NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/17/17

April 17, 2017

Ryan HamiltonRyan Hamilton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with consistently fresh ideas and great crafting of language; Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime) performs a rare NYC solo stand-up show: Ryan Hamilton at the Village Underground (8:00 pm, $5 plus 2-item min., Village Underground at 130 West 3rd Street)…

Ted Alexandro, Amy Stiller, and Carmen Lynch…or see 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; comedy album I Did It; webseries Teachers Lounge; frequently opens for Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing finalist), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Amy Stiller (movies Zoolander 2, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Cable Guy, The Daytrippers, Tropic Thunder; numerous TV shows including The King of Queens and Inside Amy Schumer), and Jane Condon (Last Comic Standing, NBC’s The Today Show, ABC’s The View, FOX, Lifetime) perform stand-up hosted by John Morrison at Morrison Motel (8:30 pm; $20 at the door—which includes one drink—if you mention code HyReviews.com or BestNewYorkComedy.com [otherwise $25]; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319 because this show often sells out; West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe at 29 Cornelia 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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Award-winning Canadian sketch duo The Templeton Philharmonic, which consists of Gwynne Phillips (HBO’s Sensitive Skin, PBS’s Odd Squad) & Briana Templeton (SyFy’s The Expanse, CTV’s The Beaverton), perform “darkly surreal sketches, comedic period pieces, and manic dance sequences” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with an opening solo act from Shawna Stoltzfoos (webseries Stoltzfoos, sketch group Barbara Bush): The Templeton Philharmonic plus Shawna Stoltzfoos

7:00 pm ($7): Long form improv from group Bougie, which springboards scenes off audience suggestions to “explore enchanting realms and meet fantastically out-of-touch characters” at The PIT Mainstage: Bougie

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Stand-up Ryan Schutt tries out new material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Ryan Schutt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy groups Just Karen and The Nitro GIrls perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): 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), Eliza Skinner (Conan O’Brien, AMC’s Lifecoach, Showtime, MTV, TBS, musical improv groups Baby Wants Candy and I Eat Pandas), Alison Leiby (VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), and Justin Williams (Comedy Central; host of Death Comedy Jam) perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park, Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Character comics—including brilliant writer/performers Filip Jeremic, Phoebe Tyers, and more—do solo bits to show off their impressive talent at UCB East hosted by Frank Garcia-Hejl & Justin Tyler. This is one of my favorite monthly shows, and I especially recommend it if you’re a producer, casting director, or other industry pro in search of sharp comedy actors: Characters Welcome

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Michelle Wolf, Dan Soder, Liza Treyger, Roy Wood Jr., Ronny Chieng, Mike Yard, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a faux TV episode by sketch group Nipsey in which “As a father/daughter duo, Albert and Corinne work great. As co-owners of a cigar store-turned-vape shop, they’ve got a lot to learn! And when the big Vape Expo comes to town Darcy, Gayle, and Heath have kooky ideas about how to make waves!:” Nipsey: Vape Lyfe

…and in the second other of this double bill, sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope’:” O.S.F.U.G. The Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): In this musical written & directed by Elias Rubin, the 3rd graders of TV series The Magic Schoolbus have grown up and are enjoying their last day of high school…when their former teacher Ms. Frizzle abruptly reappears to take them on an out-of-this-world adventure at The PIT Mainstage: The Edge of the Universe: A Magic School Bus Musical Parody

[$] 8:00 pm ($18): A one-man show by Mike King about his late father, who owned Sid King’s Crazy Horse Bar and had the nickname “The Sultan of Striptease,” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Fifth Dentist in Search of Sid’s Treasure: A Tribute to the Sultan of Striptease

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

8:30 pm ($8): Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Conan O’Brien, The New Yorker), Andrea Ilene Shapiro, Cathy Humes, Pedro Salinas, Phil Stamato, and Maurice Licorish perform stand-up that may include uncomfortable observations or revelations at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Erin Lynn O’Connor & Rosa Escandon: Awkward Stage Comedy Show

