bestsellers, a phenom megaseller that hit #16 on Amazon.com and has sold over 310,000 copies to date, and an interview book with legendary author Neil Gaiman that hit #240 on Amazon.com. I’ve also written five Dummies books and a Complete Idiot’s Guide. I cover comedy as a labor of love. But if you need help with a book, let’s chat, because there’s no one better at ghostwriting, editing, and/or coaching. To learn more about my services, please visit BookProposal.net and then email me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications. Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny), and/or to visit the desktop and ad-free version of this site at HyReviews.com.

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for August 2019 (with more to come soon) include:

Melissa VillaseñorMonday 8/26: This superb weekly stand-up show’s hosts Aparna Nancherla (co-star of HBO’s Crashing, Netflix’s Master of None, and Comedy Central’s Corporate), Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), and Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk) welcome guests Melissa Villaseñor (Emmy-winning star cast member of Saturday Night Live; force-of-nature voiceover artist who’s performed characters for Family Guy, Scooby Doo, and many other shows), Hari Kondabolu (fresh, sharp, rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents; fascinating TruTV documentary The Problem with Apu; Netflix special Warn Your Relatives; co-host of Kondabolu Brothers podcast), Joe Kwaczala, Jordan Jensen, Lea’h Sampson, and Dan Rosen performing stand-up, plus music from DJ Donwill: Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Marissa Stuart & Laura Merli: Monday 8/26: The adorable Laura Merli (above right; Reductress, McSweeney’s, YouTube, host of How to be Less Awkward) and Marissa Stuart (above left; trend forecaster; member of all-gal hip-hop improv troupe DMXX) perform duo sketch comedy designed to provide you with “feel-good dread” (for a video sample, please click here): Soul Crush Comedy (8:00 pm, $10, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Reggie Watts 15Monday 8/26 (also Tuesday & Wednesday): Reggie Watts is the bandleader of CBS’ Late Late Show with James Corden, has a Netflix special titled Spatial…and is unlike anyone else. Years ago, Natasha Leggero told the story of how she came to a Reggie show where he sang a song about eating breakfast. Natasha turned to a mutual friend and said, “Wow, that’s really good. I haven’t heard it before, is it new?” The friend, who’d spent the day with Reggie, replied, “No, you don’t get it. That’s literally what he had for breakfast this morning.” Natasha spent a few moments taking in that Reggie had made the song up on the spot, and then declared, “Reggie Watts has more talent in his little finger than most people have in their entire bodies.” One of the all-time greats in the biz makes a now-rare NYC stage appearance, with singing twins Max & Nicky Weinbach as openers. Reggie Watts (8:00 pm, $35, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue; PLEASE NOTE: This show has SOLD OUT, but there are still tickets available for Tuesday and Wednesday.)

Monday 8/26: Comics Ryan Stanisz, Joe Pardavila, and Brian Danger wrote and co-star in a mini-play described as follows: “Death can make you do funny things, and when Lars loses his wife to a freak chicken bone accident he purchases a funeral home,” with original direction by David Carl and subsequent direction by Lauren Brickman. Also on this double-bill of Spanks auditioning for a regular run is a sketch show about weddings written by Nick Ramirez & Chrissy Shackelford, and directed by Alexis Pereira: We Bought a Funeral Home! and The Big Day: A Sketch Show about Weddings (6:00 pm, $7, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

Reggie WattsTuesday 8/27 (also Wednesday): Reggie Watts is the bandleader of CBS’ Late Late Show with James Corden, has a Netflix special titled Spatial…and is unlike anyone else. Years ago, Natasha Leggero told the story of how she came to a Reggie show where he sang a song about eating breakfast. Natasha turned to a mutual friend and said, “Wow, that’s really good. I haven’t heard it before, is it new?” The friend, who’d spent the day with Reggie, replied, “No, you don’t get it. That’s literally what he had for breakfast this morning.” Natasha spent a few moments taking in that Reggie had made the song up on the spot, and then declared, “Reggie Watts has more talent in his little finger than most people have in their entire bodies.” One of the all-time greats in the biz makes a now-rare NYC stage appearance, with comic Hannah Einbinder as opener. Reggie Watts (8:00 pm, $35, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue; buy in advance, because this show will almost certainly sell out)

