NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/19/15

May 19, 2015

Half-price tickets for It’s Only a Play, Matt & Ben,
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,
and much more via Goldstar

TV Alert: Bill Murray is on on David Letterman;
Lisa Kudrow and Zach Woods are on James Corden;
Inside Amy Schumer‘s spectacular Season 3 continues with Episode 5,
“Babies & Bustiers,” at 10:30 pm & 2:39 am on Comedy Central

David Crabb: Bad Kid

Storyteller David Crabb celebrates the release of his memoir about his teen years: Bad Kid Launch Show & Party

Sara Benincasa

…and Sara Benincasa (above), Sasheer Zamata, and more perform with boyfriends or pals at In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

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

 [TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: David Crabb performs scenes from his youth and signs copies of his new book about “the awkward moment in life when you are suddenly shoved from a safe and happy childhood into the terrifying realm of the teenager” at Brooklyn’s PowerHouse Arena (37 Main Street): Bad Kid Launch Show & Party

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, six of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free showthat lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nathan Macintosh (Family Channel) tries out material tonight through Saturday at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Nathan Macintosh

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include John Mulaney, Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Ryan Hamilton, Joe Machi, Nikki Glazer, Marina Franklin, Robert Kelly, Sam Morril, Dov Davidoff, Sean Donnelly, and Ricky Velez, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups: Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are duos behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s guests are Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live) and Kenny DeForest (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit) = couple; Natasha Rothwell (writer forSaturday Night Live) and Dan Hodapp (numerous shows) = brilliant improv partners; Sara Benincasa (author ofAgorafabulous) and Jon DeVore (Internet Action Force) = couple; and Sharon Spell & Jill Anders = pals, all performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by real-life couple Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sabrina Jalees & Liza Treyger host this stand-up show with guests Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), Langston Kerman, Courtney Maginnis, and Lil Freckles at UCB East performing in the Comedy Central Corporate Retreat timeslot: Down to Find Out with Sabrina Jalees & Liza Treyger

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Nicole Byer, Hadiyah Robinson, Alice Wetterlund, Mike Recine, Noah Gardenswartz, and Casey Jane Ellison performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Chris Laker: Cakeshop Comedy: Jo Firestone, Nicole Byer, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Nick DiPaolo, Pete Lee, Monroe Martin, and Aaron Berg performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Nick DiPaolo, Pete Lee, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDsSmall, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), and sketch from Micah Sherman and four other comics who “create a brand new show in only one week, and then perform improvised sketches based off of your suggestions, just like The Second City used to do” at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Jane Kehoe: Old School Sketch Show

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge from group Hot Buffet

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform sets—and you and the rest of the audience tries to answer trivia questions based on those sets! It all happens at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedy Pursuit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Sam Morril (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), and “surprise guests” performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from two groups at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the wonderful David Carl:Damn Family and Uncanny Valley

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC comics (typically announced around 1:00 pm) performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Death By Roo Roo, Goat, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh). Performing stand-up sets in between Tony bits tonight are Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon; @midnight, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever), and more, all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Naomi Ekperigin, Emmy Blotnick, and More

9:30 pm ($5): A one-man improvised musical from Stoddy based on an audience suggestion (maybe yours…) at The PIT upstairs theatre: A Stoddy Story

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Brendan Eyre, Paul Schissler, Scott Nossen, Alyssa Limperis, and Ashley Strand performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway:The Party

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): MIke Lawrence, Ari Shaffir, Nick DiPaolo, Bonnie McFarlane, Derek Gaines, and Sarah Tollemache performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Alexis Guerreros & Mike Cannon: MIke Lawrence, Ari Shaffir, Nick DiPaolo, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

10:00 pm ($5): “A computer beeps at random intervals, might be 2 seconds, might be 10 minutes. Every time it beeps, and only when it beeps, the performers jump into a new scene. What happens when nothing you can do can make the scene go longer nor end sooner? When only this instant is guaranteed?” at The PIT downstairs lounge:/Switch/

10:30 pm ($5): Christine Bullen (stellar character comic; sketch group Goodbye Handsome, one-woman show My Melonbasket), Alan Starzinski, Gary Richardson, Frank Hejl, and more perform solo comedic characters at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Unusual Suspects

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

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

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

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

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$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 Saturday 12/22/12

December 22, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jessi Klein

Jessi Klein performs at If You Build It…

Sara Benincasa 9

…and Sara Benincasa (above) and Claudia Cogan each perform a 30-minute stand-up set at Elf Actualization

