NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 3/5/17

March 5, 2017

Chuck KlostermanChuck Klosterman (New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto; wrote “The Ethicist” column for The New York Times Magazine), Lane Moore (HBO’s Girls; host of Tinder Live; Sex & Relationship Editor of Cosmo, writer for The Onion, McSweeneys), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; killer set on Seth Meyers; Comedy Central, 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; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), and Tony Zaret (Channel 101), all being interviewed or performing for Running Late with Scott Rogowsky (8:00 pm, $14, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 1:50 pm ($12): An autobiographical one-man show by Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion) on how he “survived a childhood in the Reagan Eighties, the rise of the moral majority and meth amphetamine, the terrors of sex and nuclear bombs, and his guest role in a sibling’s suicide by escaping into pop culture” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Idaho Jackson Action Playset

[TOP PICK] 5:00 pm ($5): All-gal musical Improv group Redshirts (Catherine Wing, Jennette Cronk, Julia Lunetta, Sloane Miller, and Susan O’Doherty) creates new episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the spot, and also hosts superhero improv group Crisis, at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Redshirts: Star Trek: TNG Musical Improv and Crisis: An Improvised Comic Book

6:00 pm ($7; or free for middle school or high school students with school ID): NYC high school and college improvisors make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Bright Young Minds

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, and Brian Urreta of improv group The Mannequin Room: Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): An acclaimed play about “a baby boomer couple on a road trip to Wisconsin for a destination wedding. Along the way they ponder empty nest angst, becoming victims of both urban gentrification and illogical technology, and anything else that comes to mind, with the local radio and nostalgia of Wisconsin as their backdrop. Each performance is slightly different as they expound, riff and allow themselves to go off script as the spirit (and audience) moves them” by Second City Mainstage comics Bruce Jarchow (Seinfeld, Parks and Recreation, Ghost) and Nancy McCabe-Kelly (Teachers webseries, TBS) at The PIT Mainstage: Been There, Still There

7:00 pm ($5): This double-bill begins with a one-woman show by Tabitha Vidaurrian playing five different extreme characters; and then improv from gal group Ladies Who Ranch, all at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Desperate Times Call For Desperate Women and Ladies Who Ranch

7:00 pm ($7): Comedy group Clyde performs improv and sketch at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Hey Clyde

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nine-person improv group The Internet Disagrees makes stuff up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): The Internet Disagrees

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($12) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among seven shows, with three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:30 pm ($7): Four improv trios, including host group Eaves (Molly Kiernan, Sam Johnson, and Michael Stevens), make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Three’s Company

7:30 pm ($5): Dana Shulman and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT Underground: Student Driver: Indie Road

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Ryan Hamilton (please note I’m not certain of this booking—Ryan’s on the UCB site but not Kara’s site; Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Andy Sandford (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, The Beards of Comedy), Pat Brown, Chris Laker, Anthony Devito, Alex Hooper, and Paige Weldon performing stand-up at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk (writer for MTV’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City) and guest-hosted by Joe Zimmerman (Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($7): A short comedy film about two sisters written by & co-starring Katherine Dudas (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love) is screened at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), plus the filmmakers will perform and/or answer questions: This Is Serious Short Film Premiere

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Improvisors perform new plays from the Bard, made up on the spot springboarding off an audience suggestion, at The PIT Underground: As You Will: Shakespearean Improv

8:30 pm ($7): Three groups of hip-hop improvisers perform scenes that lead into rap songs accompanied by beatboxing at The PIT Mainstage: Off Top Collective

8:30 pm ($5): A small army of comics parody La La Land and Manchester by the Sea at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Anthony Oberbeck: Bad Habits: Oscar Nominee Parodies

8:30 pm ($10): Improvisors make up scenes at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jen Jurek: Improv and Stuff

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Suggestions for jokes are gathered from the audience and then pro stand-ups are forced to incorporate them into their sets at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Will Carey: You Can Use That

9:00 pm ($5): Indie improv groups make up scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Ian Herrin: The Ian Herrin Improv Hour

9:30 pm ($5): This double-bill begins with an autobiographical one-man show by DJ Danny White in which “I’ll be mixing records in the back of the stage and coming out to perform character monologues in the front. Seven influential people from my past, on top of seven of my favorite tracks;” and then comedy groups Fre$h Boy, Starshine, and Mr. Boogers perform sketch comedy, all at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Who’s The DJ? and Kill it Scott!

