NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/4/16

April 4, 2016

If you’re funny and a talented writer, consider submitting a short story to my fiction anthology Ghosts on Drugs. I have hundreds of submissions from fantasy/SF/horror writers, but almost no comics; and this is a great opportunity to land a prestigious book credit, plus upfront pay and a share of the royalties. Full details are here.

Katie HartmanHilarious character comic Katie Hartman (half of Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, frequently collaborates with David Carl) performs a one-woman sketch show in which she manages the difficult feat of being over-the-top and beautifully vulnerable at the same time…

Katie Hartman…Come experience this brilliant rising star in her most fearless show to date: The Onion Show (7:00 pm, $5, The PIT Upstairs Theatre at 123 East 24th 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] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

7:00 pm ($5): Women are 50% of the population but receive only about 12% of the top movie roles. This show addresses that by flipping gender roles and letting actresses be the stars in famous movie scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Boss Will See You Now

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Gary Gulman hosts a dozen stand-ups trying their best to make you laugh as they audition to perform a set on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Tonight Show Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Bob Eimicke, a 62 year old lawyer and father who has zero comedy experience, converted from Catholicism to Judaism in order to marry his Jewish wife…and his son is making him talk about it on stage. Everyone’s going to have a great time, except for Bob” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: My Dad Dumped Jesus

..and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch group One Idiot performs the parody Tennessee Williams’ “What The Horse Saw”

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Jonathan Braylock (Broad City, The Jim Gaffigan Show), and an interview with Mike Bento (#BlackLivesMatter, Unite Against Fascism) at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen: Downtown Variety Hour

8:00 pm ($8): Liza Treyger, Justin WIlliams, David Angelo, Ryan Beck, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Jean Grae: Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): Producers, writers, and other staff members of TruTV show Impractical Jokers improvise scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Impractical Jokers Staff Infection

[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 ($5): Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000) hosts as “Moodsy, the Clinically Depressed Owl showing weird/crappy old cartoons in between sets,” with guests Liz Miele, Lucas Connelly, Melissa Stokowski, and Harmon Leon at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue). Described by Patton Oswalt as “like a kid’s show done in Bosnia,” it’s Frank Conniff’s Cartoon Dump

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): “Adrian Sexton is a woman who’s heard ‘Yo, Adrian!’ throughout her entire life, but it was only recently that she became obsessed with the Rocky franchise. Over the past few months she has had in-depth discussions about the films with a bunch of guys in The PIT community, so she decided to bring them all together to discuss the characters, talk about the controversy of Creed being snubbed by the Academy Awards, women (or lack thereof) in the films, the fights and—of course—the montages! Don’t be a bum! Go the distance and get to” The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Yo, Adrian!: A Rocky Balboa Symposium

9:00 pm ($7): Talented comics perform solo characters at The Magnet theatre hosted by Ari Miller & Elena Skopeto: Character Bash

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

9:30 pm ($5): A hip-hop musical parody of Orange is the New Black, but set in an animal shelter for dogs and cats, with book and lyrics by Catya McMullen and direction Michael Raine at The PIT upstairs theatre: Locked Up B*tches

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: Ari Shaffir, Dan Soder, Joe List, Adrienne Iapalucci, Amber Nelson, Felonious Munk, Joel Walkowski, Ry Doon, and Joe Prainoand performing stand-up at one of best comedy clubs in NYC at absolutely no cost to you (feel encouraged to order food and//or drinks, but you don’t have to) for 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: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Peggy O’Leary: Creek Cave Live

10:30 pm ($7): Five improv duos each make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: The Duo Show

[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 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 Thursday 10/15/15

October 15, 2015

SketchFest 2015Four days of sketch comedy—starting tonight with nearly 30 half-hour sketch shows—at SketchFest 2015 (6:00-midnight, $10 per show or $60 for an all-you-can-see pass, The PIT Upstairs and Downstairs Theatres at 123 East 24th Street and The PIT Loft at 154 West 29th Street)

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; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv (e.g., Gravid Water, Adsit & ?), sketch (Maude Night), solo shows, and one-act comedic plays, but also hosts one of the very finest stand-up shows in the city (Aparna Nancherla’s Whiplash)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that leans a bit more towards stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks, than sister theatre UCB Chelsea; 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)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-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)

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.)

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:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

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 Thursday 10/3/13

October 3, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

New York City Comedy Festival 2013

The PIT hosts a mammoth 4-day sketch comedy festival, with all-you-can-see passes just $50: New York City Sketch Festival 2013

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:

6:00 pm ($5): “Experts and historical figures discuss the most important topics of the day in this comedy panel show” at UCB East hosted by Erik Tanouye and/or Will Hines: What’s All This Then, America?

