NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/21/14

July 21, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: Carl Reiner and Reggie Watts are on Conan O’Brien;
Ron Funches and Jen Kirkman are on Chelsea Lately

Tom Shillue

Tom Shillue practices his one-man storytelling show heading for Edinburgh at The Creek

Zach Woods

…and TV star Zach Woods improvises with the stellar Connor Ratliff as duo Ratliff & Woods

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: 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, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room) performs the show he’ll be doing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for one night only at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Tom Shillue Practices His Edinburgh Storytelling Show

[$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Judah Friedlander and Hannibal Buress at the 7:45 show, Ted Alexandro, Rachel Feinstein, and Keith Alberstadt at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince 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; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in via the standby line if you don’t mind standing): Stellar improvisors Zach Woods (co-star of HBO’s Silicon Valley and previously NBC’s The Office) and Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers, Stone Cold Fox) making stuff up duo style at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Ratliff & Woods

8:00 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Hugh Moore, and more performing at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer & Joe Stanton: Splitsider’s Dog and Pony Show

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Kevin Avery (Last Week Tonight, Totally Biased), Gina Brillon (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Josh Rabinowitz (College Humor), Jake Weisman, and KC Arora performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Josh Gondelman (staff writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver): Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Comedic storytellers Reuben Hayslett, Susan Kent, Nick Padilla, and Marc Abbott performing on the premise “Sometimes people are dicks. Then they tell us about it onstage. It’s great!” at Brooklyn’s The Cobra Club (6 Wyckoff Avenue) for this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Bodger Millerd: Antagonist Storytelling Series

[$] 8:00 pm ($12): Improv from all-gal group Gilda and very silly group Punctual Drunks at The PIT upstairs lounge: Gilda and Punctual Drunks

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Stories about New York City from those who were born elsewhere from Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Carmen Angelica, and Claire Yale at The PIT upstairs theatre: Story Time With Val Roder Presents City Stories

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 Rachael Parenta, Mo Diggs, Carolina Hidalgo, Alison Grillo, Mike Pomeranz, and Matt Rohr performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) hosted by Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Simon Amstell (UK star), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central Half Hour), Rory Albanese (former executive producer of The Daily Show), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Michael Somerville, Crystian Ramirez, Jon Rudnitsky, and Tyler Richardson performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($5): Duo improv from Louis Kornfeld & Rick Andrews at The Magnet theatre: Kornfeld & Andrews

[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 at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Monday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$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 Monday 6/16/14

June 16, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com

TV Alert: Whitney Cummings is on David Letterman; Lennon Parham is on Craig Ferguson; Keenan Ivory Wayans is on Jimmy Fallon; Wanda Sykes in on Seth Meyers; Hari Kondabolu in on Conan O’Brien

Tom Shillue

Tom Shillue practices his upcoming Edinburgh Fringe show all this week at The Creek

Whitney Cummings

…and Whitney Cummings (above), Dave Attell, Judah Friedlander, Ali Wong, Gary Gulman, Paul Mecurio, and more at 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:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Smith Magazine hosts a small mob of writers who tell entire life stories in just six words, such as “Writing is cheaper than a therapist,” “The miserable childhood led to royalties,” and Ernest Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” with tonight’s performers including David Crabb, Abbi Crutchfield, and Irene McGee at The PIT upstairs theatre at The PIT upstairs theatre: Six-Word Memoirs

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: 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, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room; last year released a new storytelling album each month) hones a show he’ll be performing at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe every night through Friday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Tom Shillue

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Brilliant writer/performers Tami Sagher, Rachel Hamilton, and Melanie Hoopes each performs “a piece built around a single theme” at The Magnet theatre: Sharp Objects

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

[TOP PICK][$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics, hosted by Wil Sylvince, include superstar Whitney Cummings, Ryan Hamilton, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:45 show; great all-star lineup of Dave Attell, Judah Friedlander, Ali Wong, and Gary Gulman at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Mark Normand, and Dan Soder at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ray Ellin: Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Abbi Jacobson (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City), Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows; co-host of Myrtle Comedy), Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), and Sean Morrow share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), and Brooks Wheelan (cast member of Saturday Night Live) performing stand-up, plus music from A.C. Newman (The New Pornographers), at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a sketch show about our national pastime: Baseball is America

…and in the second half of this double-bill, “Six months ago, Karin and Glenn started emailing each other every time they cried. Then they wrote a comedy show about feelings. To test the theory of ‘Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy,’ Karin and Glenn will perform some sketches, dance a little bit, and then tell you some very personal stories that they shouldn’t be talking about in front of this many people:” This Is Going to Hurt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Sharon Spell (host of The Big Shrink), and Shalyah Elizabeth tell tales about this month’s theme of Summer Lovin’ , and then hosts Anna Roisman & Katie Haller sing songs they’ve written pre-show about those stories, at The PIT upstairs theatre: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