[ALMOST FREE] 10:00 pm ($1): This improv show is based on a Mullaney Chain (pioneered by Kevin Mullaney) in which the host invites a guest to improvise with him or her, then the guest independently invites a third person, who then invites a fourth person, and so on, creating a one-time-only lineup that will be a surprise to everyone involved at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kurt Guenther: The Telephone Show

Sunday Open Mics, Open Stages, and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Sam Rose: Bucket! We’ll Do it Live!

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

5:30 pm ($3): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT Underground hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/22/15

April 22, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jim Gaffigan is on David Letterman;
Joel McHale and Courtney Cox are on James Corden;
Chris D’Elia is on Carson Daly;
Kerri Kenney-Silver, Jason Sklar, and Randy Sklar are on @midnight

The Happier Hour with Aparna & Friends

It’s a terrific night to be at the Carolines Comedy Club, with two discounted shows back to back: At 7:00 pm, Aparna Nancherla, Carmen Lynch, Jacqueline Novak, and Leah Bonnema perform stand-up at The Happier Hour with Aparna & Friends

Amy Sedaris, Richard Kind, and Brian Stack at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

…and at 9:30 pm Amy Sedaris, Richard Kind, Brian Stack, and Rebecca Vigil are interviewed or perform at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

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-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including Julie Sharbutt & Langston Belton as duoCoyote at 7:00 pm, and PIT owner Ali Farahnakian & friends at 10:25 pm—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($10.18 online using code BKFUN, plus 2-drink min.) Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro) hosts this new monthly stand-up show that tonight features Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor), and Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), all performing at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Happier Hour with Aparna & Friends

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up & character actress Karen Batista tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Karen Batista

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB Eastwhich tonight features house groups Lisa From School, Camp, and Big Time: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Lenny Marcus, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Gregg Rogell, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Kurt Metzger, Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder, BIg Jay Oakerson, Seaton Smith, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Bill Santiago (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Amy Cardinale, and Joe Gerics performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Ashlee Gilbert Voorsanger: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which sharp writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, Laura Willcox, Mike Kelton, Danny Artese, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are honest and hilarious, with tonight’s theme Passion, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Liz Simons (Broad City), Andy Fiori (BBC), JF Harris, George Gordon, and Tim Duffy performing for this free weekly stand-up show at the East Village’s Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) produced by Becky Yamamoto, Kendra Cunningham, Jackie Jax, and Negin Farsad: Comedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Josh Gondelman, Doug Smith, Justin Perez, Liz Barrett, Lance Pauker, plus improv groups Gypsy Clam Bake and Private Jetsons, performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) produced by Matt Schwartzer & Gary Levitt and hosted by Kaytlin Bailey: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A 90-minute variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, and music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Brink & Keele Howard-Stone: Wolf Spirit with Tom and Keele

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Stand-ups Andrew Michaan, Myka Fox, JL Cauvin, Louis Katz, Katina Corrao, Tyler Fischer, and Marc Theobald performing at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis:Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm ($10.18 online using code RLSFAN, plus 2-drink min.) Interviews with stars Amy Sedaris, Richard Kind, and former Conan O’Brien writer/performer Brian Stack, plus a performance from Rebecca Vigil (rising star who’s a powerhouse improv singer with a lightning-quick wit; The Vigilante, Your Love Our Musical), all at the Carolines Comedy Club: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, wonderfully talented performers Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp do a show that tries to make a virtue of extreme, about gay twins who sing, dance, screw each other, and screw over everyone else. The results are mixed, because a script that merely goes relentlessly over the top isn’t enough to be emotionally satisfying, but there are scattered delights—especially a tuneful, show-stopping song about never giving up that’s by itself worth the price of admission: Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

