NYC Top Comedy Choices for November 2019: Last Updated Thursday 11/28

November 28, 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 330,000 print 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. 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 at @hybender, and/or to visit the desktop and ad-free version of this site at HyReviews.com. (I’m also on Instagram at @hybenderny and Facebook at hybender; but honestly, you’ll be doing me the most good if you follow and retweet me on Twitter.)

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 November 2019 (with more to come soon) include:

ThanksgivingMost NYC comedy venues are closed today, but you can find superb stand-up at Comedy Cellar and/or a genuine Thanksgiving dinner with fellow comedy lovers at The Creek:

The Creek's Orphan ThanksgivingThanksgiving 11/28: “The Creek’s Motto: You don’t have to be alone for the holidays unless you want to be (and even then, just come party!) What you can do: Make a donation for groceries, $20 suggested (but only if you can swing it); bring dessert; bring wine; and/or help set up/break down/clean up.” On the menu are Sage Roasted Turkey, Truffle Rubbed Turkey, Deep Fried Turkey, Bacon Wrapped Turkey, Maple Glazed Ham, Giblet Gravy, Truffle Gravy, Rubbed Sage Stuffing, Seafood Cornbread Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Broccoli with Cheese Sauce, Garlic Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Corn Pudding, Cranberries, and Parker House Rolls via comics/cooks Rebecca A. Trent, Gerrilea Adams, Cassidy Weeks, Joseph Roberts, Jamie Cook, and more: The Creek’s Orphan Thanksgiving (5:00 pm, $20 (suggested), The Creek and the Cave in Queens’ LIC at 10-93 Jackson Avenue; take 7 subway to Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue)

Comedy Cellar ThanksgivingThanksgiving 11/28: Superb comics—Dave Attell, Myq Kaplan, Joe Machi, Seaton Smith, Andrew Schulz, Shane Torres, Kevin Iso, and more—are slated to perform stand-up in the West Village at 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street), for a $24 cover charge plus 2-item food/drink min.: Comedy Cellar Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Happy

Thanksgiving!!!

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My HometownFriday 11/29: Native New Yorkers Ilana Michelle Rubin & Lana Schwartz invite comics who came here from somewhere else to talk about their home towns, with tonight’s guests Jes Tom, Arti Gollapudi, Chrissy Shackelford, Sam Saulsbury, Joe Leonardo, and Corie Johnson: My Hometown (7:30 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Guy MontgomeryFriday 11/29: New Zealand comic Guy Montgomery (co-host of the popular podcast The Worst Idea of All Time) performs a solo stand-up show about friendship (see above) for one night only in Brooklyn: Guy Montgomery: I’m Friends With These People (10:00 pm, $8, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

Michelle ButeauSunday 12/1: Michelle Buteau (HBO’s 2 Dope Queens and High Maintenance, Netflix’s Russian Doll, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, Amazon’s The Tick, VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight; films Always Be My Maybe and Someone Great; comedy album Shut Up) performs a deliciously long stand-up set: Michelle Buteau (7:30 pm [sold out] & 10:00 pm, $20, Brooklyn’s The Bell House at 149 7th Street; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)

Test Tube Comedy: Exploring Racist HumorSunday 12/1: Comics Shalewa Sharpe (Comedy Central’s The New Negroes; HBO’s 2 Dope Queens; comedy album So, You Just Out Here?) and Courtney Fearrington (co-host of Thug Passion Presents) help host Raj Sivaraman—and science—determine if telling jokes related to racism deflates or promotes actual racism: Test Tube Comedy: Exploring Racist Humor (7:00 pm, just $5!, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street—take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher: "Guys We Fucked"Monday 12/2: Corinne Fisher & Krystyna Hutchinson (authors of F*CKED: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed) record their wildly popular Guys We Fucked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast live on stage: Guys We F*cked (6:00 pm; $22.32 in advance online or $24 at the door; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Sam Dingman: "Family Ghosts"Tuesday 12/3: Family Ghosts is a podcast that “investigates the true story behind a mysterious figure whose legend has followed a family for generations. Grandmothers who were secretly jewel smugglers, uncles who led double lives, siblings who vanished without a trace, and other specters who cast shadows over family members in ways that might not be immediately obvious. We’re all formed in part by our familial collections of secrets, intrigues, and myths. Engaging with each others’ legends can help us see each others’ realities more clearly.” Host Sam Dingman (Moth GrandSlam Champion) celebrates the kickoff of Season Three with this live-on-stage edition: Family Ghosts Live (7:00 pm; $15; LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Punderdome 3000 Tuesday 12/3: A raucous monthly pun competition hosted by Fred Firestone (co-author with Jo Firestone of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), with 18 audience members (a dozen sign-ups and six returning champions) fiercely competing for wordplay dominance—and the chance to become an instant star based on verbal cleverness, and the ability to drum up the most applause from a packed and loudly cheering crowd: Punderdome 3000 (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street—take R subway to Union Street; show up early—doors open at 7:00—to nab a seat, or plan on standing)

