NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/30/16

September 30, 2016

Riley SolonerStars Chris Gethard, Connor Ratliff, and more pay comedic tribute to wonderful sketch comic Riley Soloner and the character he plays who appears frequently on The Chris Gethard Show: The Roast of Vacation Jason (Midnight, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)…

Natalie Wall's Awkward Sex Festival…and it’s the second and final day of the spectacular Natalie Wall hosting storytellers sharing their most embarrassing and hilarious sexual experiences via three shows running from 7:30 to midnight: Awkward Sex Festival (7:30, 9:00 pm, and 10:30 pm, $6-$8, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd Avenue)

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot; host of Best New York Stand-Up) tries out new material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Myq Kaplan

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Eleven comics parody Broadway productions at The Magnet theatre: This Is Not A Broadway Show: The Musical

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Six improvisors compete for your laughs and votes at this fun improv game show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by the wonderful Tracy Mull: The Island: An Improv Competition

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from group Scorpion Bowl revolving around a competition for love at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Scorpion Bowl: Last Character Standing

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a hospital drama parody: Dr. Brothers

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

7:30 pm ($10): Two PIT downstairs lounge improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A game show pitting the audience against a panel of three comics. Each comedian picks one subject, and then the audience writes questions about the subject. If the comics fail to correctly answer any question, whoever wrote the question wins a free shot of sponsored liquor, plus the whole audience gets some points. If the audience winds up with more points than the panel, it will punish one of the comics by choosing him or her to perform improvised stand-up comedy. It all happens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Specific Ignorance

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A sketch parody of a live audience shooting of a Hollywood TV sitcom pilot written by and co-starring Steve Clark, Julian Hernandez, and Johnny Efstathiades at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Cockapoopees

8:00 pm ($10): Short political plays from across the country are performed at The PIT upstairs theatre: Raucous Caucus

8:00 pm ($10): Monster sketch comedy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Terrorbird

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Leah Bonnema, Corinne Fisher, Aaron Berg, and more performing stand-up at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer and guest-hosted by Caitlin Peluffo: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Sebastian Conelli (2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Silvija Ozols, Shannon O’Neill, Don Fanelli, Alexandra Dickson, and/or Michael Delaney forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

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

9:00 pm ($10): A group of six comedic actors performs sketch at The PIT downstairs lounge: Uncle Function

9:00 pm ($5): Lani Harms hosts interviews, sketch, characters, improv, and/or more at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Late Night with Lani

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Aparna Nancherla, Shane Torres (Conan O’Brien), Lane Pieschel, and Zach Reinert perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by a piano playing singer/songwriter: Unplugged with Tommy McNamara

9:30 pm ($10): A comedic play with bite about the Hollywood experience for minorities, in which “four black actors in Room 4 have just realized they’re stuck in a time loop, auditioning for the same role of ‘Drug Dealer #2’ over and over. What once felt like a messed-up metaphor has become a literal existential nightmare. Get them out of there” at The PIT upstairs theatre written by Marina & Nicco, and with an eight-man cast…one of whom plays a literal Magical Negro: Room 4

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

10:00 pm ($5): 60 comics each made 1-minute videos. After every video is screened, you’re encouraged to take a shot of beer. This party-like show includes additional drinking games, prizes, “and so much drunken bonding” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Chris Donahue: 60 Shots for 60 Shorts

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): “George and Martha are back and they’re drunker than ever! Richard Burton (Jason Specland) and Elizabeth Taylor (Adrian Sexton) reprise the roles of George and Martha from Edward Albee’s famous play, but without Edward Albee’s famous words. Joining them on this fateful evening: A young, innocent, real-life couple whose actual relationship issues will be cunningly used against them in a series of cruel games. What secrets will be uncovered? What have George and Martha been lying about? And, most importantly, just how much can two people drink in a forty minute show?” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Don’t Talk About the [BLANK], Martha! An Improvised Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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

10:30 pm ($10): John Harris (It’s Always Sunny), Natasha Vaynblat (IFC), Yedoye Travis, and Katie East performing stand-up, storytelling, sketch, and/or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

10:30 pm ($5): Improv group Business Kiss and frineds perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Business Kiss: Monthly Meeting

10:30 pm ($5): A rotating pool of improvisors perform in groups of five at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Singles Motel

11:00 pm ($5): Improv group Out the Embryo and a guest improv team make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Out the Embryo Presents