…and in the other second of this double-bill, Aaron Jackson & Josh Sharp (above) switch gears from sketch to improv, creating scenes on the spot about “the Hole-iest Hump Day on the Vatican Calendar:” Ass Wednesday

9:30 pm ($5): Liza Treyger (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Andrew Michaan, Shakir Standley, and Nat Townsen performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman, Andrew Tavin, and/or Alejandro Kolleeny: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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; comedy album Still Got It), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), and more performing stand-up and/or music at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Lemonade Stand: Mark Normand, Jessica Kirson, Jessica Delfino, and More

[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] 10:15 pm ($5): The UCB Touring Company consists of some of UCB’s finest improvisors who show audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For this monthly show, however, the traveling troupe will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo

11:00 pm ($5): Lauren Adams (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) has an entire show built around her at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Night Late

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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY 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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors:Magnet 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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Guilt Trip

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3 1/2 minutes, at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Benel Germosen:Chocolate Wednesday

[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

[FREE] 11:15 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

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-$20)

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-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.)

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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 Wednesday 10/23/13

October 23, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Starting Monday following Conan on TBS: The Pete Holmes Show

Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

Demetri Martin, Eugene Mirman, Mark Normand, and more at the 2-Year Anniversary of Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

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 ($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 SNL’s Mike O’Brien, Chris Gethard, Christina Gausas, Tami Sagher, and/or Aidy Bryant: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

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 ($15 in advance online or $20 at the door): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are 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), Mark Katz (former White House speech writer, author of Clinton & Me), James Braly (NPR’s This American Life, author of Life in A Marital Institution), and host host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy). Come to The Writers Room (740 Broadway, on the 12th Floor) and let these authors attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

7:30 pm & 9:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Detroit and Hotspur (7:30) and Never Never and First Lady (9:00): Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Renowned comedy chameleon and sketch comic Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie) spearheads this multimedia sketch comedy show that tonight includes Ann Carr and Jason Saenz at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Livia Scott Sketch Program

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Punctual Drunks interviews an audience member about his or her favorite fairy tale, and then picks up the story where it left off so you can find out how it really ended, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Punctual Drunks & Friends

[$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and James Smith (Australian comic; HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central; for stand-up video on what it’s like to be Australian in New York, please click here) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): NIck Griffin, Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, and More

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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), 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), Mike Cannon, Matt Wayne, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Dave Hill, Brooke Van Poppelen, and More

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($8 at the door or $11.78 online): TV stars Demetri Martin and Eugene Mirman, red-hot rising star Mark Normand, Grizz Chapman (30 Rock), and Levi MacDougall (Important Things) being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (super-likeable dark comic rising star; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Jake Green, Steven Forrest, and Max Rosenblum performing 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] 9:30 pm ($5): Stand-up from Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and Josh Rabinowitz, and sketch from Aaron Jackson & Alan Starzinski, hosted by Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer (Broad City) at UCB Chelsea for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Ryan Hamilton, and More

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this 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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston and guest host Ryan Beck wrangle as many as a dozen comics 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 at UCB Chelsea (for tonight’s scheduled guests, please click here): School Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Jeff Ross (Comedy Central Roasts), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): The Nasty Show: Paul Mecurio, Jeff Ross, Jon Fisch, and More

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open-mic for both stand-up and sketch, with sign-up starting at 5:30 and ending at 5:55, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Brian Frange & Rob Stern: Frange & Stern’s Stand-Up and Sketch 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 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] 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 Lucas Hazlett: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with group Call Tokyo: 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)

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 Thursday 2/28/13

February 28, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

David Wain

David Wain is among a slew of comedy stars in Brooklyn at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky…

Leslie Goshko

…and author Diana Spechler and Emmy-winner Tracy Rowland tell amazing stories at Leslie Goshko’s Sideshow Goshko

Legends in the making: Watch The Jeselnik Offensive Tuesdays and Kroll Show Wednesdays at 10:30 on Comedy Central.

