NYC Top Comedy Choices for July 2018: Last Updated Tuesday 7/24

July 24, 2018

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Please note that these listings are updated frequently. The best way to be instantly notified about new show postings is to subscribe to this BestNewYorkComedy.com blog and allow for email notifications. Other ways to keep up are to follow me on Twitter (@hybender) or Instagram (@hybenderny), and/or to visit the desktop version of this site at HyReviews.com.

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 July 2018 (with more to come soon) include:

Punderdome 3000Tuesday 7/24: A raucous monthly pun competition hosted by Fred Firestone (co-author with Jo Firestone of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), with 18 people fiercely competing for wordplay dominance—and the chance to become an instant star based on verbal cleverness, and the ability to drum up the most applause from a packed and loudly cheering crowd. Tonight’s extra special edition includes New York Post headline writers going up againt audience members, and will be judged by NY1 TV Anchor Pat Kiernan: Punderdome 3000 (8:00 pm, $20, Chelsea’s Highline Ballroom at 431 West 16th Street)

/Dan St GermainTuesday 7/24: Dan St. Germain (above; Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Comedy Central Half Hour, Crashing, @midnight, This is Not Happening, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1; currently writing for Netflix’s The Break with Michelle Wolf, previously staff writer for CBS’ Superior Donuts and TruTV’s Ten Things; upcoming album No Real Winners Here), Pete Lee (Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, TruTV, VH1), Sam Jay (writer for Saturday Night Live; performed on Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents, Take My Wife), Nate Craig (writer/producer for MTV’s Ridiculousness; Comedy Central, TruTV, Netflix), and more perform for host Seth Herzog’s (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, @midnight, CBS, VH1) seminal weekly stand-up & variety show: Sweet (9:00 pm, $10, The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)

Myka Fox and Sunita ManTuesday 7/24: Myka Fox (above left; SNL freelance contributor; host of Myka Fox & Friends podcast on Keith and The Girl Network), Sunita Mani (above right; cast member of Netflix’s GLOW and USA’s Mr. Robot, stellar comedy dance group Cocoon Central Dance Team), and Shanon Wright (singer/songwriter) perform jokes, dance, or music for host Shonali Bhowmik & guest host Jordan Clifford making this live recording of Shonali’s podcast We Don’t Even Know (8:00 pm, no cover but 2-drink min., KGB Bar’s upstairs Red Room at 85 East 4th Street off Second Avenue)

The Nights of Our LivesWednesday 7/25: Stellar storytellers TBA tell comedic tales on this month’s theme TBA for this live podcast taping hosted by the wonderful David Martin: The Nights of Our Lives (7:30 pm, $9, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

RumpleteaserWednesday 7/25: Highly talented singing improvisors Eric Gersen, Zack Willis, Aaron Jackson, Josh Sharp, Lauren Adams, Jessica Morgan, Hannah Solow, Carrie McCrossen, Jeff Hiller, Jake Smith, and/or Jeremy Bent make up an entire musical on the spot springboarding off an audience suggestion as group Rumpleteaser; and for the second half of this double-bill, a bio-sketch show about pharmaceutical insider turned prison inmate Martin Shkreli: Shkreli! Portrait of a Pharma Bro (9:30 pm, $9, UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street)

Why Your Train is F*cked: A Love/Hate Show About the History of the MTAThursday 7/26: Learn the early history of the MTA via fun lectures, sketches, and more at the third of this comedic history series about NYC transit, with guests TBA, hosted by Meg Pierson (TEDx, Alchemy Comedy) and Justin Williams (Comedy Central; host of Death Comedy Jam): Why Your Train is F*cked: A Love/Hate Show About the History of the MTA (7:00 pm; $16.89 on<line, $18 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Ashley Brooke Roberts and Jim TewsThursday 7/26: Stand-ups TBA perform for stellar hosts (above) Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable rising star stand-up, sketch comic, and actress; former writer for NatGeo Explorer and MTV’s Guy Code; UCB Maude sketch groups The Prom and Absolutely) and/or Jim Tews (Louie, Last Comic Standing; host of Homeschooled; New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York; comedy album I Was in Band): Fresh Out (9:00 pm, $9, UCB East at 153 East 3rd Street)

Making Number 2Sunday 7/29: Comedy duo Marty Scanlon (musical improv team Good Catch) & Ali Gordon (musical improv group Rumpleteaser), plus guest Grey Henson (Tony Nominee for Broadway’s Mean Girls; previously Elder McKinley in The Book of Mormon), improvise on-the-fly pitches for sequels to movies that definitely do not need them for this live recording of their podcast: Making Number 2: Sequels = Comedy + Time (9:30 pm; $9.47 online or $12 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

