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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): Cammi Climaco (co-host of Ask Me Stories) hosts this weekly hour-long open-mic storytelling show, with typically six audience members chosen from a bucket of names getting to tell tales for 6-7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge (please note this Monday show has, as of tonight, permanently moved to Wednesdays): Cammi Climaco’s Storytelling Open Mic: Six by Six
6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic
6:30 pm ($5): Two shows about which I know nothing audition for a regular spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea schedule: Guilty Bystanders and Get Rich Quick: Overnight: Now!. If you’re incredibly patient, you may find that all these shows have interesting elements; and for the ones that don’t get green-lit, this is the only chance to ever experience them. Plus whether great or awful, at $2.50 per show you can’t go far wrong. That’s part of the fun of Spank
7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Dr. Champagne, Nintendo, Flower Girl, Brick, Bloomer, Chet Watkins, Horses, and The Wrath performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Wrath at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Visiting Chicago-based sketch group Oh Theodora “perform silly, story-driven sketches that take what you know about comedy and twist it.” TimeOut Chicago described it as “Exuberant silliness and densely layered sketches… Endlessly winning.” Come enjoy this one-night-only chance at UCB Chelsea to experience Oh Theodora
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Storytellers Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, new book Screw Everyone), Rose Surnow, James Braly, Christine Gentry, and Alex Gallafent tell true tales about how I Might Be Obsessed for this monthly show at Happy Ending (302 Broome Street) hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley: How I Learned…I Might Be Obsessed
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of sketch, cartoons, and stand-up from Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), David Rees (witty cartoonist of such strips as How to Sharpen Pencils and Get Your War On; for a sample of the latter please click here, and for a video interview video with Rees please click here), and Sean Donnelly (Comedy Central) at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street) hosted by Beth Hoyt & Trish Nelson: Big Effing Deal
8:00 pm ($5): UCBT Maude Night group Bucky—which most notably includes red-hot rising star Sasheer Zamata—performs one long scene in the same location (a winning form that’s helped such teams as Death by Roo Roo win a whole lot of Cage Match victories) at the UCB East theatre: Bucky, Here and Now
8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): A mix of stand-upa and storytelling from Katie Hartman, Lane Moore, Jenny Rubin, George Gordon, Glen Rosenberg, and TJ Young performing at McSwiggan’s (393 Second Avenue off 23rd Street) with hosts 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
[TOP PICK] [FREE] Seating at 8:30, show at 9:00 pm (RSVP to confirm your spot at FreeComedyWednesdays@gmail.com): Terrific lineup of Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), John Roy (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central), 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 Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), and Garret Richardson performing stand-up at Ella (9 Avenue A) produced by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura and hosted tonight by Matt Ruby: Hot Soup
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), David Foster (MTV’s Boiling Points), and Nate Fernald (Team Submarine) 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 perform color commentary on an improv set by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: The Brothers Hines: Play by Play
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers—who tonight are Adam Wade, Melanie Hamlett, Peter Aguero, Michelle Onufrak, and wonderful host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s topic Biggest Betrayal, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Nights of Our Lives
[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—Mark Normand, Jared Logan, Mike Lawrence, Dan. St. Germain, Michael Che, Emily Heller, Jeffrey Joseph, Dan Soder, Barry Rothbart, Calise Hawkins, Joe List, Pat Dixon, and/or Nick Turner—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regulars
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased; comedy troupes Doppelganger, The Prom, Bucky) 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 acclaimed Chicago sketch group Oh Theodora (see 8:00 pm above), Keisha Zollar, Becky Yamamoto, and Claudia Cogan; 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 Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), and Jesse Joyce (host of AMC’s Date Night, writer for Comedy Centraol Roasts, Last Comic Standing) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Mike Yard (Comedy Central, Def Comedy Jam): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, 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.