NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 3/15/16

March 15, 2016

Top stand-up Myq Kaplan is hilarious as he reveals secrets about his past involving Robin Hood, violins, linguistics, improv, playing Carnegie Hall, and much more in this second career episode of my podcast website.

Blaine Swen and The Improvised Shakespeare CompanyIf you braved the rain last night, you saw genius improvisors from Chicago—including ISC founder Blaine Swen—go for the silly as the five-member troupe became armies for England, Ireland, France, and Germany that alternated between battling, singing, and dancing, mixed in with subplots that included a young woman named Molly who doubled as drug metaphor and a soldier so young he was the spirit of an unborn baby (and had the latter gotten on Molly’s back rather than that of another character, the show would have ended literally with a Ghost On Drugs…). There’s no telling where an audience suggestion will lead on this final night of the current NYC run of this finest improv troupe in the world that performs one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Seats are sold out, but you can get in if you arrive early and are okay with sitting on stairs (with tickets discounted to $20). Don’t miss your last chance for a while to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company (7:00 pm, $20 to sit on stairs, Theatre 80 St. Marks at 80 St. Marks Place off First Avenue)…

Brain and Heart…or see neuroscientists, physicists, and comics tell tales related to the brain hosted by Ben Lillie & Erin Barker: The Story Collider: Brain Awareness (8:00 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)

 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] 5:30 pm: Comics performing funny characters audition at The PIT to appear in the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for Laughs Character Auditions

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 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): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

7:30 pm ($5): A showcase for two brand new shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—every week at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: Pilot Season

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Dave Hill, Janeane Garofalo, and Shakir Standley perform stand-up hosted by the hilarious Joe Pera, Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at Brooklyn’s The Shanty (79 Richardson Street; take L subway to Lorimer Street): Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This charming show puts comics who are friends behind the scenes on stage for an evening to adorably perform together. Tonight’s guests are Phoebe Robinson & Mehran Khaghani, Joe Zimmerman & Doogie Horner, Katie Compa & Raquel D’Apice, and Nick Turner & Greg Stone performing stand-up, sketch, or improv at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A, between 10th & 11th Streets) hosted by real-life couple Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) & Andy Beckerman (The Pete Holmes Show, Beginnings Podcast): In Stereo: Two Comics, One Stage

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm (FREE online using code JFL; no min.): Rising stand-ups audition for the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, hosted by Yannis Pappas at 8:00 and Aaron Berg at 10:00, at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The wonderful Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer) hosts this stand-up show featuring Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Yamaneika Saunders (Last Comic Standing), and Aida Rodriguez at the UCB East theatre: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat: Hosted by Mark Normand

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform sets—and you and the rest of the audience tries to answer trivia questions based on those sets! It all happens at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedy Pursuit

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch, improv, and stand-up comics “create a brand new show in only one week, and then perform improvised sketches based off of your suggestions, just like The Second City used to do” at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Show

8:30 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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), Brett Davis, Peggy O’Leary, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) for host Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): A variety show hosted by Steph Cook (founding member of sketch collective Kill All Comedy) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Steffi Cook Show

9:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Derek Humphrey: Headliner’s Ball

9:15 pm ($8, which includes free beer): NYC stand-ups performing at Brooklyn’s The Experiment Comedy Gallery (20 Broadway) hosted by Jaqi Furback & Mike Lewis: The Party

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A sketch show based on the soundtrack of Hamilton featuring improv hip-hop group North Coast, Jonathan Braylock, hosts Becky Chicoine, Sudi Green, and Sam Reece, and more at the UCB East theatre: Theme Party: Hamilton

9:30 pm ($5): Five stand-ups attempt to seamlessly weave their bits into each other’s sets to create a holistic 30-minute experience at The PIT upstairs theatre: Human Centipede

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A stand-up performs a 6-minute stand-up set…and then has to endure an old video of him or her telling bad jokes poorly, so the audience can see how much the comic has grown. Six stand-ups—Emily Winter, Sarah Kennedy, Evan Jones, Dina Hashem, Daniel J Perafan, and Kevin Froleiks— will go through this at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Patrick Hastie: Old Bits, New Bits

10:00 pm ($5): In this unique show, improvisors make up a complete family & friends intervention based on an audience suggestion at The PIT downstairs lounge: Impro-vention

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of veteran and newer stand-ups performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Matteo Lane (Comedy Central): Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:30 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, typically hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tuesday After Class Jam

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

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

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

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; 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

The Stand

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 Monday 3/14/16

March 14, 2016

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, on my podcast website.