Ira Glass 2Tuesday 8/27: Great lineup of Ira Glass (host of This American Life), Lucy Wainwright Roche (stellar singer/songwriter), Nikki Glaser (host of You Up on SiriusXM; star of former Comedy Central series Not Safe; Comedy Central and Netflix specials; films Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty), and more hosted by Elna Baker (NPR’s This American Life, bestselling author of The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance) & Kevin Townley (Men in Black III, The Sitter, My Super Ex-Girlfriend): The Talent Show: Control Freak (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Julian VelardTuesday 8/27: Singer/songwriter/musician Julian Velard (pianist for NPR’s Ask Me Another; albums include Fancy Words For Failure) plays a bunch of his wonderful songs in a show he describes as follows: “To mark 19 years of treading water in the music business, Julian will play his originals that have received minor radio airplay outside the United States, left-of-center covers of obscure tracks by 1970s singer/songwriters, and slow acoustic interpretations of modern pop hits.The songs will be punctuated by self-conscious quips and the occasional berating of an audience member. This is a rare intimate performance by Velard, something he only does once a month or so:” Julian Velard Plays Another Show (7:30 pm, $8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

First ImpressionsTuesday 8/27: Eight comics and one audience member compete to win the heart of a celebrity single through rounds of Q&A and challenge questions, with the help of expert advice from a relationship expert, hosted by Taylor Ortega (HBO’s Succession, Shego in Disney Channel’s live-action Kim Possible, TruTV), Yoni Lotan (Netflix’s Russian Doll, HBO’s High Maintenance, Above Average), and John Trowbridge (Huffington Post): First Impressions: A Live 90s Dating Show (7:00 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Marvel ComicsTuesday 8/27: Every Tuesday at 8:00 pm, comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club (8:00 pm, Free!, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Reggie WattsWednesday 8/28: Reggie Watts is the bandleader of CBS’ Late Late Show with James Corden, has a Netflix special titled Spatial…and is unlike anyone else. Years ago, Natasha Leggero told the story of how she came to a Reggie show where he sang a song about eating breakfast. Natasha turned to a mutual friend and said, “Wow, that’s really good. I haven’t heard it before, is it new?” The friend, who’d spent the day with Reggie, replied, “No, you don’t get it. That’s literally what he had for breakfast this morning.” Natasha spent a few moments taking in that Reggie had made the song up on the spot, and then declared, “Reggie Watts has more talent in his little finger than most people have in their entire bodies.” One of the all-time greats in the biz makes a now-rare NYC stage appearance, with comic Sarah Squirm as opener. Reggie Watts (8:00 pm, $35, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue; buy in advance, because this show will almost certainly sell out)

