NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/28/14

June 28, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Whitney Cummings debuts her hour-long special I Love You
at 11:00 pm and 2:00 am on Comedy Central

Thomas Middleditch

On this second day of the The 16th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon, highlights include Gravid Water (with such stars as Thomas Middleditch) and The Improvised Shakespeare Company (ditto)…

Taylor Williamson

…while if you love stand-up, the wonderful Taylor Williamson headlines at Gotham

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:

[SUPER-MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 5:30 pm Friday-1:00 am Monday ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 16th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon will run continuously from 5:30 pm on Friday June 27th, 2014 until roughly 11:30 pm on Sunday June 29th. Improv groups from all around the US and Canada—and a few places further away—will perform over 400 shows, typically in 15- or 30-minute blocks, for over 50 hours. Tickets will be $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain.

As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, which will cause long waits to get into UCB Chelsea (307 West 26th Street), which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by seven additional venues; for details, please click here.

For the complete schedule, please click here. To view shows organized by performer, please click here. To view the list of premium shows (which cost an additional $20 each), please click here. (Please note that if any premium show doesn’t sell out and you have a marathon pass, you can receive a remaining seat free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.)

DCM is pure comedy magic. I won’t be doing my traditional intensive three-day coverage (I recently got a book client a $1 million deal, and we’re on too tight a publishing schedule); but like every year, I highly recommend this greatest improv festival in the world. Don’t miss it.

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight includes Tom Papa at every show except 12:15, and Judah Friedlander at the 7:00 and 7:15 shows, and Dave Attell at the 10:30 and 12:15 shows, with four of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), and the 7:15 and 9:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): Improv from performers in their underwear—Shaina Stigler, Tim Racine, Langston Belton, and Michael Greene (but not Julie Sharbutt, who’ll be at DCM’s Gravid Water)—make up scenes based on tales spun by a fully clothed guest monologist at The PIT upstairs theatre: Instamacy

7:00 pm ($12): “Every family has a black sheep, but the Damn Family is all black sheep. When they get together, things get weird with not-so-wholesome, not-so-family-friendly sketch comedy fun” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Damn Family

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Abigoliah Schamaun (carny stand-up; co-host of Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bazaar and Dick’s Open Mic) hones a 30-minute stand-up set for one last night at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Abigoliah Schamaun

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who just barely missed winning a $1 million prize by coming in second in last year’s America’s Got Talent competition on NBC—and who’s an exceptionally funny comic and wonderful person—headlines tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Taylor Williamson

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code SUMMER; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), 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, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Derek Gains performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Ari Shaffir, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski (Wolf of Wall Street,, HBO’s Girls,, Comedy Central’s Michael and Michael Have Issues, award-winning sketch group Murderfist), Seaton Smith (FOX’s The John Mulaney Show, Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and Ron Krasnow performing stand-up sets and then being interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman Brigid Boyle, and Sarah Nowak) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: BBC and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) hosted by Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here): Comedy at Irish Exit

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12): Improvisors make up a religion based on an audience suggestion—e.g., The Church of the Carrot, The Church of Crime—and then make up hymns, readings, sermons, sacraments, and more on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Fake Church

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio’s Last Podcast On The Left  “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the Left Live

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($10 online using discount code SUMMER; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Ben Bailey (Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing? ; Comedy Central Presents, Jay Leno), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), and Derek Gains performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, Ben Bailey, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform sharp improv at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($12): Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Monroe Martin (Last Comic Standing), Kevin Iso, and Sara Armour performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey NBC series; MTV): Late Night Stand-Up

[FREE] Midnight: Two sketch troupes (not announced) each perform for 30 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kokomo: Sketch Show

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Walk-in open mic comedy show—stand-up, character, or funny story—providing 5 minutes per comic at The Fifth Estate Bar (506 5th Avenue, off 12th Street) hosted by Meghan O’Keefe: Open Mic-hael Douglas

5:30 pm ($5): Walk-in open mic, with sign-up at 5:15 pm and each stand-up performing for 5 minutes, at the Comedy Village Comedy Club (107 MacDougal Street): Comedy Village