9:00 pm ($7): An all-gal improv group consisting of Beth Slack, Carly Monardo, Devin O’Neill, and Elena Skopetos make up a radio play on the spot at The Magnet theatre: The Broadcast

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Gianmarco Soresi (Seeso; sketch group Uncle Function; acclaimed FringeNYC play <50%), Tim Ellis, Ken Schultz, Maria Heinegg, Will Poznan, Stacy Kendro, and Michael Lewis perform at this free weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love) and RIchard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 ($5): House sketch groups A Few Sandwich Lovers and Archnemesis try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phil Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

10:00 pm ($7): Improv group That’s Dinner makes up an entire movie that never existed based on a suggestion from the audience at The PIT Mainstage: That’s Dinner and a Movie

10:30 pm ($7): Improv from underrepresented voices at The Magnet theatre: Mixtape: Diversity Improv

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

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 show that provides each performer who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Stu Melton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm ($3): A walk-in stand-up open mic hosted by Katherine Dudas and a walk-in improv jam hosted by Collin Gossel somehow happen at the same time at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Improv Open Mic Stand-Up Jam

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($5 for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: Base 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/31/16

July 31, 2016

Best New York Stand-Up with Myq Kaplan is a new show produced by me that lives up to its name—the debut next Friday August 5th includes Mike Lawrence, Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, and more TBA, plus host Myq Kaplan offering observations following each set. For details on this group of comedy giants, please click here. For further info on the show and to nab tickets (a mere $10 each), please click here.

Michael Che, Joe Marchi, and Ryan HamiltonSuperb stand-ups Michael Che, Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Kevin Brennan perform at the 7:30 pm Comedy Cellar

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

5:30 pm ($5): Improvisors who cut across all regions and schools come together for one evening at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Supernova

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 superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

6:30 pm ($10): A sketch comedy show created in just five days by a class taught by Kevin McDonald (The Kids in the Hall) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kevin McDonald’s Sketch Class Show

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows—Pedro & Dave, Mitra & Patti, and Cockapoopees—for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

7:00 pm ($5): Dana Krashin and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT downstairs lounge: Student Driver Indie Road

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) 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 five shows, with three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:30 pm ($10): A play about co-written & performed by Elana Fishbein & Elena Skopetosunique, and co-written & directed by Peter McNerney, about a family’s reluctant reunion at the Magnet theatre: Sisters Three

7:30 pm ($15; no min.): Laurie Kilmartin, Joe List, Pete Lee, Damien Lemon, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue off 20th Street): The Stand Sunday

8:00 pm ($8): “A monthly explosion of the best modern comedy, literature, performance, and music,” with tonight’s performers Patti Harrison, Catherine Cohen, Joel Kim Booster, Ben Hopkins, Sam Taggart, Lucy Randall, and Ryland Duncan at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Steven Markow & Zach Mandeville and drawn on the spot by cartoonist Angelica Blevins: New American Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Josh Rabinowitz (writer for Comedy Central’s Broad City; TruTV’s Friends of the People), Jeff Maurer (Last Week Tonight, Last Comic Standing), Courtney Fearrington, Kat Radley, and Jared Goldstein performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Alison Leiby (VICE; host of It’s a Long Story): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Improv comedy duo Kevin Laibson & Chris Booth make up scenes to music with the help of improv pianist Alan Schmuckler at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Calvin & Craig: Return to “Normal”

[FREE] NYC stand-ups Scott Chaplain, Mike Lemme, Thomas Dixon, Mary Houlihan, and Colin Burgess performing at Queens LIC’s The Standing Room (4738 Vernon Blvd.) hosted by Christi Chiello & Petey DeAbreu: White Chocolate Sundaes

8:30 pm ($5): This themed improv show is based on the premise that “The human body is 70% water. The other 30% is a potent mixture of blood, shit, piss, and cum. Come hear real stories about the most disgusting things humans and the surrounding world are capable of, and then watch as they are brought to life on stage” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Annoyance Presents Improv: Blood Shit Piss Cum