[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 ($5): Emily Shapiro (The Wrath, The Weird Sisters) performs a one-woman show (with a few guests) “about sweet, sad and silly people” at The Magnet theatre: Emily Is a Character

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Ripley (which includes brilliant comedic writer Marguerite Spellman) and Absolutely (which includes stellar comic Bridey Elliot): Maude Night: Ripley and Absolutely

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): Storytellers Tanisha Long (MTV’s Girl Code), Chablis Quarterman, Zach Zoppa, and Amy Stockhaus tell tales about this month’s theme Injuries & Struggles at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Val Roder: Story Time With Val Roder

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Jono Zalay, Ari Teman, Laura Hayden, Jordon Ferber, and Ramon RivasII performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) guest-hosted by Richard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), Gibran Saleem (sharp young stand-up; MTV), Jim Tews (co-host of Cheat Hair), Jason Lawhead, Nick Mullen, Alexis Guerreros, and Jon Asher performing for this free weekly stand-up show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays: Sean Patton, Pete Davidson, Gibran Saleem, and More

10:00 pm ($5): Improv group Junior Varsity, plus a few guest improvisors, make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Junior Varsity and Friends

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

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

[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 at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Monday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/23/14

April 23, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Tom Shillue

At The Creek, star storyteller Tom Shillue screens a documentary at 7:00 and then makes up jokes at 8:00 in Rifftown

Natasha Rothwell and Dan Hodapp

…and at UCB East, superb comics Natasha Rothwell & Dan Hodapp host improv duos in Couples Skate

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: A free screening of a partially-completed documentary about 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, albums Better Stronger Faster, Big Room, and lots more) and friends on the road as comics at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with Tom on hand to introduce the film and chat afterwards: Tom Shillue and The Awkward Chuckle Tour from Flint Michigan

[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

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 First Lady and Musk: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly show in which “stand-ups throw their set lists out the window for a night of wild riffing. Comics premiere a story that they’ve never told anyone, improvise a stand-up set based on an audience suggestion, or rant off the cuff. Also expect freestyling and musical improv in an anything goes atmosphere that makes for a one-of-a-kind experience.” Tonight’s comics are Tom Shillue, Christian Finnegan, Pat Dixon, Sergio Chicon, and Hadiyah Robinson—plus music from powerhouse improv singer Rebecca Vigil and her band The Vigilante—performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Carolyn Castiglia: Rifftown

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

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Michael Antonucci & Yoni Lotan Sharp perform a sketch-based one-act about buddies being on the road: License to Chill

8:00 pm ($8): Veteran improvisors who’ve had children (not announced) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Mamas and the Papas

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Phoebe Robinson (MTV’s Girl Code, Glamour Magazine), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Jessika Cutts Chris Williams, Josh Rosen, and Kerryn Feehan performing stand-up at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) hosted by Alison Klemp: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Chris Laker (host of The Show) practices stand-up material for his comedy album taping later this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Chris Laker

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), Kaytlin Bailey, Adam Mamawala, and Sam Evans performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Joe Zimmerman, Jono Zalay, and Taylor Ketchum: Hot Crowd: Gary Gulman, Erin Judge, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Nathan Macintosh, Matt Donaher, Taylor Clark, Clark Jones, and Craig Mahoney performing stand-up 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?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-woman show by Langan Dice Kingsley provides “a sweeping exploration of the challenges of parenthood, the subtleties of literature, the nature of love, the allure of alcohol, the cult of celebrity, the beauty of the store Anthropologie, and the power of dance:” The Dicewoman Cometh

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

9:30 pm ($5): Shelby Fero (Comedy Central’s @midnight, MTV’s Hey Girl) Jonathan Kesselman (The Hebrew Hammer), Dan Abramson (editor of Funny or Die’s The Occasional), and Jacqueline Novak (Quality Notions) being interviewed and/or performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Scott Rogowsky: Running Later With Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), and Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Greer Barnes, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors pair up for one night only, tonight featuring superb improvisors and hosts Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell, plus Claire Ayoub & Ryan Haney, Brennan Mulligan & Nicole Drespel, and Lydia Hensler & Zack Poitras, all performing at the UCB East theatre: Couples Skate

[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

[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 Reid Faylor and Nore Davis; 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

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 and guest co-hosted by “a random member of the audience:” 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/17/13