The Nerds and the BeesTuesday 12/3: Gabe Gonzalez (Scruff, MTV News) and Steve Dean (dating industry consultant & relationship coach) will choose audience members with dating woes and use data to transform their lives by helping them find who they’re looking for. “Along the way we’ll hear some crazy stories, learn insane truths about the dating industry, and meet some new people:” The Nerds & the Bees (9:30 pm, $15, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

Chanel AliWednesday 12/4: Chanel Ali (MTV’s Girl Code, Starz, TruTV) records a comedy album via early and late shows. Come lend your joy and get your laughs immortalized at Chanel Ali Stand-Up Album Recording (7:00 pm and 9:30 pm, $12, LES’ Caveat at 21-A Clinton Street; take F/J/M/Z subway to Delancey Street/Essex Street)

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

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade 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.

Fat Black Pussycat Lounge
130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s smaller, intimate, and lower-priced sister venue (next door to Village Underground), which serves as its primary home for solo shows and experimental shows—which means it’s sometimes the most exciting choice; 2-item min.

The Stand
116 East 16th Street; Club closest to competing with Comedy Cellar, featuring top stand-ups on a main stage and upstairs stage; 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
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.

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.

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.

You can also find me on Twitter at @hybender, Instagram at @hybenderny, and Facebook at https://Facebook.com/hybender.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/3/17

May 3, 2017

Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, TBS’ Sullivan & Son; Comedy Central one-hour special Father Figure) performs a 45-minute stand-up set, with opening sets from Lauryn Petrie, Walker Hays, a TruTV star whose name can’t be advertised, and host Jonas Barnes: Roy Wood Jr. (10:00 pm, $10, Queens Long Island City’s The Creek upstairs lounge at 10-93 Jackson Avenue)

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: A staged reading of a musical work-in-progress about Joan of Arc “who uses rock ‘n roll music to fight the man and free France,” with lyrics by Zack Willis (star member of musical improv group Rumpleteaser), music by Matthew Rubano, direction by Carrie McCrossen, and a cast of 10 including Connor Ratliff, Sunita Mani, Lauren Adams, and Jeff Hiller at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Joan of Rock

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six hours of free improvisation—including musical improv from group Vern (which includes superb singer & comic Julie A. Feltman) at 7:15 pm, such stellar improvisors as Pat Swearingen and Langston Belton in Hero Complex at 8:30 pm, and star instructors such as Dana Shulman, Adrian Sexton, Chris Booth, and sometimes even PIT owner Ali Reza Farahnakian at The Faculty at 10:00 pm, all at The PIT Mainstage: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

7:00 pm ($7): All-female character & sketch comedy at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): hosted by Carly Ann Filbin: Lady Parts

7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

7:30 pm ($5): Extending the improv showcased at UCB Chelsea’s Tuesday Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features house groups Hotel Hotel, Zaddy, and seventeen also making up scenes via the long improv form called The Harold: Lloyd Night

7:30 pm ($7): In this Dungeons & Dragons-themed show, comics Maurice Licorish, Wendi Starling, Jenn Wehrung, Neruda Williams, and Stu Melton roll a 20-sided die that determines what tasks they must perform while also performing comedy at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jacob Galang: Dunces N’ Dragons

