NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/17/14

July 17, 2014

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

TV Alert: Tommy Johnagin is on David Letterman; Cameron Diaz, Matt Walsh, and “Weird Al” Yankovic are on Conan O’Brien; Cameron Diaz, Whitney Cummings, and Julian McCullough are on Chelsea Lately; Dane Cook is on Jimmy Fallon (repeated from 7/1); Ben Kronberg is on Seth Meyers; Dave Attell is on Carson Daly (repeated from 4/28); Wil Wheaton and Aisha Tyler are on @midnight; Last Comic Standing—still boring except for Joe Machi—is on at 10:00 pm on NBC

Ophira Eisenberg

It’s a good night to be in Brooklyn, with Ophira Eisenberg heading an all-star group of storytellers at Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

Bridget Everett

…and extraordinary comics Bridget Everett (above), Dave Hill, Aparna Nancherla, Jo Firestone, and more perform at Larry Murphy’s Myrtle Comedy

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: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central, co-host of Live From Outer Space) hones a 30-minute stand-up set every night this week through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Erik Bergstrom

7:00 pm ($5): Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion), Megan Koester (Vice Magazine), and Calvin Cato (GSN) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($45.75 & 2-drink min.) A major comedy star (for a sample set, please click here) headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: D. L. Hughley

7:30 pm ($10): Seinfeld presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PIT downstairs lounge: We Love TV

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45, 8:00, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Gregg Rogell, and Kevin Brennan at the 7:45 show; Ted Alexandro, Nick Griffin, Marina Franklin, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Paul Mecurio, Nikki Glazer, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:30 show, with three of the shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Thursday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Bridget Everett (cabaret star), 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, Comedy Central, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, author of Tasteful Nudes), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Sally Burtnik, and Mike Lemme performing at this show for stand-up plus sketch—last one for the summer!—at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by 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) and/or Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Bridget Everett, Dave Hill, Aparna Nancherla, Joe Firestone, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): LaKendra Tookes (writer for Saturday Night Live), Langan Kingsley (rising star; ace improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Beige, one-woman show The Dicewoman Cometh), Alan Starzinski (one-man show Guys You Love To Hate, improv group Sandino), and more performing character bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler and Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[TOP PICK]8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), 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), 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), 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), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Nore Davis performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Sasheer Zamata, Dan St. Germain, Joe DeRosa, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-10:00 pm ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Junior Varsity performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Story Story (improv that blurs the line between fact and fiction, using stories from the performers’ own lives to lead into a world of pretend and back again), at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from Kelly Buttermore at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Leo Volf, Alexis Guerreros, Rashad Bashir, and Janelle James performing at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) guest-hosted by Justin Peele: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10; includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s stellar lineup 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), Gavin McIness (co-founder of Vice Magazine), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Tony Barber (former member of band The Buzzcocks), and Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Sabrina Jalees (delightful dynamo stand-up; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy), Megan Koester (Vice Magazine), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer), Emily Maya Mills (NBC’s Parks and Recreation), and Andrew Short performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover (College Humor, Olde English): Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), and Brendan Eyre performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Little Skips (941 Willoughby Avenue) hosted by Jaqi Furback: Big Ups Comedy: Myq Kaplan, Jared Logan, Adam Newman, and More

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Potentially an animation fan’s dream come true, in this new show comics make merciless fun of bad Japanese anime at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Benel Germosen & Jarrid Reed: Otakulypse

[$] 9:30 pm ($12): 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): Feline-based improv from duo David Frasure & Jenn Welch at The PIT downstairs lounge: CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS!

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Improvisors who include powerhouse musical improvisor Rebecca Vigil) take an audience suggestion of a band and then make up an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: PIT Behind the Music

[TOP PICK]10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Wil Anderson (Australian comedy star), 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), 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), 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), Pete Davidson (MTV’s Guy Code), and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Wil Anderson, Dan St. Germain, Joe DeRosa, Christian Finnegan, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: All-gal improv group Saint Nancy hosts stand-up, sketch, and improv at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Saint Nancy Presents Mostly Handsome

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): John Wyatt Haskell (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Megan Koester (Vice Magazine), and Christian Duguay (MTV’s Ridiculousness) performing at this weekly stand-up show hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Charles Gould, and Dan Licata at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week ace weekend improv team Grandma’s Ashes defeated cosmic challenger Astronomy Club by a surprisingly narrow margin of 71-66. Tonight the reining champion, with seven wins in a row, faces indie improv troupe Jimmy Fedora (“New York’s smoothest improv team”), competing for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Storyteller Andy Ross (host of Real Characters) is the booked guest at this weekly open mic that provides 5 minutes for each audience member whose name is pulled out of a bucket to perform a true story, sketch, or characters at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by JiJi Lee: Split Personality Open Mic Storytelling & Sketch