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm-12:30 am ($8 per show, $50 for all-you-can-see festival pass): A full evening of sketch comedy, consisting of 11 shows playing at The PIT upstairs theater and downstairs lounge, kicks off this annual festival running today through Sunday: New York City Comedy Festival 2013

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20 at the door or $26.50 online using discount code DAISEY; no food/drink min.; SOLD OUT, but you can try for a standby line): Why is genius yarn-spinner Mike Daisey telling 29 new stories in a row (working off mere one-page outlines) in a 29-night, 44-hour monologue? Part of the answer appears near the start of Show #10: “I’ve always been willing to throw myself right off a cliff. It’s a beautiful feeling to know that below awaits the water or the rocks. When you’re suspended in that high arc above the brilliant blue, for a moment you are released, you are free…because you could live or die. I crave that.” If you crave seeing that, too bad, because this final night is SOLD OUT at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place); but you can experience this epic adventure at your convenience for FREE via iTunes (and Mike, kudos to you for pulling it off): All the Faces of the Moon

7:30 pm ($5): Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 9 million people on YouTube, please click here), Guy Branum (Chelsea Lately), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Matteo Lane, and Rojo Perez performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($5): Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Phil Hanley (Jay Leno), Emma Willman, and Matteo Lane performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun & Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Sleepover (long form improv with elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from storyteller Robert Weinstein at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) pitting MalBec against Pumpkin: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Storytellers Ted Travelstead (brilliant, hilarious writer/comic; Vanity Fair, author of The Petraeus Files and Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk), Carla Rhodes (“rock’n’roll ventriloquist;” for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here; for act with “Keith Richards,” please click here), Margo Herre, and Mike Brown performing at this biweekly storytelling show at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street) hosted by JR: The Jenny Rubin Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, 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): John Mulaney, Michael Che, Ryan Hamilton, Carmen Lynch, and More

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Dan Black (FUSE, Death by Roo Roo, Ripley) performs a one-man show “as a student of the dude game” in The Pageantry of Man

..and in the other half of this double-bill, a three-person comedic mini-play about real estate and murder: Greasy Lake: Key to the City

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15; no drink min.): Writers and performers for FX’s Totally Biased, and moreincluding Aparna Nancherla, Janine Brito, Jordan Rock, Kevin Avery, and Eliza Skinner—performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Writers, Performers, and Friends of FX’s Totally Biased

[TOP PICK] [FREE—OPEN VODKA BAR 8:30-9:00] 9:00 pm: Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Alison Leiby (host of It’s a Long Story), Mark Anthony Ramirez (MTV, Howard Stern), Missy Baker, and Dwayne Murphy performing stand-up at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Leah Bonnema (out of town this month) and Tim Warner: Modern Day Philosophers

[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): Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), 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, co-host of Dive Comedy), Marcella Arguello, Casey Ley, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Emily Heller and/or Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, IFC) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy) perform a sketch show “about men who stay out of the fray—because the fray is chock full of death, basketball, and lions. Come and sit this one out with us:” Guilty Bystanders

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a one-man show by Arthur Meyer (The Onion; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men) at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1983 historical drama Adam and Eve Versus the Cannibals (for the painfully bad 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): Juggernaut improv group Namaste rolled over challenger Hungry Boys 77 votes to 39, marking five victories in a row. Tonight this champion will face improv musical hip-hop troupe North Coast at UCB Chelsea, competing for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Interviews, sketches, stand-up, and/or music at this variety show about Internet stars, tonight feature The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Julian Kiani, and more at the UCB East theatre: Still Buffering

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: All-gal open-mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two 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 PhoningItInMic@gmail.com 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 group The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:00 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 info@oldmanhustle.com 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)

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/4/12

July 4, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For my write-up of the epic 14th Del Close Marathon, please click here.

Fourth of July Fireworks

Most of the usual suspects are closed tonight, but there’s an improv mini-festival at The PIT and (assuming its Web site is accurate) business as usual at The Creek:

Noon to midnight ($5 per hour, $20 for the whole day): 12 hours of improv from 30 PIT house troupes and indie troupes at The PIT upstairs theatre for The 2nd Annual Indie-Pendence Day Festival

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

[FREE] 8:00 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

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/28/11

July 28, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Lisa Lampanelli

Lisa Lampanelli tells tales of online dating at Risk!...

