NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/14/14

November 14, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Susie Essman

Susie Essman (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) headlines tonight & Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

Solocom

…and tonight kicks off a weekend with scores of solo comedy shows at The PIT’s Solocom

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 ($12; SOLD OUT tonight, but buy tickets for upcoming performances on the 17th, 20th, or22nd): A fun, lively musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

7:00-9:00 pm ($5): Tonight kicks off this weekend’s second annual Solocom, an ambitious collection of scores of comedic solo shows, each costing only $5. This opening show features character-based bits by Brad Stuart, Leah Spigelman, Joanna Shaw Flamm, Philip Casale, and Julie Rosing performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Solocom Character Spectacular

[$] 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 comics include Mike Birbiglia and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00, 8:45, and 10:30 shows, 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

7:00 pm ($7): Ruby Marez & Binu Paulose perform a mix of sketch and improv, plus screen their digital shorts, at The Magnet theatre: Rubin Anniversary Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch groupAbsolutely) performs a one-woman show about her four years as an NYC public school teacher, directed by the wonderful Leslie Meisel: United Federation of Teachers

…and in the second half of this double-bill, AJ Patton and Timmy Wood perform duo sketch comedy as Hype Squad

[TOP PICK] 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—at the UCB East theatre: Bucky: Here and Now

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A TV star who was a cast member of MTV’s Punk’d and is now a cast member of FX’s The League headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Stephen Rannazzisi

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up (numerous appearances on Conan O’Brien, HBO one-hour special) headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Susie Essman

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25): 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. This 15th edition of the series (begun in 2011) focuses on the old-timey Internet (pre-Craigslist) at the LES’ 21-A Clinton Street:Blogologues: The Land Before Timelines

8:00 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot: Vern and Royals

[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 Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[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 “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, Neil Casey, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Abra Tabak, and/or Shaun Diston at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Music from The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), and stand-up from Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), Greg Barris (MTV, host of Heart of Darkness), Eli Yudin, and Dustin Wesley, all performing at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) hosted by Erik Bergstrom, Ben Kronberg, and/or John F. O’Donnell: Live From Outer Space

9:30 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

9:30 pm ($10): A sketch comedy troupe performs at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel: A Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), 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), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Derek Gaines performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Dan Soder, Bonnie McFarlane, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craftThe Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, half of brilliant sketch duo Dennie & Sharp) hosts this monthly variety show featuring sketch, stand-up, and acts that cannot be categorized at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Matt Dennie Sexperience

[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 ($10): Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show), Ramy Youseff, Blomsky, and more performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, or improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at The PIT upstairs theatre: Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

11:00 pm ($10): A monthly sketch show designed to make you howl at The PIT downstairs lounge: Forever Dog

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Eight performers from the Ten Bones Theatre Company attempt to recreate a James Bond adventure, with each using only what he or she can remember from one of the Bond films—i.e., some will be going off Connery, others Brosnan, and one Lazenby. To add to the fun are a few rules: “Performers must incorporate lines written by the audience; performers must incorporate any sound effect played by the tech booth; one lucky audience member will be given a bell that they can ring three times—once rung, the actors must create a scene that has no business being in James Bond but makes perfect sense given where they are in the story” at The Magnet theatre: James Bond: Entirely From Memory

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): This monthly stand-up, storytelling, and carny show brings the blog And I Am Not Lyingto life on stage, with storytelling from host Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life) and Tracy Rowland, stand-up from Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), burlesque by Tiny D, belly dancing by Calypso, and Afro-Brazilian percussion by Batalá, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Pot stand-up from “highly talented comics who have been highly recommended from people who are thought highly of in the business. Oh, and they’ll be high” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Clayton English & Noah Gardenswartz: High Five

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] 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)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/7/13

December 7, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Pete’s most recent guests include comedy giants John Mulaney and Marc Maron. For highlights of The Pete Holmes Show, please click here.

Susie Essman

Susie Essman (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) headlines one last night at Gotham…

Maz Jobrani

…and ace Iranian-American stand-up Maz Jobrani headlines tonight and Sunday at Carolines

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes one free drink): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; 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), Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band), Diana Spechler (The New York Times; author of Who By Fire and Skinny), and Ryan Britt (Nerve.com), Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include comedy dynamo Ali Wong at each of the first six shows (i.e., all except 12:15 am), Gary Gulman at the 7:00, 8:45, and 9:15 shows, Nick Griffin at the 10:30 show, Mark Normand at the 11:15 show, and Dave Attell at the 12:15 am show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): Sharon Spell (host of The Big Shrink) performs a one-woman show about her parents passing away within three weeks of each other—which she’ll somehow make funny—at The PIT upstairs theatre: You’re Doing Great! A Bold-Faced Lie

