NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/25/16

February 25, 2016

Mike Lawrence describes his winding career path, from seven years of working a drive-through window at McDonald’s to currently being a staff writer at Emmy Award-winning series Inside Amy Schumer, for my podcast.

Kevin Geeks Out About Wigs, Toupees, and HairpiecesA glorious collection of hilarious film clips and live guests from super-fan Kevin Maher and friends with Hair as this month’s theme: Kevin Geeks Out About Wigs, Toupees, and Hairpieces (9:30 pm, $15 [buy in advance, as this show crammed with rich imagery and ideas usually sells out], Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford)…

Sideshow Goshko 7 Year AnniversaryLeslie Goshko…and Sasheer Zamata (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show), Tara Clancy (The New York Times, The Paris Review) and irresistibly charming host Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) perform at this wonderful monthly oddball storytelling show featuring such magic as a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes—and tonight celebrating its 7th Year Anniversary: Sideshow Goshko (7:00 pm, Free!, KGB Bar at 85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue)

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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 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 Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Comedy Central, Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here; co-host of the Dan + Joe + Charles Show), Chris Lamberth, and Chrissie Mayr performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 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 three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Annalise Domenighini (writer and social editor for Noisey) is interviewed about “that one song she’ll never forget,” plus music by band Rockaway, at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Patrick Cartelli & Evan Forde Barden: Repeater: A Little Show About Big Songs

7:30 pm ($5): Sketches by writer/performers compete for audience laughs and votes at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Gabe Capone & Joanna Hausmann: Battle Sketch

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): David Lawson makes his living handing out flyers in Times Square…while competing with a wide variety of unusual characters for the attention of tourists. This one-man show (which debuted at the Solocom Festival) happens at Brooklyn’s The Experiment Comedy Gallery (20 Broadway), and it’s fascinating; plus there’s opening tales from the lovely Katharine Heller (Tell The Bartender podcast, famed improv group Naked in a Fishbowl), Marc Abbott (Moth GrandSlam Champion), and Sam Sherwood: Flyer Guy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Suggestions for jokes are gathered from the audience and then pro stand-ups are forced to incorporate them into their sets at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Will Carey: You Can Use That

8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Two veteran house improv groups, Alex Marino improvises with someone cool TBA in Someone and Alex, themed improv show Bloom (“fantasy, myth, and memory intermingle freely in this story-based improvisation inspired by the movie Big Fish), and improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Anna Drezen (superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters & movement, sketch; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Pat Wise, and more perform stand-up sets, and then improvisors make up scenes springboarding off their jokes at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Matt Strickland & Gladys: I’d Rather Be Weird Than Good

8:00 pm ($5): A variety of comics performing songs, characters, and/or stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by sketch/improv group Martha: All You Can Eat

8:00 pm ($7 at the door or $8.24 online; no min.): NYC stand-ups Jim Tews, Ginny Leise, Julia Johns, Jordan Temple, Justin Auslaender, and Taylor Connelly performing at Brooklyn’s Dean Street (755 Dean Street) hosted by Chris Donahue: Dean Street Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Three improv house groups make up scenes for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Detention + Gun Club + Dim Wit

8:30 pm ($5): A monthly anthology series of speculative fiction in the vein of The Twilight Zone at The PIT downstairs lounge: Lucid State

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): “A not-so-safe space where comics expose the shitty, horrifying teenager that made them into shitty, horrifying adults. Nobody leaves until everybody cries” with an all-gal panel that includes Natasha Vaynblat and Christi Chiello at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Alise Morales: The Roast of Your 15 Year Old Self

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Seth Herzog, Erik Bergstrom, Mary Mack, Matin Morrow, and Anthony Devito performing stand-up at UCB East guest-hosted by Nate Fernald: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Similar to The Dating Game, comics Christi Chello, Peggy O’Leary, and Kristen Manna compete for the affections of an audience member at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Joe Welkie: Dating is Hard in NYC