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “Facebook. Snapchat. Google Maps. A fourth app. What do they have in common? None of them are as revolutionary or life-changing as our (improvised) app. Our app is so incredible and our (randomized) PowerPoint is so convincing, you’ll be begging to throw your money at our experienced, professional dev team:” The Annoyance Presents Improv: An Exclusive Presentation of a Life-Changing New App

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Stand-ups perform—until the audience decides they’re done!—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mark Reiss: Slaughter House Live

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

9:00 pm ($7): Typically solid stand-ups perform at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

9:00 pm ($5): An improv group reunites to make up scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): #SoAlone: A Reunion Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus FREE FOOD!] 9:30 pm to grab a seat and eat, 10:00 pm for screening: Come watch a new episode of the excellent second season of The Jim Gaffigan Show (Episode #4, dealing with the NYC comedy scene, is especially hilarious) with an audience—and possibly have the opportunity to ask questions afterwards of someone involved with the show, as there’s no telling who might drop by. Plus, free food—probably pizza! (“Yes. Free. Food. It’s what Jim would want.”) It all happens at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Jim Gaffigan Show Official Watch Party

9:30 pm ($10; no min.): The comics who create the Center City Comedy Podcast—Godfrey, Derek Gaines, H. Foley, Tom Cassidy, Kevin Ryan, Andrew Schiavone, and more —perform live on stage at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue off 20th Street): Center City Comedy Live

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 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

[FREE] 3:30 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket, drawings every half hour), providing 4 minutes per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Intestinal Fortitude

[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

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, 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; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar

The Stand

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/14/14

September 14, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ryan Hamilton and Jessica Delfino

Superb stand-up Ryan Hamilton and singer Jessica Delfino help celebrate the 3rd Year Anniversary of Kara Klenk’s If You Build It

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:

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A mix of longform, shortform, and musical improv from five groups, typically including Mishmash, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Venzor: The Long and Short of It

6:00 pm ($7): Duo gal sketch, and a sketch comedy group from Philadelphia, performing at The Magnet theatre:Imeida and The Flat Earth

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): The stage version of a web series at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Blaze & Alex Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Action Park and Kei perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[FREE] 7:30 pm: A show focused on New York (tonight’s theme is the borough of Queens) featuring mostly native New Yorker stand-ups—Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Subhah Agarwal (TruTV), Koshin Egal (host of The Quota), Darin Patterson, and Daniel J Perafan—performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Calvin S. Cato & Jackie Jax: The Natives Are Friendly

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Celebrating this show’s 3rd Year Anniversary is a strong lineup of Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), John Roy (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Amanda Seales (VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Smart, Funny, and Black), Alex Hooper, Mike Finoia, and Clark Jones performing stand-up, plus songs from 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), all at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Artie Lang, and Kevin Brennan at the 8:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, Kevin Brennan, and Rachel Feinstein (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Ben Bailey, Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, Ryan Hamilton, Joe List, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 10:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code WEEKEND; 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, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Nick Youssef, Kevin Iso, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Nikki Glaser, Pat Dixon, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): A one-woman show by Alison Royer, and directed by Dave Razowsky, that “twists and turns to find all that’s wrong with love, career, pants, and more” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Everything Is Literally Terrible All The Time

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Sean Hart and Jawann Carmona, storytelling from Sharon Spell, characters from Jacob Mondry and Richard Templeton, and comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Bar None (98 Third Avenue) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

9:00 pm ($7): An all-gal improv group creates visceral scenes on the spot at the Magnet theatre: The Stank

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Anthony O’Connell, Alison Zeidman, Kyle Ayers, and Alex Hooper performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors Dan Hodapp, Micah Sherman, Abby Sher, Joe Schiappa, Steve Siddell, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code WEEKEND; 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, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Nick Youssef, James Mattern, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Nikki Glaser, Mark DeMayo, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups attempt to “out-filth each other in this show where no punches are pulled and no topics are off limits” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The Dirt

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

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

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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

[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’ Long Island City hosted by Christi Chiello:Lance Bass Space Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Sunday 1/5/14

January 5, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For a sampling of Classics, please click here.