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-$20)

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)

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/12/14

May 12, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Prince

Jo Firestone and friends create badly written theatre crammed with Prince songs and starring the audience at The Prince Musical

Thomas Middleditch

…and the finest improv troupe in the world, which includes Thomas Middleditch (HBO’s Silicon Valley), continues its three-night run: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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

[TOP PICK] 5:30 pm ($5): Sketch comics perform character bits in this audition for the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival at the UCB East theatre: Character Auditions for Just For Laughs

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($26.87 online or $25 at the door with discount code MAY FB; please note the 7:00 pm show has SOLD OUT, but the theatre can often squeeze people in if you’re okay with standing): Genius improvisors from Chicago—including Thomas Middleditch (star of HBO’s Silicon Valley)—delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a three-night NYC run at at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), with every evening utterly different from the last. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Lauren Olson (brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor; Nat Geo’s Going Ape; member of sketch & improv groups Genus, Chet Watkins, and 20/400; powerhouse one-woman FringeNYC show Our Condolences) is the dinner guest of Jed Teres, who says, “Jed has ideas to share and questions to ask. He has stories to tell and jokes to make. He has dinner to eat, and prefers to do it in the company of an interesting person. That way, if Jed runs out of stuff to talk about, he can always fall back on asking: So what are you up to these days?” at The Magnet theatre: Dinner With Jed

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of young improvisors performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Free Improv Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch about our national pastime: Baseball is America

[TOP PICK][$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show, comedy album Women and Black Dudes), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View): Neal Brennan, Marina Franklin, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Mike Vecchione (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Hugh Moore, and Cavlin Cato performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): Improv group Gadget makes up scenes, plus musical guest Summer & Eve, at the UCB East theatre: The Gadget Hour

8:00 pm ($10): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer provide you with improvised psychological healing via a hand puppet at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shrink: Puppet Therapy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics try out for Montreal’s prestigious comedy festival at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

8:30 pm ($5): Sketch groups The Theme From Jurassic Park and Cool Blanche perform at The Magnet theatre in the double-bill Eye of Tigh

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Show how smart you are at this trivia show with a comedic vibe at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Peggy O’Leary and/or Christine Fulopp: Think & Drink Trivia

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Becky Yamamoto (Web series Uninspired; co-host of Comedy School Dropout), Kate Ghiloni, Nick Mullen, and Charles Gould performing stand-up, plus songs from Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by 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) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central), Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Janelle James, Mike Recine, and more performing stand-up for this weekly show at the Durden Bar (213 Second Avenue off 13th Street) hosted by Mike Denny: Hot Dogs

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days (which includes stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Michael Hartney, and more, plus exceptionally superb writers) and Bellevue: Maude Night: Legs For Days and Bellevue

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…,” with typically fine NYC storytellers (not announced this month) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10 at the door or $12.65 in advance online): “If you’ve ever dreamed of starring in a musical entirely made up of Prince songs, this night will be the best night of your life. This show strings together the best of the ‘Artist Formally Known As’ hits with a plot that’s very bad. Audience members may opt to volunteer to play various singing and non-singing roles, but spectators are also appreciated” from Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer, co-star of GUMP), and Aaron Jackson (superb sketch/improv/musical performer) performing at Brooklyn’s Cameo (93 North 6th Street, behind Lovin’ Cup): The Prince Musical: A Hastily Written Musical Starring the Audience

[TOP PICK][$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Dov Davidoff (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, NBC’s Raines, film’s Invincible and Max & Grace), Mark Normand (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Leslie Jones (staff writer for Saturday Night Live, Showtime special Prob Child), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Modi (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View): Paul Mecurio, Gary Gulman, Dov Davidoff, Mark Normand, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Seth Herzog (long-time staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Nat Geo’s Duck Quakes Don’t Echo; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1; host of Sweet), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Yamaneika Saunders (VH1, TruTV, BET), and more performing for this free weekly stand-up show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays: Nikki Glaser, Seth Herzog, Barry Rothbart, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Comics try out for Montreal’s prestigious comedy festival at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Just For Laughs Stand-Up Auditions

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen: Whiplash

Monday 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 & 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

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 Monday 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 Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at danmaxfox@gmail.com) and 3 minutes for each comic who signs up on the spot (sign-up starts at 6:45 and ends at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Muchmore’s Stand-Up Open Mic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog 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 One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) 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 Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/13/10

August 13, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Hy’s coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2010 Festival, please click here.