ScrappedWednesday 8/28: Mary Twinings & John Celestial interview TV writers and others about the big ideas they had that never made it past the writers’ room: Scrapped (8:00 pm, $10, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Characters Welcome: Thursday 8/29: The talented comics of UCBT group Velvet MommyJon Bander, Kami Dimitrova, Desi Domo, Johnny Drago, Woody Fu, Chrissie Gruebel, Adrienne Ianniciello, and Corin Wells—perform original characters or impersonations directed & hosted by Michael Hartney, Eric Feurer, and/or Sarah Parsons: Characters Welcome: Velvet Mommy (7:30 pm, $7, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling ShowWednesday 8/28: Stand-up and/or storytellers Andrea Coleman, Ann Van Epps, Karen Marder, Freddy Sheffield, and more tell tales about losing their virginity hosted by Angela Cobb (Sirius XM): My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling Show (9:00 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist Thursday 8/29: Playwright Annie Pulsipher, director Stephen M. Eckert, costumer Olivia Hern, and a cast of 10 (Sebastiana Gullo, Benjamin Culpepper, Chantelle Guido, Jordan Plutzer, Ariel Neema Blake, Logan Faust, Leon Schwendener, Becca Bernard, Zach Herman, and Stephanie Hawkins) create a musical that “replaces that most optimistic of orphans with Paul Ryan’s favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, so as to better educate the youths of today about the glory of Laissez Faire Capitalism. We follow Lil’ Orphan Objectivist in her quest to save Depression-era America from FDR’s tyrannical New Deal. Along the way moochers such as the kindly nun, Sister Hannigan, and fire-brand socialist Vice President Henry ‘Rooster’ Wallace try to dissuade her, but with the power of pure reason and an unshakeable sense-of-self there’s sure to be no New Deal for Christmas!” This is a work in progress, with occasional lags and scenes that go nowhere, and plot that sometimes moves at a snail’s pace and other times skips over too much. But overall the idea is way fun, and there are clever bits throughout; as well as riffs on such Annie favorites as “Handout Life,” “Tomorrow (We Seize the Markets!),” and “I Don’t Need Anything but Me:” Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist (9:30 pm, $15 online or $20 at the door,, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Krystyna Hutchinson & Corinne Fisher: Friday 8/30: Corinne Fisher & Krystyna Hutchinson (authors of F*CKED: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed) record their wildly popular Guys We Fucked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast live on stage: Guys We F*cked (7:00 pm; $22.32 in advance online or $24 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist Friday 8/30: Playwright Annie Pulsipher, director Stephen M. Eckert, costumer Olivia Hern, and a cast of 10 (Sebastiana Gullo, Benjamin Culpepper, Chantelle Guido, Jordan Plutzer, Ariel Neema Blake, Logan Faust, Leon Schwendener, Becca Bernard, Zach Herman, and Stephanie Hawkins) create a musical that “replaces that most optimistic of orphans with Paul Ryan’s favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, so as to better educate the youths of today about the glory of Laissez Faire Capitalism. We follow Lil’ Orphan Objectivist in her quest to save Depression-era America from FDR’s tyrannical New Deal. Along the way moochers such as the kindly nun, Sister Hannigan, and fire-brand socialist Vice President Henry ‘Rooster’ Wallace try to dissuade her, but with the power of pure reason and an unshakeable sense-of-self there’s sure to be no New Deal for Christmas!” This is a work in progress, with occasional lags and scenes that go nowhere, and plot that sometimes moves at a snail’s pace and other times skips over too much. But overall the idea is way fun, and there are clever bits throughout; as well as riffs on such Annie favorites as “Handout Life,” “Tomorrow (We Seize the Markets!),” and “I Don’t Need Anything but Me:” Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist (9:30 pm, $15 online or $20 at the door,, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

North CoastSaturday 8/31: Every Saturday night, a highly talented freestyle rapping long form improv group takes the stage for an hour: North Coast (9:00 pm, $12, The PIT Underground at 123 East 24th Street)

Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist Saturday 8/31: Playwright Annie Pulsipher, director Stephen M. Eckert, costumer Olivia Hern, and a cast of 10 (Sebastiana Gullo, Benjamin Culpepper, Chantelle Guido, Jordan Plutzer, Ariel Neema Blake, Logan Faust, Leon Schwendener, Becca Bernard, Zach Herman, and Stephanie Hawkins.) create a musical that “replaces that most optimistic of orphans with Paul Ryan’s favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, so as to better educate the youths of today about the glory of Laissez Faire Capitalism. We follow Lil’ Orphan Objectivist in her quest to save Depression-era America from FDR’s tyrannical New Deal. Along the way moochers such as the kindly nun, Sister Hannigan, and fire-brand socialist Vice President Henry “Rooster” Wallace try to dissuade her, but with the power of pure reason and an unshakeable sense-of-self there’s sure to be no New Deal for Christmas! Featuring toe-tapping riffs on such Annie favorites as “Handout Life,” “Tomorrow (We Seize the Markets!),” and “I Don’t Need Anything but Me:” Aynnie: The Lil’ Orphan Objectivist (9:30 pm, $15 online or $20 at the door,, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

Baby Wants Candy musical improvSaturday 8/31: A top musical improv troupe that has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure, by such ace talents as Becky Drysdale, Zack Willis, Katy Barry, Caroline Martin, Amber Ruffin, Tim Sniffen, and Jeff Hiller, plus stellar improv musicians Dan Reitz (keyboards) & Sarah Mullins (drums/percussion). Come see why this show won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy (10:30 pm, $14, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