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A gay-themed variety show at the UCB East theatre hosted by Timothy Dunn: Queerball

[FREE] Midnight: “A new game show where three contestants get quizzed on random topics; raps, video games, different types of soda. We’ll even have a few comics drop by” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Marvin Lattimore: A Night of Thrill-Via

Friday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

5:45 pm (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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Walk-in open mic that allows everyone to get on stage at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): $1 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 hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

[ALMOST FREE] 6:30 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Happy Hour

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

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

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:

The Stand

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 8/30/14

August 30, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Riley Soloner

Riley Soloner (above) & Jason Saenz host hordes of rednecks and over-the-top celebrities at midnight UCB Chelsea show Late Night Trash

Judah Friedlander

…and Judah Friedlander performs at the 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm editions of The Stand

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

6:00 pm ($5): Two musical improv groups compete based on suggestions from the audience at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Comedy Sportz

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Colin Quinn, Greer Barnes, and Kevin Brennan at the 7:15 show; Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show; Colin Quinn, Ben Bailey, Kevin Brennan, Dov Davidoff, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:15 show; Dave Attell, Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Dov Davidoff, and Leslie Jones at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Gary Gulman, Kevin Brennan, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, Leslie Jones, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[$] [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): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Dean Edwards (Comedy Central), Akaash Singh (HBO, MTV), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Improvisors make up scenes revolving around their heroes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nicholas Feitel: The Hero Show

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelseainterview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.) The creator and star of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo headlines tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Rob Schneider

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code LABOR; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author ofHow to Beat Up Anybody), Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Rich Vos, Dan St. Germain, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PITdownstairs lounge: North Coast

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Andy Rocco, Lukas Kaiser, Lynn Bixenspan, Drew Michael, and Ross Parsons, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight(594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Ian Fidance: Showcasey Jones

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, sketches, and music for this variety show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre:Take It Or Leave It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Christina Gausas and other ace improvisors (not announced) make stuff up at theUCB Chelsea theatre: Maravilla

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Improv from wonderful duo David Carl (Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet) & Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting), plus Jarrett Kotarski & Nick Carrillo, and Brian Jauch & Brad Stuart, who first perform as duos and then come together at the end to perform as a six-person group at The PIT downstairs lounge: Best, Bester, Bestest

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code LABOR; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, RIch Vos, Dan St. Germain, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Tracey Wigfield (former writer for 30 Rock), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and more form an ace improv group at UCB East that won last year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life:What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio’s Last Podcast On The Left  “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the LeftLive

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney and Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnetas comedy trio Trike

11:00 pm ($10): An award-winning troupe that combines sketch, musical comedy, puppetry, and dance performs a show about sideshow freaks at The PIT downstairs lounge: City Hall: The Inside Sideshow Show

[FREE] 11:30 pm: Stand-up, music, and improv, plus an audience improv jam, at this free monthly variety show atUCB East produced by Poupak Sepehri and hosted by Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger), Anna Suzuki, and/or Emily Schorr Lesnick: The Soul Glo Project

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A hilarious collection of oddball characters posing as “the worst families in America,” plus over-the-top celebrity impersonations, from a small army of comics performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by wonderful comics Riley Soloner (enormously likeable rising star; MTV, The Chris Gethard Show, Cage Match,Maude improv group Smalls) and/or Jason Saenz (sharp stand-up & sketch comic; Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis): Late Night Trash

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.50 online using discount code LABOR; 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Brooks Wheelan (former cast member of Saturday Night Live), Derek Gaines, and Crystian Ramirez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Dan St. Germain, BIg Jay Oakerson, Brooks Whelan, and More

[FREE] Midnight: “A combination of funny, personal conversations and discussions of nerdy pop culture,” with tonight’s guest Andrew Short, at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by John Szeluga, Chris Sorrentino, and/or Bryan McGuckin: Super Live Adventure Podcast

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at theComedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 3/22/14

March 22, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Riley Soloner

Riley Soloner (above) & Jason Saenz host hordes of rednecks and over-the-top celebrities at midnight show Late Night Trash

