NYC Top Comedy Choices for November 2017: Last Updated Thursday 11/23/17

November 23, 2017

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to my BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications, and/or to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny).

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for what’s left of November (with more to come) include:

Thanksgiving

Nearly all NYC comedy venues are closed today, but Comedy Cellar is serving stand-up:

Superb comics—Sean PattonJosh GondelmanNick GriffinSeaton Smith, and more—perform stand-up in the West Village at 8:15 pm, 10:15 pm, and Midnight at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Streetbetween 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street), for a $24 cover charge plus 2-item food/drink min.: Comedy Cellar Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

 

D. L. HughleyFriday 11/24: A TV, movie, and radio star (for a sample, please click here) headlines tonight and Saturday at Carolines: D. L. Hughley (7:30 pm & 10:00 pm, $53 plus 2-drink min., Carolines Comedy Club at 1626 Broadway)

Cool Shit / Weird Shit: Friday 11/24: While David Bowie’s classic album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars plays from beginning to end, comics perform acts based on the songs, with participants including Matt Dennie, Joel Kim Booster, Michael Wolf, Mo Fry Pasic, and Marcia Belsky hosted by Josh SharpCool Shit / Weird Shit: David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust (Midnight, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Fuckville High's Annual ReunionFriday 11/24: Brilliant improvisors Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, and Brandon Scott Jones spearhead this character-based improv show driven by the following premise: “Six months ago Principal Ratliff accidentally shot himself in the head and lost all of his memories, so the alumni of Fuckville High are making this year’s reunion special. All classes are invited in order to help Principal Ratliff get his memory back! Class of 2014, maybe you can vape in his face? Class of 2000, do you want to lie about how your life is still okay? Class of 1994, wanna talk about how fat/skinny/dead you are? Class of 1985, can you remind Principal Ratliff about that pneumonia epidemic? We are asking for all Classes to attend. Hope to see you there!”: Fuckville High’s Annual Reunion (Midnight, $7, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Pet ProvSunday 11/26: There’s nothing more unpredictable on a stage than an animal. In this endearing monthly show, improvisors perform along with their real-life pet dogs, plus other improvisors TBA, and wonderfully humane host Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv groups The Community Players, Ouiser & Clairee, George/Martha, and The Darklings), all making up scenes for Pet Prov (6:00 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Gravid WaterMonday 11/27: Top improvisors stumble into theatre scenes of plays they’ve never seen—performed by Broadway, TV, and/or film stars—and make up their dialogue while the actors commit to staying in character and on book. The result is way fun, hosted by actor/director Stephen Ruddy: Gravid Water (8:00 pm, $7 [sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing],UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Ronny ChiengMonday 11/27: Ronny Chieng (correspondent for The Daily Show), Lauren Adams (Gretchen in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and Travon Free (writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee) chug a couple of beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody LindquistTwo Beers In (7:30 pm, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and MaeveMonday 11/27: Two of America’s very finest comics, Aparna Nancherla (co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None) and Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), host this weekly stand-up show with Irish comic Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk). Tonight’s guests include Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up and staff writer for The President Show; previously wrote for Jimmy Fallon, SNL, Bill Nye Saves the World, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Alison Leiby (writer for The President Show; VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Joyelle Nicole, and Gary RichardsonButterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Judah Friedlander 43Tuesday 11/28: Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly; Netflix stand-up special America is the Greatest Country in the United States; bestselling cartoon book If the Raindrops United) answers your questions for about an hour: Judah Friedlander (8:00 pm & 10:00 pm, $15 plus 2-drink min., Village Underground at 130 West 3rd Street)

Jean and JohnTuesday 11/28: Jean Grae & John Hodgman have written topics on a carnival wheel. In this show they spin the wheel and then chat about whatever subject they land on, along with a surprise guest. What else do you need to know?: Jean and John (8:00 pm, $15The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Marina Franklin 15Tuesday 11/28: Host Marina Franklin (Trainwreck, Louie, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show) tries out a solo stand-up show she plans to film pretty soon: Marina Franklin: Single Black Female (8:30 pm, $8 plus 2-item food/drink min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd Street)

Feelings: A Talk Show with Giulia RozziTuesday 11/28: Host Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show,Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, TruTV, Playgirl Magazine, comedy album True Love) explores the feeling of Sadness via interviews with Jacqueline Novak (top row right; exceptionally smart, fresh stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; Inside Amy Schumer; comedy album Quality Notions; book How to Weep in Public) and Matt Johnson & Kim Schifino (top row left), plus stand-up by Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig FergusonLast Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard ShowSteve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Kenny DeForest (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), and Joe Zimmerman (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and music by Jessica Rowboat (bottom row left) and DJ Therap-EFeelings (8:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Tamara and Adrian's Tarot Variety ShowThursday 11/30: Brilliant comic Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv groups The Community Players, Ouiser & Clairee, George/Martha, and The Darklings; host of Pet Prov) and Tamara Young host a variety show that incorporates tarot cards—show up an hour early for a free reading!: Tamara’s & Adrian’s Tarot Variety Show (9:30 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following 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-$12

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-$12

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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett 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!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

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

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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for November 2017: Last Updated Tuesday 11/21/17

November 21, 2017

Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to my BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications, and/or to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny).

