NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/22/17

May 22, 2017

Montreal Just for Laughs FestivalRising stand-ups will do their very best to make you laugh at these auditions for the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, with an 8:00 pm show hosted by Tim Dillon and a 10:00 pm show hosted by Aaron Berg at one of NYC’s best comedy clubs: Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions (8:00 pm & 10:00 pm, FREE using code JFL, no min., The Stand at 239 Third Avenue off 20th Street)…

…and also enjoy some of NYC’s best character comics when funny actors who survived the initial auditions for the Just for Laughs Festival gather to be judged further at the Montreal Just for Laughs Character Showcase Callbacks (5:00 pm, $5, The PIT Mainstage 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—including at 8:00 pm group Poor Melissa, which features superb comics Dana Shulman & Adrian Sexton—at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

[$] 7:00 pm ($20): A play based on the premise “What if being gay was the social norm and coming out as straight was the taboo?” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): A Straight Play

[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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Magnet house sketch teams—who tend to be excellent—perform what they consider to be their finest material at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams: Best In Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($8 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts an all-star lineup of Judah Friedlander, Mark Normand, Gary Gulman, Dan Soder, Nick Griffin, Joe List, Monroe Martin, Jon Rineman, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Matt Negrin (writer/produxcer for The Daily Show), Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani (Vice News), Lauren Duca (Teen Vogue), and Mike Tolkin (2017 NYC Mayoral candidate) each chug two beers on stage and talk politics at the UCB East theatre hosted by Charlie Todd & Cody Lindquist: Two Beers In

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, comedy duo Amanda Giobbi & Kelley Quinn perform a Top 40 music-driven sketch show: Power Hour

…and in the second other of this double bill, a typically brilliant parody of Seinfeld made up on the spot: Improvised Seinfeld

8:00 pm ($7): The greatest science fiction anthology radio show of all time was X Minus One. Improvisors who know their genre history created this show in which they make up scenes of awe, mystery, and wonder at The PIT Mainstage co-starring the spectacular Rachel Scherer, with sound design & foley effects from Frank Todaro, and an opening musical improv set from Robin Rothman Taylor and improv pianist Eric March: X Plus One

8:00 pm ($7): Improv at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) from five-person group Janet

[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 ($6): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing, semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs No Kidding, Small, Dork, and Handsome, Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot) hosts this monthly stand-up & music show, with tonight’s stellar guests Aparna Nancherla (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There; opens for Tig Notaro; hosts top weekly NYC stand-up show Whiplash), Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of Battlicious), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Giulia Rozzi (Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and The Jim Gaffigan Show, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, host of First Set, comedy album True Love), and Nat Towsen (VICE, College Humor, host of Downtown Variety) performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Myq Kaplan & Friends

9:00 pm ($7): A silent comedy one-man show by Parker Denton “focusing on humanity’s constant struggle with the physical plane of existence” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Delusions of Grandeur

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform at this free weekly stand-up show at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue) hosted by Calvin Cato (Oxygen’s My Crazy Love): Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 ($7): House sketch groups Bundt and The Classic try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from a rebellious comedy group at The PIT Mainstage: The Defiants

9:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Chelsea Clarke, Anthony Apruzzese, and/or Steve Theiss host and perform this show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Sandford: Permission to Fail

10:00 pm ($7): Indie improv groups (not announced) perform at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tough Butler Power Hour

10:30 pm ($7): Comedic storytelling “featuring black comedians, musicians, artists, poets, educators, and elders from around NYC” at The Magnet theatre hosted by Alexis Lambright: The Griot Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE; reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing] 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 very best stand-ups in the country; co-star of HBO’s Crashing; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There): Whiplash

11:00 pm ($7): Improvisors perform scenes while taking on the roles of assigned Internet memes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Memeprov

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 who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Stu Melton: Raining Buckets

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($5 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

11:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT Mainstage 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 theatre 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 Underground for this weekly open access show hosted by such improv talents as Gary DeNoia and Langston Belton at The PIT Underground: 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; 88-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 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!)