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories—which in the past has included Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, Shannon O’Neill, and more at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

8:00 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Charlie Landsman & David Fried: Milk & Cookies: The World’s Sweetest Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Stand-up Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style) headlines at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Lynne Koplitz

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): True personal erotic tales from storytellers Kristin Seltman, Kathryn Henson, Tracey Carnazzo, and Gregory Hall at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Caroline Mazzei & Gregory Hall: So Sexy Comedy Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, and other NYC comics “discussing the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this weekly podcast taping at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Seaton Smith (HBO’s Girls, FOX’s Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, The Nightly Show), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, @midnight, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Adam Glyn (host of FOX’s South of Wilshire), Oscar Collazos (Comedy Central), Ayanna Dookie, Rosebud Baker, and Jay Gillespie perform stand-up for this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Lance Weiss & and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($7): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:30 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a mostly entertaining sketch show in which “the world’s foremost cryptozoologists, monster hunters, and friends of freaky fauna, will convene at our top-secret headquarters under a grocery store to unveil the year’s most fascinating and grotesque new beastly discoveries:” Monsters Exist

…and in the second other of this double bill, a mild parody of girl bands via “the world’s first Asian-American pop group from the USA. Join Baby Rice, Quirky Rice, Edgy Rice, Competitive Rice, and Brown Rice as they kick off their tour by dancing, singing, and rapping about boys, friendship, and systemic racism/oppression:” AzN PoP!: Live in Concert

9:30 pm ($7): A sketch-based play by Clay Grable, Mitchell Friedman, and Matt Stofsky in which they “have been given the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to audition for a reclusive billionaire with deep pockets and a love of comedy. If the boys nail this show, their rich benefactor will make all of their wildest dreams come true. Please laugh!” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): King Quail Live

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): The Chadison High Debate Club take on the controversial topic Is Derek Even For Real? focusing on “sophomore Derek Lavazza, who is best known for setting a small garbage fire in the senior parking lot last spring” performed by James Dwyer & Jackie Jennings at the UCB Chelsea theatre: A Big Dumb Thing

Wednesday 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

6:00 pm ($5 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: Monthly open mic for stand-up, characters, storytelling, improv, music, or anything else, providing 4 minutes per person—and a extra minute beyond that if the performer pays a compliment to a fellow performer in the room. Sign up via email by noon today at thecomplimentarymic@gmail.com for one of the 9 reserved spots, or try to nab one of the 5 walk-in spots tonight at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jenn Wehrung & Coree Spencer: The Complimentary Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT Mainstage hosted by Anthony Velez: Recess

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

11:00 pm ($5): Weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes per comic, with sign-up at 10:00 pm (maximum of 12 comics, so arrive early), at The PIT Underground hosted by Max Halpert: Awkward High Five Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: A gay-themed opportunity to perform improv—especially musical improv—on the UCB East stage: …XYZ Jam

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

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea (307 West 26th Street): 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10

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

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre (123 East 24th Street): 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; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/24/15

December 24, 2015

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

Christmas Eve

Most comedy venues are closed tonight, but there’s still lots of stand-up to enjoy at The Creek, Comedy Cellar, Carolines, Eastville, The Stand, Gotham, and Stand Up NY

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A veteran stand-up who’s performed on Louie, Broad City, 2 Broke Girls, HBO, and much more, co-hosted The View, and won two Emmys as a writer/producer for The Rosie O’Donnell Show, headlining tonight and tomorrow at the Carolines Comedy Club: Merry Hanukkah with Judy Gold

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Gary Gulman, Todd Barry, Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Gregg Rogell, Nick Griffin, Rachel Feinstein, Sam Morril, and more performing stand-up spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and a 9:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Christmas Eve

[$] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Stand-up for Jews, with Jon Fisch, Marion Grodin, Gregg Rogell, Gary Vider, and more performing at the Gotham Comedy Club: A Very Jewish Christmas

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Josh Gondelman, Liz Magee, Rae Sanni, Jordan Temple, and Shane Torres performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ariel Elias: Creek Cave Live Christmas Eve