Thomas Middleditch

Genius comic Thomas Middleditch performs improv tonight at The Law Firm and then sketch comedy at Beneath Gristedes

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): A delightful tale of heartbreak by Leslie Meisel—who manages the impressive feat of being adorable, sexy, and hilarious all at the same time, and is a sharp comedic talent very much worth keeping an eye on—quite ably abetted by co-writer Megan Neuringer in one of the smartest theatrical shows to grace UCBT this year: Love Can Suck a Dick…and So Can I

The other half of this double-bill is a one-man show that walks a challenging line between gay confessional and comic nerd celebration…and unfortunately ends up falling short on both sides. For example, I adored the name-dropping of my favorite Superman artist Wayne Boring, yet not a moment was spent following it to explain what made him so special. Plus who wants to see a show about someone “liking” Superman? If you aren’t passionately in love with the fiction—and commited to saying so, and to clearly articulating why—what’s the point? The production is nonetheless a laudable try at mixing the worlds of mainstream and genre; and if you’re not ascomics-obsessed as I am, maybe the skim-the-surface approach won’t be an issue for you at So I Like Superman: A One-Nerd Show

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($19.33 online if you use code VIPAUG, plus 2-item minimum): Past contestants of NBC’s Last Comic Standing—including Marina Franklin, Jon Fisch, and Jessica Kirson—performing tonight and Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club:Still Standing Up: A Last Comic Standing Showcase

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A groundbreaking and surreal improv/sketch troupe performing with new guests each Friday and making a valid complaint: Centralia: We Were Supposed To Have Flying Cars By Now

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00: Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Streeter Seidell (CollegeHumor.com star), John Roberts (YouTube star), Erik Bergstrom, and David Cope performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue), hosted by Matt Ruby: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday ($39.50 online or at the box office using discount code PPBBOX): This is a show for which I have enormous affection; although my joy came from watching not only what occurred on stage, but the faces of the women in the audience turning stonier and stonier as they visibly projected the thought, “Dick tricks? This entire show really consists of dick tricks? All my suspicions about men have just been confirmed…” If you cherish bravery in performers, go forth to the 45 Bleecker Theatre (right next to the #6 subway’s Bleecker Street stop) and experience Puppetry of the Penis

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Thomas Middleditch, Jonathan Gabrus, Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Top UCBT talents—tonight featuring Nate Lang, Kate McKinnon, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Rodgers and Andree Vermuelen as the performers, and Adam Conover, John Frusciante, Kevin Hines, Anthony King, Shannon O’Neill, Craig Rowin, Jim Santangeli, Eric Scott, Nate Smith, Gavin Speiller, Erik Tanouye, and Caitlin Tegart as the writers—creating a one-night-only sketch comedy show directed by comedy genius Gavin Speiller, with musical guest McGinty & White: Beneath Gristedes

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For Hy’s coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2010 Festival, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/5/10

July 5, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Improv stars Eliza Skinner, Thomas Middleditch, Mike Still, and more make up a musical on the spot tonight at Diamond Lion

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: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($17.50 online with discount code NIFF): My #1 pick for the2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, and Lauren Seikaly, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest and nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then nab tickets for tonight’s fifth installment at the Soho Playhouse of a 10-week Monday night run: Naked in a Fishbowl

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents; CD Goodbye Forever Fatty), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1), Jessimae Peluso (Comedy Time TV, TruTV), Raquel D’Apice, Mike Lawrence, and Jayson Cross (Nip/Tuck) performing at a free weekly show in theManchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s finest house sketch comedy troupes, Stone Cold Fox and Gorilla Gorilla, trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Thomas Middleditch, Eliza Skinner, Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, and Shannon O’Neill—making up a musical on the spot at Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest stand-up comics in the country—tonight including Todd Barry, Andy Blitz, Lisa Delarios, and James Adomian—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/14/10

