NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/23/11

June 23, 2011

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Julie Klausner and Marina Franklin

Sharp comic & bestselling author Julie Klausner tells hilarious tales tonight at The PIT for Kevin Allison's Risk!, while Marina Franklin performs stellar stand-up tonight at the Broadway Comedy Club and Stand Up New York...

Pat Baer and Ellena Chmielewski

...and it'll be a vicious battle for victory tonight between improvisors Pat Baer and Ellena Chmielewski at "Cage Match"

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] 6:00 pm ($5): The debut of three comedic one-act plays: Pig: A Restaurant, a one-woman show performed by Lauren Conlin Adams, written by Leila Cohan-Miccio, and directed by Caitlin Tegart about “the opening party for East Gowanus’ hottest new restaurant. Join luminaries like sex-obsessed food critic The Ravenous Foodie, the editor of email blast Experience Junkie, and model/actress/hostess Aurora as they usher Brooklyn’s porkiest new eatery restaurant into the spotlight;” Acts of Distraction: A Superhero Sketch Show, written by Brett White, directed by Matt Fisher, and performed by eight UCBT talents; and Once Upon A Sub Prime (about which I know nothing), all at the UCBT audition showcase Spank

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

7:00 pm ($8): A sketch show parodying acting classes: Meagan & David’s Original Low-Cost Creativity Workshop

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Young Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) has the makings of a new UCBT star in this one-woman show in which she engagingly plays oddball characters you might encounter at summer camp: Welcome to Camp!

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Ryan Karels (Conan O’Brien; member of stellar improv troupe Krompf) playing a radio host who does “a show for people on the verge of a nervous breakdown. If you’ve already had a nervous breakdown, this show will be like reminiscing with an old friend:” Radio Rogue: Riding the Paradox Express

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Magnet Theatre co-owner Armando Diaz directs “veteran Magnet performers throwing down for an improv revue featuring classic long forms such as the montage, monoscene, time dash, and maybe even a little freeze tag:” Old School

8:00 pm ($8): A new sketch show from troupe FreeLoveForum

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of three booked stand-ups and six open-mic stand-ups (the latter drawing their names from a bucket) at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by comedy duo Team Submarine: A Time to Kill

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm (no cover if you mention, but 2-drink min.)  An always superb comic who’s developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy—and who’s performed on Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend—on stage tonight with Mike Vecchione and Joe DeVito at the Broadway Comedy ClubMarina Franklin

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller, and author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), Gary Belsky (Editor in Chief of ESPN Magazine), comedian Beowulf Jones, and Hallie Haglund (Web writer for The Daily Show)—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to share tales on tonight’s theme “Once in a Lifetime” at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($10 plus 2-drink min.) Thoroughly wonderful comics Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1), Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents, co-host of Righteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Kurt Metzger (Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), Jordan Carlos (Comedy Central, College Humor), and Theo Von (MTV’s The Real World, Comedy Central) performing at at the Stand Up New York Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street) hosted by the delightful Carolyn Castiglia (VH1’s White Rapper Miss CKC): Love Machine Comedy Show

[$] 10:00 pm ($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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Adorable improv troupe Boy Butter, which last week edged out spitfire Bethany Hall and her talented 8GirlsHarold via the strategically shrewd move of aligning itself with audience sympathy for Holocaust survivors—and has a highly effective “secret weapon” in its lone female member, Ellena Chmielewski—tonight faces formidable troupe Hanging Out with Pat Baer as they compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Jason Trachtenburg hosts “special guests from bawdy burlesquers to perverted puppeteers to freak folk rockers and twisted comedic storytellers, taking you on a weekly journey through the wonderful world of weird, wild and wow” at The PIT’s basement lounge: Trachtenburgs’ Variety Show featuring The Pendulum Swings

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Jenna Kim Jones (two-time Emmy Award-winning Producer of The Daily Show), Sam Morril, and Jim Tews performing stand-up at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups competing for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with less well-known troupes and a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

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.