The Secret History of Ice CreamMonday 7/30: Historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman (Cooking Channel’s Food: Fact or Fiction?) will unearth the stories behind your favorite ice cream treats and share some of history’s wildest bygone flavors that may be due for a revival. By the end of the night, you’ll be able to answer such questions as “Which came first, chocolate or vanilla? The ice cream sandwich or the ice cream cone? Neapolitan or liquid nitrogen?” Plus Jonathan Soma will show you the science behind making the perfect batch at home; reveal Big Ice Cream’s tricks for plumping up their profit margins; and track frozen desserts across the globe, from Italian gelato to dondurma, the magically stretchy ice cream from Turkey: The Secret History of Ice Cream—Presented by Masters of Social Gastronomy (7:00 pm; $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Our HouseTuesday 7/31: Comedic storytellers share tales of reclaiming power, with Aparna Nancherla (brilliant stand-up and TV star), Danny Artese (Moth GrandSlam champion), Sandi Marx (7-time Moth StorySlam champion), Elana Lancaster (Moth StorySlam winner), Dawn Fraser (TED@NYC), Stephanie Summerville (The Moth mainstage), Lily Herman (founder of Get Her Elected), and Mark Pagá—plus political organizers Adrienne Lever (Director of Swing Left) and Asher Novek (President of Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats) offer ways to support a blue wave for the 2018 elections, all hosted by Nicole Ferraro: Our House: A Storytelling Benefit for Swing Left (7:00 pm; $20, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex 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 Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases 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 Hell’s Kitchen 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/W 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—moving to Union Square this summer; 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
moving to Brooklyn in June 2018, please stay tuned; 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.

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

Special thanks to comedy photographers supreme Anya Garrett and Mindy Tucker for creating so many of the stellar photos that grace this site…and the sites of hundreds of NYC comics.

Contact Hy

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible Best New York Comedy (and HyReviews.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.

From comedy & rock goddess Lane Moore (host of smash hit Tinder Live; author of How to be Alone; lead singer of Brooklyn band It Was Romance): Hy Bender lives and breathes comedy. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, provide feedback on my cross-genre short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me to develop your book or screenplay (please visit BookProposal.net or HyOnYourScript.com), or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/26/15

May 26, 2015

TV Alert: Marc Maron is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Chelsea Handler is on Seth Meyers;
Marc Maron, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Dave Anthony are on @midnight;
Inside Amy Schumer‘s spectacular Season 3 continues with Episode 6,
“80s Ladies,” at 10:30 pm & 2:39 am on Comedy Central

Cocoon Central Dance Team

Eleanore Pienta, Sunita Mani, and Tallie Medel conclude their superb run at The PIT: Cocoon Central Dance Team

The Chris Gethard Show

…and the Fusion version of one of the most risk-taking shows on TV—tonight featuring the cast of Broad City—debuts tonight on the Net. Catch it live steaming every Tuesday at 8:00 pm, or watch the edited version every Thursday at 10:00 pm on Fusion TV: The Chris Gethard 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:

 [TOP PICK] [FREE] 5:30 pm: Comics perform funny characters at The PIT upstairs theatre to appear in Montreal’s prestigious comedy festival: Just for Laughs Character Auditions

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.) tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Week at the Creek: Ted Alexandro

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s improv groups make up musicals based on audience suggestion, creating epic stories on the spot using song and dance:Magnet Musical Megawatt

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

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($6.86 online using code BREAKOUT, plus 2-drink min.) Camille Harris (irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; The Camille Harris Show; music album Silly Jazz) performs for the first time at the Carolines Comedy Club, along with Shakir Standley, Rip Michaels, and headliner Jacob Williams (America’s Got Talent): Jacob Williams, Camille Harris, and More

7:00 pm ($5): Real life couples perform duo improv at The PIT upstairs theatre: Couples’ Retreat

7:00 pm ($5): A staged reading of a play about a college student who becomes trapped in a video game at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Mystical Adventures of Dave

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Colin Quinn, Dave Attell, Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, Nikki Glaser, Rachel Feinstein, Robert Kelly, Sam Morril, Pete Davidson, Zainab Johnson, Lenny Marcus, and Sherrod Small, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A delicious blend of sketch comedy and dance from a highly talented three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s best movie performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience this comedic artistic trio at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20—which includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), plus additional storytellers Steven Berkowitz, Sandi Marx, and Morgan Pielli telling tales about this month’s theme Panic & Anxiety at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) and that includes free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, book Tasteful Nudes, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Andy Sandford (Comedy Central, Adult Swim, The Beards of Comedy), Wendi Starling, Coree Spencer, and Nick Mullen performing stand-up at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Sabrina Jalees (red-hot rising star; Comedy Central, NBC, MTV, VH1, host of My Sexy Podcast) & Liza Treyger (upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately): Cakeshop Comedy: Dave Hill, Aparna Nancherla, Sabrina Jalees, Liza Treyger, and More

8:00 pm ($10): Interviews with Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, co-star of GUMP, co-host ofCool Shit/Weird Shit), Emma Willmann (Bravo, Oxygen, AxisTV’s Live at Gotham), and Maria Heinegg at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by James Bewley (playing radio host “Dale Seever”): Dale Radio Live: Aparna Nancherla, Josh Sharp, and More