In addition, you can use the links below to explore the schedules of all the major comedy venues in NYC; and you can find excellent live comedy recommendations weekly via The New York Times.

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for what’s left of November (with more to come) include:

Dark SpotsTuesday 11/21: Comics perform their darkest, saddest, and most traumatically funny bits for this monthly catharsis machine—with tonight’s guests TV & movie star Janeane GarofaloJo Firestone (one of the most relentlessly inventive comics in the biz; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; star of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Dulcé Sloan (powerhouse comic who’s the newest correspondent of The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, @midnight), Casey James Salengo (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents), Dina Hashem (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Seeso’s Night Train), Chris LakerMehran Khaghani, and Jess Salomon— hosted by Shane TorresNate Fridson, and Alison ZeidmanDark Spots (8:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Ashley Brooke RobertsTuesday 11/21: Two superb comics, Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable—as you can see above—stellar co-host of Fresh Out and Camp; former writer for Nat Geo Explorer and MTV’s Guy Code; UCB Maude sketch groups The Prom and Absolutely) and Matt Koff (staff writer for The Daily Show), each perform a 30-minute stand-up set hosted by Julia Johns (writer for MTV’s Girl Code): Ashley Brooke Roberts and Matt Koff (8:00 pm, Free!, Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar at 406 Third Avenue)

Adam Pally and Ben SchwartzWednesday 11/22: Two-thirds of legendary improv trio Hot Sauce (Gil Ozeri is in LA) make up scenes for your amusement: Pally & Schwartz (8:00 pm, $7 [sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing], UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Sasheer Zamata and Keisha ZollarWednesday 11/22: Two-thirds of legendary improv trio Doppelganger (Nicole Byer is in LA), plus guest improvisor Tim Meadows, make up scenes to dazzle you: Doppelganger: Sasheer Zamata & Keisha Zollar (9:30 pm, $7 [sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing], UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Cool Shit / Weird Shit: "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars"Friday 11/24: While David Bowie’s classic album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars plays from beginning to end, comics perform acts based on the songs, with participants including Matt Dennie, Joel Kim Booster, Michael Wolf, Mo Fry Pasic, and Marcia Belsky hosted by Josh SharpCool Shit / Weird Shit: David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust (Midnight, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Fuckville High's Annual ReunionFriday 11/24: Brilliant improvisors Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, and Brandon Scott Jones spearhead this character-based improv show driven by the following premise: “Six months ago Principal Ratliff accidentally shot himself in the head and lost all of his memories, so the alumni of Fuckville High are making this year’s reunion special. All classes are invited in order to help Principal Ratliff get his memory back! Class of 2014, maybe you can vape in his face? Class of 2000, do you want to lie about how your life is still okay? Class of 1994, wanna talk about how fat/skinny/dead you are? Class of 1985, can you remind Principal Ratliff about that pneumonia epidemic? We are asking for all Classes to attend. Hope to see you there!”: Fuckville High’s Annual Reunion (Midnight, $7, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Pet ProvSunday 11/26: There’s nothing more unpredictable on a stage than an animal. In this endearing monthly show, improvisors perform along with their real-life pet dogs, plus other improvisors TBA, and wonderfully humane host Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv groups The Community Players, Ouiser & Clairee, George/Martha, and The Darklings), all making up scenes for Pet Prov (6:00 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

