NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/5/11

May 5, 2011

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Todd Barry

Complicated stand-ups Todd Barry (headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club)...

Doug Stanhope

...and Doug Stanhope (headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club)

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] [$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-item min.): A stand-up who’s performed on NBC, BBC, Comedy Central Presents, and The Howard Stern Show, and has twice won Time Out New York’s Best Comedy Performance of the Year award, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Doug Stanhope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): An hour of improv directed by Magnet Theatre co-owner Armando Diaz: Evente

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia has long been one of the finest stand-up comics in the country, with credits including the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; and the comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live. But what puts Mike in a class all his own is a unique style he’s developed that mixes the razor-sharp hilarity of the finest stand-up with the depth of emotionally moving theatre. Mike pioneered this approach with his previous off-Broadway hitSleepwalk with Me (which he then turned into a New York Times bestselling book, Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories); but he’s raised his game to a whole new level with this show, which is regularly selling out—for good reason. The $35.50 (discounted via code BOX) price is about what you’d pay at a comedy club…and it’ll buy you one of the richest experiences you’re ever likely to receive from art. To enjoy world-class laughs while being taught how to value what’s truly important, grab tickets while you can at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop); this utterly brilliant one-man show is slated to run only through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm (just $15 with discount code TODDB, plus 2-drink min.): One of the finest stand-ups in the country, with appearance on HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central PresentsThe Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, and feature filmsThe Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead, headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club:Todd Barry

9:00 pm ($12): The Lady Aye, Camille Harris, and more performing at Comedy Below Canal

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and guest-host Ben Kissel (while Sean Patton shares his gifts with other cities): Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), and Adam Lowitt (Producer of The Daily Show) joining delightful hosts Andrea Rosen and Shonali Bhowmik for Variety SHAC

9:30 pm ($5): Musical improv from troupe 10 Pound Ally

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1) and Dan Soder (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at The Pit for this new weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In a shocking upset, improv troupe CAPTCHA beat Death by Roo Roo last week in a very close vote of 71-67. CAPTCHA therefore returns tonight to try and repeat its magic, competing with improv group Dybbuk for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.