NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 12/21/11

December 21, 2011

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Todd Bieber's Commercial Interruption

Todd Bieber debuts a hilarious show about his past creating microbudget local TV ads: "Commercial Interruption"...

Andrea Rosen

...and new mom Andrea Rosen returns with one of the very best solo shows of the year: "Ding Dong Meow"

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[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

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Grappler, Leviathan, The Surge, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Featherweight, Horses, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Leviathan at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Jon Rineman (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Jess Sutich (storyteller), Hadiyah Robinson, and Ben Conrad performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with host Selena Coppock: Connotation

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then genius improvisors Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform as Outlook of the Poet

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content and Production for UCB Comedy, has had his own video/film work viewed over 25 million times via the sites of YouTube,The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and many more. Tonight Todd debuts a show about how he used to make “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania. And he was great at it. Come hear the true stories, watch the final commercials, see the outtakes, and find out how these ridiculously horrible commercials got made.” Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, expect an exceptionally hilarious time at Commercial Interruption

…and in the other half of this double-bill, enormously likable ace improvisor & sketch performer Doug Moe (Conan O’Brien, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, renowned improv troupe Mother) takes a stab at doing a solo show. The writing doesn’t reach the potential of the subject, but it’s still a pleasure to see Doug on stage, as well as enjoy video clips of his little angel of a five-year-old daughter: Doug Moe is a Bad Dad

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29-$49): Stephen Merchant—the Emmy, BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning co-creator with Ricky Gervais of BBC’s The Office and Extras—performs a one-man stand-up show for one last night at Town Hall as part of an international tour: Stephen Merchant: Hello Ladies

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), 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 click here and here), Jeff Maurer, and MC Mr Napkins performing stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this weekly show hosted by Nick Turner & Jason Sáenz: Too Cool for School

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Rachael Parenta, Tod Montesi, Gary Vider, Dan Frigolette, Ray Marshall, Matt Sears, Justin McClure, and Jesse Jones performing at the only notable weekly comedy show I know of taking place in Astoria Queens—specifically, the Astoria Brewhouse (2850 31st Street): Brewhouse Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the very best shows of the year returns tonight at UCB Chelsea (following its star, Andrea Rosen, giving birth a few months ago). Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that she’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances to grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but raw pig, written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Tegart (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by hot comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams: Pig: A Restaurant

10:00 pm ($5): Comics at UCB East, including the wonderful Neil Casey, Will Hines, Mindy Raf, Giulia Rozzi, and much more look back at what was awful in 2011 at a sketch show that’s become an annual UCB tradition: The It Sucked! Awards

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup, blog Sandpaper Suit), and musical guests Myq & Micah performing at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this new talk & stand-up show hosted by Sarah Tollemache: Last Night

[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. Plus tonight is extra special, with guests including Abbi Jacobson (Broad City, Welcome To Camp), Lou Perez (Greg & Lou), and Adam Newman (College Humor). 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: A Very Special Christmas School Night

[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

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