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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 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
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A former Saturday Night Live cast member reads from her new bookGirl Walks Into a Bar at the Union Square Barnes & Noble (33 East 17th Street): Rachel Dratch
7:00 pm ($5): A new tradition begins with the performances of longform improv house troupes Spooky Ghost and Hoops. UCB Chelsea has Tuesday’s Maude Night, and now UCB East is host on Wednesdays to Lloyd Night
7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Party Lions, The Surge, Leviathan, Horses, Chet Watkins, Brick, The Wrath, and Featherweight performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Surge at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight debut all-new material as sketch duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits…
…and in the other half of this double-bill at UCB Chelsea, a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but pig (including “bacon-infused martinis”), written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams (keep an eye out for her Aurora, a hot and hilariously bubble-headed waitress): Pig: A Restaurant
8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $6.84 online with discount code Supermango): John Fugelsang (Politically Incorrect), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), Anthony Devito (VH1’s Best Week Ever), and Danny Cohen (Fast Films) performing at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, off Bleecker Street) with hosts Dan Allen & Ray Devito: Sacapuntas!
[$] [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?
[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] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Jessica Gross, Colleen Watson, Beth McGregor, Chris Distefano, Amy Albert Cobb, Greg Edwards, and Koretta Gray performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar with hosts Negin Farsad, Amy Albert, and/or Beth McGregor for their free weekly show Comedy School Dropout
[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): Sketch troupes Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Boat, and Chess Club each performing one of their most popular sketches and one of their personal favorites in what’s likely to be a fun revue at UCB Chelsea hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side
[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: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts 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 Joe Stanton and Scott Dooley; 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
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