NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/18/14

October 18, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Improvised Opera

Tragedy is writ large for laughs at The PIT’s The Improvised Opera

The Improvised Sondheim Project

…and The Improvised Sondheim Project is among the highlights at Day #3 of The Magnet’s New York Musical Improv Festival

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-12:30 am ($10-$15 per show): It’s the third of four nights of The Magnet’s Sixth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, featuring groups from NYC, Chicago, and more performing for seven hours, with highlights including the 9:30 pm double-bill of Stacked and The Improvised Sondheim Project. For the complete schedule, please click New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($12): Improvisors aim for “the comedy, drama, and vocal juiciness of a Mozart masterpiece made up on the spot; come hear beautiful arias appear out of nowhere as someone’s beloved is ravaged by a cheese monster, Gary Busey, or anything else the audience suggests” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Opera

[$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): No notable headliners scheduled tonight; four of the shows are at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Ben Kissel (MTV, Spike TV; Murderfist, The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen) hones a long stand-up set one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Ben Kissel

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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm  ($12.50 online using discount code VOICE; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), 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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Dominick (former warm-up comic for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, host on Sirius Radio XM), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Nikki Glaser, Christian Finnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on Louie, HBO, and CBS’ upcoming The 2-2, and starred in two Comedy Central specials, headlines one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club (with Jon Fisch opening): Robert Kelly

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This show-and-tell event encourages you to “bring your weird family photos, demonstrate how many flips you can do in a row, reveal the tattoo your uncle gave you at last year’s family retreat—share anything crazy, kooky, strange or insane; the best of the best will win prizes and bragging rights,” plus stand-up from Kris Tinkle (The Artie Lange Show), Lukas Kaiser (Chappelle’s Show), Dan Licata (co-host of Dan+Joe+Charles Show), and Andy Farnsworth, all at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) produced by Lukas Kaiser and hosted by Lizzie Martinez & Sean O’Reilly: Showcasey Jones

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her improv partner Evan Kaufman interview an audience couple about their love life and then turn it into a musical at The PIT downstairs lounge: Your Love, Our Musical

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from troupe Dinner for One

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm  ($12.50 online using discount code VOICE; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), 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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Pete Dominick (former warm-up comic for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, host on Sirius Radio XM), and Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Nikki Glaser, Christian Finnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch groupBeige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Tracey Wigfield (former writer for 30 Rock), Nate Dern (News Editor forFunny or Die), and more form an ace improv group at UCB East that won last year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

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

11:00 pm ($10): Sketches, rap battles, and improv from the Anthology Players inspired by the life and music of Jimmy Fallon house band The Roots at The PIT upstairs theatre: The B-Side. A Hip-Hop Comedy Show

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

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($9.75 online using discount code VOICE; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), 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 album Sadamantium), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kurt Metzger, Mike Lawrence, The Lucas Brothers, Adrienne Iapalucci, Big Jay Oakerson, and Monroe Martin

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evanshost: The Amateur Hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/19/13

October 19, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Starting Monday 10/28 at midnight on TBS: The Pete Holmes Show

The Improvised Sondheim Project

The Improvised Sondheim Project is among the groups featured tonight at The New York Musical Improv Festival

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$15 per show): The Magnet hosts its Fifth Annual Musical Improv Festival, with this third night featuring such groups as The Improvised Sondheim Project, plus a free jam at 11:30 pm: The Fifth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, Day 3

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:30, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include SNL’s John Mulaney at 8:45 pm, 9:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am, and Michael Che at every show, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($8): An audience suggestion is turned into singing and dancing scenes on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge by musical improv group Good Catch

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

[$] 7:30 pm ($15 at the door or $16.52 online): Jenn Dodd plays numerous characters in this production that shows off her wit and versatility at Stage Left Studio, 214 West 30th Street (off Seventh Avenue), on the 6th Floor: No Show: A One-Woman Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Improvisors make up a religion based on an audience suggestion—e.g., The Church of the Carrot, The Church of Crime—and then make up hymns, readings, sermons, sacraments, and more on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Fake Church

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($41 plus 2-drink minimum):The longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live’s history, and whose impressions have been widely applauded for their uncanny accuracy and range; and a talented stand-up who’s been a frequent guest on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Darrell Hammond

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

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

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

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

9:30 pm ($11.34 online, $15 at the door): A sketch comedy group that includes writers for College Humor, The Late Show, and ESPN at The PIT upstairs theatre: Garlic Jackson

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:30 pm: Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at UCB East with writer/performers including Dan Chamerlain and Jo Firestone: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

Midnight ($5): Writer/performers create a comedy feature film in one day at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Sketch Movie Cram

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) joking about their culture—Jewish, African-American, Asian, geek, whatever—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City : The Black Bar Mitzvah

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:30 pm: Come and perform musical improv with veterans at this jam that’s part of The Magnet’s weekend festival: Trudy Carmichael’s Magnet Musical Mixer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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