NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 9/13/14

September 13, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Darrell Hammond

It’s your last chance to catch SNL veteran Darrell Hammond headline at Carolines

The Ultimate Stimulus

or to experience Tanya O’Debra perform the funniest economic lecture of the year at The Ultimate Stimulus

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): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Jordan Rock, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s official lineups (i.e., not including surprise drop-ins) are relatively anemic until the 10:30 show, which features Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Robert Kelly, and Lynne Koplitz, and the 12:15 show featuring Dave Attell, Ryan Hamilton, Russ Meneve, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and Wil Sylvince (hosting), with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelseainterview 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] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) performing stand-up atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Special improv guest group The Idiot Kings (a Burn Manhattan semi-reunion featuring Todd Stashwick, Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott), plus usual improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Idiot Kings (Burn Manhattan reunion), Big Black Car, and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PITdownstairs lounge: North Coast

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from John Szeluga, Will Miles, Tom Lisi, and the show’s producer Lukas Kaiser, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Ian Fidance & Lizzie Martinez: Showcasey Jones

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Hard, Lonely, and Vicious

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, John Frusciante, and Emily Axford, and in 2012 crushed 15 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($18): A TED Talk-style lecture about how to bridge the gap between rich and poor via a unique approach is one of the funniest shows you’ll see this year, written brilliantly by Felipe Ossa, and performed with superb comedic timing by the lovely Tanya O’Debra at 21-A Clinton Street. Read my full reviewhere, and then nab tickets for what might be your last chance to see The Ultimate Stimulus

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): “Musical sketch comedy that skewers and dissects pop culture one roll of the dice at at time” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pop Roulette

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Using real horror films purchased in local gas stations and bodegas, the hosts select specific clips to play for 30 seconds, pause, and then ask the improvisers to finish the scene. Will anyone survive at The PIT downstairs lounge? Attend at your own peril with hosts J. W. Crump and Jordan Hirsch: Gas Station Horror

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($42 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’shistory whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range, and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ben Bailey, Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Tracey Wigfield (former writer for 30 Rock), Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die), and more form an ace improv group at UCB East that won last 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] [FREE] 10:00 pm: “Starting in 1982, the city of Atlanta threw an annual party called Freaknik which essentially became the largest black spring break party in the country. The party became so big and wild that the city shut it down for good in 1996. But comedians Andy Sandford and Noah Gardenswartz are bringing Freaknik back…to Long Island City. ‘Comedy Freaknik’ will be a lot like the original Freaknik, except it’s going to happen once a month, and it will be a comedy show hosted by three white guys. That’s basically the only difference” atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Freaknik

[$] 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 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisor Peter McNerney is joined for one night only by master improvisor Ed Herbstman at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($10): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy; in 2011 won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group; was recently written up by Jason Zinoman in The New York Times; and is spearheaded by Henry Zebrowski, who’s a co-star of Wolf of Wall Street, performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Murderfist

11:30 pm ($5): MC Chris (nerd rapper, cartoonist, and voice actor; Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show) and Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced NBC sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; MTV) are guests, while Anthony Apruzzese and a mob of other comics perform sketch at this hybrid variety/talk show co-hosted by Josh Sharp (GUMP) at the UCB East theatre: Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.50 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), James Mattern, and Danny Lobell performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street):Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder, Adrienne Iapalucci, and More

Midnight ($5): John Joseph (Comedy Central, The View), John Joseph (Comedy Central, The View), and Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever) performing stand-up atUCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

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”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evanshost: 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 theComedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

[FREE] 11:00 pm: PIT improv veterans mix with improv novices on-stage at the upstairs theatre for Saturday Night UltraMegaJam

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 Friday 9/12/14

September 12, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Sarah Silverman is on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 9/4);
Mindy Kaling and Jake Johannsen are on David Letterman;
Justin Long and Kurt Braunohler are on Jimmy Fallon

The Ultimate Stimulus

Fresh off FringeNYC, the most hilarious satire on the theory of trickle down economics ever: The Ultimate Stimulus

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): Improvisors aim for “the comedy, drama, and vocal juiciness of a Mozart masterpiece made up on the spot; come hear beautiful arias appear out of nowhere as someone’s beloved is ravaged by a cheese monster, Gary Busey, or anything else the audience suggests” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Opera

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 pm ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Ryan Hamilton, Adam Ferrara, Kevin Brennan, Robert Kelly, and MIke Yard (hosting) at the 7:00 show; Ryan Hamilton, Green Barnes, Lenny Marcus, Robert Kelly, and Lynne Koplitz at the 8:00 show; Ted Alexandro, Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, Adam Ferrara, Greer Barnes, and Lynne Koplitz (hosting) at the 8:45 show; and Dave Attell, Nikki Glaser, Kevin Brennan, and Wil Sylvince (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 ($7): Rising star Lauren Olson and Jana Schmieding perform sketch, and also host sketch from a bunch of their friends, at The Magnet theatre: Jana & Lauren Presents

