NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/23/12

May 23, 2012

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Morgan Spurlock

Documentary superstar Morgan Spurlock (above), Daily Show star correspondent Wyatt Cenac, and New York Times Editor Jodi Kantor are interviewed about their cool jobs at “Employee of the Month”…

Dave Hill's Tasteful Nudes

…and Ira Glass (host of NPR’s “This American Life”) interviews Dave Hill about his hot-off-the-presses bestselling book “Tasteful Nudes”

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 to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[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: Dave Hill is one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country, with credits including HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Diamondsnake and Valley Lodge, champion rapper…and his first book Tasteful Nudes, which was just released. You can see Dave being interviewed today about his book, and his incredible life in general, by NPR This American Life host Ira Glass at bookstore McNally Jackson (52 Prince Street): Dave Hill in Conversation with Ira Glass

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Molly Knefel (member of superb improv troupe Naked in a Fishbowl) and her brother John Knefel (veteran stand-up) host this monthly comedy show with tonight’s guests (sadly, not announced) performing stand-up at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, off Thompson Street): John and Molly Get Along

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Party Lions, Silver Fox, The Wrath, Featherweight, Horses, Chet Watkins, Leviathan, and Brick, performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Wrath at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Graceland and Kinsey: Lloyd Night

7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show from Darcy Burke about Kenny Rogers and Jean Claude Van Damme at The PIT downstairs Lounge: Rocky Mountain Van Damage

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Tales of perseverance, with stellar storytellers 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 Tales of the Cosmos and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), Teddy Wayne (Kapitoil), Cammi Climaco (Ask Me Stories), Jenny Rubin (Shit Native New Yorkers Say), and J. Holtham (New Dramatists) performing at Happy Ending (302 Broome Street) hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned to Stick to My Guns

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Sue Galloway delivers smart, organic, beautifully crafted physical & verbal comedy that’s fresh, specific, at times surreal, and very funny. It’s no easy thing to walk the tightrope between darkness and hilarity, but Sue manages it here with impressive grace. Kudos also go to UCBT’s Artistic Director Nate Dern, who did a brilliant job of providing guidance and judgment as the show’s director. Ignore this production’s lame title and official description, which don’t do it justice, and simply come to see one of the best one-woman sketch shows of 2012: Pose

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a show for which I had high hopes since some of my fondest childhood memories are of Krypto and his Space Canine Patrol Agents (S.C.P.A.). But this ain’t that. Instead, it’s a deliberately dumb version of Saturday morning cartoon shows that demonstrates little respect, affection, or wit towards its source material. The only notable elements are Neil Casey, who is hilarious as an evil insect alien out to conquer the world; Rob Lathan as Neil’s lackey; and Sue Galloway as the gal even dog creatures want to make out with. This could have been so much more, especially with the brilliant Craig Rowin as co-writer; but instead it’s merely Dog Fleet

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The Vigilante (musical improv), Jon Fisch (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1, The Apprentice), Jess Wood, and Nathan Macintosh performing at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) to celebrate producer Emily Epstein White’s birthday with hosts Selena Coppock & Danny Cartwright: Connotation

[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—sometimes includes FREE PIZZA] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Gibran Saleem, Jim Tews, Nick Aragon, and Fariaz Rabanni performing at the East Village’s Beauty Bar with hosts Negin Farsad, Amy Albert, and Beth McGregor for their free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15, which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is recommended): “In 1893, Anthony Comstock, founder of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, declared moral war on Ida Craddock, a sex therapy pioneer, a theological dilettante and a very smart cookie. Two crooked trials and one straight razor later, things didn’t end well for either of them. This show brings Anthony and Ida back together for one night to tell both sides of their story;.and the century-old stakes might strike a familiar chord today.” This mini-play is written and performed by wonderful NYC comedic storytellers Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champ, host of Sideshow Goshko) and Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show; The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam Champion) at the Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues): Dirty Minds

[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] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Morgan Spurlock (superstar documentary filmmaker of Supersize Me), Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), and Jodi Kantor (editor & writer for The New York Times Arts & Leisure section; author of bestselling book The Obamas) 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 character comic Rob Lathan, and lovely & brilliant improvisor Katharine Heller (Naked in a Fishbowl): Employee of the Month

[TOP PICK] 9:30pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), and other sharp NYC stand-ups bringing their A-game—because their sets are captured at this monthly show as audition tapes—performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Ben Kissel: The Grass Route

10:00 ($5): A screening of a 2010 feature film by the Upright Citizens Brigade written, co-directed, and co-starring Matt Besser, and also briefly featuring Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts (Ian almost steals the movie by simply delivering a doctor’s diagnosis…) at UCB East—which is a perfect venue for films because it used to be an indie movie theatre: Freak Dance

P.S. If you can’t make this screening, you can also see the movie at UCB East on Thursday May 24th at 11:00 pm and Friday May 25th at midnight (at which point the run will probably be eligible for a New York Times review…). You can also pay to see the movie for a brief time online via various streaming film sites and/or buy its soundtrack to enjoy anytime via iTunes.

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Ben Schwartz (NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Showtime’s House of Lies, written for SNL and David Letterman, was member of brilliant sketch/improv troupe Hot Sauce) briefly returns from LA to improvise with some of his friends at UCB Chelsea in “a show that has nothing to do with snowpants:” Ben Schwartz Presents Snowpants

[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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