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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 $10 marked with $) include:
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Chicago improv superstars gather in NYC to blow the roof off, with tonight’s scheduled participants including Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre), Jeff Michalski (Michael Moore’s TV Nation, Exit 57, founder of Second City ETC), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theater, iO, Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCBT faculty member), and Jordan Klepper (Second City, iO, UCBT show Baggage) performing at this free show at The PIT’s basement lounge: Chicago Improv Gorillas
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): The wonderful Pat Shay (beloved improv faculty member at The PIT) parodies self-help gurus with this sketch show that “unlocks the power to succeed, get fit, and find love. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take your life from where it is to where you want it to be:” Empoweration! with Acorn Nazlett
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Robert Dean, plus the usual sketch comedy gang, and musical band Fortress of Solitude, all performing at Karma Lounge with hosts Pat Stango & Blaine Perry for this endearingly oddball monthly comedy show: Don’t Touch Me There
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Pamela Murphy’s autobiographical show is written & performed with wit, grace, and pitch-perfect comedic timing (for video samples of Pam’s work, please clickhere). Don’t miss Jane Borden of Time Out New York‘s pick for Best Solo Show of 2010: Pamela Murphy: The C Word
…and for the other half of this A-List double-bill, a delightful tale of heartbreak by Leslie Meisel—who manages the impressive feat of being adorable, sexy, and hilarious all at the same time, and is a sharp comedic talent very much worth keeping an eye on—quite ably abetted by co-writer Megan Neuringer in one of the smartest theatrical shows to grace UCBT: Love Can Suck a Dick…and So Can I
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 online or at the door using code MOON): Star comedic storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) performing a smart, engaging, and often hilarious one-man show at PS 122 (150 First Avenue off 9th Street ) running through April 2nd: Tom Shillue is Supernormal
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($35): Mike Birbiglia’s credits include the hour-long Comedy Central specialWhat I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live; the book Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories; and his hit off-Broadway show Sleepwalk with Me. He’s doing the stage thing again, tonight debuting his all-new one-man show at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) slated to run through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott performing with a three-piece rock ensemble: Centralia
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Kurt Braunohler (triple 2011 ECNY Award winner; Comedy Central; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety), Adam Newman (College Humor), Max Silvestri (co-host of Big Terrific), and Michael Che performing at Brooklyn’s Coco 66 for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s Too Cool for School
8:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins
[$] 8:00 pm ($26.75 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s famed for his improv work on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, has appeared on Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Lately, and Comedy Central, and currently co-stars on the Nickelodeon comedy series True Jackson VP, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Greg Proops
[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) The former host of Fear Factor—who’s also performed stand-up on Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, and Jimmy Kimmel—headlining for one night only at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joe Rogan
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers
9:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name: We’re Matt Weir: Please Don’t
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches titled Ms. Larsen’s Class: The Harvard Sailing Team
10:30 pm ($10): Jonathan Gabrus, Sue Galloway, and other fine improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder
11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart and Grace Helbig welcome NYC talents for a morning chat show…that’s happening late at night. Tonight’s guests include stand-up Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, movie star; host of Sweet), actor Josh Pais (Law & Order, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and band The Pendulum Swings (featuring Jason Trachtenburg of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players): Morning Show with Hobart and Grace
[FREE] 11:15 pm: A freestyle rapping, beatboxing, long-form improv troupe performing “a fully improvised hip-hopera right in front of your face:” North Coast
[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Some of The Magnet’s finest comics—including the brilliant and delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at last year’s FringeNYC)—team up with Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz to deliver sketch comedy in Good Morning, Ladies!
Midnight ($5): “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
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