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Correction: On Thursday I wrote that Kate McKinnon had moved to LA. She had…but is now back in NYC as the newest cast member of Saturday Night Live! I’m incredibly happy about this, and imagine anyone familiar with Kate’s genius talent is too. Kudos to SNL for making one of the best choices in its 37-year history. You can watch Kate’s wonderful debut here (Bobby Moynihan, playing deadpan, is also way fun)—and tune in for more on NBC tonight at 11:29 pm.
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
[FREE] 6:00 pm: An improv show that asks you to drop written suggestions into a box before it begins and then dips into the collection of suggestions throughout to propel new scenes: The Drop Box
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A comedy quiz show full of heavily researched quirky facts in which brilliant contestants Nate Dern (UCBT Artistic Director), Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion), Beth Appel (Maude Night, This is Not a SketchShow), and Jesse Lee get points if their answers are correct but get more points if their answers are “quite interesting” at UCB East created & hosted by Katey Healy-Wurzburg: The Fascinator
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm (please note this is the new time slot for this show previously on at 10:30; $10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A former staff writer for Saturday Night Live and writer/performer for 30 Rock who’s also performed on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, and an upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Hannibal Buress
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): The co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You and It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken, and a comic who’s performed on HBO,David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Greg Behrendt
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Sharp stand-ups Jared Logan, Amber Nelson, Michelle Wolf, Robbie Collier & Chris Waelti, Nathan Anderson, Eli Sairs, and Bill Squireare performing anything exceptstand-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 produced by Kelly Fastuca, Reid Faylor, and Andrew Short, and hosted tonight by Andrew Short and Tim Dimond: Underbelly
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 ($10): Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1′s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Jade Catta-Preta (CBS’ Two Broke Girls, MTV’s Punk’d), Michael Che (Comedy Central), Sam Morril, and Chris Laker performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It
[$] [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): DC Benny, Mike Britt, “and others” performing 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] 10:00 ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which doesn’t always ht the mark but provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won the 2010 ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group: Murderfist: Late and Dirty
[TOP PICK] [$] 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 Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf—which recently crushed into powder improv troupes The Law Firm and Sandino at Cage Match—makes stuff up at UCB East for an entire hour: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place
[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154, Aquarius) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies.” Joining him is SF fan Steve Siddell (Someday the Cake, The Scene). Tonight’s feature is a clearly stupid and yet quite likeable film about a space war with giant insects that many consider a guilty pleasure: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Starship Troopers
Midnight ($5): Caitlin Bitzegaio directs this UCB Chelsea sketch show that’s “a super-positive lifestyle program for teenage girls hosted by two guys with a huge passion for glossy pop music, Lisa Frank school supplies, and all that the world presents as ‘hip’ to young women during the melodramatic years of adolescence. With help from their outstanding panel of experts, Dan Chamberlain & Jason Flowers rap about entertainment, fashion, boys, and more in an effort to bring empowerment and enlightenment to the teen girl inside all of us:” Cool Show 4 Teen Girlz
[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with host Andy Haynes promising “a rowdy late night comedy melee with beers being thrown, jokes being told, partial nudity, audience participation…there’s no telling what might happen:” Midnight Run
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.