NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/5/15

May 5, 2015

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Nathan Lane is on David Letterman;
Jack Black is on Seth Meyers;
Matt Besser, Eugene Cordero, and Jon Gabrus are on @midnight;
Inside Amy Schumer‘s spectacular Season 3 continues
with Episode 3, “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer,”
at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central

Zoe Farmingdale starring in Coffee and Biscuit

Sharp comic Zoe Farmingdale delivers a dynamite dramatic performance at a brief revival of FringeNYC’s Coffee and Biscuit (for my review, please click here)…

Aparna Nancherla

…and world class stand-up Aparna Nancherla starts a weekly residency at Cakeshop 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] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, six of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free showthat lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Higgins, Some Kid,and Coworkers at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Carmen Lynch, Robert Kelly, and Jon Fisch (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Gary Gulman, Gregg Rogell, Lenny Marcus, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:30 show; and Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Dan Soder, Monroe Martin, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, opens for Tig Notaro), Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1), Alingon Mitra (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host ofIf You Bring It), Paul Hooper, and Kenny DeForest performing stand-up at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Inside Amy Schumer, College Humor):Cakeshop Comedy: Aparna Nancherla, Brooke Van Poppelen, Jacqueline Novak, and and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Al Madrigal (correspondent for The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental,documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Al Madrigal, Mark Normand, Nick DiPaolo, Pete Lee, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): A monthly wild pun competition hosted by father-daughter duo Fred Firestone and Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of The Unexpectashow, The Incredible Game Show Showcase) and lots more), with 18 audience members competing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Punderdome 3000

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A monthly show about obsessions with pop culture, tonight revolving around Alcohol with guests Naomi Ekperigin (dynamite rising star stand-up; writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Camille Harris (irresistible rising star singer/sketch comic/cutie; The Camille Harris Show; music album Silly Jazz), and David Smithyman (The Nightly Show) at UCB East hosted by Damian Bellino & Anne Rodeman: So Into It: A Fanatic Variety Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Improvisors remake a blockbuster film (suggested by the audience) in the style of indie filmmaker Wes Anderson at The PIT downstairs lounge: Wes Anderson Remakes Your Favorite Movie

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Brandon Scott Wolf (contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Christi Chiello (Last Comic Standing), Josh Gondelman (HBO’s Last Week Tonight), Peggy O’Leary (host of Hard Lonely and Vicious), and Shakir Standley performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Alex Ptak: OMG BFF LOL Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

9:00 pm ($7): Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), a “surprise guest,” and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Liza Treyger (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Fresh Out), Tom Cowell, and Lizzie Martinez performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) produced and hosted by Sachi Ezura, Robert Dean, Clark Jones, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Women & Men, 32K,and Slamball at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh), plus NYC comics Jonathan Marballi (Inside Amy Schumer), Lucas Connolly (host of Cranky Pants Comedy), and Hannah Krasnow, all performing at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show

9:30 pm ($5): Improv duo Katie Hammond & Daniel Tepper make up all the characters in a town on the spot and craft a full-blown musical from that at The PIT upstairs theatre: What Town?: The Musical

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Lance Weiss, Kaytlin Bailey, Chrissie Mayr, Jace Avery, and Brian Grossi performing at the Kings County Bar (286 Seigel Street; take the L to Morgan) hosted by Mike Lewis & Tom Hathaway: The Party

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

10:00 pm ($5): A sketch show that explores the characters in the background of Ghostbusters at The PIT downstairs lounge: Those Other People in Ghostbusters

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A frat party-styled stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Creek Bros

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and lesser-known stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at the UCB East theatre: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jamie Aderski: Personality Disorder Character Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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

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

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

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

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

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

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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 2/5/15

February 5, 2015

Louis C.K. has a new comedy special. Nab it for a mere $5 here.

TV Alert: Bob Odenkirk is on The Daily Show;
Martin Short is on David Letterman;
Brooks Whelan is on Seth Meyers;
Iliza Shlesinger is on Carson Daly;
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, and Mike Phirmanon is on @midnight;
Ari Shaffir’s weekly storytelling show This Is Not Happening
is at 12:31 am on Comedy Central

Wicked Frozen

Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer and friends create a fun mashup musical parody at The PIT…

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Clowns guests (not announced) and clown host Icky Shirley Dangle performing a silly show at The PIT upstairs theatre: An Unapologetic Mess: A Clown Show

7:00 pm ($5): “In the criminal justice system there are many different types of special police squads that investigate various crimes. Some of them you may have never heard of. These are their stories” made up by improvisors on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: Law & Disorder: Suggestions Victims Unit

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code,IFC), Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, co-host of Blaria Live), Ahamed Weinberg (Producer for Comedy Bang! Bang!), Anthony P Devito, and Ramon Rivas performing stand-up atUCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle: Michelle Wolf, Phoebe Robinson, and More

