NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/17/11

November 17, 2011

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Lili Taylor

Spectacular film & TV star Lili Taylor tells stories about family at "Risk!"...

Julia Wiedeman

...Julia Wiedeman celebrates baring all in her memorable sketch show "Naked People"...

The Last Testament: A Memoir by God wtih David Javerbaum

...and Emmy-winning author David Javerbaum discusses his new book with NPR's Ira Glass: "The Last Testament: A Memoir By God"

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] 6:00 pm ($5): An exploration of baring it all by fabulous long-time nudist Julia Wiedeman (who I had the great fortune of seeing about a decade ago as she walked around with zero clothing, like a glorious tigress, in broad daylight on the streets of the East Village): Naked People; plus a parody of The Bachelor written by Leila Cohan-Miccio & Caitlin Bitzegaio and directed by Beth Appel: The Final Rose; and a sketch show starring Sue Galloway titled Pose: A Magazine for Women, all auditioning for a regular spot on the UCB Chelsea schedule at Spank

[TOP PICK] [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 brilliant guest host Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; writer for Glamour, Elle; NPR’s This American Life; co-host of red-hot The Talent Show): 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 Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): A delightful comedic singing duo (according to Molly, “really smart, funny, talented, awesome people with great bods; Molly is bitter, heavily medicated and she reads poetry”) performing at 92Y Tribeca for an intimate hour of music and more: Mel & El: Our Time of the Month

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A Curb Your Enthusiasm star and superb stand-up headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Susie Essman

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): “If you were alive in the 70’s, you may have attended some ‘Key Parties’ where you were randomly paired with someone to go home with and engage in free spirited coitus. (Today we either stay at home alone or congregate at an improv theater.) Key Party combines the 70’s arrangement with modern anxiety, exploring the rich moments leading up to that act of coupling and the fallout that follows” at UCB East with stellar comics Jordan Klepper, Laura Grey (delightful old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm), and guest improvisors: Key Party; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv based on the iPods, CDs, and mp3 players provided by audience members, executed by superb performers Fran Gillespie, Ryan Karels, Megan Neuringer, Jesse Falcon, Silvija Ozols, Doug Moe, Lou Perez, Sue Galloway, and Emily Axford: Soundtrack USA

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 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—executed by a Broadway-caliber cast, and with several memorable show-stoppers—is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): In this double-bill at UCB Chelsea, Leah Gotcsik & Marty Johnson perform their sketch show Somebody’s in the Doghouse

…and then there’s a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but raw pig, written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Tegart (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by hot comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams: Pig: A Restaurant

8:00 pm ($5): “Best friends Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixell created an Internet phenomenon by challenging pairs of women to double date them and documenting the hilarious results for YouTubers everywhere. Two hundred dates later, their experiences were translated into reenactments, educational songs, and valuable lessons in everything from dancing to kissing. Tonight, these dating experts employ audience-recounted horror stories as inspiration for improvised scenes, in an attempt to enlighten you on the art of romance” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Dating Coaches

8:00 pm ($5): Stand-up from Will Hines, Brendan Fitzgibbons, Toby Muresianu, Frank Gallo, and Jess Dweck, and improv By Abbie Harper & Matt Silver, performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by comedic rapper Andrew Singer and Kara Klenk: Positively Awesome

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game showPointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Michelle Collins (FOX, MTV, VH1), and Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel) performing at 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 ($15): Emmy winner David Javerbaum, the former Head Writer & Executive Producer of The Daily Show, has written the greatest collection of memoirs since The Bible—because his collaborator was God. As Javerbaum explains it, “with the Earth He Godded so magnificently drawing to a Mayan-induced close,”it was time to “break His 1,400-year literary silence with His final masterpiece.” Tonight Javerbaum discusses his book, The Last Testament, with NPR’s Ira Glass (host of This American Life) at 92Y Tribeca for what promises to be a memorable “telleth-all:” The Last Testament: A Memoir by God Discussed by David Javerbaum & Ira Glass

[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 ($10): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are Lili Taylor (astonishing, unforgettable actress; star of cult film I Shot Andy Warhol, co-star of HBO’s Six Feet Under), Aaron Wolfe & Naomi Azar (The Moth, NPR’s This American Life), Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, co-host of Citizen Radio), and Jan Warner (Pull Me Back, Poetry of Resilience)—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme Family at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of, you can see the folks behind it plus like-minded comics on the UCB Chelsea stage—tonight including Streeter Seidell, Jake & Amir, Jon Rineman, Alice Wetterlund, and hilarious Front Page Films shorts starring Pete Holmes & Matt McCarthy—at CollegeHumor Live

[$] 9:30 pm ($24.50 & 2-drink min.) A TV star who was a cast member of MTV’s Punk’d and is now a cast member of FX’s The League headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Stephen Rannazzisi

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Round 3 of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB Chelsea—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

[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

11:00 pm ($5): Young improvisors from Evanston, Illinois making their NYC debut at The PITdownstairs lounge: Dilly Bar

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