Patrick Hastie, along with fellow comedian Gideon Hambright, hosts the popular stand up show JACKKNIFE COMEDY which has its three year anniversary show Saturday June 3rd at 8pm at The Creek and The Cave in Long Island City, NYC! The show is going to be really special and has a great lineup featuring Brendan Eyre (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Alison Zeidman (Adam Ruins Everything), Geoffrey Asmus (JFL), Yedoye Travis (Hulu’s Coming To The Stage) and more! If you are in the NYC area you should totally come because it is gonna fucking rule!
Hello, my name is Patrick and I’m a stand up comedian based out of Brooklyn, New York. I love comedy and I love comedy shows. Especially really good comedy shows.
Last year, I wrote an article for The Interrobang called “Wanna See The Best Comedy Nights in America!?” where I asked a bunch of my favorite comedians from all around the country (like Nick Vatterott, Michelle Biloon, Mary Mack and Ryan Solomon) to tell me about their favorite comedy shows. It was rad! It featured a bunch of great shows in a bunch of great cities like Seattle, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Austin, Des Moines, St. Louis, Omaha, Oakland, Phoenix and Denver.
Well, that article was so fun, I decided to do a follow up! So once again I asked a bunch more of my favorite comedians from all around the country to tell me about their favorite shows. Some of them picked shows in their home scene and some of them picked shows in their current city. If you live in one of these places, or if you’re visiting, make sure to check out these shows, check out these comedians and never stop supporting cool people doing cool stuff!
I am a comedian in NYC. There are many wonderful comedy shows. One of my favorites is YOUR LOVE, OUR MUSICAL where Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman interview a couple in love and then improvise an entire musical about their story. It’s amazing. You can’t do that. Watch them do it. Another of my favorites is every show that Jo Firestone has ever created. FIRESTONE SUCCESS ACADEMY. PUNDERDOME. FRIENDS OF SINGLE PEOPLE. FIREGETH. All the others. We are lucky to have her brain, and the rest of her body. Enjoy!
Los Angeles is jam packed with great comedy shows! Seriously, there are so many that it would be like a parent picking their favorite child! Could you imagine who would do that!? Anyway, my favorite is definitely GOOD HEROIN. It’s at Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park on Saturday nights. Dave Ross and Matt Ingebretson are phenomenal hosts and the lineups are ALWAYS killer. Plus, there is graffiti wall art next to the stage that makes for great pictures of performers. That’s the only reason I do comedy! Haha, I’m kind of kidding. Anyway, be sure to check out this show that is downright incredible. You won’t want to miss it!
GENDER IS A DRAG is a monthly variety show at iO Chicago hosted by Chuck Nasty and The Duchess (Chelsea Norment and Kenzie Seibert). Each month, different performers come on and explore, celebrate, lament, dismantle, and otherwise mess-with gender. One of my favorite parts about the show are the host’s costumes. One month, The Duchess (Seibert) was decked out in sequins and glitter and Chuck Nasty (Norment was dressed as a giant vulva). In addition to being a very funny duo, Norment and Seibert create a weird, warm and energetic environment. They stack the lineup with amazing acts from across genres, from sketch, storytelling, stand up, dance, performance art, drag, music, and more. Having been a performer and an audience member on this show, I can say I have left glowing every time.
It was after a night of performing stand up early in my career. I had already been to 3 shows on a Saturday night and there was only one show left to see. The 1AM SECRET SHOW, then at the Relapse Theatre. That night I fell in love with stand up all over again. I saw Rory Scovel do what is still one of the greatest sets I’ve ever seen in my life. A set that is the reason the Relapse Theatre is the location for his upcoming Netflix Special. The 1 A.M. Show has been a staple in Atlanta comedy and has had drop-ins from everyone from Marc Maron, Hannibal Buress, and Pete Holmes just to name a few. The best part is that anything goes. It is 1 in the morning and free, so comics feel free to do whatever they want to do. James Adomian, has done full sets as one character. It is also the first place I saw James doing his famous Bernie Sanders impersonation. Craig Robinson did a whole set without saying anything and just played songs on the keyboard. Seasoned vets like Jackie Kashian and Bobcat Goldthwait have elected to host the show when they come into town. Todd Glass turns the show into a comedy playground. What makes the 1 A.M. Show is not names, it is the energy. Now at Smith’s Olde Bar Anthony Driver, Olive Lynch, and David Perdue have cultivated an energetic and open audience. The show has a loyal crowd that even showed up on Christmas Eve! This show doesn’t even sleep for Santa in the Bible Belt. No matter what is happening in Atlanta during the biggest events, storms, and festivals at 1:00 on Saturday night (technically Sunday morning) people are going to be packed in the side room of Smith’s to see this dope stand up show.
