NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/30/12

April 30, 2012

Ack! Major tech problems have
obliterated the chance to do Monday’s listings.

All should be fixed by this evening, and
Tuesday May 1st’s listings will be up by midnight (or sooner).

 Meanwhile, one quick plug: See Broadway’s Seminar
with Jeff Goldblum, Justin Long, and Zoe Lister-Jones.
For my mini-review, please click here.

Seminar on Broadway

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 4/29/12

April 29, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Secrets of the Muppets

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at Jim Henson's creations at Secrets of the Muppets...

Anthony Jeselnik

...and don't miss the last chance to see Anthony Jeselnik having fun 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:

[TOP PICK] 2:00 pm ($8): Select “behind the scenes” clips of the Muppets screened at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, plus Muppet-themed drink specials, cool giveaways, sing-along fun, and more:” The Muppet Vault: Secrets of the Muppets

[FREE] 2:00 pm-10:00 pm: An annual improv event running for its final 8 hours today at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:  The Fourth Annual Creek Improv Festival

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

6:00 pm ($5): A monthly selection of NYC indie improv troupes at UCB East, tonight hosted by group Jump on Three: Indie improv Showcase

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

7:00 pm ($8): Young improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Shady Bunch

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBwest’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 & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) Anthony Jeselnik is one of my favorite stand-ups of all time, with a special gift for crafting dark and shocking short jokes, and a lightning-quick mind that allows him to play with any audience in the moment. This genius Emmy-nominated comic is a former writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon, and has also performed on Conan O’Brien, HBO, aComedy Central Presents half-hour special, and his hit comedy CD Shakespeare. Don’t miss Anthony headlining this closing night at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Greatest: Anthony Jeselnik

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Jeff Simmerman (The Moth GrandSlam Champion), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by comedy giant Eugene Mirman: Pretty Good Friends

[$] 8:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A TV & movie star who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, NBC, ABC, FX, and has starred in three Comedy Central specials, headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Adam Ferrara

8:00 pm ($5): “When Charlie Tickertape is cozily nestled in his converted cabinet-drawer bed, and Irv Newberg has fallen asleep on a giant pile of money, they dream about Tim Allen, butlers who are brothers, Alfred Hitchcock, Ronald Reagan, and Paris Hilton. It’s Listen, Kid!’s first-ever sketch show:” Listen, Kid! Presents Hollyweird Dreams

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1′s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Damien Lemon (MTV2′s Guy Code), Sean Donnelly, and Tyler Fisch (host of Fresh Fisch) 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): Short-form improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Sunday ShortForm Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Clayton English, Kate Hendricks, Joel Walkowski, Kelly Fastuca, and Ricarlo Flanagan 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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Louis Katz (HBO, Comedy Central), Baratunde Thurston (Digital Editor of The Onion), Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, TruTV, Tyra Banks), Retta, Chris Cotton, and Leonard Robinson performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special): Comedy Night

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

9:30 pm ($5): Abbi Crutchfield (delightful co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room) and Ryan Connor (SNL’s Weekend UpdateThe Onion), improv troupe Barnstormer, and more performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Daws of Jeath

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the my favorite writer/actress/improvisors, the brilliant and luminous Lauren Olson, teams with Jon Bander and Karsten Cross at The Magnet to perform at improv trio Mr. Gorsky

[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: Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Selena Coppock (author of The New Rules for Blondes), and Adam Lehman (Here TV, Logo) 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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 4/28/12

April 28, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Janeane Garofalo and Andy Blitz

Comedy stars Janeane Garofalo & Andy Blitz do stand-up at If You Build It...

Anthony Jeselnik and Ed Herbstman

...Anthony Jeselnik continues his headlining run at Carolines; and improv master Ed Herbstman performs back-to-back at "Herbstman & Razowsky" and "Wishes"

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] 2:00 pm-2:00 am: An annual improv event running for 12 hours today and 8 hours tomorrow at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Fourth Annual Creek 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 downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 5:30 pm: Superb sketch comics Neil Casey, Sue Galloway, Mary Grill, and more audition their favorite comedic characters at UCB East in hopes of nabbing a spot at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival: Just For Laughs Character Auditions

