NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 3/15/12

March 15, 2012

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Joel McHale

Joel McHale (NBC's "Community") headlines at Carolines...

Bridgid Ryan

...Bridgid Ryan performs sketch & improv with such talents as Sasheer Zamata and Katey Healy-Wurzburg at Don't You Find Us Charming?...

Mikaela Foster

...and 13-year-old phenom Mikaela Foster performs with the gals at The Parents Just Don't Understand

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Justin Tyler (sketch troupe Sidecar, co-star of The Bachelor parody at UCBT, co-host of Comic Book Club and Backyard Brawl) 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 (memorably featured here): 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

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows about which I know nothing audition for a regular spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea schedule: Alter’d and George Kareman: Incredibly Extreme and Extremely Incredible. These might be great or awful; but at $2.50 per show, you can’t go far wrong either way. That’s part of the fun of Spank

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): Renowned comedy group The Harvard Lampoon celebrates the publication of its book parody of The Hunger Games at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): The Harvard Lampoon: The Hunger Pains

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): Improv duo Steve Soroka (BoF) & Jen Curran team with improv troupe The Imposters at The PIT downstairs lounge to kick off your Evening Bliss

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): The lovely and talented gals of share tales about dense parents at UCB East, with storytellers including 13-year-old phenom Mikeala Foster: HelloGiggles:The Parents Just Don’t Understand

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney perform new sketches at UCB Chelsea, as well as host stand-up and improv guests: BriTANicK: The Monthly Mankerthon

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

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, and Phooka performing improv, 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 last week’s winner competing against Choral Rage: The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): Nat Towsen (co-host of The Moon Show), Sean Crespo (Conan O’Brien), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), Chris Distefano, and Joyelle Nicole performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield (VH1) and comedic rapper Andrew Singer: Positively Awesome

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

[$] [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] [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/or comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): A charming monthly comedy variety show, tonight featuring Sasheer Zamata (smart, innovative rising star; DoppelgangerThe Prom), Katey Healy-Wurzburg (irresistible stand-up & UCBT improvisor; host of The Fascinator), Steven Strafford (storyteller), and H.M.S. Quarterly (improv troupe) performing at ABC No Rio (156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton) hosted by the wonderful Bridgid Ryan and her improv/sketch troupe Chester (Bridgid Ryan, Sunita Mani, Bryan Rucker, Zack Willis, Caitlin Steitzer, and Adam Jacobson): Don’t You Find Us Charming?

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Trey Galyon, Jim Van Blaricum, George Gordon, and more performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for this weekly comedy show hosted by Sean Crespo & Dan Wilbur and produced by Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central, MTV), Phil Jackson, and more performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) atTotally J/K

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content & Production for, has had his video/film work viewed over 25 million times via such sites, and But before his success, Todd spent a couple of years churning out, as he bluntly puts it, “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania.” If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of ridiculously awful late-night TV ads, or someone who likes to laugh, come enjoy this fascinating and hilarious insider look at microbudget commercials and the creative process (for a trailer, please click here). Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, this is one of the very best solo shows in NYC: Commercial Interruption

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a one-woman show by Sue Smith about anger, directed by the always inventive and delightful Laura Grey: Minimum Rage

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): A beloved high-concept sketch troupe that delights in exploring silly ideas and wordplay (for example, demonstrating that a caveman and the Cookie Monster sound remarkably alike when saying such things as “Me have problem with subject/verb placement…”) at The PIT upstairs theatre debuting an all-new show: Elephant Larry

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge for The Scene

[FREE] 9:30 pm: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($43.75 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of NBC’s Community and much more headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Joel McHale

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Wow. Last week freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast defeated the best improv troupe in NYC, Death by Roo Roo, in a close 100-88 contest. With three consecutive wins under its belt, North Coast tonight is poised to crush the sexy Very Good Kiss as they compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Amber Nelson and Rob Stern: Late Night Stand

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