Gravid WaterMonday 11/27: Top improvisors stumble into theatre scenes of plays they’ve never seen—performed by Broadway, TV, and/or film stars—and make up their dialogue while the actors commit to staying in character and on book. The result is way fun, hosted by actor/director Stephen Ruddy: Gravid Water (8:00 pm, $7 [sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing],UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Ronny ChiengMonday 11/27: Ronny Chieng (correspondent for The Daily Show), Lauren Adams (Gretchen in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and Travon Free (writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee) chug a couple of beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody LindquistTwo Beers In (7:30 pm, $7, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Butterboy with Jo, Aparna, and MaeveMonday 11/27: Two of America’s very finest comics, Aparna Nancherla (co-star of HBO’s Crashing and Netflix’s Master of None) and Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), host this weekly stand-up show with Irish comic Maeve Higgins (Maeve in America, co-host of Nat Geo’s Star Talk). Tonight’s guests include Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up and staff writer for The President Show; previously wrote for Jimmy Fallon, SNL, Bill Nye Saves the World, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Alison Leiby (writer for The President Show; VICE, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; host of It’s a Long Story), Joyelle Nicole, and Gary RichardsonButterboy with Jo, Aparna, and Maeve (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Jean and JohnTuesday 11/28: Jean Grae & John Hodgman have written topics on a carnival wheel. In this show they spin the wheel and then chat about whatever subject they land on, along with a surprise guest. What else do you need to know?: Jean and John (8:00 pm, $15The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Feelings: A Talk Show with Giulia RozziTuesday 11/28: Host Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show,Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, TruTV, Playgirl Magazine, comedy album True Love) explores the feeling of Sadness via interviews with Jacqueline Novak (top row right; exceptionally smart, fresh stand-up; Comedy Central Half Hour; Inside Amy Schumer; comedy album Quality Notions; book How to Weep in Public) and Matt Johnson & Kim Schifino (top row left), plus stand-up by Michelle Buteau (VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig FergusonLast Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard ShowSteve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Kenny DeForest (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit), and Joe Zimmerman (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), and music by Jessica Rowboat (bottom row left) and DJ Therap-EFeelings (8:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Tamara and Adrian's Tarot Variety ShowThursday 11/30: Brilliant comic Adrian Sexton (superb Unauthorized: The Musical series, improv groups The Community Players, Ouiser & Clairee, George/Martha, and The Darklings; host of Pet Prov) and Tamara Young host a variety show that incorporates tarot cards—show up an hour early for a free reading!: Tamara’s & Adrian’s Tarot Variety Show (9:30 pm, $7, The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following 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-$12

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-$12

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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

The Creek and the Cave
Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett 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!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

If you want stage time, you can find one or more stand-up open mics virtually any night at Manhattan’s The PIT, Eastville Comedy Club, and Stand Up NY Comedy Club, and at Queens LIC’s The Creek and Astoria Queens’ QED.

In addition, at the East Village’s UCB East you can typically find a stand-up open mic Thursdays at 6:00 pm, an improv jam Wednesdays at 11:15 pm, and a rare bring-your-own-group improv/sketch open stage Sundays at 11:00 pm. And in Chelsea, The Magnet offers an improv jam on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, and a rare musical improv jam on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.

All of the venues above typically provide you the stage time either for free or for $5.

There are also numerous other open mics throughout the city. For a more comprehensive list, please visit FreeMicsNYC.

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 6/26/16

June 26, 2016

Del Close Improv Marathon 2016It’s the final day of the joyous 18th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon, which is running continuously until 9:30 pm. Improv groups from all around the US and Canada—and a few places further away—will finish up performing more than 650 shows, typically in 15- or 30-minute blocks, for over 50 hours. As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, which will cause long waits to get into UCB Chelsea (307 West 26th Street), which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by nine additional venues: UCB East, The Magnet, Theater of the New City (3 theatres), SVA (2 theatres), FIT Haft Auditorium, and the UCB Comedy Podcast Lounge; for details, please click here. For the complete schedule, please click here. To view shows organized by performer, please click here. For information on buying a festival pass, please click here. To buy premium tickets online, please click here. (Please note that if any premium show doesn’t sell out and you have a marathon pass, you can receive a remaining seat free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.) Quite simply, this is the greatest improv festival in the world: Del Close Marathon 2016 (4:00 pm Friday-9:30 pm Sunday, $35 for festival pass plus $10-$20 each for premium shows, 10 venues around Chelsea and the East Village)

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 5:30 pm-10:00 pm ($40 for an all-you-can-see weekend pass or $5-$20 per show): It’s the final day pf a 3-day LGBTQ-themed comedy festival at The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge (123 East 24th Street). For a complete list of tonight’s shows, please click here; and for information about the festival, please click Queercom 2016

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

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-night-only team at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from a six-person troupe at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Sunday School Dropouts

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Kate Berlant (Netflix’s The Characters, MTV, IFC, CNN), Dylan Marron (Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite, Seriously.tv, Welcome to Night Vale podcast), Dan Licata, Madonna Refugia, Matt Schimkowitz, ad Shalewa Sharpe, all at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

8:30 pm ($5): Two improv groups perform, on a rotating basis, 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: Waiting for Jah + Hal Doll

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Sketch comedy accompanied by live music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): With a Little Feeling

[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 Jim Gaffigan Show with an audience—and have the opportunity to ask questions afterwards of Ashley Williams, who plays Jim’s wife and will be a special guest tonight! Plus, free food! (“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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($15; no min.): Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, host of Comedy Knockout, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue off 20th Street): Mark Normand, Ari Shaffir, 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, 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

[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

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 Friday 11/27/15

November 27, 2015

Please help beloved comedy performer Dana Krashin get her dream job
by voting once a day thru 12/3 here (a quick & easy way to be a hero)

