NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/30/11

June 30, 2011

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Kate McKinnon

A genius comedic actress—who's one of my all-time favorites—debuts her hilarious one-woman show "Kate McKinnon on Ice"...

Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler

...after which Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler (Kurt & Kristen)...

Todd Barry

...and Todd Barry are among the talents performing at 92Y Tribeca for a special edition of "The Moon Show "

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: 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the most talented and hilarious sketch comics in the biz debuts her latest one-woman show, which features “Singing! Dancing! Ice Skating! Hoarders! Conjoined Twins! Temple Grandin!” I’ve already seen this during its auditions, and it’s among the very best to grace the UCBT stage this year. Kate is the most precious of diamonds in our NYC comedy community; come see why in Kate McKinnon on Ice

…and the second half of this double-bill features the other most awesome UCBT production this year. Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that Andrea’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances that will grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

[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

[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 ($10): TV & movie stars Kristen Schaal (one of the funniest women alive; shining star correspondent on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the ConchordsComedy Central Presents half-hour special; star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; co-author of bestselling book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV seriesPenelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), MC Chris (nerd rapper; Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show), PuppeTyranny (puppet masters), and musical guest The CSC Funk Bank performing at 92Y Tribeca, along with sketches from Moon regulars such as co-producer Jordan Clifford,  the delightful Camille Harris, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles at this special edition of The Moon Show

[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

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of, you can get a behind-the-scenes peak—plus comics Streeter Seidell, Dan St. Germain, Jake & Amir, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

9:30 pm ($10): Musicians help inspire Improvisors to create scenes in Beauty Love Truth

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not yet announced) make up one-act plays on the spot in The Scene

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Boy Butter features young, vibrant talent and a feel-good energy—plus a brilliant comic in its female member, Ellena Chmielewski—that’s crushing every opponent it faces.

Last week a relative beginner to the stage, UCBT’s beloved Pat Baer, had the enormous courage of performing an improv show solo. (It’s been done before, but only by giants such as Ian Roberts and Ben Rodgers…) Pat did remarkably well when playing characters he could relate to; but his ambition exceeded his reach when he decided to portray a lesbian.

In the end, Boy Butter nabbed 125 audience votes…and its opponent 23. But that’s a testament to Boy Butter’s power, not any lack of adoration for the universally respected Pat.

Tonight Boy Butter faces one of the most exciting new improv troupes in NYC, Doppleganger—which came pretty close to winning the recent Friars Club competition via such antics as climbing walls and hanging out near the UCBT ceiling—as they compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing 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.