Jessi Klein

...while Jessi Klein performs stand-up at Lasers in the Jungle

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: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free show, audience members (signing in at 6) can join in with veteran improv talents to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

7:00 pm ($5): A one-man show from comic Matthew Robert Gehring (member of sketch troupePolitical Subversions): #GenericWhiteGuy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Some of the Magnet Theatre’s finest improvisors make up theatrical plays on the spot: Playhouse

8:00 pm ($5): Seth Kirschner (30 Rock, Lipstick Jungle) plays every character in a half-hour one-man TV episode parodying 90s sitcoms—and is debuting a new episode tonight—in Sertainly Seth; and in the other half of this double-bill, Paul Welsh performs a one-man show about a hall of portraits in Men in Paintings

8:00 pm ($5): “Best friends Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixell created an internet phenomenon by challenging pairs of women to double date them, and documenting the hilarious results for YouTubers everywhere. Two hundred dates later, their experiences were translated into reenactments, educational songs, and valuable lessons in everything from dancing to kissing. Tonight, these “dating experts” will improvise demonstrations inspired by audience participation, in an attempt to enlighten on the art of romance…and perhaps do a little bit of matchmaking along the way:” Dave and Ethan: Dating Coaches

8:00 pm ($5): Terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) host a comedy variety show, with tonight’s Desiree Burch, David Smithyman, Killy Dwyer, and Cocoon Central Dance Team performing at The PIT’s basement lounge: Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow

[$] 8:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of ComedyShowtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Fridayheadlining tonight and Friday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are star insult comic Lisa Lampanelli, stunt journalist AJ Jacobs, and Emmy-winning Daily Show Supervising Producer Adam Lowitt—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to share tales on tonight’s theme “Met on the Net” at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Sam Grittner (for stand-up about the gayness of Heaven, please click here), and Harry Terjanian (XM Radio) performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle

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

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT’s basement lounger for The Scene

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The highly talented Fran Gillespie, who came in as a solo improvisor, made the odd choice of requesting an audience member who had zero improv experience to come on stage and perform with her for her entire set—and then periodically scolded her new partner for making choices counter to improv rules that Fran explicitly requested the audience member not know… Spectacular musical improv troupe Diamond Lion (which includes improv genius Tara Copeland) ended up garnering nearly twice as many audience votes—and will be a champion that all subsequent opponents will find hard to beat. Tonight DL goes up against new UCBT Harold Night house troupe Mr. Crime, competing for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Magnet improv troupes Listen, Kid! and Upstate compete for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/27/11

July 27, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Scott Adsit and John Lutz

Scott Adsit & John Lutz create genius improv as "John & Scott"...

Erin Lennox's The I LIke You Too Show

...and the delightful Erin Lennox hosts a stand-up event that includes Sean Patton and Jared Logan: "The I Like You Too Show"

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives), and Jeff Dye (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central Presents) joining best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), Sam Morril, Amber Nelson, Neal Stastny, Gonzolo Cordova, and Anthony Devito performing stand-up at the 11th Street Bar (510 East 11th Street, off Avenue A) for this monthly extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sportsshow, please click here): Erin Lennox’s I Like You Too Show

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): NYC comics (lineup not annouced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner: Monsters

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo who should not be missed: John & Scott

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Short videos from NYC comics (lineup not announced) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Free Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing 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; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 7/26/11

July 26, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Adam Wade and Jon Friedman

Two of the most beloved nice guys in comedy, Adam Wade and Jon Friedman, perform one-man shows in "Cool as Nice"...

Sean Patton and Eric Andre

...and two of the most beloved wild men in comedy, Sean Patton and Eric Andre, perform tonight at "Righteous Kill"

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:

7:00 pm ($5): Duo improv from team Snazzle Dazzle ; and improv revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies” in Double Date

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Two one-man shows from top comedic storytellers beloved for their sweet, vulnerable styles: Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here) and Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show) performing at Brooklyn’s Union HallCool at Nice

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott, and Marvel Assistant Editors Ellie Pyle and Rachel Pinnelas, talk about Dan’s new story arc Spider Island with super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage, as well as conduct a lively & hilarious discussion aboutfour-color pop culture, at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Jennifer Dziura, who hosts Brooklyn’s Spelling Bee and writes women’s blog TheGrindstone.com, debuts a one-woman show about women through the ages, from Eve to Oprah: The History of Women in 60 Minutes

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Airwolf, Mr. Crime, Grandma’s Ashes, Sandino, American Cousinl, and at 11:00 pm advanced UCBT students acting weird—all at Harold Night

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Rebound and BEEES!

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Jane Borden (treasured Comedy Editor of Time Out New York, author of I Totally Meant to Do That), James Adomian (talented impressionist; finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, ABC’s Apartment 23, TBS’ Lopez Report, Comedy Central, FOX’s In the Flow), and Maysoon Zayid (self-described “Palestinian Muslim virgin with cerebral palsy, from New Jersey;” cast member for two seasons of As the World Turns; pundit for Keith Olbermann) performing at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

9:30 pm ($8): Two one-woman shows from Peter Michael Marino’s Flying Solo class: “Becky Flaum thinks she’s Julia Roberts. And Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore, even Katherine Heigel. But she isn’t. Her high cinematic hopes for her love life start to get in the way of reality on her quest for the perfect co-star” in Hopeless Romantic Comedy; and “What is success and what is failure? A tale of a girl growing up, figuring out what is important to her and learning that she can have her cake and eat it too!” in One Fat Step at a Time

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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