NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 2/22/15

February 22, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Oscars

Enjoy The Oscars with writers for Saturday Night Live at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: SNL Writers Unscripted; or see it with comics & actors who first do a show tearing apart racist casting notices at Cast and Loose

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] [$] 2:00 pm ($18): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a live, shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

[TOP PICK] 3:30 pm ($10): Cyndi Freeman (The Colbert Report, Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner, star burlesque performer) performs a one-woman show about how “when she was 11 years old she became obsessed with the Bigfoot phenomenon: the hunters, the hoaxes, and the true believers. That same year, her homeroom classmates perpetrated a hoax of their own. They convinced the faculty that Cyndi was a thief, an instigator of fist-fights, and an agent of mayhem. It had all been lies and, by their high school years, the kids who had participated apologized and Cyndi forgave them. But the teachers still believed the legend that Freeman was a violent pathological liar. Friendships were lost, parents lived in fear, and only the children knew, and accepted, the truth. Weaving together fun trivia about the Bigfoot myth and darker tales about the fiction that surrounded her during her formative years, Freeman talks of truth and lies, motivations both hidden and obvious, and the resilience it takes to survive childhood” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) as part of the Frigid New York Festival: I Was a Sixth Grade Bigfoot: A Story about Bullies, Monsters, and Hoaxes

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($7): A stand-up who’s appeared on Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, and Showtime, writes for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts Citizen Radio performs a long set at The Magnet theatre: Jamie Kilstein

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

[TOP PICK] Pre-show red carpet at 6:30 pm, show at 7:00 pm ($10): Saturday Night Live writers Natasha Rothwell, Alison Rich, Meredith Scardino, Claire Mulaney, and Katie Rich get on stage to improvise scenes—tonight revolving around a screening of The Oscars, plus trivia contests and prizes—at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: SNL Writers Unscripted: Oscar Edition

6:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20): A musical version of a famed 1989 movie with book by Christopher W. Barnes, music by Ryan Mercy, lyrics by Christopher W. Barnes, and produced by Ronny Pascale at The PIT upstairs theatre (for a video sneak peek, please click here): Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Philip Markle performs a one-man musical about being a gay videogame fan (“gaymer”) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street):Sparkle Hour

[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 ($10): Lynne Marie Rosenberg spearheads a live version of her blog Cast and Loose that rips apart thoughtless casting notices, with her cast “re-enacting the most racist breakdowns out there, followed by a viewing party of the whitest Oscars on record” with performers 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), Michael Braun (High Maintenance), Pernell Walker (The Butler), and Diana Oh ({my lingerie play}) followed by an Oscar Night viewing & party, all at LES’ Botanic Lab Bar (86 Orchard Street) : Cast and Loose: Oscar Edition Show and Viewing Party

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code,IFC), Alingon Mitra (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), Maeve Higgins (co-host of I’m New Here, Can You Show Me Around?), David Smithyman, Pat Brown, and Ramon Rivas II performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It: Michelle Wolf, Alingon Mitra, Maeve Higgins, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Mark Normand, and Greer Barnes at the 8:00 show; Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Rachel Feinstein, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, Sherrod Small, Sam Morril, and Erin Jackson (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Jon Glaser (star of Adult Swim’s Delocated; long-time writer/performer for Conan O’Brien), Mike O’Brien (Saturday Night Live), Jake Fogelnest (Squirt TV’s Wet Hot American Summer), Joe Rumrill, Julio Torres, Ted Shumaker, Tynan Delong, Colin Burgess, and Darren Mabee performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street) hosted by Brett Davis & Sally Burtnick: The Macaulay Culkin Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, half of brilliant sketch duo Dennie & Sharp) hosts this monthly variety show featuring sketch, stand-up, and acts that cannot be categorized at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Matt Dennie Sexperience

8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Clark Jones, Chris Cotton, and Chris Lamberth performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Amanda Seales & Marc Lamont Hill: Smart, Funny, and Black

8:00 pm ($5): Casey Jost (Head Writer of truTV’s Impractical Jokers, former writer for Jimmy Fallon) and Ben Rameaka (Amazon’s Alpha House, improv group Airwolf) join host Jodi Lennon (Marc Maron: The Voice of Something, Exit 57) to perform an improvised year in the life of selected people at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): What a Year!

