NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 8/22/17

August 22, 2017

Todd Barry and Andy BlitzAndy Blitz (above right; 7-time Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Review and Important Things with Demetri Martin, Netflix’s Master of None—which Andy also co-exec produced, Adult Swim’s Eagleheart, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable) hosts this benefit show for Charlottesville victims, with guests Todd Barry (above left; 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), Bobby Tisdale (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; voice of Zeke on Bob’s Burgers; numerous other TV credits, and NYC downtown comedy pioneer), Starlee Kine (This American Life, The New York Times Magazine, host of podcast Mystery Show), and Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central) performing stand-up, plus music by A.C. Newman: Comedy and Music to Benefit Charlottesville Victims (9:00 pm, $10, The Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street)…

Cocoon Central Dance Team: "Snowy Bong Bongs Across the North Star Combat Zone"…while day #2 of the annual Brooklyn Comedy Festival (running through August 27th) includes this screening of a performance film starring the Cocoon Central Dance Team (delightful trio of immensely talented comedic dancers/actresses and rising stars Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani—who will also perform live on stage!), with cameos by Reggie Watts, Kate Berlant, and more directed by Rachel Wolther & Alex H. Fischer: Cocoon Central Dance Team: Snowy Bong Bongs Across the North Star Combat Zone (7:30 pm, $16, Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema at 136 Metropolitan Avenue; take the L to Bedford; PLEASE NOTE: As of Monday night, this show has SOLD OUT)…

The Fancy Show…or see this Brooklyn Comedy Festival stand-up show with T.J. Miller (red-hot comedy star; David Letterman, Stephen Colbert; co-star of HBO’s Silicon Valley, HBO’s Crashing, and former ABC sitcom Carpoolers; co-star of numerous movies including Deadpool, Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Big Hero 6, Cloverfield, and Get Him to the Greek; for vintage videos, please click here), Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, TBS’ Sullivan & Son; Comedy Central one-hour special Father Figure), Liza Treyger (fresh, fierce, fearless stand-up; Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), Janelle James (@midnight, SeeSo’s Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), Michael Joyce, Simmons McDavid, and Lane Pieschel hosted by Rob Haze (Adam Devine’s House Party, Viceland’s Flophouse): The Fancy Show (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street; take R subway to Union Street; PLEASE NOTE: As of Monday night, this show has SOLD OUT)

Other notable shows this Tuesday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, eight singing & dancing improv groups—all typically led by the best improv pianist in the biz, Frank Spitznagel—at The Magnet make up musicals based on audience suggestions: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[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 Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, @midnight; former writer & correspondent for FX’s Totally Biased), Matteo Lane (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code), Christi Chiello (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, MTV’s Girl Code, TruTV, co-host of Battle of the Divas), Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents), Jordan Carlos (HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City and The Nightly Show, Showtime), and Sydnee Washington (host of The Warm Up) perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Sharron Paul (College Humor) & Calvin Cole (TBS’ Just for Laughs): Cheap Date Comedy Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm (no charge, but you must RSVP): Comics who create material for Above Average perform, including Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special, Billy on the Street; for Joel’s Conan set, please click here), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Blair Socci (MTV’s Girl Code and Ladylike), Matt Rogers (co-host of the GAYme Show), Rae Sanni (New York Magazine), and host Matt Star, all at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street): Above Average Live

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Michelle Wolf (star stand-up who’s also a star writer/correspondent for The Daily Show; previously staff writer & performer for Seth Meyers), Ronny Cheng (correspondent for The Daily Show), Nore Davis (HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, Showtime’s Boardwalk Empire, MTV), and Joey Dundale perform stand-up hosted by Dan Licata, Joe Pera, and Charles Gould at Brooklyn’s The Shanty (79 Richardson Street; take L subway to Lorimer Street): Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Two long headlining sets on this stand-up double-bill starring Monroe Martin (David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, finalist on Last Comic Standing, Netflix’s Master of None) and Derek Gaines (host of MTV’s Broke A$$ Game Show) at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Monroe Martin and Derek Gaines: No Need for Apologies

[FREE] 8:30 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

[FREE] 10:30 pm (Free! using online code COMP; no min.): Stand-ups pair up to brutally insult each other and then be judged for the effectiveness of their viciousness by veteran comics such as Big Jay Oakerson and Rich Vos at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Luis J. Gomez: The RoastMasters (PLEASE NOTE: As of Monday night, this show has SOLD OUT)

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 8/23/17

Nimesh Patel, Matteo Lane, and Liza TreygerAs part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival, superb stand-ups Nimesh Patel (exceptionally sharp & funny; Comedy Central, TruTV; written for Chris Rock hosting the 2016 Oscars; co-host of Broken Comedy), Matteo Lane (Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, MTV’s Guy Code & Girl Code), Liza Treyger (fresh, fierce, fearless stand-up; Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), and more hosted by Mike Lebowitz: Comedians You Should Know (9:00 pm, $5, Brooklyn’s The Gutter Bowling and Fine Brews at 200 North 14th Street)…

We Bee Spelling…and also part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival, an interactive comedy game show in which contestants compete on spelling ability and the audience is invited to sabotage them, featuring Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special), and Tom Cowell (Comedy Central), plus music from band Andy Frasco & The UN, all hosted by Alex Greer: We Bee Spelling (8:30 pm, $12.21 online or $15 at the door, Brooklyn’s Union Pool (484 Union Avenue)…

Jo Firestone, Mark Normand, and Michelle Wolf…and also as part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival, three of the finest comics in the country—Jo Firestone, Mark Normand, and Michelle Wolf—perform stand-up hosted by Becca Beberaggi: Paste Magazine Presents Jo Firestone, Mark Normand, and Michelle Wolf (9:00 pm, Brooklyn’s William Vale at 111 North 12th Street; PLEASE NOTE this is SOLD OUT)…