June 17, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Daniel Kitson is performing in NYC running July 7-13; grab tickets here

Tom Shillue and Kevin Allison

Three of the finest storytellers in the country—Tom Shillue, Kevin Allison…

Melanie Hamlett

…and roving adventurer Melanie Hamlett—perform at tonight’s free East Village extravaganza “Adventures with Melanie Hamlett”

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE (normally $7, but free tonight via an outdoor sponsor)] 7:00 pm: A powerhouse lineup of 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, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room; currently releasing a new CD each month), star storyteller Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!), and Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show) will tell true tales of hair-raising adventures, and also share shorter anecdotes on the fly in a campfire setting, with wonderful host Melanie Hamlett (two-time Moth StorySlam Champion; Dr. Oz; co-author of book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, roving adventurer who tours the globe to find memorable tales). This is among my all-time favorite shows. Please join me at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) for surreal travel slides, camp intimacy, and astounding stories at Adventures with Melanie Hamlett

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Rachel Hamilton & Ruby Marez perform sharp duo improv at The Magnet theatre; plus Shacottha Fields performs solo improv: Hamilton & Marez and 1 Deep

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): “Ever wonder why a super-intelligent ape like Gorilla Grodd would want to do battle with the fastest man alive in The Flash?” Stephie Acevedo, Langston Belton, Tom Brennan, Emerald Catron, Destiny Rivera, and Peter Velez will will talk comic books with comics creators, and then perform comic book improv, at The PIT upstairs theatre: Nerd Is the Word

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Veteran improvisors will be touring as representatives of The PIT, and practicing tonight at The PIT downstairs lounge: The PIT TourCo

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Great lineup of Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Trevor Noah (South African comic; Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, one-man show Born a Crime), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno): Colin Quinn, Todd Barry, Nick DiPaolo, Trevor Noah, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Giulia Rozzi, Hadiyah Robinson, Mike Vecchione, Jordan Carlos, and Guy Branum perform stand-up at UCB East hosted by Michelle Buteau: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

8:00 pm ($8): At The PIT upstairs theatre, “Come sing along to West Side Story as we watch the classic musical-made-movie! (Due to the time limitations, we will be fast-forwarding through all the non-singing scenes and just improvising those parts to get to the next song.) Prizes are awarded to anyone who did the show once in high school and can get up and do the original choreography:” The West Side Story Sing-A-Long

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out new material: Supereasy (which includes comedy chameleon Livia Scott) and Onassis (which includes such talents as Lauren Adams and Frank Hejl): Maude Night: Supereasy and Onassis

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Great lineup of Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Dan Naturman (David Letterman, Jay Leno): Dave Attell, John Mulaney, Neal Brennan, and More

10:00 pm ($8): In this unique show, the audience texts lines to the improvisers on stage—i.e., it’s “the only show that won’t tell you to put away your cell phones”—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Text Me My Line

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

6:00 pm ($5 cover for comics, no cover for audience with code HyReviews, plus 1-drink min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 1/2 minutes per set and 20 comics crammed into 2 hours—at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal Street) for John Morrison’s Village Motel

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

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

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

7:30 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

10:30 pm ($5): 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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night. If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jarrid Reed: Fresh

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Langston Belton: Base Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; hosts headliners on weekends, Comedy Juice Tuesdays at 10:00 pm; 2-drink min.)

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/12/13

June 12, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Daniel Kitson is performing in NYC running July 7-13; grab tickets here

Tom Shillue and Andy Blitz

Tom Shillue and Andy Blitz perform at Hot Soup

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic storytelling and/or humor readings from Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show, Tales of the Cosmos, and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), Margot Leitman (Conan O’Brien, VH1, Spike TV, co-host of sexy & funny Stripped Stories, author of Gawky: Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase), Rosie Schaap (New York Times Magazine columnist, author of Drinking With Men), and Jason Roeder (ThingX.com, former senior writer for The Onion) performing at McNally Jackson Books (52 Prince Street) hosted by Andy Ross: Real Characters

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Terrific diverse comics at UCB Chelsea—musical group Summer & Eve, sketch groups Former Business Partners and Beige, sketch & improv performers Dan Klein, Riley Soloner, John Frusciante, Don Fanelli, and more—all showing off their talents for the UCB Summer Variety Spectacular

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Seating at 8:30, show at 9:00 pm (RSVP to confirm your spot at FreeComedyWednesdays@gmail.com): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), 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, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room; currently releasing a new CD each month), Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), and Luke Cunningham (Jimmy Fallon) performing stand-up at Ella (9 Avenue A) produced by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, and Gary Vider: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Terrific stand-ups at UCB Chelsea—Chris Gethard, Aparna Nancherla, Joe Pera, Sasheer Zamata, Joe List, Michelle Wolf, Adam Conover, Matt Koff, Kara Klenk, Zach Broussard, and George Gordon—all performing at the UCB Summer Stand-Up Showcase

