NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/3/10

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Comedy giants Aziz Ansari, Kristen Schaal, and more perform at the Comix Comedy Club this week at Aziz Ansari and Friends

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] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): One of the highlights of FringeNYC 2008 was Hot Cripple, a superb and heartfelt one-woman show by Hogan Gorman about her experiences with the US health care system, legal system, and government programs for the down-but-not-out. (The performance I attended was especially memorable because a small fire broke out on the second floor of the venue. Hogan had to stop two-thirds into her monologue so the building could be evacuated; and she did so with a wry smile, telling a comforting audience member “Oh, I’ve been though a whole lot worse than this.” Three fire trucks and 30 minutes later, the fire was out…and Hogan made a quick joke about the Hot in her show’s title and then resumed performing as if nothing had happened…) Running through February, come see a New York hero in Hot Cripple

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($40): TV comedy star Aziz Ansari celebrating the release of his first comedy DVD with his friends—meaning some of the finest comics in the biz—performing stand-up at the elegant Comix Comedy Club tonight through Saturday: Aziz Ansari and Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Superb stand-ups Gary Gulman, Kumail Nanjiani, Giulia Rozzi, Mark Douglas, and “a super secret guest” at Dan Allen’s & Ray Devito’s stand-up showcase ¡Sacapuntas!

8:00 pm ($5): The delightful Andrée Vermeulen performing a one-woman show in which she applies for “The Greatest French Person in the World Award” only to discover a terrible family secret involving waffles—and while performance trumps material here, Andrée is a fresh young talent worth discovering… (for a memorable show highlight, shot with Andrée’s real-life boyfriend Thomas Middleditch, please click here); plus an all-white musical about fast food that claims to “give new life to the most popular songs of Tupac Shakur. Join us for a romp through all the themes held most dear to Tupac’s heart: economic oppression, dreams
deferred, and mall food courts,” in the double-bill French Toast and 2Pac: The Musical

[FREE] 8:00: NYC stand-ups Leslie Goshko, Matt Rohr, Mick DiFlo, Pat Galante, and Fariaz performing at this free weekly show hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: TV & movie star Kristen Schaal (lovely, brilliant, breathtakingly talented writer/actress/comic; shining star on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords; Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; AMC’s Mad Men; feature film Cirque du Freak (with Salma Hayek); co-star of Web & upcoming UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; winner of numerous comedy awards, including the prestigious 2nd Annual Andy Kaufman Award and the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Female Stand-Up), Joe Randazzo (Editor of The Onion), Julian McCullough (Comedy Central Presents), and Edith Zimmermann (The Awl, performing at a free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Max Silvestri and Gabe Liedman: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Theatrical scenes made up on the spot with breathtaking skill by brilliant and passionate improvisors Scott Adsit (30 Rock, Moral Orel) and Christina Gausas (Conan O’Brien, The Colbert Report) at Adsit & Gausas

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing 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. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

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