Ilana GlazerIlana Glazer (co-star of Comedy Central red-hot hit Broad City) delivered superb stand-up shows last Wednesday, in which she did a great long set and also had two sharp comedy friends do great long sets; and since those went so well, Ilana’s doing it again tonight and next Wednesday, with both an early and late show: Ilana Glazer and Friends (7:30 pm and 9:30 pm, $10, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street;—take R subway to Union Street; PLEASE NOTE: All performances have SOLD OUT. However, you might be able to nab tickets via the Fan Exchange)…

iley Soloner: Vacation Jason…and Chris Gethard Show icon Riley Soloner is a sweet, silly comic almost impossible to not like; and so is his over-the-top character Vacation Jason, whose sole missions in life are to party and create chaos. Come join this character so infectious that one executive was more interested in Vacation Jason than Chris Gethard years ago when Geth was pitching his show to Comedy Central: Night Late: Vacation Jason Edition (11:00 pm, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Other notable shows this Wednesday include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six hours of free improvisation—including dynamite comics Adrian Sexton and Jay Malsky in The Community Players at 7:00 pm, musical improv from group Vern (which includes superb singer & comic Julie A. Feltman) at 7:30 pm, such stellar improvisors as Pat Swearingen and Langston Belton in Hero Complex at 8:30 pm, and star instructors such as Dana Shulman, Adrian Sexton, Chris Booth, and sometimes even PIT owner Ali Reza Farahnakian at The Faculty at 10:30 pm, all at The PIT Mainstage: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Law Abiding Criminals

7:00 pm ($7): A dozen comics create an on-stage episode of Game of Thrones in which “women rise up and take back Westeros; it’s All Men Must Die (with jokes)” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Dames of Thrones

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 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 three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): “A love letter to beloved shows such as Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, comedians Joe Rumrill and Mary Houlihan invite you to a cavalcade of original costumed characters, animations, and sketches from both real humans and puppet humans” with guests Tim Platt, Steven DeSiena, Tessa Skara, and Jaboukie Young-White, all performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) as part of the the Brooklyn Comedy Festival: Cartoon Monsoon

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Robert Kelly (Louie, Trainwreck, HBO, CBS, two Comedy Central specials) performs a one-man stand-up show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Robert Kelly: Hard R

9:00 pm ($10): Five-guy sketch/improv group No Feelings stages the new White House communications team holding a press conference at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): No Feelings: Bannon’s Folly

NYC Comedy Picks for Thursday 8/24/17

Witch Taint: The Black Metal Dialogues LiveDave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; @midnight, Inside Amy Schumer, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, This American Life; host for HBO and Cinemax; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore; comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Phil Costello (Dave’s bandmate in groups Valley Lodge and—with Moby—Diamondsnake), and Greg Barris (MTV’s All That Rocks, host of Heart of Darkness) perform Dave’s epic email exchange with a Norwegian black metal record label while pretending to be “Lance, a teenager living with his parents in Gary, Indiana who also just so happens to be the lead singer and sole member of the most extreme, brutal, and Satanic black metal band of all-time, WitchTaint, and hopes to get signed on the strength of one excruciatingly bad song called Necrodreamraper.” To get a feel, visit Dave’s website devoted to these emails, The Black Metal Dialogues, and then come enjoy the stage version that’s part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival: Witch Taint Live (8:00 pm; $10, Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Michelle Buteau, Janelle James, and Liza Treyger…and also part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival is this stand-up show featuring Liza Treyger (above right; fresh, fierce, fearless stand-up; Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, Chelsea Lately), Michelle Buteau (above left; VH1’s Morning Buzz and Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, FOX’s Enlisted, Craig Ferguson, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, comedy album Shut Up), Janelle James (above middle; @midnight, SeeSo’s Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), Corinne Fisher (co-host of popular podcast Guys We Fucked), and Emma Willmann (Stephen Colbert, @midnight, Sirius XM) hosted by Rosebud Baker: Generation Why? (8:00 pm, $15, Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory at 361 Metropolitan Avenue)…

udy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and Jay Malsky as Elaine Stritch…or go to Manhattan to experience superb singer & comic Julie A. Feltman (musical improv group Vern, musical parody series Unauthorized!) host a sketch & cabaret show as Judy Garland, joined by ace singer/impersonators Matt Giroveanu (Broadway’s Next Hit Musical, Vern) as Frank Sinatra and Jay Malsky (above right; see directly below for UCB Chelsea shows Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend and The Kellyanne Show happening at 9:30 pm) as Elaine Stritch, with Jody Shelton (co-writer of hit parody 50 Shades: The Musical; renowned musical improv group Baby Wants Candy) on piano: The Judy Garland Show (7:00, $7, The PIT Mainstage at 123 East 24th Street)…

Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend!…and then come see Jay Malsky, a super-charged & hilarious character comic who sings beautifully. This (mostly) one-man musical he’s created shows off all of Jay’s strengths, as he plays a variety of women whose boyfriends he stole. Enjoy this polished version—with musical direction by Jody Shelton, choreography by Zak Sommerfield, and extra vocals by David Carl & Taylor Ortega—that’s now a part of the UCB schedule (I saw it raw when it debuted last year at Solocom…and it was the best show of the festival): Jay Malsky Slept With My Boyfriend! (9:30 pm; $7—which includes a second show that co-stars Jay and is also likely to be terrific, The Kellyanne Show: UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)…

Desi Domo…and while you’re at UCB, stick around for NYC’s premium improv competition. Last week indie improv group Miles From Pete (Desi Domo, Waylen Roche, Josh Tobin, and Scott Vicari) performed a brilliant 25-minute monoscene, with Desi Domo (above) especially proving herself an outstanding comedic talent who merits keeping an eye on. This group that’s not affiliated with any school essentially crushed three of the guys from UCB Saturday night improv team What I Did For Love (which had been on a 6-week Cage Match winning streak), attracting 67 votes to 27. New champion MFP tonight faces UCB Lloyd Night group Zaddy, competing for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match (11:00 pm, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)

