NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/5/12

May 5, 2012

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For a review of Broadway’s Seminar, please click here.
For some of NYC’s greatest storytellers, please click here.

Amy Schumer

Stand-up stars Amy Schumer (above) and Todd Barry perform one more night at the Eastville Comedy Club…

Jim Gaffigan

…and comedy superstar Jim Gaffigan is at The PIT’s “Fresh Fisch”

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 (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink; reservations highly recommended by calling 212.989.9319): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Ted Travelstead (very funny writer for McSweaney’s), Diana Spechler (author of Skinny), Jenny Rubin (veteran NYC stand-up), and Zero Boy (MTV, The Moth) . Come to the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) and let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam champion) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Grandma Hates Technology, Mannequin Room, and Swartzlander atThe Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe,” hosted at UCB East by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), and featuring tonight’s guest storytellers Ed Gavagan, Max Silvestri, and Carolita Johnson: Tales of the Cosmos

7:00 pm ($7): Sketches, improv scenes, and videos from a small army of female comics at The PITupstairs theatre that answer such questions as “Why can’t you touch a black girl’s hair? Why do some of us burn our cheating man’s clothes in his car and can’t wait to exhale? How did Foxy Brown know how to get down? Why can two play that game? Why do mad black women write so many diaries?” and more: Mrs Jones

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic solo performances—storytelling, sketch, and whatever else isn’t stand-up or improv—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Bill Stiteler & Adam Schwartz: Wank

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

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): Stand-up from comedy superstar Jim Gaffigan (new show Mr. Universeavailable for only $5 online), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Calise Hawkins (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for, and Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), plus music from The Jesse Scheinn Band, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Tyler FischerFresh Fisch

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A finalist on two seasons of Last Comic Standing, and who performed on Tourgasm and starred in an hour-long Comedy Central special, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Gary Gulman

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) Two members of Broken Lizard headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Steve Lemme & Kevin Heffernan

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “Want to see your favorite stand-up comics get slapped by Satan himself? He only hosts bringer shows, but join Matt Wayne and Doug Smith as they step into the Big Man’s shoes and put NYC’s finest through comedy purgatory. Hula-hoops, celebrity impressions, unwanted audience participation, all incorporated into each performance! Will they triumph or will the nether world eat their souls? Come see for yourself in this monthly showcase” at Queens LIC’sThe Creek upstairs theatre: See You in Hell

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—at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:30 pm ($10): Summer & Eve (fun comedic musical group), Mike Racine (Comedy Central), Jacqueline Novak (Comedy Central, College Humor; for “response to heckler” video, please clickhere), H. Alan Scott (Sirius XM Radio, famed cookie baker), and Anthony Lopez performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): Amy Schumer (9:00 pm only; red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, 30 Rock), Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie,HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe at The Magnet makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Drawing from his ongoing series of podcasts, Sam Dingman performs a one-man storytelling show at The PIT downstairs lounge offering “true tales from his days as a taxi driver in New York City, complete with toothless convicts, frozen embryos, murderous city buses, mobbed-up body shops, and much more. Along the way, he finds that no matter how many insane things he sees on the pothole-ridden streets of New York, the craziest one of all may be himself: “The Taxi Tapes

[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

10:00 pm ($8): “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. Some say the two should do improv together…” iO Chicago alums Dannielle Owens-Reid & Blythe Haaga were performing duo improv in Chicago to raves. Then Owens-Reid moved to Brooklyn; so tonight the gals make their magic at The PIT upstairs theatre: Fire & Ice

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

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): An improv troupe that’s performed with Cirque de Soleil and appeared in the filmMystery Team performing at The PIT upstairs theatre, typically opening with a blind date with a member of our audience and then making up scenes based on what they’ve learned: Gentleman Party

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A freestyle rap contest at UCB East with typically terrific NYC comics (not announced)—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius human beatbox Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sketch/improv from Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, The Tony and Johnny Show), and stand-up from Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color) and Jarret Berenstein (Young Guns of Comedy), plus James Coker & Marshall Stratton (Casual Sex Offenders) and “a surprise musical guest,” all performing at UCB Chelsea for host Andy Rocco’s Underground Americana

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

[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

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