May 14, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Genius comics Kate McKinnon, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Rodgers, and more perform sketch at midnight's Beneath Gristedes

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “The most fabulous show on Earth,” hosted by Tim Gunn (John Flynn) and Tim Gunn (Michael Hartney), featuring such superb comedic performers (both straight and gay) as Claudia Cogan, Megan Neuringer, Sue Galloway, and Lou Perez, plus two audience members who’ll be selected to compete in a design challenge, at The Same Sex-Tacular

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A groundbreaking and surreal improv/sketch troupe performing with new guests each Friday and making a valid complaint: Centralia: We Were Supposed To Have Flying Cars By Now

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($33.48 online if you use code VIPMAY, plus 2-item minimum): A stand-up who’s performed frequently on Conan O’Brien and David Letterman, and who’s performed a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special and numerous Comedy Central Roasts, headlining tonight through Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Greg Geraldo

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): In this new show, Thomas Middleditch, Jonathan Gabrus, Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell, champions of the Magnet Theater’s 2009 Improv Duo Tournament, bring nearly five years of improv collaboration to stage “for an evening of bold, committed characters and truthful, grounded scenework” at Hodapp & Rothwell

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Top UCBT talents—tonight featuring Matt Fisher, Nate Lang, Kate McKinnon, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Rodgers, and Andree Vermeulen as the performers, and Adam Conover, John Frusciante, Kevin Hines, Anthony King, Shannon O’Neill, Craig Rowin, Jim Santangeli, Eric Scott, Nate Smith, Gavin Speiller, Erik Tanouye, Caitlin Tegart, and Greg Tuculescu as the writers—creating a one-night-only sketch comedy show directed by comedy genius Gavin Speiller, with musical guest Cavalier Rose: Beneath Gristedes

[$] 12:30 am ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 1/10/10

January 10, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Over the past three nights, audiences at the Barrow Theatre saw an older woman so sexually aggressive that each young man she seduces quickly perishes (from audience suggestion "The Taming of the Cougar"); a general so cruel that he kills his subordinates in front of their young, ailing children; and a deus ex machina in the form of Scrooge McDuck. And it was all hilarious...

There are just two more evenings—tonight at 10:00 & Monday at 8:00—to catch the smartest & funniest improv comedy troupe in the world in a spectacular NYC run that must not be missed: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 2:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code JODY, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last August for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event during this magical NYC run through Monday night: Baby Wants Candy

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

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Rob Cantrell and other sharp NYC stand-ups performing at a free weekly LES show at Pianos hosted by Greg Johnson: The Comedians

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Superb stand-ups Ophira Eisenberg, Ali Wong, Joe Devito, Craig Baldo, Harry Terjanian, and Dan Goodman performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($46.50 & 2-drink min.): A comedy superstar headlining this one last night at Carolines: D. L. Hughley

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC comics—who haven’t been announced this week—performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar at Vince Averill’s & Jesse Popp’s free weekly show Beauty Bar Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 online or at the door with discount code ISCSUN): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the fourth of a five-night NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Don’t miss the final two performances of the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[FREE] 10:00 pm: All-gal stand-ups Ali Wong, Karith Foster, Roberta Rockwell, and Joanne Filan performing at a free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/8/10

January 8, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

The smartest & funniest improv comedy troupe in the world continues a spectacular run in NYC through Monday that must not be missed: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): In this fun new show, 16 musical performers turn an audience member’s suggestion into two musical fairy tales that tell what happened from the viewpoint of first the hero and then the villain, with “all the music and magic of a Disney flick…plus the darkness of the Brothers Grimm:” Once Upon a Time