Mike Drucker's Thursday 9/5: In this monthly show from Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up and staff writer for TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; previously a staff writer for NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and Comedy Central’s The President Show, and contributing writer for Saturday Night Live), comics read obituaries they wrote for themselves, “honoring the lives they had and making fun of the lives they could have had.” Tonight’s dying-as-we-speak guests are Selena Coppock (Amazon’s Red Oaks, VH1, author of book The New Rules for Blondes, stand-up album Seen Better Days), Ian Fidance (host of Picture This!; regular on SiriusXM’s You Up? with Nikki Glaser, Comedy Central Radio), Tom Thakkar (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour; co-host of podcast Stand by Your Band), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour), and Ismael Loutfi (Jimmy Kimmel; staff writer for Netflix’s Patriot Act): My Obituary Show (7:30 pm, $10, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Stand
Lost its space, aiming to move to Union Square sometime in 2019: competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

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

Contact Hy

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

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/18/14

June 18, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Mike Myers and Whitney Cummings are on Seth Meyers; Jason Mantzoukas is on Conan O’Brien; Kevin Hart is on The Daily Show

The 3rd Annual NYC Inner Beauty Pageant

Jo Firestone hosts her genius idea for a beauty competition at Littlefield: The 3rd Annual Inner Beauty Pageant

Reggie Watts

…and a musical improv comedy superstar plays Town Hall in An Evening With Reggie Watts

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller, host of Funny Story, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room; last year released a new storytelling album each month) hones a show he’ll be performing at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe every night through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Tom Shillue

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 11:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Four and a half hours of improv from eight groups, including a free improv jam at 10:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Astronomy Club and Big Revival: Lloyd Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7 at the door, $8.54 online): “Twelve of New York City’s most warm-hearted oddballs (who tonight include Adam Wade) compete for the title of ‘Most Inner Beautiful’ with a talent portion, pageant-style interview, and homemade swimsuit competition. Audience members determine the winner through silent ballots.” This genius idea for a show is the brainchild of dynamic rising star Jo Firestone (host of The Incredible Game Show Showcase and Punderdome 3000), and takes place at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): The 3rd Annual NYC Inner Beauty Pageant

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($53-$69, depending on seat location): Music improv comedy genius Reggie Watts has performed on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Electric Company, and much more; for video samples, please click here. Tonight Reggie’s superstar status is represented by his playing Town Hall (123 West 43rd Street, between 6th Avenue & Broadway): An Evening With Reggie Watts

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Three improv giants—Tami Sagher, Shannon O’Neill, and SNL star Aidy Bryant—make stuff up for a show that quickly sold out at UCB Chelsea (but you can still probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Aidy/Tami/Spo

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander, Nick DiPaolo, and Lenny Marcus at the 8:00 show; a flawless lineup of Whitney Cummings, Nick Griffin, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Ryan Hamilton at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Big Jay Oakerson, Dov Davidoff, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard: Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): In this special show, stand-ups take suggestions from the audience and make up an entirely new set on the spot, with tonight’s brave comics Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Krystyna Hutchinson, Casey Balsham, Ian Fidance, Robby Slowik, and Jeremiah Watkins performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Stand-Up on the Spot with Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star, and my pick to win this season’s Last Comic Standing; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation) Jawann Carmona, and Ezra Stead performing stand-up at the Revision Lounge (219 Avenue B, between 13th & 14th Streets) hosted by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Katie Hannigan, Amy Daulton, Brett Davis, and Tynan Delong performing in this monthly show that “puts comics inside of a video game that plays itself” and offers prizes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Steven DeSiena & Stephen Whalen: You and the Screen

[FREE] 8:00 pm: World-class stand-up Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), plus NYC stand-ups Mike Cannon, Gina Brillon, James Alexander, Brittany Sherrod, Julie Kottakis, and Frank Liotti performing at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg, and hosted tonight by Katherine Williams: Train Wreck Stand-Up

8:00 pm doors ($5): A monthly show that encourages its audience to network and socialize, facilitated by selfies, $3 PBRs, and stand-up crowd work, featuring comedy from NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Michelle Slonim: Meet Drink Laugh