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

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

9:30 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing info@oldmanhustle.com or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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

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

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

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$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 Thursday 6/20/13

June 20, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Myq Kaplan has a new comedy album; check it out here

Tom Shillue

Tom Shillue performs at Lasers in the Jungle…

Chris Gethard

…then hosts genius storytellers Chris Gethard & Elna Baker at Funny Story

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): 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 storytelling album each month), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry stand-up; writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, host of Big Long Sets), Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever, Olde English, College Humor, host of Fresh Out), and Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm (call 212.757.4100 for cover charge; plus 2-drink min.): The co-star of NBC’s Whitney and star of a Comedy Central Presents special, and who’s also performed on Showtime and TBS, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris D’Elia

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer): Three of the finest storytellers alive—Chris Gethard, Elna Baker, and host Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller, albums Better Stronger Faster and Big Room; currently releasing a new storytelling album each month)—plus Baron Ambrosia, Clay McLeod Chapman, and Nat Towsen gather to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street) for this super-charged show: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups Junior Varsity and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Round Trip (long form improv—directed by Armando Diaz—which tells the story of group of characters over the course of three separate monoscenes), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from ace storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here) at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) featuring All American vs. The Music Industry: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), 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), Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), 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), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Colin Quinn, John Mulaney, Tom Papa, Gary Gulman, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

8:00 pm ($8): An energetic 8-member sketch group at The PIT upstairs lounge: Nerds on Fire

[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 ($5): This UCB Chelsea double-bill kicks off with a one-man show by Arthur Meyer (writer for Jimmy Fallon and The Onion; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men): Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll

…and then “a sketch show about men who stay out of the fray. Because the fray is chock full of death, basketball, and lions. Come and sit this one out with us,” written by and starring Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy): Guilty Bystanders

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), 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), Trevor Noah (South African comic; Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, one-man show Born a Crime), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Dave Attell, Neal Brennan, Nick Griffin, Trevor Noah, and More

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv team Scrambled Legs was a surprise juggernaut, winning 7 matches in a row. Last week it faced one of the finest groups in the history of improv, Death by Roo Roo, and finally lost…but by a thin margin of 85-76. Kudos to SL, which will be back for the annual championship competition. Meanwhile, Death by Roo Roo is in place to stomp out a slew of challengers, starting tonight with The Regulars. Come watch these groups at UCB Chelsea compete for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: The lovely and supportive Julia Wiedeman (host of UCB East’s Monday storytelling open mic show) subs tonight for John Flynn, hosting this terrific weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress: Oh, Hey Guys!

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

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

[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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, Comedy Juice on Tuesdays, and more; 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 Thursday 3/21/13

March 21, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Demetri Martin has a new book. Please check it out here.

Eugene Mirman

Everyone’s friend Eugene Mirman performs at Tom Shillue’s Funny Story…

Creepers

…and a really bad Jennifer Connelly movie —about bugs and death—is screened with snarky commentary at Devil Science Theater 3000

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] 6:00 pm: Craig Rowin (Comedy Central, ESPN, The Onion, The Law Firm, perpetrator of fabulous hoax Please Give Me One Million Dollars) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, hosted by the wonderful John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

6:00 pm-1:00 am: The PIT hosts its annual NYC Improv Festival, running for over 12 hours today in both its upstairs theatre and downstairs lounge. In addition, there are workshops and a free symposium at this special event happening through Saturday: NYC Improv Festival 2013

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

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

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: “Someone’s trying to kill Joanne… but who?” co-starring Amber Nelson as Deputy RunningBear: Coyote Howls: A Sheriff Joanne Mystery; and in the other half of this double-bill, Coker and Stratton: Brand Whores. At $2.50 per show, it’s hard to go wrong with Spank

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Fran Gillespie, Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Tim Martin, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and/or Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot: KOSMOS Musical Improv

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.54 in advance online; includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Eugene Mirman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Abby Sher (award-winning author of Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Praying and Kissing Snowflakes), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Storytelling and/or stand-up from Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Molly Knefel (30 Rock, Naked in a Fishbowl, Radio Dispatch, John & Molly Get Along), Angry Bob, Reverend Jen, and Meghan Turbitt performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Katharine Heller & Dean Haspiel: Night Job

