NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 11/21/12

November 21, 2012

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My favorite fast food place, Tuck Shop, got hit hard by Sandy. Please check out its amazing meat & veggie mini-pies; the 68 East 1st Street store is near UCB East and open very late…and is run by a fiery Aussie redhead who’s a delight.

John Flynn

UCBT star John Flynn performs his best stories and jokes for the live taping of his first comedy album…

Simon Amstell

…and it’s your last chance to catch UK star Simon Amstell’s one-man show at Theatre 80 St. Marks: “Numb”

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: Open-mic stand-up providing 3 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Max Corbel & Benel Germosen: Cracking It

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): A special pre-holiday gathering of Magnet house troupes Organic Cranberries, Turkey-Bot 2000, A Thanksgiving Story, Millions of Thanksgiving Hugs, Football on the TV, Brick, Macy’s Day Massacre, and Christmas So Soon performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Flower Girl at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for Chris Lamberth (national TV commercial star), Mike Denny (co-host of Bar Matchless), and Matteo Lane (visiting from Chicago) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield (VH1) and her husband Luke Thayer (Tyra Banks; co-host of The Living Room): Positively Awesome

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from Joe List (Comedy Central), Micah Sherman (Second City, The Scene), Dan Hirshon (Huffington Post), Ben Kissel, and many more performing at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlines tonight and this weekend at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tracy Morgan

7:30 pm ($5): Celebrating a lesser-known parade via improv at UCB East, featuring superb improvisor Ellena Chmielewski: The Macy’s Day Before Thanksgiving Day Parade

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($26 via the box office or $30 online): UK TV star Simon Amstell (BBC’s Do Nothing, Grandma’s House) performs a brilliant one-man show about the anxieties of success and the meaning of life—and yes, he will tell you the meaning of life before the evening ends (worth the price of admission right there…). While the show is tightly scripted, Simon is one of the most lightning-quick wits in comedy, and at the performance I attended reminded me of Daniel Kitson by crafting many of the best moments on the fly from responses to the audience. (For example, when a woman in the first row abruptly got up to leave Simon did several minutes on that; and when she returned from the bathroom and explained she hadn’t missed anything because she’d seen Numb before, Simon replied, “I don’t know whether that makes it better or worse. Does that mean you waited until the part of the show you liked the least?”) Take advantage of this final chance—the NYC run ends tonight—and nab tickets at the lovely Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, between First and Second Avenues) for Simon Amstell: Numb

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): John Flynn (superb storyteller/actor/host; The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!) is one of the most underrated comics in NYC. Tonight John will address that at UCB Chelsea by performing his best stories and stand-up for posterity before an enthusiastic audience—which hopefully will include you: John Flynn’s Live Comedy Album Taping

[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) in the West Village: The Old Man and the Moon

FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 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): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), Andrew Schulz (MTV 2’s Guy Code), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 9:00 pm:Al Jackson (Comedy Central Presents; come for Al’s wise advice about choosing a wife), Joe Harrington (MTV), Luke Younger, Jeff Cerulli, and Stephanie Holmes performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “For over a year, Patrick Waldo scrawled his moustache tag on countless advertisements around New York City, entertaining commuters and causing thousands of dollars in damage. After a three month investigation, the NYPD put an end to his spree when they arrested Waldo under felony charges of graffiti, criminal mischief, and fucking shit up,” written & starring Patrick Waldo, and directed by Nate Dern & John Flynn: Moustache Man: Confessions of a NYC Graffiti Artist

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award) performs a 30-minute stand-up set: Harrison Greenbaum

10:00 pm ($5): Chris Nester & Ross Taylor are aspiring Country Western musicians who “sneak laughs and toe-tapping-tunes in between serious moral lessons based on suggestions from the audience (sinners welcome!)” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Oakwood Boys: MoralityProv

[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

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.