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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:
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC treasure Kurt Braunohler is the producer and host of a new comedic “anti-game-show” game show that’s slated to run on IFC. In this free event, “three contestants battle it out for such lovely prizes as dinette sets, putting greens and jet skis! Owls will be insulted, injured people will be mocked, and minds will be blown! The New York Times says: “We haven’t even heard of this show! Please stop calling us!” So come on down for the most dysfunctional game show you will ever see!” Pointless!
7:00 pm ($5): “A sketch comedy show that takes an inside look at both the crazy and the sane to see if there’s really all that much of a difference:” Standing Reason
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Young Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) has the makings of a new UCBT star performing a one-woman show in which she engagingly plays a variety of oddball characters you might encounter at summer camp, while Paul Welsh debuts a one-man show about a hall of portraits, in the double-bill Welcome to Camp! and Men in Paintings
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Will Nunziata and Jerry Miller performing a two-man sketch show designed as a love letter to the dystopian films of the 70s, 80s, and 90s:” Dystopia Gardens
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): Stellar Australian comic who’s been a regular onOpie & Anthony and who performed his own HBO special, I Swear To God, headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Jim Jefferies
[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 CDsTwo 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 $35.50 (discounted via code BOX) price is about what you’d pay at a comedy club…and it’ll buy you one of the richest experiences you’re ever likely to receive from art. To enjoy world-class laughs while being taught how to value what’s truly important, grab tickets while you can at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop); this utterly brilliant one-man show is slated to run only through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
[$] 8:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, VH1, E!, UPN, and her own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Loni Love
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at Mortified
[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and guest-host Ben Kissel (while Sean Patton shares his gifts with other cities): Comedy as a Second Language
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 plus $15 food/drink min.): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is having a preview in hopes of soon achieving a long-awaited smash commercial run. Based on the incredible true story of a man who become the most celebrated performer in 1880s Paris by singing through his rear end is happening for one night only—as part of the gala FringeNYC 15th Anniversary All-Star Series—at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, inside the West Bank Cafe (407 West 42nd Street, off Ninth Avenue): The Fartiste
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard
9:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot in The Scene
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Nikki Glaser (Last Comic Standing, Jay Leno), Jon Fisch (Last Comic Standing), and Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents) performing stand-up at The Pit for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One
[$] 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney
11:00 pm ($5): Vibrant improv troupes CAPTCHA and Jump on Three competing for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match
For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.