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15, no drink minimum): 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), 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), Justin Silver (star of CBS’ Dogs in the City), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Christian Finnegan, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Bloomer, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by The Kubler (long form improv that takes you through the five stages of grief, directed by Russ Armstrong), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), tonight featuring last week’s winner The Wrath vs. all-gal improv troupe Human Pyramid: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

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

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Five improv house teams from Chicago’s acclaimed Upstairs Gallery theatre take this NYC stage for one night only. “Expect fast, slow, patient, rushed, loose, tight, fun improv” from Chicago-trained teams Dead $$$, The Era, Hunkz ‘R Us, Pizza Party, and The Dirty Shame, all performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Upstairs Gallery Chicago Improv

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it plus like-minded comics on the UCB Chelsea stage—tonight including Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), Hallie Cantor, and more: CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15, no drink minimum): Awesome all-gal lineup of Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), 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), and Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, Chelsea Lately, TruTV, Tyra Banks): Sara Schaefer, Nikki Glaser, and Brooke Van Poppelen

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim Jennifer Connelly’s 1983 mistake in which she makes friends with millions of insects, Creepers (for the very bad trailer, please click here) at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv legend The Stepfathers squeaked out a victory in a surprisingly close match with City Mouse at 63-55. The comedy giant tonight faces what on its face appears to be another uneven battle, this time against Maude team Bucky—but especially with improv genius Sasheer Zamata as a member of Cap’s sidekick, you can never tell what will happen at UCB Chelsea when improvisors compete for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 ($5): NYC comics Lance Weiss (NBC, MTV, Bravo), Aaron Kaminos-Smith (MTV, AMC), Gabe Pacheco, and Nathan Anderson performing stand-up at UCB East as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show): /r/standup

[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Killer lineup of 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), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), and Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Jena Friedman, Mark Norman, Big Jay Oakerson, and Kurt Metzger

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 Thursday 2/21/13

February 21, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Catch the hilarious first episode of The Jeselnik Offensive, with Amy Schumer & Aziz Ansari, tonight at midnight on Comedy Central

Jonathan Ames

Jonathan Ames, author & creator of HBO’s Bored to Death…

Sara Schaefer

…and the luminous Sara Schaefer are interviewed at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky…

Dave Hill and Mara Wilson

….Dave Hill (left) tells tales at Jenny Rubin’s Here’s the Story; Mara Wilson (right) does the same at Tom Shillue’s Funny Story; and Shannon O’Neill is at Todd Bieber’s Animated Stories….

Manos The Hands of Fate

…or enjoy one of the worst films ever made, the 1966 anti-classic Manos The Hands of Fate, at Devil Science Theater 3000

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] 6:00 pm: Joanna Parsons (The Moth, NYC actress) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, hosted by the wonderful John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv troupe Adorable mixes with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Anna Drezen about “lonely cannibals, clingy ghost roomies, manic pixie devil worshipers, and other adorable stains-on-society who just want to make a friend” (and, with any luck, I’ll be attending this tonight) at The PIT upstairs theatre: Spooky Jerks

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Comedic true tales from superb comics Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, ASSSSCAT 3000, Strangers Wanted, Ladies Night, The Lady Jam), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life, host of And I Am Not Lying), Craig Rowin (College Humor, Head Writer of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?), Rory Panagotopulos (UCB), and Dylan Donahue (UCB), plus some open-mic slots for audience members, at UCB East hosted by Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) that at the end selects a favorite yarn to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month (for hilarious samples, please click here): Animated Stories

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10; includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests former child actress Mara Wilson (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Jason Fried, and Jonathan Schnapp: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Storytellers Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), Danny Leary, Dana Rossi, and Eli Reiter performing for this twice-monthly storytelling show at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street) hosted by Jenny Rubin: Here’s the Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at theSoho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Hemlock and Dagger

8:00 pm ($8): Ora Fruchter & Christopher Scheer put a hand-puppet through improvised therapy atThe PIT upstairs theatre: Puppet Therapy

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Featherweight, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Round Trip (long form improv that tells the story of a group of characters over the course of three separate monoscenes, directed by legendary improvisor Armando Diaz), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), tonight featuring Megalou vs. Listen, Weirs!: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:40 pm ($13): The debut of a play about the history of Braille, with performers including NYC storytelling icon Leslie Goshko, at The Kraine Theatre (85 East 4th Street): The Spectator & the Blind Man: Stories of Seeing & Not-Seeing

