NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/2/11

September 2, 2011

For full details, please visit

For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

Ted Alexandro

Stand-up stars Ted Alexandro (above) and Gary Gulman perform tonight and Saturday at the Eastville Comedy Club...

Shannon O'Neill

...and improv geniuses Shannon O'Neill (above), Anthony Atamanuik, Jeff Hiller, and more make up musicals as "Diamond Lion"

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 Creekdownstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name:We’re Matt Weir

7:00 pm ($5): A troupe that performs a sketch show with an improv segment at the end, at The PIT downstairs lounge, directed by The Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz: Dumbkowsky

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Anthony Atamanuik, Shannon O’Neill, Jeff Hiller, Fran Gillespie, Mike Still, Amber Petty, Michael Kayne, Winston Noel, Ashley Ward, and Morgan Phillips—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion

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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($29 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Showheadlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Janine Brito, Josh Gondelman, Miguel Dalmau, Merrill Davis, and Nick Maritato performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Award-winning dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist, star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), hilarious videos from the Found Footage Festival, and stand-up Jermaine Fowler performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Sáenz’s Too Cool for School

8:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy interwoven with a live band: Citizen Models

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A comic who’s performed on Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central, Showtime, Bravo, and VH1 headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jessica Kirson

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club’s A-List

9:30 pm ($5): Improvised scenes based on the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist atMissed Connections Two-Prov

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors 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

[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCBT schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCBT stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

[$] 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.