NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/24/12

May 24, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Dave Hill's Tasteful Nudes

Dave Hill celebrates the release of his first (and already bestselling) book with John Hodgman, Janeane Garofalo, David Rakoff, and more at Brooklyn’s The Bell House: Tasteful Nudes Release Party…

Amber Tamblyn

…TV & movie stars Amber Tamblyn (above) and David Cross are interviewed at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky…

Elna Baker

…and genius storyteller Elna Baker (above), Kurt Braunohler, and more tell hilarious tales about children at Risk!

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: Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show) 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!

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue champion, Dirty Minds) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s guests John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!), Caitlin Brodnick (co-host of Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show), and Evan Morgenstern (producer of Switzerland Neutral Comedy), plus accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko

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

7:00 pm ($5): A show about which I know nothing auditioning for a regular spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea schedule: Psychological Services With Dr. Terry Withers

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Phooka to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life has itself been resurrected at UCB East, with magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Dirty Movie) hosting tonight as TLC’s Lisa Left Eye Lopes. Joining the party will be Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Kelly Hudson (UCBT sketch team Beige, The Onion News Network, College Humor), and sketch troupe Mediocre Models: Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7.61 online with code RUNNINGLATE, $8 at the door): TV & movie star Amber Tamblyn, David Cross (in a rare NYC appearance, one of the most respected guys in the biz; credits as writer, actor, and comic include HBO’s Mr. Show, FOX’s Arrested Development, Comedy Central’s Freak Show, Adult Swim’s Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show…and scores of other TV and feature film roles), and more are interviewed at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots) for “a unique talk show experience that needs to be experienced to be experienced. There will be plenty of bits, skits, chits and chats, and maybe that pretty girl you saw on the 6 train last night will be in the audience! It’s a big city, but you run into people:” Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney perform new sketches at UCB Chelsea, as well as host stand-up and improv guests: BriTANicK: The Monthly Mankerthon

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-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

[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] [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 ($5): Typically superb comics (not announced this week) performing at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (writer for Adult Swim’s Delocated; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; author of Look at This F*cking Hipster): Totally J/K

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; writer for Glamour, Elle; NPR’s This American Life; co-host of red-hot The Talent Show), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Miles Kahn (producer for The Daily Show), and Jennifer Palmer (Reality San) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme Childlike at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, one of the very best sketch shows of 2012. It’s a noir mini-play written & directed with immense wit by Michael Trapp (Stone Cold Fox), who with this script demonstrates he’s a rising star with a surefire career in the biz. And beyond the pages, Michael’s put together an all-star cast, including John Murray (simultaneously gripping and hilarious as a hardboiled detective with an absurdly short attention span), Brandon Scott Jones (who delivers an unforgettable scene with John that’s worth the trip all by itself), and D’Arcy Carden (who abandons her usual laid-back persona here to be smoking hot). These are all total pros who are virtually assured careers in TV and film. Catch them while they’re honing their craft and waiting to be noticed in one of the most consistently fun shows in NYC: Death Wears Stilettos

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a parody of The Bachelor written by UCBT faves Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN, writer or director of numerous UCBT sketch shows) and Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox, Pig: A Restaurant), and worth catching if only to experience the delicious comedic performances of standouts Morgan Grace Jarrett (Big Fish, Love Liza, Buffy fan) and Nicole Byer (Doppelganger)—who are especially fun when they turn into an unlikely a comedy duo…: The Bachelor: Romance, Roses, and Romance

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Last week improv troupe Airwolf annihilated the threat of contagion with an overpowering win of 119-27 against  challenger The Pox. With nine victories in a row, Airwolf may be feeling pretty confident; but tonight it faces one of UCBT’s most popular and long-running improv groups, The Stepfathers. The Heavens will shake as these two giants compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 ($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 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.

11:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge for this new themed show: The Tarantino

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/23/12

May 23, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/22/12

May 22, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress performs at “Sweet” and “Comedy at Alligator Lounge”…

Kristen Schaal

…and Kristen Schaal headlines at “Comedy Juice”

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] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

7:00 pm ($5): Bob Kulhan (Second City) and Micah Sherman are at The PIT downstairs lounge “trying out sketches, songs, riffs, and flights of fancy in a fun, loose show:” Bob & Micah’s Sketch Comedy Show

7:00 pm-9:00 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Johnny Romance, Surfing, and The Regulars at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), David Waite (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central), and more performing at Lolita Bar produced by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($8): New PIT house sketch troupe Team Barbara, featuring eight performers including Brigid Boyle (The Baldwins, Taco Supreme, The Imposters) and headed by writer Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team, The Baldwins, Jen & Steve) performs at the upstairs theatre: Team Barbara

8:00 pm ($5): Cathleen Carr (Two Girls for Five Bucks, Birds, The Scene) and Bob Kulhan (Second City, The Scene) host a show featuring two-person improv teams challenged with separation anxiety—the audience is asked to scramble them and create one-night-only pairings.The established duos participating tonight are Kevin Cragg & Silvija Ozols, Doug Stoley & Colin Longstaff, and Cathleen Carr & Bob Kulhan at The PIT downstairs Lounge: Carr Kulhan: Dos Experimento

8:00 pm ($5): A mostly-gal lineup of stand-ups (unfortunately, not announced, but you can check for an update here) performing at UCB East hosted by Ilana Glazer: Bunch a Pussies

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Rosencrantz and BEEES!