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($30 at the door or $35.02 online): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country) hosts this monthly show, tonight featuring a killer lineup of David Cross, Michael Che, Kate Berlant, Jean Grae, and Marcus Monroe performing stand-up, plus Juliana Hatfield and Dave’s band Valley Lodge performing music, at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5; no min.): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Myka Fox, Matt Wayne, Trey Galyon, and Jordan Temple performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Dean Street (755 Dean Street) hosted by Seena Jon: Dean Street Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), David Angelo (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Lane Moore (writer for The Onion), Nathan Macintosh, Brian Parise, Kase Raso, and Pete Cestaro performing at 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?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), and Alex Ramsey & Joe Cilio performing stand-up or sketch at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, four attractive young women—including rising star Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Dagger, Aquarius, and Veal)—perform a sketch show that’s inconsistent but entertaining overall for an initial effort, directed by the brilliant Ellena Chmielewski: Fuck Judy Towers

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Michael Antonucci & Yoni Lotan Sharp perform a sketch-based one-act about buddies being on the road: License to Chill

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): A wonderful opportunity to spend an hour with one of the best stand-ups in the biz, Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander For The Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors pair up for one night only, tonight featuring superb improvisors and hosts Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell, plus Josh Sharp & Jessica Morgan, Zack Willis & Monique Moses, Gary Richardson & Betsy Kenny, and Shaun Diston & Alexandra Dickson, all performing at the UCB East theatre: Couples Skate

[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’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Douglas Widick & Kaila Mullady (improv group North Coast) perform duo hip-hop improv “that blends the lines of scenework, free-style, and beat-boxing” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Jazz Funeral: Duo Hip-Hop Improv

[FREE] 11:00 pm: 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. (Tonight’s lineup hasn’t been announced—the list still has Hari Kondabolu at the top, who performed last week—but you can check for an update here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

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] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

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 Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 10:30: Sign up at 10:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

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

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.

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 Tuesday 12/17/13

December 17, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Reggie Watts

Comedy geniuses Reggie Watts…

Daniel Kitson

…and Daniel Kitson are among the guests at Eugene Mirman’s bash in Brooklyn: Pretty Good Friends…

Seth Herzog

…while Seth Herzog puts on a gals final show for 2013 featuring Sean Patton, Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, a world-class juggler, and much more at Sweet…

Gary Vider

…and very funny rising star Gary Vider headlines at Carolines

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

 [TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:00 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm: The co-host of weekly show Comedy at the Beaty Bar tries out material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Nate Fridson

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($7.37 if you use code BREAKOUT online or by phone, plus 2-drink min.) A hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up—for sample jokes, please click here —headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club (with openers Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and Jasmine Pierce): Gary Vider

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm-12:30 am ($5): Eight long form UCB house improv groups—Greg, Higgins, Graceland, GoodGirl, Namaste, Grammer, The Regulars, and Bucky—get on the UCB Chelsea stage for a five hour holiday improv blast: The Longest Harold Night of the Year

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12 at the door or $13.41 online): “The Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast in its entirety only once, in the United States and Canada, on November 17, 1978, preempting Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk. It has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. David Hofstede called it ‘the worst two hours of television ever.’ George Lucas has reportedly said ‘If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.’ Join us and find out why Cherry Pitz is obsessed with it!” in this burlesque tribute accompanied by clips of the show at the R-Bar (218 Bowery) hosted by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque’s tribute to The 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Reese Waters (David Letterman), Josh Carter, and Ray Devito performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Sean Patton, Nick Vatterott, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Ace group Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award) and sketch troupe Girls With Brown Hair perform at the upstairs Stand Up NY Lab (236 West 78th Street): Sketch Night at the Lab

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), Livia Scott (magical comedic chameleon; Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie; sketch groups Scrambled Legs and The Livia Scott Sketch Program), Lou Perez, Sam Grittner, Rusty Ward, and Sandra Bauleo performing stand-up or sketch for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest writer/performers alive. This year he took a huge risk by doing a show in which he doesn’t speak a word, and doesn’t even interact with the audience, but instead walks around the stage playing a series of recordings of his and other voices—which is either highly artistic and poignant, or like watching a recorded radio program in a darkened theatre, depending on how you feel about it. You can read a carefully balanced and nuanced review from Jason Zinoman of The New York Times here and a blunt review from Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post here. This is a sprawling, detail-packed scripted show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is something special. This is the final week of the run, which ends December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (29 Jay Street): Analog,Ue