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

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Jonathan Ames (creator/showrunner of HBO’s Bored to DeathDavid Letterman; film The Girl Under the Waves; author of numerous books, including Wake Up, Sir), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), B. J. Mendelson (author of Social Media is Bullshit), stand-ups Sam Morril (Comedy Central) and Zach Broussard, and photographer Seph Olenick, all performing and/or being interviewed at The PIT upstairs theatre by host Scott R.: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 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 plus like-minded comics on the UCB Chelsea stage—tonight including Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Jeff Rubin, and Max Silvestri: CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), Erik Rivera (Jay Leno, MTV), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua: Ted Alexandro, Ryan Hamilton, Michael Che, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1966 classic example of dreadful Manos The Hands of Fate (garnering an impressively low 1.9 on IMDB; for a wordless trailer that says it all, please click here) at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes grinded its competitor to a fine powder and tossed it into the wind last week, winning with a audience vote of 105-18 (ouch!). Tonight the champ faces Huxtable at UCB Chelsea; and while things don’t look good for the challenger, you really never know what’s going to happen as these improv groups compete for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 ($5): NYC comics Anna Drezen (see 7:00 pm), Chris Grace (sharp improvisor, PIT star), Brendan Fitzgibbons (TLC, The Onion, Cracked, Rolling Stone). Cyrus McQueen (HBO, Power 105), and Bryson Turner performing stand-up at UCB East as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show): /r/standup

[$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Andrew Schultz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Sam Morril (Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV): The Nasty Show: Big Jay Oakerson, Kurt Metzger, Andrew Schultz, and More

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 Thursday 11/29/12

November 29, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Kate McKinnon and Melanie Hamlett

It’s a night for hilarious tales, with comedy geniuses Kate McKinnon (above) and Chris Gethard at Don’t Tell My Mother; traveling adventurer Melanie Hamlett (and yes, that’s a real photo) at both Sideshow Goshko and Risk!…

Leslie Goshko and Lillian DeVane.jpg

…superb storyteller Leslie Goshko hosting her monthly extravaganza Sideshow Goshko; Boston-based Lillian DeVane visiting NYC to perform at Kevin Allison’s Risk!…

Tom Shillue and Jim O'Grady

…and ace storytellers Tom Shillue and Jim O’Grady performing at Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

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] 6:00 pm: Carter Edwards (UCB talent booker) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

6:00 pm ($1): PIT musical improv troupe Adorable mixes with musical improv novices on-stage at the downstairs lounge for Pitch

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s guests Melanie Hamlett (brilliant storyteller/writer; Moth Grandslam Champion, Marie Claire Magazine, amazing blog, roving adventurer), Andrew Linderman (host of Local Stories), Ted McAdams, and Michele Carlo, plus 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 at The PIT downstairs lounge: Punchbowl 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

7:30 pm ($5): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), and Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, VH1) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer: Splitsider and Tumblr’s Dog and Pony Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Saturday Night Live write Mike O’Brien “performs solo sketch and stand-up, reads a short story, and in general, does things. Come out to see experimental comedy as well as comedy that involves no experimentation” at UCB Chelsea: Mike O’Brien: 45 Minutes of Things

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door or ($6.17 online): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Annie Lederman (Chelsea Lately), Liam McEneaney, and more perform stand-up along with sideshow attractions including the wonderful Cherry Pitz (burlesque), Vincent Price Lady Aye (sword swallowing), Miss Vivien (piercing burlesque), and The Goon (human blockhead) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience: Abigoliah’s Bizzarre Bazaar

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($65 retail or $40 here): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) in the West Village: The Old Man and the Moon

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Team Black and Dagger

[$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A TV star who was a cast member of MTV’s Punk’d and is now a cast member of FX’s The League headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Stephen Rannazzisi

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, Horses, and The Boss performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Medusa (all improvisers stay on stage at all times, and alternate between speaking roles and playing inanimate objects), and then at 11:00 improv troupe competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) featuring Featherweight vs. Weekend of Regret: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm doors, 8:30 pm show ($10, which includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Eric Slovin (writer for Saturday Night Live 2002-2005 and Important Things with Demetri Martin; Comedy Central Presents), Jim O’Grady (The New York Times, Moth GrandSlam Champion), Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), and Joanne Solomon (upcoming essay collection Walking Mr. Lieberman): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.): A TV & movie star who created & hosted Last Comic Standing, was a cast member of CBS’ Gary Unmarried and Ghost Whisperer, has done extensive sports broadcasting for ESPN, and has appeared in such feature films as Jerry MacGuire, Pay It Forward, and Hereafter (opposite Matt Damon) headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jay Mohr