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): Rachel Feinstein, Gary Vider, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Christmas Eve

9:00 pm  ($10; no min.): Stand-ups Aaron Berg, Brenda Colonna, Yannis Pappas, Vladimir Caamano, and more performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Christmas Eve

[$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Sam Morril, and more performing at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up New York Christmas Eve

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-ups Josh Gondelman, Ariel Elias, and Clark Jones performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Nate Fridson: Whiskey Basketball Day Eve

Christmas Eve Open Mics

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

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

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

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

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

 For more shows on non-holiday nights (most of these are closed for Christmas), please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

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

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/14/11

September 14, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Hey We Live There!: Martians Take Manhattan

Sharp comics comment on inept cinematic scenes of NYC being invaded by our neighbors from the red planet...

Hey We Live There!: Martians Take Manhattan

...at Robbie Collier's fun show at The Creek: "Hey We Live There!: Martians Take Manhattan"

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at 92Y Tribeca(200 Hudson Street): Mortified

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCBeast (UCB East, 155 East 3rd Street between Avenues A & B), Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie; and another genius improv troupe consisting of trio Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) performs as Outlook of the Poet

8:00 pm ($5): Remember how your father totally screwed you up? Imagine if you were brought up by Doug Moe: Doug Moe is a Bad Dad; and in the other half of this double-bill at UCB West (307 West 26th Street), 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 at The Last Resort

8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm ($7): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free drink!): Typically terrific NYC stand-ups (sadly, not announced this week) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

[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] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Some of the most inept movie scenes of New York City being invaded by aliens, with clips from Independence Day, The Day the Earth Stood Still (Keanu Reeves version ‘natch), and lots more, guided by stand-ups Mark Normand, Phil Hanley, Anthony DeVito, and Greg Stone, plus stand-up sets from Kevin Barnett and Paul Hooper, all at Queens LIC’s The Creekdownstairs lounge hosted by Robbie Collier: Hey We Live There!: Martians Take Manhattan

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCBeast (UCB East, 155 East 3rd Street between Avenues A & B), Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then improv troupes Dance Break and Sandino make up scenes without relying on the usual long-form “Harold” rules at Cheating on Harold

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Dylan Brody performs a funny and poignant one-man show about how the martial arts changed his life by bringing him “to a place where peace becomes possible, where confidence obviates conflict, where the sound of one’s own breath is all one needs in order to own any moment” at92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): More Arts, Less Martial

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: NYC comics Sue Funke, Meghan O’Keefe, and Elihu Dietz, musical guest Marian Rosin, and more performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Thin Skin Jonny. They had it all. They were icons, legends, anti-folk superstars. However, tragedy struck and they broke up, citing an alleged statutory charge, gay porn addiction, and Four Loko abuse. Now, two months later, they’re back to do one last show—a benefit! Can they find a way to get along long enough to raise the money needed to re-animate the corpse of Bea Arthur? Maybe, with your help!” Performers include Ari Scott, with direction from Pam Murphy at UCB West (307 West 26th Street): Thin Skin Jonny: Farewell Reunion Tour

[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 weekly show at UCB West (307 West 26th Street) makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the UCBeast (UCB East, 155 East 3rd Street between Avenues A & B) stage with improv veterans, hosted by troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/9/11

August 9, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Hey We Live There!: Dystopia Cornucopia Edition

Star Ted Alexandro and other razor-sharp comics comment on cinematic scenes of NYC becoming an even worse place to reside at Robbie Collier's fun new show at The Creek: "Hey We Live There!: Dystopia Cornucopia Edition"

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] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Please note this is among the last chances to enjoy improv genius Tara Copeland on an NYC stage before Tara moves to LA next month. Come see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching any or all of this five-night run (through Friday) at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street): Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—and in celebration of this upcoming weekend’s Del Close Marathon, tonight features all four of UCBT’s top improv troupes—Death by Roo Roo, The Law Firm, The Stepfathers, and The Curfew—plus at 10:30 pm UCBT students perform with improv veterans at Jammin’ With Ralph—all at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Joe Garden (Editor of The Onion), Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), Costaki Economopoulos (Showtime’s Caroline Rhe & FriendsThe Bob and Tom Radio Show), Kevin Barnett, and musical guest Eden and John’s East RIver String Band performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comics creators joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture, at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

