NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 3/31/12

March 31, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Baby Wants Candy

One of the best musical improv troupes in the world performs as Baby Wants Candy...

Jim Norton

...and star stand-up Jim Norton hungers for your presence tonight at Carolines

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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Swagu, Mr. Gorsky, and The Mike Brown Solo Improv Extravaganza at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A screening of the best comedy videos from both UCB’s stage sketch troupes and UCB’s Beta (video only) teams at UCB East hosted by UCB’s super-talented Director of Content and Production Todd Bieber: UCBComedy.com Presents

7:00 pm ($5): Seven improv scenes, each based on one of the seven deadly sins, at The PIT upstairs theatre with Lucas Hazlett and such other talents as Micah Sherman: Se7en Dea7dly S7enes

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, Brandon Gardner, Jed Resnik, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions at UCB Chelsea all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnet making up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up veteran who’s appeared on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Last Comic Standing; hosted the HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; was a cast member of the wonderful though short-lived HBO sitcom Lucky Louie, and performed his own HBO half-hour One Night Stand special; has appeared in such hit films as Spider-Man; is a regular on XM Satellite Radio’s The Opie & Anthony Show; and is the author of the book Happy Endings, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jim Norton

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($30): An award-winning sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar situations & rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

8:00 pm ($5): All-gal stand-up from Annie Lederman, Jen Curran, Francoise Gordon, MIssy Baker, plus guy JF Harris, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Marianne Schaberg with a nod to Marie-Antoinette: Let Them Eat Jokes

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!), Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Mindy Raf (brilliant comedic singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor, YA novelist; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers), and more performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

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

9:00 pm ($7): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The Magnet as troupe Lead McEnroe

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): “Jack Dishel is best known as a songwriter and musician, touring all over the world performing as Only Son and also playing lead guitar in The Moldy Peaches. This year he’s exploded onto the comedy scene, doing a two-month run of hour-long shows at the Sidewalk Cafe—without ever repeating material. It’s sometimes hilarious, sometimes dark, but always interesting. Whether speaking as one of his many characters or in his own voice, his ideas come through loud and clear, and it’s a fast hour. Let’s see what happens when Dishel brings the drunken night club insanity into The PIT downstairs lounge:” Jack Dishel: Shatter Points

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount code SBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv at The Magnet from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($5): All-gal improv at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe Goldie and the Hawns (Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell), plus guest stand-up and sketch gal comics: Boneless! A Night of Women in Comedy

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This new monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill (The Stepfathers): The Lady Jam

Midnight ($5): A late night talk show about music at UCB East hosted by Kevin DeBacker and featuring John Frusciante, Alison Bennett, Domenico Manzolillo, Ann Carr, Becky Mimiaga (musical performer), and Evan Greenspoon (house band): Late Night Rockin’

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 3/30/12

March 30, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Cocoon Central Dance Team

Way fun physical comedy from the Cocoon Central Dance Team...

Jim Norton

...and top stand-up from Jim Norton headlining at Carolines

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A reportedly hilarious trio who do to dance what William Shatner did to song at The PIT upstairs theatre: Cocoon Central Dance Team

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Streeter Seidell (College Humor, Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV, VH1), Josh Carter, Aminah Imani, and Corey Rodrigues performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) for this biweekly stand-up show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): A Magnet improv troupe celebrates its Three Year Anniversary: Chet Atkins

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident in Crisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up veteran who’s appeared on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Last Comic Standing; hosted the HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; was a cast member of the wonderful though short-lived HBO sitcom Lucky Louie, and performed his own HBO half-hour One Night Stand special; has appeared in such hit films as Spider-Man; is a regular on XM Satellite Radio’s The Opie & Anthony Show; and is the author of the book Happy Endings, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jim Norton

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($30): An award-winning sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar situations & rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

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

[$] [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?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, pastry buns, and jello shots at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jonathan Powley: Buns and Puns

