NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/16/16

April 16, 2016

Emily Flake

Four New Yorker cartoonists—Emily Flake (above)…

Drew Dernavich

…Drew Dernavich (above), Corey Pandolph, and Benjamin Schwartz—show off select cartoons, host sketches, and more, plus comedy from Joe Garden (former Features Editor of The Onion): The Four Horsemen (8:00 pm $8, 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:

[FREE; reserve tickets here] 1:00 pm: A rare lunchtime stand-up show for families, with all kids under 15 allowed on stage to tell a joke, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Peggy O’Leary & Lindsay Boling: Guess What?

6:00 pm ($5): A topical sketch comedy show about the Civil War at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Last Century Tonight: Civil War Edition

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Ben Conrad, Lizzy Mazzucchelli, Will Carey, and Will Watkins each perform a different 10-minute stand-up every Saturday in April at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Grant Lindahl: The 8

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist—who tonight is Jacob Pitts (Justified)—takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars”—who tonight are dynamite performers Armando Diaz, Ed Herbstman, and Miriam Tolan at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience: 11th Year Anniversary Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): An all-gal improv group swap personal stories and then use them as springboards for improv scenes at the UCB East theatre: The Living Room

7:00 pm ($10): Improv group Big Black Car 2, plus an improv group TBA, make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC2 and Friends

7:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups performing at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Gun Club + Shadows Form

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.) A major comedy star (for a sample, please click here) headlines tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: D. L. Hughley

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Josh Comers (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), and musical comic Todd Chappelle performing stand-up and/or music at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 13 million people on YouTube, please click here): Don’t Feed the Musicians

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy 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 ($7): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Electoral Dysfunction

7:30 pm ($5): A one-man lecture about sex at The PIT downstairs lounge: Nic Cage Teaches Sex to Adults

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10):A comedic play about the US government in 1991 forming a secret agency charged with monitoring and eliminating online internet threats, the Headquarters for Authorizing Computerized Knowledge, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): USA_HACK

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Gypsy Danger (which includes brilliant comics Katie Hartman and Evan Kaufman, and which will make up a feature film on the spot) and The Baldwins (which includes brilliant comics Micah Sherman and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gypsy Danger: The Improvised Movie and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, Sean Casey, Jackie Jennings, Joanna Bradley, Chad Carter, and Joel Weidel at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott performing at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Centralia

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv group that includes such talents as Evan Kaufman (Your Love Our Musical) takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Peter McNerney & Nick Kanellis make up scenes at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

9:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups performing for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Experiment Comedy Gallery (20 Broadway) hosted by Camille Harris, Camille Theobald, and Mo Fathelb: The Weekend Drop

9:30 pm ($10): A Brooklyn-based sketch comedy group performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Shorts Show Vs. Scientists: The Dawn of Comedy?

9:30 pm ($5): Long-form improv with a playful title directed by Conner O’Malley at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($25; no min.): Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Ari Shaffir, Dan Soder, Adrienne Iapalucci, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Saturday

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): A powerhouse group of improvisors—Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Langan Kingsley (rising star; sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Aaron Jackson (Fuck That Shit, Newsadoozies), Natasha Vaynblat (one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), and Nate Dern (News Editor for Funny or Die)—springboard scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life at the UCB East theatre: What I Did For Love

10:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) 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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each week—which tonight is Understudy—at The Magnet theatre: The Cast: Understudy Edition

10:30 pm ($10): Musical improv from a six-person group at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Agency

10:30 pm ($5): “We’re here to listen to things you’re sad, angry, frustrated, or just feeling strongly about. We will listen to audience members share their emotions and help them deal with it in whatever way they choose—including but not limited to dancing, singing, screaming, hugging, eating, breaking shit, whatever you need. We’ve got a list of approved methods for dealing with strongly held emotions; you choose which method speaks to you and the whole crowd supports you. You’re not alone. You are heard!” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): You Are Heard

11:00 pm ($5): Tracie & Matt Higgins play loud-mouthed Met fans from Astoria, Queens in this scripted show about “30 years of heartbreak and struggle…and they believe more than ever this is their year” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Sheila & Hammerhead

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Freddy Goldstein: Last Stop Laughs

[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

[FREE] 11:30 pm: Improvisors make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Matt’s Emotions

[FREE] Midnight-4:00 am: A comedy show celebrating Hilary Clinton, featuring Jena Friedman, Selena Coppock, Liam McEneaney, Catie Lazarus, and more at Brooklyn’s Gold Sounds (44 Wilson Street) hosted by Heather Fink w DJ Brandy Crawford: Chillary NYC 2016

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

4:00 pm ($5; your ticket provides $3 off a drink at nearby Pioneers Bar): Walk-in lottery style open mic (sign-up starting at 3:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Swing Riders Open Mic

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show, with names drawn out of a bucket, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Rachel Coleman: Let’s Be Friends