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] 6:00 pm: The wonderful David Martin, host of top storytelling show The Nights of Our Lives (which just celebrated its Seventh Anniversary), is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, hosted by the wonderful John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: PIT musical improv troupe Adorable makes up scenes and songs at the downstairs lounge: Adorable

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) hosts this superb monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s guests Diana Spechler (author Who By Fire and Skinny), Tracy Rowland (Emmy Award-winning writer), and Andy Ross (Real Characters, Mad Magazine), plus a trivia contest with prizes, and accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Punchbowl and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A “competitive talk show” to determine the best talk show guest, with tonight’s contenders Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Cole Escola, and Jono Zalay, with the judging by Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s) and Will Smalley at UCB East hosted by Guy Branum: Talk Show: The Game Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12 at the door or $14.80 online): Killer lineup of David Wain, Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Al Madrigal, and Ophira Eisenberg performing and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Galapagos Art Space (16 Main Street at DUMBO) hosted by Scott R.: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), 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] 8:00 pm ($6.17 online or $10 at the door): Stand-up comics and sideshow attractions at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun and Matteo Lane: Abigoliah’s Bizzarre Bazaar

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

8:00 pm ($8): Comedy troupe THEM performs a scripted musical at The PIT upstairs theatre: Plymouth Rock: The Pilgrim Rock Opera

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes, Hemlock (which includes stellar singer Megan Maes) and Dagger (which includes notable talents Ryan Dunkin and Jon Bander), make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hemlock and Dagger

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Horses, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Round Trip (long form improv that tells the story of a group of characters over the course of three separate monoscenes, directed by legendary improvisor Armando Diaz), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), tonight featuring last week’s winner vs. The Wrath: The Magnet’s Night Out

[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] 9:00 pm ($5): Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code), Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), Jared Freid (MTV’s Failosophy), Mark Chalifoux, and Jay Welch performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Direct from 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): “Hello. This is your man Dave Hill writing to let you know that I will once again be putting on a public display of my one-man asskicking machine known in family papers and also my Craigslist casual encounters ad as The Dave Hill Explosion. When I was a little girl growing up in Austria, everyone told me I was crazy for thinking I would one day be putting on a show in a basement in New York City and charging five dollars for it, but look who’s laughing now. I am. I am laughing now. A lot. Sometimes it happens late at night and my neighbors get mad and tell me to stop smashing plates against the wall and stuff and then they get all ‘Hey, what’s that smell?’ but screw them, I’m not letting them crush my dreams either. Anyway, my show this Thursday is going to be really, really incredible. Not only did I just buy a new snow machine that is supposed to come in the mail today, but my bearded sidebitch Phil shaved his head and it looks nuts. Between that stuff and the candy I am planning on handing out at some point, well, there’s your five bucks worth right there. As if all of that is not enough, I will be joined on Thursday by the lovely and talented Kristen Johnston, whom you no doubt know as the star of the hit television program Third Rock from the Sun and also as the author of the bestselling memoir Guts. Also, my hot rock band Valley Lodge will be performing because I am in charge of booking. Besides, we are the best. You can and should get tickets right here:” The Dave Hill Explosion

[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] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes continues to crush its competition at UCB Chelsea, with three victories in a row. Tonight it faces Mendoza, who seems adorable—which might be a good strategy as these two improv groups compete for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

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 2/21/13

February 21, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Catch the hilarious first episode of The Jeselnik Offensive, with Amy Schumer & Aziz Ansari, tonight at midnight on Comedy Central

Jonathan Ames

Jonathan Ames, author & creator of HBO’s Bored to Death…

Sara Schaefer

…and the luminous Sara Schaefer are interviewed at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky…

Dave Hill and Mara Wilson

….Dave Hill (left) tells tales at Jenny Rubin’s Here’s the Story; Mara Wilson (right) does the same at Tom Shillue’s Funny Story; and Shannon O’Neill is at Todd Bieber’s Animated Stories….