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes True Story with the Moscow River Sharks, Ryanna, and Old Timey Radio at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Cartoonists Lisa Hanawalt and Domitille Collardey, stand-ups Matt McCarthy and Adam Conover, and more present comedic cartoons and tell jokes at UCB Easthosted by Julia Wertz: Museum of Mistakes Presents For My Mom

[TOP PICK] 7:30 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 “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) Anthony Jeselnik is one of my favorite stand-ups of all time, with a special gift for crafting dark and shocking short jokes, and a lightning-quick mind that allows him to play with any audience in the moment. This genius Emmy-nominated comic is a former writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon, and has also performed on Conan O’Brien, HBO, a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, and his hit comedy CD Shakespeare. Don’t miss Anthony headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Greatest: Anthony Jeselnik

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A TV & movie star who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, NBC, ABC, FX, and has starred in three Comedy Central specials, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Adam Ferrara

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Sean Donnelly, and Alex Grubard performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Two master improvisors at The Magnet who will dazzle you: Ed Herbstman & David Razowsky

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star 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), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here),Thomas Dale (Sirius Radio), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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 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] [$] 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): 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” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and has so far crushed five improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): Master improvisors Ed Herbstman & David Razowsky, plus a few other guys, make up scenes at The Magnet springboarding off your deepest desires: Wishes

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

Midnight ($5): Two relatively obscure sketch troupes, Dinner For One and Busted Knuckle, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by sketch troupe Sidecar:Backyard Brawl

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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/27/12

April 27, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Anthony Jeselnik

Stand-up comedy giant Anthony Jeselnik...

...continues his headlining run 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:

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: An annual improv event running eight hours tonight and most of this weekend atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Fourth Annual Creek Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Ace Magnet improvisors who are married with kids—and who sometimes include improv genius Ed Herbstman, plus Melanie Hoopes, Matt Evans, Christine Walters, Maggie Kemper, Robert Cuthill, Ari Voukydis, Ryan Rodgers, Michele Laikowski, and/or Kelly Moylan: The Mamas and the Papas

7:00 pm ($8): At this PIT double-bill, Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure” as Hodapp & Rothwell, and then all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal Improvisors who’ve previously created viral sketch videos performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Candy Slice Comedy

[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, with tonight’s special guests Eliza Skinner (musical improv genius; Baby Wants Candy) and Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers): Diamond Lion

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) Anthony Jeselnik is one of my favorite stand-ups of all time, with a special gift for crafting dark and shocking short jokes, and a lightning-quick mind that allows him to play with any audience in the moment. This genius Emmy-nominated comic is a former writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon, and has also performed on Conan O’Brien, HBO, a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, and his hit comedy CD Shakespeare. Don’t miss Anthony headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Greatest: Anthony Jeselnik

[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: 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 in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): A charming monthly comedy variety show, tonight featuring Emily Blotnik (stand-up), Paul Oddo (storyteller), Squirt (improv troupe), and more performing at ABC No Rio (156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton) hosted by the wonderful Bridgid Ryan and her improv/sketch troupe Chester (Bridgid Ryan, Sunita Mani, Bryan Rucker, Zack Willis, Caitlin Steitzer, and Adam Jacobson): Don’t You Find Us Charming?

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.):A TV & movie star who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, NBC, ABC, FX, and has starred in three Comedy Central specials, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Adam Ferrara

8:30 pm ($7): An hour of all-new sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name: We’re Matt Weir: Reheated Destiny

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), TV & movie star 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), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here),Thomas Dale (Sirius Radio), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[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): A brand new weekend improv troupe at UCB East spearheaded by Nate Dern in which an audience member is interviewed about his or her love life as the springboard for inventive comedic scenes: What I Did For Love

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

9:30 pm ($5): “Where there is a stage and a piano, she will be there. Where there are strangers with embarrassing stories, she will be there. Where there is a group of people willing to sit and watch someone make up songs, she will be there. A one-woman musical improv journey through the lives of the audience. You tell the story, Rebecca Vigil sings the soundtrack” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Vigilante

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Stand-up & improvisors Emily Heller, The Vigilante, We’re Matt Weir, Liam McEneaney, Ben Kissel, and Jenn Dodd joining terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) at The PIT basement lounge: Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, 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 downstairs 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 prestigiousUCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/26/12

April 26, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For  favorite Anthony Jeselnik relationship jokes, please click here.

