NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 12/14/11

December 14, 2011

For full details, please visit

Lou Reed

Music legends Lou Reed (above) and Suzanne Vega are the scheduled guests at UCB Chelsea for WFMU's 7 Second Delay...

Joe DeRosa

...and razor-sharp stand-up Joe DeRosa headlines 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:

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): If the UCB Chelsea description is accurate, then tonight’s lineup is killer: legendary singer/songwriters Lou Reed and Suzanne Vega are among the scheduled guests at Ken Freedman’s & Andy Breckman’s live-on-stage taping of their radio show WFMU’s 7 Second Delay

[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.): Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Tales of the Cosmos and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please clickhere), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing), Rob Stern (co-host of Gutbucket), and Shelley Hamilton 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 Grappler, The Surge, Leviathan, Horses, Brick, Featherweight, The Wrath, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Grappler 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.) A razor-sharp stand-up who’s performed on HBO’sBored to Death and Down and Dirty, as well as FX’s Louie and radio show Opie & Anthony, starred in his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, created the comedy CDs The Depression Auction and Return of the Depression Auction, and co-hosts the weekly NYC stand-up showRighteous Kill headlining at the Carolines Comedy Club: Joe DeRosa

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Catie Lazarus hosts a show at UCB Chelsea about what it’s like to have a dreamy job, with tonight’s guests The Yes Men (pranksters using comedy for social activism), Eric Jacobson (Sesame Street muppeteer for Miss Piggy, Bert, Fozzie Bear, Grover, Animal, and more), Kerry Butler (Broadway star; Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast, Xanadu), and musical guest Chris Sullivan (a.k.a., Shockwave; amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown): Employee of the Month

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA for first 30 people, from Artichoke Pizza!] 8:00 pm: Way fun sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show), Sue Funke (I Love TV More Than You), Katrin Heir (Comedy Central, Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and Emily Heller performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Negin Farsad’s & Amy Albert’s free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing stand-up atThe 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): 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 troupes Creature and Sandino make up scenes without relying on the usual long-form “Harold” rules at Cheating on Harold

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central), Troy Bynum (VH1, IFC), Luke Thayer (Tyra Banks; co-host of The Living Room), Carrie Gravenson, and music from Summer & Eve (Joe’s Pub, national TV commercials) performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, first up is “a musical spectacular featuring such classic hits as Clever Girl and Their Vision Is Based on Movement—complete with live dinosaurs on stage:” Jurassic Park: The Musical 

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a meta-comedy in which a real estate agent tries to convince a couple that the actual theatre you’re in would be a great home for them. He does this by putting on a series of sketches that are presented as a random sampling of what UCBT has to offer but that, directly or indirectly, promote the stage as a wonderful residence. It’s a way fun idea—and frankly, I wish it’d been further developed, so that the internal sketches were used as stepping stones to achieve a larger and genuinely compelling story. Even as is, though, it’s great fun at the start, after which you’ll enjoy sporadic laughs depending on the quality of individual sketches. The other pleasures of the show are its performers, who include the delightful Brandon Gulya, Brandon Scott Jones, and Tim Dunn: This is Not a Sketch Show—A Sketch Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

[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. Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes Jena Friedman (staff writer for David Letterman), Brandon Gulya (Stone Cold Fox, Sandino, This is Not a Sketch Show), and David Cope (co-host of Hot Soup); for the complete list, please click here. 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

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.