NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/13/11

May 13, 2011

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.

Kate McKinnon

Brilliant comedic actresses Kate McKinnon...

Leslie Meisel

...and Leslie Meisel are among the talents performing at midnight as "Tremendous Machine"

Blaine Perry and Pat Stango

Also, hosts Blaine Perry & Pat Stango bid a fond farewell to their long-running show "Don't Touch Me There"

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] 6:00 pm: Sharp NYC comics who perform as characters audition for participation in the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival: Just For Laughs Character Showcase

7:00 pm ($8): Award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: The final installment of this show running strong for five years—so that beloved hosts Pat Stango & Blaine Perry can focus on other creative activities such as screenwriting—tonight featuring Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Shayna Ferm (brilliant, sexy, hilarious singer/songwriter and brand new mom), Nick Turner (host ofToo Cool for School), and the usual sketch comedy gang, plus musical band Fortress of Solitude, all performing at Karma Lounge for this bittersweet farewell to Don’t Touch Me There

7:30 pm ($5): Monologues and improvisation about moustaches and the people who wear them at If I Were a Moustache

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Nick Vatterot (Jimmy Fallon), Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Cameron Esposito (visiting from Chicago), Beth Stelling (also visiting from Chicago), and Tim Dimond performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): Stellar Australian comic who’s been a regular on Opie & Anthony and who performed his own HBO special, I Swear To God, headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Jim Jefferies

[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 at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

8:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from TV comics duo Ithamar Enriquez & Brian Shortall, and from fun-loving duo John Haskell & Arthur Meyer, in the double-bill Delicious Moments and Two Fun Men

[$] 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 ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

9:00 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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Ben Kronberg, Rose Sunrow, Team Submarine, George Gordon, and Brendan McLaughlin performing on this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Fort Useless (36 Ditmars Street) hosted by George Flanagan: Spit Take Friday

[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: The Harvard Sailing Team

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with a n audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he’s not in LA), Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:30 pm ($5): One of the oddest ideas for a themed improv show I’ve ever come across, this is the debut of improvisors Bianca Casusöl, Nina Klemow, and Jolene Turner as—get this—”three struggling burlesque beauties on the stage and in the dressing room of Larry Lazlo’s Lamplighter Lounge:” Go Kitty: A Burlesque Improv Revue

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): The second show of an exciting new sketch troupe, with brilliantly talented comedic performers including Kate McKinnon, Leslie Meisel, and Fran Gillespie, and steered by superb writer/director Caitlin Tegart—as well as writers Beth Appel, Leila Cohan-Miccio, Matt Fisher, Frank Hejl, Chris Schell, Alex Scordelis, and Michael Trapp—that I’ll be going out of my way to catch tonight: Tremendous Machine

[$] 12:30 am ($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

 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.