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Trevor Noah (South African comic; Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, one-man show Born a Crime), Elon Gold (correspondent for Jay Leno; FOX’s Bones), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): John Mulaney, Trevor Noah, Elon Gold, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Rising stand-up stars—Mark Normand, Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, Dan. St. Germain, Michael Che, Emily Heller, Jeffrey Joseph, Dan Soder, Barry Rothbart, Calise Hawkins, Joe List, Pat Dixon, and/or Nick Turner—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regulars

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; Comedy Central Presents and Comedy Central Half Hour specials, HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, FX’s Louie, E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Joe DeRosa, Annie Lederman, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Terrific sketch & character performers at UCB Chelsea—sketch groups Stone Cold Fox, Fambly, and Small Men, performers Amber Nelson, Dan Hodapp, and Natasha Rothwell, and more—all showing off their talents for the UCB Summer Variety Extravaganza

[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style), and more performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Lynn Koplitz, and More

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; hosts headliners on weekends, Comedy Juice Tuesdays at 10:00 pm; 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.)

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Cammi Climaco (co-host of Ask Me Stories) hosts this weekly hour-long open-mic storytelling show, with typically six audience members chosen from a bucket of names getting to tell tales for 6-7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge: Cammi Climaco’s Storytelling Open Mic: Six by Six

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing 3 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Max Corbel & Benel Germosen: Cracking It

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

[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 troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/28/12

September 28, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For free & $5 Greenwich Village Comedy Club tickets, please click here.

Tom Shillue

Tom Shillue opens and…

Todd Barry

…and Todd Barry headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

7:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisor Pay Shay and friends make up scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Vanderbilts

7:00 pm ($5): Improv at The Magnet that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby; plus in the other half of this double-bill, improv troupe Orange Augustus

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Typically a star stand-up—no idea who—tries out material at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Stand-Up Workout with “Special Guest”

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At this UCB East improv double-bill, first ace all-gal troupe Doppelganger makes up scenes based around audience tattoos in Doppelganger Gets Inked; and then Sandino—which includes Don Fanelli, Brandon Gulya, and Kate Riley—interviews an audience member about some puzzle and then acts out scenes providing an unexpected answer: Sandino: Unsolved Mysteries

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom. As for its writers, they sizzle when at their best; but when I saw this new show a few months ago, it was a work in progress. Regardless of the current state of the script, you’re virtually guaranteed a good time from the all-star cast—Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden, and Johnathan Fernandez. (The scary faces Molly Lloyd makes are worth the trip all by themselves…) Directed by ace improvisor Ryan Karels: Stone Cold Fox: You Probably Think This Show Is About You

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 tonight and Saturday, or $16.50 on Sunday using code TODDB, plus 2-drink minimum): One of the finest stand-ups in the biz—with appearances on HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, The Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, and feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead—headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club, and with openers including star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller): Todd Barry

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Zimmerman (Rooftop Comedy), Dave Stone (Adult Swim’s Squidbillies), Andy Sanford (TBS), and TJ Young “deliver an original brand of humor that’s deeply rooted in stand-up and lightly blended with avant-garde elements of music, sketch and improv.” This bearded quartet’s credits include the album Cardio Mix from Comedy Central Records. Tonight they’re joined by NYC stand-ups performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Beards of Comedy & Friends

8:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast clobbered some of the best improv groups in NYC this year at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight come see it perform without the pressure of competition at The PIT downstairs lounge, and also catch an improv group that includes Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): North Coast and Nobody’s Token

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A winner of Last Comic Standing who’s also performed on Comedy Central, Showtime, and E! headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Iliza Shlesinger

8:30 pm ($10): Theatrical sketch comedy at The Magnet written & performed by Anne Fidler, Tyler Foltz, Paul Travisano, Mikael Walter, and Kevin Young: Citizen Models

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($18): One of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, has its next-to-last performance tonight via the Encore Series at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this wonderful second chance to see 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Amber Petty, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, Michael Kayne, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 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): star Judy Gold, Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Andrew Schulz (MTV), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Dave Waite, who’s moving to LA, is bid adieu by NYC stand-ups Pat Dixon, Reid Faylor, Tim Dimond, Anthony Devito, Greg Stone, Andrew Short, Luke Younger, and Mark Chalifoux—who will “tell him what a big dummy he is” and plan to “buy Dave so much beer that he misses his flight! Alright! “— at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Dave Waite’s Boom Boom Room