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show)), Retta (Donna from Parks and Recreation, Comedy Central Half Hour), Colin Jost (staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Jimmy Fallon), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, Comedy Central, FOX), and more celebrating Sean’s birthday with stand-up at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Steve O’Brien and produced by birthday boy Sean Donnelly: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Creature, GoodGirl, and Bucky—and at 11:00 pm advanced improv students take apart scene elements and put them back together in different orders like an anagram—at this second half of Harold Night

9:30 pm ($5): Tom DiMenna (one-man show Who Loves You, Baby? at Soho Playhouse), Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team, The Baldwins, Jen & Steve), Robin Cloud, and Fariaz Rabbiani performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

9:30 ($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 (in a lone scene that almost steals the movie via 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 Wednesday May 23rd at 10:00 pm, 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.

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up and sketch at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, typically hosted by sketch troupes Savage Animal and/or Jerk Practice: Savage Animal

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): TV & movie star Kristen Schaal (one of the funniest women alive; shining star correspondent on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and NBC’s 30 Rock; Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; FOX’s Bob’s Burgers; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; co-author of bestselling book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Paul Mecurio (former writer and current warm-up act for The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

10:00 pm ($5): A rare all-gal sketch troupe performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Pirate Sugar

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Rosencrantz to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/21/12

May 21, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For upcoming hot shows, please click here.

Scott Adsit and John Lutz

30 Rock’s Scott Adsit and John Lutz will blow the roof off as genius improv duo John & Scott…

Hannibal Buress and Janeane Garofalo

…and Hannibal Buress and Janeane Garofalo perform stellar stand-up at the Morrison Motel

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with each of the four audience members chosen from the bucket of names getting to tell tales for 7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12; SOLD OUT, but there’s a slim chance of getting in via a stand-by line at the door): Jim O’Grady (WNYC), Ed Gavagan (The Moth, TED), Cammi Climaco (Ask Me Stories), Slash Coleman (NPR, Frigid Festival), and Michelle-Leona Godin telling tales about this month’s topic “Running on Fumes” at UNDER St. Marks with host Seth Lind (NPR’s This American Life): Told: Running on Fumes

7:00 pm ($8): Young improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Shady Bunch

7:00 pm ($5): Comics of a variety of races, views, and shoes perform a variety of comedy bits at The Magnet hosted by Chano Garcia: Stir the Pot

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV’s I Want My Pants Back), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Mike Racine (Comedy Central), and Casey Ley (San Francisco SketchFest) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, The Dave Hill Explosion, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; new book Tasteful Nudes), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Kevin Barnett (College Humor), and John F. O’Donnell (College Humor) performing stand-up at UCB East with the blessings of a highly notable TV network: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($11.34 [vs. $21.69] online using discount code LLED10): NYC stand-ups specializing in political humor make fun of our current election cycle at The Playroom Theater (151 West 46th Street); take advantage of discount code LLED10 to see this off-Broadway show for under $12: Laughing Liberally: Electile Dysfunction

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Mara Herron (Web series That Chick Mara Herron), and more performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Mike Denyy, and/or Michael Che—and celebrating Michael Che’s birthday!: Broken Comedy

8:00 pm ($8): Improv performed by talented duos at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ampers&nd

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15 if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $20], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is essential as this show is very nearly sold out): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, 2012 Comedy Awards’ “Best Club Comic,” one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Jimmy Tingle, Andy de la Tour, and Johnny Watson performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

8:30 pm ($5): Improv at The Magnet that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby

9:30 pm ($8): Performers of The PIT’s Thursday musical improv shows form entirely new one-night-only groups to make up yet more musicals: Musical Improv Mix-Em-Up

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: Charlemagne (which includes such talents as Leslie Meisel) and Beige: Maude Night: Beige & Charlemagne

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set, and then a seasoned headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Charlie Kasov, Kendra Cunningham, Joe Pontillo, Debbie Bazza, Troy Bynum, Richard James, and Miguel Dalmau performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

10:00 pm ($5): A variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits at The Magnet hosted by Jon Bander: What’s to Get?