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups performing at UCB East hosted by Bill Stiteler & Tony Zaret: School Drools

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-up and sketch comics (not announced) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City):Last Week Was Packed

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company,Arrested Development), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code & Guy Codeand contributor to Broad City; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[FREE] 9:15 pm: Stand-ups Anthony P. DeVito, Chrissie Mayr, Aaron J. Friedman, Taylor Ketchum, and Irene Morales performing at Brooklyn’s Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan Street) produced by Mike Cody and hosted by Sam Evans:Night Owl Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Writers and producers of The Daily Show perform at the UCB East theatre: The Daily ShowWriters Stand-Up Show

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’sBest Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Janelle James, Langston Kerman, and more performing stand-up at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: “Mike Guild knows everything about movies and films. He will take you through the landscape of the cinema, along with comic guests to discuss everything going on the weird landscape that is Hollywood—plus everyone in the audience will win a unique prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Movie Night With Mike

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

10:00 pm ($5): Nathan Min (Maude Night), Eddie Brawley, and Joe DiBella host this new show featuring stand-up, sketches, and improv, with tonight’s guests Matt Cutler, Mary Houlihan, and group Fergus performing at theTreehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Slow Ride

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Typically a mix of superb and so-so stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly stand-up show with a weirdly low-energy vibe at the UCB East theatre typically hosted by Phil Hanley:Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

[FREE] 3:00 pm: Open mic for parents and other comics who may have trouble going out at night but can steal the time during the day at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Momedy Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/22/15

May 22, 2015

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

Cocoon Central Dance Team

A dynamite dance/music double bill at The PIT tonight, starting with Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani blending sketch comedy & performance art as Cocoon Central Dance Team

Rebecca Vigil

…and then Rebecca Vigil (above) and Evan Kaufman delivering world-class musical improv in Your Love, Our 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:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Colin Quinn, Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Jon Fisch, Gregg Rogell, Carmen Lynch, Russ Meneve, Keith Alberstadt, Lynne Koplitz, Jessica Kirson, Robert Kelly, Pete Davidson, Sean Donnelly, Lenny Marcus, and Dov Davidoff, with all of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[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 thevery finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presentshalf-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, James Mattern, Marc Theobald, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro, Janeane Garofalo, and More

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up a movie on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Movie Night

7:00 pm ($7): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” at The Magnet written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

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): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, wonderfully talented performers Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp do a show that tries to make a virtue of extreme, about gay twins who sing, dance, screw each other, and screw over everyone else. The results are mixed, because a script that merely goes relentlessly over the top isn’t enough to be emotionally satisfying, but there are scattered delights—especially a tuneful, show-stopping song about never giving up that’s by itself worth the price of admission: Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

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

[FREE] 7:30 pm: “A conference/retreat/life-changing experience for womyn. This herstorical night of female empowerment is filled with guest speakers, womyn-centric activities, bonding, mimosas, moments that last a lifetime, and a special appearance by the legendary feminist icon Chickadee Welbourn,” featuring Jo Firestone and nearly a dozen other female comics performing at B.H.Q.F.U. (34 Avenue A on the 3rd Floor) hosted by Ana Fabrega & Lorelei Ramirez: FEMx

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($48.50 & 2-drink min.): A former cast member of The Office, and star of the upcoming NBC sitcom Mr. Robinson based on his early days as a K-9 music teacher in Chicago, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Craig Robinson

7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “Each stand-up will do his or her set, and then host JoAnna Ross will conduct an interview about the comic’s dating life. Questions you always wanted to know will be asked: Where do you take a first date to get laid? Do you pay? Where do you take a date to break up with them? What bathrooms have you done it in?” and much more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Undateables

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Redefining our concept of dance are a three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s very best performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience them in April and May at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albumsComedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Jim Florentine, and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, and More

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre 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

8:00 pm ($8): “Long, long ago, by the banks of the river Marinara, where breadstick trees grew in unlimited amounts, in the steamy valley of mozzarella, there was a sleepy little hamlet known as the town of pizza. And the people of this town were a simple, smiling folk, who loved soft drinks, and arcade games, and maintained a friendly family atmosphere. Oh, they were an eclectic bunch: a mayor with a gluttonous lust for power; a bum who tasted glory but lost it all; a fisherman desperate for one last bite. But in one house lived a man who was…a little different” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Slice of Life

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred on two seasons of Last Comic Standing; has performed a very popular Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; was a regular on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; was the first white comic on Def Jam; wrote for Chris Rock; played Lenny Bruce on NBC’sAmerican Dreams; was an unlikely guest on The View; and is a regular on the Opie and Anthony radio show, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with openers Ophira Eisenberg, Adrienne Iapalucci, and Moody McCarthy): Rich Vos

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK]  9:00 pm ($10): Powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her elegant partner Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical—often with breathtaking skill—atThe PIT upstairs theatre: Your Love, Our Musical