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, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/24/16

July 24, 2016

Kurt MetzgerUnique comedy treasure Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans) performs a headlining stand-up set: An Hour with Kurt Metzger (9:30 pm, $15, The Stand Comedy Club at 239 Third Avenue off 20th Street)

More recommendations for the best in NYC  comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

6:30 pm ($5): Three NYC improv groups that are independent (i.e., not a house team of any particular improv school/theatre) compete for audience member laughs and votes at UCB East hosted by superb improvisors Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (half of revered improv group Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[$] 7:00 pm ($25): Singer/sketch performer/downtown cult figure Tanya O’Debra “lends her voice to 10 different characters while simultaneously staging live Foley sound effects in this filthy, filthy 1940’s radio detective spoof; just like the golden age of radio, only dirtier, running for one hour with no intermission” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Radio Star

7:00 pm ($5): Three scripted shows—including Two Fucking Maniacs and Pedro & Dave—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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors reunite, new improvisors perform, and then old and new merge to create a one-night-only team at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Nick Arret: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from a six-person troupe at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Sunday School Dropouts

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($27.25 plus 2-drink minimum): The hilarious oddball breakout star of the most recent Last Comic Standing (he wasn’t given the win, but he was the far and away the comic who deserved it) headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Joe Machi

[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, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among seven shows, with three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 8:00 & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Sunday

7:30 pm ($7): Dark sketch comedy about pop culture written & performed by Christopher Hastings at The Magnet theatre: Sex, Death & Krang

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, Seth Meyers, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), Chip Dwyer, Joe Alfano, and James Murtagh performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:30 pm ($5): This themed improv show is based on the premise that “The human body is 70% water. The other 30% is a potent mixture of blood, shit, piss, and cum. Come hear real stories about the most disgusting things humans and the surrounding world are capable of, and then watch as they are brought to life on stage” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Annoyance Presents Improv: Blood Shit Piss Cum

…and in the second half of this double-bill, improvisors make up scenes based off of a Spotify playlist that the audience creates:” The Annoyance Presents Improv: The Annoyance Radio 111.1

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Perri Gross, Damian Holmes, Maddy Smith, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Maggie Lally: Magtag Variety Hour

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Sketch comedy accompanied by live music at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): With a Little Feeling

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow and The Incredible Game Show Showcase, co-author of #1 bestselling Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers), Phoebe Robinson (Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, Totally Biased, co-host of 2 Dope Queens), Jordan Carlos (writer/correspondent for The Nightly Show; MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central, VH1, Adult Swim), Sue Smith (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Lacey Jeka (The Chris Gethard Show), and Kristen Buckels performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Summer Fling

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus FREE FOOD!] 9:30 pm to grab a seat and eat, 10:00 pm for screening: Come watch a new episode of The Jim Gaffigan Show with an audience—and possibly have the opportunity to ask questions afterwards of someone involved with the show, as there’s no telling who might drop by. Plus, free food—probably pizza! (“Yes. Free. Food. It’s what Jim would want.”) It all happens at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Jim Gaffigan Show Official Watch Party

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, drawings every half hour), providing 4 minutes per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Intestinal Fortitude

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Walk-in stand-up lottery style open mic that provides 4 minutes per comic at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Andrea Shapiro & Chris Gersbeck: Bunk Bed Time Open Mic

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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ian Kitchen: The Grandstand

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team 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 Tuesday 7/19/16

July 19, 2016

Joe  List: Are You Mad At Me?Celebrating the release of Are You Mad at Me?, the new comedy album from Joe List (HBO, David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central) are Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Robert Kelly (Louie, HBO, CBS’ The 2-2, two Comedy Central specials), and Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), all performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): Joe List Album Release Party: Mark Normand, Robert Kelly, and Ari Shaffir (10:00 pm, $5 cover and no min., The Stand Comedy Club at 239 Third Avenue off 20th Street)

More recommendations for the best in NYC comedy tonight (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, six singing & dancing improv groups at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions, followed at 10:15 pm by an improv jam open to the audience hosted by group Kid Detectives: Magnet Musical Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): A showcase for two brand new shows—sketch, solo, readings, what have you—every week at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the wonderful Ronny Pascale: Pilot Season