The Improvised Shakespeare CompanyIf you skipped last night, you missed two extraordinary Shakespearean tales made up on the spot from genius improvisors from Chicago—including ISC founder Blaine Swen—using the language and themes of the Bard. (To give you a taste, one scene involved three of the guys playing prostitutes forming different animal shapes to please the bestiality fantasies of a rich Duke in the audience-titled tale Syphilis and Such. And another scene involved a dictatorial politician responding to a protestor at a rally by unhesitatingly shooting him with an arrow in the heart…) This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a three-night NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Tonight’s and Tuesday’s ‘s shows are sold out, but you can get in if you arrive early and are okay with sitting on stairs (with tickets discounted to $20) instead of theatre seats. This is a rare, and highly recommended, opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company (7:00 pm, $20 to sit on stairs, Theatre 80 St. Marks at 80 St. Marks Place off First Avenue)…

Chris Sullivan and Jacqueline Novak…or if you prefer stand-up and improv music, 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) hosts this monthly show, with tonight’s guests Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of Battlicious), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor, author of How to Weep in Public), Micah Sherman (brilliant improvisor, Myq’s musical partner), Ray Devito, Clark Jones, Jaqi Furback, and Willie Caldwell: Myq Kaplan & Friends (8:30 pm, $5, Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell at 27-16 23rd 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] 5:30 pm: Comics each perform funny solo characters at UCB East in this audition for the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for Laughs Character Auditions

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 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): Comedy Cellar Monday

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from two sharp house groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

7:30 pm ($5): Sharp duo improvisors Kelly Buttermore & Justin Peters make up one-act plays based on audience suggestions at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): From Justin to Kelly

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Nick Vatterott, Peggy O’Leary, Josh Johnson, and David Ebert performing stand-up or sketch at Pianos (158 Ludlow Street) booked by Tovah Silbermann, produced by Jane Clausen, and hosted by Yoni Lotan & Mark Vigeant: The Loud Boys Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb comics & writers—Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Seaton Smith (rising star stand-up; FOX’s Mulaney, The Nightly Show), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1; co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), Corinne Fisher (co-host of Guys We Fucked podcast), and Shenaz Treasury (The Nightly show with Larry Wilmore)—share at this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, duo sketch from Matt Fisher & Jim Santangeli in Who’s More Awesome?

…and in the second other of this double bill, sketch group Astronomy Club—which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock—invite you to “join Reverend Professor Ray Cordova in the year 2025 as he delivers a lesson in what really happened in black history. In our past, discover what the Underground Railroad has in common with the MTA, watch in awe as Batman meet the Black Panthers, and in our not-too-distant future, Obama is all washed up, Rick Ross sings protest anthems, and the first female president will shock you! This show is the realization of MLK’s dream…or maybe his nightmare:” Astronomy Club: A Journey Through Black History

8:00 pm ($8): Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Kyle Ayers, Rojo Perez, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for numerous awesome shows, including South Park; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): Zhubin Parang (head writer for The Daily Show), Tracy Clayton (staff writer for BuzzFeed), and Eugene Mirman and/or associates demonstrate their brilliance at thinking on their feet by hilariously answering questions at the live taping of Chris Duffy’s radio show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street): You’re the Expert

9:00 pm ($7): Eight sharp female comics perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Lady Sketch Show

9:00 pm ($5): “Henry Koperski has come up with another dumb combo for a show: Titanic featuring the music of High School Musical! Come enjoy a staged version of one of the most successful films of all time, complete with showstopping numbers from the hit Disney channel original movie/musical: High School Musical” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Titanic Featuring High School Musical

9:30 ($5): House sketch groups Estevez and Mona co try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phil Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Langston Kerman, Wendi Starling, KC Arora, Frank Liotti, and more perform for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-night-only team at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

10:30 pm ($7): Two “coming out” tales from storytellers serve as springboards for LGBTQ improvisers to make up scenes—some of which will be musical—at The Magnet theatre: Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world-who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the best stand-ups in the country; writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Last Comic Standing). Reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at 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 3 minutes on stage. Arrive at around 5:45 to sign up, or wait for the late bucket at 6:15, to perform at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: First Stop Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by John Field: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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; 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

