NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 11/30/11

November 30, 2011

RIP Patrice Oneal, passed away from stroke yesterday.

John Gemberling and Elna Baker

Genius comics John Gemberling, Elna Baker, and more challenge your deductive skills at "The Talent Show: The First Thanksgiving Murder Mystery Dinner Party"...

Online Dating

...and Jessica Delfino, Amanda Duarte, and more tell tales of online dating at How I Learned the Laws of Attraction

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.): The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame), Emily Epstein, Dan Cartwright, Darcy Burke, Jaqi Furback, and Justin Morgan 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 Leviathan, The Wrath, The Surge, Horses, Brick, Featherweight, Dunk, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Horses 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 ofDeath By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform asOutlook of the Poet; and then Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7 at the door, or $8.44 in advance online—the latter is recommended because this show usually sells out): Genius storyteller Elna Baker and Kevin Townley host New York Magazine’s 2011 pick for Best Variety Show, with tonight’s all-star guests John Gemberling, Kurt Braunohler, Bobby Tisdale, Shonali Bhowmik, Sarah Nowak, Eric Sloven, Eric Ledgin, and more performing a special post-holiday event at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): The Talent Show: The First Thanksgiving Murder Mystery Dinner Party

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Tales of online dating, with stellar storytellers Jessica Delfino (enjoys singing songs about her vagina, as demonstrated by her CD Dirty Folk Rock; created hilarious & wildly popular YouTube short I Wanna Be Famous), Amanda Duarte (sharp-witted & razor-tongued comedic writer/actress/director; HBO, NBC), Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion, FringeNYC, co-host of The Standard Issues), Chloe Caldwell (author of upcoming essay book Legs Get Led Astray), and Craig Baldo (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1, The Onion) performing at Happy Ending (302 Broome Street) hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned the Laws of Attraction

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a razor-sharp troupe consisting of writers for The Onionperform their best sketches: Pangea 3000: 12 Years of Hard Work

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a sketch show that turns reality on its head, and that I’ll be seeing tonight. Meanwhile, suffice to say it’s directed by Neil Casey, who to date has been involved with most of the best scripted shows at UCBT this year (and performed in most of the best improvised ones): This is Not a Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingHarold and Kumar 2), Found Footage Festival (sharing hilariously odd amateur videos), Ron Lynch (Comedy Central, Adult Swim; visiting from LA, where he hosts the weekly comedy show Tomorrow!), and Matt Hobby & and Mary Grill of sketch troupe New Excitement performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Sáenz: Too Cool for School

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA for first 30 people, from Artichoke Pizza!] 8:00 pm: NYC comics Jessica Delfino, Greg Barris, David Lee Nelson, Tyler Gildin, and Nick Cobb performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Negin Farsad’s & Amy Albert’s free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

[FREE] 8:30 pm: About a dozen NYC stand-ups, including Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central) and Luke Thayer (co-host of The Living Room), 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 Very Good Kiss and Grandma’s Ashes make up scenes without relying on the usual long-form “Harold” rules at Cheating on Harold

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Bridey Elliott (David Letterman, WitStream), Katla McGlynn (Deputy Comedy Editor at The Huffington Post), Kambri Crews (author of new book Burn the Ground Down), and more performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

9:00 pm ($5): A dark comedy sketch group that includes beloved East Village performer Tanya O’Debra and ace singer/songwriter Ben Lerman celebrates its One Year Anniversary at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Beaches 2

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Anthony Atamanuik, Christian Capazzoli, Jon Gabrus, Ryan Paulson, and wonderful host David Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s highly promising theme ReligionThe Nights of Our Lives

[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

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