[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 Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:30 pm & 9:15 pm ($5 per show): House groups at UCB Chelsea perform the classic improv form The Harold at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($8.45 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): Strong lineup of Mark Normand (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon; breakout star of 2014 Last Comic Standing), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, HBO’s Down and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), and Eddie Brill (former long-time booker for David Letterman) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter & Ray DeVito: Northern Discomfort: Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Ari Shaffir, and Eddie Brill

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover but 2-item food/drink min.): A live taping of opinion podcast The Bonfire hosted by two of the finest comics in the biz, Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central hour-long special Not Special, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1) & Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; co-host of podcasts Legion of Skanks and The SDR; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), with guests TBA, at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue) celebrating the show’s One Year Anniversary: Dan Soder’s & Big Jay Oakerson’s The Bonfire

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Scientists, geeks, and writers tell tales related to science—with this month’s topic scientific blunders—at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Ben Lillie & Erin Barker: Story Collider: Mistakes Were Made

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jake & Amir (College Humor) host this free stand-up & sketch show with Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, #FAIL Comedy Central, TruTV’s Friends of the People, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Marcia Belsky, and the cast of Seriously TV, all performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Seriously Funny

8:00 pm ($5): Michelle Buteau (daily host of VH1’s Morning Buzz; Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Jordan Carlos (writer/correspondent for The Nightly Show; MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central, VH1, Adult Swim), Frank Liotti, Rich Kiamco, and Ashley Gavin performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Veronica Mosey: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[$] 8:00 pm ($20): This Harry Potter parody is crippled by a mediocre script, but is spared from being an utter waste of time by inventive direction from the highly talented Kristin McCarthy Parker (Hold On To Your Butts), and a large and mostly likeable cast (including the wonderful Langston Belton…who doesn’t get to do nearly enough) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Jared Freid, CJ Toledano, and Caleb Synan performing stand-up at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Liza Treyger & John Early: Cakeshop Comedy: Mike Drucker, Jena Friedman, Liza Treyger, John Early, and More

8:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Typically stellar comics (not yet announced) performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (long-time Jimmy Fallon staff comic; NBC’s 30 Rock, Comedy Central’s @midnight, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CBS): Sweet

9:00 pm ($5): An improvised game of Dungeons & Dragons at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): The Campaign

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Character comics—James Dwyer, Matt Little, and more—throw together a charity show to raise awareness of horses in this sketch show at the UCB East theatre hosted by Becky Chicoine & Sudi Green: Theme Party

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch and improv comics, who tonight include Micah Sherman and Clark Jones, plus ace stand-up Mark Normand (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It; opens for Amy Schumer), “create a brand new show in only one week, and then perform improvised sketches based off of your suggestions, just like The Second City used to do” at The PIT upstairs theatre directed by Jane Kehoe: Old School Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Each of six comics performs a 6-minute stand-up set…and then has to endure an old video of him or her telling bad jokes poorly, so the audience can see how much the comic has grown, at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Patrick Hastie: Old Bits, New Bits

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

10:00 pm ($5): In this unique show, improvisors make up a complete family & friends intervention based on an audience suggestion at The PIT downstairs lounge: Impro-vention

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and up-and-coming stand-ups performing at this free weekly show at UCB East hosted by Matteo Lane (Comedy Central): Chemistry

Tuesday 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

6:00 pm ($5): A chance for writers and actors to walk in and try out sketches on stage (casting begins at 5:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Kristen O’Brien: Cold Cream

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 6 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Weekly open mic for any kind of act (with sign-up starting at 7:30) at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) hosted by Joe Crow Ryan: Goodbye Blue Monday

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

[ALMOST FREE] 10:30 pm ($1): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tuesday After Class Jam

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

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

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 Sunday 10/5/14

October 5, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Mike Lawrence

Mike Lawrence spearheads a comic book related stand-up show at The Stand

The Cowmen

…and a day-long celebration at The Creek is capped by mind-blowing musical dark comedy from The Cowmen