Other notable shows this Thursday include:

[FREE] 7:00 pm-10:00 pm: An improv jam open to all at 7:00 pm, Annoyance Theatre veteran improvisor show Michael Jordan Steakhouse at 8:00 pm, and a stand-up show at 9:00 pm featuring Bowen Yang (Comedy Central’s Broad City; member of sketch group Pop Roulette; co-host of podcast Las Culturistas), Christi Chiello (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, MTV’s Girl Code, TruTV, co-host of Battle of the Divas), and more, all at Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Avenue, in the cellar) hosted by Danny Groh as part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival: DogSlam Comedy

[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 three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

8:00 pm ($10): A raunchy musical about high school seniors and aliens from outer space plotting to harvest our genitals begins a 10-show run tonight through September 18th at The PIT Mainstage from writer Joe Kelly, musical director Jonathan Evans, and director Griffin Osborne: Aliens Coming: The Musical

8:00 pm ($7): A two-man comedic play about star Redd Foxx, who had a legendary stand-up career and hit TV series; “yet toward the end of his infamous life the IRS took everything he had…so he decided to give a fuck” written by Laurence Maslon, and starring Kareem M. Lucas as Redd Foxx and Adam McNulty as an IRS agent at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Redd, Black, and Blue

9:00 pm ($7): A rotating cast of professional clowns perform a silly show in hopes of changing your life at The PIT Underground hosted by Joe Galan & Kim Kaiser: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 8/25/17

Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman: "Your Love, Our Musical"World-class singing improvisors Evan Kaufman & Rebecca Vigil interview an audience couple about their love life and then turning it into a musical—with breathtaking skill (see my review of their award-winning FringeNYC 2015 shows here). Part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival, I highly recommend the phenomenal Your Love, Our Musical (7:30 pm; $10, which is super cheap—;this show has regularly sold out at $18 at other venues; Brooklyn’s Union Hall at 702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street)…

Bowen Yang and Shantira Jackson…or join host Sonia Denis as she “invites an eclectic group of influential party guests” including Bowen Yang (Comedy Central’s Broad City; member of sketch group Pop Roulette; co-host of podcast Las Culturistas) and Shantira Jackson (writer for BET’s 50 Central; member of improv/sketch group 3Peat) “to celebrate, satirize and ‘real talk’ the news; from current events to social issues to pop culture pettiness, if it’s filling up your social feed, it’s hitting up this show” as part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival: The Refinery29’s After After Party Live (8:00 pm, $12, Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 635 Sackett Street;—take R subway to Union Street)

Other notable shows this Friday include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($15 cover for FBPL shows, $24 cover for CC & VU shows, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane), the 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue), and the 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm shows at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Comedy Cellar Friday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Patrick McCartney, Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott make up scenes at The PIT Underground: Centralia

8:00 pm ($10): A raunchy musical about high school seniors and aliens from outer space plotting to harvest our genitals continues its run through September 18th at The PIT Mainstage from writer Joe Kelly, musical director Jonathan Evans, and director Griffin Osborne: Aliens Coming: The Musical

8:00 pm ($7): A two-man comedic play about star Redd Foxx, who had a legendary stand-up career and hit TV series; “yet toward the end of his infamous life the IRS took everything he had…so he decided to give a fuck” written by Laurence Maslon, and starring Kareem M. Lucas as Redd Foxx and Adam McNulty as an IRS agent at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Redd, Black, and Blue

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($12): Some of the finest improv in the country from brilliant comics Connor Ratliff, Shannon O’Neill, Alexandra Dickson, Michael Delaney, and/or Silvija Ozols forming a seamless and hilarious group mind at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; Steve Martin’s Comedy MasterClass; comedy album Good Year), Josh Johnson (writer for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central Half Hour, Kevin Hart’s Hart of the City), Wanjiko Eke (MTV), and Sarah Lazarus perform stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Mamoudou N’Diaye & Yedoye Travis as part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival: The Resistance Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($12): Superb improvisors James Dwyer, Craig Rowin, Connor O’Malley, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and Shaun Diston make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

Midnight ($7): “You have been cordially invited to the Mad Queen’s birthday spectacular, and no mad birthday would be complete without an appearance by The Fiend. The Fiend must be fed, so The Queen has decided to kill two birds with one stone: Any performance that does not meet the Queen’s Standard will be fed to The Fiend!” with potential victims Corin Wells, Patrick Keene, Melanie Owens, and Arti Gollapudi performing at the UCB East theatre: Cool Shit / Weird Shit: The Mad Queen’s Birthday Monstrosity

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-$12

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-$12

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; the third of The PIT theatres, located separately on the West side, hosts a wide range of comedy, but is especially effective as a home for intimate solo and/or theatrical shows; free-$20

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 weeknight shows free; weekend shows free-$10

Union Hall
702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20

Littlefield
635 Sackett 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 Thursday 3/16/17

March 16, 2017

Todd Barry

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) has added another credit to his already long and impressive list: his first book, Thank You for Coming to Hattisburg. Celebrating the publication of this instant bestseller (as I write this, ranked #2,100 on Amazon.com) are John Hodgman, Janeane Garofalo, Joel Kim Booster, Sam Morril, and more, all at the Todd Barry Book Release Event (8:00 pm; $25, Brooklyn’s Bell House at 149 7th Street in Brooklyn; take R subway to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Avenue)…