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up (numerous appearances on Conan O’Brien, HBO one-hour special) headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Susie Essman

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($41 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please click here) who’s a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour that featured top Middle Eastern-American comics, and an actor who’s performed on ABC’ s Better off Ted and Knights of Prosperity, FOX’ s Life on a Stick, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): “Moments before he’s to take the stage with his band The Bing Faithful 5, holiday crooner Bing Faithful learns all members of his band have died in a horrific bus accident. Bing is a consummate professional and knows ‘the show must go on.’ What follows is one character’s journey through grief and agony as, alone on stage, he attempts to compensate for the band’s absence by singing all five parts and harmonies to all the classic holiday songs requested by the audience.” Plus there’s a twist including Nick Vatterott, Micah Sherman, Greg Kotis, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bing Faithful’s Very Merry Nondenominational Holiday Special

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Gary Vider, Barry Rothbart, Joe List, Ben Kronberg, Jessica Watkins, and Jason Burke “risk getting slapped by Satan himself. Actually, he hosts only bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest writer/performers alive. His NYC production last year was the most revealing I’ve seen from him, but distancing at the same time, essentially opening himself up to tell us that he’s not very good with trust or intimacy. This year he’s doing a show in which he doesn’t speak a word, but instead plays recordings of his and other voices (draw your own conclusions…). I haven’t seen this because of massive deadlines, but you can read a carefully balanced and nuanced review from Jason Zinoman of The New York Times here and a blunt review from Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post here. Expect a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is something special. Nab tickets for this run playing every day except Mondays from November 22nd through December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): Analog,Ue

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Angelo Lozada performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Nikki Glaser, Kurt Metzger, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and last year crushed 15 improv groups in Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($20): A wonderful lineup of John Oliver, Jim Gaffigan, Ophira Eisenberg, Tom Shillue, Rachel Feinstein, and Mike Errico perform at the 20th Anniversary of a fabled comedy & storytelling show at new venue CSV (107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey in LES): Moonwork

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

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

9:30 pm ($11.54 online, $15 at the door): Sketch comedy group Bridge & Tunnel performing at The PIT upstairs lounge: Bridge & Tunnel’s Christmas Spectacular

9:30 pm ($10): Two sketch comedy groups: duo Marina Tempelsman & Niccolo Aeed, and The Reception (“a really good sketch punk comedy troupe blending theatre, movement, and live music together for an inclusive and memorable show/party”) at The PIT downstairs theatre: Marina & Nicco and The Reception

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus free cake!] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—with tonight’s comics Nick Vatterott, Jason Sáenz, Selena Coppock, Abigoliah Schamaun, Harrison Greenbaum, Guy Branum, Joel Walkowski, Brian Frange, Jake Young, and Ryan Beck performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short, and followed post-show downstairs by free cake: Underbelly

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB East that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Angelo Lozada performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Russ Meneve, Kurt Metzger, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse: The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform sharp improv at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from a troupe born in a Boston college and tonight performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Astronaut Theatre

[TOP PICK] 11:30 ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with typically terrific NYC comics (not announced)—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), and “a special guest” performing stand-up at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Glaser: Midnight Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($20; no min.): Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Luis J. Gomez performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wyatt Cenac, Sheng Wang, Kurt Metzger, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/6/13

December 6, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Pete’s most recent guests include comedy giants John Mulaney and Marc Maron. For highlights of The Pete Holmes Show, please click here.

Point Break Live

A stage recreation of a Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze movie classic: Point Break Live…

Ben Bailey

…Ben Bailey (Cash Cab) performs at the 8:00, 10:00, and midnight shows at The Stand, and also the 12:15 am Comedy Cellar…

Susie Essman

…and Susie Essman (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

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] [$] [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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite people in the world, the delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at FringeNYC; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor), and her talented comedy partner Jana Schmieding spearhead a sharply written & performed sketch show at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

7:00 pm ($8): Christmas-themed Sketches about “Santas, Scrooges, snowmen, and the absurd notion of peace on earth” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Perfect Gift: A Holiday Sketch Show

7:00 pm ($8): Improv spinning off the mythic TV series The Golden Girls at The PIT downstairs lounge: Four Broads and Cheesecake: Golden Girls Improv