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah does stand-up and performs his full range of characters (“on SNL I don’t do white people, but if you break me in half like a coconut, white just spills out”) headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jay Pharoah

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Judy Gold, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Greer Barnes, Sherrod Small, and Sam Morril at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Dan Soder, Carmen Lynch, Colin Jost, and Sherrod Small at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Kurt Metzger, Cipha Sounds, and Chris Distefano 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 ($20): A fun, lively musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen from the perspective of a high-strung 7-year-old girl written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the very best shows to grace UCB Chelsea, in which sketch group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

…and in the other half of this double-bill, the highly talented Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp perform in a fucked-up show about twins who sing, dance, and screw each other: Fucking Identical Twins: A Musical

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-Midnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by Shlong form (eight improvisors attempt to mix short form and long form improv together to leverage the strengths of both approaches), at 10:00 pm by Jana Schmieding singing about longing for love in Classic Singles: Ballads of Loneliness, and finally at 11:00 by improv competitionInspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Matt Wayne (co-host of See You in Hell), Nick Maritato, and Chris Jurek performing stand-up for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Splitty (415 Myrtle Avenue) hosted by Greg Johnson (Sirius XM): Myrtle Comedy: Ted Alexandro and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Kevin Avery (writer for HBO’s Last Week With John Oliver), Josh Homer, Drew Dowdey, and more performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Cassidy Kirch, Lawrence DeLoach, and Sarah Hartshorne: FTH Comedy

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, VHI, FX’s Totally Biased, documentaryMetaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, TruTV’s Friends of the People,Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), and Jim Florentine (Comedy Central, MTV) performing stand-up at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Josh Carter & Ray DeVito: Northern Discomfort

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Allison Brown & Rachel Joravsky first perform a mini-play with characters from America’s heartland at The Grand Reopening of Boone, Iowa’s Community Center, and then perform as sketch duoChildbearing Years, all at The PIT downstairs lounge curated by group Forever Dog: Forever Dog Presents Allison Brown & Rachel Joravsky

9:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The razor-sharp writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers gather on the UCB Chelsea stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seth Meyers Writers: Crate Night With Set Fires

9:30 pm ($5): On January 1st, Chris Booth committed to performing every day for a year. Join Chris as he shares the highlights of the first month of his project at The PIT upstairs theatre: #365Project: January

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Mike Guild knows everything about movies and films. He will take you through the landscape of the cinema, along with comic guests to discuss everything going on the weird landscape that is Hollywood—plus everyone in the audience will win a unique prize” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Movie Night With Mike

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups The Law Firm and Warren compete for your laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea in the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Naomi Ekperigin (writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX), Will Miles, Mark Walton, Ryan Beck, and more performing stand-up or sketch hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera (for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here), Dan Licata, and Charles Gould at the UCB East theatre: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Stand-up open mic, with names pulled from a bucket and each selected comic getting 4 minutes, atUCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Wolf and/or Paul Oddo: Thursday Night 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: 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 Hello Laser 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 theOld 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 atThe Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A supportively silly jam for duo improv (you’ll be paired up on the spot) in which the audience shows “Good Scene!” at the end of every scene at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by improv group Judith: Good Scene!: A Judith Jam

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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 11/20/14

November 20, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Jon Stewart is on The Colbert Report;
Stephen Merchant is on Jimmy Fallon;
Russell Brand is on Seth Meyers;
Mike Lawrence is on Carson Daly;
Jason Bateman and Andy Cohen are on Conan O’Brien;
Aimee Mann, Dana Gould, and Nick Offerman are on @midnight

Wicked Frozen

Zoe Farmingdale and friends continue their sold-out run (nab tickets online ASAP) of a mashup musical parody: Wicked Frozen

Jen Kirkman

…and Jen Kirkman joins Todd Barry, Janine Brito, and more at Larry Murphy’s weekly stand-up/sketch party 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] 7:00 pm ($5): Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, TruTV’s Friends of the People), Myka Fox, and Sam Grittner performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: “Dressed only from the waist up and ankles down, Adrienne Truscott undoes and does in the rules and rhetoric about rape, comedy, and the awkward laughs in between. With ‘appearances’ from George Carlin, Louis CK, Robert De Niro, ducks, whistles, and enough gin and tonics to get a girl in trouble, she lets her pussy do the talking. Set to pop music. Can you make jokes about rape? She plans to, all night long. Even if you tell her to stop” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City; for a London review, please click here:Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): All-gal storytelling show of “true tales with feelings; so many feelings…” sharing tales atThe PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Caitlin Brodnick & Lisa Kleinman: Shut Up Storytelling Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Beloved TV comedy series 30 Rock presented “in ways you never imagined” at The PITdownstairs lounge: We Love TV

