NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/11/11

June 11, 2011

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It’s the finale of the magical SketchFest NYC 2011 at UCBT.
Among the most notable participants during today’s 12-hour fest are:

Meat Sketch Comedy Elephant Larry

Meat and Elephant Larry

Marvel Comics The Onion News Network

…panels from Marvel Comics and The Onion News Network

The Other Other Guys Craptacular

…and The Other Other Guys and The Closing Night Craptacular

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] 1:00 pm – 2:00 am: One of the most delightful comedy festivals to grace NYC, this seventh annual SketchFest boasts shows from The Onion, The Whitest Kids U’ Know, Marvel Comics, and a one-night-only reunion of acclaimed all-gal troupe Meat. And it concludes with what’s often the most delightful event of the whole shebang, a 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 excellent comedic taste, this is an extravaganza worth experiencing. The past three days of SketchFest have featured superb shows from such stellar troupes as Kurt & Kristen, Pangea 3000, Harvard Sailing Team, Murderfist, BriTANick, Fraidy Cat (starring Meghan O’Neill), The Pyramid Shew (starring Megan Kellie and directed by Laura Grey), and stellar musical acts from Adira Amram, Shayna Ferm, Mindy Raf, Murderfist (as The Cowmen), and Snakes (Adam Lustick, Billy Scafuri, and Chloé Wepper).

This final day runs over 12 hours, from 1:00 pm till however long the midnight Craptacular takes. Many of these shows will almost certainly sell out, so buy tickets in advance for the ones you want ($10 each); or, even better, simply opt for the $40 all-you-can-see pass to get into any and every show of this final day of SketchFest NYC 2011

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 4:00 pm & 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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (Second City, Baggage with Jordan Klepper at UCBT), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) performing an improvised play in What a Year!

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft making up a play on the spot in Theory of Everything

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup hasn’t been announced; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight’s edition of Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Ace storyteller 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), stand-up Sheng Wang (Comedy Central), white rapper Carolyn Castiglia (VH1), and “a surprise guest” performing at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by Laura Prangley: Too Soon

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch troupes The Nice Brothers (Adam Newman & Trevor Williams), The New Deal, and Weekend of Regret, plus stand-ups Karl Hess and Sean Hart, performing at the The Brooklyn Lyceum (227 Fourth Avenue) hosted by all-gal sketch troupe M.A.D. and all-guy sketch group Sidecar: Gentrify Brooklyn

10:30 pm ($7): Improv from the four guys of Phooka

11:00 pm ($5): All-gal improv from Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell, plus stand-up from Michelle Wolf, and sketch from gal groups Firth and Funkle Todd:Goldie and the Hawns: A Night of Women in Comedy

[$] 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.