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

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Alejandro Kolleeny performs a sensitive reading at The PIT downstairs lounge of the Glenn Beck holiday classic The Christmas Sweater

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Petting Zoo, Feitelophone, and Rubin at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

7:00 ($5): UCBT Harold team GoodGirl performs sketches, songs, and other assorted bits related to the holidays at UCB East for one night only: A Very GoodGirl Christmas

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Musical improv from one of The Magnet’s best troupes: Choral Rage

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Sean Donnelly (Comedy Central), and many more performing stand-up at Karma Lounge hosted by Sean Lynch (MTV): Karma Christmas Comedy Show

8:00 pm ($5): Christmas songs and holiday-related sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Christmas Musical Comedy Variety Show

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this monthly gay-themed show at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tom Steffen: Rapier Wit

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of The Dream Show), Kerri Lendo, and Jake Young performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Killer line-up of stars Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Judah Friedlander, Ted Alexandro, Rachel Feinstein, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs, Sex and Other Human Activities podcast, host of Family Hour, author of Agorafabulous) and Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV) each perform 30-minute stand-up sets at The PIT upstairs theatre: Elf Actualization

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Charles Gould performing sets and then being interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

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

10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge—”If you like Grindhouse, Kung Fu, Spaghetti Western, Noir, and the entire 1970s, you’ll want to check out:” The Tarantino

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

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

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney performing at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Original comedic songs are showcased, with tonight’s performers Jon Bander, J Hobart B, The ParoDivas, Julie Feltman,a nd Kathleen Armenti at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Justin Perez & Shaina Stigler: Totally Requesty

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one at UCB Chelsea, which is a monthly open improv jam for any female wanting to participate, at any experience level—and which has a very special and communal “gal energy” you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. The show’s creator, the wonderful Shannon O’Neill, is out of town this weekend, but it’s still likely to be good thanks to the participation of other top UCBT gal improv stars: The Lady Jam

Midnight ($5): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger, host of The Soul Glo Project, Andy Kaufman Award finalist) hosts a variety show at UCB East that’s a mix of forms, with tonight’s performers Narinder Singh (stand-up), Megan Sass (music), and jams with teams led by Jon Monje and Carly Ann Filbin: The Soul Glo Project

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/27/12

July 27, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For best video previews of FringeNYC 2012 shows, please click here.

Leah Rudick

Leah Ruddick of sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting…

Sara Benincasa

…and Sara Benincasa are among the comics posing as tots for your entertainment in Crown That Sexy Baby

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:

Michael Delaney, and Connor Ratliff—every Friday deliver a genius hour of improv

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

7:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby; plus in the second half of this double-bill, an improv troupe specializing in “intimate scene work and special edits:” Honey

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A critically acclaimed show described as “Two Men. One Chain. Fully Improvised,” with Dion Flynn (Jimmy Fallon, Matador) & Nate Starkey (Big Black Car, Starkey and Grace) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shackled

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom. As for its writers, they sizzle when at their best; but at the moment I’d call their newest show, offering the benefit of the doubt, “a work in progress.” The “this show is about you” gimmick has zero resonance—it’s really not about you, or about anyone else; and the mix between improv and sketch is so confusing that I wasn’t sure whether a number of scenes were mediocre improv or flat-out bad scripting. Still, the cast is so strong—Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden, and Johnathan Fernandez—that you’ll have a fun time regardless. (Honestly, the scary faces Molly Lloyd makes are worth the trip all by themselves…) Directed by ace improvisor Ryan Karels—who I’m expecting to make this show increasingly fine as it goes along: Stone Cold Fox: You Probably Think This Show Is About You

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, pastry buns, and jello shots at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jonathan Powley: Buns and Puns

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Two of the most respected improvisors in the country, Magnet co-owner Armando DIaz and Christina Gausas, team up for one night only: Diaz & Gausas

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Amber Petty, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, Michael Kayne, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

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

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($5): D&D-style epic fantasy improv, plus nerdy stand-up, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Eric Grundhauserled as your Dungeon Master

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast recently clobbered some of the best improv groups in NYC at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight come see it perform without the pressure of competition at The PIT upstairs theatre, and also catch an improv group that includes Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): North Coast and Nobody’s Token

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): This show begins with a delightful concept—Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare—and then executes it with the joyful craft only a sharp, tight theatrical ensemble can create. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but among the most memorable are Dan Hartley as Maverick, and Vayu O’Donnell who steals every scene he appears in with his hilariously deadpan delivery as Iceman. While this is playing at The PIT upstairs theatre for a mere $10, it’s really legit Fringe theatre, and I hope it eventually makes its way to FringeNYC or Edinburgh—or better yet, develops more songs and gets a commercial run as a musical. Meanwhile, don’t miss this opportunity to see a way fun parody of a cult classic for about half of what you oughta be paying: Jester’s Dead

