NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/1/11

For full details, please visit

Fred Armisen and Jessi Klein

Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen and former SNL writer Jessi Klein perform tonight at Variety SHAC...

Richard Lewis

...and Richard Lewis headlines tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club

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: Weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives) and tonight’s guest host Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories): Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and 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 Phooka to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at 92Y Tribeca(200 Hudson Street): Mortified

7:00 pm ($5): “What really goes on inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl from Long Island who’s obsessed with sleepaway camp, Madonna, and everything that her sexually promiscuous older sister does?” A one-woman show by Ali Bernstein: J.A.P.

7:00 pm ($5): The audition of a comedic one-act play about “an iconic R&B recording artist back for a one-night-only sensual live performance after more than a decade out of the spotlight; watch as Johnny recounts his storied past, confronts his personal demons, and plays his most popular hits” at this UCB Chelsea trial showcase: Johnny Tables Unplugged

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.)  A comedy star who’s snared just about every major credit a comic can—and is a long-time cast member of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm—headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Richard Lewis

[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] 8:00 pm ($5): One of UCB Chelsea’s best house sketch troupes, Fambly (spearheaded by rising star Mamrie Hart), performing an entire sketch show reolving around a Sting song (which “isn’t even Sting’s most popular”): Fambly Presents Sting’s Brand New Day

…and in the second half of this double-bill, 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): This acclaimed 10-year-and-counting sketch troupe has “amassed a cultish following and a cast who blindly throw themselves into the most questionable of onstage situations, bless their black little hearts….join them for a hilariously unsettling look at growing older, having children, killing your dreams, and settling.” For examples of the troupe’s work, please clickhere and here, and then come to The PIT downstairs lounge to see Spurn

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet co-owner helming The Armando Diaz Experience, plus house troupes Hello Laser, Phooka, The Boss, and Junior Varsity performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with agame-like challenge component) with Everyone vs. Shawn Wickens at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): David Bluvband (Onion News Network, Jimmy Fallon) and Saida Cooper (Lights Off at The Players Theatre) tell tales revolving this month’s theme, Holidays, at The PITdownstairs lounge along with young hosts Michelle Markowitz & Bryan Rucker, who say they’re Failing Our Twenties

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (for tonight’s lineup, please click here) performing at The Creek’supstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City accompanied by banjo music from Doug Goldstein and hosted by Andy Kleinman: Happy Sounds Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion, upcoming book), Starlee Kine (NPR’s This American Life), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life), and Paul Oddo (The Paul-cast) performing UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) for this extra special to-be-taped edition: The Best of Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Emmy Blotnick (Jimmy Fallon), Jason Roeder (The Onion; Our Bodies, Our Junk), Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), and more performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for a weekly comedy show with hosts Dan Wllber & Sean Crespo and producer Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Fred Armisen (cast member of Saturday Night Live; co-creator & co-star of IFC sketch series Portlandia), Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), and Nimesh Patel (co-host of Broken Comedy) performing at UCB West with delightful hosts Shonali Bhowmik (leader of musical group Tigers & Monkeys) and new mom Andrea RosenAndrea Rosen (brilliant stand-up & storyteller; HBO, Comedy Centralwinner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up): Variety SHAC

9:30 pm ($8): “A 17-person middle school talent show created and performed by two people—Jo Firestone and Dylan Marron—who like themselves more now that they’re older. A comedic tribute to the best three years of our lives, and a comedic play for anyone who ever thought it couldn’t get any better than prank calls and slow-dancing” at The PITRidgefield Middle School Talent Nite

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: Sharp improvisors from UCBT, The Magnet, The PIT, and/or more try their hand at stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Improvisers Standing Up

[$] 10:00 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy ClubPaul Mooney

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Two star improv troupes, Rogue Elephant and Doppelgänger, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s raucous Cage Match

[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

For full details, please visit

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