Ryan Hamilton

Ryan Hamilton and more perform stand-up at two free codeword SNOW shows at The Stand…

Leslie Meisel

…and the wonderful Leslie Meisel is among the improvisors making up one-act plays on the spot at Act One

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] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Fiorito : Mishmash Mashup

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 7:00 pm (FREE online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central), Derek Gaines, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Free Snow Show with Ryan Hamilton, Wil Sylvince, Joe List, and More

7:00 pm ($8): A sketch show that provides “advice from family, friends, and co-workers about your terrible life decisions” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Don’t Do That

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): “Jamaal Sedayao is inviting a few friends to sing songs for you. Armed with an iPhone camera, Jamaal will also show some low production-value videos that you might like” at The Magnet theatre: Born to Karaoke

[$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who won Last Comic Standing Season 3, has performed on Jay Leno, and starred in his own Showtime one-hour special Who’s Paying Attention?, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Alonzo Bodden

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors—tonight including the wonderful Leslie Meisel, Ashley Ward, and Steve Siddell, plus groups Bird Frat and Jessica McKlintock—make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 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.), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ray Ellin (Latenet, Gong Show Live): Ted Alexandro, Michael Che, Nick Griffin, Jon Fisch, and Greer Barnes

8:00 pm ($7): Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Caroline Creaghead: Creaghead & Company

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jamie Lee (staff writer/performer for The Pete Holmes Show; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, VH1), Luke Cunningham (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Amy Miller (The Amy Schumer Show, Sorry About Your Dad podcast), Ryan Reiss, KC Arora, and Alex Grubard performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Amy Miller (The Amy Schumer Show, Sorry About Your Dad podcast), Danny Jolles, Matteo Lane, and Jess Salomon performing stand-up at UCB East with host Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups “have to perform their mental gymnastics while carrying the burden of an entire culture on their backs; and when all is said and done, only one can walk away with The Trophy of Insensitivity, which allows a one-time use of a pre-determined slur. The winner of the prize will be determined by a select few audience members, so don’t miss your chance to give away hate speech guilt-free” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by AJ Thompson and Koshin Egal: The Quota

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): 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.), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 9:00 pm (FREE online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Eddie Brill (former long-time booker for David Letterman), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Dave Smith, Mike Finoia, Alingon Mitra, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Free Snow Show with Adam Newman, Eddie Brill, Pat Dixon, and More

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of The Dream Show), Mike Cody, and TJ Young performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

9:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from trio Pat May, Elena Skopetos, and Michael Delisle at The Magnet theatre: The Rolling Scones

[$] 9:00 pm ($15): Female stand-ups and burlesque performers mix comedy and nudity at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street): Stand-Up and Take Your Clothes Off

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), and Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ray Ellin (Latenet, Gong Show Live): Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, Michael Che, Ryan Hamilton, and More

[$] 11:30 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Brian Scolard (TBS’ Sullivan and Son, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour Special, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, AMC, TNT) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ray Ellin (Latenet, Gong Show Live): Nikki Glaser, Kurt Metzger, Sam Morril, Joe List, and More

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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; rare Upper East Side club, with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; rare 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 Sunday 7/28/13

July 28, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Ryan Hamilton and Seth Herzog

Ryan Hamilton, Seth Herzog, and Aparna Nancherla perform at If You Build It; Ryan also performs at 9:45 at Comedy Cellar

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] 2:00 pm: Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV’s Guy Code, VH1), Robert Dean (Comedy Central), and more performing for a free outdoor show at Central Park’s Mineral Springs: Laughter in the Park

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10; seats are sold out, but there’ll be a standby line if you’re okay with standing) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz—plus tonight’s 7:30 show features world-class storyteller Melanie Hamlett (two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, co-author of the book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, amazing blog, roving adventurer): ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast clobbered some of the best groups in NYC last year at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight it takes the stage for nearly an hour at The Magnet theatre: North Coast