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Reserved (via email annevictoriaclark+workout@gmail.com) and walk-in (time permitting) stand-up & sketch open mic providing each comic 5 minutes at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Meggie Spellman & Anne Victoria Clark: The Workout Open Mic

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for character bits, stand-up, etc. at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Elise Edwards: Discount Disco

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 Wednesday 5/7/14

May 7, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: On Comedy Central, Marc Maron, Natasha Leggero, and Nate Bargatze are on @midnight; on TBS, Emily Heller and Paul F. Tompkins are on Conan and Jerrod Carmichael is on Pete Holmes

Drew Dernavich - Inner Debate

New Yorker cartoonists Drew Dernavich…

Emily Flake - Regret

…Emily Flake, and more host An Evening of Cartoons at 8:00 at UCB Chelsea…

Bob Mankoff - Justice

…and New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff and top writer/illustrators are interviewed at Running Late at 9:30 at The PIT

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups, plus a free improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Musk and Detroit: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): New Yorker cartoonists Drew Dernavich, Emily Flake, Corey Pandolph, and Benjamin Schwartz host an evening of “cartoons, guests, anxiety, sketch, and stand-up comedy” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Four Horsemen: An Evening of Cartoons, Comedy & Bravery

[$] 8:00 pm ($15; 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 (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language), and Mike Recine performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Nick DiPaolo, Mark Normand, Mark DeMayo, and More

[$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam) hosts all shows tonight, whose lineups include Gary Gulman and Dov Davidoff at the 8:00 show; Kevin Meaney, Gregg Rogell, Dov Davidoff, Dan Soder, and Lenny Marcus at the 9:45 show; and Mark Normand, Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups from all over the country compete for laughs at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen: Border Wars

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Reese Waters (David Letterman), Doogie Horner (NBC’s America’s Got Talent), Sean Crespo (Comedy Central, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Kelly Fastuca (Opie and Anthony), Justin Williams, and Scott Schendlinger performing at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($6.17 online or $10 at the door): Cartoonist edition, with New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff, Ryan Hunter & Taige Jensen (writer & illustrator of book series Coloring For Grown-Ups), Michael Kupperman (writer/illustrator of book series Tales Designed to Thrizzle). and Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit) being interviewed and/or performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably still get in if you don’t mind standing): Join Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson, the delightful stars of Comedy Central’s hit series Broad City (recently renewed for a second season), plus stand-ups (not announced) at UCB Chelsea for this “delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no 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), Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Molly Austin (“born helpless, nude, and unable to provide for herself, Molly eventually overcame these handicaps to become a conjurer of charm”), Mike Brown, and Shakir Standley performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Neal Brennan, Dave Hill, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (staff writer for Tina Fey’s upcoming NBC series Tooken; MTV) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some, like me, that’s part of the laid-back fun. (Tonight’s lineup includes Langan Kingsley and Boris Khakyin; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour 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

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

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 Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

10:30 pm ($3): Biweekly open mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

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

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv 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.)

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 Thursday 9/20/12

September 20, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Paul Noth

New Yorker cartoonists Paul Noth (above and below)…

Paul Noth

…Christopher Weyant, and Drew Dernavich are interviewed at “Running Late with Scott Rogowsky”…

Dave Hill

…Dave Hill performs on Tom Shillue’s “Funny Story”…

The Monkees - Head

…and a classic 1968 Monkees film is dissected at “Head”

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows I know nothing about—We Don’t Have Money to Pay Our Rent and Our First Orgy—audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. At $2.50 per show, it’s hard to go wrong with Spank

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Blowout show with comedic authors Jonathan Ames (creator of HBO’s Bored to Death; author of Wake Up, Sir), Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard ShowThe Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), and Todd Hanson (long-time head writer of The Onion) performing at Brooklyn’s Public Assembly (70th North 6th Street, by the L subway’s Bedford Avenue stop), plus free books from Forbidden Planet, and sketches from Moon regulars Camille Harris, Jordan Clifford, Tim Skinner, and Tim Whitney, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show: Tribute to Books

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Davy and Peter Rothbart, the owners of Found Magazine, are touring the country to celebrate the mag’s 10th Anniversary. Join them for their one-night-only show at UCB East as they tell stories, sing, and show you cool stuff they’ve discovered: My Heart Is An Idiot: Found Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Tour

7:00 pm ($8): Improv troupe Maybe Sherman makes up scenes involving mobsters at The PITupstairs theatre: MafiaProv

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

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm: A comedy force of nature—tough, smart, honest, hilarious—who is one of the very finest stand-ups ever (for video samples, please click here) performs tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club. All performances are sold out, but you can try for a stand-by line: Bill Burr

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18 at the door or $21.95 online): “The trippiest psychedelic cult film of all time,” Head, written by Jack Nicholson and starring The Monkees, is screened at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) and then dissected by Kurt Loder (The Good, the Bad and the Godawful), Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller; host of How Was Your Week podcast; author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), Monkees historian Eric Lefcowitz (Monkee Business: The Revolutionary Made-For-TV Band), music journalist Rob Sheffield (Rolling Stone), and “other special guests:” Night of the Living: Head