Fuckville High's Annual ReunionBrilliant improvisors Shannon O’Neill, Brandon Scott Jones, and Connor Ratliff spearhead this character-based improv show driven by the following premise: “Six months ago Principal Ratliff accidentally shot himself in the head and lost all of his memories, so the alumni of Fuckville High are making this year’s reunion special. All classes are invited in order to help Principal Ratliff get his memory back! Class of 2014, maybe you can vape in his face? Class of 2000, do you want to lie about how your life is still okay? Class of 1994, wanna talk about how fat/skinny/dead you are? Class of 1985, can you remind Principal Ratliff about that pneumonia epidemic? We are asking for all Classes to attend. Hope to see you there!” at Fuckville High’s Annual Reunion (Midnight, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

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

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

7:00 pm ($10): Two improv groups each make up a musical on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: [title of team] and Royals

7:00 pm ($5): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

7:00 pm ($7): House improv groups The Boss, Junior Varsity, and Hello Laser make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Revolver

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($10): Ace improvisors Shannon O’Neill & Tami Sagher team with guests to make up scenes on the spot at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Tami and Shannon Have Friends

7:30 pm ($10): A celebration of actor Jaleel White (Urkel) via improvised scenes springboarding off Family Matters episodes at the UCB East theatre: Jaleel White’s Birthday Party

7:30 pm ($6): Sketch comedy and more at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Black Magic Lab (sketch duo Meggie Spellman & Anne Victoria Clark): Black Magic Lab Variety Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & Midnight ($15-$20; no min.): Typically terrific stand-ups performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Friday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mike Spara performs a wordless solo sketch show inspired by silent comedy films at The PIT upstairs theatre: Conversations with Body Language

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT downstairs lounge improv groups making up a musical on the spot. Dagger includes Abby Holland (VH1’s Best Night Ever, musical improv groups Aquarius and Veal), and Hello includes Lorraine Cink (especially lovely singing voice; host & writer of Marvel Comics’ The Watcher): Dagger and Hello

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Gary Levitt & Matt Schwartzer: I Don’t Get It Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four pairs of stand-ups try to entertain you with their unrehearsed banter at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Scotland Green & Alison Zeidma (who will interrupt whenever they feel there’s a lull with a random new topic for discussion): Banter Show

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm ($24.75 via Goldstar [vs. $29 at the door]): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

9:00 pm ($10): Improvisors interview an audience member about his or her weird Thanksgiving and then make up an entire show about it at the UCB East theatre: Thanksgiving Hangover

9:30 pm ($5): Comics perform characters at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Keisha Zollar & Andrew Kimler: Show Us Your Bits

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

10:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): The last quarterfinal round of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB East hosted by Pat Baer: 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

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

Midnight ($5): Something entirely new and very odd each month from hosts Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp at the UCB East theatre: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

[FREE] Midnight: “Sage Augustine is gifted with a heightened sense of spiritual curiosity resulting in many amazing intuitive experiences. Jack Marble is Sage’s apostle, confidant, business partner, and best friend. Together they are embarking on a journey to harness the power of laughter and open the world’s eyes to spirits, angels, demons, prophecies, wishes, magic, and the afterlife” by hosting NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Remember Your Spirit

Friday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in open mic (signup at 4:30 pm), with 5 minutes per comic, storyteller, poet, or singer, at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Kimberly Sparkle Stewart & Sharon Spell: Queens Open Mic Fridays

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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shalewa Sharpe & Courtney Fearrington: Thug Passion

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Happy Hour

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

For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

 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:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

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 Monday 12/22/14

December 22, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Steve Carell is on David Letterman (repeated from 11/11);
Martin Short is on Conan O’Brien (repeated from 10/2)

Charles Manson's Bachelor Party

Shannon O’Neill and many more celebrate the upcoming wedding of an infamous felon in Charles Manson’s Bachelor Party

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 ($7): Superhero improv from indie troupe Norm at The Magnet theatre: Daily Planet

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation—which include group Holiday at 9:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Kevin Janaway parodies holiday traditions playing a Redneck, a Hippie Pothead, a Train Wreck Personality, and a Former Child Star at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Happy Holidays Comedy Show

7:30 pm ($5): Young comics look back at what was awful in 2014 at a sketch show that’s an annual UCB Chelseatradition, this year hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall): The It Sucked! Awards

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Pete Davidson, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Todd Barry, Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, and Sam Morril at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane):Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Emily Heller (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, FX’s Totally Biased), Billy Wayne Davis, and Subhah Agarwal performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person andWyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, improv group What I Did For Love, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, half of brilliant sketch duo Dennie & Sharp), Sue Smith, Brett Davis, and Lucas Connolly performing sketch, stand-up, and more at Brooklyn’s Cameo (93 North 6th Street, behind Lovin’ Cup): Cool Show

