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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 $) include:
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18, plus $15 food/drink min.; if you don’t drink, either the burger or lasagna is a fine choice): One of the highlights of FringeNYC 2011 was Andrea Alton playing Molly “Equality” Dykeman, a security guard at PS 339 who writes poetry while popping Cheetos and anti-depressants and chasing after every woman she sees. While in lesser hands Molly might be offensive, Alton walks the comedy tightrope Molly requires with skill and grace. Alton’s spent years learning her craft as a razor-sharp New York sketch comic and stand-up, and as a superb comedic actress. So if you have an open mind, and love comedy and/or gay parody, you’ll probably grow to love her hilariously over-the-top lesbian character. To get a feel for Molly, click here and here; and then go see her live at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (in the West Bank Cafe at 407 West 42 Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues). Helping Molly out tonight will be Shelly Mars (acclaimed performance artist), Colton Ford (Peace Bisquit/Woop Woop singer & actor), Vicky Sin (burlesque star), and The Mollettes (dancers Victoria Smalc & Meliza Fernandez). Just be aware that if you’re a woman sitting near the front, you’ll probably be propositioned. (Repeatedly…): A Molly Jolly Christmas
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 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] 8:00 pm ($5): The very special Fifth Year Anniversary edition of comics industry pros joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussionabout four-color pop culture at The PIT downstairs lounge: Comic Book Club: Fifth Year Anniversary Super-Spectacular
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door, $7.63 in advance online): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of books A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV, VH1), Amber Nelson (sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Gutbucket), and Joe Pera (very funny deadpan comic; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here) performing for this fun monthly show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Tyler Fischer & Sharron Paul that promises to be a Cheap Date Comedy Show
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Tiny Apartment (Web series by Mike O’Gorman, Jessie Cantrell, and Pat Driscol), Alice Wetterlund (improv troupe Garamond), and Josiah Madigan performing at UCB East for a comedy variety show guest-hosted tonight by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please clickhere and here): Hot Dang
8:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Still Mike, Deckard, Sandino, Grandma’s Ashes, and Very Good Kiss—and at 11:00 pm advanced improv students perform improv scenes that never end, but insteadcontinually flow out of old locations and into new ones—all at Harold Night
[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special), James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Kirk Douglas (guitarist/vocalist for Jimmy Fallon’s house band The Roots), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), David Cope (co-host of Hot Soup), and Ashley Brooke Roberts performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’sDown and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentaryMetaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Beowulf Jones (beloved comedy tech guy & star of one-man storytelling show Disconnected), and Alice Wetterlund (improv troupe Garamond), performing atUCB East for a show hosted by two of the most brilliant, fearless, and innovative comics in the biz, John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central) and Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives) who are teaming up to create their own special version of a comedy variety show: The Tony and Johnny Show
For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.