NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 1/5/12

January 5, 2012

For full details, please visit

New Year, Healthier You: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Chris Gethard has a new book. It’s great, and you should buy it here.

Amy Schumer and John Hodgman

Amy Schumer headlines through Sunday at Carolines; John Hodgman is performance reviewed at Lollygaggin' with David Rees

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: Dave Martin, host of UCBT’s The Nights of Our Lives, which is one of the very finest storytelling shows in the county, is the guest tonight at this weekly open-mic storytelling show that provides each randomly selected audience volunteer a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress at UCB East hosted by John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives): Oh, Hey Guys!

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: If you’ve got a question, suggestion, or request to make of the folks who run The Magnet, this is your opportunity to connect directly with this respected comedy theatre’s owners & managers: Magnet Town Hall Meeting

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): John Hodgman (Daily Show commentator, bestselling author of The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require, and the underrated PC in Apple Computer ads), Emmy Blotnick, a performance review, and more at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) with cartoonist host David Rees: Lollygaggin’ with David Rees

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): “If you were alive in the 70’s, you may have attended some ‘Key Parties’ where you were randomly paired with someone to go home with and engage in free spirited coitus. (Today we either stay at home alone or congregate at an improv theater.) Key Party combines the 70’s arrangement with modern anxiety, exploring the rich moments leading up to that act of coupling and the fallout that follows” at UCB East with stellar comics Jordan Klepper, Laura Grey (delightful old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm), and guest improvisors: Key Party; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv based on the iPods, CDs, and mp3 players provided by audience members, executed by superb performers Fran Gillespie, Ryan Karels, Megan Neuringer, Jesse Falcon, Silvija Ozols, Doug Moe, Lou Perez, Sue Galloway, and Emily Axford: Soundtrack USA

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 90 minutes with a true genius of comedy. Please note this is a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up…and not for every taste. But whether you’re ultimately grabbed by the story or not, it’s worth experiencing if only for Daniel’s lightning-quick flashes of humor. For example, at a performance of his previous hit show last year, a woman sitting in the front row had the incredible gall to start reading. Daniel sweetly responded, “Ooh, that’s a subtle yet effective form of criticism. I’m certainly not cross with you, just too nosy about what you’re reading to plow on. Look, you’re still reading. What a lack of faith you have in live entertainment.” Place your faith in Daniel, and catch this NYC premiere of a show that played to packed houses at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, now running every day except Mondays from January 3rd through January 29th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A red-hot rising star whose Comedy Central Presents special was one of the most popular of the series; has performed on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s 30 RockJimmy Fallen, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Last Comic Standing,Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, FUSE, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show; and has interviewed such celebs as Sarah Silverman (to watch, please click here), headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Amy Schumer

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a troupe specializing in meta-comedy—that is, comedy about the process of making comedy—performs their most meta show yet, which is billed as a “best of” show but actually is a series of internal spats that delay any of the promised sketches from being performed. It’s smart and clever, and all four members of the group are highly appealing. But it’s such a purely “from the head, not the heart” show that it feels increasingly repetitive and one-note as it goes on. I wish the guys had been less concerned with the purity of their one-joke idea and more with creating an emotional rollercoaster experience for the audience. (The reason their best sketch ever is a spelling bee for fart jokes is because it’s a perfect blend of their conceptual approach with laugh-out-loud funny. Sadly, no such sketch is in this show…) If you like concept comedy, though, these guys are great at it; and you’re likely to enjoy at least the first 10 minutes before the novelty wears off from Pangea 3000: 12 Years of Hard Work

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a witty and ultimately exhilarating exploration of baring it all by fabulous long-time nudist Julia Wiedeman (who I had the great fortune of seeing about a decade ago as she walked around with zero clothing, like a glorious tigress, in broad daylight on the streets of the East Village): Naked People

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): UCBT icon Pat Baer (Jimmy Fallon, College Humor) and Alison Leiby (The Onion, Risk!) tell tales at The PIT downstairs lounge along with hosts Michelle Markowitz & Bryan Rucker, who say they’re Failing Our Twenties

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet improv house troupes Phooka, Hello Laser, The Boss, Junior Varsity, and a jam with all four of these troupes performing improv, followed at 11:00 pm by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with Friday Night Sh*w pitted against Honey: The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes, Hot Diner and THEM, make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT upstairs theatre for the most on-the-nose show title tonight:Improvised Musical

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (for tonight’s lineup, please click here) performing at The Creek’supstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City accompanied by banjo music from Doug Goldstein and hosted by Andy Kleinman: Happy Sounds Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jon Gabrus (Conan O’Brien, MTV’s The Substitute, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Law Firm, The Nights of Our Lives; co-creator & co-star of Spike TV’s Mocap, LLC), Erin Judge (Comedy Central; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), 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 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Michael Somerville, Damien Lemon, George Gordon, and Bryan Walsh performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for a weekly comedy show with hosts Dan Wllber & Sean Crespo and producer Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), John Roberts (YouTube star), Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), and the Cocoon Central Dance Team performing atUCB Chelsea with wonderful hosts Shonali Bhowmik (ace singer/songwriter) and Andrea Rosen (world-class stand-up & storteller): Variety SHAC

9:30 pm ($8): “A 17-person middle school talent show created and performed by two people—Jo Firestone and Dylan Marron—who like themselves more now that they’re older. A comedic tribute to the best three years of our lives, and a comedic play for anyone who ever thought it couldn’t get any better than prank calls and slow-dancing” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Sharp improvisors from UCBT, The Magnet, The PIT, and/or more try their hand at stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Improvisers Standing Up

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Two improv titans, Rogue Elephant and Diamond Lion, battle for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the 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

New Year, Healthier You: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Chris Gethard has a new book. It’s great, and you should buy it here.