8:00 ($5): Nick Rutherford (SNL) and Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight) being interviewed and/or performing at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: In Queens, Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer; The Vigilante, Your Love Our Musical), plus stand-up or sketch from Katie Haller, Stephanie Weber, Naomi Ekperigin, Kevin Hall, and Mo Fry performing in Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by brilliant sketch writer Meggie Spellman and Anne Clark: Black Magic Lab Variety

8:30 pm ($7): A one-man critical tour of Rob Penty at The Magnet theatre: Things I Don’t Like About Myself

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-up or sketch comics Alan Starzinski, Liam McEneaney, Dan Licata, Rae Sanni, Lance Weiss, and Joel Kim Booster performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A loosely plotted improv show with this premise: “Charles Manson is getting married, and the warden of Corcoran State Prison was kind enough to allow us inside for one night only to give Manson a Helter Skelter of a bachelor party. To celebrate Manson’s third marriage, the Beach Boys will be playing some tunes, LSD and amphetamines will be available, and hell, Sharon Tate’s ghost may even pop out of a cake for a surprise striptease. It’s Charlie’s last night of freedom as a single man, so you don’t want to miss it,” with performers including Shannon O’Neill (UCB-NY Artistic Director…and breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, The Lady Jam) at the UCB East theatre: Charles Manson’s Bachelor Party

9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joanna Bradley demonstrates she’s a fine performer who needs a less harsh and angry show to show off her comedic talent at I Am Very Important People

…and in the second half of this double-bill, duo sketch from Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil in The Keith & Jesse Show

9:30 pm ($5): Duo improv at The PIT upstairs theatre: Paul Valenti & Ron Hill Do Improv

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls,Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), Paul Virzi, Joe Vecsey, Randy Syphax, and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays: Mark Normand, Jessica Kirson, Pete Lee, Damien Lemon, and More

10:00 pm ($7): A veteran house Improv group plus some of its pals perform at The Magnet theatre: Junior Varsity and Friends

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller and/or Dee Marie: Gentrification

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 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 or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. 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

[FREE] 10:00 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 lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

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 Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

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

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

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

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 6/29/13

June 29, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Eugene Cordero, Joe Wengert, and Shannon O'Neill

Among the highlights of Friday’s Del Close Marathon were Eugene Cordero, Joe Wengert, Shannon O’Neill…

Ian Roberts, Anthony King, and Jason Mantzoukas

…Ian Roberts, Anthony King, Jason Mantzoukas, and scores of other top improvisors. Don’t miss tonight and Sunday.

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:

[SUPER-MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Right now-1:00 am Monday ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 15th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon is running continuously from 4:30 pm on Friday June 28th until roughly 1:00 am on Monday July 1st. Improv groups from all around the US and Canada—and a few places further away—are performing a mind-bending 420 shows, typically in 15- or 30-minute blocks, for 56+ hours. Tickets are $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer once said the appropriate charge is around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding.

As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, causing long waits to get into UCB Chelsea (307 West 26th Street), which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by six additional venues. The ones near UCB Chelsea are The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues), which seats 99; the large Silas Theatre and small Beatrice Theatre at the School of Visual Arts (333 West 23rd Street); and the Fashion Institute of Technology Haft Auditorium (227 West 27th Street, corner of Seventh Avenue). In addition, there’ll be shows at UCB East (153 3rd Street, between Avenues A and B), which seats 99, and Theatre 80 (80 St. Marks Place, between First and Second Avenues), which seats 161. To view shows organized by venue, please click here. To view shows organized by time, please click here. To view shows organized by performer, please click here. For an easy-to-read schedule, please click here.

The DCM shows at the SVA and FIT auditoriums are an additional $15-$20—unless they don’t sell out, in which case if you have a marathon pass you can receive a remaining seat free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.

DCM is pure comedy magic. Don’t miss it.

 Friday Highlights

Merman

    • In Play by Play, brothers Will & Kevin Hines provided color commentary as such genius improvisors as Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, and Jason Jason Mantzoukas made up scenes with breathtaking wit, timing, and commitment. For example, when Jason stood off to the side of a group scene, Kevin Hines commented, “The pressure mounts on Mantzoukas as he awaits his moment.” Jason responded by plopping into a chair and just sitting relaxedly while listening to the others on stage. Ian quickly responded by striding over to Jason, proclaiming “No lurkers!,” and beating him to death with his bare hands. Will then commented, “There’s nothing quite as wonderful as an enraged Ian Roberts.”
    • The Smokes created a family out on a Sunday drive that uncovers startling secrets. For example, Eugene Cordero, as an 11-year-old with ADHD, revealed that he saw his older brother Joe Wengert sport a giant fin. Joe eventually admitted, “Yes, of course I’m a merman. Haven’t you ever wondered why I spend six hours every day in the bathtub?” Then Billy Merritt, as the mother, revealed that she cheated on husband Chris Kula via a studly sea lion. Joe asked “What happened to my real father?” Chris replied, “I thought the seal was attacking my wife, so I clubbed him to death.” Not willing to let go of a line of inquiry, Joe asked, “What happened to the club?” Billy replied, “We used it to build your crib.”
    • Dan Black Won’t Die was based on the premise “Everyone has taken a class with the guy who refuses to die in improv scenes. That guy is Dan Black. Whether he’s gunned down, hit by a train, or decapitated, Dan Black always finds a dumb reason to come back to life; and he will do it for 15 minutes during the marathon.” The fun began as soon as Dan introduced himself—resulting in a single clap. Shannon O’Neill burst into laughter and declared, “Dan, there’s only one person who likes you!” Dan got his revenge by outliving everyone on stage. He ended by playing around with the sitting corpse of Neil Casey, who admiringly never twitched a muscle…even when Dan pulled him off, sending Neil’s chair flying.
    • The Straight Men delivered the pleasure of former UCBT Artistic Director Anthony King and current UCBT Artistic Direction Nate Dern performing scenes together. Here’s hoping for more of that as the marathon continues.