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

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Magnet Artistic Director Megan Gray and improv veteran Louis Kornfeld are joined by improv star Christina Gausas (Conan O’Brien, The Colbert Report, Let’s Have a Ball) for this monthly event: Gausas & MegaLou

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” as this UCB Chelsea show: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The BTK Band and The Majestic Sword team up to bring you an epic tale: “Atop a mountain in Scotland, a bolt of lightning split in two and simultaneously struck a group of traveling misfit improvisors and a band whose van had stalled on the side of the road. The groups merged to form an unholy alliance of heavy metal, righteous licks, kick ass beats, and down home dirty improv. The BTK Band and The Majestic Sword will create a fully realized rock opera before your eyes that you will never, ever forget” at The PIT downstairs lounge: An Improvised Rock Opera

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The third annual comedy tournament featuring 40 improv groups…only one of which will survive. Tonight four improv troupes battle for superiority, pride, and glory at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena, Round 3

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

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

11:00 pm ($5): Hip hop musical improv at The PIT downstairs theatre from Nick Brown, Don Romaniello, and Michael Short pretending to be NYC police officers: Rap Crimes Division

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): This Magnet improv show makes clever use of the Web: “Give us a topic, a name, a question on any subject and the cast—including ace improvisors Alex Marino and Jesse Falcon—will answer it using the full power of the Internet and the combined mental acumen of five intellectual juggernauts. Also, maybe some improv. What you will learn cannot be unlearned! What do you want to know?”: Search Engine

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): Comics make up character monologues on the spot—a feat that can be breathtaking when done by geniuses such as Ian Roberts and Daniel Kitson. Come see if tonight’s performers rise to the challenge at The PIT downstairs lounge: Mixed Nuts: An Improvised Character Jamboree

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to try out sketches for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/29/12

March 29, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Craig Rowin

Craig Rowin debuts his sketch play about crime fighting canines from outer space: Dog Fleet...

Janeane Garofalo

...and Janeane Garofalo tells what's likely to be a memorable tale at 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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn (and no guest this week because the show will run only till 7:00): 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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Murray Hill (“drag king”), Hari Kunzru (novelist), and Anya Kamenetz (economic journalist) describing what it’s like to have a dreamy job at UCB Chelsea to host Catie Lazarus with musical accompaniment by Chris Sullivan (a.k.a., Shockwave; amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown) & Arthur Lewis; plus New Yorker cartoonist Farley Katz and character comic Rob Lathan: Employee of the Month

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): A show I know nothing about but has a fun title auditions for a run at the prestigiousUCB Chelsea stage: The Improvised Play Presents An Actor’s Nightmare

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sketch duo BoF (Mamrie Hart and Steve Soroka), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), and Keisha Zollar (Doppleganger) join terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) performing at The PIT basement lounge: Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com, has had his video/film work viewed over 25 million times via such sites asYouTube.comNewYorkTimes.com, and EntertainmentWeekly.com. But before his success, Todd spent a couple of years churning out, as he bluntly puts it, “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania.” If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of ridiculously awful late-night TV ads, or someone who likes to laugh, come enjoy this fascinating and hilarious insider look at microbudget commercials and the creative process (for a trailer, please click here). Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, this is one of the very best solo shows in NYC: Commercial Interruption

…and in the second half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, the debut of a sketch play about crime fighting dogs from outer space co-written and co-starring Craig Rowin, and performed by such other stars as Neil Casey, Sue Galloway, Jim Santangeli , Rob Lathan, and Lou Perez: Dog Fleet

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up veteran who’s appeared on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Last Comic Standing; hosted the HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; was a cast member of the wonderful though short-lived HBO sitcom Lucky Louie, and performed his own HBO half-hour One Night Stand special; has appeared in such hit films asSpider-Man; is a regular on XM Satellite Radio’s The Opie & Anthony Show; and is the author of the book Happy Endings, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jim Norton

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Alan Fessenden directing The Monoscene (an improvised play that takes place entirely in one location with no edits of any kind), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): 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!

