NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 1/30/14

January 30, 2014

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Check out excerpts from  one of the best comedy albums of the year:
Morgan Murphy: Irish Goodbye

Joe Pera

Joe Pera and Nathan Min screen their short film series, accompanied by superb comics including Murderfist performing live, at “The Perfect Week”

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:

6:30 pm ($5): Two sketch shows audition at UCB Chelsea. First up, “Natasha Vaynblat and Shamikah Martinez have some serious experience getting over break ups. They’ve done it all—gotten extreme makeovers, taken up new hobbies, and read every Cosmo magazine from 1999 to present. They’re basically experts on the subject, so you should trust them. Watch as they heal your broken heart in 30 minutes or less” directed by the brilliant Ellena Chmielewski (who should be writing and starring in her own shows ASAP): Trust Us

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a sketch show about high school and Armageddon: The Yearbook of Revelation

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Jews in comedy have been ignored for too long. To combat this trend, Jewish improvisors have formed a Jewish super-group that will be performing scenes springboarding off monologues from a bone fide Jewish rabbi” featuring Jon Bander, Elana Fishbein, Louis Kornfeld, Ruby Marez, Emily Shapiro, Chet Siegel, and many performing at The PIT downstairs lounge What else needs be said? Come and support The Chosen Ones

7:30 pm ($5): Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Jay Nog, Jess Wood, and Courtney Fearrington performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and Marina Franklin at the 9:30 show; and Todd Barry, Andy Hendrickson, and Joe List at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door, or $6.49 online—the latter is highly recommended because this will sell out): Comedy treasure Joe Pera screens the seven short films he made under the title The Perfect Week; plus Murderfist, Arthur Meyer, and many more will perform live at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). I’ll be attending this (my killer deadline will finally be over this afternoon…) and recommend that you also experience what’s likely to be a magical evening: The Perfect Week

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at A Non-Daily Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss, Hello Laser, and Junior Varsity performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Peter Aguero at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Adam Mamawala, and Jack Wilkinson performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun, Jawann Carmona, Conor Boylan, and/or Cassidy Kirch: FTH Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): Doogie Horner (America’s Got Talent finalist), Sarah Hartstone (American’s Next Top Model), Paul Higbie, and Alex Edelman performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre guest-hosted by Eitan Levine: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Comedy Central Showcase

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

9:30 pm ($10): Nick Carrillo, Langston Belton, and Devin James Heater perform a post-apocalyptic improvised comedy—exploring the relationship of three men trapped in a Generic Underground Shelter—at The PIT upstairs theatre: G.U.S.

9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a musical “based on the true history of the founding of America, in which Jesus Christ embarks on a journey to help build a country that’s courageous, pious, and gun-crazy enough for his precious Constitution…as long as the evil King Barrack Hussein George III doesn’t get in the way,” written by Eric Gersen and directed by John Flynn: Seventeen Seventy-Something

..and in the other half of this double-bill, a three-person mini-play that lets you know you’re not in a great place in its first five minutes, when a real estate guy strangles an elderly Mayor and then gives himself ownership of the city by signing a document using the Mayor’s dead hand—as if an elected Mayor had the power to hand over a city with a signature; or as if a dead hand would somehow replicate the Mayor’s signature! Silly is a wonderful element of comedy, but it’s not a substitute for smart or funny; and this show simply lacks sufficient charms to merit spending time on Greasy Lake: Key to the City

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A frat-stype trivia game show with lots of drinking at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Richie Redding: Horse Shit

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($6 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1974 sexploitation comedy The Swinging Cheerleaders (tagline: “They Gave Their All for the Team!;” for the trailer, please click here)—at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Enormous congratulations to Death by Roo Roo for winning this year’s Cage Match championship! Tonight the circle of life starts over, with improv groups Fuck That Shit and Gentle Touch competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): An audience member will be told his or her fortune by tarot reader Christy Vandemar, and then improvisors will act out that future at The PIT upstairs theatre: TarotProv

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-up from Leah Bonnema (VH1, WeTV’s Cinematherapy, Logo, Opie & Anthony’s Virus Channel), improv jams led by Nicole Pasquale, Rich Rosario, and the Soul Glo team, and more at this free monthly variety show at UCB East hosted by Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) and/or Anna Suzuki: The Soul Glo Jam

Thursday 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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv veterans mix with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

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

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

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email with subject line Phoning Thursday 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

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

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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)

(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.