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, and More

8:00 pm ($8): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre, directed by Holden McNeely (Murderfist): National Scandal

8:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match.” On the improv side is team PRISM; while the stand-ups are Jeffrey Joseph, Kara Klenk, and Adam Chisnall, all performing at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera, plus Charles Gould and Dan Licata: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): and Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Reese Waters (David Letterman), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Nate Fridson, Chris Laker, Taylor Ketchum, and more performing stand-up 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($20 at the door or $25.49 online): Two of the quickest and most talented comedy geniuses alive, Daniel Kitson and Reggie Watts, star at this holiday bash hosted by Eugene Mirman, which also features Janelle James, Derrick Brown, and “special guests” (as if there’s anyone more special than Daniel and Reggie…), all performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues; take the R to 9th Street or the F to 4th Avenue): Pretty Good Friends

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CNN, TBS), Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown), Clarke McFarlane (renowned juggler/comic currently starring in the circus variety show La Soiree at Union Square Theater), Chris Barron, Tim Harrington, Rosewood, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, VH1, Nat Geo): Sweet

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically fine stand-ups (not announced) performing with composer Matt Garrison’s four-piece jazz band playing in the background at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Mike Finoia. Please note this is slated to be the final show of Code Name: Comedy and Jazz

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NY stand-ups (not announced) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Kevin McCaffrey, Robert Dean, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Phoebe Robinson debuts this monthly stand-up show, tonight featuring Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), and Jamie Lee (staff writer/performer for The Pete Holmes Show; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, VH1) all performing at the UCB East theatre: Blaria Live Stand-Up Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Short-form improv is best, argues Terry Withers: “New York City is filled with lowest common denominator long-form improvisors. Sure, that type of improv gets laughs, but nine out of ten scenes are cheap and undisciplined. Get to the heart of what’s great about spontaneity using short-form classics that point to hidden truths: Party Quirks, Match OUTMATCH, Freeze, Ape Nest, and The Slam Pun Competition feed the soul and edify the mind” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Short Form Is the Only Art Form

9:30 pm ($8): Sketch comedy from 4-gal group Buzz Off Lucille at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Buzz Off Lucille Christmas Pageant

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Russ Meneve, and More

[FREE] 10:00 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’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open-mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT downstairs lounge, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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] 6:15 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 Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys Open MIc

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:15: Sign up at 9:30 pm for the opportunity to make up a musical on the spot with The Magnet improv group The Jezebelies: Magnet Musical Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/13/13

December 13, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Todd Barry and Reggie Watts

Todd Barry, Reggie Watts (above), Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Kate Berlant, Nick Vatterott, Amber Nelson, Murderfist, The Cowmen, The Reformed Whores, and more at a spectacular Brooklyn stand-up, sketch, and comedic music event: Winter Wonderland…

Stone Cold Fox

…and a world-class sketch group kicks off the run of a brand new show at UCB Chelsea: Stone Cold Fox—Sexy Idiots

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), 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), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure,” and are joined by friends (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hodapp & Rothwell

7:00 pm ($8; SOLD OUT, but there’ll be a standby line): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group Boy Girl Boy Girl

[$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include comedy dynamo Ali Wong at all five shows, plus Greg Rogell, Greer Barnes, James Smith, and host Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Russ Meneve, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and host Keith Robinson at the 10:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Jermaine Fowler, and host Keith Robinson at the 12:15 am show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[FREE] 7:00ish pm: Neil Charles (Last Comic Standing), Charlie Kasov (blogger for MTV’s Guy Code), Marianne Schaberg (VH1), Rae Sanni (Huffington Post), Chris Lamberth, and Andy Fiori performing at this monthly stand-up show at the One and One Bar (12 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Jeff Cerulli and the delightful Chelsea White (MTV, VH1, TLC, co-host of Call Us Crazy): What Else? Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in the industry, hire them.) Tonight is the kick-off of a brand new collection of sketches from these sexy performers: Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

