NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/22/11

July 22, 2011

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Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon shows off her world-class star quality in one of the best comedy shows of the year, "Kate McKinnon on Ice"...

Mike Still

...and then Mike Still shows off his thirst to rule the world in "Dictator for Life"

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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

7:00 pm ($8): Award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

7:00 pm ($7): “Strange, mysterious, beautiful, and disgusting, this show will dazzle you with sketch comedy… and magic!” by The Weird Sisters

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy genius Kate McKinnon performing her latest one-woman show, which features “Singing! Dancing! Ice Skating! Hoarders! Conjoined Twins! Temple Grandin!” This inventive, dynamic production is among the very best to grace the UCBT stage this year. (And if you don’t want to take my word alone, check out Jane Borden’s Time Out New York review.) Kate is the most precious of diamonds in our NYC comedy community; come see why in Kate McKinnon on Ice

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Mike Still (Death by Roo Roo, Diamond Lion) performs a one-man show that—like Kate’s show—was directed by fellow Roo Roo star Neil Casey: Dictator For Life

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 online using discount code BBOX1): One of the very best shows at FringeNYC 2010 was an award-winning comedy from NYC’s own Faye Lane, a luminous storyteller and singer who will charm your socks off—and possibly give you a moon pie to boot—at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. This marvelous event recently received a 2011 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy and 2011 MAC Award for Special Production. Please read my review by clicking here, watch Faye make a pecan pie by clicking here, and then take advantage of this revival running Friday nights to experience the hilarious and unforgettable Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Chris Laker, Sean Donnelly, and Nick Rutherford performing stand-up at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

8:00 pm ($7): Greg Wilker & Kelly Buttermore perform the best sketches they’ve written over the past five years at Kelly & Greg: 2007-2011

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed numerous times on David Letterman and Jay Leno, starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, and starred in a second Comedy Central special titled Mitch Fatel is Magical, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with opener Michael Somerville): Mitch Fatel

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

9:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): An imaginative and award-winning sketch troupe using song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors, including such world-class performers as the breathtakingly talented Tara Copeland, using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he’s not in LA), Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before the show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Three NYC sketch troupes—delightful gal duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, quick-witted Patrick Borelli, and guy duo Inside Joke Films—each performing one of their most popular bits and one of their personal favorites in a sketch revue hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

[$] 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.