NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/13/11

For full details, please visit

Shouting at the Screen with Wyatt Cenac and Donwill

News correspondent Wyatt Cenac and hip-hop artiste Donwill provide continual commentary about a classic blaxploitation film for their new show "Shouting at the Screen"...

Erin & Her Cello

...and wonderful comedic musicians including Erin & Her Cello...

Jason Trachtenburg & The Pendulum Swings

...and Jason Trachtenburg & The Pendulum Swings perform for Carol Hartsell's birthday at "Lasers in the Jungle"

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:

6:00 pm ($5): The auditions of three comedic one-act plays hoping to get on the UCBT schedule, and about which I know nothing except they’re titled First Day of School, Amazing Book of Stories, and John 3:16. But at $1.66 per show, it’s hard to go wrong at this frequently surprising and funUCB West showcase: Spank

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn and tonight’s lovely guest host Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, host of Sideshow Goshko): Oh, Hey Guys!

[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’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at 92Y Tribeca(200 Hudson Street): Mortified

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion) and Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and genius comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard ShowMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter) headline at this monthly UCB East show that also lets audience members tell their stories, with the best tale turned into an animated premiering the following month. Hosted by Todd Bieber, it’s Animated Stories

7:30 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet co-owner helming The Armando Diaz Experience, plus house troupes Junior Varsity, The Boss, Dunk and Hello Laser performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with last week’s winner pitted against Chairman Golem at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB West, a smart troupe consisting of writers for The Onion perform their best sketches: Pangea 3000: 12 Years of Hard Work

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Joanna Bradley performs a one-woman show about how awful people are, directed by the wonderful Becky Drysdale: Everybody’s Dumb and Boring

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.)  A star stand-up who’s done half-hour comedy specials for HBO, Comedy Central, and Showtime; was a regular on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and cast member on FOX’s The Jury; appeared repeatedly on Late Night with Conan O’Brien; and guest starred on such TV shows as NBC’s The Office and FOX’s Arrested Development, headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy ClubPatrice Oneal

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Leslie Collins performing a one-woman show at The PIT based on her memories of growing up in Texas (and which recently played at FringeNYC for $18): Poteet Girls

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (for tonight’s lineup, please click here) performing at The Creek’supstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City accompanied by banjo music from Doug Goldstein and hosted by Andy Kleinman: Happy Sounds Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): An extra-special all-musical show celebrating Carol Hartsell’s birthday, with Jason Trachtenburg & The Pendulum Swings, Erin & Her Cello, and Reformed Whores performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street), with host Sean Crespo and Carol in the booth: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon), Gabe Liedman (VH1, co-host of Big Terrific), and “a special guest” performing UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), stellar stand-up Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), and more performing at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street) with host Kevin Janus (sketch duo The Sophisticates): The Comedy Igloo

[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 ($5): “Fresh off their wildly successful tour of the deepest depths of Hell, interdimensional hip-hop sensations Buckwheat Groats are coming to UCB West, and you know what that means: Time to wrap your tits in chain mail and prepare your buttholes for imminent insertion of mango and/or eggplant!” For sample videos, please click here and here, and then decide if you’re ready for Buckwheat Groats: Pray For Rectal Mercy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Jimmy Fallon writer Casey Jost performs a one-man show at The PIT in which he plays a myriad of characters revolving around the theme musicFooling Around with Casey Jost

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7; or FREE COVER if you show up 30-60 minutes early and buy $7 worth of snacks/drinks): Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes blaxploitation in this delightful new series by Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show) and Donwill (hip-hop group Tanya Morgan) in which the boys watch a black cinema cult classic and yell comments at it throughout. It all happens at Brooklyn’s reRun (147 Front Street, between Pearl & Jay Streets), with tonight’s film a happy surprise: Shouting at the Screen

[$] 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 the Carolines Comedy ClubPaul Mooney

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Stellar improv troupe Rogue Elephant competing with challenger Alan Starzinski’s One Mansical for audience laughs and votes at UCB West’s raucous Cage Match

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly open-mic stand-up show, with each comic given five minutes, at UCB East hosted by Rob Stern & Amber Nelson: Gutbucket

For full details, please visit

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