7:30 pm ($5): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Naomi Ekperigi (30 Rock, Totally Biased, VH1, Logo), Charla Lauriston (MTV, host of Free Cable, co-host of School Night), and Brendan McLaughlin performing stand-up or storytelling at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer: Splitsider and Tumblr’s Dog and Pony Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): 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), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Christian Finnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): “In November of 2011 Michelle Ward was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. She took to her pink ukulele Lucille and broke the news on the Interwebs with an original titty ditty. Join us for a night of show tunes, boob tunes, raffles, and more as we raise money for her Avon Walk for Breast Cancer team” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Boob Cancer & Show Tunes

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($27 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Showtime, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sebastian Maniscalco

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) A cast member of Saturday Night Live and In LIving Color (most famously playing Homey D. Clown), and an actor in numerous feature films, headlining tonight through Sunday—albeit at a steep price—at the Carolines Comedy Club: Damon Wayans

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm show; FREE BEER from 7:30-9:00 pm ($12.65 online, $15 at the door): Amazing lineup of Reggie Watts, Todd Barry, Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Kate Berlant, Nick Vatterott, Amber Nelson, Murderfist, The Cowmen, The Reformed Whores, and more performing stand-up, sketch, and/or music at Brooklyn’s The Paper Box (17 Meadow Street) hosted by Chris Nester & Julian Kiani and produced by the Brooklyn Comedy Festival: Winter Wonderland

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Phil Jackson, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

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

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA & DRINKS! Reserve seats by emailing lukaskaiser@gmail.com with subject YANNI CASH] 9:00 pm for free pizza & drinks, 9:30 pm for show: Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever, Olde English, College Humor, host of Fresh Out), Mike Recine, and more performing stand-up at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Hoff Matthews & Lukas Kaiser: HP5000 Live Comedy

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sasheer Zamata (rapidly rising star; ABC’s Would You Fall for That?, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Hey Girl, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky, host of UCBT’s School Night), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, Nat Geo; host of Sweet), and Ross Kimball (ABC, Chicago iO) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Eric Drysdale (brilliant staff writer for The Colbert Report) and Eli Bosnick (magician & mentalist) interviewed at a late night talk show hosted by Jamie Leelo at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Pot stand-up from “highly talented comics who have been highly recommended from people who are thought highly of in the business. Oh, and they’ll be high” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Clayton English & Noah Gardenswartz: High Five

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts, with tonight’s theme “Matt Dennie’s surprise birthday party,” at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and/or Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/21/13

July 21, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Check out Myq Kaplan’s stand-up album Meat Robot

Reggie Watts

Reggie Watts performs at 2:00 pm at a free show in Washington Square Park…

Joe List

…and Joe List tries out new material for seven nights straight at free show Week at the Creek

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 2:00 pm: Reggie Watts (music improv comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Electric Company; for video samples, please click here), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), and Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing for a free outdoor show at Washington Square Park (at Holley Plaza): Laughter in the Park

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central) tries out new stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Joe List

[DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($12.25 online using discount code HEAT; no min.): Carmen Lynch, Seth Herzog, Adrienne Iapalucci, Pat Dixon, Pete Lee, Chris Distefano, Taylor Ketchum, Josh Gondelman, and Angelo Lozada performing stand-up that rips something or someone deserving to shreds at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Invitation to a Beheading

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10; seats are sold out, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing) 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—plus tonight’s 7:30 show features world-class storyteller Melanie Hamlett (two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, co-author of the book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, amazing blog, roving adventurer): ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from Rob Stern and Brian Frange at The Magnet theatre: Stern and Frange

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), and Josh Homer performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” tonight featuring Melissa Caminneci, Ginny Leise and Eva Anderson at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick and Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy), Greg Johnson (Sirius XM), Charlie Kasov (MTV’s Guy Code), Kate Hendricks, Steven Forrest, and Ryan Beck performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy at The Magnet, tonight from groups Risky Bottom (which includes one of my favorite comics, Lauren Olson) and Breakfast for Dinner: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Kenny DeForest, and John F. O’Donnell performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy), Bill Stiteler, Mike Hollan, and Kenny DeForest performing stand-up in 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 ($8): Aussie comics Karena Thomas & Karli Evans share their duo sketch show with NYC at The PIT upstairs theatre before taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: This Is My Box