7:30 pm ($10): Raunchy comedic singer/songwriter Cock Lorge and friends performing at his monthly show at Pianos in Thank Cock It’s Friday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Wearing wigs and waistcoats, extraordinarily quick-witted improvisors Neil Reynolds and Matt Tucker portray “two of America’s angriest founders: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr” and the events leading up to their historic duel—while crafting deliciously silly scenes. For example, when the duo performed during the magical Del Close Improv Marathon in 2007, Burr proposed a law declaring US land as “international waters” so he’d have more freedom to sleep with married women. When Hamilton thwarted him, the villain seceded and declared his body his own country, “the United State of Burr.” These Boston-based improvisors are among the sharpest in the country, and it’s thrilling that they’re gracing NYC for this one night only with their unique themed improv. Expect something quite special at Code Duello: Hamilton &. Burr

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code JODY, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last August for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event during this magical NYC run through Monday night: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: The debut of a new monthly comedy show featuring top NYC stand-ups and musical comics, with tonight’s guests brilliant singer/songwriter Shayna Ferm, stellar storytellers Tom Shillue and Giulia Rozzi, and superb stand-ups Leo Allen, Claudia Cogan, and Craig Baldo performing at Happy Ending for wonderful stand-up/comedic rapper host Carolyn Castiglia’s Splurge!

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($46.50 & 2-drink min.): A comedy superstar headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: D. L. Hughley

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC sketch comics & stand-ups Murderfist (fearless sketch troupe), Rob Lathan (performed sketch on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Human Giant), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, Ghost Town), Jesse Popp (Comedy Central, co-host of Beauty Bar Comedy), Pat O’Shea, and Jake Young performing at Brooklyn’s Coco 66 for host Nick Turner’s and new co-host Jason Saenz ‘s Too Cool for School

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-up comics Allison Castillo (Comedy Central), Yamaneika Saunders (NBC’s Stand-Up for Diversity), Tom Ragu (The Tom Ragu Revue), and Garry Hannon performing in Ochi’s Lounge at a gay-themed show hosted by the lovely Jenny Rubin: The Back Room

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [$] ($17 online or at the door with discount code ISCCFBK): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a five-night NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Try to catch every single performance of the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Top UCBT talents—tonight featuring Jeff Hiller, Fran Gillespie, Nate Lang, Jim Santangeli, Mike Still, and Andree Vermeulen as the performers, and Neil Casey, John Frusciante, Dan Gregor, Dan Gurewitch, Anthony King, Craig Rowin, Eric Scott, Nate Smith, Caitlin Tegart, and Greg Tuculescu as the writers—creating a one-night-only sketch comedy show directed by Will Hines, with musical guest McGinty & White: Beneath Gristedes

[FREE] 12:20ish am: A free opportunity for you to perform sketch on the UCBT stage at Liquid Courage

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Superb storyteller Tom Shillue, pundit Leighann Lord, and musical comedy duo The Knuckleheads performing at host Eric Vetter’s No Name & a Bag O’ Chips

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 online using discount code TODDB & 2-drink min.): A wryly brilliant stand-up who’s one of the very best in the biz, having performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Adult Swim, The Wrestler, and much more, delivering a deliciously long headlining set tonight at Carolines—and with the $25 tickets discounted to $10, how can you pass this up?: Todd Barry

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code JODY, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award this August for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event during this magical five-night NYC run, starting tonight: Baby Wants Candy

8:00 pm ($5): Nick Ross performing a show about his combating cancer, with a deliciously vibrant and adorable performance by actress Leslie Meisel as a variety of secondary characters (including the cancer itself…); and superb sketch troupe Trophy Dad performing a comedic play about a college buddy returning after 10 years to ruin his friend’s life, in the double-bill Highly Evolved Human and The Worst Guy Ever!

