NYC Top Comedy Choices for May 2019: Last Updated Thursday 5/16

May 16, 2019

I’m one of the finest ghostwriters in the country; my 20+ books include two New York Times bestsellers, a phenom megaseller that hit #16 on Amazon.com and has sold over 300,000 copies to date, and an interview book with legendary author Neil Gaiman that hit #240 on Amazon.com. I’ve also written five Dummies books and a Complete Idiot’s Guide. I cover comedy as a labor of love. But if you need help with a book, let’s chat, because there’s no one better at ghostwriting, editing, and/or coaching. Alternatively, if you know someone who should have a book, please refer him or her to me; for a year, you’ll get 10% of all revenue I receive from the referral (e.g., if the client pays me $50,000, you’ll get $5,000). To learn more about my services, please visit BookProposal.net and then email me at hy@hyreviews.com.

Do you like cross-genre stories (fantasy/comedy, SF/comedy, fantasy/horror, etc.)? Please visit my podcast, Ghosts On Drugs, by clicking here.

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

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

That said, my top NYC comedy recommendations for May 2019 (with much more to come soon) include:

Jay Malsky and Taylor OrtegaThursday 5/16: A showcase for the comedic singing talents of Jay Malsky (above left; highly talented, super-charged improvisor & character comic; host of This Live Show, co-host of DED Talks; UCB sketch group Pretty Boys; PIT improv group Peaches Galore; FringeNYC solo show Elaine Stritch: Still Here; Solocom & UCB solo show Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend), with music from Taylor Ortega (above right; Shego in Disney Channel’s live-action Kim Possible, HBO’s Succession, TruTV) and stand-up from comic/singer Sophie Elizabeth Santos: Lady Jay: Live in Concert (7:00 pm, $10, The PIT Mainstage (Striker) at 123 East 24th Street)

New York Comedy Music Festival 2019Friday 5/17-Sunday 5/19: This annual comedic music event run by Jessica Delfino & Killy Dwyer (which began in 2012 as the New York Funny Songs Festival) this year includes over 20 shows running Friday through Sunday. Highlights include 50 Funny Songs featuring 2-minute songs from 50 musical comics such as Stuckey & Murray, Rob Paravonian, Jay Malsky, Tim Ellis, Killy Dwyer, and Victor Varnado Friday at 9:30 pm at the Friars Club (57 East 55th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues); Night of Dirty Songs, which is exactly what it sounds like, Saturday at 8:00 pm at Club Cumming (505 East 6th Street, between Avenues A and B); and Chicks with Licks with superb female comedic musicians Erin and Her Cello, Jessica Delfino, show host Killy Dwyer, and more Saturday at 10:00 pm at Club Cumming: New York Comedy Music Festival 2019 (6:00 pm-11:30 pm Friday, 2:00 pm-1:00 am Saturday, and 1:00 pm-10:00 pm Sunday; $10 per show, or buy an all-you-can-see pass for the whole weekend for just $35; happening at multiple venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens)

You can find the vast majority of notable NYC live comedy shows by using the links below to explore the schedules of the following top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Hell’s Kitchen
555 West 42nd Street; 152-seater; one of the most respected comedy showcases in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$12

Upright Citizens Brigade at SubCulture
45 Bleecker Street; What used to be a top comedy venue called UCB East has sadly gone under, but some of its shows live on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at respected East Village indie theatre SubCulture at Bleecker & Lafayette Streets, direclty by the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop; shows $7-$14

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
123 East 24th Street; 88-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10

The PIT Loft
154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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

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

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

Littlefield
635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

Bell House
149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/W to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

Village Underground
130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 2-item min.

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
487 Atlantic Avenue (near the Barclays Center); only comedy club in Brooklyn; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; some shows have 2-drink min., but many don’t

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

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

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

The Stand
Lost its space, aiming to move to Union Square sometime in 2019: competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!