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] 3:00 pm-Midnight: The Creek’s Cave Comedy Radio celebrates its fans all day with “a big ole sausage and brat cookout, and then a two-stage comedy show, with all your favorite CCR podcasts downstairs and CCR performers doing stand-up and sketch in the upstairs theater; and then at 10:00 pm musical group The Cowmen do a full set” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Creek Cave Radio Sausage Party, Mac & Cheese Cookoff, and All-Day Comedy

5:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced) sit in the audience and “shout out funny questions, comments, or even noises to the host onstage and to each other whenever they feel like it,” effectively becoming their own hecklers, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Will Thilly: Noise Factory

7:00 pm ($10): Improv spinning off the mythic TV series The Golden Girls at The PIT upstairs theatre: Four Broads and Cheesecake: Golden Girls Improv

[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 Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($7): Comedy groups Action Park and Stockton perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[$] 7:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.) Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Nimesh Patel (Comedy Central, co-host of Broken Comedy), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Graham Kay, plus hosts Sam Morril (Comedy Central) & Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), perform stand-up at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Sam and Joe Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12): Theatrical improvisors make up a complete play on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

[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 Colin Quinn and Ryan Hamilton at the 8:00 show; great lineup of Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Keith Alberstadt, Donald McEnery, Kevin Brennan, and Zainab Johnson (hosting) at the 9:45 show; and Kurt Metzger, Marina Franklin (hosting), Sam Morril, Zainab Johnson, Joe List, and Damien Lemon at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Part of Comic Con Super Week, Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium) spearheads a comic book related stand-up show featuring such other top comics as TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central special White Precious, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Byron Bowers performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Comic Book Stand-Up: Mike Lawrence, Kurt Metzger, Dan Solder, Janeane Garofalo, Rachel Feinstein, Joe List, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors and guest improv groups join host Skycopter (which includes the incredible David Carl) to make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

8:00 pm ($5): Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Dive Comedy), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out), Jacqueline Novak (Comedy Central, College Humor), Brian Frange, Ricky Gonzalez, and Mike Lebowitz performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

8:00 pm ($5): Jessica Delfino (CDs Dirty Folk Rock and I Wanna Be Famous; popular animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), Ariel Elias, and sketch group Math, Science, and The Humanities, plus comedic counseling from Viviana Cortez, all performing at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ali Levin: Sunday Sessions

9:00 pm ($7): Eight improvisors jointly contribute to the creation of two-person scenes, and then work to refine and morph these scenes together over time at the Magnet theatre: The Blob

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Superb improvisors Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, lightning-quick, and razor-sharp rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Ashley Ward (Big Black Car), Sarah Nowak (The Baldwins), Morgan Phillips (Diamond Lion), Gary Richardson (Annoyance Theatre), and Brett Wean (Wean Shay) make up theatrical scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: People Improvising

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A jaw-dropping dark comedy group, which includes members of ace sketch troupe Murderfist, will terrify and delight you for an hour at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Cowmen

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

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

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

9:30 pm ($3): Open-mic comedy, with 3-5 minutes per walk-in performer who signs up (first come, first serve) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Will Neville: Amateur Night At The Gemini

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

[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 at UCB 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)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 1/5/14

January 5, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For a sampling of Classics, please click here.

Ryan Hamilton

Ryan Hamilton and more perform stand-up at two free codeword SNOW shows at The Stand…

Leslie Meisel

…and the wonderful Leslie Meisel is among the improvisors making up one-act plays on the spot at Act One

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] 5:00 pm: A smorgasbord of of stand-up, comedic music, comedic dance, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Fiorito : Mishmash Mashup

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 7:00 pm (FREE online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central), Derek Gaines, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Free Snow Show with Ryan Hamilton, Wil Sylvince, Joe List, and More

7:00 pm ($8): A sketch show that provides “advice from family, friends, and co-workers about your terrible life decisions” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Don’t Do That

[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 Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): “Jamaal Sedayao is inviting a few friends to sing songs for you. Armed with an iPhone camera, Jamaal will also show some low production-value videos that you might like” at The Magnet theatre: Born to Karaoke

[$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who won Last Comic Standing Season 3, has performed on Jay Leno, and starred in his own Showtime one-hour special Who’s Paying Attention?, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Alonzo Bodden

