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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] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic
[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open-mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT downstairs lounge, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils
[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, four of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Fisticuffs and Legend (at 7:00) and Vulcan and Aquarius (at 8:30); followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with musical improv troupe Fisticuffs to make up stories in song: Musical Magnet Mixer
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Michael Ragosta of This Good Robot (science fiction-inspired band based in NYC) joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Molly Crabapple (comics creator of Straw House, DC Comics’ Puppet Makers; creator of Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a worldwide movement of alt.drawing salons in over 120 cities) and Erika Forster & Annie Hart (electronic dream pop band Au Revoir Simone) are interviewed about “their earliest creative experiences and the nuances of having a creative career” for a weekly podcast that once a month goes live on the UCB East stage with hosts Andy Beckerman & Mark Bisi: Beginnings
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Matt Simonds (David Letterman, Jay Leno), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson: Tom Papa, Hannibal Buress, and More
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): From Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman (producers of The Scene), improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s groups including Pumpkin, Ryanna, Bad Intentions, and The Lottery: Act One
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): 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), Joe DeRosa (razor-sharp rising star stand-up; HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), and Jeff Wesselschmidt performing stand-up on this week’s topic Haunted at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) produced by Chenoa Estrada, Emily Heller, and George Gordon and hosted tonight by George Gordon: The Afterlife: Haunted
8:00 pm ($8): Nick Carrillo, Langston Belton, and Devin James Heater perform a post-apocalyptic improvised comedy—exploring the relationship of three men trapped in a Generic Underground Shelter—at The PIT upstairs theatre: G.U.S.
[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (for an update, please click here) performing at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, notable hair): Crime & Punishment
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace), Mike Doughty (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien; formerly of band Soul Coughing; solo album Sad Man Happy Man), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet
9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Rocks, A Sparrow, and GoodGirl—plus advanced improv students “are going to challenge themselves by performing a show that they only just learned,” summed up as Instant Gratification—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, from brilliant, fearless, and innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives). Tony says “I’ve been watching a lot of Homeland, so why not do a show that’s 5% inspired by it? The rest is a mishmash of ways to make fun of our heroes that protect my freedom to make fun of them.” Plus there’ll be stand-up from guests Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), Halle Kiefer (Splitsider), and Nate Fernald (Team Submarine), all at UCB East hosted by Tony and produced by Andy Rocco: The Tony Show: CIA Edition
9:30 pm ($5): Scientists discuss science articles, with questions encouraged from the audience, and then improvisors create scenes based on the tech talk at The PIT downstairs lounge: Science Journal Club
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Brian Scolard (TBS’ Sullivan and Son, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour Special, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, AMC, TNT), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, MTV, ABC), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, CNN, TBS): ComedyJuice
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Al Madrigal (correspondent for The Daily Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson: Neal Brennan, Nick Griffin, Keith Alberstadt, and More
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.