Michael Che

…and Michael Che continues his headlining run at Carolines

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

[TOP PICK] 1:00 pm to 1:30 am ($10-$15 per show, or $60 for all-festival pass): Nearly 24 hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge for this 4th day of the 5-day 2014 NYC Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Marina Franklin, Lynne Koplitz, and Keith Robinson at the 7:00 show; Judah Friedlander, James Smith, Jermaine Fowler, and Keith Robinson at the 8:45 show; Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, James Smith, Big Jay Oakerson, and Keith Robinson at the 10:30 show; and a strong lineup of Dave Attell, Paul Mecurio, Greer Barnes, James Smith, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 12:15 show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[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, Mike Yard (Comedy Central), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Improvisors make up scenes revolving around their heroes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nicholas Feitel: The Hero Show

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): A hilarious red-hot rising star who’s a staff writer for Saturday Night Live, and has performed on David Letterman, Comedy Central, and VH1, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Che

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (Pay Whatever You Like; includes FREE LONDON CANDY): “Pete wrote a musical based on the film Desperately Seeking Susan featuring the music of Blondie that opened on London’s West End——and closed a month later. Whoops. Here’s how it all went down” via a one-man show by Peter Michael Marino at The Triple Crown Underground (330 7th Avenue, between 28th and 29th Streets) : Desperately Seeking the Exit

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB East that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($17.50 online using code JUDAH; 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), Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), and Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code) performing stand-at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Ali Wong, Big Jay Oakerson, Seth Herzog, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups, plus “skits, arm wrestling, jeopardy, contests, and drinking,” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Grace, Mike Pullan, and/or James Ferrarella: Super Duper Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisor Nick Kanellis & guest Rick Andrews make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Casey Salengo, Kate Hendricks, Chris Calogero, and Frank Liotti share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A hilarious collection of oddball sketch characters posing as “the worst families in America,” plus over-the-top celebrity impersonations, from a small army of comics performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by wonderful comics Riley Soloner & Jason Saenz: Late Night Trash

[FREE] Midnight: Sketch troupes Inappropriate Opiates and Martha perform each perform for 30 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kokomo: Sketch Show

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/17/13

October 17, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Riley Soloner and Veronica Osorio and Dan Hodapp

Riley Soloner, Veronica Osorio, Dan Hodapp, and many more show off their stellar comedic talents at 7:30 and 9:00 at UCB East for this second half of industry event UCBT NY Variety Hour Showcase…

Long Story Long

…Eli Reiter debuts a show providing 25 minutes each to such top storytellers as Elna Baker and Andy Christie: Long Story Long…

Glbert Gottfried

…Gilbert Gottfried headlines for one night only at Carolines…

New York Musical Improv Festival

…and The Magnet kicks off its annual four-day New York Musical Improv Festival

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-12:30 am ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet hosts its Fifth Annual Musical Improv Festival, kicking off tonight with solo musical improv at 7:00, musical improv from improv instructors at 9:00, and an improv competition at 11:00: The Fifth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.34 online; cover price includes free drink; no min.) The debut of a “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, which tonight’s stellar guests Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show; The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam Champion), and Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band) performing at The Tank (151 West 46th Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($11.34 online, $12 at the door): How cool is this? Mega-bestselling author R. L. Stine (Goosebumps) is interviewed by Dave Herman, and then reads passages from his books—as springboards for improvised scenes from a small mob of comics. The awesomeness happens at The PIT upstairs theatre: Inside the Mind of R. L. Stine

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm & 9:00 pm ($5): The first half of this industry showcase, yesterday at UCB Chelsea, provided brilliant comedic performances from Chris Gethard, Sasheer Zamata, Natasha Rothwell, Neil Casey & Will Hines, John Murray & Leslie Meisel & Connor Ratliff, Jordan Klepper & Russ Armstrong, and more. On this second half of the showcase, UCB sketch, stand-up, and improv comics such as Dan Hodapp, Riley Soloner, Don Fanelli, Veronica Osorio, and Tim Dunn perform at UCB East. Please note this is one show that’s being performed twice, back to back, for the sake of filming; the best bits of both will later be edited into one show to be used for, well, lord knows what. Come experience it live: UCBT NY Variety Hour Showcase

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($26; SOLD OUT): Kelly Carlin talks about life with her legendary father George Carlin for this one-woman show at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): A Carlin Home Companion

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($24.25 & 2-drink min.)  A one-of-a-kind comedy star headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfried