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors—tonight including the wonderful Leslie Meisel, Ashley Ward, and Steve Siddell, plus groups Bird Frat and Jessica McKlintock—make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ray Ellin (Latenet, Gong Show Live): Ted Alexandro, Michael Che, Nick Griffin, Jon Fisch, and Greer Barnes

8:00 pm ($7): Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman; TruTV), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Caroline Creaghead: Creaghead & Company

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jamie Lee (staff writer/performer for The Pete Holmes Show; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, VH1), Luke Cunningham (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Amy Miller (The Amy Schumer Show, Sorry About Your Dad podcast), Ryan Reiss, KC Arora, and Alex Grubard performing at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by RG Daniels: Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Amy Miller (The Amy Schumer Show, Sorry About Your Dad podcast), Danny Jolles, Matteo Lane, and Jess Salomon performing stand-up at UCB East with host Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups “have to perform their mental gymnastics while carrying the burden of an entire culture on their backs; and when all is said and done, only one can walk away with The Trophy of Insensitivity, which allows a one-time use of a pre-determined slur. The winner of the prize will be determined by a select few audience members, so don’t miss your chance to give away hate speech guilt-free” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by AJ Thompson and Koshin Egal: The Quota

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[DISCOUNTED] [FREE] 9:00 pm (FREE online using discount code SNOW; no min.): Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Eddie Brill (former long-time booker for David Letterman), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Dave Smith, Mike Finoia, Alingon Mitra, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Free Snow Show with Adam Newman, Eddie Brill, Pat Dixon, and More

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of The Dream Show), Mike Cody, and TJ Young performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

9:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from trio Pat May, Elena Skopetos, and Michael Delisle at The Magnet theatre: The Rolling Scones

[$] 9:00 pm ($15): Female stand-ups and burlesque performers mix comedy and nudity at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street): Stand-Up and Take Your Clothes Off

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), and Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ray Ellin (Latenet, Gong Show Live): Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, Michael Che, Ryan Hamilton, and More

[$] 11:30 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Brian Scolard (TBS’ Sullivan and Son, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour Special, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, AMC, TNT) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ray Ellin (Latenet, Gong Show Live): Nikki Glaser, Kurt Metzger, Sam Morril, Joe List, 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: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic comedy, with 4 minutes per performer, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Child Support

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

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

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; rare Upper East Side club, with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; rare 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/24/13

December 24, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Christmas Eve

Most comedy venues are closed tonight, but there’s still great laughs to be enjoyed at Comedy Cellar, The Stand, Stand Up NY, The Creek, and Jimmy’s No. 43

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12.25 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($12.25 online using discount code BUSINESS; no min.): Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CNN, TBS), Michelle Wolf (super-likeable dark comic rising star; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central Presents, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, VH1), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Jared Logan, Michelle Wolf, Kurt Metzger, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), James Smith (Australian comic; HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central; for stand-up video on what it’s like to be Australian in New York, please click here), Denise McCann (Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show), and Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Greer Barnes, James Smith, Denise McCann, and More

[$] 8:00 pm ($16.50 online or $20 at the door, plus 2-drink min.): Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Jamie Lee (staff writer/performer for The Pete Holmes Show; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, VH1), and more performing stand-up at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Joe Dixon, Eli Lebowicz, Eitan Levine, and more performing long stand-up sets at Jimmy’s No. 43 back room (43 East 7th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: Nasal Vice X-Mishegoss Eve Stand-Up Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), 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), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Denise McCann (Comedy Central), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Brian Scolard (TBS’ Sullivan and Son, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour Special, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, AMC, TNT), and Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, and More

[FREE] Midnight: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

Tuesday 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] 6:15 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys Open MIc

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 12/4/13

December 4, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Reglis Philbin

TV icon Regis Philbin is among the guests at Running Late With Scott Rogowsky…

ABC TV Comedy Auditions

…and 11 NYC stand-ups try hard to make you laugh and impress TV scouts at the free show ABC TV Comedy Auditions

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 at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Christine Holt & Mary Guiteras tend bar for a living, then let off steam by performing improv at The PIT downstairs lounge where they unleash the secrets they’ve heard, and also host storytelling from tonight’s guests Ashley Ward and TJ Mannix: Bartenders

