NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/4/12

October 4, 2012

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The Improvised Shakespeare Company

Tonight at 10:00 pm is your last sure bet (other performances are sold out, though you can try for a waiting list) to enjoy the smartest & funniest improv comedy troupe in the world: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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: Eugene Ashton-Gonzalez (improv troupe Froduce, host of storytelling shows 1001 Nights and New York Confidential) 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 the downstairs lounge 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] 7:00 pm ($10): Smith Magazine hosts a small mob of writers who tell entire life stories in just six words, such as “Writing is cheaper than a therapist” and “The miserable childhood led to royalties” at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): Six-Word Memoirs

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-MIdnight ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet kicks off its annual New York Musical Improv Festival tonight with The Boom Box Kids and Choral Rage at 7:00, Mikki Hommel and FACE at 9:00, and (in competition) house troupes Atticus vs. Legend vs. Mint Condition vs. The Montels at 11:00: The Magnet’s New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Lizz Winstead, Greg Proops, Hari Kondabolu, and Lee Camp are challenged to dissect the week’s news for a live taping at UCB Chelsea of a BBC Radio 4 show (which is sold out of seats, but if you’re willing to stand you can probably get in regardless): News Quiz USA

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): 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.), Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another), a “secret guest,” and more at UCB East hosted by Dan Allen & Ray Devito: Sacapuntas!

8:00 pm ($8): NYC actors and comics compete to deliver the finest comedic solo character performance at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Manhattan Monologue Slam

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 ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of Comedy, Showtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

[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!

[$] 8:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.): Winner of the second season of Last Comic Standing, a frequent performer on Jay Leno and VH1, and star of two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials and an hour-long Comedy Central special, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: John Heffron

9:00 pm ($5): Brent Sullivan, Janine Brito, Roger Hailes, Katie Hannigan, and Monroe Martin performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[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): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead) 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 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: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): David Letterman producer Rob Burnett, Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color), Andy Breckman & Ken Freedman (hosts of WFMU’s Seven Second Delay), Dan Wilbur (author of How Not to Read), and Tom Henry (Canadian stand-up) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots): Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

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

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Chelsea stage—including stand-ups Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Brian “Murph” Murphy, Damien Lemon, and Barry Rothbart—at CollegeHumor Live

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($22.73 online with discount code ISCFBOOK): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a three-night NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Proving its initial “by a hair” victory was no fluke, last week new champion What I Did for Love utterly crushed its opponent The Shucks by a vote of 108-23. Tonight it faces well-liked Magnet improv house team Upstate, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): This show has 25 comics write a screenplay in round-robin one-page-at-a-time fashion (a ala Exquisite Corpse) and then perform it via a staged reading at UCB East. Tonight’s sequel will keep you up at night: Left Handed Radio: 9thmare On Elm Street

[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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