NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 7/26/12

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The Cowmen

Mind-blowing musical dark comedy group The Cowmen perform at Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

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:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Lisa L. Kirchner (writer for The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Bust Magazine,; host of The Next Chapter) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, atUCB 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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A show that brings dead celebrities back to life has itself been resurrected at UCB East, with magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’BrienLaw & OrderDirty Movie) hosting tonight as blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield. Joining the party will be The Cowmen (jaw-dropping dark comedy group, with members of Murderfist), Todd Hanson (Adult Swim’s Squidbillies, original head writer for The Onion), and Carla Rhodes (“rock’n’roll ventriloquist;” for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here; for act with “Keith Richards,” please click here): Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Ira Glass (host/producer of This American Life), Claywoman, musical group The One, and surprises from host Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper; new book Tasteful Nudes) at The Dave Hill Explosion

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Bob Dorough (Miles Davis, Allen Ginsberg, Schoolhouse Rock) plays music to inspire made-up scenes by superb improvisors from The Story Pirates, UCB, FringeNYC, etc.—plus a monologue from Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There)—plus a monologue from Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There)—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

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 Alex Marino directing Events (improv that explores a single event through flashbacks, dashes, and other time-bending techniques), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), featuring Aquarius vs. That Annoying Couple: 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?

[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!

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

[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

9:00 pm ($5): John Roy (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel, FX’s Totally Biased), Matt McCarthy (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death, host of AMC’s Action Pack, Comedy Central, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys, host of Marking Out), Kara Klenk (host of If You Build It), George Gordon, and Adam Sokoll performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Jen Nails (superb storyteller and teacher; author of Next To Mexico), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central), Michael Martin (Thin Skin Jonny), and Britt Genelin performing atThe PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme The Spirit at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

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 Susanna Wolff, Jeff Rosenberg, Brian Murphy, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Truly great improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes was finally toppled by one of the finest troupes in the country, Doppelganger, in a clear win of 115-55. There aren’t many groups around that can best Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar, so the crown will probably be worn by this trio until they’re ready to relinquish it. Tonight they’ll be teaching humility to troupe Graceland in this competition for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): “Secret movie screenings of movies you probably haven’t seen and/or should see again” at UCB East (which used to be a movie theatre) hosted by Ryan Karels (Grandma’s Ashes, Krompf), Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers), JD Amato (Harold Night), and Mike Roth (Two Boots Video): Secret Movie Show Presented by Two Boots Video

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