Anthony Jeselnik

One of my all-time favorite stand-ups, Anthony Jeselnik, headlines tonight through Sunday 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:

[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 tonight’s guest host Eddie Dunn (Airwolf): Oh, Hey Guys!

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

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows about which I know nothing audition for a regular spot on the prestigiousUCB Chelsea schedule: The Honeymen Present: A Salute to Honey! and The Murder Of Miko Freeling. These might be great or awful; but at $2.50 per show, you can’t go far wrong either way. That’s part of the fun of Spank

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Wow. Stephen J. Dubner, the co-author of Freakonomics (one of the seminal works of our time…); plus Kambri Crews (author of Burn Down the Ground) and Baratunde Thurston (Digital Editor for The Onion, author of How to Be Black) describing what it’s like to have a dreamy job at UCB Chelsea to host Catie Lazarus (whose birthday is today!) 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 character comic Rob Lathan & Jason Shebiro: Employee of the Month

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

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) Anthony Jeselnik is one of my favorite stand-ups of all time, with a special gift for crafting dark and shocking short jokes, and a lightning-quick mind that allows him to play with any audience in the moment. This genius Emmy-nominated comic is a former writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon, and has also performed on Conan O’Brien, HBO, aComedy Central Presents half-hour special, and his hit comedy CD Shakespeare. Don’t miss Anthony headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: The Greatest: Anthony Jeselnik

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

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) audition at UCB Chelsea for a spot at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival: Just For Laughs Auditions

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 Mark Grenier directing The Bat (improvised scenes that happen entirely in the dark), and then at 11:00 improv competitionInspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with troupe Theory of Everything battling last week’s winner for laughs & votes: The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 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

[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): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (staff writer for Jimmy FallonConan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon; co-host of Too Cool For School and If You Build It), and Eliza Skinner (Conan O’Brien, Showtime, MTV, TBS, AMC, co-host of weekly stand-up show Magic Bag with DC Pierson in LA) performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (writer for Adult Swim’s DelocatedConan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Morgan Ruzzo (Girl Junk), Selena Coppock (author of The New Rules For Blondes, Moth StorySlam winner), and Ariana Seigel (The People’s Sketch Association, Boombox Kids) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme My Way at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Weststage—including stand-ups Streeter Seidell, Alex Schmidt, and Jake O’Donnell—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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Airwolf continues its brutal domination, winning its fifth consecutive victory last week against Warren by 121 to 61. Tonight’s bloodbath victim is Spooky Ghost. Come see Airwolf murder a creature already dead as these comics compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge for this new themed show: The Tarantino

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Nick Turner, Jamie Lee, Dan Soder, Leah Bonnema, Tony Zaret, and Jim Tews performing at UCB East hosted by Amber Nelson and Rob Stern: Late Night Stand

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 4/25/12

April 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Cat Unemployment

Sharp storytellers who have had tough times with jobs tells tales about "How I Learned It's a Living"

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 5:00 pm: Sketch comics—including such superb talents as Lauren Olson, Nicole Byer, and Meghan O’Neill—audition their funniest characters at The Magnet for a performance spot at the prestigious Montreal comedy festival: Just for Laughs Auditions

[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 Grappler, Leviathan, The Surge, The Wrath, Featherweight, Brick, Horses, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Wrath at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Maude Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Graceland and Kinsey: Lloyd Night

7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups & storytellers (not announced) performing at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) hosted by Selena Coppock—whose birthday is today: Connotation

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Tales of working and unemployment, with stellar storytellers Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!), Ben Lillie (host of The Story Collider), Jessica Courtney Maum (Adult Swim), Tyler Coates, and Greg Olear performing at Happy Ending (302 Broome Street) hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned It’s a Living—Stories from the Unemployed, Underemployed, and Working Stiffs

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Molly Knefel (member of superb improv troupe Naked in a Fishbowl) and her brother John Knefel (veteran stand-up) host this monthly comedy show, with tonight’s guests Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1′s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Kevin Barnett (College Humor), and Robert Dean performing stand-up at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, off Thompson Street): John and Molly Get Along