 Today’s notable shows include Upright Citizens Brigade, The Mantzoukas Brothers, Mantzoukas and Morris, The Chris Gethard Show, Nick Kroll and Friends, The Benson Interruption, Match Game ’76, Wicked Fuckin Queeyah…and tons more. Again, please see the complete schedule here.

 [TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): 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.), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A former staff writer for Saturday Night Live and writer/performer for 30 Rock who’s also performed on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, and a one-hour Comedy Central special headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Hannibal Buress

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

[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): Improv master Ed Herbstman & Nick Kanellis perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, Comedy Juice on Tuesdays, and more; 2-drink min.)

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/2/12

November 2, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Dave Hill

Stellar stand-up (and rock god) Dave Hill performs at Brooklyn’s Pirate Party…

Shannon O'Neill

…and comedy goddess Shannon O’Neill interviews audience members—probably about Sandy—at Strangers Wanted, then performs improv with Chris Gethard at The Stepfathers

Please note: The East Village was pummeled by Sandy, and so most comedy venues in that area are dark until power is restored. These include UCB East, The PIT, Under St. Marks, and the Eastville Comedy Club. But comedy on the West side, and in Brooklyn and LIC, goes on…

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

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

7:00 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Jenice Matias that “includes original songs and dance, and fictional scenarios of politicians exploiting women: prostitution being legalized, the enforcement of ex-gay camps, mandatory registration of genitals at a government agency, and prosthetic vaginas”at The Magnet; plus a second show that from a comedy troupe whose name will make you hungry and want to dance at the same time: Pussinomics and The Rolling Scones

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) does a monthly show at UCB Chelsea based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nick Cobb (NBC, Comedy Central, Super Bowl commercials), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), Ray Devito (E!), and Vladimir Caamano (Carolines) performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Postmark Cafe (326 6th Street) hosted by  Abbi Crutchfield & Luke Thayer: The Living Room

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s a cast member of MTV’s Guy Code headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Lil Duval

[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 in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A comic who’s co-starred in TBS’ Are We There Yet?, starred in three Comedy Central specials, and performed on performed on Conan O’Brien, MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, and The Today Show headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Christian Finnegan

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper; new book Tasteful Nudes), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Aparna Nancherla (FX’s Totally Biased), Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Annie Lederman, followed by wild Karaoke: Pirate Party

8:30 pm ($7): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The Magnet as troupe Lead McEnroe

[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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before the 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, 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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/7/12

September 7, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For free & $5 Greenwich Village Comedy Club tickets, please click here.

Donnell Rawlings

Donnell Rawlings headlines through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club…

Shannon O'Neill

…and Shannon O’Neill devotes an entire show to interviewing audience members at Strangers Wanted

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Steve Zimmer (two-time Moth GrandSlam Champion), Ben Lillie (host of The Story Collider, Moth StorySlam Champion), and Carolita Johnson (cartoonist, writes blog NewYorkette.com) telling comedic tales at The Magnet with host Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show, Tales of the Cosmos, and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here): Super Stories

7:00 pm ($5): Hip hop musical improv at The PIT downstairs lounge from Nick Brown, Don Romaniello, and Michael Short pretending to be NYC police officers: Rap Crimes Division

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) does a monthly show at UCB Chelsea based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[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), 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

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

8:00 pm ($5): “It may be made up on the spot, but there is a method to the madness. In this show players explore the structure of improv by performing unique forms provided by the community and abroad” at The PIT downstairs lounge: True to Form

[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 in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: 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 as Diaz & Gausas

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on NBC’s 30 Rock, a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, VH1, BET; in films including Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane, and Johnson Family Vacation; and was the spokesman for the 7 Up Yours campaign, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Godfrey

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Josh Rabinowitz (Comedy Central, MTV), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon), Jake Young, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Annie Lederman, followed by wild Karaoke: Pirate Party

[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—Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

9:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, co-host of Pirate Party), Andrew Clark, and Narinder Singh performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Fort Useless (36 Ditmars Street) hosted by George Flanagan: Spit Take Friday

9:00 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Nore Davis (Russell Simons Presents: The Ruckus), and Team Submarine performing stand-up, plus others doing sketch, improv, and who knows what else, at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Jeremy Wein: Undefined

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Formerly titled Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy—until a “cease and desist” order arrived from the attorneys at EMI Music—this show marches on with terrific comedic musical performers at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Lerman and Tim Dimond: Radio Shack: A Comedy Musical Showcase

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

10:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups, improvisors, and more gather to discuss the Presidential election in, with luck, a funny way at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction 2012

[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

11:00 pm ($5): Sketch host Meredith Hackman and her many friends promise “Despair. Pride. Heartbreak. Comedy.” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Saddest Sketch Show

11:00 pm ($5): Where else can you find a late-night improvised exorcism besides The PIT downstairs lounge?: The Exorcism of Lucas Hazlett

11:00 pm ($5): Improvisors Brandon Gardner (The Curfew) & Natasha Vaynblat (Surfing) and sketch comics James Coker (1-800-LONDON) & Marshall Stratton (The Awesome 80’s Prom) performing at the Richmond Shephard Theatre (309 East 26th Street) hosted by Caitlin Bitzegaio and friends: The Gadget Hour

[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.

For free & $5 Greenwich Village Comedy Club tickets, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/30/12

June 30, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Stepfathers

Last night The Stepfathers—Chris Gethard, Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Will Hines, Michael Delaney,and Connor Ratliff—delivered a genius 30 minutes of improv that garnered two standing ovations. Come see what happens tonight at…

14th Annual Del Close Marathon

…The Del Close Marathon

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:

[SUPER-MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Right Now-9:30 pm Sunday ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 14th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon is running continuously from 4:30 pm on Friday June 29th until 9:30ish pm on Sunday July 2nd. Improv troupes from all around the US and Canada—New York, Albany, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cambridge, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Fairfield, Austin, Miami, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, Raleigh, Carrboro, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Helsinki, and more—will perform over 150 shows, typically in 30 minute blocks, for 55+ hours. Tickets will be $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer said several  years ago the appropriate charge would be around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding.

For complete details, please click here.

DCM is happening at seven different venues this year. I’ll mostly be at UCB Chelsea, but please know there are incredible things happening at every one of these stages. That noted, the following are some of the highlights I personally experienced from yesterday:

  • At the DCM press conference, Ian Roberts started announcing a major UCB project…only to have Matt Besser and Matt Walsh interrupt with, “Um, that’s still a secret.” Ian spent a few minutes in denial with “Gee, are you sure we haven’t said anything publicly about it?” When assured that was the case, Ian rebounded with, “Well, when we do you’ll all be very impressed.” I actually have a reasonable guess what it is…and yes, we all really will be.
  • Also at the press conference, Matt Besser swore that an improv manual they’ve been working on for nearly 10 years “will, we guarantee, be done before next year’s marathon.” Ian Roberts then added, “Absolutely! And the white buffalo will once again walk the plains…” (As an expert with 20 books under my belt—including five Dummies books—I’ve been offering to help with this for six years running. Ian, Matt, and Matt, at this point I’ll do it for a sentence in the Acknowledgements. Reach out to me…) Among the benefits of the UCB book will be clarifying terms and concepts that often confuse improvisors. For example, as Ian Roberts explained, “Beginners think Agreement means going along with whatever someone brings up. But if your partner suggests ‘Let’s jump out the window,’ and you say ‘Sure!’, then that’s the end of the scene…because at that point you’re both dead. What Agreement really means is saying yes to the reality of whatever scenario your partner suggests—but then responding in a genuine way that reflects how you—or your character—would really behave in that situation.” The book is another project from UCB very much worth looking look forward to.
  • Also at the press conference, the guys discussed how much work is involved in becoming good at improv. Ian Roberts said a lot of people who are funny think, “Improv is walking and talking. I do that every day. I’m ready to go on stage as an improvisor!” Ian continued, “That’s like my looking at a piano and saying, ‘I like music. I have fingers. I’m ready to give a piano concert!'” Ian also defended rules, explaining, “The fact that I can stand here is defying gravity. It’s a learned skill I’ve done so often it’s become instinctual. We all learn from habit and repetition.” Matt Besser added that taking a class is great, but not by itself: “You should have your own practice team. And every session you should rehearse with each other for three hours—not one hour, not two hours, three hours is the standard…and at least three times a week.”
  • Stellar NYC trio Doppelganger (Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar) was in top form, with running gags including a man (played by Nicole) who keeps proposing marriage at the most inappropriate moments—such as when his girlfriend is caring from her grandma just moments away from death: “We’ll inherit the old bag’s house, car, and savings. Honey, be mine!” Another shining moment was when Sasheer brings an orphan (played by Keisha) into her house, outlining a space four feet by four feet and saying, “That’s how much room you have. Don’t leave that square, you’re dirty.” Keisha looks around rapturously and says, “At least it’s a home.” It was an apt metaphor for any young performer starting out; but chances are each of these fearless and razor-sharp gals will go on to lustrous careers.
  • When comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill of The Stepfathers appeared at 9:00 pm, the crowd cheered wildly. Shannon growled, “We’re on this stage every Friday! And at this exact same time!” Then Shannon relented with, “But thank you for your drunken enthusiasm.” What followed was one of the most brilliant 30 minutes of improv I’ve even seen—from Chris, Shannon, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Will Hines, Michael Delaney, and Connor Ratliff working as a perfectly oiled machine, with each understanding each other’s strengths and playing them perfectly. That would’ve been enough; but then Chris said, “And now…let’s rewind.” The troupe responded with pure magic by reenacting every scene it had made up on the spot—backwards! As these stars got to the point of backing out the curtains from where they’d entered, the audience jumped to its feet to provide a rousing standing ovation. The set wasn’t quite over, though, so Shannon returned to growl, “Sit back down! We’re not done yet! Geez, we’re here every Friday!” The troupe proceeded to deconstruct what they’d done, with such comments as, “I thought that tag was a little premature” and “This scene came out of something that happened backstage no one else has any idea about.” When the lights finally came down, the audience jumped up to provide an even louder and more enthusiastic standing ovation.
  • There’s more I could write—about such troupes as Sentimental Lady from LA and Telenovelafrom Washington DC; a fun Bassprov with the form’s creators, improv legends Joe Bill and Mark Sutton, plus guest improv legend Matt Walsh; improv star Fran Gillespie doing an impressive job as a mirror in Paranormal Encounters; and another of the finest improvisors alive, Paul Scheer, in Bruckheimer; but I want to eat something and then get back to the marathon. Please check in here tomorrow for a report on tonight; and please get your ass over to DCM for this not-to-be-missed comedy event.