[FREE] 8:00 pm: At this unique show, stand-ups play videos they’ve made about themselves and then perform sets, with tonight’s guests Paul Oddo, Michael Che, Jessie Richardson, and Rojo Perez: Anecdotal Evidence

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Sound & the Fury and Tambourine

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Some of the most inept movie scenes of New York City being turned into a dystopia, with clips from Soylent Green2019: After the Fall of New York, and I Am Legend(actually a fine film, Robbie must be running out of bad ones), guided by stellar stand-ups Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Jon FIsch (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1), Jesse Joyce (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, FOX), Dave Waite, Tim Dimond, plus stand-up sets from Mike Recine and Andrew Short, all at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Robbie Collier: Hey We Live There!: Dystopia Cornucopia Edition

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) as The Two-Man Movie

9:30 pm ($5): Improvised episodes of the never-made third season of Twin Peaks at The PIT’s upstairs theatre: In These Woods

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Avi Liberman, Andy Haynes, Robert Kelly, and more performing at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

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 7/28/11

July 28, 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.

Lisa Lampanelli

Lisa Lampanelli tells tales of online dating at Risk!...

Jessi Klein

...while Jessi Klein performs stand-up at Lasers in the Jungle

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

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

7:00 pm ($5): A one-man show from comic Matthew Robert Gehring (member of sketch troupePolitical Subversions): #GenericWhiteGuy

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

8:00 pm ($5): Seth Kirschner (30 Rock, Lipstick Jungle) plays every character in a half-hour one-man TV episode parodying 90s sitcoms—and is debuting a new episode tonight—in Sertainly Seth; and in the other half of this double-bill, Paul Welsh performs a one-man show about a hall of portraits in Men in Paintings

8:00 pm ($5): “Best friends Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixell created an internet phenomenon by challenging pairs of women to double date them, and documenting the hilarious results for YouTubers everywhere. Two hundred dates later, their experiences were translated into reenactments, educational songs, and valuable lessons in everything from dancing to kissing. Tonight, these “dating experts” will improvise demonstrations inspired by audience participation, in an attempt to enlighten on the art of romance…and perhaps do a little bit of matchmaking along the way:” Dave and Ethan: Dating Coaches

8:00 pm ($5): Terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) host a comedy variety show, with tonight’s Desiree Burch, David Smithyman, Killy Dwyer, and Cocoon Central Dance Team performing at The PIT’s basement lounge: Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow

[$] 8:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of ComedyShowtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Fridayheadlining tonight and Friday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are star insult comic Lisa Lampanelli, stunt journalist AJ Jacobs, and Emmy-winning Daily Show Supervising Producer Adam Lowitt—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to share tales on tonight’s theme “Met on the Net” at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Sam Grittner (for stand-up about the gayness of Heaven, please click here), and Harry Terjanian (XM Radio) performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle

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

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] 11:00 pm ($5): The highly talented Fran Gillespie, who came in as a solo improvisor, made the odd choice of requesting an audience member who had zero improv experience to come on stage and perform with her for her entire set—and then periodically scolded her new partner for making choices counter to improv rules that Fran explicitly requested the audience member not know… Spectacular musical improv troupe Diamond Lion (which includes improv genius Tara Copeland) ended up garnering nearly twice as many audience votes—and will be a champion that all subsequent opponents will find hard to beat. Tonight DL goes up against new UCBT Harold Night house troupe Mr. Crime, competing 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 Upstate 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 Wednesday 7/27/11

July 27, 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.

Scott Adsit and John Lutz

Scott Adsit & John Lutz create genius improv as "John & Scott"...

