NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/8/12

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Dave Hill and Margot Leitman

The Wonderful Dave Hill is among the yarn-spinners at Margot Leitman's "Stripped Stories;" and Margot also tells comedic tales tonight at John Flynn's "Oh, Hey Guys" and Tom Shillue's "Funny Story"

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: Margot Leitman (Conan O’Brien, VH1, Spike TV, co-host of sexy & funny Stripped Stories) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: 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] 6:30 pm ($5): Improvisor Brandon Gardner (The Curfew, Let’s Have a Ball) turns to scripted comedy with this mini-play he wrote & directed as an audition for a spot on the UCB Chelsea schedule, starring Aaron Kheifets as sexiest man in America John Wilkes Booth, Matthew Dennie as Booth’s biggest fan Abraham Lincoln, and Brandon Scott Jones as femme fatale Miss Laura Keene: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln: A Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT upstairs theatre: Hot Diner and THEM

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch show about loneliness at The PIT downstairs lounge: How to Stay Single Forever

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s guests Margot Leitman (Conan O’Brien, VH1, Spike TV, co-host of sexy & funny Stripped Stories), Stephen Gevedon (Nurse Jackie, Rubicon), Amine Zaitzeff (owner of Zaitzeff Burger), and Mike Albo: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): UK stand-up David O’Doherty, who in February recorded a special for Comedy Central, and is co-author of the book 100 Facts About Sharks, performs a one-man show at UCB Chelsea for one night only: David O’Doherty Is Looking Up

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: “A panel of comedians give their hilarious takes on the more grim/sensational crime stories taken from NYC’s daily newspapers. It’s live comedy with a streak of yellow journalism and dark New York flavor”—not to mention a monthly podcast—at Queens LIC’s The Creek hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents), NYPD Detective Reynolds, Chris Laker, and Marcus Parks: The New York City Crime Report

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT upstairs theatre: Frogmen and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Alan Fessenden directing The Monoscene (an improvised play that takes place entirely in one location with no edits of any kind), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with BEEES! and Junior Varsity competing: The Magnet’s Night Out

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): 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] 9:00 pm ($5): UK star David O’Doherty (Comedy Central special, co-author of 100 Facts About Sharks), Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), and Kate Berlant performing stand-up at 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 ($15): Producers & writers for The Daily Show, including Al Madrigal, Adam Lowitt, JR Havlan, and Oren Brimer, perform stand-up at 92Y Tribeca: The Daily Show Does Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Greg Behrendt (bestselling author of He’s Just Not That Into You and It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Karen Kilgariff, Jessie Geller, and Matt Wayne 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): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, Sundance, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post), and Blaise Kearsley (How I Learned) joining sensual hosts Margot Leitman (VH1, Spike TV) and Giulia Rozzi (MTV,, co-host of Dive Comedy) telling erotic true tales on this month’s theme Awkward Encounters—plus hot songs from the delightful Erin & Her Cello—at the best sexy storytelling comedy show in NYC: Stripped Stories

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping, beatboxing long-form improv troupe North Coast goes up against the most formidable improv troupe in NYC, Death by Roo Roo, in what’s likely to be an incredible competition for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion), 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), and Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing) perform at this dark comedy stand-up show that promises to “test your limits of good taste and push the boundaries of what you consider funny” at UCB East hosted by Chris Wilkes (Thunder Gulch): After Dark

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