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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 ($8; includes free cookies): NYC stand-ups & storytellers Elon James White, David Cope, Ben Kissel, and Asie Mohtarez telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives for a show tonight guest-hosted by Nick Turner (Monsters, Too Cool for School) while usual host Sara Benincasa is busy in LA: Family Hour
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm-10:30 pm ($12): Last night five improv troupes competed for a prize of $10,00 to fund the making of a stellar comedy short film. The winners were comedy geniuses Jason Mantzoukas & Ed Herbstman as The Mantzoukas Brothers—and they totally earned the ten grand. (Can hardly wait to see their mini-movie…) Tonight is a similar competition for five sketch troupes—albeit ones not always quite as famous or stellar as Friday’s improv groups—hosted by Jon Friedman at The Friars Club Sketch Competition
7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft making up a play on the spot in Theory of Everything
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm tonight, 8:00 pm on Sunday ($60 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlines for two nights only at Carolines:Tracy Morgan
[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s appeared on NBC, MTV, Showtime, and a Comedy Central Presents special, and performed an award-winning one man show at last year’s FringeNYC, headlining tonight at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim David
[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!
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s guests Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), SNL’sJason Sudeikis, Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jon Glaser (long-time writer for Conan O’Brien, star of Adult Swim’sDelocated), and Nikki Glaser performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: The Party Machine: Michael Jackson Edition
[TOP PICK] [$] 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
10:00 pm ($5): “We’ve all been drunk on something—love, power, money, alcohol, the heat of the moment. This storytelling show examines how far we’ll go when we find ourselves under the influence. Each month hosts Megan Lohne and Ruby Marez cover a new aspect of being consumed by factors outside your control. Oh yeah, we’ll play some drinking games too. Before each show a list of drinking rules will be handed out to the audience based on that month’s theme. Yeah. We’ll have fun:” Reckless and Loaded
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King interviews an audience member about where he or she grew up and then creates an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here
10:30 pm ($7): Gay improvisors at The Magnet gather to celebrate New York’s historic marriage legislation and more: Pride Week Extravaganza
[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): From the fearless, dynamic, and always innovative Shannon O’Neill, who won the 2011 ECNY Award for Best One-Person Show: “I seem to have made a big ole mistake. I wrote a script, I purchased the props, but I forgot to rehearse it. And on top of that I HAVE NO CAST!!!! So… I am going to cast YOU, moments before the show starts. I will hand you a script, give you some props and instruct you to just listen and get ready to perform. Oh man this is going to be a fucking mess of BEAUTY!! If you want a chance to be cast, make reservations and get in line by 11:15pm. I, Shannon O’Neill will personally come out and hand pick the best damn group of Thespians this play has ever seen and will ever see because this play will only be performed ONCE, never to be seen again! What do I look for in a cast? I love fatties, I love skinnies, I love sober people, I love drunk people. I love you all. Every shape, size, and ethnicity. Let’s hold hands and spin the world! What is this play about? Something real fucking weird and TBA. Thanks for helping me fix my mistake. I’ll see you soon friends!:” The Unrehearsed, Historically Inaccurate Story of…
[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer
[$] 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
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