[$] [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): Vanessa Bayer (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Jen Kirkman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), and more performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster): Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced by 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this 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 (no cover, 1-item min.): John Moses, Corey Reppond, Matt Graham, and Benjamin Walker performing 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 ($10): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Catie Lazarus (host of Employee of the Month), David Henry Sterry (Sex Worker Literati, The Art of the Memoir), Aaron Wolfe (two-time winner of The Moth StorySLAM), and William Mullin performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme Clusterfuck at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Comedy troupe Private Cabin has been skewering trashy cinema since 2010 via its podcast, and tonight will “chronicle our love for that noblest of all on-screen losers: the degenerate alcoholic. Come on out for a smashed evening of comedy and performance, including a plethora of hand-picked film clips guaranteed to make you run for the bottle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: We Hate Movies

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Weststage—along with the Found Footage Festival (sharing hilariously odd amateur videos), and stand-ups Emily Axford and Josh Ruben—at CollegeHumor Live

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Shannon O’Neil (comedy genius), Morgan Grace Jarrett (wonderful comedic actress), and Lydia Hensler (don’t know her but am guessing she’s keen too) host a showcase of female comics at UCB East who include Laura Grey (sketch), Halle Keifer (stand-up), and Cocoon (dance moves), and Emily Axford (songs): Ladies Night: Men Welcome

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In the most unpredictable show at UCB Chelsea, last week Airwolf utterly crushed the seemingly unstoppable champion North Coast 105-50. Tonight the new king of improv will compete with the US National Improv Team for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 3/28/12

March 28, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Scott Adsit and John Lutz

One of the finest comedy duos alive improvise scenes with breathtaking intelligence and skill as John & Scott

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 to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet brand house troupes The Surge, Leviathan, Grappler, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Brick, Horses, and Featherweight performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Leviathan at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): John Moses (Rooftop Comedy), Naomi Ekperigin (5 Funny Females), BRAD LOEKLE (TruTV, host of Electroshock Therapy Comedy), and Brea Tremblay performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with host Selena Coppock: Connotation

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[$] [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?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (for their photos, please click here) performing at the East Village’sBeauty Bar with hosts Negin Farsad, Amy Albert, and Beth McGregor for their free weekly showComedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Stand-ups Luke Thayer and Toby Muresianu, musician Jen Kwok, and improv troupe Trowbridget performing at this free biweekly variety show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, Ophira Eisenberg, Anthony Atamanuik, Seth Lind, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s theme Coming CleanThe Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform along with side-show attractions such as jugglers, contortionists, and fire eaters at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience: Abigoliah’s Bizzarre Bazaar

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes delightful rising star Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger, The Prom) as host, plus such guests as fiercely talented Nicole Byer (Doppelganger, The Bachelor) and the delightfully exposed Julia Wiedeman (Naked People); for the complete list, please click here. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 3/27/12

March 27, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Judah Friedlander

Judah Friedlander helps celebrate a move to Pianos for the super-hosts of Comic Book Club...

Jen Kirkman

...and Jen Kirkman (above), Jessi Klein, and Hannibal Buress perform at Sweet

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: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Judah Friedlander (30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody) and Joe Kelly joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture The debut of this wonderful show about comic books at its brand new location Pianos (158 Ludlow Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Mannhattan 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), delightful sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1), Emmy Blotnick, David Smithyman, and Brendan McLaughlin performing at UCB East for a comedy variety show produced by Sara Schaefer & Scott Moran: Hot Dang

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentaryMetaphyiscal GraffitiHigh Times),Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Tony Camin (HBO, Comedy Central, The Marijuana-Logues), and more performing at Lolita Bar hosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Mr. Crime, Very Good Kiss, Dance Break, Sandino, and Still Mike—and at 11:00 pm advanced improv students make up two complete documentary films—all at Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Pat Bellatina “being selected as the keynote speaker at his former high school’s commencement. Will he be brave enough to admit that he knows nothing? This comedic musical memoir explores the illusion of success, the joys of lying, and growing up in the Bronx while pretending you didn’t” at The PIT upstairs theatre following a sold-out run at Ars Nova: No No No Yes