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show providing at least 3 minutes per comic (more time if there are fewer comics attending), with sign-up at 3:45, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Open Mic

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

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

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic comedy, with 4 minutes per performer, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Child Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/15/13

July 15, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeff Garlin

Jeff Garlin (above left) in interviewed by Academy Award winner Michael Moore at the 92nd Street Y…

Reggie Watts

…music improv comedy genius Reggie Watts performs at Night Train…

Standards & Practices

……and co-writer & director Ellena Chmielewski’s show about relationships returns to UCB Chelsea: Standards & Practices

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: 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) tries out new stand-up material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Christian Finnegan

7:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy co-starring Megan Maes that will entertain you “in the name of overthrowing the established order and subverting your trust in what is real and what is illusion” at The PIT upstairs theatre from group Sleepy Dr. Dre

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors will be touring as representatives of The PIT, and practicing tonight at The PIT downstairs lounge: The PIT TourCo

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15-$36 online or at the door): Jeff Garlin (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, ABC’s The Goldbergs, writer/director/star of new feature film Dealin’ With Idiots) will be interviewed by Academy Award winner and living legend Michael Moore at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Concert Hall (1395 Lexington Avenue, between 91st and 92nd Streets). Really, what else do you need to know? I’ll be attending this; come join me for Jeff Garlin Interviewed by Michael Moore

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Electric Company; for video samples, please click here), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Sasheer Zamata (rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky, sketch group The Prom; host of UCBT’s School Night), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, host of Big Long Sets), and Josh Gondelman performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brilliant improvisor Ellena Chmielewski proves herself to also be a brilliant comedic writer, and a young, fresh voice about relationships, in this mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea she co-wrote with John Zachary Townsend, and that holds the seeds for a longer commercial stage production and/or a series on a network like MTV. Come enjoy watching the foundation of a promising career at one of the best-scripted shows to grace UCBT in a while (and if you know Ellena, urge her to star or co-star in her next production, because she’s a gifted performer too): Standards & Practices

…and in the second half of this double-treat, Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, IFC) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy) debut a sketch show “about men who stay out of the fray—because the fray is chock full of death, basketball, and lions. Come and sit this one out with us:” Guilty Bystanders

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nick Turner & Acquaintances) performing at the Niagra Bar (112 Avenue A & 7th Street) for this weekly show hosted by Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012) & DJ CnC: Crickets

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Storytellers Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show, Tales of the Cosmos, and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), Diana Spechler (The New York Times, Oprah Magazine), Kate Greathead, Anna Rose Roisman, and Cassie Sneider share true tales about this month’s theme Fireworkss at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by Andrew Linderman: Local Stories: FIreworks

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Solo character comedy from ace sketch comic Henry Zebrowski (HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Michael and Michael Have Issues, award-winning sketch group Murderfist), Veronica Osorio (sketch group Fambly), Frank Hejl, Josh Ruben, and Dion Flynn performing at UCB East hosted by Conner O’Malley: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Killer lineup of Whitney Cummings (star of NBC’s Whitney; HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV), Amy Schumer (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock, great new DVD/CD Amy Schumer: Mostly Sex Stuff), Matt Lamp (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Erik Rivera (Jay Leno, MTV): Whitney Cummings, Amy Schumer, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: ace team Fambly (which consists of Bridey Elliott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Veronica Osorio, Dan Black, Zach Broussard, and a sharp crew of writers) and Bellevue: Maude Night: Fambly & Bellevue

9:30 pm ($10): Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nick Turner & Acquaintances), and Troy Alan performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by twins Todd Stone & Adam Stone: Stone and Stone Show

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Raquel D’Apice, Miguel Dalmau, Deepu Gil, Jeff Sussman, and Angry Bob performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) hosted by Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

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.): Killer lineup of Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), and Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Erik Rivera (Jay Leno, MTV): Dave Attell, John Mulaney, Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, Mark Normand, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Improv from a group that includes such talents as Megan Gray performing at The Magnet theatre: Junior Varsity

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

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

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

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): 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 at this exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jarrid Reed: Fresh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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