My favorite comedy show in San Francisco is THE SETUP. The show is held in the basement of a bar in the Tenderloin (which has gone through so many owners and names I’m still not 100% sure what the name of the bar is). You can tell the guys who run it, Abhay Nadkarni and Richard Sarvate, really put their heart and soul into that show. It’s just a regular showcase style local stand up comedy show, but it’s really damn good. It’s almost too good – every set I do there makes me feel like I’m the funniest comedian who ever lived.
My favorite show to do in New York is NIGHT TRAIN WITH WYATT CENAC in Brooklyn. It’s always packed, the people that run and produce it are chill af. The audience has become a good mix of all races and kinds. Usually good laughers and free pizza. It’s a good time.
Since I moved away from Portland and therefore pulled three of the best shows that have ever existed there, I gotta say EARTHQUAKE HURRICANE is one of my favorite shows. In true Portland fashion, this show started in a micro-brew-slinging bike shop (what’s better than biking drunk?) and eventually grew out and up to a place called the Liquor Store. (Try and google Liquor Store Portland. Go ahead!) The original hosts were as diverse as they are hilarious and lovely – Bri Pruett, Curtis Cook, Anthony Lopez and Alex Falcone. As Bri and Curtis left for LA, the show has started to cycle through new hosts and trial hosts including the hilarious Katie Nguyen. Consistently the funniest and best booked show in Portland. SINCE I left.
HELLTRAP NIGHTMARE is a dream come true, for fans of weirdo comedy. The brainchild of stand up comedian Sarah “Squirm” Sherman, the monthly show specializes in “horror comedy,” a term that refers to the explicit horror film vibe of the show (sketches featuring demon-possessed vaginas and gory group suicide were recent crowd-pleasers), but also to the more abstract sense of horror found in all sorts of comedy that toe the line between outrageously funny and extremely uncomfortable. The show packs together stand up, multimedia shorts, sketch comedy, and musicians — usually bizarre noise acts whose experimental impulses nicely parallel those of the oddball comedians with whom they’re sharing the stage. Grossly absurd, absurdly gross, this overstimulating comedic extravaganza is always a hell of a time.
My favorite show in Orlando is the SHIT SANDWICH stand up showcase at a little British pub called Bull and Bush. It’s the perfect atmosphere for good comedy. Something about the lighting, the acoustics, the people, makes it perfectly conducive for every comic to have a good set. I never felt like I bombed there, ever. The show was produced by one of my favorite Orlando comedians Matt Gersting, who tragically passed away in 2016 after running it for four years. Now it’s run by the wonderful Doug McPherson. Every week they do a toast to Matt, in loving memory. There is no room in the country I enjoy more than the Shit Sandwich.
I picked two. First, GODDAMMIT (all caps intentional) at Avant Garden. Every Thursday, in a cozy, upstairs room there’s a bar that serves “irresponsibly cheap drinks,” to an audience that has no idea how lucky they will be. Surprise guests have included Ron Funches, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Nate Bergatze (to name a few). Booker Gabe Bravo is very particular about the local and out-of-town up-and-comers he mixes into the show, so the audience is never disappointed. And it’s FREE. So not only will you still be laughing when you leave, but you’ll also have enough money for an Uber. Second, NEO-BENSHI. Every first Tuesday at The Secret Group, BooTown (a local theater organization) showcases teams of one or two that take a clip from a movie, music video, commercial, etc., change the dialogue, and then perform it live. It’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily? meets Mystery Science Theater and it’s awesome!
Pittsburgh is a happening scene that is finally drawing national attention. We have a plethora of banger shows including WDVE’S LOADED SHOW and the ARCADE COMEDY THEATER’S BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL. But I want to talk to Yinz about two shows in particular. DRINKING PARTNERS at the beautiful Comtra Theater and the COMEDY ROULETTE ROASTS. The Drinking Partners consist of Ed Bailey and Day Bracey. Ed and Day started the popular Drinking Partners podcast then funneled their loyal following it into an amazing stand up show. The Comtra is an extraordinary space. How often do you get to perform in the round!? Who is Drinking Partners’ next headliner you ask? Myq Kaplan. Now, the Comedy Roulette Roasts are organized by ethereal beauty John Dick Winters. JDW is the founder of the Burning Bridges Festival. The concept is spectacular. Do me a favor and picture this. Take your favorite fictional character, assemble a cast from their universe, put them on stage in the classical roast format, and try to keep your drinks in your mouth. The Roast of Batman dais included Commissioner Gordon, Two Face, Bane Apnea, The Joker, and Superman. The Roast of Santa Claus dais included Cupid, St. Patrick, Baby New Year, Kwanzaa Dude, and of course JESUS! If you are rolling through the ‘burgh, check out these shows! #PghIsFunny
SORRY NOT SORRY is one of the best independently run shows in Milwaukee. Local MKE comedians Addie Blanchard and Marisa Lange host and produce a monthly show on the first Saturday of every month at the Riverwest Public House in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee. Sorry Not Sorry is a matinee comedy show that challenges audience members to “Laugh in the harsh light of day, the first Saturday of every month.” In addition to free doughnuts, top comedic talent from Milwaukee, Chicago, and Madison are on display every month with the occasional touring comic dropping in for guest set. If you’re in Milwaukee on the first Saturday of the month, be at the Riverwest Public House by 1pm for the best comedy, doughnuts and Bloody Marys in town.
