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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: Kate Tellers (Producer and Corporate Trainer for The Moth) 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: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies
[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): A comedic mini-play written by Gavin Speiller (Death by Roo Roo, Rogue Elephant) and directed by Christine Nangle (staff writer for SNL) with a superb cast—Gavin Speiller, D’Arcy Carden, Sue Galloway, Jim Santangeli, Frank Hejl, and Samantha Warnick—auditioning for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: The Last Double Date
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5 at the door or $6.17 online): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a brand new show looking at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Typically sharp comics (not announced) are guests at this monthly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East hosted by Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) that at the end selects a favorite from the audience tales to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month (for hilarious samples, please click here): Animated Stories
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($26): Brilliant and exceptionally skinny UK star Simon Amstell (BBC’s Do Nothing, Grandma’s House) performs a one-man show for six nights only in NYC (through November 21st) “skewering his insecurities with a sharp wit and hopeful optimism, confronting the anxieties of modern life” at Theatre 80 (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Simon Amstell: Numb
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Kevin Maher (creator of the smash hit Kevin Geeks Out shows; HBO, Comedy Central, AMC) and Web superstar Mark Douglas (The Key of Awesome) team up to tape material for their new Web series Andrew 12 Sided Dice Clay, plus stand-up from Casey Jost, Adam Conover, Rusty Ward, Ritch Duncan, and Matt Wilson, all performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): Andrew 12-Sided Dice Clay Live Taping
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please click here) who’s a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour that featured top Middle Eastern-American comics, and an actor who’s performed on ABC’ s Better off Ted and Knights of Prosperity, FOX’ s Life on a Stick, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon
[$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, is a cast member of the NBC sitcom Whitney (starring the wonderful Whitney Cummings), and has performed on Showtime’s Live Nude Comedy (to view his set, please click here) and TBS’ Glory Daze, headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Chris D’Elia
8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful improvisor Ellena Chmielewski co-wrote and directed this comedy mini-play about modern romance at UCB Chelsea co-written & co-starring John Zachary Townsend: Standards & Practices…
…and in the other half of this double-bill, frankly, the worst scripted show I’ve seen all year on the UCBT schedule—terrible writing, acting, direction, a perfect storm of bad—but the folks involved are very nice (sometimes things just don’t work out…): The State vs. Josh: The Trial of the Millennials
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, The Wrath, and The Boss performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Medusa (all improvisers stay on stage at all times, and alternate between speaking roles and playing inanimate objects), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) featuring last week’s winner vs. Featherweight: The Magnet’s Night Out
[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): Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Kyle Dunnigan, Billy Wayne Davis, and Trevor Williams performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door, $11.34 in advance online): Killer lineup of Michael Showalter (MTV’s The State, comedy troupe Stella, writer/star of feature films The Baxter and Wet Hot American Summer and Comedy Central’s Michael & MIchael Have Issues; author of bestselling book Mr. Funny Pants), 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 Andrew Gregory (The Gregory Brothers, Auto-Tune the News) with the Color Red Band performing and sharing insider stories at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Scott R.: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky
[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): Shannon O’Neill (comedy genius), Morgan Grace Jarrett (wonderful comedic actress), Lydia Hensler (member of red-hot improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes), and/or Brandon Scott Jones (top sketch troupe Stone Cold Fox, red-hot improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes, top comedic play Death Wears Stilettos) host a showcase of female comics at UCB East who tonight are Katey Healy-Wurzburg (stand-up), JiJi Lee (storytelling), Cocoon Central Dance Team (dance), and Summer and Eve (musical performance): Ladies Night: Men Welcome
From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.