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 Hotspur and Wobin Rilliams: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm (free cover & no min. online using discount code ABC): Eleven NYC stand-ups do their damndest to make you laugh in front of ABC TV scouts who are “looking for the next comedian to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live, guest star on ABC shows, and work alongside Robin Roberts on Good Morning America” at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): ABC TV Comedy Auditions

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Jeff Ross and Gary Gulman at the 8:00 show, Kevin Meaney and Nikki Glaser at the 9:45 show, and Kurt Metzger and James Smith at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 75 minutes with a true genius of comedy. Based on his previous productions, this is probably a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is not to be missed. And beyond the script, it’s always worth experiencing his lightning-quick flashes of humor. For example, at a performance of a different show in 2011, a woman sitting in the front row had the incredible gall to start reading. Daniel sweetly responded, “Ooh, that’s a subtle yet effective form of criticism. I’m certainly not cross with you, just too nosy about what you’re reading to plow on. Look, you’re still reading. What a lack of faith you have in live entertainment…” Place your faith in Daniel and nab tickets before they sell out for this production running every day except Mondays from November 22nd through December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): Analog,Ue

8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, “a sketch show sensitive to audiences’ growing, extremely legitimate phobia of spoilers. These six ensemble sketches range from Jesus to Ghostbusters, but—don’t worry—these topics and any relevant references will be announced before the show, so no one has to hear anything they don’t want to. No spoilers!” written by Caitlin Bitzegaio, directed by Caitlin and Beth Appel, and starring Caitlin, Natasha Rothwell, Lauren Adams, Matt Fisher, Tim Dunn, Michael Hartney, and Dru Johnston: Spoiler Alert: This is a Sketch Show

…and in the other half of this double-bill, “Aaron & Brian lead their lonely friend Erik on a surreal, nightmarish odyssey to ‘get his dick wet.’ Elderly lesbians, impromptu Fosse numbers, dueling Katherine Hepburns, and the ominous Old Valley are all pit-stops on this journey to happiness, or at least maybe getting laid,” written by and starring Aaron Jackson, Erik Dies, and Brian Glidewell: Erik Dies, You’re Stupid and We Hate You

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), Sara Tollemache, and Jake Young performing stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jay Dean: In The Garage

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): TV star Regis Philbin, Lizz Winstead (Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, Air America), and more being interviewed at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, off 95th Street): Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5; final show!): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any squabbling) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Al Jackson (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Upload with Shaq, MTV), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Andy Hendrickson (David Letterman), Chelsea White (VH1, producer of MTV’s Girl Code, TLC, co-host of What Else and Call Us Crazy), Dave Siegel (Comedy Central), Jeff Maurer (blogger for The Washington Post), Jeff Cerulli (director of Hungry starring Takeru Kobayashi), and Jay Nog (AMC’s Movie Date Night) performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Antler Beer & Wine Dispensary (123 Allen Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

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) demonstrate they’re superb comedic performers in this two-man sketch show about men who fail and/or regret. I wish the guys had worked with a tough editor to make the writing uniformly stronger; but there are enough solid bits, and strong comic acting throughout, to make this worth catching: Guilty Bystanders

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Michael Hartney and Justin Tyler, the hosts of Characters Welcome, perform “a collection of their most fantastic original characters” directed by Brandon Gulya: Ten Men

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy group Awful DJ (Bill Grandberg, Cory Cavin, and Josh Lay) hosts this variety show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Awful DJ

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 10:00: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show) and/or Nathan Anderson (Uncoolio): /r/standup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (rapidly rising star; ABC’s Would You Fall for That?, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased, MTV’s Hey Girl, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky) and Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable) host 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; plus it’s a lovely opportunity to experience these superb hosts in an intimate setting. (Tonight’s scheduled guests haven’t been posted yet, but please check for an update 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

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic for both stand-up and sketch, with sign-up starting at 5:30 and ending at 5:55, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Brian Frange & Rob Stern: Frange & Stern’s Stand-Up and Sketch Open Mic

[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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Benel Germosen: Cracking It

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

[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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): 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: 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 group Brick: 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.)

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.