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Mint Condition and Rosencrantz

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, one-hour Comedy Central special), Jen Kirkman (Comedy Central,Chelsea Lately), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Kevin McCaffrey, Robert Dean, and more performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Steve O’Brien and produced by Sean Donnelly: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at Luca Lounge(222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by twins Adam & Todd Stone, who for this weekly show leave behind their trademark suits: Jackets Off

9:30 pm ($5): Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Phoebe Robinson (100 TV Shows To See Before You Die), and Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream) performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up and sketch at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, typically hosted by sketch troupes Savage Animal and/or Jerk Practice: Savage Animal

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): A weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, from two of the most brilliant, fearless, and innovative comics in the biz, John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central) and Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives) at UCB East. Tonight’s guests are stand-ups Seaton Smith, Jacqueline Novak, and Ben Asher: The Tony and Johnny Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Donnell Rawllings (Chappelle’s Show, Chelsea Lately, MTV’s Hatin’), Al Madrigal (correspondent on The Daily Show), Rory Albanese (Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Helen Hong (E!, TLC), and Mike Cannon (VH1) performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: 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] 11:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/26/12

March 26, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Amy Rutberg

Stellar theatre actresses Amy Rutberg...

Cristin Miloti

...Cristin Miloti...

Jenn Gambatese

...Jenn Gambatese, and more crash theatre into improv at Gravid Water

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with each of the four audience members chosen from the bucket of names getting to tell tales for 7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Carol Hartsell’s & John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[TOP PICK] 7:15 pm: Before tonight’s Hot Tub Variety begins at 8:00, comedy giant Kristen Schaal will be cleaning house by selling various items she no longer needs—clothing, props, an espresso maker, “and some other incredibly cool stuff from her incredibly cool apartment”—to raise money for the venue where the sale takes place, Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street), so come early and Buy Kristen Schaal’s Cool Stuff

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Broadway & off-Broadway stars Jenn Gambatese (Broadway: Is He Dead?, Hairspray, Tarzan, All Shook Up, Footloose), Cristin Miloti (30 Rock; Broadway: Once, Coram Boy, The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Stephen Ruddy (Skype Duet, Chekhov’s Gun), Amy Rutberg (The Divine Sister, Recount, Our Leading Lady), and Amy Warren (Adding Machine,Broadway: August: Osage County) mixing it up with stellar improvisors Scott Adsit (30 Rock, Moral Orel, John & Scott), Michael Delaney (Conan O’Brien, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Stepfathers), John Lutz (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, John & Scott), and Arden Myrin (MadTV, Chelsea Lately, Kinsey) as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): A stand-up superstar so big that I can’t mention his name, but think pale and food-obsessed; plus Ben Kronberg (Comedy Central) and Scott Moran (co-host of Hot Dang) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

8:00 pm ($5): Writers from the UCB community were asked to write a TV pilot. The two scripts selected as the best will be performed as staged readings tonight at UCB East, which the one receiving the most audience votes going on to a finalist showdown in May: Creative Control: TV Pilot Edition

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Charlie Kasov, Gary Vider, Lauren Vino, Tim Warner, Zach McGovern, and Freddy Sheffield performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Michael Che, and/or Mike Denny: Broken Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): Twins Todd & Adam Stone perform stand-up and more at this monthly show at The PIT, along with comedy guests (not announced): Stone and Stone Show

8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, sketch or improv from Old Timey Radio; and in the other half of this double-bill, Kevin Cobbs & Alessandro King perform sketch or improv set in old-time Hollywood in Listen, Kid!