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who haven’t yet been announced, but you can check for an update here—performing at UCB Chelsea and probably hosted by comedy genius Chris Gethard: Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by the Thelma & Louise of comedy, Michelle Wolf & Erin Lennox: Fresh

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/20/12

May 20, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Baron Vaughn

TV star Baron Vaughn performs at Pretty Good Friends…

Lauren Olson

…and the luminous Lauren Olson is in sketch comedy Company 29 Presents America

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 walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Magnet sketch comics performing new material: Ripe Sketch Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre pretend to be office workers delivering presentations—only they’ve never seen the PowerPoint slides before and have to make up the stories behind them on the spot: PowerPoint Improv

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & R an Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): The Magnet’s new house sketch troupe Company 29 consists of such wonderful talents as Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman FringeNYC show Our Condolences; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor) and Peter McNerney (former Magnet Artistic Director; half of improv troupe Trike). Tonight it debuts a show that “takes a look at all things American, from Johnny Appleseed to Ira Glass. It’s a character driven sketch show sure to make Neil Diamond proud:” Company 29 Presents America

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Meg Ferrill, Dave Waite, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by comedy giant Eugene Mirman: Pretty Good Friends

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Emily Blotnik, Greg Stone, Luke Younger, Sagar Bhatt, and more performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue): Comedy Night

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at the Beauty Bar

9:30 pm ($5): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: A roast of host Brad Loekle on his birthday, with Roastmaster Adam Lehman and participants including Chris Doucette, Jessimae, and Yamaneika at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/19/12

May 19, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Matt Besser

Matt Besser, co-founder of the legendary Upright Citizens Brigade, tonight makes rare NYC appearances at UCB East. First Matt will tell tales at the wonderful Todd Bieber’s Animated Stories; then he’ll perform at If You Build It…

Freak Dance

…and at midnight Matt will introduce, screen, and discuss afterwards his 2010 feature film musical comedy parody Freak Dance. Assuming I can get manage my current cold, I’ll be at all three shows; come join me for this rare Besser triple-treat.

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

[FREE] 5:30 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Dog Court, Swagu, and Mr. Gorsky at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) hosts this monthly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East that at the end selects a favorite from the audience tales to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month (for hilarious samples, please click here). Tonight’s extra special guests are Matt Besser (co-founder to the legendary Upright Citizens Brigade; NBC’s Parks & Recreation, Comedy Central, tonight’s midnight film Freak Dance) and Margot Leitman (Conan O’Brien, VH1, Spike TV, co-host of sexy & funny Stripped Stories): Animated Stories

7:00 pm ($8): Stand-ups Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet) and Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses) opening for a sketch comedy troupe famed for their YouTube videos (especially The Bear, The Cloud, and God) at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Upset Triangle

7:00 pm ($8): At this PIT double-bill, Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure” as Hodapp & Rothwell, and then all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($15.25 [vs. $20.25] online using discount code WEDDING, plus $15 food/drink min.; I personally like both the burgers and lasagna): One of my all-time favorite FringeNYC shows is Cynthia Sliver’s true-life recounting of the “deal with the Devil” she made with reality TV (for my 2005 review, please click here). The production is enjoying a brief revival tonight at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, inside the West Bank Cafe (407 West 42nd Street, off Ninth Avenue), and is highly recommended: Bridezilla Strikes Back!

[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 Magnet making up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

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: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

8:00 pm ($5): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A regular on ABC’s Happy Endings headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Daman Wayans Jr.

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 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 one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sebastian Maniscalco

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Matt Besser (co-founder to the legendary Upright Citizens Brigade; NBC’s Parks & Recreation, Comedy Central, tonight’s midnight film Freak Dance), plus stand-ups Mike Drucker (freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV, VH1), Sara Hennessy (Fuse TV), and Andrew Johnston (Fuse TV) performing at UCB East produced by Kara Klenk and guest-hosted tonight by Erin Lennox: 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] 9:00 pm ($7): The Magnet’s new house sketch troupe Company 29 consists of such wonderful talents as Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman FringeNYC show Our Condolences; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor) and Peter McNerney (former Magnet Artistic Director; half of improv troupe Trike). Tonight it debuts a show that “takes a look at all things American, from Johnny Appleseed to Ira Glass. It’s a character driven sketch show sure to make Neil Diamond proud:” Company 29 Presents America

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Greer Barnes (Comedy Central), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Comics performing as characters at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s superb packed lineup featuring Tom Shillue, Jared Logan,Sasheer Zamata, Arthur Meyer, Silvija Ozols, Andy Rocco, Matt Koff, Dan Hodapp, Ashley Ward, and Caitlin Bitzegaio, hosted by Rob Stern: Overload the Machine

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and who knows what else at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by a stand-up/sketch duo: Team Submarine and Friends

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): Improv master Ed Herbstman and five others “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules” at The Magnet theatre: The Weave

