NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 11/23/11

November 23, 2011

For full details, please visit

Gilbert Gottfried

Gilbert Gottfried headlines for one night only at Carolines...

Livia Scott

...and magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott resurrects her popular showcase for dead celebrities at Livia's Castle of Enchantment

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Championing chaos for comedy, a team of improvisers perform: “What form? What type of show? Fuck that shit, just come and laugh.” The experiment in anarchy takes place at UCB East starring Don Fanelli, Dru Johnston, Tim Martin, Josh Patten, Kate Riley, and Terry Withers: Fuck That Shit

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($24.50 & 2-drink min.)  A unique comedy star headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfried

8:00 pm ($5): At this UCB Chelsea double-bill, Doug Moe is a Bad Dad will convince you that Doug Moe is actually a quite good dad, and also a skilled and highly likeable performer…but not so much an experienced writer. The production feels like a bunch of improvised bits glued together rather than a carefully planned and executed journey, providing little emotional satisfaction; and worse, not a whole bunch of laughs. Doug’s real-life experiences as a dad, and the videos of his little angel of a five-year-old daughter, offer the potential for a fine show, but cry out for more focused scripting. As for Everybody’s Dumb and Boring, I arrived late for it so will simply say that Joanna Bradley is also a talented performer, and is neither dumb nor boring; but once again, there were script problems. You may well end up a fan of both performers, though—and look forward to more developed work from them.

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): NYC stand-ups (not yet announced this week) performing stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this weekly show hosted by Nick Turner & Jason Sáenz: Too Cool for School

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Three teams of six UCB improvisors, each a mix of students and such veterans as John Frusciante, Amey Goerlich, Kevin Hines, and John Murray, performing an annual improv tradition at UCB East—a show that’s not about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, but something that precedes it: The Macy’s Day Before Thanksgiving Day Parade

[FREE—plus FREE BROOKLYN BEER] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Rose Surnow, Mara Herron, Justy Dodge, and George Gordon performing at a new free weekly show at Brooklyn’s Sandbox Underground (257 Grand Street, near the L subway’s Bedford stop) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and Nimesh Patel, and featuring free beer: Broken Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life is itself resurrected tonight at UCB Chelsea, as magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien,Law & OrderDirty Movie) hosts as JonBenet Ramsey and guest host Paul Downs pitches in as Michael Jackson. Adding to the comedic darkness will be sketch comedy from UCBT house troupe Onassis, music from phenom singer/songwriter Corn Mo, and “special surprise guests:” Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): Stellar Australian comic who’s been a regular onOpie & Anthony and starred in his own HBO special, I Swear To God, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jim Jefferies

[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.