NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/18/13

September 18, 2013

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Follow Mike Daisey’s epic storytelling this month for free here.

Robert Smigel

The hilarious Robert Smigel…

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

…and his pal Triumph the Insult Comic Dog are interviewed at Brooklyn’s Bell House for “Employee of the Month”

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20 at the door or $26.50 online using discount code DAISEY; no food/drink min.): MIke Daisey is one of the finest and most respected storytellers alive; and he’s not resting on his prior achievements. Just within the past year Mike churned out an amazing nine new shows at Joe’s Pub (including such instant classics as Fucking Fucking Fucking Ayn Rand and Five Technical Rehearsals in India)…and that was a mere prequel. Mike is now embarked on telling 29 new shows in a row in a 29-night, 44-hour monologue that’s “a living theatrical novel.” See it live at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place), or experience it at your convenience for FREE via iTunes (I’ll be doing a mix of both): All the Faces of the Moon

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC) tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Big Jay Oakerson

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for Chris Gethard, Aidy Bryant, Neil Casey, Christina Gausas, and Tami Sagher: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

7:00 pm ($5): Christine Holt & Mary Guiteras tend bar for a living, then let off steam by performing improv at The PIT downstairs lounge where they unleash the secrets they’ve heard, and also host storytelling from tonight’s guests Casey Webb and Margaret Champaign: Bartenders

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm show ($10.35 in advance online, $15 at the door; price includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Brilliant storyteller Jim O’Grady (The New York Times, WNYC Radio, Moth GrandSlam Champion), Josh Ozersky (Time Magazine contributor, Founding Editor of New York Magazine’s Grub Street blog), Laurie Segall (CNN reporter, Forbes‘ “30 under 30”), and Selena Coppock (author of The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation) tell tales on this month’s theme Scoops: Stories From Journalists at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC), plus free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word: Scoops—Stories From Journalists

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 First Lady and Apollo: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20 at the door or $25.49 in advance online): Host Catie Lazarus interviews Robert Smigel & Triumph the Insult Dog, Mo Rocca, Danny Strong, Lady Rizo, and Lin-Manuel Miranda about what it’s like to have a dreamy job, with music from house band The New Guys, at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues): Employee of the Month

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a legendary improv group that includes Gavin Speiller, Silvija Ozols, Jim Santangeli, and Eddie Dunn perform as Rogue Elephant

[$] 8:00 pm ($15) Stand-up Jacqueline Novak performs a live recording of her debut comedy album Quality Notions at the Ars Nova Theatre (511 West 54th Street, off 10th Avenue): Jacqueline Novak Live Album Recording

[FREE] 8:00 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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Rob Ryan, and Mick Diflo 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?

9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Jim Santangeli and Nate Smith try to determine Who’s More Awesome?

…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

9:30 pm ($5): Stuckey & Murray (terrific comedic singing duo; Chelsea Lately, NBC, VH1, Fuse) and Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets) are interviewed at The PIT downstairs lounge by host Katie Kester: The Later Show

[FREE] 10:00: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City as part of the online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show) and/or Nathan Anderson (Uncoolio): /r/standup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Hey Girl, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky) and Charla Lauriston host 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; plus Sasheer is going to be a huge star, so catch her in this intimate setting while you can. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Claudia Cogan and Scott Rogowsky; for the complete list, 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

11:00 pm ($8): “Come see New York improvisers Douglas Widick & Evan Kaufman reach deep into their sordid, shame-filled pasts for a night of musical improv that will have you asking ‘Do they give refunds at the PIT?'” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kaufman & Widick: A Night of Shame

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 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 5 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Benel Germosen: Cracking It

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 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] 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 chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Lucas Hazlett: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with group The Flood: Magnet Improv Mixer

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)

(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.