Also, while I love DCM, please note that if you’re a stand-up fan Ted Alexandro is one of the very, very best, and it’s just bad luck he’s opposite the most incredible improv event of the year. If you might care to take two hours away from DCM and see Ted at the Gotham Comedy Club (just a few blocks away from UCB Chelsea), he’ll deliver gold as well. For more, please click here.

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

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Accelerate Duo Prov, Pumpkin, and Orange Augustus at The Magnetkicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Adam Conover, Jermaine Fowler, and Jessica Watkins participate in this “comedy chat show with boundary issues” that has stand-ups perform sets and then be 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] 7:30 pm ($7): Improv master Ed Herbstman and five others “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules” at The Magnettheatre: The Weave

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) One of the very finest stand-ups in the country, who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel; starred in twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; and frequently opens for Louis C.K., headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): One of the cast members of the seminal In Living Color headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tommy Davidson

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—at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[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), TV & movie star Todd Barry (might be 9:00 pm only), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe at The Magnet makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[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 for this new themed show: The Tarantino

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this talk & stand-up show hosted by Sarah Tollemache: Last Night

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

[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 musical improv troupe Hot Diner to comment on one of the worst musical sequels of all time: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Grease 2

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) participate in the fake taping of a bad late-night TV comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Brad SteuernagelComedians Off Of the Leash

[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 more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/2/11

September 2, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

Ted Alexandro

Stand-up stars Ted Alexandro (above) and Gary Gulman perform tonight and Saturday at the Eastville Comedy Club...

Shannon O'Neill

...and improv geniuses Shannon O'Neill (above), Anthony Atamanuik, Jeff Hiller, and more make up musicals as "Diamond Lion"

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekdownstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name:We’re Matt Weir

7:00 pm ($5): A troupe that performs a sketch show with an improv segment at the end, at The PIT downstairs lounge, directed by The Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz: Dumbkowsky

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Anthony Atamanuik, Shannon O’Neill, Jeff Hiller, Fran Gillespie, Mike Still, Amber Petty, Michael Kayne, Winston Noel, Ashley Ward, and Morgan Phillips—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion

8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($29 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Showheadlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Janine Brito, Josh Gondelman, Miguel Dalmau, Merrill Davis, and Nick Maritato performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[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] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Award-winning dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist, star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), hilarious videos from the Found Footage Festival, and stand-up Jermaine Fowler performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Sáenz’s Too Cool for School

8:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy interwoven with a live band: Citizen Models

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A comic who’s performed on Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central, Showtime, Bravo, and VH1 headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jessica Kirson

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club’s A-List

9:30 pm ($5): Improvised scenes based on the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist atMissed Connections Two-Prov

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he’s not in LA), Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before the 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, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCBT schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCBT stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

[$] 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 full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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