The Stand

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 Sunday 3/13/16

March 13, 2016

The Improvised Shakespeare CompanyGenius improvisors from Chicago—including ISC founder Blaine Swen—delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the start of a three-night NYC run, with every show on every evening utterly different from the last. As I write this, tonight’s 7:00 pm show is sold out, but there are still tickets for the 9:30 pm show here (use discount code OPHELIA). Plus you can even get into the sold-out shows if you arrive early and are okay with sitting on stairs (with tickets discounted to $20) instead of theatre seats. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company (7:00 pm & 9:30 pm, $25 using discount code OTHELLO or $20 if you opt to sit on stairs, Theatre 80 St. Marks at 80 St. Marks Place off First 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] 5:00 pm: Comics performing funny characters audition at The Magnet to appear in the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for Laughs Character Auditions

5:30 pm ($5): Improvisors who cut across all regions and schools come together for one evening at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Supernova

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

7:00 pm ($5): Myka Fox, Tyler Richardson, and Sean O’Brien make up jokes on the spot based on pictures you and the rest of your audience submit via the Crowd Source app at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Forrest Haigh: Crowd Sourced Comedy

7:00 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

7:00 pm ($5): Brandon Scott Wolf, Liz Acury, and more perform stand-up on this show that features an equal number of male and female comics at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jen Flanagan: Cootie Free Zone Comedy Show

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase: Church!

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among five shows, with three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comics perform their material, and then improvisors make up scenes that further explore those worlds of sketch at The Magnet theatre: Works Cited

7:30 pm ($5): Dana Krashin and friends are improv group Student Driver, which hosts two indie improv troupes making up scenes and then performs itself, all at The PIT downstairs lounge: Student Driver Indie Road

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander, Joe List, Pete Lee, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue off 20th Street): The Stand Sunday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do their best to impress at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) in these auditions to perform in the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for Laughs Stand-Up Auditions, Part 1 (Part 2 is at 10:00 pm)

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Typically superb improvisors make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs theatre for this weekly show produced by Sarah Nowak (The Baldwins): People Improvising

8:00 pm ($5): Phil Hanley, Christi Chiello, Doug Smith, Peggy O’Leary, Kevin Iso, Nate Fridson, and Ramon Rivas II performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:30 pm ($5): What appears to be an uninspired science parody sketch show (click for video promo) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Dr. Professor PhD

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

9:00 pm ($7): Typically solid stand-ups perform at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Will Miles, Clark Jones, and/or Kenny DeForest: Comedy Night at the Knit

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tom Cassidy & Matt Pavich: Have Fun

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do their best to impress at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) in these auditions to perform in the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for Laughs Stand-Up Auditions, Part 2 (Part 1 was at 8:00 pm with an entirely different group of comics)

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Group Medusa turns a calamity selected by the an audience member into an improvised documentary live on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Medusa Presents Improv Against Humanity

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket, drawings every half hour), providing 4 minutes per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Intestinal Fortitude

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs 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

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) 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 at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

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; 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

The Stand

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 Tuesday 1/13/15

January 13, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Seth Green and lots more are on The Late Late Show;
Matt LeBlanc is on Conan O’Brien;
Grace Helbig, Doug Benson, and Hari Kondabolu are on @midnight;
the third season of The Kroll Show kicks off at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

Tonight is your last chance to catch the finest, funniest improv troupe in the world: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

Molly's North Korea Armageddon Family Hour

…and Andrea Alton performs what’s likely to be a hilarious show as Molly “Equality” Dykeman as she tells stories, sings and dances, hits on women in the audience, and much more: Molly’s North Korea Armageddon Family Hour

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

 [TOP PICK] 1:00 pm ($30): There are hundreds of walking tours in NYC, but my favorite so far is this survey of artwork in the New York City subway system. While guide Phil Desiere isn’t in any way a comic, the artwork itself primarily is comedic (and often includes a comic book sensibility). If you’d enjoy having your eyes opened to the whimsical art strewn about heavily traveled NYC subway stations that millions of busy commuters never notice, treat yourself to this 2½ hour expedition happening on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 1:00 pm: New York City Subway Art Tour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($25 at the door with discount code OPHELIA; please note this show has SOLD OUT, but the theatre will be squeezing people in if you arrive early and are okay with standing): Genius improvisors from Chicago—including ISC founder Blaine Swen—delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the conclusion of a three-night NYC run at at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), with every evening utterly different from the last. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