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10, which includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper; new book Tasteful Nudes), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical GraffitiHigh Times), and Garrett Oliver: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Michael Martin, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., a leg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight perform puns, wild facial expressions, dance, rock trivia, audience pranks, murder reenactments, and more as sketch duoBoF: Friends Without Benefits

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

8:00 pm ($8): A monthly variety show that “features longform puppet improv, collaborations with special guests, choose-your-own-adventures, give-aways, and more” at The PIT upstairs theatre:An Existential Sing-Along

8:00 pm ($5; includes free beer): A charming monthly comedy variety show, tonight featuring Jeffrey Joseph (stand-up), Charla Lauriston (storyteller), Youth Group (improv troupe), and more performing at ABC No Rio (156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton) hosted by Bridgid Ryan and her improv/sketch troupe Chester (Bridgid Ryan, Sunita Mani, Bryan Rucker, Zack Willis, Caitlin Steitzer, and Adam Jacobson): Don’t You Find Us Charming?

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Brick, and Junior Varsity performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Neil McNamara directing Deep Dish (long-form improv interspersed with character monologues), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challengecomponent): The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

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

9:00 pm ($5): Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host ofHot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Katie Compa, and George Gordon performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover & Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door, $11.34 in advance online): New Yorker cartoonists Paul Noth, Christopher Weyant, and Drew Dernavich share their work and insider stories about the legendary magazine with host Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion) at The PIT upstairs theatre, plus interviews with portrait painter Jonathan Blum and storyteller Andy Ross: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

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

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, outplayed The Improvised Play last week, scoring 77-48 for its 8th consecutive win. Tonight Good Dad plans to kill with kindness UCB East group What I Did for Love, as these two teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Two iO Chicago improv veterans, Alex Eilhauer & Marla Caceres, repeat a scene multiple times, “twisting and re-envisioning it until they squeeze out every last drop of hilarity from it” for one night only at The PIT downstairs lounge: Alex Eilhauer & Marla Caceres: Endlessly Repeating Improv

11:00 pm ($5): A showcase of NYC stand-ups not yet represented by a manager or agent (i.e., fresh meat) at UCB East hosted by Luke Thayer & Nick Cobb: Unmanageable Stand-Ups

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/18/10

November 18, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Fisticuffs

Cartoonists for The New Yorker do battle with their quick wits and drawing skills at Fisticuffs...

Bad Videogame Movies: The Definitive History

...while Patrick Cassels & Jeff Rubin explore the worst game-based films of all time in Bad Videogame Movies: The Definitive History

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

[$] 7:30 pm ($24.50 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s starred in his own Comedy Central Presentsspecial, and performed on Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, and numerous films (including Invincible) and TV series (including NBC’s Raines) headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Dov Davidoff

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Seven family members, friends, coworkers and a neighbor of seven weeks accidentally ruin their final goodbyes,” performed by such hilarious comedy stars as Lennon Parham (from LA via Skype video) and Leslie Meisel (Love Sucks a Dick…), and the show’s writer/director Chris Kelly (and barring last-minute client emergencies, I may finally get to see this tonight): Oh My God, I Heard You’re Dying!; plus rounding out this double-bill, “pop culture obsessed Billy Eichner takes you on a fun-filled 30 minute journey through his twisted and topical celebrity-fueled world:” Billy Eichner Goes Pop!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): One of comedy’s most beloved and delightful duos, married couple Mary Archbold and Pay Shay, performing as guests on a hip-hop parody show: Squirm and Germ

8:00 pm ($8): The Magnet’s co-owner Armando Diaz performs monologues on the spot and improvisors then act out scenes based on them at The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Brilliantly talented cartoonists for The New Yorker and national comic strips compete for audience applause as they employ their quick wits and drawing skills to meet various comedic challenges in this wonderful show featuring David Sipress (The New Yorker), Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle), Emily Flake (Lulu Eightball and The New Yorker), Paul Noth (Pale Force and The New Yorker), Matthew Diffee (The Rejection Collection), Zach Kanin (The New Yorker) and Drew Dernavich (The Cartoon Lounge)—plus a musical guest—all at Fisticuffs!

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Kurt Braunohler, Livia Scott, Julian McCullough, Jamie Kilstein, Collette Priester & Rodney DeGiles, and more performing at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for a show produced by Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing stand-up on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killerset on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1): Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Patrick Cassels and Jeff Rubin, who write for College Humor and co-host the online video game talk show Bleep Bloop, explore the worst game-based movies of all time, with clips from Super Mario Bros, Mortal Kombat, and many more in what’s likely to be an unforgettably funny journey into the deliciously awful: Bad Videogame Movies: The Definitive History

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Round 2 of a beloved annual November tradition—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.