NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 11/16/11

November 16, 2011

For full details, please visit

Taran Killam

Saturday Night Live cast member Taran Killam is among the stellar talents...

Arden Myrin Arden Myrin's Brooklyn extravaganza The Party Machine

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Mindy Raf (brilliant comedic singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor, YA novelist; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers), Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, host of Sideshow Goshko), (ace improv troupe The Stepfathers, host of Wheelhouse, treasured UCBT comedy instructor & director), and RG Daniels (host of Sunday Night Stand-Up) performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with host Selena Coppock: Connotation

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Grappler, Horses, The Surge, The Wrath, Brick, Featherweight, Dunk, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Chet Watkins at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, genius improvisors Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform as Outlook of the Poet; and then Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joanna Bradley performs a one-woman show about how awful people are, directed by the wonderful Becky Drysdale: Everybody’s Dumb and Boring

…and for the second half of this double-bill, remember how your father totally screwed you up? Imagine if you were brought up by Doug Moe: Doug Moe is a Bad Dad

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Bridey Elliot (Conan O’Brien), Nate Bargatze (Comedy Central Presents), Matt McCarthy (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death, host of AMC’s Action Pack, Comedy Central, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys), Henry Zebrowski (Murderfist, College Humor), and Joe Pera & Dan Licata (Weird Fracking Dudes) performing stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for the Third Anniversary of this weekly show hosted by Nick Turner & Jason Sáenz: Too Cool for School: Three Years and Counting

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA for first 30 people, from Artichoke Pizza!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Rose Surnow, David Lee Nelson, and Sabrina Jalees performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Negin Farsad’s & Amy Albert’s free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

[TOP PICK] 8:15ish pm ($5 at the door or $7.63 online): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s guests Taran Killam (cast member of Saturday Night Live, Mad TV), Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), and Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central) performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: The Party Machine: Zodiac Birthday Party Edition

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, TruTV, Tyra Banks), Mick Diflo (Carolines), and more performing at the only notable weekly comedy show I know of taking place in Astoria Queens—specifically, the Astoria Brewhouse (2850 31st Street): Brewhouse Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie; and then UCBT Harold Night house troupes Dance Break and Mr. Crime make up scenes without relying on the usual long-form “Harold” rules at Cheating on Harold

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Kristeen von Hagen (Showtime’s Comics without Borders), Kartin Hier (Oxygen, Ladies Who Punch), Peter Moses (VH1, Sorta Secret Comedy), and Francoise Gordon performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A stand-up who’s a frequent performer on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno, and starred in a Comedy Central one-hour special, performs tonight at UCB Chelsea with perhaps a guest or two: Tom Papa and Maybe a Friend

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

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.