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

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

7:00 pm ($5): Improv group You’re Not My Dad make up scenes springboarding off TV commercials at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Commercial Made Me Do It

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($7.37 online using code BREAKOUT, plus 2-drink min.) El Salvador-based Julio Torres headlines and curates a terrific group of alternative comics: Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, and live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Josh Sharp (half of ace sketch duo Dennie & Sharp), Gary Richardson (host of School Night), and Joe Rumrill, all performing for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Julio Torres Headlines & Presents Jo Firestone, Josh Sharp, and More

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton and Gregg Rogell at the 7:30 show; Gary Gulman, Joe Materese, Dov Davidoff, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Keith Alberstadt, and Joe List at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Comedy club headliner depth for just $5, with tonight’s star stand-ups Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) and Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased) each performing a 30-minute set at UCB East hosted by Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1): Big Long Sets

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($11.30 in advance online, $15 at the door): Andrea Alton tells unsettling stories, sings and dances, and hits on women in the audience as her very funny character Molly “Equality” Dykeman, “the loveable but barely lucid security guard at PS 339 who dabbles in a bit of poetry, a bit of Percocet, and a lot of drink; plus dinosaurs, zombies, giant sink holes, Kim Jong Un, and guests.” The latter tonight are Allen Warnock (The Knick, I Just Want My Pants Back), Rick Younger (NBC’s Today Show), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Athena Reich (Pregnant Gaga), and Moe & Mary, all performing at LES’ 21-A Clinton Street: Molly’s North Korea Armageddon Family Hour

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): John Frusciante performs a one-man show based on John Gray’s iconic bestselling book at The PIT upstairs theatre: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Live

8:00 pm ($5): Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Akaash Singh, and Brendan Fitzgibbons performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show hosted by Calvin Cole & Sharron Paul that calls attention to its inexpensive price: Cheap Date

[FREE; plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Mike Denny (host of Broken Comedy), Brendan Fizgibbons (The Onion), Maria Heinegg, and Julie Kottakis performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, Sue Smith, JF Harris, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

8:00 pm ($5): Christine Holt & Mary Guiteras tend bar for a living, then let off steam by performing improv springboarding off true stories by their guests—who tonight are Claire Yale and Brad Stuart—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Bartenders’ Resolutions Show

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sketch group Murderfist, Brooks Whelan, Amanda Seales, Andy Haynes, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Seaton Smith (FOX’s Mulaney, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Comedy Central, College Humor), Andrew Short (co-host of Underbelly), and Griffin Newman-Newman performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) produced by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, Clark Jones, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Grammer, Women & Men, and The Enemy at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Ace stand-ups present lectures about silly topics, with tonight’s guests Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), and Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing) performing at the UCB East theatre hosted by Kara Klenk, Jared Logan, and Jim Tews: Homeschooled—A Comedic Lecture Series: Myq Kaplan, Aparna Nancherla, Jared Logan, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing)performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Nick DiPaolo, Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Chris DiStefano, and Pete Lee

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Dive Comedy), Sean Hart, Steve Whalen, Carmen Christopher, Joey Dundale, and Max Wittert performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis playing a new character at every show—who tonight is an Amish comic: The Tuesday Special: Amish Night

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Seth Cockfield: War On Sadness

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

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Monday 1/12/15

January 12, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Casey Wilson is on Seth Meyers;
Fred Armisen is on Conan O’Brien;
Marc Maron, Jen Kirkman, and John Hodgman are on @midnight

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

If you’re okay with standing…

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

…get on the standby line to experience the finest improv troupe in the world performing two sold out shows tonight at Theatre 80 St. Marks: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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

 [TOP PICK] 1:00 pm ($30): There are hundreds of walking tours in NYC, but my favorite so far is this survey of artwork in the New York City subway system. While guide Phil Desiere isn’t in any way a comic, the artwork itself primarily is comedic (and often includes a comic book sensibility). If you’d enjoy having your eyes opened to the whimsical art strewn about heavily traveled NYC subway stations that millions of busy commuters never notice, treat yourself to this 2½ hour expedition happening on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 1:00 pm: New York City Subway Art Tour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($25 at the door with discount code OPHELIA; please note all shows have SOLD OUT, but the theatre will be squeezing people in if you arrive early and are okay with standing):Genius improvisors from Chicago—typically including Blaine Swen (ISC founder) and Thomas Middleditch (star of HBO’s Silicon Valley)—delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a three-night NYC run at at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), with every evening utterly different from the last. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Whatever Happened to the Nerds? and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), featuring guest storyteller Rob Penty at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers, Stone Cold Fox) tries out material for a one-man show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Connor Ratliff’s Workout