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

9:00 pm ($10): Josh Patten, Dru Johnston, and Ben Rameaka perform improv at the UCB East theatre as trioPahjohnka Johnk

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch groups Soap and Teen Radio, plus comic Griffin Newman, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Soap and Teen Radio

9:30 pm ($5): This variety show features stand-up, characters, dance, improv, and/or more at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Carmen Christopher: The Juice

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albumsComedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Jim Florentine, and Paul Virzi performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A whole bunch of NYC stand-ups perform at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Musical improv from group Tourist Trap, which consists of members from world-class group Baby Wants Candy and more, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Tourist Trap: The Improvised Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live) and Nicole Byer (30 Rock, Jimmy Fallon, Doppelganger) perform duo improv, and also screen the latest episode of their webseriesPursuit of Sexiness, at the UCB East theatre: Pursuit of Sexiness Live

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Gentlemen Party tonight plays with TV tropes, presenting “adorable alien buddies, BBC period dramas, politicos talking really fast, and at least one Olive Garden commercial…and that’s just the written half! The other half is improv” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party: White Teen Lake—The Series Finale

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group His Majesty, The Baby

11:30 pm ($5): A rotating pool of improvisors perform in groups of five at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Singles Motel

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): In this unique one-time show, 10 stand-ups are all given the same jokes and compete to perform them in the most original, entertaining ways at UCB East hosted by Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Friday 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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[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 hosted by members of various Maude Night groups: Liquid Courage

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/8/15

May 8, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Ray Romano is on David Letterman

Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani: Cocoon Central Dance Team

It’s a great night to be at The PIT: At 8:00 pm, Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani blend sketch comedy with dance to create something fresh, different, and way fun as the Cocoon Central Dance Team

Best Of Blogologues

…and at 9:30 pm, a crack theatrical comedy troupe that acts out ridiculous stuff it finds on the Internet performs its finest bits at a must-see show tonight & tomorrow only: Best of Blogologues

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Keith Alberstadt, Robert Kelly, and Lynne Koplitz (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Ali Wong, Robert Kelly, Sherrod Small, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, Robert Kelly, Lenny Marcus, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 8:45 show; Ryan Hamilton, Ali Wong, Greer Barnes, Dan Soder, Lenny Marcus, and Ricky Velez at the 10:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Ryan Hamilton, Big Jay Oakerson, Sam Morril, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 12:15 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A house sketch group that includes the wonderful Sarah Nowak performs at The PITdownstairs lounge: National Scandal

7:00 pm ($7): A variety show hosted by Sebastian Conelli (improv member of 2014 Cage Match Champion The Enemy) with stand-up from Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), storytelling from Robert Weinstein, sketch from group The Rolling Scones, and music from Douglas Widick, all performing at The Magnettheatre: A Variety Show with Sebastian Conelli

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): Three improv teams compete in this cutthroat battle for laughs. What’s different about this cage match is it’s judged by a dog. Every week features a new human guest judge—whose opinion doesn’t really matter—and a guest canine judge who will actually decide the fates of everyone based on which bowl this dog goes to first. It all happens at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Dog Fight

[FREE] 7:00 pm: “A new game show where three contestants get quizzed on random topics; raps, video games, different types of soda. We’ll even have a few comics drop by” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Marvin Lattimore: A Night of Thrill-Vila

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.): A brilliant comic who’s co-star on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and ABC’s The Goldbergs, and who has a uniquely laid-back, anecdote-based stand-up style that’s a delight, headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeff Garlin

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man meta-show by Joel Weidl (Goat, Death by Roo Roo) which Joel declares is the last time he performs as a lowest common denominator Jeff Foxworthy-like character who he personally finds offensive so he can pursue higher forms of art—such as playing Werner Herzog having an existential crisis from ordering a burrito at Chipotle (which is actually a brilliant bit and show-stopper…). Joel doesn’t always hit the mark, but his production is so filled with ideas, energy, and verbal and visual jokes that you’re almost certain to have fun at American Weidl

…and in the second half of this sketch double-bill, “Come inside the back door to talk, play, and have your mind blown as you learn valuable life lessons about friendship, expressing your individuality, fucking the family members you love the most, and much much more! Remember, if you’re older than 10, Kellan and Juth don’t want you anywhere near their back door” written and co-starring Becky Chicoine & Sam Reece: Through the Back Door

7:30 pm ($10): Improv group Bucky makes up one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories)—and, when SNL is on break, sometimes includes star Sasheer Zamata (whenever that happens, consider this a TOP PICK)—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Thank F#@% It’s Friday!