Erin Lennox's The I LIke You Too Show

...and the delightful Erin Lennox hosts a stand-up event that includes Sean Patton and Jared Logan: "The I Like You Too Show"

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives), and Jeff Dye (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central Presents) joining best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), Sam Morril, Amber Nelson, Neal Stastny, Gonzolo Cordova, and Anthony Devito performing stand-up at the 11th Street Bar (510 East 11th Street, off Avenue A) for this monthly extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sportsshow, please click here): Erin Lennox’s I Like You Too Show

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): NYC comics (lineup not annouced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner: Monsters

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo who should not be missed: John & Scott

[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: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 7/26/11

July 26, 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.

Adam Wade and Jon Friedman

Two of the most beloved nice guys in comedy, Adam Wade and Jon Friedman, perform one-man shows in "Cool as Nice"...

Sean Patton and Eric Andre

...and two of the most beloved wild men in comedy, Sean Patton and Eric Andre, perform tonight at "Righteous Kill"

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:

7:00 pm ($5): Duo improv from team Snazzle Dazzle ; and improv revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies” in Double Date

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Two one-man shows from top comedic storytellers beloved for their sweet, vulnerable styles: Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here) and Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show) performing at Brooklyn’s Union HallCool at Nice

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott, and Marvel Assistant Editors Ellie Pyle and Rachel Pinnelas, talk about Dan’s new story arc Spider Island with super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage, as well as conduct a lively & hilarious discussion aboutfour-color pop culture, at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Jennifer Dziura, who hosts Brooklyn’s Spelling Bee and writes women’s blog TheGrindstone.com, debuts a one-woman show about women through the ages, from Eve to Oprah: The History of Women in 60 Minutes

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Airwolf, Mr. Crime, Grandma’s Ashes, Sandino, American Cousinl, and at 11:00 pm advanced UCBT students acting weird—all at Harold Night

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Rebound and BEEES!

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Jane Borden (treasured Comedy Editor of Time Out New York, author of I Totally Meant to Do That), James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, ABC’s Apartment 23, TBS’ Lopez Report, Comedy Central, FOX’s In the Flow), and Maysoon Zayid (self-described “Palestinian Muslim virgin with cerebral palsy, from New Jersey;” cast member for two seasons of As the World Turns; pundit for Keith Olbermann) performing at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

9:30 pm ($8): Two one-woman shows from Peter Michael Marino’s Flying Solo class: “Becky Flaum thinks she’s Julia Roberts. And Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore, even Katherine Heigel. But she isn’t. Her high cinematic hopes for her love life start to get in the way of reality on her quest for the perfect co-star” in Hopeless Romantic Comedy; and “What is success and what is failure? A tale of a girl growing up, figuring out what is important to her and learning that she can have her cake and eat it too!” in One Fat Step at a Time

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

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 Monday 7/25/11

July 25, 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.

John Oliver and Anthony Jeselnik

Two of the greatest stand-ups in comedy history, John Oliver and Anthony Jeselnik, tonight at Whiplash

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

7:00 pm ($5): Joe Moses became a YouTube star with A Very Potter Musical. In this show, he uses sketch, improv, and music to “share his unique perspective on what it’s like to be a young artist in NYC, and an online celebrity:” The Joe Moses One Man Showses

7:00 pm & 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:30 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, ABC’sApartment 23, TBS’ Lopez Report, Comedy Central, FOX’s In the Flow), Phoebe Robinson (normally this show’s host, but Phoebe’s doing a set tonight), Mara Herron (Sirius Radio), Carrie Graveson, Seaton Smith, and Joe Machi performing stand-ups at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pubtonight guest-hosted by Jessimae Peluso (Tyra Banks Show, TruTV): Case of the Mondays Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Film, and Broadway & off-Broadway stars Jonathan Kaplan (Tony nominee for FalsettosDiary of Anne Frank on Broadway) Cristin Milioti (30 RockCoram Boy, Lieutenant of Inishmore on Broadway) Stephen Ruddy (Skype Duet, Chekhov’s Gun), Amy Rutberg (The Divine Sister, Our Leading Lady) and Julie Sharbutt (Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night, Maladies) mixing it up with some of the greatest  improvisors in the world—Scott Adsit (30 Rock, Moral Orel, John & Scott), Tara Copeland (Baby Wants Candy, Mother, Diamond Lion, The Made Up Musical, The Other Guys), Michael Delaney (Conan O’Brien, The Other Guys, The Stepfathers), John Lutz (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, John & Scott), and Michael Patrick O’Brien (Saturday Night Live)—as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Baron Vaughn (star of USA’s Fairly Legal, co-star of USA’s Facing Kate and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Eric Ledgin (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Kate Beaton (stellar cartoonist: Hark! A Vagrant), and as house band the super-amazing Adira Amram and the Experience (winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. This show was previously a wonderful theatrical event that cost $18 and up. Don’t miss this five-week Monday evening run, concluding August 15th, at the elegant Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) that allows you to catch the gals for a mere $10: Naked in a Fishbowl