8:00 pm ($5): A sketch show self-described as “silly, abstract, a little bit touching, and very entertaining” from comedy duo Hobart & Michael

8:00 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors directed by James Eason “take an audience suggestion and break it into a million funny pieces,” and veteran improvisors play with “elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde,” in the double-bill The Deconstruction and Sleepover

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Sharp comics Rob Cantrell, Thomas Dale, Kendra Cunnigham, and Tony Woods performing at Brooklyn’s Building on Bond for a free stand-up show hosted by Yannis Pappas: A Very Good Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Colin Quinn (SNL, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn), Brooke Van Poppelen (Chicago Public Radio), Shayna Ferm (brilliant comedic singer/songwriter), Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Rory Albanese (Executive Producer of The Daily Show), and more performing at a blockbuster edition of Comedy Below Canal

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 & 2-item min.): One of the finest, sharpest, funniest comics in comedy history—who’s barely started his career, but is already a staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, and has performed killer sets on Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, and a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special—headlining for one night only at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Anthony Jeselnik

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Movie & TV comedy superstar Janeane Garofalo, Jason Trachtenburg (Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players), and Amelie Gillette (The Onion’s The Hater columnist) joining the fresh, sexy, and razor-sharp gals of comedy group Variety SHAC

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [$] ($15 online or at the door with discount code ISCTHR): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight begins a five-night NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Try to catch every single performance of the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Vibrant improv troupes The Brothers Hines and The Scam battling for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): In this fun new show, 16 musical performers turn an audience member’s suggestion into two musical fairy tales that tell what happened from the viewpoint of first the hero and then the villain, with “all the music and magic of a Disney flick…plus the darkness of the Brothers Grimm:” Once Upon a Time

7:30 pm ($10): Raunchy comedic singer/songwriter Cock Lorge and friends performing at his monthly show at Pianos in Thank Cock It’s Friday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Wearing wigs and waistcoats, extraordinarily quick-witted improvisors Neil Reynolds and Matt Tucker portray “two of America’s angriest founders: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr” and the events leading up to their historic duel—while crafting deliciously silly scenes. For example, when the duo performed during the magical Del Close Improv Marathon in 2007, Burr proposed a law declaring US land as “international waters” so he’d have more freedom to sleep with married women. When Hamilton thwarted him, the villain seceded and declared his body his own country, “the United State of Burr.” These Boston-based improvisors are among the sharpest in the country, and it’s thrilling that they’re gracing NYC for this one night only with their unique themed improv. Expect something quite special at Code Duello: Hamilton &. Burr

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code JODY, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award this August for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event during this magical NYC run through Monday night: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: The debut of a new monthly comedy show featuring top NYC stand-ups and musical comics, with tonight’s guests brilliant singer/songwriter Shayna Ferm, stellar storytellers Tom Shillue and Giulia Rozzi, and superb stand-ups Leo Allen, Claudia Cogan, and Craig Baldo performing at Happy Ending for wonderful stand-up/comedic rapper host Carolyn Castiglia’s Splurge!

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($46.50 & 2-drink min.): A comedy superstar headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: D. L. Hughley

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC sketch comics & stand-ups Murderfist (fearless sketch troupe), Rob Lathan (performed sketch on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Human Giant), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, Ghost Town), Jesse Popp (Comedy Central, co-host of Beauty Bar Comedy), Pat O’Shea, and Jake Young performing at Brooklyn’s Coco 66 for host Nick Turner’s and new co-host Jason Saenz ‘s Too Cool for School

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-up comics Allison Castillo (Comedy Central), Yamaneika Saunders (NBC’s Stand-Up for Diversity), Tom Ragu (The Tom Ragu Revue), and Garry Hannon performing in Ochi’s Lounge at a gay-themed show hosted by the lovely Jenny Rubin: The Back Room

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [$] ($17 online or at the door with discount code ISCCFBK): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a five-night NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Try to catch every single performance of the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Top UCBT talents—tonight featuring Jeff Hiller, Fran Gillespie, Nate Lang, Jim Santangeli, Mike Still, and Andree Vermeulen as the performers, and Neil Casey, John Frusciante, Dan Gregor, Dan Gurewitch, Anthony King, Craig Rowin, Eric Scott, Nate Smith, Caitlin Tegart, and Greg Tuculescu as the writers—creating a one-night-only sketch comedy show directed by Will Hines, with musical guest McGinty & White: Beneath Gristedes

[FREE] 12:20ish am: A free opportunity for you to perform sketch on the UCBT stage at Liquid Courage