NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/17/12

May 17, 2012

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Julia Wiedeman

The lovely Julia Wiedeman is both playful…

Julia Wiedeman

…and fearless in her memorable sketch show Naked People

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: Eliza Skinner (Conan O’Brien, Showtime, MTV, TBS, AMC, co-host of weekly stand-up show Magic Bag with DC Pierson in LA) 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!

6:00 pm ($5): Two shows about which I know nothing audition for a regular spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea schedule: Kathy and Emily Regret Everything and Small Men. 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

[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

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

7:00 pm ($5): Improv duo Steve Soroka (BoF) & Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team) team with improv troupe The Imposters at The PIT upstairs theatre 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 Hello Laser to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), and Michael Che performing at UCB East produced by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, and David Cope, and hosted tonight by David Cope: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a witty and ultimately exhilarating exploration of baring it all by fabulous long-time nudist Julia Wiedeman. Julie is a charismatic actress whose star is just starting to rise, and is well worth catching even beyond the enjoyment of her playful beauty. Check out promo videos here and here, and then run to see Naked People

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a one-man sketch show by George Kareman about which I know nothing, but it has a fun title: Incredibly Extreme and Extremely Incredible

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from a group that met as college students in Boston now performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Astronaut Theatre

[$] [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?

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Phooka, and Junior Varsity performing improv, followed at 10:00 pm by Christina Gausas directing The Subject (improvised scenes that focus on one character who never leaves the stage, while other characters from the past, present, and future come and go), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with troupes Upstate and Pumpkin battling for laughs & votes: The Magnet’s Night Out

[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A regular on ABC’s Happy Endings headlining through Saturday at Carolines: Daman Wayans Jr.

[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!

[$] 8:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Showtime, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sebastian Maniscalco

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), plus Max Silvestri and Gabe Liedman (co-hosts of Big Terrific), 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

[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 as,, 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

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, “Matt Hobby & Mary Grill have a love deeper than one thousand really deep oceans. Through storytelling and sketch comedy, Matt & Mary show you the characters who helped them on their journey from fiancés to newlyweds:” Tying the Knot

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

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy written by Ryan Darden & Melissa Somosky that purports “love is like eating an entire cake all by yourself—it’ll make you sick, but deep down you secretly like it” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Fetish: Dirty Talk is for Amateurs

[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] 11:00 pm ($5): Airwolf is crushing all opposition, winning its eight victory in a row last week 116-49. Tonight Airwolf will be seeking to stamp out The Pox. Don’t miss this medicinal competition for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Andy Hendrickson (Comedy Central), Luis Gomez (MTV’s Guy Code), John Milhiser (The Prom), and musical group Thin Skin Jonny performing at UCB East with host Chris Wilkes (Thunder Gulch): After Dark

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