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): A killer lineup of genius comics telling confessional stories:Kate McKinnon (genius sketch comic and stellar cast member of Saturday Night Live; voice actress for Adult Swim’s Venture Brothers and Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show, former host on Air America), and Jen Kober (co-star of HBO’s Treme, punched out Larry David on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Showtime) sharing embarrassing moments at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): Don’t Tell My Mother

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

[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/or comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

9:00 pm ($5): Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Adam Lowitt (Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Neal Stastny, Anthony Devito, Anton Shuford, and David Smithyman performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Tig Notaro (hilarious stand-up; Comedy Central Presents, The Sarah Silverman Program, staff writer for the upcoming Amy Schumer show on Comedy Central; for Louis CK on Tig, and to buy an extraordinary set she performed, please click here and here) makes a rare NYC appearance with her friend Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper; book Tasteful Nudes) at The Dave Hill Explosion

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Melanie Hamlett (brilliant storyteller/writer; Moth Grandslam Champion, Marie Claire Magazine, amazing blog, roving adventurer), Lillian DeVane (Boston-based stand-up), Julia Wiedeman (one-woman show Naked People), and Candice Guardin performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme Thanks at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country along with host Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1): Risk!

[TOP PICK] 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

[TOP PICK] 9:45 doors, 10:15 pm show ($9; show up 30-60 minutes early to buy snacks/drinks): Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes street in this delightful series by Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show) and Donwill (hip-hop group Tanya Morgan) in which the boys watch a ridiculous movie and yell comments at it throughout. It all happens at Brooklyn’s reRun (147 Front Street, between Pearl & Jay Streets), with tonight’s film a happy surprise: Shouting at the Screen

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): UCBT improv troupes Airwolf and Graceland compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Nick Turner and Team Submarine each perform 30-minute stand-up sets at UCB East hosted by Adam Newman: Big Long Sets

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 Thursday 10/18/12

October 18, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Arden Myrin

Arden Myrin tells tales at Tom Shillue’s Funny Story…

David Javerbaum

and former Daily Show head writer David Javerbaum, who co-authored a book with God, is interviewed at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

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: Just this once, a shortened version (sans guest host) of this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each of four performers given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[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 receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows I know nothing about—Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30 and The Unbreakable Gun—audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. At $2.50 per show, it’s hard to go wrong with Spank

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A comedy music extravaganza, with superb singer/songwriters Stuckey & Murray, Jessica Delfino, Ben Lerman, Summer and Eve, Rob Paravonian, and Jen Kwok performing at this one-night-only show at UCB East sponsored by the CMJ festival: CMJ Comedy Music Showcase

7:00 pm ($8): Improv troupe Maybe Sherman makes up scenes involving mobsters at The PIT upstairs theatre: MafiaProv

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10, which includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, Chelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), and Gabe Liedman (co-host of Big Terrific) : Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “For over a year, Patrick Waldo scrawled his moustache tag on countless advertisements around New York City, entertaining commuters and causing thousands of dollars in damage. After a three month investigation, the NYPD put an end to his spree when they arrested Waldo under felony charges of graffiti, criminal mischief, and fucking shit up,” written & starring Patrick Waldo, and directed by Nate Dern & John Flynn: Moustache Man: Confessions of a NYC Graffiti Artist

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a sketch show about one of the sadder aspects of the human condition: Lonely People

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

[$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, is a cast member of the NBC sitcom Whitney (starring the wonderful Whitney Cummings), and has performed on Showtime’s Live Nude Comedy (to view his set, please click here) and TBS’ Glory Daze, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris D’Elia

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

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Nintendo, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by The Movie (long-form improv that makes up a feature film from beginning to end), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) featuring last week’s winner vs. Nintendo: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

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

9:00 pm ($5): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Dan Gurewitch, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door, $11.34 in advance online): Former Head Writer/Executive Producer of The Daily Show David Javerbaum (12-time Emmy winner…and 2-time Grammy winner!; Myq Kaplan & Micah Sherman (razor-sharp comedy music duo), Jenn Harris (Silence the Musical, Gayby), and Jen Sterger (Spike TV) perform and share insider stories at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Scott R.: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Kicking off this double-bill at UCB Chelsea is a two-man sketch show by Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp that very loosely springs off the real events of the title but is mostly meta-comedy. I would’ve preferred something meatier, especially given the fascinating subject—436 people killed by a tiger whose damaged teeth made it difficult to eat anything other than humans—but there’s lots of energy and performance talent here, making this a solid first-time effort: Maneater: The True Story of the Champawat Tigress

…and in the other half of this double-bill, UCBT star & Chris Gethard Show icon Vacation Jason debuts his own show: Vacation Jason’s Island Flavors

[TOP PICK] 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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Beloved old-time improv troupe Rogue Elephant, performing a run-the-gamit Harold, trumpeted out a victory last week against a surreal Upstate monoscene involving talking fish and guy-on-guy action by a close vote of 61-56. Tonight the pachyderm will face UCB East group Improv Nerds, as these two teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Carla Rhodes (“rock’n’roll ventriloquist;” for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here; for act with “Keith Richards,” please click here), Kara Klenk (host of If You Bring It), and Boris Khaykin performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman; Edinburgh Fringe Festival, FringeNYC) : Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow

11:00 pm ($5): A showcase of NYC stand-ups not yet represented by a manager or agent (i.e., fresh meat) at UCB East hosted by Luke Thayer & Nick Cobb: Unmanageable Stand-Ups

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 9/20/12

September 20, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Paul Noth

New Yorker cartoonists Paul Noth (above and below)…

Paul Noth

…Christopher Weyant, and Drew Dernavich are interviewed at “Running Late with Scott Rogowsky”…

Dave Hill

…Dave Hill performs on Tom Shillue’s “Funny Story”…

The Monkees - Head

…and a classic 1968 Monkees film is dissected at “Head”

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: 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

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows I know nothing about—We Don’t Have Money to Pay Our Rent and Our First Orgy—audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. At $2.50 per show, it’s hard to go wrong with Spank

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Blowout show with comedic authors Jonathan Ames (creator of HBO’s Bored to Death; author of Wake Up, Sir), Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard ShowThe Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), and Todd Hanson (long-time head writer of The Onion) performing at Brooklyn’s Public Assembly (70th North 6th Street, by the L subway’s Bedford Avenue stop), plus free books from Forbidden Planet, and sketches from Moon regulars Camille Harris, Jordan Clifford, Tim Skinner, and Tim Whitney, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show: Tribute to Books

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Davy and Peter Rothbart, the owners of Found Magazine, are touring the country to celebrate the mag’s 10th Anniversary. Join them for their one-night-only show at UCB East as they tell stories, sing, and show you cool stuff they’ve discovered: My Heart Is An Idiot: Found Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Tour

7:00 pm ($8): Improv troupe Maybe Sherman makes up scenes involving mobsters at The PITupstairs theatre: MafiaProv

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] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm: A comedy force of nature—tough, smart, honest, hilarious—who is one of the very finest stand-ups ever (for video samples, please click here) performs tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club. All performances are sold out, but you can try for a stand-by line: Bill Burr

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18 at the door or $21.95 online): “The trippiest psychedelic cult film of all time,” Head, written by Jack Nicholson and starring The Monkees, is screened at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) and then dissected by Kurt Loder (The Good, the Bad and the Godawful), Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller; host of How Was Your Week podcast; author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), Monkees historian Eric Lefcowitz (Monkee Business: The Revolutionary Made-For-TV Band), music journalist Rob Sheffield (Rolling Stone), and “other special guests:” Night of the Living: Head

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10, which includes a free beer): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper; new book Tasteful Nudes), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical GraffitiHigh Times), and Garrett Oliver: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Michael Martin, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., a leg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight perform puns, wild facial expressions, dance, rock trivia, audience pranks, murder reenactments, and more as sketch duoBoF: Friends Without Benefits

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

8:00 pm ($8): A monthly variety show that “features longform puppet improv, collaborations with special guests, choose-your-own-adventures, give-aways, and more” at The PIT upstairs theatre:An Existential Sing-Along

8:00 pm ($5; includes free beer): A charming monthly comedy variety show, tonight featuring Jeffrey Joseph (stand-up), Charla Lauriston (storyteller), Youth Group (improv troupe), and more performing at ABC No Rio (156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton) hosted by Bridgid Ryan and her improv/sketch troupe Chester (Bridgid Ryan, Sunita Mani, Bryan Rucker, Zack Willis, Caitlin Steitzer, and Adam Jacobson): Don’t You Find Us Charming?

