NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/22/11

June 22, 2011

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Kate McKinnon, Mamrie Hart, and Amy Heidt

Brilliant comedic actresses Kate McKinnon, Mamrie Hart, Amy Heidt...

Shannon O'Neill, Leslie Meisel, and Pamela Murphy

...Shannon O'Neill, Leslie Meisel, Pam Murphy, and more perform four hours of sketch comedy for a mere $5 at the Maude Night Marathon...

Reggie Watts and Natasha Leggero

...or if you prefer an entirely free show, catch comedy geniuses Reggie Watts and Natasha Leggero at Central Park SummerStage

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($5): Four full hours of sketch comedy, as all eight UCBT house teams—Dweeb, Fambly, Gramp’s, Stone Cold Fox, Neighbor Boy, Onassis, Arbuckle, and Thunder Gulch—gather to perform their best, funniest material from the past year on the same evening. With such performers involved as Kate McKinnon, Shannon O’Neill, Mamrie Hart, Amy Heidt, Leslie Meisel, Pam Murphy, Fran Gillespie, Sue Galloway, and Violet Krumbein, this will be an evening jam-packed with talent (and a golden gift if you’re a casting director or comedy producer…). Don’t be fooled by the absurdly low price of 63 cents per show; this is a sketch festival worth experiencing from beginning to end: Maude Night Marathon

7:00 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: A wonderful—and free!—outdoor concert at Central Park, with star stand-ups and musical comedy performers. The stellar headliners are Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here) and Natasha Leggero (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; star of Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Craig Ferguson,Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, Reno 911!The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Ugly Americans, Chelsea Lately) at Central Park SummerStage

Even though SummerStage is spacious enough to accommodate hundreds of visitors, it’s not uncommon for every square inch of ground to be occupied with folks eager to laugh. It’s therefore recommended you arrive early for this lovely comedy party to ensure you get in, and can nab either a seat or a comfortable spot on the grass. (And consider bringing a large blanket…)

Directions to SummerStage


 SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

From the East side: Take the #6 subway to 68th Street and Lexington,

or the M1/M2/M3/M4 bus to 72nd Street and 5th Avenue;

enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;

and then walk a bit following the map above.

 Traveling crosstown: Take the M-66 or M72 bus to Fifth Avenue;

enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;

and then walk a bit following the map above.

 From the West side: Take the 1/2/3/B/C subway to 72nd Street,

or the M7/M10/M11 bus to 72nd Street and Central Park West;

enter the park at 72nd Street and Central Park West;

and then walk a whole lot following the map above.

 [TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Molly Knefel (member of superb improv troupe Naked in a Fishbowl) and her brother John Knefel (veteran stand-up) host this monthly comedy show, with tonight’s guests star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys), Dan Soder (Comedy Central), Jordan Carlos (Comedy Central), Kevin Barnett (Roundtable of Gentlemen), and Susan Prekel performing stand-up at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, off Thompson Street): John and Molly Get Along

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Erin Judge (Comedy Central), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central, VH1), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony tour), Ashley Brooke Roberts, and Billy Wayne Davis performing stand-up at the 11th Street Bar (510 East 11th Street, off Avenue A) for this monthly extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here) who notes “AND FREE DRINKS! If you are very pretty and make someone think you’re going to sleep with them. Otherwise there are reasonably priced drinks that you can buy yourself:” Erin Lennox’s I Like You Too Show

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’sNewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Will Hines (UCBT improv/sketch superstar who’s getting better at stand-up), Rob Gorden (storyteller; Onion News Network, The Big C), Walter Replogle (member of award-winning sketch troupe Murderfist), Sean Crespo (The Electric Company, Onion News Network, host of Lasers in the Jungle), Kristeen von Hagen (Showtime’s Comics without Borders), and Carrie Gravenson performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An evening of video comedy shorts from our NYC comedy community screened at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner & Jason Saenz: Free Comedy Videos

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern:Bucket ‘O Buckets

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.