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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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Jim Santangeli (beloved improvisor & sketch comic who’s currently making a video a day) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a witty and ultimately exhilarating exploration of baring it all by fabulous long-time nudist Julia Wiedeman. Julie is a charismatic actress whose star is just starting to rise, and is well worth catching even beyond the enjoyment of her playful beauty. Check out promo videos here and here and here, and then run to see Naked People…
…and in the second half of this double-bill, a one-woman show by Sue Smith about anger, directed by the always inventive and delightful Laura Grey: Minimum Rage
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The lovely and talented gals of HelloGiggles.com share tales about birthdays and more on the show’s one-year anniversary at UCB East, with storytellers including UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern and Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion): HelloGiggles: Our Birthday Show
8:00 pm ($10): Guitarist Warren Malone plays music to inspire made-up scenes by superb improvisors from 30 Rock, The Story Pirates, Second City, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre: Beauty Love Truth
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Phooka, The Boss, and Junior Varsity performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Christina Gausas directing The Subject (improvised scenes that focus on one character who never leaves the stage, while other characters from the past, present, and future come and go), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challengecomponent) with troupe Upstate battling troupe The Party Lions for laughs & votes: The Magnet’s Night Out
[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!
[$] [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 ($12): TV & movie star Kristen Schaal (one of the funniest women alive; shining star correspondent on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and NBC’s 30 Rock; Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; FOX’s Bob’s Burgers; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; co-author of bestselling book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex), 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; new bestselling book Tasteful Nudes), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), and Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1) performing at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street) hosted by Sean L. McCarthy (writer/publisher of comedy news site The Comic’s Comic): My Damn Channel
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Yesterday Joe Mande wrote on his Facebook page ”I am moving to LA in four days to write for the television program Parks and Recreation. I’m very excited, but will deeply miss NYC. Particularly the bodega cats.” We will miss you in turn, Joe. Meanwhile, I have no idea who’ll be on this show at UCB East that’s normally hosted by 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 around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free 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 ($8): 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 atThe PIT upstairs theatre: The Underdeveloped and Overexposed Life and Death of Deena Domino
9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Chelsea stage—along with stand-ups Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Brian “Murph” Murphy, Dan Siegel, and more—at CollegeHumor Live
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Airwolf last week stepped hard on star troupe The Stepfathers, grinding it to dust via votes of 130-63 and claiming its 10th consecutive victory. Tonight Airwolf will show no quarter to troupe Nobody’s Token as it competes for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The lovely Amber Nelson, the also lovely D’Arcy Carden & Brandon Scott Jones, musical group Lucas and the Lovelys (yes, seriously), Jason Saenz, Ben Warheit, and Evan Greenspoon performing in “a late-night talk show celebrating all things music! It’s crazier than Conan, blacker than Sabbath, and dumber than Hawking, featuring stand-up, character bits, audience participation, comedy videos, music-themed interviews, and a live performance from a local band or artist at UCB East hosted by Kevin DeBacker: Late Night Rockin’
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