AzN PoP!…or enjoy watching comics trying to impress while pretending to be too cool to care at the second of two character & sketch comedy UCB Chelsea shows for industry (producers, casting directors, etc.) featuring such talents as Matt Evans, Dan Chamberlain, Becky Abrams, and the entire 25-minute musical AzN PoP!: Live in Concert!, all hosted by Becky Chicoine & Samantha Reece: UCBT’s I’m Cool Showcase (7:30 pm, $7, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th 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:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: 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; comedy album I Did It; webseries Teachers Lounge; frequently opens for Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan) tries out new material for an upcoming hour-long special every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Ted Alexandro

7:00 pm ($7): Anna Grace Carter drinks while describing the plot of an actual musical (could be famous or obscure), and then musical improvisors who include Jay Malsky, Henry Koperski, and members of the groups [title of team] and Royals attempt to recreate it based on her semi-drunken details at The PIT Mainstage: Drunk Musical: The Musical

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes with the lights turned off, using everyday objects to add layers of sound—like a radio play created on the spot—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Dim-Prov: Improv in the Dark

[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 three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and 8:00 & 10:00 pm shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($8): “Do you ever leave a comedy show saying ‘Hmm, that was pretty funny but not enough reading’? Literati is a night of comics in character performing hilarious readings—sometimes while wearing wigs,” with comics Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; host of WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show; HBO, Cinemax, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, books Tasteful Nudes and Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, comedy album Let Me Turn You On), Alexandra Song (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; MTV’s Girl Code) Chrissy Shackelford (The Story Pirates, Characters Welcome, Maude Night, UCB one-woman show Not Dry Yet), Jason Gore (Hulu’s Difficult People, sketch group Bridge & Tunnel), and Taylor Gonzalez at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Michael Wolf (showrunner of MTV series After Hours with Josh Horowitz; sketch comedy groups O.S.F.U.G. and Nancy) & Colin O’Brien (sketch comedy group O.S.F.U.G.): Literati: A Comedy Show About the Greatest American Novels Never Written

7:30 pm ($7): Jim Tews (sharp rising stand-up worth keeping an eye on; Louie, Last Comic Standing, host of Homeschooled and co-host of Fresh Out, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York), Mike Brown (co-host of Comedy Outliers), Julia Claire (NPR, Nerdist), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

7:30 pm ($10): A dozen stand-ups perform at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Frankie Moricco: Black Irish History Minute

7:30 pm ($7): Real life couples perform duo improv The PIT Underground hosted by Nate Foster & Raquel Powell: Couples’ Retreat

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): Four veteran house improv groups, at 10:00 indie improv troupe The Mannequin Room, at 10:15 themed improv show Silence, Please (exploring the nuances of wordless conversation and connection, with music suggested by the audience playing in the background), and at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado, all for just $10 at The Magnet theatre: The Magnet’s Thursday Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): An all-gal lineup of stand-ups, storytellers, character comics, and improvisors performing at The PIT Mainstage hosted by the women of group Darling Satan: She Makes Me Laugh

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Nick Griffin, Josh Gondelman, Monroe Martin, Sam Morril, KNimesh Patel, and more trying out fresh stand-up material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Katie Hannigan (MTV’s Inside Joke), Ester Steinberg, Daniel Simonsen, and Jordon Ferber performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Hungry Ghost Cafe/Bar (781 Fulton Street, between Fulton and South Oxford Streets) hosted by Keenan Steiner: Comedy at the Corner

8:30 pm ($5): Group Hot Boss hosts comedy about jobs at The PIT Underground capped by an audience member excoriating his or her boss and coworkers: Hot Boss: Happy Hour

9:00 pm ($7): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Jim Tews (sharp rising stand-up worth keeping an eye on; Louie, Last Comic Standing, host of Homeschooled, New York Times bestselling author of Felines of New York) and/or Ashley Brooke Roberts (energetic, enormously likeable rising stand-up; writer for Nat Geo and MTV’s Guy Code blog): Fresh Out

9:00 pm ($7): A variety show that incorporates tarot cards—show up an hour early for a free reading—at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Tamara’s & Adrian’s Tarot Variety Show

9:00 pm ($6): NYC stand-ups and storytellers Jenn Welch, Alex Ptak, Alexis Guerreros, Becca Steinhoff, Sharron Paul, and Marc Gerber performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Sue Funke & Katie Compa: Happy Place Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($7): The Emmy-winning writers of The Daily Show gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised Non-Daily Show

9:30 pm ($10): Comics who all met at Brown University perform scripted comedy at The PIT Mainstage: Rad Motel Sketch Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): A one-man show in which Dom Manzolillo attempts to rebrand himself “via a series of lovable, everyman sketches” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): My Name is Dom Hanks

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC magicians try out new material, with some stand-up thrown in, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by mind reader Eric Dittelman (America’s Got Talent, Ellen): Amazeballs

10:00 pm ($5): This inexpensive variety show typically features improv and more at The PIT Underground: The Really, Really Cheap Date Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($18, or $10 for students with ID): A unique musical improv show in which scenes explode into popular songs with tunes you know but entirely made up lyrics. Instead of an improv pianist, this show uses a DJ spinning karaoke tracks at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) directed by Philip Markle (former Executive Director of The Annoyance Theatre): Happy Karaoke Fun Time!

[FREE] 10:30 pm: “A curated hour of eclectic comedic material written in a week with no rehearsals” at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Holy Fuck Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($7): Last week musical improv group Rumpleteaser defeated the 2017 Cage Match Champion Fuck That Shit by a decisive 107-84 votes. The seemingly unstoppable musical juggernaut tonight will attempt to sound more pleasurable than improv troupe Hush, competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at the UCB East theatre hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons & Lance Weiss: Gandhi, Is That You?

