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: Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here) 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!
6:30 pm ($5): Two shows about which I know nothing audition for a regular spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea schedule: The State vs. Josh: The Trial of the Millenials and Rockefeller Centaur. 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
7:00 pm ($8): A one-woman show by Amanda Ronconi about “disgruntled postal worker, Marjorie Kempner, who sets her birdbrained roommate up on a date with the Long Island Serial Killer” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kempner
[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—and celebrating her birthday!—along with guest host Ann Carr (The Actress), as they become Lizzy Borden & Joan Crawford, Carol Channing & Sam Kinison, and Andy Warhol & Seamus Romney, plus stand-up from Kate Berlant, and musical guest Squirm & Germ, all at Livia’s Castle of Enchantment: Birthday Blowout Fun-splosion
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door, which includes free pint of beer; $11.54 in advance online): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers comics to tell funny stories at UCB East, with tonight’s guests John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Bobby Tisdale (NYC indie comedy pioneer; writer for Jimmy Fallon), and more: Tom Shillue’s Funny Story
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7.61 online with code RUNNINGLATE, $10 at the door): The staff writers of Jimmy Fallon are 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): At this UCB Chelsea improv double-bill, first ace all-gal troupe Doppelganger makes up scenes based around audience tattoos in Doppelganger Gets Inked; and then a group of sharp improvisors—including Fran Gillespie and John Frusciante—sit around drinking and telling stories until they’re inspired to make up scenes based on their drunken chatter in Happy Hour
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, and Phooka performing improv, followed at 10:00 pm by Charlie Whitcroft directing Jazz Freddie (improvised scenes that focus on show the past, present, and future of one character and then spirals into an exploration of the character’s world), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with two troupes battling for laughs & votes: The Magnet’s Night Out
8:00 pm ($5): Veteran improv troupe SidViscous performs a change-of-pace scripted comedic play about “what happens when a gay single father gets caught in a lie and has to pretend his daughter is his wife whenever these mobsters are around, but can’t let his ex-wife or the private investigator she’s hired find out what he’s up to” at The PIT upstairs theatre: My Daughter, My Wife
[$] [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
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Kimberlee Auerbach Berlin (sharp storyteller; author of The Devil, The Lovers, & Me: My Life In The Tarot) and George Gordon (The Afterlife) joining sensual hosts Margot Leitman (Conan O’Brien, VH1, Spike TV) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1.com, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy) telling erotic true tales on this month’s theme “Out of Town”—plus hot songs from Stuckey & Murray—at the best sexy storytelling comedy show in NYC: Stripped Stories
[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): Last week Airwolf broke the heart of Johnny Romance…and then pulled out that heart and ground it into a fine powder, with a brutally overpowering win of 123-14. (Even Johnny’s best gal didn’t vote for him…) With 13 victories in a row, it’s questionable anyone can stop this flying juggernaut; but tonight a serious effort will be made by one of UCBT’s very best improv troupes, Grandma’s Ashes. The heavens will shake as these two giants compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match
11:00 pm ($5): Summer and Eve (comedy folk rock group), Ben Kissel (Spike TV), Chris Laker (It Could Be Better podcast), and more performing at UCB East with host Chris Wilkes (Thunder Gulch): After Dark
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