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In preparation for their gala August FringeNYC show, wonderful sketch duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman host “a late night sexy baby pageant where performers put on their sparkly crowns and pink dresses and show their hottest moves for your entertainment and horror,” with Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs, Sex and Other Human Activities podcast, host of Family Hour, author of Agorafabulous), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1), Jackie Zebrowski, Team Submarine, Amy Albert, and Chris Aurilio performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting: Crown That Sexy Baby

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, top Maude sketch troupe Gramp’s, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/21/12

January 21, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.

Sara Benincasa

Sara Benincasa & friends share their tales of relatives at Family Hour...

Nick DiPaolo

Nick DiPaolo headlines at Carolines...

Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon

...and a memorably terrible martial arts film is dissected at Midnight Movie at Montoya’s: Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon

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] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[FREE] 5:30 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Orange Augustus, Mr. Gorsky, and Honey at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8; includes free cookies): Emily Heller (staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Steve Heisler (writer for The Onion, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out Chicago), and Carmel Lobello (writer/editor for Death+Taxes) telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs, Sex and Other Human Activities podcast, upcoming book Agorafabulous): Family Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) hosts this monthly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East that at the end selects a favorite from the audience tales to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month. Tonight’s special guests are Chris Kelly (writer for Saturday Night Live) and Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock): Animated Stories

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, Brandon Gardner, Jed Resnik, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions at UCB Chelsea all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnetmaking up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 90 minutes with a true genius of both stand-up and storytelling. This show is the latter—a carefully constructed, detail-packed theatrical tale of two people and the small, quiet moments that make up their lives. Daniel says it’s “about everything and nothing,” and that’s precisely right. After you see it, you may find it hard to not consider all the small moments lived by any person you pass by…and what the moments of your own life add up to. This one-man show played to packed houses at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is now running every day except Mondays through January 29th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street). Read the review from The New York Times, and the grab tickets for It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): A star stand-up who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno; performed three of his own Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; was a regular on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Shorties Watchin’ Shorties; is a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show and the Opie and Anthony radio show; hosted his own radio program on NYC’s 92.3 Free FM; creates periodic Web-based free audio shows for Blog Talk Radio; and has acted on such TV shows as HBO’s The Sopranos andLucky Louie, and was nominated twice for an Emmy award for his writing on The Chris Rock Show, headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who performed the Comedy Central hour-long special The Things We Do For Love, and on David Letterman and Jay Leno, headlining one more night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pete Correale

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($5): Two-person improv at The PIT downstairs lounge featuring Ashley Ward & Nate Starkey (married), Kevin Hines & Will Hines (brothers), and Matt B. Weir & Matt J. Weir (not related), with hosts Max & Michael Newman (don’t ask): Newman & Newman and Friends

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jena Friedman (staff writer for David Letterman), Jordan Carlos (Comedy Central), Neal Stastny (Beers Comedy Show), Calvin Cato (Game Show Network), and many more performing stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Steffen (CBC TV) : Shoot the Shite

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Kurt Metzger (Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), Stuckey & Murray (Last Comic Standing, MTV, VH1, E!), and  more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Come celebrate the lovely Erin Lennox’s birthday along with sharp stand-ups Jared Logan, Dan Soder, Mike Recine, Sean Donnelly, Kevin Barnett, Scott Chaplain, and co-host Michelle Wolf performing at Brooklyn’s Belleville (330 5th Street), plus customized songs about each performer from adorable gal trio The Bandana Splits: Erin Lennox’s I Like You Too Show

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Andrew Schulz, Mike Britt, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Musical improv from one of The Magnet’s best troupes: Choral Rage

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($25): An award-winning sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar situations & rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Comics performing as characters at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s packed show featuring Adam Newman (College Humor), Henry Zebrowski (Comedy Central, Murderfist), Micah Sherman (Second City), Andrew Law (30 Rock), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing), Patrick Shepherd (The Baldwins), Annie Lederman (Mustache Party), Dave Bluvband, Shaun Diston, Alison Rich, and Alex Farlow, hosted by Rob Stern: Overload the Machine

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv at The Magnet from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duoTrike

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154, Aquarius) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies.” Joining him is Lucas Hazlett (Stranger).Tonight’s feature is a famously silly martial arts film: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This new monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill (The Stepfathers): The Lady Jam

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with hosts Andy Haynes & Nick Turner promising “a rowdy late night comedy melee with beers being thrown, jokes being told, partial nudity, audience participation…there’s no telling what might happen:” Midnight Run

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 11/19/11

November 19, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Judah Friedlander

Judah Friedlander (above) performs with Todd Barry at the Eastville Comedy Club...