Manos The Hands of Fate

…or enjoy one of the worst films ever made, the 1966 anti-classic Manos The Hands of Fate, at Devil Science Theater 3000

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] 6:00 pm: Joanna Parsons (The Moth, NYC actress) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, hosted by the wonderful John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv troupe Adorable mixes with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

[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’supstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Anna Drezen about “lonely cannibals, clingy ghost roomies, manic pixie devil worshipers, and other adorable stains-on-society who just want to make a friend” (and, with any luck, I’ll be attending this tonight) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Spooky Jerks

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Punchbowl and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Comedic true tales from superb comics Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night, The Lady Jam), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life, host of And I Am Not Lying), Craig Rowin (College Humor, Head Writer of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?), Rory Panagotopulos (UCB), and Dylan Donahue (UCB), plus some open-mic slots for audience members, at UCB East hosted by Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) that at the end selects a favorite yarn to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month (for hilarious samples, please click here): Animated Stories

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests former child actress Mara Wilson (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Jason Fried, and Jonathan Schnapp: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Storytellers 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), Danny Leary, Dana Rossi, and Eli Reiter performing for this twice-monthly storytelling show at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street) hosted by Jenny Rubin: Here’s the Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at theSoho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Hemlock and Dagger

8:00 pm ($8): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer put a hand-puppet through improvised therapy atThe PIT upstairs theatre: Puppet Therapy

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Featherweight, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Round Trip (long form improv that tells the story of a group of characters over the course of three separate monoscenes, directed by legendary improvisor Armando Diaz), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), tonight featuring Megalou vs. Listen, Weirs!: The Magnet’s Night Out

[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] [$] 8:40 pm ($13): The debut of a play about the history of Braille, with performers including NYC storytelling icon Leslie Goshko, at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street): The Spectator & the Blind Man: Stories of Seeing & Not-Seeing

[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

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Jonathan Ames (creator/showrunner of HBO’s Bored to DeathDavid Letterman; film The Girl Under the Waves; author of numerous books, including Wake Up, Sir), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), B. J. Mendelson (author of Social Media is Bullshit), stand-ups Sam Morril (Comedy Central) and Zach Broussard, and photographer Seph Olenick, all performing and/or being interviewed at The PIT upstairs theatre by host Scott R.: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[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

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it plus like-minded comics on the UCB Chelsea stage—tonight including Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Jeff Rubin, and Max Silvestri: CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), Erik Rivera (Jay Leno, MTV), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Ted Alexandro, Ryan Hamilton, Michael Che, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1966 classic example of dreadful Manos The Hands of Fate (garnering an impressively low 1.9 on IMDB; for a wordless trailer that says it all, please click here) at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes grinded its competitor to a fine powder and tossed it into the wind last week, winning with a audience vote of 105-18 (ouch!). Tonight the champ faces Huxtable at UCB Chelsea; and while things don’t look good for the challenger, you really never know what’s going to happen as these improv groups compete for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 ($5): NYC comics Anna Drezen (see 7:00 pm), Chris Grace (sharp improvisor, PIT star), Brendan Fitzgibbons (TLC, The Onion, Cracked, Rolling Stone). Cyrus McQueen (HBO, Power 105), and Bryson Turner performing stand-up at UCB East as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show): /r/standup

[$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Andrew Schultz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Sam Morril (Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV): The Nasty Show: Big Jay Oakerson, Kurt Metzger, Andrew Schultz, 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/15/12

November 15, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Michael Showalter and Todd Barry

Stars Michael Showalter and Todd Barry are tonight’s guests at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky…

Simon Amstell and Mark Douglas

…UK star Simon Amstell launches a six night run at Theatre 80 of his one-man show Numb; and nerd comics Kevin Maher & Mark Douglas tape bits for their new Web series Andrew 12-Sided Dice Clay