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A delicious blend of sketch comedy and dance from a highly talented three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s best movie performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience this comedic artistic trio at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albumsComedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer,MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Marina Franklin, Dan Soder, Big Jay Oakerson, Christian Finnegan, and More

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

8:00 pm ($8): “Long, long ago, by the banks of the river Marinara, where breadstick trees grew in unlimited amounts, in the steamy valley of mozzarella, there was a sleepy little hamlet known as the town of pizza. And the people of this town were a simple, smiling folk, who loved soft drinks, and arcade games, and maintained a friendly family atmosphere. Oh, they were an eclectic bunch: a mayor with a gluttonous lust for power; a bum who tasted glory but lost it all; a fisherman desperate for one last bite. But in one house lived a man who was…a little different” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Slice of Life

[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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity—who tonight is Erica Mena (Love and Hip Hop)—”mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB Easttheatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[FREE—plus FREE DRINKS! Reserve seats by emailing BritPackRentals@gmail.com with subject DIRTY TALK] 9:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Alex Castle, Andrew Heaton, and more performing stand-up at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Hoff Matthews & Lukas Kaiser: HP5000 Live Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 in advance online): A top-notch theatrical troupe that’s equally fine at compelling acting and split-second comedy uses actual material on the Web, performed verbatim, to craft laugh-out-loud scenes. Any Blogologues performance is worth catching, but this compilation of its very best sketches after 15 themed shows, and starring its top comics Allison Goldberg, Jen Jamula, and Wendy Joy Cooley, is a must-see. Take advantage of this very limited run—just tonight and tomorrow—at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Best of Blogologues

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 in advance online): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage at Brooklyn’s Union Hall with guests Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, High Times), beatboxer Kaila Mullady, DJ MH theVerb, and more: North Coast

9:30 pm ($5): Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari, and Alyssa Stonoha write & star in a mini-play about squeezing brunch into a hectic schedule at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) directed by Jake Fogelnest: Three Busy Debras

9:30 pm ($10): Eight stand-ups compete for laughs by telling jokes on topics handed to them just this morning at The PIT downstairs lounge refereed by Jenn Welch & Will Neville: The Stand-Up Showdown

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn; host of Night Train), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Rove McManus (host of Lie Detectors), and Vladimir Caamano performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street):Wyatt Cenac, Marina Franklin, Big Jay Oakerson, Christian Finnegan, and More

[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 Magnettheatre: Premiere: The Improvised Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A whole bunch of NYC stand-ups perform at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Connor Ratliff (brilliant improvisor & sketch comic; The Stepfathers, The George Lucas Talk Show), Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Anna Roisman (MTV; co-host of You Probably Think This Song Is About You), and Sharon Spell (host of The Big Shrink) performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, Justin Tyler, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): Video sketch at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Live Meat

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Sketch group Business Computer performs three comedic mini-plays: Brett Gelman’sRich and Poor, Nick Naney’s & Gonzalo Cordova’s Bob’s Your Uncle, and their own script Dial “T” For Time Bomb atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Business Computer Presents Ode To Thespis

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Gentlemen Party tonight plays with TV tropes, presenting “adorable alien buddies, BBC period dramas, politicos talking really fast, and at least one Olive Garden commercial…and that’s just the written half! The other half is improv” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party: White Teen Lake—The Series Finale

11:30 pm ($5): Show biz refuse that doesn’t fit anywhere else now has a home at The Magnet hosted by Kyle Levenick & Branson Reese: Garbage Day

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): This monthly stand-up, storytelling, and carny show brings the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, with storytelling from host Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life) and Robin Gelfenbien (host of storytelling show Yum’s the Word; VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC), stand-up from Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Captain America-based burlesque from Lefty Lucy, and Mad Max-based burlesque from Tiny D, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

Friday 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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1 or buying a drink): An open-mic walk-in show, with time divided among whoever shows up, at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Boris Khaykin (Broad City, North Coast), and Chelsea Davison (writer for Game Show Network): Dollar Mic

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

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Sarah Tollemache and/or Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night): The Lady Jam

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/14/15

April 14, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for select comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: Grace Helbig and Jon Cryer are on James Corden;
Billy Crystal is on David Letterman;
Megan Neuringer, Adam Cayton-Holland,
and Kurt Braunohler are on @midnight

Chris Gethard and Griffin Newman

Comedy genius Chris Gethard and comedic actor Griffin Newman perform at Brooklyn’s Union Hall

Cocoon Central Dance Team

…and Tallie Medel, Eleanore Pienta, and Sunita Mani blend comedy & performance art at The PIT as Cocoon Central Dance Team

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Redefining our concept of dance is a three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s very best performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience this comedic artistic trio in April and May at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s improv groups make up musicals based on audience suggestion, creating epic stories on the spot using song and dance:Magnet Musical Megawatt

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Superb comics Ronny Pascale, Jamie LeeLo, Mehdi Barakchian, and more make up scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge as improv group Kibbles and Bits: We’re A Happy Family

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): In this Jo Firestone extravaganza, “Audience members are invited to put their name in a bucket if they personally identify as ‘miserable.’ Do-gooder comedians then get to pick a name out of the bucket and attempt to really make that audience member’s life better for 8-10 minutes. Limit 6 miserable people per show,” with tonight’s comics Anna Drezen, Charla Lauriston, Charles Gould, Mary Houlihan, Bowen Yang, and Simmons McDavid performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Jo: Your Fantastic Life