[$] 7:30 pm ($15 at the door or $16.52 online): Jenn Dodd plays numerous characters in this production that shows off her wit and versatility at Stage Left Studio, 214 West 30th Street (off Seventh Avenue), on the 6th Floor: No Show: A One-Woman Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Comics & storytellers 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), David Crabb (frequent host of The Moth, two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, co-host of Ask Me Stories), Cara Kilduff, Jonah Loeb, and Karen Bergreen performing at this biweekly storytelling show at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street) hosted by JR: The Jenny Rubin Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, IFC) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy) demonstrate they’re superb comedic performers in this two-man sketch show about men who fail and/or regret. I wish the guys had worked with another writer, or at least a tough editor, to make the writing uniformly stronger; but there are enough solid bits, and strong comic acting throughout, to make this worth catching: Guilty Bystanders

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Dan Black (FUSE, Death by Roo Roo, Ripley) performs a one-man show “as a student of the dude game” in The Pageantry of Man

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): “Improvised one-acts in the style of prominent playwrights and genres, spontaneously generating an original and hilarious work of instantly important theater right before your eyes” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

8:00 pm ($5): Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Nore Davis, Janelle James, and Nathan Macintosh performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun & Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a musical “based on the true history of the founding of America, in which Jesus Christ embarks on a journey to help build a country that’s courageous, pious, and gun-crazy enough for his precious Constitution…as long as the evil King Barrack Hussein George III doesn’t get in the way,” written by Eric Gersen and directed by John Flynn: Seventeen Seventy-Something

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a one-man show by Arthur Meyer (writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon; David Letterman; sketch groups Pangea 3000, Fambly, Two Fun Men) that features some hilarious songs, especially the last one that’s a show-stopper homage to what rock ‘n roll is all about: Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): Comedy troupe Private Cabin has been skewering trashy cinema since 2010 via its podcast, and tonight will make entertainingly harsh comments about horror flick Scream 3 at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Andrew Jupin, Stephen Sajdak, Chris Cabin, and Eric Szyszka: We Hate Movies

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1971 horror/orgy flick The Vampire Happening (for the trailer, please click here) at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Juggernaut improv group Namaste last week provided a resounding No to challenger A Tribe Called Yes last week, winning with 81 votes to 41. With seven victories in a row, tonight champion Namaste faces force-of-chaos Fuck That Shit at UCB Chelsea, competing for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Current events analyzed with a comedic twist from guests 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), Mark Gagliardi (Comedy Central’s Drunk History), Pat Cassels (College Humor), and Joe Burns (Weekend of Regret) at UCB East hosted by Zhubin Parang (The Daily Show, What I Did for Love) and Cody Lindquist (Improv Everywhere): Topical Storm

11:00 pm ($5): “Ever wonder how Abraham Lincoln really made it to the White House? Whether Ryan Gosling only took up acting because of his failure at acupuncturist grief counseling? If Gloria Steinem went through a “skank phase”? Watch as indie team Free Cake and others improvise the timeline of your most beloved celebrities from Socrates to Shakira using your suggestions” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Biopic

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

9:00 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Saturday 6/22/13

June 22, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Myq Kaplan has a new comedy album; check it out here

Todd Barry and Riley Soloner

Todd Barry (above) performs with Joe DeRosa and Steve Rannazzisi at The Stand; Riley Soloner (above) and Jason Saenz host UCB Chelsea’s Late Night Trash

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), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[$] 7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($20 for 7:30, $24 for 9:15, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), Alan Havey (star of FOX’s Free Ride, David Letterman, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, FX’s Louie, Comedy Central), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style): Colin Quinn, Tom Papa, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm (call 212.757.4100 to see if tickets are still available & for cover charge; plus 2-drink min.): The co-star of NBC’s Whitney and star of a Comedy Central Presents special, and who’s also performed on Showtime and TBS, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris D’Elia

[$] 8:00 pm ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), Alan Havey (star of FOX’s Free Ride, David Letterman, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, FX’s Louie, Comedy Central), 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): Colin Quinn, Tom Papa, and More

8:00 pm ($8): All-gal improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: Florence

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A comic who’s performed on Jay Leno, starred in her own Comedy Central Presents special, and is a panelist on Chelsea Lately, headlining at the Gotham Comedy Club: Loni Love

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and last year crushed 15 improv groups in Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[FREE; FREE DRINKS for women 8:00-9:00] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[$] 9:30 pm ($15): Smart & silly sketches at The PIT upstairs theatre from group The Foolhardy Manor

