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Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 2:00 pm ($14.45 online using discount code LAUGHTRACK): One of my favorite theatre duos, Rachel Buethe & James Presson, have come out with a new play that updates Hedda Gabler to the world of network TV. It’s a fresh, ambitious work that pushes at the borders between art and reality, entertainment and meaning. And while it’s not a comedy—in some ways, it’s actually an anti-comedy—at its core is a sitcom. For my full review, please click here. If you’re open to something different, don’t miss the too-brief run (ending December 18th) of this vibrant show at Walkerspace (46 Walker Street, near the Canal Street stops of the A/E/C/N/R/1/2/3/6 subways): Friends Don’t Let Friends
[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Matt Koff (writer for The Onion), and Rob Stern (co-host of Gutbucket) participate in “a weekly podcast that assembles a new panel of comedians and weird characters to give funny advice, or at the very least relate to the people’s problems with their own stories” at UCB East hosted by Andy Rocco: Here to Help
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000
7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf):Indie Cage Match
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 plus 2-drink minimum): A former Saturday Night Live star, cast member of Showtime’s Weeds, star of his own Comedy Central special, and actor in over two dozen comedy feature films—including Anger Management, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Daddy Day Care, Get Smart, and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan—headlining one last night at theCarolines Comedy Club: Kevin Nealon
[FREE] 8:00 pm: Pete Lee (Comedy Central Presents), Matt McCarthy (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death, host of AMC’s Action Pack, Comedy Central, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys, host of Marking Out), Alice Wetterlund (improv troupe Garamond), Nore Davis, and more performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up
[$] 8:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining one last night at the GothamComedy Club: Pablo Francisco
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Pete Lee (Comedy Central Presents), Erin Lennox (co-host of Freshand The I Like You Too Show; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please clickhere), Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Phoebe Robinson (host of Case of the Mondays Comedy), and Michael Che (host of Michael Che’s Community Service) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special): Comedy Night
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), Phoebe Robinson (host of Case of the Mondays Comedy), David Cope (co-creator of this show), and Bryson Turner performing at UCB East hosted by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Andy Haynes, and/or David Cope: Hot Soup
[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sean Donnelly (XM Radio; host of Lil’ Seany Boy and co-host ofOchi’s Motel), Missy Baker, JF Harris, Jeff Wesselschmidt, and Ben Konstantin performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Brad Austin, Nate Fridson, and/or Adam Sokol: Comedy at the Beauty Bar
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A roast of Yannis Pappas, with roastmaser Nate Bargatze, and roasters Sean Patton, Pat Dixon, Mark Normand, Louis Katz, Mike Lawrence, Dan Soder, Annie Lederman, Jessimae Peluso, Micheal Che, Joe List, Ben Kissel, Thomas Dale, Rebecca Trent, Chris Laker, and Ed Larson, plus “special appearances” by James Adomian and Henry Zebrowski, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Roast of Yannis Pappas
[FREE] 10:00 pm: Helen Hong (Logo’s Setup Squad, Comedy Central, TLC) and Adam Lehman (Here TV’s Hot Gay Comics) performing at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy guest-hosted tonight by the show’s founder Adam Sank: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($20): Chicago-based TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are considered to be among the finest long-form improvisors alive. Just by feeling their way through moment by moment, they create one-hour tales that, if all goes well, will thrill you as powerfully as any scripted work. Tonight is the third of their four-evening run—through this Monday—at The Barrow Street Theatre: TJ & Dave
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