[$] 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 lineups include Gary Gulman and Ryan Hamilton at the 7:00 show; Greer Barnes and James Smith at the 8:00 show; Jeff Ross, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:45 show; Jeff Ross, Ryan Hamilton, and Lynne Koplitz at the 10:00 show; Greer Barnes, Ryan Hamilton, James Smith, and Tony Woods at the 10:30 show; and my [TOP PICK] Rich Vos, Ben Bailey, Nick Griffin, Tony Woods, Big Jay Oakerson, and host Keith Robinson at the 12:15 am show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($5): Stand-up from Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, The Office, Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York) and Michael Haar (East Village Radio), and sketch from The Sabzi Brothers (Jawnee Conroy & Bardia Salimi) and The Moon Players (Jordan Clifford & Tim Skinner), all at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen (co-host of The Moon Show): Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($26): The Keanu Reeves / Gary Busey / Patrick Swayze 1991 movie classic Point Break is brought to vibrant & violent life on stage by a very sharp & talented group of comedic writer/performers—keep an eye on David Carl, a rising star playing the Gary Busey role, and expect extra laughs when a random audience member (maybe you) is chosen to take on the Keanu Reeves character—all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Point Break Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Rich Vos, Ben Bailey, Dan St. Germain, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest writer/performers alive. His NYC production last year was the most revealing I’ve seen from him, but distancing at the same time, essentially opening himself up to tell us that he’s not very good with trust or intimacy. This year he’s doing a show in which he doesn’t speak a word, but instead plays recordings of his and other voices (draw your own conclusions…). I haven’t seen this because of massive deadlines, but you can read a carefully balanced and nuanced review from Jason Zinoman of The New York Times here and a blunt review from Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post here. Expect a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is something special. Nab tickets for this run playing every day except Mondays from November 22nd through December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): Analog,Ue

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Terrific comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, a.k.a. Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, reprise their delightfully dark FringeNYC comedy about the rise and fall of a child star at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Underdeveloped and Overexposed Life and Death of Deena Domino

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Just waking up for your graveyard shift at the strip club? Brewing that first pot of coffee before your overnighter at the parking garage? Then wake up with hosts Ross Hyzer and Eric Grundhauser as they welcome the hottest guests of the 90s, and a fresh perspective on news and pop culture that’s sure to keep people talking all night long” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Good Morning Nights

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up (numerous appearances on Conan O’Brien, HBO one-hour special) headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Susie Essman

[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 Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): 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, Neil Casey, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Phil Jackson, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($20; no min.): Rich Vos (stand-up star on two seasons of Last Comic Standing and on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Comedy Central Presents; Opie & Anthony radio show), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Rich Vos, Ben Bailey, Russ Meneve, Nikki Glaser, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10; SOLD OUT, but you can show up early and request being added to a standby list): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Eliza Kingsbury (smart, inventive young comedic actress to keep an eye on; for a sample video, please click here), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Nat Towsen (co-host of The Moon Show), and Eddie Brawley performing stand-up or sketch at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): I’m not sure he’s in NYC tonight, but one of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) will either personally spearhead or lead in spirit a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players typically are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go-Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Indie musical improv troupe Petting Zoo takes an audience member’s confession and turns it into a Broadway musical on the spot for this Two Year Anniversary celebration at The Magnet theatre: Petting Zoo

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Fine lineup of Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Jenny McCarthy Show); for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here), and Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Failosophy) performing stand-up, plus sketch from trio Boat, at UCB East hosted by Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable, co-host of School Night): Something Cool Stand-Up

[$] Midnight ($20; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Ben & Josh, and Giulio Gallarotti performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Dan St. Germain, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: 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

[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 Maude troupe Moriarty: 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)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/14/11

July 14, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Susie Essman and Judah Friedlander

Stars are headlining at the Carolines Comedy Club: For tonight only, "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" Susie Essman; and tonight through Sunday, "30 Rock's" Judah Friedlander

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

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

7:00 pm ($5): Lizzie Redner performs several odd characters in this one-woman show: Room Full of Bulldogs

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($20 & $15 food/drink min.): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows back in 2004—and which was later made into a movie!—about a husband who decides he wants his arms cut off. It’s a mix of drama and very dark comedy…and well worth catching. This is a one-night-only staged reading as part of the gala FringeNYC 15th Anniversary All-Star Series at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, inside the West Bank Cafe (407 West 42nd Street, off Ninth Avenue): Armless

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up headlining at Carolines: Susie Essman

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): This revival of one of my all-time favorite UCBT shows involves a group of stellar comics taking an audience suggestion and, while sipping beers, telling personal tales related to it—with an emphasis on the ribald and ridiculous, just like what you’d want to hear from your friends while hanging out at a bar. The yarn spinning is great fun; but on top of that, when the performers hear a story that especially tickles them, they’ll jump up and instantly create scenes revolving around it. And because these talents are razor-sharp improvisors, the results are hilarious. Just as a sidenote, this show used to include world-class storyteller Chris Gethard—and whenever Chris opened his mouth, everyone else went dead silent as if God was about to speak. (Yes, Chris is that respected by his peers.) Chris is no longer the lineup (he’s too busy with his weekly TV series); but this is a fine show regardless thanks to such brilliant improvisors as Anthony King, Charlie Todd, Will Hines, John Frusciante, and Fran Gillespie, all at Happy Hour