9:30 pm ($8): Siobhan Beasley (United Nations), Robert A. George (New York Post), Lucas Zachary Hazlett (MTV), Nate Starkey (Shackled), Karol Markowicz (WNYC, AlarmingNews.com) and more gather to make fun of politics at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB Chelsea that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] 10:00 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), Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Steve Rannazzisi (FX’s The League, MTV’s Punk’d), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), and Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Joe DeRosa, Steve Rannazzisi, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 10:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter:” Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

11:00 pm ($5): “After retiring from a long stint in the adult-film industry, Johnny Kink has turned his sights to his second love, hosting a late night talk show. The former adult film star invites his previous costars for interviews, musical performances, and more as good, clean, adult fun” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Inside You With Johnny Kink

11:30 ($5): Andrew Short, Luke Younger, Alyssa Wolff, and Jason Burke share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A hilarious collection of oddball sketch characters and over-the-top celebrity impersonations from a small army of comics performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by wonderful comics Riley Soloner & Jason Saenz: Late Night Trash

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, Comedy Juice on Tuesdays, and more; 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 Wednesday 1/2/13

January 2, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Riley Soloner and Joe DeRosa

Riley Soloner stars in his sketch comedy Vacation Jason’s Island Flavors; Joe DeRosa headlines tonight and tomorrow 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:

 [FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing 3 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Max Corbel & Benel Germosen: Cracking It

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Dr. Champagne, Horses, Bloomer, Chet Watkins, Flower Girl, The Wrath, Nintendo, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Wrath at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) and Kevin Shimko (Pyramid Scheme) perform improv with tonight’s guest troupe Gameface at The PIT downstairs lounge: Katie & Kevin & Friends

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Graceland and Spooky Ghost: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($22 & 2-drink min.) A razor-sharp stand-up who’s performed on HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, as well as FX’s Louie and radio show Opie & Anthony, starred in his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, created the comedy CDs The Depression Auction and Return of the Depression Auction, and co-hosts the weekly NYC stand-up show Righteous Kill headlining tonight and Thursday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Joe DeRosa

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): UCBT star & Chris Gethard Show icon Riley Soloner stars in his own show (which I’m hoping to finally attend tonight): Vacation Jason’s Island Flavors

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a small mob of young talent puts on a meta-musical:The 2017 Tony Awardz: A Parody of Musical Proportions

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, CNN, TBS, host of ComedyJuice), Phoebe Robinson (TV Guide’s 100 TV Shows To See Before You Die and 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, Huffington Post), Nick Maritato, and John Early perform stand-up “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life,” with tonight’s theme New Year’s Resolutions, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): Tom Papa, Ryan Hamilton, and More

8:00 pm ($5):Natasha Rothwell (The Curfew, Hodapp & Rothwell) and Rachel Rosenthal (North Coast, ImprovBoston) perform duo improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: War Bride

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), Kevin McCaffrey (David Letterman), Jane Borden (former Comedy Editor of Time Out New York, author of I Totally Meant to Do That), Sagar Bhatt, Stephanie Holmes, and Erik Bransteen performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any fighting) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

9:00 pm ($5): Two-person improv scenes from Richard Templeton & Nannette Deasy, Colin Longstaff & Dawn Harris, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Donna Lobello and tonight’s guest partner Patrick Cucuta: I Trust (Two-Prov)

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch troupe Boat performs 30 minutes of bits at Boat: Comedic Sketches

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a two-man sketch show by Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp that very loosely springs off the real events of the title but is mostly meta-comedy. I would’ve preferred something meatier, especially given the fascinating subject—436 people killed by a tiger whose damaged teeth made it difficult to eat anything other than humans—but there’s lots of energy and performance talent here, making this a solid first-time effort: Maneater: The True Story of the Champawat Tigress

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), and Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): Judah Friedlander, Jessica Kirson, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The wonderful Julie Sharbutt (improv shows Gravid Water, Mystic Improv, The Scene, Birds) and Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show; improv shows What I Did For Love, HUNK, The Scene) perform duo improv “exploring a world of deeply felt character relationships while sitting in chairs” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Chairs

[TOP PICK] 10:00 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] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Rising stand-up stars—Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, Mark Normand, Dan. St. Germain, Pat Dixon, Emily Heller, Michael Che, Joe List, and/or Nick Turner—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regular Suspects

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled lineup hasn’t been posted as of this morning, but for an update please click 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

[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 troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): The Nasty Show: Big Jay Oakerson, Mark Normand, Kurt Metzger, and More

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.