NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 12/28/11

December 28, 2011

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Todd Bieber's Commercial Interruption

Todd Bieber screens TV ads he's less than proud of creating at one of the best solo shows of the year: "Commercial Interruption"...

The Talent Show: Re-Gifting Edition

...Elna Baker hosts Dave Hill, Leo Allen, Myq Kaplan, Tom Shillue, Jena Friedman, and more while letting you re-gift your crappy Xmas present: "The Talent Show"...

Molly Knefel

...and Molly Knefel & her brother John have tales to tell about him getting Occupy-arrested at "John & Molly Get Along"

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 (no cover, 1-item min.): Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), Kerryn Feehan, Michael Cannon, Marc Maietta, and John Moses performing stand-up 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, Leviathan, The Surge, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Featherweight, Horses, and Brick performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Surge at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and 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

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.)  A comic best known for his appearances on Comedy Central celebrity roasts, but who’s also performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay LenoThe Today Show, The View, HBO, CNN, MSNBC—and even ABC’s Dancing with the Stars!—headlining through Friday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeffrey Ross

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7 at the door, or $8.44 in advance online—the latter is recommended because this show usually sells out): Genius storyteller/writer Elna Baker hosts New York Magazine’s 2011 pick for Best Variety Show, with tonight’s hilarious guests Dave Hill, Leo Allen, Myq Kaplan, Tom Shillue, John Roberts, Jena Friedman, Starlee Kline, and more—not to mention a 250-person gift swap—at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): The Talent Show: The Second Annual Re-Gifting Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content & Production for, has had his video/film work viewed over 25 million times via such sites, and But before his success, Todd spent a couple of years churning out, as he bluntly puts it, “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania.” If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of ridiculously awful late-night TV ads, and/or someone who likes to laugh, come enjoy this fascinating and hilarious insider look at microbudget commercials and the creative process. Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, this is one of the very best solo shows of the year: 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 always 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] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Hosts Molly Knefel (member of superb improv troupe Naked in a Fishbowl) and her brother John Knefel (veteran stand-up) had an exciting month: John got arrested at an Occupy Wall Street protest, and Molly told Keith Olbermann about it on national television. Come hear the details—and also see stand-ups James Adomian, Dan St. Germain, Jamie Kilstein, and Jordan Carlos performing—at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, off Thompson Street): John and Molly Get Along

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free monthly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street) hosted by Charlie Gaeta: SuperWednesday!

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Calvin S. Cato (host of The Pre-Game Show), Jay Nog, Toby Muresianu, Ben Rosenfeld, Joe Pontillo, Tom Steffen, Oni Perez, and Nathan Macintosh 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): 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

9:00 pm ($5): A dark comedy sketch group focusing tonight on JonBenét Ramsey at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Beaches 2: JonBenét Ramsey Edition

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, Anthony Atamanuik, Todd Bieber, Dyna Moe, and guest host John Flynn—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s theme The Year in ReviewThe Nights of Our Lives

[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. (For tonight’s lineup, 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

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