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1) perform a long stand-up set, with openers Seaton Smith, Giulia Rozzi, and host Maria Heinegg, at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Brooke Van Poppelen Headlines A Basement

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The writers of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Alfredo: Late Show Writers Improv

9:30 pm ($10): Marina & Nicco perform a play in the dark (flashlights will be provided) in which “A happy couple has just moved into their new home. But the novelty of home ownership quickly fades as they face a sea of boxes, a major blackout, and, shortly thereafter, the ghosts of all their past relationships” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Unpacking: A Ghost Story Told in the Dark

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Fuck That Shit and 32K compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous semi-finals of Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): I have no idea what this show is about, but it’s hosted by Gary Richardson, John Reynolds, Carmen Christopher, and Joey Dundale at the UCB East theatre: $$$

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

6:00 pm ($3): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT downstairs lounge: Ladies Night Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal stand-up open mic at UCB East hosted by Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving 2 minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

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

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursday After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith Jam

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

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.

Advertisements

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 2/28/13

February 28, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

David Wain

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

Leslie Goshko

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), and more form an improv troupe at UCB Chelsea that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

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

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Direct from Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes): “Hello. This is your man Dave Hill writing to let you know that I will once again be putting on a public display of my one-man asskicking machine known in family papers and also my Craigslist casual encounters ad as The Dave Hill Explosion. When I was a little girl growing up in Austria, everyone told me I was crazy for thinking I would one day be putting on a show in a basement in New York City and charging five dollars for it, but look who’s laughing now. I am. I am laughing now. A lot. Sometimes it happens late at night and my neighbors get mad and tell me to stop smashing plates against the wall and stuff and then they get all ‘Hey, what’s that smell?’ but screw them, I’m not letting them crush my dreams either. Anyway, my show this Thursday is going to be really, really incredible. Not only did I just buy a new snow machine that is supposed to come in the mail today, but my bearded sidebitch Phil shaved his head and it looks nuts. Between that stuff and the candy I am planning on handing out at some point, well, there’s your five bucks worth right there. As if all of that is not enough, I will be joined on Thursday by the lovely and talented Kristen Johnston, whom you no doubt know as the star of the hit television program Third Rock from the Sun and also as the author of the bestselling memoir Guts. Also, my hot rock band Valley Lodge will be performing because I am in charge of booking. Besides, we are the best. You can and should get tickets right here:” The Dave Hill Explosion

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 10/24/12

October 24, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Leslie Goshko

Leslie Goshko celebrates Halloween in her own special way at her wonderful storytelling show Sideshow Goshko…

Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…and dancing orphans, a cannibalistic sex cult, and more appear in the 30-minute dark musical romp Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

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: Open-mic stand-up hosted by Cody Hess at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Listen! The Open Mic

6:30 pm ($5): Two TV pilots—written respectively by Brian Glidewell (co-author of the superb Newsadoozies mini-musical—see 8:00 pm listings) and Steve Theiss (finalist for the 2010 Disney ABC TV Writing Program)—are performed by sharp UCBT comics as staged readings at UCB Chelsea. Honestly, the loglines aren’t that compelling; but if you’re interested in writing for TV and/or doing your own staged readings, you may find this educational: Staged TV Pilot Readings

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue champion, Dirty Minds) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s guests Ben Lillie (co-host of The Story Collider), Kerri Doherty (Adult Swim, host of Geeking Out), and Jiji Lee (The Moth), plus accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Nintendo, Horses, Chet Watkins, Featherweight, Dr. Champagne, Brick, Flower Girl, and The Wrath performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Dr. Champagne at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

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

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from Joe List (Comedy Central), Micah Sherman (Second City, The Scene), Dan Hirshon (Huffington Post), Ben Kissel, and many more performing at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Huxtable and City Mouse: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Michael Martin, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., a leg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, a (mostly) one-man show by George Kareman titled Incredibly Extreme and Extremely Incredible

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

8:00 pm ($5): Eddie Brill (former long-time booker for David Letterman), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and Jamie LeeLo (for stand-up reel, please click here) performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Micah Sherman: Brian and Joe’s Power Hour

FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any fighting) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[FREE] 9:00 pm:Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Kara Klenk (host of If You Build It), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Ryan Conner (writer for SNL’s Weekend Update), Amanda Baramki, Joe Harrington, and Brian Jian performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A writer/performer for Saturday Night Live (for a sample, please click here) who’s also one of the very finest stand-ups in the country—with appearances on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever, etc.—performing a deliciously long set that’s likely to leave you breathless with laughter and chuckling weeks later: John Mulaney: For the Hour

9:30 pm ($5): Dracula sings, dances, and tells jokes for this pre-Halloween show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Dracool: Live in Concert

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s guest host is Boris Khaykin; for the lineup, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

11:00 pm ($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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/13/12

January 13, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown - A Choose Your Own Adventure Comedy

One of the finest sketch troupes in the country, Stone Cold Fox, debuts its all-new interactive epic Crisistown!...

Leslie Goshko

...brilliant & gorgeous Leslie Goshko is joined by Elna Baker, Sara Benincasa, and more celebrating the 3rd anniversary of her way fun storytelling event Sideshow Goshko...

Rob Lathan

...and Rob Lathan will attempt to make you laugh via his numerous oddball characters at Rob Lathan's Talent Show

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 Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) hosts the 3 Year Anniversary of this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s blowout lineup Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; writer for Glamour, Elle; NPR’s This American Life; co-host of red-hot The Talent Show), Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs, Sex and Other Human Activities podcast, host of Family Hour, upcoming book Agorafabulous), and Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, The BTK Band), plus accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Ace Magnet improvisors who are married—who sometimes include improv genius as Ed Herbstman, plus Matt Fisher, Matt Evans, Christine Walters, Maggie Kemper, Robert Cuthill, Ryan Rodgers, Christian Paluck, and/or Michele Laikowski: The Mamas and the Papas

7:00 pm ($5): At this PIT double-bill, award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): One of the best comedy groups in the country—and the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCBT weekend schedule—tonight debuts an all-new show at UCB Chelsea that’s “a scripted interactive comedy show that puts you, the audience, in charge. You get to vote on what happens next. Andyou get to decide how it will end. All we know for certain is that there’s a crisis. And it’s pretty big: “Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown—A Choose Your Own Adventure Comedy

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingHarold and Kumar 2), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon; co-host ofToo Cool For School and If You Build It), Kenny Zimlinghaus (Sirius Radio host), and more perform at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Arena Stand-Up Showcase

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Koretta Gray, and John Moses performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Postmark Cafe (326 6th Street) hosted by  Abbi Crutchfield & Luke: The Living Room

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

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

[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] [$] [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): 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.), Mike Yard (Comedy Central), Aaron Berg, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Rob Lathan (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, ABC, Stinson’s Awesome Movie Night) performs a myriad of his sketch and stand-up characters—most of whom are likely to be very funny—at UCB East for the world premiere for Rob Lathan’s Talent Show

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, Ray Munoz tells true stories about growing up in NYC and having a run-in with the law at Off the Cuff

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: An all-musical comedy night (lineup TBA, but it’s usually stellar) performing at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Lerman and Tim Dimond: Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy

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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 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, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] 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 prestigiousUCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

New Year, Healthier You: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/20/11

October 20, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Leslie Goshko

It's a night of mystic storytelling, with stars Tom Shillue & Steve Burns at Leslie Goshko's "Sideshow Goshko"...

