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] 4:00 pm-MIdnight ($10-$15 per show): The Magnet continues its 4th Annual New York Musical Improv Festival, running eight hours today with shows including Shakespeare: The Musical: The Magnet’s New York Musical Improv Festival
[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour
[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, Huffington Post, host of Sideshow Goshko), Isaac Butler (President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee), Corey Pandolph (cartoonist for The New Yorker), and Dana Rossi (Soundtrack Series). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Stellar storytellers Brooke Van Poppelen, Kat Burdick, and Teddy Wayne tell “stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), : Tales of the Cosmos
[FREE] 7:00 pm: Anna Drezen performs a one-woman show about “the psychos, backstabbers, monsters, ghosts, and hitmen who make our world a little spookier,” directed by Jen Sanders, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Murder!
7:30 pm ($10): Talented improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here
[$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, Showtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson
[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Winner of the second season of Last Comic Standing, a frequent performer on Jay Leno and VH1, and star of two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials and an hour-long Comedy Central special, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: John Heffron
[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell
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
8:30 pm ($10): Eric Drysdale (brilliant writer for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo
[TOP PICK] [$] [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): 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) and more 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 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] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Hilarious, organic show in which stand-ups Eric Bergstrom, Tyler Fischer, Sarah Tollemache, Tim Dimond, Abigoliah Schamaun, Jim Van Blaricum, and more 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 hosted by Reid Faylor, Kelly Fastuca, and/or Andrew Short: Underbelly
[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—and which is currently kicking ass at Cage Match: 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 this year crushed 12 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place
[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Joe List says “I’ve dreamed of this show since I was a little boy. Show starts at midnight featuring some of the New York’s finest comedy acts, immediately followed by a full-blown twist contest downstairs featuring some of New York’s finest twisters. Everybody is welcome to join the twist contest! There will be lots of drinks and a few prizes. Show is free, contest is free.” I don’t know who’ll be performing, but the guest list includes sharp talents. This show/party is at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joe List and judged by Mark Normand: Twist and Shout!
[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East that includes typically includes superb NYC comics—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown
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