[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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a musical about 19th century New York in which “uptown the aristocrats and robber barons think they own the city, while downtown thieves, pimps, and she-males believe they do; but the real kings of the city, the only truly free ones, are the news boys—and for some reason, they’re all British!,” with book & lyrics by Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau & Kevin Carter, and direction by Christopher Gladysz & Lauren Conlin Adams: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a show for which I had high hopes since some of my fondest childhood memories are of Krypto and his Space Canine Patrol Agents (S.C.P.A.). But this ain’t that. Instead, it’s a deliberately dumb version of Saturday morning cartoon shows that demonstrates little respect, affection, or wit towards its source material. The only notable elements are Neil Casey, who is hilarious as an evil alien; Rob Lathan as Neil’s lackey; and Sue Galloway as the gal even dog creatures want to make out with. This could have been so much more, especially with the brilliant Craig Rowin as co-writer; but instead it’s merely Dog Fleet

[TOP PICK] [FREE—including FREE PIZZA] 8:00 pm: Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1′s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Adam Lowitt (Producer of The Daily Show), Nick Cobb, and Susana Perlman performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar with hosts Amy Albert & Beth McGregor for their free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

8:00 pm ($5): At this unique new comedic storytelling show, “each performer narrates while panelists interrupt and interject until the funniest truth comes out,” with tonight’s guests including Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award) talking on the theme Fresh Start at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Nina Mozes (Risk!, Stuckey & Murray): Please Interrupt Me

[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

[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

[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, Anthony Atamanuik, Jon Gabrus, Juliet Hope Wayne, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s theme Ambition: The 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] 10:00 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: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes Katey Healy-Wurzburg, Leslie Meisel, and Annie Lederman; 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

11:00 pm ($5): Stand-up, sketch, improv, and chats about books at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Brennan Lee Mulligan & Jessica Rionero: Book Club

[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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/24/12

April 24, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Bill Hader

Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader is at Comic Book Club...

Sean Patton

...comedy genius Sean Patton (who delivered one of the all-time great sets last night at Whiplash) hosts auditions at LIC's The Creek for Jimmy Fallon...

Ahna Tessler

...and Ahna Tessler performs at The Tony and Johnny 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:

[FREE] 6:30 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 Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Saturday Night Live’s razor-sharp and incredibly likeable Bill Hader joins super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Pianos (158 Ludlow Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Jon Daly (hilarious surreal character actor/improvisor; The Life & Times of Tim, Jon Daly’s Rafflecast, College Road Trip), Megan Ganz (writer for NBC’s Community), Ryan Clauson, Kate Hendricks, and “a secret musician” performing at Lolita Bar hosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 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’Brien, Law & Order, Dirty Movie) hosting tonight as Mike Wallace (too soon?). Joining the party will be sharp sketch comic/improvisor Sue Galloway (30 Rock, Pose, The Law Firm), stand-up Seaton Smith, and musical guests Mike Milazzo & Bamboo Silva: Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

8:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes The Pox, Creature, GoodGirl, Sandino, and Johnny Romance—and at 11:00 pm advanced improv students make up two complete documentary films—all at Harold Night

[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: Rosencrantz and BEEES!

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer, Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Jaqueline Novak, Roger Hailes, and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) guest-hosted tonight by Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, three Comedy Central specials): Sweet

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Superb NYC stand-ups Marina Franklin, Jay Oakerson, and more audition for one of the most prestigious gigs in comedy at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by comedy giant Sean Patton (who performed one of the most brilliant sets anyone’s ever seen last night at Whiplash…which Leo Allen then hilariously described as “Sean’s pitch for a Disney movie”): Jimmy Fallon Showcase

[TOP PICK] 9:30 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 with tonight’s guests star storyteller Tom Shillue (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Ted Travelstead (Vanity Fair; author of Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk), and Ahna Tessler (sketch comic; writer for NBC, FOX, ABC; New Yorker cartoon deconstructionist): The Tony and Johnny Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Terrific comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, a.k.a. Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, back from their second year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they were proclaimed “biggest revelation” by the Guardian, performing a new sketch show about reality TV at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Underdeveloped and Overexposed Life and Death of Deena Domino

9:30 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting),Calvin Cato (host of The Pre-Game Show), and Ken Schultz performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Louis Katz (HBO, Comedy Central),Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), and more 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 BEEES! 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] 11:00 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.


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