Adam Wade's Tales of the Cosmos

...and Adam Wade conducting his monthly exploration of the universe at "Tales of the Cosmos"

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

6:00 pm ($5): The auditions of three comedic one-act plays hoping to get on the UCBT schedule, and about which I know nothing except they’re titled Commercial Interruption, Minimum Rage, andConvicts, Skinheads & Rabbis. But at $1.66 per show, it’s hard to go wrong at this frequently surprising and fun UCB West showcase: Spank

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly open-mic storytelling show, with 4-5 names drawn from a bucket and each winner given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn plus tonight’s storytelling guest Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, BTK Band): Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) hosts this monthly storytelling show, with tonight’s guests star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), TV star Steve Burns (Emmy-nominated host of Blue’s Clues), and Ed Gavagan (Moth GrandSlam Champion), plus accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin, all at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): “Stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), with tonight’s guest storytellers Brad Lawrence (two-time Moth GrandSlam Champion), Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, BTK Band), and Andy Ross (written for Mad Magazine, The Onion News Network): Tales of the Cosmos

7:30 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet co-owner helming The Armando Diaz Experience, plus house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, Dunk performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challengecomponent) with last week’s winner pitted against Friday Night Sh*w at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Thin Skin Jonny. They had it all. They were icons, legends, anti-folk superstars. However, tragedy struck and they broke up, citing an alleged statutory charge, gay porn addiction, and Four Loko abuse. Now, two months later, they’re back to do one last show—a benefit! Can they find a way to get along long enough to raise the money needed to re-animate the corpse of Bea Arthur? Maybe, with your help!” Performers include Ari Scott, with direction from Pam Murphy: Thin Skin Jonny: Farewell Reunion Tour

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), Mark Normand (hilarious laid-back stand-up; Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Tim Warner (podcast The Joker in the Rye), and Ruhbin Mehta (to learn how Ruhbin became a comic, please click here) performing at a new free monthly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by Charlie Kasov & Glenn Danzig: Danzig Needs A Hug

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch/character comic Rob Lathan (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon), and NYC stand-ups Scott Moran, Gilad Foss, Amin Makhani, Yannis Pappas, and more performing at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by comedic rapper Andrew Singer and the delightful Abbi Crutchfield: Positively Awesome

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (for tonight’s lineup, please click here) performing at The Creek’supstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City accompanied by banjo music from Doug Goldstein and hosted by Andy Kleinman: Happy Sounds Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): Musicians help inspire Improvisors to create scenes in Beauty Love Truth

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neal Brennan (HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator ofChappelle’s Show), Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, IFC), Leo Allen (former writer forSaturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Sarah Walker (author of Really, You’ve Done Enough: A Parents’ Guide To Stop Parenting Their Adult Child Who Still Needs Their Money But Not Their Advice who adds “I SWEAR it’s funnier than that sounds”), and Jason Good (Comedy Central, Howard Stern) performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Jimmy Fallon writer Casey Jost performs a one-man show at The PIT in which he plays a myriad of characters revolving around the theme musicFooling Around with Casey Jost

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), Jacqueline Novak, Ken Schulz, and more performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge for The Scene

[FREE] 9:30 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Stellar improv troupe Rogue Elephant competing with challenger Fuck That Shit for audience laughs and votes at UCB West’s raucous Cage Match

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly open-mic stand-up show, with each comic given five minutes, at UCB East hosted by Rob Stern & Amber Nelson: Gutbucket

 For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/19/11

August 19, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2011 Festival, please click here.

Wyatt Cenac and Adam Wade

Wyatt Cenac performs at "Wyatt and Friends;" Adam Wade tells hilarious stories at "Sideshow Goshko"

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 Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s stellar guests Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show; The New York Times), and Colin Dempsey (ComedyLand), plus accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name: We’re Matt Weir

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy genius Kate McKinnon performing her latest one-woman show, which features “Singing! Dancing! Ice Skating! Hoarders! Conjoined Twins! Temple Grandin!” This inventive, dynamic production is among the very best to grace the UCBT stage this year. (And if you don’t want to take my word alone, check out Jane Borden’s Time Out New Yorkreview.) Kate is the most precious of diamonds in our NYC comedy community; come see why in Kate McKinnon on Ice 

…and in the second half of this double-bill, remember how your father totally screwed you up? Imagine if you were brought up by Doug Moe: Doug Moe is a Bad Dad

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC; co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Matt Wayne, Nick Flanagan, and Damien Lemon performing stand-up at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand and/or Matt Ruby: Hot Soup