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Celebrating this show’s First Year Anniversary is a killer great lineup: 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.), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’sBest Week Ever; co-host of Hot Dang and hit podcast You Had to Be There), Patrick Borelli (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, and previously for Conan O’Brien; Adult Swim, ESPN; author of book Holy Headshot!), Amanda Melson (Comedy Central), and musical guest Kent Odessa performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; TLC, trutV; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click hereand here) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Jonathan Blank and Samara Doucette say what everyone else thinks on dates, but never says; so join them and guest comedians as they divulge all of their wildest and most embarrassing dating stories. This monthly storytelling show contains the truth and nothing but the truth, but most of the stories are more surreal than if David Lynch directed romantic comedies. Everything from wild hookups to emotional breakups are on the table.” Tonight’s storytelling guests at The PIT upstairs theatre are Ben Lillie (host of The Story Collider) and Erin Barker: This is Awkward

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Improv spinning off sets by NYC stand-ups, with the improvisors including such talents as Micah Sherman, Bob Kulhan (Baby Wants Candy), Tim Martin (Airwolf), Jon Karpinos (iO Chicago), and Sarah Nowak (Second City, The Baldwins), all performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Micah Sherman: Fun

9:30 pm ($5): Two brand new UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: Charlemagne (which includes such talents as Leslie Meisel) and Beige: Maude Night: Beige &Charlemagne

9:30 pm ($5): Some of NYC’s best independent improv troupes show off what they can do at UCB EastIndie Improv Showcase

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens” at The Magnet hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who haven’t yet been announced, but you can check for an update here—performing at UCB Chelsea and hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic at The PITupstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 3/25/12

March 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan headlines one last night at Carolines...

Pendulum Swings

...and Jason Trachtenburg's Pendulum Swings (above), Ben Lerman, and other superb musicians perform at Vintage Vantage Variety Show

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] 2:00 pm ($8): Select best clips of Muppets from last year’s feature film (coming out in DVD this month) and other treasured Muppet moments screened at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, plus Muppet-themed drink specials, cool giveaways, sing-along fun, and more: The Muppet Vault: DVD Release Party

[FREE] 2:00 pm: The students of David Fino’s latest improvisational puppetry graduating class show off their skills at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Puppetry for Improv

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Magnet sketch comics performing new material: Ripe Sketch Comedy

[FREE] 6:00 pm: “Are ready for something sweet and something spicy? Long form improv that will satisfy your hunger” hosted by sharp UCBT comic Andy Rocco at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Candy Taco Improv Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & R an Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tracy Morgan

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots) returns to The PIT upstairs theatre to host “a unique talk show experience that needs to be experienced to be experienced. There will be plenty of bits, skits, chits and chats, and maybe that pretty girl you saw on the 6 train last night will be in the audience! It’s a big city, but you run into people,” with tonight’s wonderful guests Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami,The Dave Hill Explosion, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; upcoming book Tasteful Nudes), Mike Lacher (author of On the Bro’d, creator of Web sites The Geocities-izer and Muppets with People Eyes), and Adam Newman (Comedy Central, College Humor): Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Typically terrific stand-ups (not yet announced, but for an update please click here) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by comedy giant Eugene Mirman: Pretty Good Friends

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel), Ryan Conner (writer for Saturday Night Live), Tim Warner, and more performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Magnet sketch comics performing new material (for a fun sample co-starring Danielle Tolley about dating a telemarketer, please click here): Alchemy

8:00 pm ($5): Short-form improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Sunday ShortForm Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($8): A musical comedy evening with Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Michael Haar (vintage singer, barber to the stars), wonderful band Pendulum Swings, and more performing atUnder St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Kyle Supley and guest host Greg Stone: Vintage Vantage Variety Show

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced this week) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue), probably with a guest host: Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced this week) performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at the Beauty Bar

9:30 pm ($5): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, TruTV, Tyra Banks), Jami Smith (comedy writer & tweeter for The Advocate), and Adam Lehman (HereTV’s Hot Gay Comics) performing at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may includeyouImprov Nerds Jam

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($5): Magnet improvisor Benjamin Jones makes up scenes on his own, and then the Magnet Touring Company (which includes improv master Ed Herbstman) performs: Just Ben and Magnet TourCo

