NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/17/11

May 17, 2011

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Michael Showalter

Michael Showalter (above), Heather Lawless, Ophira Eisenberg, and more perform tonight at "The Moon Show"

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:

7:00 pm ($5): Two tough guys from the 1930s will explain the ins and outs of Hollywood at sketch show Listen Kid! ; and duo improv by Dustin Drury and Andrew Yurman-Glaser in Upstate New York

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comic book creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then 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 ($5): Jon Rineman (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), and Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing) performing at the Lolita Bar for Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Erik Bergstrom, Sean Donnelly, and Selena Coppock performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek hosted by Jackie Zebrowski, Julia Johns, and Sharron Paul: Twats Up!

8:00 pm ($10): The worlds of “magic, mind-reading, and mutilation” are explored by Matthew Holtzclaw and Prakash Puru: Strange Things

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Dybbuk, Grandma’s Ashes, Badman, Sandino, and Standard Oil, and at 11:00 pm a show so special it merits its own listing (please see below)—all at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Michael Showalter (MTV’s The State, comedy troupe Stella, writer/star of feature films The Baxter and Wet Hot American Summer and Comedy Central’s Michael & MIchael Have Issues; author of bestselling new book Mr. Funny Pants), Heather Lawless (uniquely hilarious complainer; Comedy Central, Wonder Showzen, Variety SHAC), Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime), and musical group The Last Car with Amy Miles performing at Brooklyn’s The Royal Oak (594 Union Avenue) along with sketches from Moon regulars such as co-producer Jordan Clifford and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Tambourine and Rebound

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): TJ Miller (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Opie & Anthony; co-starred in ABC sitcom Carpoolers, TBS’ Very Funny Show; acted in feature films CloverfieldGet Him to the Greek, Unstoppable), Rob Cantrell (fun, organic stoner comic; The Marijuana-Logues), Mike Phirman (oddball musical comic), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

9:30 pm ($5): Sharp NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at the PIT downstairs loungehosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free show, audience members can join in with veteran musical improv talents to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Michael Kayne, Winston Noel, Amber Petty, Mike Still, Ashley Ward, and tonight’s guest Neil Casey (genius improvisor of Death by Roo Roo and The Two-Man Movie)—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

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.