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For a review of Anthony Jeselnik’s new DVD Caligula, please click here.
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 PITdownstairs 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’sThe Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs bits from a show he’s developing for an off-Broadway run that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Unconstitutional with Colin Quinn
[TOP PICK] 7:00 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 Vulcan (at 7:00) and Aquarius and Mint Condition (at 8:30); followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with musical improv troupe Aquarius to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Karl Bollers & Brandon Perlow (comic book startup company New Paradigm Studios) 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
7:00 pm ($5): “Comics get into the Halloween spirit by performing some of their favorite musical numbers…that they have no chance of ever being cast in, due to gender or race. This is no parody show—we’ll be earnestly singing our favorite If Only songs in full costume. You will probably see a female Jean Valjean, a male Grizabella, and many more” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Broadway Costume Bash
[FREE] 7:00 pm: The debut of this weekly 2-hour open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a full 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart: 8-Minute Open-Mic Storytelling
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award finalist), Mike Drucker (Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), SuperSmall, and a special guest (too big to be advertised) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sharon Spell and featuring the Shrink Dancers: The Big Shrink
[$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), 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), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central,Wanda Sykes Show), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson: Nick DiPaolo, Tom Papa, and More
8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Kevin Barnett, Giulia Rozzi, JC Coccoli, Joe Zimmerman, and Josh Gondelman performing stand-up on this week’s theme Died in Your Arms at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) produced by Chenoa Estrada, Emily Heller, and George Gordon and hosted tonight by Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here): The Afterlife: Died in Your Arms
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera, plus Charles Gould and Dan Licata: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show
[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (for an update, please click here) performing atCake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, notable hair): Crime & Punishment
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Two of my favorite comics in the universe, Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York) and John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), plus “a special guest / co-host,” and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet
[FREE] 9:00 pm: Joe Pera (hilarious deadpan Andy Kaufman-like stand-up; one time I saw Joe sing beautifully and then smash three dozen plates to pieces; more recently he ended his set by slicing milk; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Zach Broussard (sketch troupe Fambly), Josh Spear, and Anthony Devito performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Steve O’Brien, Robert Dean, and/or Kevin McCaffrey: Comedy at Alligator Lounge
9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Sherlock & Cookies, The Regulars, and Salmon Diane—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
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A special interactive theatre edition (“a ripoff of Sleep No More with no budget”) of this weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, from brilliant, fearless, and innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives). Tonight Anthony and loads of this improv actor friends create a weird version of Hamlet, with you participating” “Grab a mask and silently observe the dramatic machinations. Follow the characters you want to follow, sit at the bar and drink, explore the limited props that we will have littered around the theatre, listen to the music of Summer & Eve.” I’ll be attending this. If you’re brave, join me at UCB East for The Tony Show: Hamlett the Bedtime Story —An Interactive Play
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO,Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, CNN, TBS): ComedyJuice: Ted Alexandro, Neal Brennan, and More
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), Sherrod Small (writer/performer on TBS’ Are We There Yet?, Comedy Central, VH1), and Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson: John Mulaney, Neal Brennan, and More
[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Amber Nelson, Reid Faylor, Missy Baker, Tim Warner, Jason Saenz, Bredndan Eyre, and Danny Cruz performing sets to be used as audition tapes—so they’ll be trying extra hard to make you laugh—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City:Caught on Tape
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.