NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 1/7/12

January 7, 2012

For more, please visit

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

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

Don't miss my favorite improv troupe, which sold out its Friday & Saturday shows before even starting its run but has a few tickets left for Sunday: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes The Bear Project , The Storks, and Honey at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), and featuring storytellers Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show), Matt Mercier (The Moth), and phenom musical guest Adira Amram Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act): Tales of the Cosmos

7:00 pm ($7): Sketches, improv scenes, and videos from a small army of female comics at The PITupstairs theatre that answer such questions as “Why can’t you touch a black girl’s hair? Why do some of us burn our cheating man’s clothes in his car and can’t wait to exhale? How did Foxy Brown know how to get down? Why can two play that game? Why do mad black women write so many diaries?” and more: Mrs Jones

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic solo performances—storytelling, sketch, and whatever else isn’t stand-up or improv—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Bill Stiteler & Adam Schwartz: Wank

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnetmaking up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] Sunday at 10:00 pm ($20 online with discount code FBKISC):Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. The shows for yesterday and tonight sold out before the run even began, but I’m listing this because there are still some tickets left for Sunday at 10:00 pm. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilledImprovised Shakespeare Company

[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 both stand-up and storytelling. This show is the latter—a carefully constructed, detail-packed theatrical tale of two people and the small, quiet moments that make up their lives. Daniel says it’s “about everything and nothing,” and that’s precisely right. After you see it, you may find it hard to not consider all the small moments lived by any person you pass by…and what the moments of your own life add up to. This one-man show played to packed houses at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is now running every day except Mondays 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 & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A red-hot rising star whose Comedy Central Presents special was among the most popular of the series; has performed on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s 30 RockJimmy Fallon, 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 theCarolines Comedy Club: Amy Schumer

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed three Comedy Central specials, has appeared on Chappelle’s Show and The Today Show, and is co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?, and as a political pundit might have some fun things to say about this election year, headlining one more night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Christian Finnegan

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:15ish pm ($8 at the door or $10.70 in advance online): Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), Gabe Liedman (co-host of Big Terrific), pianist Pete Drungle, and “special guests we can’t announce” performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness

8:30 pm ($10): Helen Hong (Logo’s Setup Squad, Comedy Central, TLC), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), Ron Babcock (Last Comic Standing, HBO), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedyand Stripped Stories), and Max Silvestri (co-host of Big Terrific) performing stand-up at UCB Easthosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Dean Edwards (HBO, Saturday Night Live), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A sharp Magnet musical improv troupe makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

9:00 pm ($8): Sharp improvisors from a sharp comedy town beyond NYC and Chicago performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: ImprovBoston Mainstage

9:30 pm ($5): Hip hop musical improv from Nick Brown, Don Romaniello, and Michael Short pretending to be NYC police officers at The PIT downstairs lounge: Rap Crimes Division

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the Soho Playhouse tonight to see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv at The Magnet from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duoTrike

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Along the lines of Mystery Science Theater 3000, NYC comics make comments about a terrible movie at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Big Fat Scary Saturday

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm:Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East that includes superb NYC comics—unfortunately, not yet announced this time, but previous winners have included Dave Hill and Myq Kaplan—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows:The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), 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), Alan Starzinski (Sandino), Michael Che, and Walking for Pennies performing at UCB Chelseat with host Andy Rocco at Underground Americana

For more, please visit

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