NYC Stand-Up Open Mics & Improv Jams

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

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

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

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

Special Thanks to Mindy and Anya

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

Contact Hy

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

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

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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 10/2/15

October 2, 2015
Ginny Leise & Soojeong Son: "Great Gig"

Ginny Leise & Soojeong Son (hosts of hit show The Shame Game) teach you “the three super secret secrets to success in business” in Great Gig (10:30 pm, $5, Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street)…

TJ and Dave

…acclaimed Chicago-based improv duo TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi warm up at The Magnet tonight before performing on Saturday at Town Hall. This show is sold out, but you might get in if you arrive early and place yourself on the waiting list for TJ & Dave (10:00 pm, $10, The Magnet at 259 West 29th Street off Eighth Avenue)…

Hocus Pocus Musical Improv

…and musical Halloween improv is performed by talented gal trio Kathleen Armenti, Emily Mathwich, and Taylor Ortega in Hocus Pocus: Musical Improv Under a Full Moon (8:00 pm, $10, The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre at 123 East 24th Street)

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

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv (e.g., Gravid Water, Adsit & ?), sketch (Maude Night), solo shows, and one-act comedic plays, but also hosts one of the very finest stand-up shows in the city (Aparna Nancherla’s Whiplash)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that leans a bit more towards stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks, than sister theatre UCB Chelsea; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)

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

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

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

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/27/15

June 27, 2015
Steel Petunias

Joyously hilarious musicals such as Steel Petunias

Jay Malsky

…and Jay Malsky’s Elaine Stritch: Duets at The PIT’s QueerCom

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 4:00 pm Friday-Midnight Sunday ($35): The 17th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon will run continuously from 4:00 pm on Friday June 26th, 2015 until roughly midnight on Sunday June 28th. Improv groups from all around the US and Canada—and a few places further away—will perform over 400 shows, typically in 15- or 30-minute blocks, for over 50 hours. As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, which will cause long waits to get into UCB Chelsea (307 West 26th Street), which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by additional venues; for details, please click here. For the complete schedule, please click here. To view shows organized by performer, please click here. To view the list of premium shows (which cost an additional $20 each), please click here. (Please note that if any premium show doesn’t sell out and you have a marathon pass, you can receive a remaining seat free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.) I won’t be covering DCM this year, but if haven’t already experienced it, go; it’s the greatest improv festival in the world.

[TOP PICK] 2:00 pm-1:00 am ($10 per show or $40 for all-festival pass): On Day 2 of a 3-day LGBTQ-themed comedy festival, The PIT upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge host around 20 hours of shows, with each show typically running an hour and costing $10. For details on today’s offerings—which include the marvelous Steel Magnoliasmusical parody Steel Petunias at 11:00 pm—please click QueerCom

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 6:00 pm ($11.50 via Goldstar [vs. $20 at the door]): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winningDavid Letterman writer) performs a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction andaudience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing) tries out material one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Pete Lee

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A tribute to The Muppet Show via a retrospective, sketches, musical numbers, trivia prize giveaways, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre written, directed, and produced by Kaitlin Fontana, Sean Reidy, and Luke Ward: We Love TV: The Muppet Show

[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 stand-ups include Dave Attell, Jeff Ross, Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, Russ Meneve, Marina Franklin, Carmen Lynch, Lynn Koplitz, Big Jay Oakerson, Liza Treyger, Dov Davidoff, and Ricky Velez, 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

7:00 pm ($5): House improv groups Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Santeria + Improv Frogs

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($25; 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.), Nikki Glaser (star of upcoming Comedy Central series; 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Nikki Glaser, Ari Shaffir, Dan Soder, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($24.75 via Goldstar [vs. $29 at the door]): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Stellar improv groups The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman, Sarah Nowak, and Brigid Boyle) and Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Baldwins and Big Black Car

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Tory Flack, Caitlin Hefner, Alicia Barnatchez, and Emma Krulik play “four teenage girls exploring the complex emotions of becoming a woman as their slumber party takes a dark, twisted detour down the unpredictable alley of teenage sex and melancholy” in Sleepover; and then Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari, and Alyssa Stonoha write & star in a mini-play about squeezing brunch into a hectic schedule in Three Busy Debras. This all-gal theatrical comedy double-bill is at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Sleepover and Three Busy Debras

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

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): This Baltimore-based sketch group uses video, improv, and audience participation “to create absurdist presentational performances. We tour the US once a year and we have very little money. We thought our lives would be different and that comedy would save us, but oh god we fucked up so so bad. We suck and we hate ourselves. Please come to one of our shows” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Wham City

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($25; 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.), Nikki Glaser (star of upcoming Comedy Central series; 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Nikki Glaser, Ari Shaffir, Dan Soder, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Four stand-ups and a sketch comedy group (not announced) perform their darkest, saddest, and most traumatically funny bits for this monthly catharsis machine at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Shane Torres, Nate Fridson, and/or Alison Zeidman: Dark Spots