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation—which include group Holiday at 9:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: “This show is very different. Our audience sits in a big circle where everyone may speak at anytime in a very chill open group conversation. Expect a lot of improv, storytelling, topic discussion, jokes, songs, and great vibes from everybody in a very casual no stress group atmosphere” at Solas (232 East 9th Street) hosted by Will Thilly: The Chill Circle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Jermaine Fowler, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, Jon Fisch, Big Jay Oakerson, Pete Davidson, Sam Morril, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine), Andy Haynes (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), and Saurin Choksi performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Matthew Patrick Davis (composer/lyricist of UCBT-LA musicals based on Jurassic Park, The Shining, King Kong, The NeverEnding Story, etc.) performs a one-man musical about his quest to not die alone, featuring such songs as “Superficial Bastard,” “I’m In Love With A Girl That I Hate,” and “She Doesn’t Like Radiohead,”at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Matt Davis Gets a Girlfriend

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Joel Weidl (Goat, Death by Roo Roo) writes and stars in sketch showAmerican Weidl

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code,VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Lane Moore, and Akilah Hughes share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

8:00 pm ($10): Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen) and more performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Goodbye, Handsome (which includes irresistible dynamo Christine Bullen) and Nipsy (which includes the highly talented Natasha Vaynblat):Maude Night: Goodbye, Handsome and Nipsy

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Shang Forbes (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View,The Newz), Luchana Gatica, Emma Willmann, and Chris Scopo performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentaryA Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly comedy variety show featuring sketch, character bits, and stand-up at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Comedic Information

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aparna Nancherla or someone else wonderful: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo Open Mic

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in 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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/13/14

May 13, 2014

TV Alert: New Inside Amy Schumer at 10:30 pm and 2:30 am on Comedy Central (for highlights of the red-hot Season 2 to date, please click here); Weird Al Yankovic and Mamrie Hart are on @midnight

Ashley Brooke Roberts

Ashley Brooke Roberts debuts a new monthly stand-up show: Sweet Tooth Comedy

Blaine Swen of The Improvised Shakespeare Company

…and Blaine Swen spearheads the finest improv troupe in the world performing for its final night in NYC: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($26.87 online or $25 at the door with discount code MAY FB; please note this show has SOLD OUT of chairs, but the theatre can often squeeze people in to sit on stairs or stand): Genius improvisors from Chicago—including Thomas Middleditch (star of HBO’s Silicon Valley)—delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the finale of a three-night NYC run at at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), with every evening utterly different from the last. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Magnet Musical Megawatt

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

7:00 pm ($8): Comedy duo Keith Kingbay & Jesse Neil perform sketch at The PIT downstairs lounge: Keith & Jesse

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

[TOP PICK][$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), and Leslie Warren (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Judah Friedlander, Marina Franklin, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Anthony P. Devito, and musical improv group Pop Roulette performing at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street) for this new monthly show hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts: Sweet Tooth Comedy

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

8:00 pm ($10): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: National Scandal

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Emily Winter, Matt Donaher, Tim Duffy, Alex Ryu, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up or sketch for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Mark Normand (rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Luke Cunningham (monologue writer for Jimmy Fallon), Dion Flynn (plays President Obama on Jimmy Fallon;, LOGO’s Big Gay Sketch Show, VH1’s Best Week Ever, improv group Big Black Car), and “special guests” performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, MTV; writer for VH1’s Best Week Ever and FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome), Clark Jones, and Alyssa Wolff performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Kevin McCaffrey, Robert Dean, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[$] [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): “Katie Haller may be small, but her jokes will kick you hard in the shins. Watch her do 20 minutes on what life is like as a small White African British American Jew riddled by dating & social media anxiety” headlining at the only comedy club in the East Village: Katie Haller Headlines at Eastville

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): A mash-up of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and HBO’s Girls in a critically acclaimed 50 minutes that’s reportedly “brilliant” and “hysterical” at The PIT upstairs lounge: Women