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Todd Barry, Robert Kelly, Keith Robinson, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Judah Friedlander, Joe Machi, Rich Vos, Jonathan Kite, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Joe List, Ricky Velez, Sam Morril, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups The Governess, Coworkers, and Mermaids at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), Megan Gailey, and Yassir Lester performing at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Jacqueline Novak & John Early: Cakeshop Comedy: Sasheer Zamata, Michelle Wolf, Barry Rothbart, Ashley Brooke Roberts, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Sketch troupe The Grape Dutches of York performs a show set in an amusement park “immersively, with 3D and 4D effects” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Enchantment Park

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): Morgan Murphy (fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo, Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Costaki Economopoulos performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter & Ray DeVito: Northern Discomfort: Morgan Murphy, Janeane Garofalo, Damien Lemon, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): “Comics improvise scenes based on audience suggestions, and are systematically eliminated by audience votes during the show until only one player remains,” with tonight’s participants Chris Roberti (Big Black Car), Langston Belton (G.U.S., Coyote), Meredith Hackman (Gypsy Danger), Geoff Grimwood (Second City, Fake Church), Devin Heater (G.U.S.), Rachel Rosenthal (North Coast), and Will Nunziata (Dystopia Gardens), plus improv piano from Mark Erenstoft (Avenue Q, 50 Shades! The Musical), all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield(622 Degraw Street) hosted by Jim Robinson (Second City): BeerProv

8:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, tonight features screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are “canceled” at Channel 101

8:00 pm ($5): An improvised game show “teaming four short-form performers with two special guest contestants ready to ‘yes and’ anything to win” at The PIT upstairs theatre: ShortGameShow

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Boris Khaykin, Jeff Simmermon, Kerry Overfab Coddett, Ayanna Dookie, Lauren Hope Krass, Alison Klemp, and Dava Krause performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, Tim Duffy, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups and musicians drink and perform at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Peele: Party & Bullshit

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Amir Gollan (former writer for Conan O’Brien), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) guest-hosted by NIck Stevens (host of AMC’s Action Park and Discovery’s Money on the Menu; VH1, ESPN): Sweet: Michelle Wolf, Amir Gollan, and More

9:00 pm ($5): Skilled improvisors David Rysdahl & Paul Gutkowski make up a play on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge as improv duo True East

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Slamball, Some Kid, and 32K at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): Comedy genius Chris Gethard (Broad City, Parks & Recreation, The Office, Conan O’BrienIFC; star of Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) and Griffin Newman (HBO, MTV’s Nikki & Sara Live) do something unannounced that’s likely to be highly entertaining at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Chris Gethard and Griffin Newman

9:30 pm ($5): Stand-ups present lectures about silly topics, with tonight’s participants Jared Logan (rising star;Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing), and Tim Dillon (Last Comic Standing) performing at the UCB East theatre: Homeschooled—A Comedic Lecture Series

9:30 pm ($5): Raquel Powell & Nate Foster host three real-life couples performing two-prov at The PIT upstairs theatre: Couple’s Retreat

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), and Sam Evans performing stand-up at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

[FREE] 9:30 pm: 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), Erin Jackson, Steven Forrest, Dan Shaki, and Tom Cowell performing stand-up at Brooklyn’sPine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan Street) produced by Mike Cody and hosted by Ariel Elias: Night Owl Comedy

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online using discount code ComedyWeek; no min.): Morgan Murphy(fresh, brilliant, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ Two Broke Girls; stellar comedy album Irish Goodbye), 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; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), and Matteo Lane (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Mike Cannon & Alexis Guerreros: The Illuminati Party: Morgan Murphy, Mark Normand, Barry Rothbart, Damien Lemon, and More

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jake Flores, Blake Midgette, and/or Seth Cockfield: Grumptown

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

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

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic with 5 minutes per performer; email prequelmic@gmail.com by Sunday to go into a lottery system for next Tuesday, or simply walk in tonight and place your name in a bucket for possible selection, at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Claudia Cogan, Katie Compa, and/or Garry Hannon: The Prequel Open Mic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/7/15

April 7, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows through April 19th here

TV Alert: It’s a rich night of heavy-hitters, with
Louis C.K. on Jimmy Fallon (presumably letting folks know
about Season 5 of Louie debuting Thursday at 10:30 on FX—
and btw, Louis performed a genius set last night at a magical Whiplash);
Ricky Gervais is on Conan O’Brien;
Tig Notaro and Rob Corddry are on James Corden;
Peter Dinklage is on The Daily Show (I know, not a comedy guest; but it’s Peter Dinklage!!!);
and Adam Ray, Andrew Santino, and Jessimae Peluso are on @midnight

Morgan Murphy

Comedy treasure Morgan Murphy performs at 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm at The Stand

Kate Berlant

…Kate Berlant (above), Dave Hill, Sabrina Jalees, and more perform at LES’ Cake Shop

