NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/29/11

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.

Mel and El

Musical comedy duo Mel & El perform at "Stripped Stories"...

Scott Blakeman

...and political comedian Scott Blakeman looks back at "The End of the Year as We Know It"

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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives) and tonight’s guest host Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, The Tony and Johnny Show): Oh, Hey Guys!

6:30 pm ($5): The auditions of two comedic one-act plays hoping to get on the UCBT schedule, and about which I know nothing except they’re titled Masterpiece Platinum Presents: Murder Abbey andDeath Wears Stilettos: A Noir Comedy. But at $2.50 per show, it’s hard to go wrong at this frequently surprising and fun UCB Chelsea showcase: Spank

[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 Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10 at the door or $11.34 online): Witty political commentator Scott Blakeman performs stand-up about the year that was, and then hosts a panel with Lee Camp (Showtime’s The Green Room), Rob Taub (Onion News Network), Steve Rendall (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), and T.J. McCormack (host of FOX and Friends) at The Tank’s Playroom Theater (151 West 46th Street, 8th Floor): The End of the Year as We Know It with Scott Blakeman

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), Molly Knefel (Naked in a Fishbowl, John & Molly Get Along), Robin Gelfenbien (My Salvation Has a First Name), and Adam Lash (“once murdered a bear because it made a pass at his mama”) join terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) for a comedy variety show at The PIT basement lounge: Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Improv based on the iPods, CDs, and mp3 players provided by audience members, executed by such superb performers as Fran Gillespie, Ryan Karels, Megan Neuringer, Jesse Falcon, Silvija Ozols, Doug Moe, Lou Perez, Sue Galloway, and Emily Axford: Soundtrack USA; plus in the second half of this UCB East double-bill, an improv troupe attempts to abandon rules for the sake of achieving new levels of hilarity in Fuck That Shit

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet co-owner helming The Armando Diaz Experience, plus house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Phooka, and Junior Varsity, performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with agame-like challenge component) with veteran Magnet performers and, for tonight only, members of the audience drawn from names in a hat at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 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 tonight and Friday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeffrey Ross

[$] 8:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special The Byrne identity headlining tonight and Friday at theGotham Comedy Club (with opener Colin Jost): Steve Byrne

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Streeter Seidell (College Humor, Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, IFC), and “a very special guest” performing UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 2:00 pm day of show; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly event 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 ($5): Rachael Mason (Late Night Republic) and David Crabb (Ask Me Stories) joining sensual hosts Margot Leitman (VH1, Spike TV) and Giulia Rozzi (MTV, VH1.com, co-host ofDive Comedy) in telling true tales on tonight’s theme “High School”—plus hot songs from delightful duo Mel & El—at the best sexy storytelling comedy show in NYC: Stripped Stories

9:30 pm ($5): D&D-style epic fantasy improv, plus nerdy stand-up from Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill) and Doug Smith—at The PIT upstairs theatre led by a Dungeon Master

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Superb improv troupes Diamond Lion and Boy Butter competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea’s 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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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.

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