NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 11/5/11

November 5, 2011

For full details, please visit

Mindy Raf and Chris Sullivan (Shockwave)

Brilliant & hilarious comics Mindy Raf (above), Myq Kaplan, and more compete on phenom human beatbox Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan's midnight rap contest The BEATdown

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:

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[$] 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 11:00 pm ($15 per show): Double-bills at The Magnet for singing improv troupes making up a musical on the spot based on audience suggestions, including Reset List (Chicago) & Proverbial Loons (NYC), Girls Girls Girls (Austin) & Mansical (Chicago), Jill Bernard’s Drum Machine (Minneapolis) & A Tale of Two Genres (San Francisco), and McMurray’s Dream Machine (NYC) & A/C (NYC), : The 2011 New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are David Dickerson (NPR’sThis American Life, The Atlantic), Lisa Kirchner (Washington, Robin Gelfenbien (Sirius Radio, FringeNYC), and Joey Novick (Politics Unusual). Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam Champion, exceptionally nice guy) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), and featuring storytellers Dave Martin, Diana Spechler, and Seth Lind, plus musical guest Shonali Bhowmik (Variety SHAC): Tales of the Cosmos

7:00 pm ($7): Sketches, improv scenes, and videos from a small army of female comics at The PITupstairs theatre that answer such questions as “Why can’t you touch a black girl’s hair? Why do some of us burn our cheating man’s clothes in his car and can’t wait to exhale? How did Foxy Brown know how to get down? Why can two play that game? Why do mad black women write so many diaries?” and more: Mrs Jones

7:00 pm ($5): In-house The PIT sketch comedy troupes show off the videos they’ve created (in the downstairs lounge) for the theatre’s new online TV showcase: The PIT TV Show

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic solo performances—storytelling, sketch, and whatever else isn’t stand-up or improv—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Bill Stiteler & Adam Schwartz: Wank

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions, at UCB West all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnetmaking up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please click here) who’s a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour that featured top Middle Eastern-American comics, and an actor who’s performed on ABC’ s Better off Ted andKnights of Prosperity, FOX’ s Life on a Stick, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wingand ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlining tonight and Sunday at the CarolinesComedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred in his ownComedy Central Presents special, and has performed on Conan O’Brien, ABC, VH1, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Paul Mecurio

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Star storyteller Tom Shillue, and fine stand-ups Helen Hong, Dan Soder, and Dean Obeidallagh, performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for a podcast that’s a free way to get therapy for host Joe Matarese: Fixing Joe

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($5): A YouTube star tries out an hour’s worth of new material at The PIT downstairs lounge: John Roberts

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, Logo’s Year End Review), and Jeff Wesselschmidt performing stand-up at UCB East, hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB West’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 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): Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central Presents), Aaron Berg, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village:Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics” atThe PIT, following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A sketch & interview show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Zach Sims: Too Late With Zachary Sims

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB West interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

11:00 pm ($8): An improv troupe that’s performed with Cirque de Soleil and appeared in the filmMystery Team performing at The PIT upstairs lounge, opening with a blind date with a member of our audience and then making up scenes based on what they’ve learned: Gentleman Party

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East that includes superb NYC comics—who tonight are brilliant singer/songwriter Mindy Raf, brilliant stand-up Myq Kaplan, Joyelle Johnson, Luke Meginsky, and Mr. Dead—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[FREE] Midnight: Along the lines of Mystery Science Theater 3000, NYC comics make comments about a terrible movie at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Big Fat Scary Saturday

For full details, please visit

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.