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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:
7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Nintendo, Flower Girl, Horses, Brick, Bloomer, The Wrath, Dr. Champagne, and Chet Watkins performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Chet Watkins at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another), Taylor Ketchum (Rooftop Comedy), Matt Maragno, Kerryn Feehan, and Ashlee Gilbert Voorsager performing stand-up at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) hosted by Selena Coppock, Dan Cartwright, and/or Emily Epstein: Connotation
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show
[$] 8:00 pm ($14 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), Adam Ferrara (cast member on FX’s Rescue Me and ABC’s The Job; co-host of History Channel’s Top Gear; Comedy Central Presents), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): Tom Papa, Adam Ferrara, and More
8:00 pm ($5): UCBT star & Chris Gethard Show icon Riley Soloner is a sweet and silly comic almost impossible to not like. His character Vacation Jason is over-the-top ridiculous, which means Riley has to walk a tightrope between getting laughs and creating a reality believable enough to make us care about what’s going on. This first attempt at a sketch show falters on the latter; and I’d encourage Riley to be bolder about doing sharp, smart comedy, even with dumb characters, as he moves forward with his young and promising career. But script aside, there are worse ways to spend 30 minutes then watch Riley on stage while you’re wearing a show-supplied Hawaiian lei of flowers around your neck: Vacation Jason’s Island Flavors…
[TOP PICK] [FREE] Seating at 8:30, show at 9:00 pm (RSVP to confirm your spot at FreeComedyWednesdays@gmail.com): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), and Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, The Amazing Spider-Man) performing stand-up at Ella (9 Avenue A) produced by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: 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), Carole Montgomery (Comedy Central), Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, Chelsea Lately, TruTV, Tyra Banks), Sean Donnelly (MTV, FOX News; host of many shows), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), and Cory Jarvis 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] 9:00 pm ($5): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully sans sibling squabbling) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A writer/performer for Saturday Night Live (for a sample, please click here) who’s also one of the very finest stand-ups in the country—with appearances on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever, etc.—performing a deliciously long set that’s likely to leave you breathless with laughter and chuckling weeks later: John Mulaney: For the Hour
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Adam Ferrara (cast member on FX’s Rescue Me and ABC’s The Job; co-host of History Channel’s Top Gear; Comedy Central Presents), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): Judah Friedlander, Jessica Kirson, Adam Ferrara, and More
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The wonderful Julie Sharbutt (improv shows Gravid Water, Mystic Improv, The Scene, Birds) and Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show; improv shows What I Did For Love, HUNK, The Scene) perform duo improv “exploring a world of deeply felt character relationships while sitting in chairs” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Chairs
[TOP PICK] 10:00 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] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Rising stand-up stars—Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, Mark Normand, Dan. St. Germain, Pat Dixon, Emily Heller, Michael Che, Joe List, and/or Nick Turner—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regular Suspects
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: While the wonderful Sasheer Zamata preps for her one-woman UCBT show tomorrow at 6:30, her friend Charla Lauriston (semi-depressing stand-up) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled guests include Brandon Gulya, Phoebe Robinson, and Julia Wiedeman; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night
[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets
[TOP PICK] [$] 11:30 pm ($10 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Lynne Koplitz (Joan Know’s Best, IFC’s Z Rock, host of WB’s Life & Style), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): The Nasty Show: Big Jay Oakerson, Lynne Koplitz, Andrew Schultz, 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.