11:00 pm ($7): Improv group That’s Dinner makes up an entire movie that never existed based on a suggestion from the audience at The PIT Mainstage: That’s Dinner and a Movie

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open mic for solo character bits, with names drawn from a bucket and 5 minutes provided to each performer, at the UCB East theatre: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up with 4 minutes per comic (sign-up starts at 5:30 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Jake Vevera & Amy Liszka: The QED Thursday Mic

6:00 pm ($5 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

6:00 pm ($3): A weekly improv jam open to the audience in which the number of participants on stage is determined by a roll of the dice at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street) hosted by Jon Monje, Glorillis Tavarez, Trumane Alston, and Julien Darmon: Chance Encounters Jam

6:30 pm ($5): If you’re a gal who’d like to try stand-up but are wary of being vulnerable in a tough male-dominated room, this show may be the perfect opportunity for you—an all-female open mic, with the first 15 comics to sign up (starting at 5:50 pm) getting 3 minutes each on stage at The PIT Underground: Ladies Night Open Mic

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (34 Pell Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A weekly improv jam hosted by group Salt at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Blender

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with a veteran improv group to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer Thursday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A recorded-for-podcast walk-in open mic providing 5 minutes on stage for whatever you want to perform—stand-up, sketch, song—with names drawn from a bucket at The Creek’s downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Mercadal & Will Watkins: Unsung Heroes

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Walk-in stand-up open mic (signup at 10:00 pm) at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Chelsea Condren, Kate Moran, and Kristin Seltman: Late Night Snack Open Mic

10:30 pm ($3): A chance for you to get on stage and improvise with PIT faculty at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Thursdays After Class Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: Barf Up the Jokes

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 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!

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 2/6/17

February 6, 2017

Don’t miss this website’s live show tomorrow at 9:30 pm at The PIT, featuring Josh Gondelman (writer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Joe Opio (writer for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show),Ophira Eisenberg (host of NPR’s Ask Me Another), Sean Patton, Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman, and more. For details and/or to nab tickets, please click here.

Todd BarryGreat lineup of 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), Bobby Tisdale (former writer for Jimmy Fallon; Zeke on Bob’s Burgers; Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Due Date, former host with Eugene Mirman of seminal East Village comedy show Invite Them Up)…

Anna DrezenAnna Drezen (writer for Saturday Night Live; superb stand-up who blends jokes with characters, movement, and sketch; author of How May We Hate You), Ashley Brooke Roberts (Nat Geo, co-host of Fresh Out, MTV’s Guy Code blog), Michelle Biloon (CBS’ Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, E!), and Reggie Conquest (writer for TruTV’s Impractical Jokers) performing stand-up hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for South Park, Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train (8:00 pm; $8; Brooklyn’s Littlefield at 622 Degraw Street, take R subway to Union Street)

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT Underground: Super Free Monday

7:00 pm ($7): Musical improvisors make up a fairy tale with song and dance at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Once Upon a Time

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up who’s been described as “bizarre yet funny” tries out new material every night through Thursday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Ian Fidance

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Stand-up from 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 Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), improvised music from Rebecca Vigil (rising star powerhouse improv singer; Your Love Our Musical, The Vigilante, co-host of Best New York Comedy), and songs from Jean Grae (Church of the Infinite You), all at the HiFi Bar (169 Avenue A) hosted by Mindy Raf & Katie Compa: Golden Spiral Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime) hosts Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, Dan Soder, Monroe Martin, Adrienne Iapalucci, and more, all trying out fresh material at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): New Joke Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, Chrissy Shackelford performs a (mostly) one-woman show as Diane Shangri-La, “legendary film star of the 60s and 70s who the world’s most famous sex symbol until Hollywood kicked her to the curb for turning the ancient age of 35. Now she’s back with original characters and impressions to prove that her career is Not Dry Yet

…and in the second other of this double bill, sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope’:” O.S.F.U.G. The Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

8:00 ($7): Christian Finnegan (co-star of A&E’s Black and White; Conan O’Brien; three Comedy Central specials, Netflix special The Fun Part; TBS, VH1, MSNBC, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Will Miles (co-host of Comedy Night at the Knit; TruTV, The Chris Gethard Show; comedy album Good Year), and more performing at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen: Downtown Variety Hour

8:00 pm ($7): Sketch, stand-up, and/or music from Joel Kim Booster (Conan O’Brien), Bowen Yang (Broad City), Ana Fabrega (Comedy Central), Sebastian DiNatale (The Daily Show), Sam Taggart (Broadgay), and Tim Platt (Cartoon Monsoon) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Mo Fry Pasic: Icon

[$] 8:00 pm ($18): A well-intentioned but overly conceptual play from enormously likeable writer/actor Augie Praley that aims to both dissect and pay homage to Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, with a cast of nearly 20 actors, at The PIT Mainstage: Looking Back, It May Not Have Been Ridgefield High’s Best Production of Our Town

8:00 pm ($5): Producers, writers, and other staff members of TruTV show Impractical Jokers improvise scenes at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Impractical Jokers Staff Infection

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($6): Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank on Mystery Science Theater 3000) hosts as “Moodsy, the Clinically Depressed Owl showing weird/crappy old cartoons in between sets,” with guests Simon Cadel and Carolina Hidalgo at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue). Described by Patton Oswalt as “like a kid’s show done in Bosnia,” it’s Frank Conniff’s Cartoon Dump

9:00 pm ($7): Comedy groups Student Council and Dinosaur Jones perform sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

9:30 ($7): House sketch groups Cha-Cha and Pretty Boys try out new material at UCB Chelsea for Maude Night

9:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phil Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up scenes with the lights turned off, using everyday objects to add layers of sound—like a radio play created on the spot—at The PIT Mainstage: Improv in the Dark

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sean Patton, Matteo Lane, Casey James Salengo, Kelsey Cook, JC Best, Mikey Garcia, and more performing stand-up at one of best comedy clubs in NYC at absolutely no cost to you (feel encouraged to order food and//or drinks, but you don’t have to) for The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

10:30 pm ($7): House sketch groups Kinfolk and Trouble Town perform at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Sketch Teams

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world-who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea typically hosted by Aparna Nancherla (one of the best stand-ups in the country; former writer for Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Comedy Central Half Hour, comedy album Just Putting It Out There). Reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing: Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

4:30 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It Open Mic

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer who shows up time on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Jacob Lie & Situ Mel ton: 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Walk-in open mic for telling stories or jokes about sex, desire, and romance, with each performer getting 7 minutes at The Delancey (168 Delancey Street) produced by Ames Beckerman: Safe Word: The Sexiest Open Mic in NYC

[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 ($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: 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

[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

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 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!

