NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/10/11

June 10, 2011

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The Whitest Kids U' Know

It's the third evening of the magical SketchFest NYC 2011 at UCBT. Among the most notable participants tonight are The Whitest Kids U' Know...

The Harvard Sailing Team

...The Harvard Sailing Team...

Jordan Klepper and Laura Grey

...and Klepper & Grey

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] 7:00 pm – 1:00 am: One of the most delightful comedy festivals to grace NYC, this seventh annual SketchFest boasts shows from The Onion, The Harvard Sailing Team, The Whitest Kids U’ Know, Comedy Central Digital, and even Marvel Comics!

Other notable shows include a one-night-only reunion of acclaimed all-gal troupe Meat; a “Secret Screening” of something special Friday at midnight; and often the most delightful event of the whole shebang, the closing night Craptacular featuring material from festival participants too rude or bizarre to fit into their regular shows, and this year hosted by Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show).

To get a feel for some of the best troupes who’ll be participating, please click here.

Produced by Alex Zalben, who has superb comedic taste, this is an extravaganza worth experiencing. Many of these shows will almost certainly sell out, so buy tickets in advance for the ones you want ($10 each); or simply opt for the $40 all-you-can-see-that-day pass to get into any and every show of SketchFest NYC 2011

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($49.50): 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jason Good, David Smithyman, Louis Katz, and Karl Hess performing stand-up atO’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at the downstairs lounge of The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

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

[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 how boys will be girls, 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] 11:00 pm ($8): The winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group (for a sample, please click here): Serious Lunch

11:30 pm ($5): Before the show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who tonight include such talents as Laura Grey (Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[$] 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.