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] 6:00 pm: Kate Tellers (Producer and Corporate Trainer for The Moth) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

[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

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): A comedic mini-play written by Gavin Speiller (Death by Roo Roo, Rogue Elephant) and directed by Christine Nangle (staff writer for SNL) with a superb cast—Gavin Speiller, D’Arcy Carden, Sue Galloway, Jim Santangeli, Frank Hejl, and Samantha Warnick—auditioning for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: The Last Double Date

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5 at the door or $6.17 online): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a brand new show looking at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Punchbowl and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Typically sharp comics (not announced) are guests at this monthly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East hosted by Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) that at the end selects a favorite from the audience tales to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month (for hilarious samples, please click here): Animated Stories

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($26): Brilliant and exceptionally skinny UK star Simon Amstell (BBC’s Do Nothing, Grandma’s House) performs a one-man show for six nights only in NYC (through November 21st) “skewering his insecurities with a sharp wit and hopeful optimism, confronting the anxieties of modern life” at Theatre 80 (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Simon Amstell: Numb

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Kevin Maher (creator of the smash hit Kevin Geeks Out shows; HBO, Comedy Central, AMC) and Web superstar Mark Douglas (The Key of Awesome) team up to tape material for their new Web series Andrew 12 Sided Dice Clay, plus stand-up from Casey Jost, Adam Conover, Rusty Ward, Ritch Duncan, and Matt Wilson, all performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Andrew 12-Sided Dice Clay Live Taping

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please click here) who’s a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour that featured top Middle Eastern-American comics, and an actor who’s performed on ABC’ s Better off Ted and Knights of Prosperity, FOX’ s Life on a Stick, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

[$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, is a cast member of the NBC sitcom Whitney (starring the wonderful Whitney Cummings), and has performed on Showtime’s Live Nude Comedy (to view his set, please click here) and TBS’ Glory Daze, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris D’Elia

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Team Black and Team White

8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful improvisor Ellena Chmielewski co-wrote and directed this comedy mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea co-written & co-starring John Zachary Townsend: Standards & Practices

…and in the other half of this double-bill, frankly, the worst scripted show I’ve seen all year on the UCBT schedule—terrible writing, acting, direction, a perfect storm of bad—but the folks involved are very nice (sometimes things just don’t work out…): The State vs. Josh: The Trial of the Millennials

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, The Wrath, and The Boss performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Medusa (all improvisers stay on stage at all times, and alternate between speaking roles and playing inanimate objects), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) featuring last week’s winner vs. Featherweight: The Magnet’s Night Out

[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

9:00 pm ($5): Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Kyle Dunnigan, Billy Wayne Davis, and Trevor Williams performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door, $11.34 in advance online): Killer lineup of Michael Showalter (MTV’s The State, comedy troupe Stella, writer/star of feature films The Baxter and Wet Hot American Summer and Comedy Central’s Michael & MIchael Have Issues; author of bestselling book Mr. Funny Pants), 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), and Andrew Gregory (The Gregory Brothers, Auto-Tune the News) with the Color Red Band performing and sharing insider stories at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Scott R.: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[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

[FREE] 9:30 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] 11:00 pm ($5): Shannon O’Neill (comedy genius), Morgan Grace Jarrett (wonderful comedic actress), Lydia Hensler (member of red-hot improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes), and/or Brandon Scott Jones (top sketch troupe Stone Cold Fox, red-hot improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes, top comedic play Death Wears Stilettos) host a showcase of female comics at UCB East who tonight are Katey Healy-Wurzburg (stand-up), JiJi Lee (storytelling), Cocoon Central Dance Team (dance), and Summer and Eve (musical performance): Ladies Night: Men Welcome

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The quarter-finals of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB Chelsea—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

11:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups Danny Jolles and Aaron Glaser each perform 30-minute sets at The PIT downstairs lounge: Glaser & Jolles Split the Hour

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.