NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/28/12

June 28, 2012

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Kurt Braunohler and Elna Baker

It’s a night for top storytellers, with Kurt Braunohler and Elna Baker at the wonderful Leslie Goshko’s “Sideshow Goshko”…

Tom Shillue and Simon Amstell

…and stars Tom Shillue and Simon Amstell at the wonderful Kevin Allison’s “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:

6:00 pm ($5): Three shows I know nothing about—Former Business Partners: Everything Must Go!,The Unbreakable Gun, and Tybrus: Infinity Bros, audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: A free screening at UCB East (which used to a movie theatre) of a 2002 documentary about improv legend Del Close featuring memories from such stars as Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh: The Delmonic Interviews

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; writer for Glamour, Elle; NPR’sThis 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), and Katina Corrao (HBO, Logo) are among the performers joining host Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; WNYC, Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) for this unique storytelling show at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street) that features such charms as 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 atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Diner and THEM

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

[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 forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s tonight at the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Band Amazing Jellies plays music to inspire made-up scenes by superb improvisors from The Story Pirates, Centralia, UCB, etc.—plus Greg Kotis, co-writer of Broadway hit Urinetown!—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Beauty Love Truth

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Great NYC improv troupes of the past—Badman, Ragnarock, Bastian, fwand, and Monkeydick—perform for one night only at UCB East for this special event: Harold Night Time Machine

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, 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 challengecomponent): The Magnet’s Night Out

[$] [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] 9:00 pm ($10 online or at the door): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), and Baratunde Thurston (author of How to be Black; The Onion) performing at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street) with host 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] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free 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 ($10): Brilliant UK star Simon Amstell (Numb, Never Mind the Buzzcocks), star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Mara Wilson (Mara Wilson Writes Stuff, Matilda), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Lisa Kirchner (author ofHello, Female Lady Creature!, host of The Next Chapter), and host Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme In a Strange Land at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

9:30 pm ($5): Mark Sutton and Ari Voukydis play two fisherman as they improvise using a form made legendary by Chicago’s Joe Bill (who’ll be participating in this weekend’s Del Close Marathon, but apparently not in this particular show…) at the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street): Bassprov

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Chelsea stage—along with stand-ups Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Adam Conover, Mark Little, Nimesh Patel, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Krompf, one of the best improv troupes in NYC (consisting of Neil Casey, Amey Goerlich, Ryan Karels, and Joe Wengert), showing off its various improv games—The Kroumf, The Gator, Pizza Prov, and more—right before tomorrow’s Del Close Marathon: Third Annual Pre-DCM Krompf Extravaganza

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): A brand new game show with Rich Sommer (Mad Men), Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), and Anna Klumski (Veep), and audience members selected as contestants at UCB East created & hosted by Matt Walsh (improv living legend, HBO’s Veep): Celebrity

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The King is dead. After 13 consecutive wins, Improv troupe Airwolf last week was finally bested by Grandma’s Ashes (which ironically runs directly opposite Airwolf on Saturday nights at 10:30 at UCB Chelsea vs. UCB East). Grandma’s Ashes’ first challenger for its new crown is GoodGirl; and you can expect girls to be hit as the groups mercilessly compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm: Improv set in a 3rd Grade class from troupe IRTE at The PIT downstairs lounge: IRTE: Mrs. Carrol’s 3rd Grade Houghton Mifflin Spelling Class

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