[$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A multi-talented improv, sketch, and stand-up comic who’s a long-time comedy partner of Kristin Schaal, and has performed on Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Bob’s Burgers, andChelsea Lately headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kurt Braunohler

[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 Judah Friedlander, Nick DiPaolo, and Jessica Kirson at the 8:00 show; and Dave Attell and Zainab Johnson 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): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’sFlight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Janine Brito (former staff writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), and Danny Tamberelli performing for this weekly stand-up plus sketch show 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Storytellers Jen Doll (author of Save the Date), Tara Clancy (The New York Times, The Paris Review, Moth GrandSlam champion), Lukas Kaiser (writer/producer at Spike TV), Andy Ross (writer for The Onion, Mad Magazine), and Michelle Onufrak telling true tales about It’s Not Me, It’s You at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned It’s Not Me, It’s You

[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 friends to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s lineup JR Havlan (7-time Emmy winning writer for The Daily Show; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher), Eddie Brill (former booker for David Letterman), and David Konig: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-11:00 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 The Love Story (improv that begins with a significant moment in a romantic relationship and explores the characters and relationships in their lives), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes springboarding off improvised monologues from star storyteller Adam Wade at The Armando Diaz Experience: The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joanna Bradley demonstrates she’s a fine performer who needs to work with a tough editor, as her material doesn’t come across as funny so much as harsh and angry—which doesn’t do justice to her genuine acting and comedic talent. But maybe one-woman has improved since I’ve seen it. Find out at I Am Very Important People

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

9:30 pm ($8): Feline-based improv from duo David Frasure & Jenn Welch at The PIT upstairs theatre: CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS! CATS!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Sheng Wang (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Amanda Seales, and Nore Davis performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) produced by Jawann Carmona, Sooyah Jun, Cassidy Kirch, and Zardon Richardson: 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

8:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts and/or Jim Tews: 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): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, co-star of feature film The Wrestler, star of delightful documentary The Crowd Work Tour), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Inside Amy Schumer, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge—”If you like Grindhouse, Kung Fu, Spaghetti Western, Noir, and the entire 1970s, you’ll want to check out:” The Tarantino

[FREE] 9:00 pm: A rare stand-up & sketch show in Staten Island, with Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch groupOnassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Anna Drezen (talented character comic blending words and movement; one-woman show Spooky Jerks), Ben Kissel (writer for MTV, MTV2, CMT, TLC; The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen), Alyssa Wolff, and Dan Goodman performing at the Flagship Brewing Company (40 Minthorne Street, near the SI Ferry and the Tompkinsville train station) hosted by Tim Duffy & John Szeluga: Comedy Night in Staten Island

[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 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Tom March, Aaron Kheifets, Ben Phillipe, Sandi Marx, and host Kevin Allison tell daring personal tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s Thanksgiving theme Grateful for one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Great lineup of Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds and very finest stand-ups in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Giulio Gallarotti performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Jen Kirkman, Cipha Sounds, and More

[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 PITdownstairs lounge: PIT Behind the Music

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups—possibly performing in a camp tent—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Aaron Friedman: Campfire Comedy

10:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) at this weekly 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 ($10 at the door or $11.54 in advance online; every performance of this show has sold out, so grab tickets online before they disappear): A fun, lively musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv groups Warren and Glory Days 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 theStand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Joe Galan hosts a clowning workshop & open stage: “Clowns have only one true directive: To play! This is part workshop, part playground where we will use exercises geared towards exploring new voices, bodies and games. Either show off a piece in progress or jump onstage blind and ready to follow your sense of fun. Whether you’re interested in learning more about clown technique and physical comedy or just overcoming coulrophobia, this jam is a fun and safe environment to explore your onstage instincts” at The PITupstairs theatre: No Make-Up: A Clown Jam

[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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: 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 The Boss 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 theOld 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 atThe 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 Tuesday 11/11/14

November 11, 2014

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Steve Carell is on David Letterman;
Aubrey Plaza is on Jimmy Kimmel;
David Hyde Pierce is on Seth Meyers;
Rob Riggle and the Sklar Brothers are on @midnight

Wicked Frozen

Zoe Farmingdale and friends create a mashup musical parody at The PIT: Wicked Frozen

Michelle Wolf

…and rising star Michelle Wolf (above) and Monroe Martin each perform 30-minute sets at UCB East: Stand-Up for 2

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, seven of The Magnet’s improv groups make up musicals based on audience suggestion, creating epic stories on the spot using song and dance:Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Smalls, Women & Men, and The Enemy at this first half of Harold Night

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch/improv group Martha hosts this variety show featuring Sara Armour, Ali Levin, and Leah Spigelman performing at the PIT upstairs theatre: All You Can Eat