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 3/24/12

March 24, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

UCBW WrestleSlamMania VII

Genuine mock battles, live on stage, at tonight's epic UCBW WrestleSlamMania VII

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] 3:00 pm to 1:00 am (prices vary by show; $45 festival pass lets you see everything):The PIT is aiming to begin a proud tradition with its first annual improv festival. Will it be competitive with UCB’s legendary summer Del Close Marathon? Read about the new festival here, check out its entire schedule here, and then come out to enjoy this final night of The PIT’s First Annual NYC Improv Festival

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes The Andrews Sisters, Orange Augustus, and LD50 at The Magnetkicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, Brandon Gardner, Jed Resnik, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions at UCB Chelsea all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm & 12:30 am ($60 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlines at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tracy Morgan

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC comics performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this talk & stand-up show hosted by Sarah Tollemache: Last Night

8:30 pm ($10): Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), Greg Johnson (Sirius XM Radio), Alice Wetterlund, and Team Submarine performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

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

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($7): Five veteran improvisors make stuff up at The Magnet as troupe Lead McEnroe

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sharp NYC stand-ups are invited to perform anything except stand-up—e.g., sketch, storytelling, improv, songs, dance, puppetry, and things we can’t even imagine—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Kelly Fastuca, Reid Faylor, and Andrew Short: Underbelly

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv at The Magnet from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “For over six years, you have been able to count on the UCBW to bring you hot comedy wrestling action each and every Thursday night at Cage Match. For an unprecedented seventhyear, UCBW will present its signature show—the grandpappy of ‘em all—WrestleSlamMania VII! Rivalries have been brewing, and everything will come to a full boil when the full stable of UCBW MegaStars appears in the squared circle! Hilarious real wrestling matches live! Get your tickets NOW! Only 14,000 seats available!:” WrestleSlamMania VII: The Final Orbit

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

Midnight ($5): Michelle Wolf (co-host of Fresh), Dave Rosinsky, JF Harris, Eli Sairs, and Jake Young performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) participate in the fake taping of a bad late-night TV comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Brad SteuernagelComedians Off Of the Leash

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 3/23/12

March 23, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Boo Boo Darlin'

Burlesque star Boo Boo Darlin' performs at Livia's Castle of Enchantment...

Todd Barry

...and TV & movie star Todd Barry headlines at the Carolines Comedy Club

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] 6:00 pm to midnight (prices vary by show; buy $45 festival pass to see everythingthrough Saturday): The PIT is aiming to begin a proud tradition with its first annual improv festival. Will it be competitive with UCB’s legendary summer Del Close Marathon? Read about the new festival here, check out its entire schedule here, and then come out to explore The PIT’s First Annual NYC Improv Festival

6:00 pm ($5): Improv at The Magnet from house troupes Brick, Junior Varsity, and Chet Watkins

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

8:30 pm ($5): Improv at The Magnet revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies” in Double Date; plus improv troupe Honey

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident inCrisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($18.86 online with code TODDB, plus 2-drink minimum): One of the finest stand-ups alive—with appearances on HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central PresentsThe Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, and feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead—headlining for tonight only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Todd Barry

[FREE] 8:00 pm: The third annual comedy tournament featuring 40 improv groups…only one of which will survive. Tonight four improv troupes battle for superiority, pride, and glory at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena 2012, Round Two

[$] [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?

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

8:30 pm ($10): Theatrical sketch comedy at The Magnet that features “three cowboys settling their score the old-fashioned way; an old Broadway star attempting her long-anticipated comeback; in a blatantly self-referential sketch, a young comedian trying to convince his friend to come see his show,” and more at Citizen Models

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life has itself been resurrected at UCB East, with magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’BrienLaw & OrderDirty Movie) hosting tonight as Emily Dickinson. Joining the party will be Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), Boo Boo Darlin’ (New York Burlesque Festival 2010 Winner), and Greg Johnson (Sirius Radio host): Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe Casual Sex Offenders at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: CSO Improv Comedy

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to try out sketches for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/22/12

March 22, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Dave Hill

Everyone's friend Dave revives The Dave Hill Explosion...

