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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: Open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn (and no guest this week because the show will run only till 7:00): Oh, Hey Guys!
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Murray Hill (“drag king”), Hari Kunzru (novelist), and Anya Kamenetz (economic journalist) 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; plus New Yorker cartoonist Farley Katz and character comic Rob Lathan: Employee of the Month
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Sketch duo BoF (Mamrie Hart and Steve Soroka), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), and Keisha Zollar (Doppleganger) join terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) performing at The PIT basement lounge: Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com, has had his video/film work viewed over 25 million times via such sites asYouTube.com, NewYorkTimes.com, and EntertainmentWeekly.com. But before his success, Todd spent a couple of years churning out, as he bluntly puts it, “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania.” If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of ridiculously awful late-night TV ads, or someone who likes to laugh, come enjoy this fascinating and hilarious insider look at microbudget commercials and the creative process (for a trailer, please click here). Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, this is one of the very best solo shows in NYC: Commercial Interruption…
…and in the second half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, the debut of a sketch play about crime fighting dogs from outer space co-written and co-starring Craig Rowin, and performed by such other stars as Neil Casey, Sue Galloway, Jim Santangeli , Rob Lathan, and Lou Perez: Dog Fleet
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up veteran who’s appeared on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Last Comic Standing; hosted the HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; was a cast member of the wonderful though short-lived HBO sitcom Lucky Louie, and performed his own HBO half-hour One Night Stand special; has appeared in such hit films asSpider-Man; is a regular on XM Satellite Radio’s The Opie & Anthony Show; and is the author of the book Happy Endings, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jim Norton
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Alan Fessenden directing The Monoscene (an improvised play that takes place entirely in one location with no edits of any kind), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out
[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!
[$] [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] 9:00 pm ($5): Vanessa Bayer (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Jen Kirkman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), and more performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster): Totally J/K
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced by 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this 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 (no cover, 1-item min.): John Moses, Corey Reppond, Matt Graham, and Benjamin Walker performing 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] 9:30 pm ($10): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Catie Lazarus (host of Employee of the Month), David Henry Sterry (Sex Worker Literati, The Art of the Memoir), Aaron Wolfe (two-time winner of The Moth StorySLAM), and William Mullin performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme Clusterfuck at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Comedy troupe Private Cabin has been skewering trashy cinema since 2010 via its podcast, and tonight will “chronicle our love for that noblest of all on-screen losers: the degenerate alcoholic. Come on out for a smashed evening of comedy and performance, including a plethora of hand-picked film clips guaranteed to make you run for the bottle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: We Hate Movies
9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Weststage—along with the Found Footage Festival (sharing hilariously odd amateur videos), and stand-ups Emily Axford and Josh Ruben—at CollegeHumor Live
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Shannon O’Neil (comedy genius), Morgan Grace Jarrett (wonderful comedic actress), and Lydia Hensler (don’t know her but am guessing she’s keen too) host a showcase of female comics at UCB East who include Laura Grey (sketch), Halle Keifer (stand-up), and Cocoon (dance moves), and Emily Axford (songs): Ladies Night: Men Welcome
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In the most unpredictable show at UCB Chelsea, last week Airwolf utterly crushed the seemingly unstoppable champion North Coast 105-50. Tonight the new king of improv will compete with the US National Improv Team for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match
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