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Tom Papa, Nick DiPaolo, and Marina Franklin at the 7:45 show, Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Dan Soder, Kyle Dunnigan, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 9:15 show; and Paul Mecurio, Ari Shaffir, Nick Griffin, and Keith Alberstadt at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane):Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15; limited tickets available at the door): The burning issue of “Which is better, having family or friends?” is debated by comics Opus Moreschi (Head Writer of The Colbert Report), Elna Baker (genius storyteller/writer), Jena Friedman (great stand-up, producer for The Daily Show), David Rees (cartoonist), Lizz Winstead (co-founder of The Daily Show), and Kevin Townley (author). For a sample of what goes on at this show, check out Michael Showalter making a case for cats vs. dogs here and Kristen Schaal making a case for old people vs. babies here. If you’re amused, you can experience this concoction live tonight at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, off 95th Street) hosted by Scott Rogowsky: Uptown Showdown: Family Vs. Friends

[TOP PICK] [FREE—plus FREE PIZZA!] 8:00 pm: Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Josh Sharp (superb sketch writer/performer, co-star of GUMP, co-host of Cool Shit/Weird Shit), Selena Coppock (author of book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central), and Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness) performing stand-up at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) produced by Lukas Kaiser, JF Harris, Sue Smith, and John Szeluga: Amazingtown

8:00 pm ($5): A one-woman musical show from Aston Hollins McClanahan (with some help from Marshall York) atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Alassin Sane

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups and musicians drink and perform at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Peele: Party & Bullshit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Jo Firestone (dynamic rising star; radio host; host of Punderdome 3000 and The Incredible Game Show Showcase) spearheads this show designed to make you a success, with tonight’s goal How to Get a Date aided by comedic advisors Ben Kronberg, Christian Polanco, Kevin Iso, and James Dwyer performing at Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street): Firestone Success Academy: How to Get a Date

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand- ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing,VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host ofLate Night Trash), and more performing stand-up at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Joe Zimmerman (Comedy Central), Sue Smith, and Trey Galyon performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house groups Grammer, Apollo, and Higgins at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code,IFC) and Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing) each perform a 30-minute stand-up set on the UCB East stage: Stand-Up for 2

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): The official opening night of “a musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen written by two people who have never seen Wicked or Frozen,” written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

10:00 pm ($10; no min.): Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfistand The Prom), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Casey Balsham, Kerry Feehan, Megan Gailey, and Andy Pitz performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Amber Nelson, Nick Vatterott, Pat Dixon, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Seth Cockfield: War On Sadness

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist andThe Prom), Katie Hartman (wonderfully brave and dark sketch comic; Hartman & Carl, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Gypsy Danger), Casey Jane Ellison, Daniel J Perafan, Alise Morales, and Colin Stokes performing stand-up for this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis (playing a new character at every show): The Tuesday Special

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Typically superb stand-ups (not announced) performing at this new free weekly stand-up show at UCB East hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday Open Mics & Jams

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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

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

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

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

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

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PITdownstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/18/14

August 18, 2014

For FringeNYC 2014 show ratings & rankings, please click here.
For show reviews, please click here. For news about
added performances for sold out shows, please click here.

TV Alert: Bill Cosby is on Jimmy Fallon;
Kate McKinnon is on Seth Meyers (repeated from 7/14);
Katt Williams is on Arsenio Hall (repeated from 5/1)

Coffee and Biscuit

At today’s FringeNYC, NYC comedy treasure Zoe Farmingdale delivers the finest dramatic performance I’ve seen at the festival at 7:00 pm in Coffee and Biscuit (for my review, please click here)…

Whiskey Jack

…and at 8:00 pm, horror comedy Whiskey Jack

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

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

[$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Colin Quinn, Hannibal Buress, and Zainab Johnson at the 7:45 show; Trevor Noah, Gary Gulman, and Dov Davidoff at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Jeff Ross, Nick Griffin, Big Jay Oakerson, Wil Sylvince, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a one-man show from Christian Capozzoli: Nutso Facto

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Annie vs. Oliver: Something is Very Wrong with Jean Grae—A Musical (singing and dancing; It will get weird), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Marc Theobald, and Adam Mamawala performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim, host of Night Train): Night Train

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

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups performing at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer & Joe Stanton: Splitsider’s Dog and Pony Show

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

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

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

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Greg Johnson (Sirius Radio, co-host of Myrtle Comedy), Luke Thayer (Tyra Banks; co-host of The Living Room), Omar Shaukat, Randi Simon Lupo, , Tom Lisi, and Tyson Karrasch performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom(627 5th Avenue) hosted by Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Great lineup of Trevor Noah (South African comic; Jay Leno, Chelsea Lately, one-man show Born a Crime), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight), Joe Matarese (David Letterman, Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central Presents, Bravo, IFC), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language) performing stand-up for this free weekly show atThe Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller & Dee Marie: Gentrification

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

Monday Open Mics & Jams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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