NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 2/18/12

February 18, 2012

For more, please visit

Tom Papa and Lauren Olson

Tom Papa headlines at the Gotham Comedy Club; rising star Lauren Olson performs in new improv trio Mr. Gorsky...

Animated Stories

...and Todd Bieber hosts his delightful open-mic storytelling show in which stage tales are turned into cartoons: Animated Stories

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for hosts this monthly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East that at the end selects a favorite from the audience tales to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month. Tonight’s guests are Kumar Pallana (Pagoda from Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore), Lang Fisher (Onion News Network), and Adam Newman (MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses): Animated Stories

7:00 pm ($8): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), Jason Messina, and Hot Topic open for this sketch comedy troupe at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Upset Triangle

[$] 7:00 ($5 & 2-drink min.): Real-life therapist Jude Treder-Wolff performing a one-man show about psychopaths and “how authentic a completely fake person can be” at the Broadway Comedy Club(318 West 53rd Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues): Crazytown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, Brandon Gardner, Jed Resnik, and/or other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions at UCB Chelsea all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s toured with Jerry Seinfeld for 10 years—and who Jerry hired to host The Marriage Ref—and has appeared numerous times on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, CBS, and Comedy Central headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Tom Papa

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

8:00 pm ($5): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Danny Lobell (Comical Radio), Selena Coppock (Connotation), Adam Chisnall (Killer Comedy), Trevor Williams (College Humor), Jesse Jones (Comedy BrewHaha), and Amanda Baramki (Arab Comedy Festival) performing stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond:Shoot the Shite

8:30 pm ($10): Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh and The I Like You Too Show; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here), Adam Newman (MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Rob O’Reilly, Thomas Dale, and Danny Kallas performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, and Brandon Scott Jones—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” as this UCB Chelsea show: Grandma’s Ashes Get Dark

[$] [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): Greer Barnes (Comedy Central; for problems he’d have being a black Batman, please click here), Andrew Schultz (MTV2’s Guy Code), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Musical improv from one of The Magnet’s best troupes: Choral Rage

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[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 ($5): Comics performing as characters at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s packed show featuring Arthur Meyer (Pangea 3000), Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team, The Baldwins), Beth Appel (UCBT), Scott Eckert (Big Black Car, The Faculty), Jeremy Bent (UCBT,Thank You Robot), Doug Smith (See You In Hell), Matt Hobby (New Exc!tement, Borealis), and Matt Little (Left Handed Radio), hosted by Rob Stern: Overload the Machine

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and who knows what else at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by a stand-up/sketch duo: Team Submarine and Friends

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): One of the my favorite writer/actress/improvisors, the brilliant and luminous Lauren Olson, teams with Jon Bander and Karsten Cross at The Magnet to perform at improv trio Mr. Gorsky

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

11:00 pm ($8): A young new all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre:Gentlemen Party

Midnight ($5): Joe Pera (very funny deadpan comic; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here), Emily Heller (staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Anthony P. Devito, Brad Austin, Robert Dean performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

Midnight ($5): UCBT’s longest running Harold Night troupe reunites for its Five Year Anniversary atUCB Chelsea to once more make up scenes on the spot: Bastian

[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

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

For more, please visit

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.