Sara Benincasa

...Sara Benincasa hosts a pre-Thanksgiving storytelling show about gatherings at Family Hour...

The Room

...and notoriously bad film "The Room" is screened and vilified at Midnight Movie at Montoya’s

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:

Noon, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 8:00 pm ($10): College improv teams compete today via four shows atThe Magnet as part of the Chicago Improv Festival’s College Improv Tournament

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass—executed by a Broadway-caliber cast, and with several memorable show-stoppers—is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[FREE] 5:30 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Old Timey Radio Show, LD50, and Scoresby at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8; includes free cookies): Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill),  Emily Heller (staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Emily’s sister Marielle Heller, and stand-up Lane Moore telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives—and, for this pre-Thanksgiving show, with a special focus on gatherings—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs, Sex and Other Human Activities podcast, host of Family Hour, upcoming bookAgorafabulous): Family Hour

7:00 pm ($5): Ryan Karels (KrompfRadio Rogue) hosts a live podcast interview show at UCB Eastwith guests “who put the ordinary in extraordinary” (I think that’s supposed to be a compliment, somehow), with tonight’s subjects Brooklyn DA Patrick Egan, improvisor Andrew Law, and actor B. Brian Argotsinger: Radio Rogue: The Roguing

7:00 pm ($5): An improv troupe making up scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge under a name that pays homage to an extremely average MLB baseball player: Mendoza

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, Brandon Gardner, Jed Resnik, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions at UCB Chelsea all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($29 & 2-drink min.) A TV star who was a cast member of MTV’s Punk’d and is now a cast member of FX’s The League headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Stephen Rannazzisi

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who hosted FX’s The X-Showand starred in Hurt Bert, and also starred in his own hour-long special for Comedy Central, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Bert Kreischer

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[FREE] 8:00ish pm: Matt McCarthy (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death, host of AMC’s Action Pack, Comedy Central, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys, host of Marking Out), Jason Saenz (co-host of Too Cool for School), Matt Wayne, James Harris, and Katrin Heir performing stand-up at One and One (76 East 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) with host Sean Donnelly: Lil’ Seany Boy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-up Dan Soder (Comedy Central), Erik Bransteen (Comedy Central), Harry Terjanian (Edinburgh Festival), and Justin Williams (Comedy Death Jam) performing at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

8:00 pm ($5): Improvisors perform as duos at The PIT downstairs lounge: Couples’ Retreat

8:30 pm ($10): Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup andWe’re All Friends Here), Mike Racine (Comedy Central), Jordan Carlos (Comedy Central, MTV), Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central, co-host of The Party Machine), and Cameron Esposito performing stand-up at UCB East, hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Todd Barry (one of the finest stand-ups on the country; 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), Maddog Mattern, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now at The PIT: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Comedy from a duo that walks the line between sketch and stand-up, plus tonight’s stand-up guest Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Too Cool For School and If You Build It), performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Team Submarine and Friends

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Comics performing as characters at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s packed show featuring Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Sasheer Zamata (improv troupe Doppelganger), Emmy Blotnick (Jimmy Fallon), Matt Koff (The Onion News Network), Matt Hobby (sketch troupe New Excitement), Jermaine Fowler (Rooftop Comedy), John Milhiser (sketch troupes Serious Lunch and Dweeb), Lorraine Cink (improv troupeBorealis) Dan Black (UCBT), and Adam Bozarth (Left Handed Radio), hosted by Roger Stern: Overload the Machine

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies. Joining him is Bradford Jordan (improv troupe Stranger and all around nice guy). Tonight’s feature is The Room, an epically bad movie starring madman/genius Tommy Wiseau:” Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: The Room

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A talk show at UCB East hosted by the razor-sharp writer/performers of Pangea 3000 (who also write for The Onion), with tonight’s non-standard guests Thanksgiving expert Cynthia Teflin, hair salon owner Robert Gioria, and stand-up Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City): The Night Night Show with Pangea 3000

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with hosts Andy Haynes & Nick Turner promising “a rowdy late night comedy melee with beers being thrown, jokes being told, partial nudity, audience participation…there’s no telling what might happen:” Midnight Run

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

Midnight ($5): Two unannounced sketch comedy troupes that are typically obscure (I don’t know why, that’s just how this show is done) competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelseahosted by quite good and reasonably well-known sketch troupe Sidecar: Backyard Brawl