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 1/18/17

January 18, 2017

Todd BarryTodd 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) performs a long stand-up set in the West Village: Todd Barry Does His Hour (8:30 pm, $20 plus two-item min., The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge at 130 West 3rd 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-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT Mainstage: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck, comedy national treasure) hones material for a one-man show at The Fat Black Pussycat Lounge (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: Pushed Around!

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Roy Wood Jr. (correspondent for The Daily Show; David Letterman, HBO’S Def Comedy Jam, TBS’ Sullivan & Son, Comedy Central), James Acaster (UK comedy star; Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Mock the Week), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer; MTV, IFC’s How Shit Works, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Anthony DeVito (Adam Devine’s House Party, This American Life), and Joyelle Johnson performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Josh Gondelman (writer/producer for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The New Yorker): The Sensible Show

[FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up who’s performed on College Humor and Sirius XM, and who’s written for Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk Radio show, tries out new material every night through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Week at the Creek: Dan Perlman

7:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Three hours of improv from six groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm pm ($7): Duo sketch about “two orphaned twins who want you to know all about the things they’re learning” at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Know This

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, 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) and an 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which features three house groups making up scenes on the spot: Lloyd Night

7:30 pm ($7): A one-woman show by Maggie Lalley in which “she’ll discuss her history with witchcraft, her addiction to empty movie theaters, and her sexcapades with magicians and southern gun enthusiasts; laughter, dancing, and interaction with audience guaranteed” at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): Maggie Lalley’s Half Hour Comedy Special

8:00 pm ($10): A music-backed stand-up show that features a live band providing musical accompaniment to jokes, with guests Blair Socci, Blake Wexler, Jon Laster, Drew Anderson, Conor Delehanty, and Marie Faustin performing stand-up or music at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street) hosted by Yedoye Travis & Farah Brook: Rent Party

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Michelle Collins (The View) and friends perform stand-up at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Magic Mich XXL

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Comics Jo Firestone (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; 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), Dylan Marron (Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite, Seriously.tv, Welcome to Night Vale podcast), and Nicole Drespel (Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show, Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer; improv group Bucky) get drunk and then compete to present the best scientific dissertation on this month’s subject of Gettin’ Drunk to a genuine scientist at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Joanna Rothkopf, Shannon Odell, and Jordan Mendoza: Drunk Science

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Young and/or struggling NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) produced by Meghan O’Malley, Adrian Davidson, and Erick Hellwig: Barely Making It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm pm ($7): Mindy Raf (singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; alter ego Leibya Rogers) performs a one-woman show about love and relationships at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Mindy Raf: Keeping My Kidneys

8:00 pm ($7): Storytellers share tales of bad dates, and then improvisors create scenes that make those bad dates even worse at The PIT Underground hosted by Ryan Darden: Bad Date Theater

8:30 pm ($5): Matt Barats, Anthony Oberbeck, and Carmen Christopher perform as improv group Postmen at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Postmen

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC; stellar new comedy album Live at Webster Hall), Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, and other NYC comics “discussing the skankier sides of life, love, and stand-up comedy” for this weekly podcast taping at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Legion of Skanks

9:00 pm ($5): Alingon Mitra (Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (David Letterman, finalist on Last Comic Standing, MTV), Hadiyah Robinson (The Nightly Show), Sarah Tollemache (Comedy Central), and Jeff Steinbrunner performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Gutter Bar (200 N 14th Street) hosted by David Drake: Comedians You Should Know

9:00 pm ($10): Comedic storytellers Kevin Hall, Kristin Manna, Davey Melch, Gianmarco Soresi, Camille Theobald, Karolena Theresa, and Greg The Greek tell tales about losing their virginity at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Angela Cobb: My First Time: A Stand-Up and Storytelling Show

9:00 pm ($7): Comics (not announced) perform stand-up, sketch, improv, and/or more at The PIT Underground hosted by Jared Wilder: Laugh and a Draft

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Greg Barris (MTV’s All That Rocks, host of Heart of Darkness), Alli Breen, Erica Spera, Khalid Rahmaan, Lisa Curry, Barry Ribs, and Scotty Levell performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Lance Weiss & Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East hosted by Doug Mo and/or Ben Rameaka: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

9:30 pm ($7): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a one-woman show by Hallie Haas celebrating PBS and tits: Masterpiece Classic: Women in Art

…and in the second other of this double bill, “the world’s first Asian-American pop group from the USA. Join Baby Rice, Quirky Rice, Edgy Rice, Competitive Rice, and Brown Rice as they kick off their tour by dancing, singing, and rapping about boys, friendship, and systemic racism/oppression. CUTE!:” AzN PoP!: Live in Concert

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Storytellers share true tales hosted by Jenna Marucci & Aileen Think at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Jenna & Aileen Think You’re Great

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Improvisors pair up as scene-inventing duos for one night only at the UCB East theatre hosted by comedy giants Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell: Couples Skate

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv group Higgins—which includes Connor Ratliff and Matt Dennie—makes up the season finale of a popular, long-running TV series that does not exist (based on a show title provided by the audience) at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Higgins: Season Finale

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] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Walk-in open mic storytelling show, with each yarn-spinner (selected via names from a bucket) getting up to 8 minutes to tell a true and funny tale at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Vincent Chang: Flynn’s Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Mixer Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Your chance to improvise on stage at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Anthony Velez: Recess

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 4 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com to sign up, or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45, at Brooklyn’s Halyards Bar (406 Third Avenue) hosted by Lukas Kaiser: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 9:30 pm: A free jam open to the audience in which improvised scenes turn into freestyle rap at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Ray Morency, Richie Alfson, and Fat Doctor: Off Top

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket (but no actual punch or pie, that’s just a lure to entice you to come) at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Matthew Tenenbaum: Punch & Pie

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with each comic whose name is selected from a bucket getting on stage for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of comics) at The PIT Underground: The Camel Butt

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore and/or Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:15 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans: The Improv 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 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!