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 ($30.50 & 2-drink min.) The co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You and It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken, and a comic who’s performed on HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Greg Behrendt

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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($20, which includes 1 drink; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats): Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent on The Daily Show), plus Jessi Klein, Eddie Brill, Leo Allen, Christian Finnegan, Joe Mande, and host Sean Donnelly performing at the Cornelia Street CafeWyatt Cenac and Friends

8:30 pm ($7): Ace improvisors who are married: The Mamas and the Papas

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jeffery Joseph (Comedy Central), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents), RG Daniels (host of Sunday Night Stand-Up), Greg Stone, and musical duo The Reformed Whores performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s  Too Cool for School

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys) performs a 30-minute set at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Matt McCarthy Live

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

10:00 pm ($7): Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel) and Will Hines (UCBT star) each perform a 30-minute stand-up set at The 30/30 Club

[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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Three NYC sketch troupes—award-winning dark comedy troupe Murderfist, guy duo Rue Brutalia, and New Excitement—each performing one of their most popular bits and one of their personal favorites in a sketch revue hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

[$] 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.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/17/11

June 17, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob

The debut of an intriguing sketch show: "Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob"...

Leslie Goshko

...and the always intriguing Leslie Goshko hosts stellar storytellers at "Sideshow Goshko"

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 Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm:Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s stellar guests Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, The Liar Show), Robin Gelfenbien (delightful FringeNYC one-man show about wieners), and Steve Zimmer (Moth Grandslam champion): Sideshow Goshko

7:00 pm ($5): A live show about Facebook pages, complete with audience interaction: Philip Galinsky’s Facebook Comes Alive

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Brad Sacks isn’t your average 9th grader. He’s dope at Magic cards, sick at spontaneously breaking into song, and dopely sick at dancing like a businessman. But Brad’s life is about to change in the most awesome way possible—because Jessica Sanders, the hottest girl in school, is coming over to give him a handjob!” in the debut of a show I’m eager to see: Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob; plus in the other half of this double-bill, Veronica Osorio (directed by Caitlin Tegart) performs five very different gals with a chance to be The First Woman on the Moon

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO, ABC, NBC, and Comedy Central headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mario Cantone

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents, co-host ofRighteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Ben Kissel, Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Sean Donnelly (host of too many shows to mention) performing stand-up 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 in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s been on HBO’s Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, P. Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy, and a Comedy Central Presentsspecial headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Tony Woods

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00-9:30 pm open bar, 9:30 pm show: Ace dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist, Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Owen Smith (Comedy Central), Chris Nangle (writer for SNL), Owen Smith (Comedy Central), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Karl Hess performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s  Too Cool for School

9:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches: The Harvard Sailing Team

10:00 pm ($5): Team Submarine and Danny Jolles each perform 30-minute sets at The PIT’s downstairs lounge with host Aaron Glaser: The 30/30 Club

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with a n 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

11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart and Grace Helbig welcome NYC talents for a morning chat show…that’s happening late at night. Tonight’s guests include Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Mark Malkoff, and music group The Bad Parts: The Morning Show with Hobart and Grace

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York offers lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC: Jordan Klepper (Klepper & Grey, iO, ), Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH!’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer). Improv legend Joe Bill also performs with this troupe, but only near the start of each month when he’s visiting NYC from Chicago. But even sans Joe, it’s well worth catching Lights Out, Shirley!

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): The third show of an exciting new sketch troupe, with brilliantly talented comedic performers Kate McKinnon, Leslie Meisel, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie, Nate Lang, D’Arcy Carden, John Murray, Timothy Dunn, and Ben Rameaka, and steered by superb writer/director Caitlin Tegart—as well as writers Beth Appel, Leila Cohan-Miccio, Matt Fisher, Frank Hejl, Chris Schell, Alex Scordelis, and Michael Trapp—that perform all-new material every month, and that I’ll be going out of my way to catch tonight: Tremendous Machine

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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