[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, Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), Jordan Rock, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Adrian Davidson, Samantha Bednarz, Michael Karlik, Billy Prinsell, Tom Lisi, and Evan Leslie Jones performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge: Son of David Stand-Up Comedy Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18): A TED Talk-style lecture about how to bridge the gap between rich and poor via a unique approach is one of the funniest shows you’ll see this year, written brilliantly by Felipe Ossa, and performed with superb comedic timing by the lovely Tanya O’Debra at 21-A Clinton Street. Read my full review here, and then nab tickets for The Ultimate Stimulus

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Brian McCann, an Emmy-winner who wrote for and performed on Conan O’Brien for 17 years, and has also appeared on 30 Rock and Parks And Recreation, performs a one-man show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Brian McCann’s Leisure Hour

[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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Comedy trio Eli Sairs, Joel Walkowski, and Jeff Wesselschmidt performs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Wildcats

[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] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine), Sam Evans, Brendan Fitzgibbons, and Justin Peele performing stand-up 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

[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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), 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), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Joe Matarese Dan Soder, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($42 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’s history whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range, and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups and sketch performers (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Kelly Fastuca: A Dog’s Breakfast

[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): Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Tim Platt (The Story Pirates), Brendan Fitzgibbons (Rolling Stone), and Max Fox (Huffington Post) 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 ($12): Comedic storytellers Jim O’Grady, JiJi Lee, Jolenta Greenberg, and Chris Pappas tell tales revolving around this month’s theme TV Is My Jam, and host Anna Rose Roisman sings about one or more of the stories, at The PIT upstairs theatre: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

11:00 pm ($8): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

11:30 pm ($7): Sharp comics Justin Peters & Kelly Buttermore “present a night of sketch and improv comedy inspired by Joni Mitchell’s acclaimed 1971 album Blue, one of the least funny albums of all time” at The Magnet theatre: From Justin to Kelly Ruin Joni Mitchell’s Blue

[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

[DISCOUNTED] MIdnight ($7.50 online using discount code WEEKEND; no min.): Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, 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), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Alingon Mitra, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Joe Matarese, Christian Finnegan, and More

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 Tim Manley, stand-up from Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine) and Tom Cowell, and burlesque from Brief Sweat and Legs Malone, 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 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 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 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)

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 Tuesday 8/19/14

August 19, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 show ratings & rankings, please click here.
For show reviews, please click here. For news about
added performances for sold out shows, please click here.

TV Alert: Penn & Teller’s new show Wizard Wars debuts on
SyFy Channel at 10:00 pm and midnight;
Marc Maron is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 7/15);
Garrison Keillor is on Craig Ferguson (repeated from 6/4)

The Ultimate Stimulus

At FringeNYC at 9:45, the most hilarious satire on the theory of trickle down economics you’ll ever experience: The Ultimate Stimulus

Sarah Silverman

……and superstar Sarah Silverman, Brody Stevens, Gary Gulman, and more perform stand-up at Gotham’s ComedyJuice

 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-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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Trevor Noah, Gregg Rogell, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:45 show; Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, and Dan Soder at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell and Jeff Ross at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Michael Che (instant star correspondent for The Daily Show; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight), Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Michael Che, Brody Stevens, Kevin McCaffrey, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Typically fine NYC stand-ups performing at UCB East with a stamp of approval from Comedy Centarl: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Megan Neuringer (HBO’s Flight Of The Conchords, Comedy Central’s Kroll Show, @midnight, FOX’s Fringe, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV; freelance writer for Jimmy Fallon), Lucas Connolly, Maria Heinegg, Chrissie Mayr, Brendan McLaughlin, Eric Neumann, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Jeff Ross (star roastmaster), Jordan Klepper (correspondent for The Daily Show), Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight), 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), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of The Dream Show), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Matt Ruby (MTV; sharp co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, Matt Donaher (Conan O’Brien), and Phil Hanley (Comedy Central) 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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this 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 Greg, Side Piece, and Women & Men at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Comedy superstar Sarah Silverman, plus Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Eliot Chang, and Grant Cotter performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club: ComedyJuice

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): 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 stand-up from Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Teresa Lee, and David Ebert, all performing at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Sketch comedy, improv, and stand-up from comics including Steve Siddell (The Scene, Craig Ferguson) at The PIT upstairs theatre co-produced by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), 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), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central Half Hour), Mike Cannon, and Alexis Guerreros performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Illuminati Party: Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Dan Soder, Brody Stevens, 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 Will Miles, Brendan Fitzgibbons, Angel Yau, Mike Abrusci, and Ana Fabrega performing for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis: The Tuesday Special

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-up and sketch comics (not announced) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

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 the Stand 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 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam hosted by group Judith at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Judith Jam

[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

[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] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

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 PIT downstairs 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)

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing Devil
(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 Thursday 1/10/13

January 10, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Black Six

1973 blaxploitation film The Black Six is heckled at Devil Science Theater 3000…

Tanya O'Debra

…and Tanya O’Debra co-hosts with LIvia Scott at Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Jim O’Grady (The New York Times, WNYC Radio, Moth GrandSlam Champion) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, hosted by the wonderful John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