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Brick, and Junior Varsity performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Neil McNamara directing Deep Dish (long-form improv interspersed with character monologues), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challengecomponent): The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

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

9:00 pm ($5): Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host ofHot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Katie Compa, and George Gordon performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover & Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door, $11.34 in advance online): New Yorker cartoonists Paul Noth, Christopher Weyant, and Drew Dernavich share their work and insider stories about the legendary magazine with host Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion) at The PIT upstairs theatre, plus interviews with portrait painter Jonathan Blum and storyteller Andy Ross: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

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

[TOP PICK] 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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, outplayed The Improvised Play last week, scoring 77-48 for its 8th consecutive win. Tonight Good Dad plans to kill with kindness UCB East group What I Did for Love, as these two teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Two iO Chicago improv veterans, Alex Eilhauer & Marla Caceres, repeat a scene multiple times, “twisting and re-envisioning it until they squeeze out every last drop of hilarity from it” for one night only at The PIT downstairs lounge: Alex Eilhauer & Marla Caceres: Endlessly Repeating Improv

11:00 pm ($5): A showcase of NYC stand-ups not yet represented by a manager or agent (i.e., fresh meat) at UCB East hosted by Luke Thayer & Nick Cobb: Unmanageable Stand-Ups

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/23/12

August 23, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Adira Amram and Billy Holiday

Adira Amram puts on a Brooklyn Dance Party; LIvia Scott becomes Billie Holiday at Livia’s Castle of Enchantment…

Tom Shillue and Reggie Watts

…Tom Shillue hosts Funny Story; and Reggie Watts is among the stars at 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:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Sue Galloway (The Law Firm) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Popular UCBT star & Chris Gethard Show icon Vacation Jason tonight auditions his own production, Vacation Jason’s Island Flavors, at 7:00 pm. And before that are two shows I know nothing about—The State vs. Josh: The Trial of The Millenials and Boob Tube—also auditioning for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. At $1.66 per show, it’s hard to go wrong with 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

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The 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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life at UCB East, with magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Dirty Movie) hosting tonight as Billie Holiday, Sherman Hemsley, and Truman Capote. Joining the party will be stand-up Jason Saenz, musical guest Happy Lives, and sword swallower The Lady Aye: Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm doors, 8:00 pm Heloise, 9:00 pm Adira ($10 at the door or $11.78 online): Adira Amram is a fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter who won the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act. She and her backup dancers, “The Experience,” will wow you at a special performance tonight at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). If you want to come early, you can see musical group Heloise and The Savoir Faire for the same ticket; plus after Adira there’ll be a bona fide dance party: Adira Amram and the Experience: Dance Party

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups & storytellers in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Trace Crutchfield (TV series Unconventionally Yours with Trace Crutchfield), and Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central; co-host of The Party Machine): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Matt Hobby & Mary Grill have a love deeper than one thousand really deep oceans. Through storytelling and sketch comedy, Matt & Mary show you the characters who helped them on their journey from fiancés to newlyweds:” Tying the Knot

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a sketch show about one of the sadder aspects of the human condition: Lonely People

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

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Rick Andrews directing The Weave (organic freeform improv “with no rules”), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), featuring Eaglefox vs. The Wrath: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

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

9:00 pm ($5): Calise Hawkins, Mike Recine, Seaton Smith, Missy Baker, Grant Gordon, and Brendan Fitzgibbons, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCBT stars Neil Casey (Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) in a two-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea directed by Michael Delaney: Small Men

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Comedy Central special; Jimmy Fallon; Electric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Erin Barker (Moth GrandSlam champion, co-host of The Story Collider), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here), and Jaqi Furback performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme So Emotional at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 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

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 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] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, kicked the crap out of troupe Kinsey last week 125-21. Tonight Good Dad plans to punish veteran duo The Brothers Hines as these two teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite people, Julie Sharbutt—who’s performed with some of the greatest improvisors alive at UCBT’s Gravid Water—tonight goes for improv gold herself with comedy partner Liz Wisan at The PIT downstairs lounge in a very accurately named show: Smart & Attractive

11:00 pm ($5): “Secret movie screenings of movies you probably haven’t seen and/or should see again” at UCB East (which used to be a movie theatre) hosted by Ryan Karels (Grandma’s Ashes, Krompf), Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers), JD Amato (Harold Night), and Mike Roth (Two Boots Video): Secret Movie Show Presented by Two Boots Video

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/12/12

April 12, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Hannibal Burress

Red-hot stand-up Hannibal Buress headlines through Sunday at Carolines...