My favorite show to drop in on, even when I’m not performing is SAUCE COMEDY. The show’s hosts – Barbara Gray, Erin Lampart, Jeff Wattenhofer & Brodie Reed – are some of the spiciest meatballs working in LA comedy right now, and their friendship sets such a fun tone for the night. The show’s vibe is always laid back, which is what you’d expect from one of LA’s tastiest pizza places. Grab some gelato or a $5 beer & settle into the cozy side room. There’s always a pie on the table for performing comics & the room just feels like home. In June, SAUCE is doing all female line ups, which will be really fun to see from a show that’s already incredibly diverse week to week. Plus, there’s a huge free parking lot, which in LA is the Holy Grail for a comedy show. Every Friday night at 8PM, DeSano’s Pizza Bakery. Suggested donation, ya cannoli’s.
One of the best and most consistent shows in Kansas City is LISTOFF. It’s on whatever Tuesday it’s on in the Theater Room of a bar/arcade called Tapcade and run by sweethearts Nick Manfredi and Evan Christian Goldt. The comics do stand-up and then face off against each other to see who can make the funniest lists with prompts from Nick and Evan. The lineups are always diverse and packed with talent and it’s just a super fun show oh and if you win you could get a prize like SEASON TWO OF SCRUBS ON DVD WHHHAAATT!?
NIGHT CHURCH at Sidney’s Saloon is my favorite comedy show in New Orleans right now. It’s just a straightforward bar stand-up show, but it’s run by the two nicest guys on the planet, Benjamin Hoffman and Paul Oswell. They book a super talented and diverse group every week and there is always FREE ICE CREAM. The bar itself is a great in the way that New Orleans bars are: cheap, boozy, and filled with weirdos. The producers regularly use the show as a fundraiser for really good local causes. And I know I already said this, but it’s incredible that there’s always free ice cream–can you even imagine? It’s just a great way to spend a Thursday night.
Easily, the most unique show in Detroit is CHUCKIE FINSTER. It’s a seasonal (not winter) monthly Saturday showcase held at the recycling center, Recycle Here! Producers Brett Mercer and Zechariah Threepwood always cook up an interesting theme for each show. They had a benefit show for Blockbuster video, set up TEDxChuckie Finster talks, and even built a full sized wrestling ring for the Chuckiemania show. Chuckie Finster perfectly highlights what’s great about Detroit’s blossoming independent comedy scene.
Monday nights at STAR BAR is an Atlanta institution & will give any show in the country a run for its money. The crowd of about a hundred fights for like 10 chairs & everyone else just happily stands on their feet & enjoys the show for over 3 hours. It’s been running for over 10 years & now it’s pure, smokey, dirty, filthy, drunken magic every week. The host Rotknee Leete is perfect for that show & has been rallying crowds to put their “dick skinners together” for some of the best comics in the country every week. Scovel, TJ Miller, Hannibal, Ron White, Vanessa Bayer, I mean if a celebrity/comedian has time to spare on a Monday, they should know to come to Star Bar enjoy themselves & then burn their smokey clothes because they’re ruined.
My favorite New York show is HOT SOUP. It’s a show every Tuesday night at The Irish Exit in Midtown. I went to watch it the first week I moved to New York and now, three years into living here, I’ve had the honor of hosting a few times. The room is always packed and it’s separate from the main bar, so even though the show is free, it doesn’t feel like an “ambush bar show.” Also, it has the best drop-ins. I’ve seen Sarah Silverman, Neal Brennan, and Maria Bamford all stop in to do sets before!
SHIT HOLE may sound like it would be bad but it is my favorite show in Chicago. It takes this amazing supportive comedy loving audience and lets performers of all types get up and do their thing. It can take place in their normal space, the attic of a house, or somewhere as out of the box as a pop-up Modern Art Museum. There is always an amazing audience and incredible performers! Message them for details!