8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show about gloomy people from character comic Jenn Dodd (Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Melanchomedy

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb guest improvisors—who tonight are slated to include Aparna Nancherla, Michah Sherman, Ashley Ward, and Chris Griggs—join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Act One

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Micah Sherman, Julie Sharbutt, Evan Kaufman, Morgan Philips, Chris Griggs, and Alyssa Lott make up theatrical scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly show produced by Micah Sherman & Sarah Nowak: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Gary Gulman (razor-sharp wordsmith; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-log special), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Gary Gulman, Cipha Sounds, and More

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 at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An improv jam celebrating diversity in comedy that lets audience members—whose names are drawn from a bucket—perform with sharp improv/sketch group Astronomy Club (which includes Keisha Zollar and Jonathan Braylock) at the UCB East theatre: Diversity Improv Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 2/26/12

February 26, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Oscars

Enjoy The Oscars tonight with snarky comics at The PIT or very gay comics at Therapy

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 ($15):Actor/storyteller John Grady (Blue Man Group; one-man showSpalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell; NPR; Moth champion) performs a one-man show at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) about “the peculiar and misguided true adventures of a man and his therapy dog; a tale of true love and overcoming obstacles, while staring fear in the face:” Fear Factor: Canine Edition

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

6:00 pm ($5): The debut of a sketch comedy radio show/podcast live on the UCB East stage, with tonight’s guests Kelly Hudson, Kate Riley, Riley Soloner, and Vacation Jason Killer and regulars Adam Bozarth, Dan Chamberlain, Matt Little, Taylor Moore, and Anna Rubanova: Left Handed Radio

[FREE] 6:00 pm: “Are ready for something sweet and something spicy? Long form improv that will satisfy your hunger” hosted by sharp UCBT comic Andy Rocco at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Candy Taco Improv Hour

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Magnet sketch comics performing new material: Ripe Sketch Comedy

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Instead of watching tonight’s Academy Awards by yourself at home, why not see it with an audience at The PIT upstairs theatre and enjoy a bunch of comics making fun of it throughout? The latter will include J Hobart, Chris Grace, and Scott Eckert as the hosts, plus some surprise guests: The Oscar Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Instead of watching tonight’s Academy Awards by yourself at home, why not see it with a very gay audience at Therapy hosted by stand-up Brad Loekle? “To add to the drama, let’s bet on it: whoever’s Oscar ballot has the most correct predictions will win a cash Grand Prize! There’ll also be trivia drinking games, snacks to help keep you going all night, and two of Brad’s favorite muscle boys helping to serve up pure beefcake and Oscar Mayer Wiener!” It all happens at the Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour: The Oscars Edition

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($35 & 2-item min.): A razor-sharp comic and pitch-perfect impressionist who’s also a movie star in such classics as The Usual Suspects headlining one more night at theCarolines Comedy Club: Kevin Pollak

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

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf):Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host ofWhiplash) and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall guest-hosted by Greg Johnson:Pretty Good Friends

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing)Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, IFC), Sean Crespo (Conan O’Brien, The Onion), and John F. O’Donnell (50 First Jokes) performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): At The Magnet, a mini-play from Chris Nester & Ross Taylor about aspiring Country Western musicians: The Oakwood Boys

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), Baratunde Thurston (The Onion), Charlotte Macdonald, Alex Koll, and Kyle Bostic performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jaqi Furback, Neil Constantine, Nathan Anderson, and Mike Kaiser performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Brad Austin, Nate Fridson, and/or Adam Sokol: Comedy at the Beauty Bar

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

10:00 pm ($5): 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 includeyouImprov Nerds Jam

10:30 pm ($5): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 2/22/09

February 22, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

See tonight's Oscars with comics at a free Comix extravaganza

See tonight's Oscars and laugh at a free Comix Comedy Club extravaganza

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] an evening of Oscar-watching at the gorgeous Comix Comedy Club hosted by the luminous Kambri Crews, with free admission & chances for prizes, at Oscar Night 2009 (6:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] UCBT’s playground for celebrities and ace improvisors, ASSSSCAT 3000 (paid show at 7:30 pm, free show at 9:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] a brilliant comedy superstar concluding his headlining run at Carolines: Patton Oswalt (8:00 pm),

sharp comics Jon Benjamin, Hannibal Buress, and Adam Lowitt joining comedy giants Eugene Mirman & Michael Showalter—winners of the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Hosts—for their weekly shindig at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Tearing the Veil of Maya (8:00 pm),

typically superb stand-ups at what’s often among the funniest free productions in NYC from hosts Greg Johnson and Jacqueline Novak: President Johnson (8:00 pm),

and brilliant, lightning-quick stand-up Pete Holmes (Comedy Central, VH1, The New Yorker, Videos of the Month), plus sharp NYC comics Jess Wood, Matt Ruby, Charlie Gaeta, and Andy Haynes at RG Daniels’ free Sunday Night Stand-Up (8:00 pm).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.