NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 12/18/11

December 18, 2011

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The Muppets: Christmas

Treasured holiday-themed movie & TV clips starring The Muppets at Brooklyn's Union Hall: "The Muppet Vault: Christmas"...

Stephen Merchant

...and the co-creator of BBC's The Office and Extras performing his new touring stand-up show at UCB East: "Stephen Merchant: Hello Ladies"

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] 2:00 pm ($8): Christmas-themed Muppets clips—including the acclaimed 1987 TV special A Muppet Family Christmas—screened at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, plus Muppet-themed drink specials, cool giveaways, sing-along fun, and more:” The Muppet Vault: Christmas

[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 today) 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 walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[FREE] 5:00 pm: Sketch troupe StreetPass NYC puts on an audience interactive holiday show atThe Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Secret Santa Holiday Celebration

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Improv duo The Bedtime Brothers begin by making up scenes based on an audience member’s horrible dating or break-up experience, and end with scenes springboarding off an audience-supplied movie quote; and in between invited stand-ups and sketch comics perform. It all happens at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Love Sucks! Movies Rock!

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Sean Conroy (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, legendary improv troupeThe Swarm), Dan McCoy (writer for The Daily Show), Elliot Kalan (writer for The Daily Show), and Stuart Wellington 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]: UCBwest’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

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[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] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TVChelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales), Kara Klenk (co-host of If You Build It), Michael Che (host of Michael Che’s Community Service), and Drew Toresco performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Belleville (330 5th Street) for this monthly extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh; for a sample of Erin’s dynamiteSeriously Sports show, please click here), plus sketch from Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Chris Waite, and customized songs about each performer from adorable gal trio The Bandana Splits: Erin Lennox’s I Like You Too Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Team Submarine (sketch duo Nate Fernald & Steve O’Brien; SketchFest NYC), Josh Gondelman, and Andy Sandford performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge for a free weekly show typically hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Magnet sketch comics performing new material: Ripe Sketch Comedy

9:00 pm ($5): Sean Conroy (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, legendary improv troupe The Swarm), 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), David Angelo (Jimmy Fallon), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing; last show before moving to LA), and more performing at UCB East hosted by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, and/or David Cope: Hot Soup

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Calise Hawkins (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for, Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, IFC), Jermaine Fowler, Sabrina Jalees, and Charlotte Macdonald performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jordan Carlos, Dan Hirshon, Andy Sanford, Gregory Quinn, and Mark Chalifoux performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Brad Austin, Nate Fridson, and/or Adam Sokol: Beauty Bar Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Allison Castillo (Comedy Central, VH1), Jackie Monahan (Dykes on MicsHot Gay Comics, LOL Tour), and Veronica Elisabeth 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] 11:00 pm ($5): A warm-up show at UCB East for Stephen Merchant—the Emmy, BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning co-creator with Ricky Gervais of BBC’s The Office and Extras—before he performs his new stand-up show at Town Hall this Tuesday & Wednesday: Stephen Merchant: Hello Ladies

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