Cocoon Central Dance Team

…and Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani provide you with a unique and delightful blend of comedy & movement at The PIT as Cocoon Central Dance Team

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] 5:30 pm: A rare opportunity to see this freestyle rapping long-form improv group at no charge (so it can create a promo film) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: North Coast: Free Show Taping

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Redefining our concept of dance are a three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s very best performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience them in April and May at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors remake a blockbuster film (suggested by the audience) in the style of indie filmmaker Wes Anderson at The PIT downstairs lounge: Wes Anderson Remakes Your Favorite Movie

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Shaun Diston, and/or Patrick Noth at the UCB Chelsea theatre. Tonight celebrates the show’s 2 Year Anniversary: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ted Alexandro and Keith Alberstadt at the 7:30 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Dov Davidoff, Lenny Marcus, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, and Nick Griffin at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Hosts Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and red-hot rising star who could make reading a grocery list hilarious; Comedy Central’s Nightly Show and Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, host of My Sexy Podcast) and John Early John Early (30 Rock,Comedy Central, Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer) welcome exceptional comics Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Kate Berlant (MTV, IFC, CNN), Guy Branum (head writer/performer on G4’s X-Play; regular panelist on Chelsea Lately), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around? ), Lisa Curry, and Shane Torres performing stand-up at Cake Shop(152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton): Cakeshop Comedy: Dave Hill, Sabrina Jalees, Kate Berlant, Guy Branum, Maeve Higgins, and More

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 online using code ComedyWeek; no min.): A mash-up of two stand-ups on stage at the same time, tonight featuring Morgan Murphy & Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir & Big Jay Oakerson, and RIch Vos & Bonnie McFarlane performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Adrienne Iapalucci & Luis J. Gomez: The Comedy Mash-Up Show with Morgan Murphy, Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Rich Vos, Big Jay Oakerson, and Bonnie McFarlane

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Sketch troupe The Grape Dutches of York performs a show set in an amusement park “immersively, with 3D and 4D effects” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Enchantment Park

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): A monthly wild pun competition hosted by father-daughter duo Fred Firestone and Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow, The Incredible Game Show Showcase) and lots more), with 18 audience members competing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Punderdome 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door, or $6 for two tickets online using code UCBNYCGO): A monthly show about obsessions with pop culture, tonight revolving around Things We Hate with guests Tami Sagher (superb staff writer for Broad City; former writer for 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and Inside Amy Schumer; writer and producer forMad TV, 2001-2006), Halle Kiefer (MTV, Vulture), and Lane Moore (The Onion) at UCB East hosted by Damian Bellino & Anne Rodeman: So Into It: A Fanatic Variety Show

8:00 pm ($10): “A private detective is hired by a beautiful dame. Before this complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love” written by and co-starring Nicholas Thomas & George Walsh at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Murder Wrapped in Plastic

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Margaret Dodge, Gilbert Lawand, Chase Mitchell, Mary Houlihan, and Chris Millhouse performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, JF Harris, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Andrew Wolford, Kaytlin Bailey, Gene Getman, and Evan M. Williams performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by David Shine & Derrick Thompson: Double D Tuesday

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

9:00 pm ($7): Matt Monroe (visiting from Detroit), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Bill Dawes, and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (typically not announced until around noon) performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) produced by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, Clark Jones, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Peggy O’Leary, Kevin Froleiks, Tyler Richardson, Jericho Davidson, Rae Sanni, and Taylor Connelly performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Higgins, Women & Men, and Slamball at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5 at the door, or $6 for two tickets online using code UCBNYCGO): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh), plus NYC comics Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Rae Sanni (The Three A-Nergoes podcast), and Steve Way, all performing at theUCB East theatre: The Tony Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Superb comic Tracy Mull (group Jean Pool) performs the rare and difficult art of solo improv—in a competition against herself!—in an improv meta-show that both parodies and celebrates all things improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Tracy vs. Tracy: Competitive Solo Improv

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Strong lineup of Morgan Murphy, Ari Shaffir, Mark Normand, Robert Kelly, Damien Lemon, and Danny Palmer performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: All-Star LIneup

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A frat party-styled stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Creek Bros

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and lesser-known stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at the UCB East theatre: Chemistry

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1, or buy a drink): “A night of sad things” from NYC comics (not announced) at theTreehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Zack Martin: Flow Thy Tears: A Sad-Ass Comedy Show

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/2/15

April 2, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Ron Funches and Aubrey Plaza are on Conan O’Brien;
Aasif Mandvi is on David Letterman;
Rob Huebel is on Seth Meyers

David and Katie Get Re-Married

Phenom character comics Katie Hartman and David Carl will probably destroy The PIT stage with epic fights in the debut of their sketch-based play filled with loud, unsettling songs: David and Katie Get Re-Married

Cocoon Central Dance Team

…and right before David’s & Katie’s show, let Tallie Medel, Eleanore Pienta, and Sunita Mani redefine your notions of movement when they perform at The PIT as Cocoon Central Dance Team

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Redefining our concept of dance are a three-gal troupe consisting of Eleanore Pienta (breathtaking rising star actress who delivered one of last year’s very best performances as star of indie feature film See You Next Tuesday), Tallie Medel (star of indie feature film The Unspeakable Act), and Sunita Mani (sketch/improv group Chester). For video samples, please click here; and if you like what you see, come experience them in April and May—starting tonight—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up tries out material tonight and Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Simeon Goodson

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), and Nathan Macintosh performing stand-up atUCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Dan Soder, Ophira Eisenberg, Nick Vatterott, and More

[$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s a cast member on NBC’s Undateable, and has also performed on Chelsea Lately, Brooklyn 99, and Conan O’Brien (for a clip of the latter, please click here), headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Brent Morin

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Joe Machi, Sam Morril, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Greer Barnes, Dan Soder, and Carmen Lynch at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, and Sam Morril at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue):Comedy Cellar Thursday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Brilliant comedy talents David Carl (Point Break Live, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet), and Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) team up to become singing explosive forces of nature (when I saw the first version of this in June they almost destroyed the stage, with cake, champagne, and imaginary blood everywhere) at The PIT upstairs theatre: David and Katie Get Re-Married

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Gary Gulman, Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): 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] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, the talented Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely) performs a smart, funny one-woman show mixing sketches about the types of teachers she’s encountered with video tales of her own experiences during four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

…and in the other half of this double-bill, “a sketch comedy about nonsense, lies, and exaggerations” from other a dozen comics: That’s Bullshit!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Blackout (long form improv in which “scenes are edited solely by blackouts created by the director in the booth and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene”), at 10:00 pm by veteran improv group The Boss, and finally at 11:00 by improv competitionInspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A new game show where three contestants get quizzed on random topics; raps, video games, different types of soda. We’ll even have a few comics drop by” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Marvin Lattimore: A Night of Thrill-Vila

8:00 pm ($5): Clowns guests (not announced) and clown hosts Icky Shirley Dangle & d Chunky Cricket Discharge performing a silly show at The PIT downstairs lounge: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

8:00 pm ($5): Phil Hanley (Comedy Central, Craig Ferguson, The Pete Holmes Show, host of Chemistry), John Early (30 Rock, Comedy Central, Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), Max Silvestri (host of Big Terrific), Brett Davis (host of The Tuesday Special, co-host of The Macaulay Culkin Show), and Naomi Karavan performing stand-up for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy

8:00 pm ($5): Two improv house groups, Salt and Gun Club, 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): Salt + Gun Club

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Loyiso Gola, Toby Muresianu, James Alexander, and Chris Williams performing atPoco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): A comedic play parodying famed zoo director Jack Hanna, in which a live animal is brought on stage with unexpected results at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog: Forever Dog Presents: Meet a Live Animal

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($5): Four 10-minute comedic plays written over the past month based around an assigned word or phrase—which this month is Train Wreck—at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Mike Breen & Kevin Bauer: Fourplay

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seth Meyers Writers: Crate Night With Set Fires

9:30 pm ($10): Veteran sketch comic Paul Valenti performs a one-man show that involves audience participation (if you don’t want him to pick on you, sit near the back rows) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Paul Valenti: mYshow

9:30 pm ($5, which includes a free beer): Phil Hanley (Comedy Central, Craig Ferguson, The Pete Holmes Show, host of Chemistry), Amber Nelson (dynamic stand-up & character comic; Comedy Central; sketch group Murderfist), James Hamilton (visiting from New Orleans), and Matt Schwartzer performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips(941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Taylor Clark, TJ Young, and Casey James Salengo: Big Ups Comedy

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Mike Guild knows everything about movies and films. He will take you through the landscape of the cinema, along with comic guests to discuss everything going on the weird landscape that is Hollywood—plus everyone in the audience will win a unique prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Movie Night With Mike

10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Ricky Velez (correspondent for The Nightly Show), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Ben & Josh performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Ricky Velez, and More

10:00 ($5): Bowen Yang (Pop Roulette) and Joel Kim Booster host stand-ups, musical acts, and possibly drag queens at The PIT downstairs lounge: Ethnic Realness

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” directed by Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers) 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 group Rizzo gave no breaks to Affirmative Action last week, winning by 96 votes to 65. Tonight Rizzo faces one of the finest improv groups in NYC, Goat (which performs on UCB’s prime slot of Saturday nights at 9:00), competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show,radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), John Wyatt Haskell (Jimmy Fallon, sketch duo Two Fun Men), Dan Opsal (Jimmy Fallon), and Lance Weiss (MTV, CMT) performing stand-up or sketch hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Dan Licata, and Charles Gould at theUCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

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

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at theOld Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [AMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A storytelling open mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Chris Booth:Bar Tales & Blowhards

[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’ Long Island City hosted by Patrick Hastie: Beer, Booze, and Bits

[FREE] 11:00 pm: 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 2-drink min.)

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

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.