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.

For a desktop version of this site that includes more material—such as NYC theatre discounts and FringeNYC coverage—please click here.

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/15/14

September 15, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Bill Hader is on Seth Meyers;
Mindy Kaling is on The Colbert Report;
Kristen Wiig is on David Letterman (repeated from 9/3);
Kristen Wiig is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, and Jon Lajoie are on @midnight

Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, and Ted Alexandro

Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, and Ted Alexandro perform at the 9:30 show of Comedy Cellar

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: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; to watch his hit video Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 9 million people on YouTube, please click here), and Maeve Higgins (visiting from Ireland) performing stand-up at the Housingworks Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street) hosted by Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Showtime): Comedy Notebook

[$] 7:00 pm ($12): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a live, shot for shot stage version of Jurassic Park at The PIT upstairs theatre: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

7:00 pm ($7): “Improvisers spiral deep into amazing situations, characters, and worlds” at The Magnet theatre: Spin Cycle

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:45 show; great lineup of Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Kevin Brennan, Andrew Schulz, and Rachel Feinstein (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Joe List, and Godfrey at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, charismatic performer Jonathan Braylock performs a series of sketches on “the ins and outs of the African American experience:” The Black Experience with Jonathan Braylock

…and in the second half of this double-bill is one of the finest sketch groups in the country. Its writers include stellar comics Silvija Ozols and Brandon Gulya (Brandon also directed this show); and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, John Murray, Molly Lloyd, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in show biz, hire them.) This new collection of sketches revolves around the mass shopping experience: Stone Cold Fox Goes to the Mall

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comedic storytellers Andrew Collin, Marie Faustin, Alexander Monstré, and Nathan Rand! performing on the theme The Worst Shit I Ever Did at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) for this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Nick Padilla: Antagonist Storytelling Series: The Worst Shit I Ever Did

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Kevin Avery (writer for John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight), Janelle James, Ross Parsons, Jim Hamilton, and Sean Devlin performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased): Night Train

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): A monthly sketch show that takes you to “an alternative reality filled with unique characters, curious tales, and odd occurrences” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Blunderbuss

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer & Joe Stanton: Splitsider’s Dog and Pony Show

[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

8:30 pm ($7): Improvisors blur the line between fact and fiction, using true stories from their own lives to lead into a world of pretend and back again at The Magnet theatre: Story Story

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in via the standby line if you don’t mind standing): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Beige (which includes brilliant rising stars Dan Hodapp and Langan Kingsley) and (212) (which includes brilliant rising stars Natasha Rothwell—who just joined Saturday Night Live!—and Tim Martin, plus the wonderful Veronica Osorio, Eddie Dunn, Ari Scott, Erik Tanouye, and Achilles Stamatelaky): Maude Night: Beige and (212)

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): All-gal comedic storytellers performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Story Time With Val Roder

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Stacy Fiamma, Jay Welch, Scott Schendlinger, Saint Jean Carmel, and Andy Fiori performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) hosted by Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Nick Youssef (NBC’s Animal Practice, host of Occasionally Awesome podcast), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Alingon Mitra, Matteo Lane, Kelly Fastuca, and Kevin Iso performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($7): A improv group that describes itself as “a slow comedy team, creating a universe of unique sensation, demonstrations, and displays appealing to the sensible and nervous alike” making up scenes at The Magnet theatre: The Boss

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo 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

6:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min.): Booked open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic for this 2-hour show at Klimat Lounge (77 East 7th Street) hosted by Gregory Joseph. To get on the performance list for future shows, email Gregory at evgigglepit@gmail.com: East Village Giggle Pit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket and 5 minutes per performer, at the Slake Bar (251 West 30th Street) hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Story Hour (Open-Mic Storytelling) with Julia Wiedeman

[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-$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: 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 Saturday 5/17/14

May 17, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Paul Mecurio

Paul Mecurio headlines one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club

Todd Barry

…and Todd Barry performs at 8:00 and 10:00 pm at The Stand

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, 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’s lineups include Darrell Hammond, Greer Barnes, Dov Davidoff, and Rachel Feinstein at the 7:00 show; Greer Barnes, Marina Franklin, and Lynne Koplitz at the 7:15 show; Neal Brennan, Rachel Feinstein, Marina Franklin, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:15 show; Neal Brennan, Dov Davidoff, Ralph Harris, and Lynne Koplitz at the 10:30 show; and Neal Brennan, Greer Barnes, Russ Meneve, Dov Davidoff, and Marina Franklin at the 12:15 show, 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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), Dave Smith, and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:00 pm ($10): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The PIT downstairs lounge as troupe Lead McEnroe

7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, and more at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

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 & 11:45 pm ($26 & 2-drink min.): A top stand-up who’s won an Emmy Award and Peabody Award, and performed on Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, HBO, and his own Comedy Central Presents special, headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Paul Mecurio

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): 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] 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

