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[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Five 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 brand new house troupes Consider the Thief, Between the Trees, Acceptance, Forever Changed, Across the Sky, Pocket Full of Rocks, Newboys, and The Wedding 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 ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then genius improvisors Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform as Outlook of the Poet
[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?
[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 guests Jon Benjamin, Larry Murphy, Patrick Borelli, The Lady Aye, musical trio Ménage à Twang, and more at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): The Talent Show: The Leap Year Show
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Aasif Mandvi (correspondent for The Daily Show), Sloane Crosley (author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake, How Did You Get This Number?), and Paul Marcarelli (The Verizon Guy) describing what it’s like to have a dreamy job at UCB Chelsea to host Catie Lazarus with musical accompaniment by Chris Sullivan (a.k.a., Shockwave; amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown) & Arthur Lewis: Employee of the Month
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show
[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific
[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Storyteller Nisse Greenberg (The Moth, Drawn Out Storytelling), sketch from Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting), and stand-ups Greg Barris (MTV, host of Heart of Darkness), Calvin S. Cato (host of The Pregame Show), and Carrie Gravenson performing at this free biweekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Anthony Atamanuik, John Flynn, Jon Gabrus, Christian Cappazoli, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s theme Sixth Anniversary Show: Greatest Hits: The Nights of Our Lives
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show
[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: 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
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:
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