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Wonderful comic Kurt Braunohler “relates how he destroyed a 13-year relationship in the dumbest, most complicated way possible, with bar fights, naked men, walruses, and an audition for Sasha Baron Cohen” in the one-man show The Amish Guide to Fucking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Some of the Magnet Theatre’s finest improvisors make up theatrical plays on the spot: Playhouse

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

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Jesse Popp (about to move to LA to write for Conan O’Brien), Reese Waters, Claudia Cogan, Craig Baldo, and Dan Goodman performing stand-up for this free monthly show at Brooklyn’s Lincoln Park Tavern (49 Lincoln Road, between Flatbush & Ocean) hosted by Charles Star: Pant-Hoot Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sara Benincasa (MTV, Sex and Other Human Activities podcast, host ofFamily Hour), and Joe DeVito (Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Lately) joining sensual hosts Margot Leitman (VH1, Spike TV) and Giulia Rozzi (MTV, VH1.com) in telling true tales on tonight’s theme “Dumped”—plus comedic songs from the wonderful Shayna Ferm—at the best sexy storytelling comedy show in NYC: Stripped Stories

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Steve Soroka has a talent for working with brilliant, beautiful women—e.g., Mamrie Hart in sketch duo BoF, and Amy Heidt in UCBT Maude team Dweeb. Tonight Steve does it again, teaming up with Jen Curran for an improvised relationship: An Evening with Jen & Steve

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT’s basement lounger for The Scene

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.) Judah Friedlander is a hilarious stand-up and occasional agent of chaos. Judah is a cast member of 30 Rock, and has also performed on VH1’sBest Week Ever, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, MTV’s Wonder Showzen, and NBC’s The Tonight Show. In addition, Judah has acted in over 20 films, including such hit comedies as Meet the Parents, Zoolander,  and Full Grown Men. Judah was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his role in American Splendor. When asked in an interview about his influences, Judah responded: “Audiences. They are often the forgotten ingredient in stand-up comedy. Stand-up is live entertainment, and a live audience is needed. Also, whatever is happening at the moment. I play off of that. The moment is a big influence. If you’re not playing the moment you’re not doing stand-up comedy–someone just reciting material but not responding with what’s going on in the room is not stand-up comedy.” This playful, anarchic, in-the-moment comedy veteran—and author of the book How to Beat Up Anybody—is headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Judah Friedlander

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Doppleganger has a history of toppling champions. So when it up against relatively young troupe Dance Break last week, it not only won but crushed, garnering a staggering 117 audience votes to a mere 16 for its opponent. Tonight the three gals of Doppleganger face a single opponent: Fran Gillespie. And it should be awesome. Come see these fierce competitors fight for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Magnet improv troupes Listen, Kid! and Great Lakes compete for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/6/09

August 6, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Susie Essman headlines tonight at Carolines

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Susie Essman headlines tonight at Carolines

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] 8:00 pm ($5): Two of the sharpest & most respected comics in NYC, Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler, honing a show they’ll be performing next week at the Edinburgh Festival: Double Down Hearts

[$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up headlining at Carolines: Susie Essman

8:00 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors directed by James Eason “take an audience suggestion and break it into a million funny pieces” in The Deconstruction

8:00 pm ($8): Clever wordplay, conceptual comedy, and relentless silliness—applied to a parody of the already-goofy film Con Air—from sketch troupe Elephant Larry (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Stand-up Jodi Wasserman (Comedy Central), sketch comic Matt Higgins (Centralia), John Gemberling (world-class improv troupe Death By Roo Roo), and Will Hines (ace improv troupe The Stepfathers) joining the four hard-to-resist members of a hilarious comedy group—musical host Shonali Bhowmik, and superbly quirky stand-ups Heather Lawless, Chelsea Peretti, and Andrea Rosen—in Variety SHAC

[$] 9:30 pm ($20 & 2-item min.) The Raspberry Brothers—Jerm Pollet, Shane Breaux, and Scott Rogowsky—making funny remarks about a teen martial arts classic at the Comix Comedy Club: The Karate Kid

[$] 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Two vibrant improv troupes, Death by Roo Roo and Iron Ruckus, in a battle to win audience laughs & votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.