6:00 pm ($5): Three shows I know nothing about—How to Be Nice, Pretty, and Invisible; Apocalypse in Connecticut; and An Epic, Legendary, Neato Guy—audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv troupe Adorable mixes with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life at UCB East, hosted by magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Dirty Movie), guest-hosted tonight by delightful singer/sketch comic Tanya O’Debra, and featuring Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown), Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color, MTV, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), and Avery Monsen (shadow puppeteer): Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): A one-man storytelling show by Adam Strauss: “Inspired by a scientific study showing that hallucinogenic mushrooms can effectively treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, Adam Strauss embarked on his own program of vigilante psychopharmacology. By turns hilarious, harrowing, and heartrending, a show guaranteed to change your life* at The PIT upstairs theatre: Varieties of Religious Experience

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

8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful improvisor Ellena Chmielewski co-wrote and directed this comedy mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea co-written & co-starring John Zachary Townsend: Standards & Practices

…and in the other half of this double-bill, frankly, the worst UCBT show I saw in 2012—terrible writing, acting, direction, a perfect storm of bad. The folks involved are very nice (sometimes things just don’t work out…); but why this is still on the schedule is utterly baffling. Anyway, please consider yourself warned: The State vs. Josh: The Trial of the Millennials

[$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Matt Simonds (David Letterman, Jay Leno), Modi (HBO’s The Sopranos, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Jon FIsch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1): Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hemlock and Dagger

[$] 8:00 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another), Poppi Kramer, Danny Cohen, and Cara Kilduff performing stand-up for this monthly gay-themed show at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.) hosted by Adam Sank: Queens of Queens

[$] 8:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.) A writer/comic who plays Leon Black on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has performed on Saturday Night Live, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV, The Chris Rock Show, and in such feature films as Pootie Tang and Mr. Deeds, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: JB Smoove

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Featherweight, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by The Blackout (scenes are edited by blackouts created by the director in the booth, and the stage is set by the improvisers from the previous scene), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), tonight featuring last week’s winner vs. Dr. Champagne: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), Zachariah Durr, Meg Cuppernal, Jason Burke, David Foster, and Michael Joyce at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co -creator of Chappelle’s Show), Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color, MTV, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), Jackie Kashian, and Rojo Perez performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

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

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it plus like-minded comics on the UCB Chelsea stage—tonight including The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), and Josh Rabinowitz: CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) International stand-ups Azhar Usman (Indian-American), Mo Amer (Arab-American), Saurin Choksi (Indian-American), and more hosted by Anish Shah (Indian-American) performing at the Carolines Comedy Club: International Incident

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), Jim David (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Andy Hendrickson performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Jon FIsch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1): Neal Brennan, Mark Normand, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1973 blaxploitation movie The Black Six (IMDB ranking 2.6 out of 10; for a trailer, please click here)—at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week’s Cage Match was a delight, with Doppelganger proving itself one of the most energetic and organic groups in the country (among memorable moments was Keisha Zollar explaining her character’s penis was unusually red and shiny and bright, and Nicole Byer instantly responding by diving for it with the words “Merry Christmas!”). Then long-established improv stars including Fran Gillespie and Neil Casey performed a more leisurely, but highly skilled and inventive, style of improv that was almost as good. The audience was closely split, but Doppelganger deservedly won with a vote of 74-70.
Tonight the most winning CM improv troupe in 2012, Airwolf, goes against hip-hop musical improv troupe North Coast, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 ($5): NYC stand-ups Chris Grace, Michelle Wolf, Josh Gondelman, and Corey Reppond performing at UCB East as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show): /r/standup

[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color, MTV, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Sam Morril (Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: The Nasty Show: Jermaine Fowler, Mark Normand, Jon Fisch, and More

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/31/11

August 31, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Tanya O'Debra

Tanya O'Debra and her troupe perform sketch at "The Best of Beaches 2"

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

8:00 pm ($5): Two of the finest comedic actors in NYC, Amy Heidt and Jeff Hiller, perform sketches about love and murder that aren’t nearly as good as they are (don’t know how that happened, as Amy is also a brilliant writer); but come for the pleasure of seeing these two on stage: The Last Resort ; and in the other half of this double-bill, the superb Ryan Karels (Conan O’Brien, Krompf) performs a sketch show I haven’t yet seen titled Radio Rogue

8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Open mic stand-up (with sign-up starting at 8:00) at Brooklyn’s Belleville (330 5th Street) hosted by Josh Guarino: The Belleville Mic

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): A sketch group that includes beloved East Village performer Tanya O’Debra does its funniest bits from the past year at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Best of Beaches 2

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, Anthony Atamanuik, Jawnee Conroy, Christian Capozoli, and wonderful host David Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s theme ScarsThe Nights of Our Lives

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Short videos from NYC comics (lineup not announced) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Free Comedy

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

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

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.