Sue Galloway

...and UCBT's Sue Galloway singlehandedly delivers one of the best sketch shows of the year in "Pose"

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: Andy Ross (written for Mad Magazine, The Onion News Network) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn (memorably featured here): Oh, Hey Guys!

[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

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows about which I know nothing audition for a regular spot on the prestigiousUCB Chelsea schedule: Five Finger Discount and Profiles in Cowardice. These might be great or awful; but at $2.50 per show, you can’t go far wrong either way. That’s part of the fun of Spank

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at 92Y Tribeca(200 Hudson Street): Mortified

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

7:00 pm ($5): Improv duo Steve Soroka (BoF) & Jen Curran team with improv troupe The Imposters at The PIT downstairs lounge to kick off your Evening Bliss

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s all-star guests Jeannie Gaffigan (Jim Gaffigan’s partner in crime), 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 Tales of the Cosmos and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), and Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): It was a sad time for me when UCBT sketch comedy genius Kate McKinnon moved late last year to LA. No one in NYC has really stepped into the void Kate left…but this show is the closest I’ve seen so far as a contender. Sue Galloway delivers smart, organic, beautifully crafted physical & verbal comedy that’s fresh, specific, at times surreal, and very funny. It’s no easy thing to walk the tightrope between darkness and hilarity, but Sue manages it here with impressive grace. Kudos also go to UCBT’s Artistic Director Nate Dern, who did a brilliant job of providing guidance and judgment as the show’s director. Ignore this production’s lame title and official description, which don’t do it justice, and simply come to see one of the best one-woman sketch shows of 2012: Pose

…and in the other half of this double-bill at UCB Chelsea, unique and relentlessly silly performer Brandon Gulya does a one-man sketch show at that’s at times hilarious (the restaurant bit, which is an instant classic) , and at other times less so, in the hope that Brandon Gulya Will Be Famous Soon

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A former staff writer for Saturday Night Live and writer/performer for 30 Rock who’s also performed on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, and an upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special headlining tonight through Sunday at theCarolines Comedy Club: Hannibal Buress

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT upstairs theatre: Frogmen and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Mark Grenier directing The Bat (improvised scenes that happen entirely in the dark), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with troupe Upstate battling troupe Listen, Weirs! for laughs & votes: The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Layer by layer, improvisers build a town based on an audience member’s suggestion for the town’s name, while artist Asher Rogers paints a large map of the town based on the improvisers’ descriptions. This cool-sounding new show is at The PIT downstairs lounge: Our Town

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

[$] [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 ($5): John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here),Starlee Kine (sharp storyteller; NPR’s This American Life), and Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, The Tony and Johnny Show) performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[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/or comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[$] 9:00 pm ($15): The Daily Show producers Rory Albanese and Adam Lowitt, and writers Michael Hogan, JR Havlan, and Jenna Kim Jones, performing stand-up at 92Y Tribeca: The Daily ShowDoes Stand-Up

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Jess Dweck, Kevin Seccia, and Michael Che performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for this weekly comedy show hosted by Sean Crespo & Dan Wilbur and produced by Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, first up is a witty and ultimately exhilarating exploration of baring it all by fabulous long-time nudist Julia Wiedeman (who I had the great fortune of seeing about a decade ago as she walked around with zero clothing, like a glorious tigress, in broad daylight on the streets of the East Village). Check out promo videos here and here, and then run to see Naked People

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a one-man sketch show by George Kareman about which I know nothing, but the title alone makes the pulse race: Incredibly Extreme and Extremely Incredible

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge for The Scene

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7; or FREE COVER if you show up 30-60 minutes early and buy $7 worth of snacks/drinks): Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes blaxploitation in this delightful new series by Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show) and Donwill (hip-hop group Tanya Morgan) in which the boys watch a black cinema cult classic and yell comments at it throughout. It all happens at Brooklyn’s reRun (147 Front Street, between Pearl & Jay Streets), with tonight’s film a happy surprise: Shouting at the Screen

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($22 & 2-drink min.): A veteran NYC stand-up who’s performed on HBO, Comedy Central, and IFC headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Big Jay Oakerson

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Ouch. Last week Airwolf crushed and humiliated Sandino, beating it with a stick 110-38. This gives Airwolf three consecutive wins, but it’s no time to get cocky because tonight’s challenger is formidable troupe The Law Firm. Don’t miss the bloodshed as they compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Nick Offerman (NBC’s Parks and Recreation) and musical legend Corn Mo performing at UCB East offering “cautionary tales, woodworking tips, and minor nudity:” American Ham

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