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry stand-up; writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Jim Tews (“clawing his way to the middle for nearly a decade”), Billy Wayne Davis, and Oni Perez performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): From Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman (producers of The Scene), improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s groups Scoots & Muck, Bird Frat, Skycopter, and The Lottery: Act One

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Superb improvisors Chris Grace & Nate Starkey team up at The PIT upstairs theatre as duo Starkey & Grace

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 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), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Matt Lamp (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), and Modi (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): Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, Myq Kaplan, and More at Comedy Cellar

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Michelle Wolf (super-likeable dark comic rising star; IFC), Robert Dean (Comedy Central), Mike Recine (Comedy Central), Charles Gould (co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), Kiran Deol, and Cameron Buchholz performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups attempt to perform tight sets—”no fat, no filler, just funny”—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Speirs: Trim the Fat

9:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy at The Magnet from innovative group Jacktown and Dispacho: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Kareem Green, and T Berry performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon), Ali Prier, Josh Gondelman, and Travis Irvine performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

[$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), 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), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1) 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): Ryan Hamilton, Nikki Glaser, Greer Barnes, and More at Comedy Cellar

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: A unique open mic for comedic musicians/singers, with signup at 3:30 pm, and a maximum of two songs & 10 minutes per performer, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City (which offers a keyboard, guitar plug-ins, and an iPod plug-in): Express Yourself: Musical Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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 Tuesday 1/1/13

January 1, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a joyous, wondrous, and hilarious 2013

The usual cornucopia of comedy choices will return tomorrow, when all
NYC comedy venues reopen. Meanwhile, the following are notable New York City comedy shows for New Year’s Day (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $):

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($24 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), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno), and Sam Morril performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Judah Friedlander, Nick Griffin, and More

[$] 8:00 pm ($20 plus 2-drink minimum): A stand-up who’s performed on Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, and Showtime headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Ryan Hamilton

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[$] 10:30 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Modi (HBO’s The Sopranos, Comedy Central), Brian Scolard, and Sam Morril performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Myq Kaplan, Greer Barnes, and More

[$] 12:15 am ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Andrew Schulz (MTV 2’s Guy Code), and Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: The Nasty Show: Big Jay Oakerson, Greer Barnes, 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 Tuesday 7/12/11

July 12, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Hey We Live There

Top comics Julian McCullough, Sara Schaefer, Brooke Van Poppelen, and Ryan Hamilton comment on cinematic scenes of NYC's destruction...

Hey We Live There

...at Robbie Collier's fun new show at Queens LIC's The Creek: "Hey We Live There"

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:

7:00 pm ($5): Two tough guys from the 1930s will explain the ins and outs of Hollywood at improv show Listen Kid!; and duo improv from Snazzle Dazzle

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jamal Igle (penciller for DC Comics) joins super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage for a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($5): Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel), Rose Surnow, musical guest Eytan Mirsky, and more performing at the Lolita Bar for Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($10): Jennifer Dziura performs a one-woman show about her experiences as a nude model, egg donor, subject of medical studies, and other ways to pay the rent, in answer to the question What Do Philosophy Students Do After College?

8:00 pm ($5; includes free tecate): “A panel of comedians give their hilarious takes on the more grim/sensational crime stories taken from NYC’s daily newspapers. It’s live comedy with a streak of yellow journalism and dark New York flavor” at Queens LIC’s The Creek hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): The New York City Crime Report

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Mr. Crime, American Cousin, Sandino, Grandma’s Ashes, and Airwolf, and at 11:00 pm advanced UCBT students making up theatrical plays on the spot—all at Harold Night

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Sound & The Fury and Rebound

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5):Matt Higgins (superb always-inventive comic; member of improv troupeCentralia); Tom Lennon & Ben Garant (The State, Reno 911), Wayne Federman (former writer forJimmy Fallon; 40 Year Old Virgin, Step Brothers), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Some of the most inept movie scenes of New York City being destroyed by a natural disaster, with clips from ArmageddonMeteor and Deep Impact, guided by stellar stand-ups Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer forJimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC; co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here andhere), and Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Robbie Collier: Hey We Live There!

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.