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/26/11

February 26, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you have a thyroid, or know someone with a thyroid, please consider buying my latest book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Sara Benincasa will tempt you with free baked goods tonight at her storytelling show "Family Hour"

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] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): In this double-bill, top storytellers Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime) and Andy Christie (The New York Times, Moth GrandSlam Champion, host of The Liar Show) each perform one-person shows that are likely to delight you: Andy Christie & Ophira Eisenberg

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8; includes free cookies): Typically stellar NYC comics telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives at Ochi’s Lounge for a show hosted by Sara Benincasa (CBS, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs): Family Hour with Auntie Sara

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Christina Gausas, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, and more—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors who’ve included writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft making up a play on the spot in Theory of Everything

[$] 8:00 pm, 10:00 pm, & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Showtime, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special headlining at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sebastian Maniscalco

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—and the Cage Match Champion for two years in a row!—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last year for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight’s edition of Baby Wants Candy

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “I seem to have made a big ole mistake. I wrote a script, I purchased the props, but I forgot to rehearse it. And on top of that I HAVE NO CAST!!!! So… I am going to cast YOU, moments before the show starts. I will hand you a script, give you some props and instruct you to just listen and get ready to perform. Oh man this is going to be a fucking mess of BEAUTY!! If you want a chance to be cast, make reservations and get in line by 11:15pm. I, Shannon O’Neill will personally come out and hand pick the best damn group of Thespians this play has ever seen and will ever see because this play will only be performed ONCE, never to be seen again! What do I look for in a cast? I love fatties, I love skinnies, I love sober people, I love drunk people. I love you all. Every shape, size, and ethnicity. Let’s hold hands and spin the world! What is this play about? Something real fucking weird and TBA. Thanks for helping me fix my mistake. I’ll see you soon friends!:” The Unrehearsed, Historically Inaccurate Story of…

If you have a thyroid, or know someone with a thyroid, please consider buying my latest book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/22/11

January 22, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

Sara Benincasa

Sara Benincasa revives her superb storytelling show tonight at The PIT: "Family Hour with Auntie Sara"

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] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): 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 Martin Dockery (Best of Fest winner at Winnipeg Fringe Festival), Jen Lee (The Moth Radio Hour), Andy Ross (The Onion News Network), and Robert Hurst (Moth GrandSlam). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, Moth GrandSlam Champion) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8; might include free baked goods): Brilliantly funny writer/singer Jessica Delfino (enjoys singing songs about her vagina, as demonstrated by her CD Dirty Folk Rock;created the hilarious and wildly popular YouTube animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; has a cool MySpace page, and an even cooler blog; to get a feel for Jessica’s amazing range and talent, please click here), Jess Wood (HBO, Comedy Central), Katina Corrao, and Reese Waters telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives at Ochi’s Lounge for a show hosted by Sara Benincasa (CBS, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs): Family Hour with Auntie Sara

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Becky Drysdale, and more—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors who’ve included writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($28 online using discount code TMANIA): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 90 minutes with a true genius of comedy. Please note this is a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up…and not for every taste. But whether you’re ultimately grabbed by the story or not, it’s worth experiencing if only for Daniel’s lightning-quick flashes of humor. For example, at the performance I attended a woman sitting in the front row had the incredible gall to start reading. Daniel sweetly responded, “Ooh, that’s a subtle yet effective form of criticism. I’m certainly not cross with you, just too nosy about what you’re reading to plow on. Look, you’re still reading. What a lack of faith you have in live entertainment.” Place your faith in Daniel, check out write-ups in The New York Times by clicking here andhere, and catch this show running every day except Mondays through January 30th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.)  An energetic regular on Chelsea Lately who’s also appeared on Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, VH1, and his own Comedy Central special headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jo Koy

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A comic’s comic who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, HBO, FX’s Louie, and three Comedy Central specials headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—and the Cage Match Champion for three years in a row!—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last year for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight’s edition of Baby Wants Candy

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Genius improvisor Ed Herbstman joins vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike—With Special Guest Ed Herbstman

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): An open contest to see who can create the most shockingly funny & filthy sketch running three minutes or less. If you’re easily offended, don’t even consider attending; but if you appreciate comedy that pushes the envelope without hurting anyone (with the possible exception of prudes), you’ll applaud this wild, uninhibited breaking of taboos to get laughs. If a routine is dreadful (many will be), the festivities will be maintained by witty hosts John Flynn and John Frusciante at The Dirtiest Sketch in NYC Contest

[$] 12:30 am ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

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