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Jonathan Blank and Samara Doucette say what everyone else thinks on dates, but never says… so join them and guest comedians as they divulge all of their wildest and most embarrassing dating stories! This monthly storytelling show contains the truth and nothing but the truth. However, most of the stories are more surreal than if David Lynch directed romantic comedies. Everything from wild hookups to emotional breakups are on the table:” This is Awkward

9:30 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s in-house sketch comedy troupes, Arbuckle (which includes performers Pam Murphy and Violet Krumbein) and Stone Cold Fox (which includes performers Fran Gillespie, Nate Smith, and John Murray), trying out new bits at Maude Night

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include John Oliver (star correspondent of The Daily Show, co-star of NBC’s Community, star of Comedy Central’s New York Stand-Up Show, screenwriter, and genius stand-up comic), Anthony Jeselnik (one of my all-time favorite stand-ups; former staff writer/performer for Jimmy FallonConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central Presents; debut comedy CD Shakespeare), Nick Turner (host ofMonsters, co-host of Too Cool for School and If You Build It), Chris Laker, and Dan Soder—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

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 Sunday 7/24/11

July 24, 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.

Jane Borden, James Adomian, and Carmen Lynch

Jane Borden, James Adomian, and Carmen Lynch perform at Sunday Night Stand-Up

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] 2:00 pm: Eddie Brill (long-time warm-up comic and booker for David Letterman), Moody McCarthy (Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Kimmel), Adam Newman (MTV, College Humor, new comedy CD Not for Horses), and John F. O’Donnell performing stand-up for a free outdoor show—yes, in the middle of a heat wave, so don’t wear much—at Tompkins Square Park, at the Old Bandshell Lawn (off 7th Street & Avenue A): Laughter in the Park

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (for details, please click here) at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Open

6:30 pm ($5): A show auditioning for a run at The Magnet with no description beyond this intriguing title: Old Timey Radio Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBT’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Jane Borden (treasured Comedy Editor of Time Out New York, author of I Totally Meant to Do That), James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), Carmen Lynch (also a finalist on Last Comic Standing), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Nick Rutherford, and Tom Dunlap performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

8:00 pm ($5): A sketch show from new and potentially filthy troupe Turboner Bigote

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT’s downstairs lounge for a free weekly show typically hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[$] 8:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed numerous times on David Letterman and Jay Leno, starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, and starred in a second Comedy Central special titled Mitch Fatel is Magical, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with openers Ophira Eisenberg and Michael Somerville): Mitch Fatel

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Music from the unforgettable dark comedy group The Cowmen and more at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Murderfist’s Holden McNeely & Ed Larson: Stage Fright

[TOP PICK]  9:30 pm ($5): Improv troupe Phooka goes scripted with a sketch show about “tales of the wild and weird people, places, and events this side of Crazytown; true stories of all things that most folks only whisper about—and those who hear wish they didn’t!;” plus in the second half of this double-bill, “a magical world of female centaurs, space gladiatrixes, serpent gods, and Glenn Close as fantasy artist Julie Bell takes audience members on a ride through her life’s work and explains the strange and mundane inspirations behind her masterpieces…unleash your inner robobird!”: Phooka and Julie Bell

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Carolyn Castiglia (hilarious stand-up and white rapper; VH1, MTV), Yamaneika (BET), and Chantal Carerre (Boston Comedy Festival) performing stand-up at a free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

[$] 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 4 minutes per comic, at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by Rob Stern: Vicious Cycle

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.