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($12.50 online using code WYATT; no 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), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Michael Kosta performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Dan Soder, Pete Lee, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Two of the best people in the world, married couple Mary Theresa Archbold & Pat Shay, host this show that puts comics to the ultimate test: “Perform in front of an audience that doesn’t get their fancy references, doesn’t care about their observations, and really could poop themselves at any moment. In this game show, laughter from infants, toddlers, up to jaded teenagers determines the winner” at This Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor): Make My Baby Laugh

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[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

[TOP PICK]9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

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

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

9:30 pm ($10): A late night talk show written by the wonderful David Carl and David Kimball-Stanley, with tonight’s guests not announced, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Paul Gutkowski: The Last Show

[TOP PICK]10:00 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Aaron Jackson (Newsadoozies), and more form an improv troupe at UCB East that won this year’s prestigious Cage Match championship by springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($12.50 online using code WYATT; no 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), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), 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), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Michael Kosta performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Dan Soder, Seth Herzog, Pete Lee, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Gay and lesbian comedy at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michelle Delgado: Queer in the Cave

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups take a comedic look at the world’s problems at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tom Dillon: Love, Poverty, and War

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Original comedic songs are showcased, with tonight’s singers Shalyah Evans (MTV’s Girl Code), Brian Griffin, Morgan Miller & Mike Kelton, Kady Ruth Ashcraft, Ross Plotkin, and Pop Roulette performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Justin Perez and Nicole Pasquale: Total Requesty

11:00 pm ($8): Gary DeNoia performs a one-man show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Nothing to Hyde

[TOP PICK]11:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy that aims to have you “laughing until blood pours out of your throat and eyes and you die and you go to hell and you’re like ‘god damn that was worth it!’ to Satan and he’ll be like ‘Yeah, I know, I was there, it was dope'” at the UCB East theatre: O.S.F.U.G. A Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] MIdnight ($7.25 online using code WYATT; no min.): Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), 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), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Dan Soder, Seth Herzog, Pete Lee, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Women and gay men perform comedy as straight men for this unique show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City produced by L. Maul & Calvin Cato: Dudes Being Dudes Being Dudes

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Bridey Elliott (razor-sharp rising star; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Witstream, Fambly), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), and Siobhan Thompson (Broad City) performing stand-up or sketch at UCB Chelsea with hosts Andy Rocco & Steven Slate: Underground Americana

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-$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 Wednesday 4/30/14

April 30, 2014
Todd Barry, Janeane Garofalo, and Judah Friedlander

Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Judy Gold, and more perform for a medical fundraiser tonight at the Eastville Comedy Club; nab tickets for only $10 (half off) using discount code

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): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for brilliant improvisors Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, Connor Ratliff, Christina Gausas, and/or more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Star Joy Behar (The View, The Joy Behar Show) practices a one-woman show, with opener star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller, host of Funny Story, numerous albums include Better Stronger Faster and Big Room) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Joy Behar and Tom Shillue

[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, plus a free improv jam at 11:30, at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

[TOP PICK]7:30 pm ($5): Storytellers Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Mara Wilson, Sarah Kelly, and Joe Berkowitz telling true tales of heartbreak at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned Breaking Up is Hard to Do

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 Detroit and Hotspur: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, stand-up Sabrina Jalees, Charmin Ultra, Claywoman, and many more performing at this wild ride of a show at the Ars Nova Theatre (511 West 54th Street, off 10th Avenue): Showgasm

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, Diana Spechler, David Crabb, Halle Kiefer, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s topic Cheating, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($10 [versus $20] if you reserve in advance by emailing reservation@EastvilleComedy.com with your full name, date & time of show, number of tickets, and code HY; please note there’s a 2-drink min. per person): Rebecca Stempel, a cousin of the owner of the Eastville Comedy Club, is suffering from a rare form of liver cancer (fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma) and needs help paying medical bills. This fundraiser for Rebecca features some of the best-known stand-ups in NYC: TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Judy Gold (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, The View), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the Eastville Comedy Club (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue): Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Judy Gold, and More for Eastville Fundraiser

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no 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; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), and Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, Dan St. Germain, and More

8:00 pm ($8): Meggie Spellman (UCBT’s The Prom) and Anne Clark (The PITs Totally, Yes!) perform duo sketch comedy—with tonight’s theme Murder (“Will there be a murder? Probably not, BUT THERE COULD BE.”)—and are joined by Lukas Kaiser and Will Cooper at The PIT downstairs lounge: Black Magic Lab Variety Show: Murder

[$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Mark Normand and Gregg Rogell at the 8:00 show, Neal Brennan and Lenny Marcus at the 9:45 show, and Ari Shaffir, Kurt Metzger, James Smith, and Dan Soder at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) joking about their culture—Jewish, African-American, Asian, geek, whatever—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Shak Standley & Paul Higbie: The Black Bar Mitzvah

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.88 online): A reunion of brilliant Conan O’Brien writers Andy Blitz, Jon Glaser, and Brian McCann, plus Alexis Channian (founder of Reddit), W. Kamua Bell (Totally Biased), and more being interviewed and/or performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mike Dobbins, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Boris Khaykin, and more performing at this free weekly show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Apollo and First Lady: Lloyd Night

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm (no cover and no minimum if you order online using code GILMORE): 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), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Jeffrey Katsman performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): The Creeps of Comedy: Judah Friedlander, Ari Shaffir, Dan St. Germain, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Your opportunity to get on stage for an improv jam at UCB East hosted by master DJ Cipha Sounds: Hot for Teacher: Student Lounge

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey-produced sitcom; MTV) hosts 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. (Tonight’s lineup includes Nicole Byer; for the complete list, please click 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

11:00 pm ($8): Improv bits that have been scripted into sketches, and a show from an established sketch group, for this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Drew Carey Improv Marathon VII and BOAT

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart : The Dump

10:30 pm ($3): 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: 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

[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 veteran improvisors: 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.)

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.