NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/15/11

December 15, 2011

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Natasha Leggero

Star stand-up Natasha Leggero, who should not be missed, headlines tonight through Sunday at Carolines

 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:

6:00 pm ($5): Three shows about which I know nothing audition for a regular spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea schedule: Kiwi and Jojo Are Unemployed; George Kareman: The Ultimate Jam; and Convicts, Skinheads & Rabbis. These might be great or awful; but at $1.67 per show, you can’t go far wrong either way. That’s part of the fun of Spank

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: 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 The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

7:00 pm ($5): Kelli Porterfield performs a one-woman show about five residents of Joplin, MO atThe PIT upstairs theatre: Mirror Mirror On The Wall

[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] [$] 7:30 pm ($25): “The stirring musical story of the courageous and honorable Judah Maccabee, relentlessly hunted by the Hellenized high priest Jason. Join us on the barricades of92YTribeca for Seth Rudetsky as Judah and Matt Leisy as Jason, with Peter J. Cook, Michael Schulman, Billy Zavelson, Jesse Oxfeld, and Rachel Shukert (who also wrote this):” Eight Days More: A Broadway Tribute to Hanukkah

[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

7:30 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet co-owner helming The Armando Diaz Experience, plus house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, and Phooka performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with former 2011 championns competing at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29 & 2-drink min.) A razor-sharp and irresistible star who was the stand-out judge on the most recent Last Comic Standing; who’s performed on Jay LenoChelsea Lately,The Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, and FX, and is slated to star in a Comedy Central Presents special; and who loves music, dark comedy, and mercilessly parodying the rich, performing not-to-be-missed headlining sets tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Natasha Leggero

[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 upstairs theatre to see Spurn

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney perform new sketches at UCB Chelsea, as well as host stand-up and improv guests: BriTANicK: The Monthly Mankerthon

8:00 pm ($5): Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), Alice Wetterlund (improv troupe Garamond), and Harry Terjanian (Sirius XM Radio) performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by comedic rapper Andrew Singer and the delightful Abbi Crutchfield: Positively Awesome

[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 (MTV, Spike TV): Happy Sounds Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Jason Kanter, and Sagar Bhatt performing at this free monthly show (every third Thursday) at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by Charlie Kasov & Glenn Danzig: Danzig Needs A Hug

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:15 pm: Some of the finest stand-ups in NYC, including Chris Gethard, Marina Franklin, Brooke Van Poppelen, Mark Normand, Matt McCarthy, and Nate Bargatze, each performing 5-7 minutes sets while being filmed for this free show at Brooklyn’s Cameo Gallery (93 North 6th Street): Top Stand-Ups “I Need a Tape” Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.) A comedy icon who’s performed on David Lettermanover 40 times and The Tonight Show over 10 times, and did the acclaimed HBO comedy specialThis’ll Take About An Hour and Showtime special I Love You, headlining tonight through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jake Johannsen

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Phoebe Robinson (host of Case of the Mondays Comedy), sketch duo Team Submarine, Jesse Falcon (renowned improvisor, former Contributing Editor to Cracked Magazine), and “a surprise special guest” performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller, and author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), Ron Babcock (HBO, Last Comic Standing), Anton Shuford, Neruda Williams, 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 and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; writer for Glamour, Elle; NPR’s This American Life; co-host of red-hotThe Talent Show), Aasif Mandvi (correspondent for The Daily Show), Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion, FringeNYC, co-host of The Standard Issues), and Tracy Rowland (The Moth)—performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme The Holidays at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of, you can see the folks behind it plus like-minded comics on the UCB Chelsea stage—tonight including Streeter Seidell, Andy Haynes, Dan Gurewitch, Patrick Cassels, Adrienne lapalucci, and Barry Rothbart—at CollegeHumor Live

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: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): It’s a battle of titans as two of the finest improv troupes in the country, Outlook of the Poet and The Stepfaters, compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the 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

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