10:30 pm ($5): A screening of “Lurid sensationalism! Neon perversions! In a tribute to the midnight movie mayhem of the 70s and 80s, some of the strangest, darkest, sexiest, funniest videos from across the country” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Anthony Oberbeck: Video Massacre

11:30 pm ($5): Two indie improv teams are paired together at random to perform together for the very first time at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Anthony Oberbeck: Bacchanal

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 Evans host: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran improvisors make up scenes with improv students from any school (selected by lottery) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Fishbowl

[FREE] Midnight: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 4/26/15

April 26, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Steel Petunias

Don’t miss your last chance to enjoy a hilarious cast—including (front row) Emily Mathwich, Dana Shulman, Emily Essig, Adrian Sexton, (back row) Taylor Ortega, and Julie Feltman—of a broad musical parody of 1989 film classic Steel Magnolias: Steel Petunias

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:

6:00 pm ($5): Sketches and other scripted comedy in 5-minute and 15-minute slots at The Magnet theatre: The Generator

[FREE] 6:00 pm: All-gal improv group Pin-Up Squirrels performs and hosts other improv groups at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Play Date With the Pin-Up Squirrels

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($11.54 online using code JUICE, otherwise $20 at the door): A musical version of a famed 1989 movie with book, lyrics, and direction by Christopher W. Barnes and music by Ryan Mercy, produced by Ronny Pascale, stage managed by Christine Liz Pynn, and starring a delightful comedic cast that should not be missed including Dana Shulman, Emily Mathwich, Emily Essig, Taylor Ortega, Adrian Sexton, and Julie Feltman. This is the final show of the run, and so your last chance (at least for a while) to enjoy “the best musical about 6 Southern women sittin’ around talkin’ about feelings you will see this year…and that features a 15-foot puppet creature from the underworld” at The PIT upstairs theatre (for video samples, please click here and here):Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Conner O’Malley (staff writer/performer for Seth Meyers; Louie, Broad City), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), and Max Wittert performing stand-up, plus sketch from groups Unisex, Good Cop Great Cop, and Brian Fiddyment & Edy Modica, all at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

7:00 pm ($5): “Four teenage girls explore the complex emotions of becoming a woman as their slumber party takes a dark, twisted detour down the unpredictable alley of teenage sex and melancholy” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Sleepover

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Shannon O’Neill and Anthony Atamanuik, and sometimes network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy groups Wendigo and Buddy Club perform new material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Hannibal Buress, Artie Lange, Ryan Hamilton, Keith Alberstadt, and Jon Fisch (hosting) at the 8:00 show and Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Sherrod Small, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:45 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Bob Kulhan (brilliant, magical improvisor; Baby Wants Candy, Bing Faithful) wrote and stars in this show where “a menacing emcee and German cabaret sidekick guide the audience in meeting vaudevillian comedians, theatrical magicians, and sultry singers, and encountering distortions of reality” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Shecky Kulhan

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Sarah Nowak, Ashley Ward, Will Nunziata, Chris Griggs, and more make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre for this weekly show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak: People Improvising

8:00 pm ($5): Andrew Michaan (Portlandia), Danny Solomon (Lucas Bros Moving Co), Brendan Fitzgibbons (The Onion, co-host of Gandhi, Is That You?), Brian Parise, Cristela Alonzo, Kate Connor, and Grant Gordon performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[$] 8:00 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special and had a recurring role on Showtime’s Weeds headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club (with openers Marion Grodin & Vlad Caamano): Bret Ernst

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using code SFBAPRIL; no min.): Stand-ups Chris Cotton, Reginald Thomas, Pat Brown, and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Amanda Seales & Marc Lamont Hill: Smart, Funny, and Black

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Casey James Salengo: Creek Cave Live

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

9:00 pm ($7): Andy Hendrickson (David Letterman), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Doug Smith (co-host of See You In Hell), Jenny Zigrino, Adam Burke, and Cerrome Russell performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

9:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows for the price of one at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Triple Feature

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 3:15 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): The spectacular Tracy Mull loves short-form improv games with a passion, and so is the perfect host for this jam that lets audience members—including you—put their names in a bucket. Tracy will then repeatedly pull out a name and a game and facilitate improv magic at The PIT upstairs theatre: Sunday School Short-Form Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

5:15ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Weekly open mic stand-up, with comics selected from names tossed into a bucket starting at 4:55 pm, at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Aaron Glaser, Irene Hartmann, and/or Carlos Delgado: Sunday Open Mic

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show (sign up is at 9:45 pm) providing 5 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from the bucket at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly atUCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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