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Catie Lazarus (The New York Times, host of Employee of the Month), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), and Leah Palmieri share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Exceptionally strong lineup of Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show, comedy album Women and Black Dudes), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Neal Brennan, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), and Danny Palmer performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glaser, Barry Rothbart, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups each tell precisely three jokes at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Seth Cockfield: Three Joke Mafia

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

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

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

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

[FREE] 6:15 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys Open MIc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Monday 5/12/14

May 12, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Prince

Jo Firestone and friends create badly written theatre crammed with Prince songs and starring the audience at The Prince Musical

Thomas Middleditch

…and the finest improv troupe in the world, which includes Thomas Middleditch (HBO’s Silicon Valley), continues its three-night run: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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

[TOP PICK] 5:30 pm ($5): Sketch comics perform character bits in this audition for the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival at the UCB East theatre: Character Auditions for Just For Laughs

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($26.87 online or $25 at the door with discount code MAY FB; please note the 7:00 pm show has SOLD OUT, but the theatre can often squeeze people in if you’re okay with standing): Genius improvisors from Chicago—including Thomas Middleditch (star of HBO’s Silicon Valley)—delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a three-night NYC run at at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), with every evening utterly different from the last. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Lauren Olson (brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor; Nat Geo’s Going Ape; member of sketch & improv groups Genus, Chet Watkins, and 20/400; powerhouse one-woman FringeNYC show Our Condolences) is the dinner guest of Jed Teres, who says, “Jed has ideas to share and questions to ask. He has stories to tell and jokes to make. He has dinner to eat, and prefers to do it in the company of an interesting person. That way, if Jed runs out of stuff to talk about, he can always fall back on asking: So what are you up to these days?” at The Magnet theatre: Dinner With Jed

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of young improvisors performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Free Improv Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch about our national pastime: Baseball is America

[TOP PICK][$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show, comedy album Women and Black Dudes), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View): Neal Brennan, Marina Franklin, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Hugh Moore, and Cavlin Cato performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): Improv group Gadget makes up scenes, plus musical guest Summer & Eve, at the UCB East theatre: The Gadget Hour

8:00 pm ($10): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics try out for Montreal’s prestigious comedy festival at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

8:30 pm ($5): Sketch groups The Theme From Jurassic Park and Cool Blanche perform at The Magnet theatre in the double-bill Eye of Tigh

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Show how smart you are at this trivia show with a comedic vibe at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary and/or Christine Fulopp: Think & Drink Trivia

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout), Kate Ghiloni, Nick Mullen, and Charles Gould performing stand-up, plus songs from Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Janelle James, Mike Recine, and more performing stand-up for this weekly show at the Durden Bar (213 Second Avenue off 13th Street) hosted by Mike Denny: Hot Dogs

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days (which includes stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Michael Hartney, and more, plus exceptionally superb writers) and Bellevue: Maude Night: Legs For Days and Bellevue

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” with typically fine NYC storytellers (not announced this month) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10 at the door or $12.65 in advance online): “If you’ve ever dreamed of starring in a musical entirely made up of Prince songs, this night will be the best night of your life. This show strings together the best of the ‘Artist Formally Known As’ hits with a plot that’s very bad. Audience members may opt to volunteer to play various singing and non-singing roles, but spectators are also appreciated” from Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer, co-star of GUMP), and Aaron Jackson (superb sketch/improv/musical performer) performing at Brooklyn’s Cameo (93 North 6th Street, behind Lovin’ Cup): The Prince Musical: A Hastily Written Musical Starring the Audience

[TOP PICK][$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Dov Davidoff (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, NBC’s Raines, film’s Invincible and Max & Grace), Mark Normand (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Leslie Jones (staff writer for Saturday Night Live, Showtime special Prob Child), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Modi (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View): Paul Mecurio, Gary Gulman, Dov Davidoff, Mark Normand, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Yamaneika Saunders (VH1, TruTV, BET), and more performing for this free weekly stand-up show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays: Nikki Glaser, Seth Herzog, Barry Rothbart, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Comics try out for Montreal’s prestigious comedy festival at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen: Whiplash

Monday 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

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at danmaxfox@gmail.com) and 3 minutes for each comic who signs up on the spot (sign-up starts at 6:45 and ends at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Muchmore’s Stand-Up Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.