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which has been crushing other troupes into powder at Cage Match with nine consecutive victories to date—makes stuff up at UCB East for an entire hour: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

11:00 pm ($8): A young all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5; SOLD OUT, but you might be able to get in if you’re willing to wait on the stand-by line): A screening of a 2010 feature film by the Upright Citizens Brigade written, co-directed, and co-starring Matt Besser, and also co-starring Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, Horatio Sanz, and other comedy giants, at UCB East—which is a perfect venue for films because it used to be an indie movie theatre. I’ll be seeing the movie for the first time at this show, but in the meanwhile you can check out some festival reviews. Come and join me—especially since the wonderful Matt Besser will be making a rare NYC appearance to both introduce the movie and stick around afterwards to answer your questions: Freak Dance

P.S. If you can’t make this screening, you can also see the movie (sans Matt) at UCB East on Monday May 21st at 10:00 pm, Tuesday May 22nd at 9:30 pm, Wednesday May 23rd at 10:00 pm, 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 purchase the movie and /or its soundtrack to enjoy anytime via iTunes.

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This new monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion): The Lady Jam

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) participate in the fake taping of a bad late-night TV comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Brad Steuernagel: Comedians Off Of the Leash

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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/18/12

May 18, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Joe Bill

Brilliant improvisors including the legendary Joe Bill…

Amey Goerlich

….and the lovely Amey Goerlich perform at Chica Go Go…

The Gay Bomb

…and a spirited young cast explores a proposed US government project: Gay Bomb: The Musical

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: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): The Magnet’s new house sketch troupe Company 29 consists of such wonderful talents as Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman FringeNYC show Our Condolences; brilliant writer, actress, and improvisor) and Peter McNerney (former Magnet Artistic Director; half of improv troupe Trike). Tonight it debuts a show that “takes a look at all things American, from Johnny Appleseed to Ira Glass. It’s a character driven sketch show sure to make Neil Diamond proud:” Company 29 Presents America

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Phoebe Robinson (100 TV Shows To See Before You Die, Sirius XM Radio), Kevin Barnett (College Humor), Richard Chassler (Comedy Central, MTV, VH1), and Adam Mamawala performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) for this biweekly stand-up show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): Layer by layer, improvisers build a town based on an audience member’s suggestion for the town’s name, while artist Asher Rogers paints a large map of the town based on the improvisers’ descriptions. This cool-sounding show is at The PIT downstairs lounge: Our Town

7:00 pm ($5): PIT improvisors Nate Starkey & Chris Grace makes stuff up as Starkey & Grace

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident in Crisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Andy Rocco (The Tony & Johnny Show, Underground Americana), Dylan Love, Diana DeLuna, Nimesh Patel, and more performing stand-up at One and One (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A glorious collection of hilarious genre film clips from super-fan Kevin Maher and friends at 92 Y Tribeca. If you love SF, fantasy, comic books, pinball machines, or just overall pop culture silliness, this is a must-see—and one of my all-time favorite shows. Grab a ticket for Kevin Geeks Out: Grab Bag

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

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.50 [vs. $15] 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: The third annual comedy tournament featuring 40 improv groups…only one of which will triumph. Tonight four improv troupes battle for superiority, pride, and glory at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena, Round 9

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): A musical comedy at The Magnet “inspired by the real life plans of the US military to build a bomb that would make their enemies gay. The show is a cautionary tale set in a not-to-distant America that is a xenophobic, homophobic wet dream. This timely political piece is not only topical but extremely on point, leaving no stereotype unscathed.” Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden & Steve Whyte: Gay Bomb

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 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 ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring Tim Martin (ace improv troupe Airwolf): Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Greer Barnes (Comedy Central), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($10): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who will blow the roof off The PIT downstairs lounge with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The other superb players are Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, The Scene), Amey Goerlich (Indie Cage Match, Krompf, The Scene), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57, Annoyance Theatre), Jed Resnik (Annoyance Theatre, UCB), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers), Betsy Stover (UCB), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCB), Russ Armstrong (iO Chicago, The Magnet), Micah Sherman (Second City, co-host of The Scene, host of Fun), Rick Andrews (Magnet teacher/performer), and Michael Burton (Act One, The Magnet), all declaring Chica Go Go

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): This new Magnet improv show makes clever use of the Web: “Give us a topic, a name, a question on any subject and the cast—including ace improvisors Alex Marino and Jesse Falcon—will answer it using the full power of the Internet and the combined mental acumen of five intellectual juggernauts. Also, maybe some improv. What you will learn cannot be unlearned! What do you want to know?”: Search Engine

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

Midnight ($5): Toby Knops (PIT Associate Artistic Director), Tilda Helen (Producer for The Food Network), and musical guest David Carl (Barnstormer, Frank Pfefferkorn) as talk show guests at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Paul Gutkowski: Sex in the Late Night Air

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.