NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/17/11

For full details, please visit

Natasha Leggero and Amy Schumer

Star stand-ups Natasha Leggero (headlining at Carolines) and Amy Schumer (co-headlining with Ted Alexandro & Judah Friedlander at Eastville)...

Super Mario Bros.: The Movie

...Oscar Montoya & Chris Grace present one of the worst films of all time: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s: Super Mario Bros....

Cage Match: Hanukkaos

...and exceedingly odd holiday comedic wrestling commences at midnight at Hanukkaos

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 & 7:30 pm ($14.45 online using discount codeLAUGHTRACK): 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 (endingtomorrow) 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

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[FREE] 5:30 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Genetic Freaks, LD50, and Double Date at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8; includes free cookies): Stellar comedic filmmaker Oren Brimer (Front Page Films), rap star Jean Grae, and stand-ups Jackie Monahan, Sean Donnelly, and Annie Lederman telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs, Sex and Other Human Activities podcast, upcoming book Agorafabulous):Family Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber hosts this monthly open-mic storytelling show at UCB Eastthat at the end selects a favorite from the audience tales to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month: Animated Stories

7:00 pm ($5): Asian-American improvisors from UCBT, The Magnet, The PIT, and elsewhere all gather for one night to perform at The PIT upstairs theatre—”These guys are taking everything they know about math, dry cleaning, nursing, academically demanding parents, Tony Jaa, online role-playing games, fish, outsourced call centers, Gojira, and cab driving, and tossing it all in the wok for you to eat up with a hot cup of tea:” InvAsian

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, Brandon Gardner, Jed Resnik, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions at UCB Chelsea all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnetmaking up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 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 Leno,Chelsea LatelyThe Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, and FX, and is slated to star in aComedy Central Presents special; and who loves music, dark comedy, and mercilessly parodying the rich, performing not-to-be-missed headlining sets one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club:Natasha Leggero

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A comedy icon who’s performed on David Letterman over 40 times and The Tonight Show over 10 times, and did the acclaimed HBO comedy special This’ll Take About An Hour and Showtime special I Love You, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jake Johannsen

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($5): A PIT performer about to leave NYC for Austin Texas is given a comedic tribute by his peers at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Ben Masten Farewell Roast

8:30 pm ($10): Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, IFC), David Angelo (Jimmy Fallon), Kevin Barnett, Anthony Devito, Will Hines, and Luke Cunningham performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): 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.), Amy Schumer (red-hot rising star; Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Fallon), Judah Friedlander (30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriac drug user, please click here), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Veteran improv duo Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld are joined at The Magnet for one night only by improv star Christina Gausas (Conan O’Brien, The Colbert Report, Let’s Have a Ball):Gausas & MegaLou

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Comics performing as characters at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s packed show featuring Nicole Byer (Doppelganger), Greg Barris (Heart of Darkness), Bob Kulhan (Baby Wants Candy), Sarah Nowak (The Baldwins), Alice Wetterlund (College Humor), Jason Saenz (Onasis, Too Cool for School), Joe Schiappa (MTV), Mary Grill (New Exc!tement), Jason Kalter (Rue Brutalia), Alan Starzinski (Sandino), and Jeremy Bent, hosted by Rob Stern:Overload the Machine

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv at The Magnet from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duoTrike

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154, Aquarius) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies.” Joining him is Chris Grace (Cold Soda, The Faculty). Tonight’s feature isan infamous videogame-based insult to good taste—”Named one of the worst video game movie adaptation of all time, Super Mario Bros. was, hands down, a flop. The crazy parallel dimension depicted in the movie has nothing to do with the video game, and the co-stars weren’t even Italian!:” Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Super Mario Bros.

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “It’s going to be a Festival of Fights as UCBW MegaStars do battle in Eight Crazy Matches at this annual holiday season spectacular!” As crazy as professional wrestling is, this show at UCB Chelsea takes things to a whole other level. For example, one of tonight’s scheduled bouts is described as follows: “Holy Ghost’s Holiday Rumble: Winner gets fucked by the Holy Ghost and impregnated with the next Messiah!” Physical sketch comedy to the extreme, it’s UCBW: Hanukkaos

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: