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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.): Amber Nelson (sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Gutbucketand Mustache Party), Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Jay Nog (Paid or Pain), Seth Davis (visiting from Chicago), and Sue Funke (seen on NY1 recently) performing 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, The Surge, Horses, Featherweight, Chet Watkins, Brick, Leviathan, and The Wrath performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Wrath at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East, genius improvisors Gavin Speiller ofDeath By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) perform asOutlook of the Poet; and then Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger
[$] [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 ($5): A top group of improvisors including Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, and Brandon Scott Jones “will take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” by making up scenes on the spot at UCB Chelsea: Grandma’s Ashes
[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA for first 30 people, from Artichoke Pizza!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up; staff writer for David Letterman), Jared Freid, Alison Leiby, and Jason Burke performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar with hosts Negin Farsad, Amy Albert, and Beth McGregor for their free weekly show Comedy School Dropout
[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
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer created Broad City as a Web series, which was then picked up for development as a TV series for FX…and now it’s debuting as a live monthly show at UCB Chelsea! Tonight’s theme is Get Drunk With Broad City, with new videos, stand-up, character pieces, and “a delicately crafted hour of fun:” Broad City Live
[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. (Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes Leslie Meisel and Matt Fisher; for the complete list, 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
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.