Tracy Morgan

...and Tracy Morgan headlines tonight and this weekend at Carolines

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

 [TOP PICK] 6:00 pm to midnight (prices vary by show; buy $45 festival pass to see everythingthrough Saturday): The PIT is aiming to begin a proud tradition with its first annual improv festival. Will it be competitive with UCB’s legendary summer Del Close Marathon? Read about the new festival here, check out its entire schedule here, and then come out to explore The PIT’s First Annual NYC Improv Festival

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Ashley Ward (ace improvisor who performs with Baby Wants Candy, Diamond LionBig Black Car, and Taco Supreme) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB Easthosted by John Flynn: 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

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Stand-up and stage magic are combined at UCB Chelsea by Harrison Greenbaum, a comic who’s devoted a lot of time and passion to both fields, resulting in both laughs and tricks you won’t have a clue how he pulled off: Harrison Greenbaum: What Just Happened?

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, the audition of a show I know nothing about but has the fun title Urban Dictionary Jeopardy

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): Renowned comedy group The Harvard Lampoon celebrates the publication of its book parody of The Hunger Games at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): The Harvard Lampoon: The Hunger Pains

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The screening of “hilarious 30-60 second created-on-spec commercials from UCB and NYC’s advertising community. Vote for your favorite; the winner gets a $1,000 prize” at UCB East—but what does the audience  get for watching all those commercials? Hosted by Sound Lounge: The Great Sell Out

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlines at the Carolines Comedy Club tonight, Saturday, and Sunday: Tracy Morgan

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a troupe specializing in meta-comedy—that is, comedy about the process of making comedy—performs their most meta show yet, which is billed as a “best of” show but actually is a series of internal spats that delay any of the promised sketches from being performed. It’s smart and clever, and all four members of the group are highly appealing. But it’s such a purely “from the head, not the heart” show that it feels increasingly repetitive and one-note as it goes on. I wish the guys had been less concerned with the purity of their one-joke idea and more with creating an emotional rollercoaster experience for the audience. (The reason their best sketch ever is a spelling bee for fart jokes is because it’s a perfect blend of their conceptual approach with laugh-out-loud funny. Sadly, no such sketch is in this show…) If you like concept comedy, though, these guys are great at it; and you’re likely to enjoy at least the first 10 minutes before the novelty wears off from Pangea 3000: 12 Years of Hard Work

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a parody of The Bachelor written by UCBT faves Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN, writer or director of numerous UCBT sketch shows) and Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox, Pig: A Restaurant), and worth catching if only to experience the delicious comedic performances of standouts Morgan Grace Jarrett (Big Fish, Love Liza, Buffy fan) and Nicole Byer (Doppelganger)—who are especially fun when they turn into an unlikely a comedy duo…: The Bachelor: Romance, Roses, and Romance

[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?

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, and Phooka performing improv, followed at 10:00 pm by Alan Fessenden directing The Monoscene (an improvised play that takes place entirely in one location with no edits of any kind), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with last week’s winner competing against Rubin: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): 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), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), and Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here) performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author ofLook At This F*cking Hipster): Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced by 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this 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 (no cover, 1-item min.): Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, co-host of podcastYou Had to Be There), Pat O’Shea (host of Ed Sullivan on Acid), Jay Nog, and Adam Conover performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for this weekly comedy show that tonight is guest-hosted by Emmy Blotnick and produced by Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Jon Benjamin (star/creator of  Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van; FOX, Adult Swim, MTV’s Human Giant), musical guest Suzzy Roche (of The Roches), and surprises from host Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; upcoming book Tasteful Nudes) at The Dave Hill Explosion

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast squeaked by to victory last week against Very Good Kiss, winning 70-66. Did Kiss kill? Or is the NC juggernaut, with four victories in a row, starting to lose steam? The latter theory will be tested tonight by Airwolf as it competes for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Sketch/parody, plus some audience interaction, at UCB EastThe Hunger Games: A Bit Show

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,324 other followers