10:00 pm ($5): Oscar Montoya (host of deliciously bad cinema) and Jen Tullock (Second City) wrote & perform a duo sketch show about “a night at gay rehab for renewal, self-discovery, and occasional break dancing” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Pray It Away with Oscar & Jen

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; host of UCBT’s School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger and sketch troupe The Prom), Glennis McCarthy (ace improvisor), and Jon Savoy performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) : Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, top Maude sketch troupe Gramp’s, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; host of UCBT’s School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger and sketch troupe The Prom), Nate Dern (UCBT Artistic Director, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Onion), Will Hines (ace improv troupe The Stepfathers, treasured UCBT comedy instructor & director), and more performing a variety of comedy acts at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with host Andy Haynes promising “a rowdy late night comedy melee with beers being thrown, jokes being told, partial nudity, audience participation…there’s no telling what might happen:” Midnight Run

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/28/12

June 28, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

Kurt Braunohler and Elna Baker

It’s a night for top storytellers, with Kurt Braunohler and Elna Baker at the wonderful Leslie Goshko’s “Sideshow Goshko”…

Tom Shillue and Simon Amstell

…and stars Tom Shillue and Simon Amstell at the wonderful Kevin Allison’s “Risk!”

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

6:00 pm ($5): Three shows I know nothing about—Former Business Partners: Everything Must Go!,The Unbreakable Gun, and Tybrus: Infinity Bros, audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: A free screening at UCB East (which used to a movie theatre) of a 2002 documentary about improv legend Del Close featuring memories from such stars as Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh: The Delmonic Interviews

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; writer for Glamour, Elle; NPR’sThis American Life; co-host of red-hot The Talent Show), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets;co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), and Katina Corrao (HBO, Logo) are among the performers joining host Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; WNYC, Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) for this unique storytelling show at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street) that features such charms as accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Diner and THEM

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s tonight at the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Band Amazing Jellies plays music to inspire made-up scenes by superb improvisors from The Story Pirates, Centralia, UCB, etc.—plus Greg Kotis, co-writer of Broadway hit Urinetown!—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Beauty Love Truth

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Great NYC improv troupes of the past—Badman, Ragnarock, Bastian, fwand, and Monkeydick—perform for one night only at UCB East for this special event: Harold Night Time Machine

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Charlie Whitcroft directing Jazz Freddie (improvised scenes that focus on show the past, present, and future of one character and then spirals into an exploration of the character’s world), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challengecomponent): The Magnet’s Night Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10 online or at the door): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), and Baratunde Thurston (author of How to be Black; The Onion) performing at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street) with host Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots) for “a unique talk show experience that needs to be experienced to be experienced. There will be plenty of bits, skits, chits and chats, and maybe that pretty girl you saw on the 6 train last night will be in the audience! It’s a big city, but you run into people:” Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Brilliant UK star Simon Amstell (Numb, Never Mind the Buzzcocks), star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Mara Wilson (Mara Wilson Writes Stuff, Matilda), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Lisa Kirchner (author ofHello, Female Lady Creature!, host of The Next Chapter), and host Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme In a Strange Land at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

9:30 pm ($5): Mark Sutton and Ari Voukydis play two fisherman as they improvise using a form made legendary by Chicago’s Joe Bill (who’ll be participating in this weekend’s Del Close Marathon, but apparently not in this particular show…) at the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street): Bassprov

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Chelsea stage—along with stand-ups Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Adam Conover, Mark Little, Nimesh Patel, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Krompf, one of the best improv troupes in NYC (consisting of Neil Casey, Amey Goerlich, Ryan Karels, and Joe Wengert), showing off its various improv games—The Kroumf, The Gator, Pizza Prov, and more—right before tomorrow’s Del Close Marathon: Third Annual Pre-DCM Krompf Extravaganza

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): A brand new game show with Rich Sommer (Mad Men), Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), and Anna Klumski (Veep), and audience members selected as contestants at UCB East created & hosted by Matt Walsh (improv living legend, HBO’s Veep): Celebrity

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The King is dead. After 13 consecutive wins, Improv troupe Airwolf last week was finally bested by Grandma’s Ashes (which ironically runs directly opposite Airwolf on Saturday nights at 10:30 at UCB Chelsea vs. UCB East). Grandma’s Ashes’ first challenger for its new crown is GoodGirl; and you can expect girls to be hit as the groups mercilessly compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm: Improv set in a 3rd Grade class from troupe IRTE at The PIT downstairs lounge: IRTE: Mrs. Carrol’s 3rd Grade Houghton Mifflin Spelling Class

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.