RUDYARD’S on a Monday night defies logic for a bar on a weekday. The room is packed and listening every week, the comics who sign up are disproportionately of quality, and it’s been running in this fashion for many years. I think that most of the success of this room can be attributed to the way that the queen of Houston’s current comedy scene, Dusti Rhodes picks the lineup (you have to sign up via email on the Thursday before the show) and how she takes special care to not only to give newer comics a chance to go up in front of a quality crowd, but also to highlight Houston’s amazing and diverse scene.
There are so many great independent shows happening in Cincinnati right now (MOTRMOUTH! FUTURE SCIENCE!), but my favorite one to perform on or to just go watch is THURSDAY NIGHT BUZZ hosted by funny dudes John Schroeck and Josh O’Neill at Myrtle’s Punch House. The show is a fun combo of prepared and improvised stand-up, with goofy scripted pieces and some hilarious culminating Main Event like a rap battle or family feud. They get a great crowd that is always on board for whatever the comedians come up with and the hosts do such a great job of keeping the show fun and silly. Comics always drop in when they are in town, so it’s a great mix of seasoned locals, touring comics and newbies. Plus, the bar sells flights of alcoholic punches– where else can you find that?
My favorite show in Indianapolis is THE ROCKETSHIP COMEDY SUNDAY SHOWCASE at The Alley Cat Lounge. It’s a weekly show which boasts traveling comics and is the best hang for local comics. I’ve been able to see a ton of great comics come through that are part of independent tours or that aren’t working one of the clubs. At the beginning of the show, the bartender Corey makes an awesome announcement that basically boils down to “A show is about to start so shut the hell up or get the hell out!” It’s rad.
One of my favorite shows to do in Tulsa is SOUNDPONY COMEDY HOUR. Soundpony is a really cool place full of people significantly cooler than me, but when they let me be awkward into a mic, I feel I get to even out the balance of cool in the world in some way. The stand-up comedy show, run by Andrew Deacon, (who I’m pretty sure might actually live there) always brings in very funny comedians from lots of different places, from Oklahoma or passing through, which brings a nice variety to the stage. I enjoy doing the show because the Soundpony staff and the audience are always attentive and a really good time. Also, all the bicycles comfort me because I know while they’re hanging up they aren’t being ridden around out in the world for exercise. Which would be disgusting.
My favorite show in Memphis, TN is YOU LOOK LIKE A COMEDY SHOW. While I refer to it as “the cultural appropriation of the dozens,” I have the utmost respect for its creators, Katrina Coleman and Tommy Oler. Set in the smoke-filled walls of the P&H Cafe, You Look Like, is a roast battle with one simple rule: all insults must begin with the phrase ‘You Like…” Contestants go head to head for three rounds and in the end, the winner is crowned. Audience members are encouraged to join in on the hatred, each month when one lucky audience member is chosen to be insulted by the performers. Audience members are given slips of paper called ‘afterburns’ to insult the hosts and featured performers. If you’re easily offended, stay at home, but if you list Schadenfreude as your religion, You Look Like you’d enjoy this show.
CRITICAL COMEDY is the love and hate child of Kristine Levine. She hates regular open mics, thinks they’re a boring grind, so she made hers interactive for the audience and the comedians! The idea is; a comedian goes onstage with new material or material that needs to be worked on / punched up, and comedians in the audience (and sometimes the non-comedian audience members – when they aren’t too drunk) are allowed to quickly give their feedback, tags, directions. Kristine says, “When I first started comedy, we very much had a mentorship thing happening. The older, more experienced comedians would kinda pair up with newer comedians and watch their sets, give them notes, take them on the road and show them the ropes. It feels like we’ve lost that. Lots of comedians are running to the coasts to write for television now. No one wants to work the road, I don’t blame anyone for that, but that buddy system has definitely suffered. I wanted to bring that back a little.” The spontaneity of the show feels electric and encouraging. It’s a seriously good time for all and keeps the comedians and audience members coming back again and again! Critical Comedy can be seen or joined every Wednesday at the Mint on Grant in Tucson, AZ.
Ah man, this is like choosing your favorite kid with so many great options in Boston. Sam Ike and Anjan Biswas run CITYSIDE COMEDY on Mondays and do a great job of showcasing locals and up and coming out-of-towners. Luke Touma and Dylan Krasinski run a great room called THE HIDEOUT right in the heart of Faneuil Hall on Fridays and Sundays. And for something outside of Boston proper, COMEDY NIGHT AT THE SHASKEEN in Manchester, NH run by Nick Lavallee and Dave D’Michael Carter is worth the 45 minute drive to see the best new headliners that come through New England.