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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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Comics performing funny characters—who are slated to include Mamrie Hart, Dan Hodapp, Riley Soloner, and Becky Yamamoto—audition at The Magnet to appear in the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for Laughs Character Auditions
[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
7:00 pm-11:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Bloomer, Featherweight, Brick, Team White, Team Red, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Team Blue, and Horses performing improv: The Magnet’s Megawatt
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): In a rare stage appearance, legendary & razor-sharp TV talk show interviewer Dick Cavett—who has a story about almost everyone who was in show biz during the run of his series—will himself be interviewed by obsessive researcher Carl Arnheiter at UCB Chelsea. I’m baffled that this hasn’t already sold out (I’m prepping for knee surgery tomorrow but might try to attend regardless…): Inside Joke: Dick Cavett
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15, no drink minimum): Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Matt Kirshen (Jimmy Fallon), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Neal Brennan, Nate Bargatze, Jessica Kirson, and More
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway), 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), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’S Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Colin Quinn, Tom Papa, Keith Robinson, and More
[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 ($10 at the door or $11.80 in advance online): Storytelling and carny join forces to bring the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, hosted by Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life), and tonight Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam Champion) and Cyndi Freeman (Moth StorySlam champion, two-time FringeNYC award winner), plus stand-up from Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), sideshow from Abigoliah Schamaun, and burlesque by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. Cyndi Freeman) and Brief Sweat, all at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): And I Am Not Lying
[TOP PICK] [FREE] Seating at 8:30, show at 9:00 pm (RSVP to confirm your spot at FreeComedyWednesdays@gmail.com): Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry stand-up; writer for FX’s Totally Biased), Gary Vider (hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up; for sample jokes, please click here), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Sean Donnelly (Comedy Central), Matt Ruby (MTV), Alex Rosenthal, and Johnny Alspaugh 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: Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Hour Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS, host of ComedyJuice), Joyelle Nichole Johnson (opens for such superstars as Maria Bamford and Dave Chappelle), Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, host of If You Build It), Emily Epstein, Mike Camerlengo (writer/producer at ESPNU), and Zach Broussard 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 without any squabbling) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased; host of UCBT’s School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger, sketch troupe The Prom, and Harold Night troupe Bucky) and Josh Sharp (Maneater, Harold Night, Cool Shit/Weird Shit) perform a variety show with singing, dancing, and jokes that’s “basically like Sonny & Cher” at UCB Chelsea directed by the wonderful Brandon Scott Jones: Josheer
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Neal Brennan (razor-sharp, edgy comedy veteran; HBO, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show), 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), and Josh Howie (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Movie Geek) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’S Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Neal Brennan, Gary Gulman, NIck Griffin, and More
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this 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, Emily Heller, Michael Che, Joe List, Dan Soder, Calise Hawkins, and/or more—at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Regulars
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased; member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger, sketch troupe The Prom, and Harold Night troupe 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 luminous sketch comic Anna Drezen, agent of chaos Sean Hart, and young sharp stand-up Gibran Saleem; 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
11:00 pm ($5): The debut of a show that, frankly confuses me: “Wrestling-Inspired Improv.” Faux wrestling thrives at UCBT’s Cage Match—but it’s actually highly physical sketch comedy, not improv. If you don’t carefully plan out wrestling moves, someone might get killed… But maybe that’s the unspoken incentive to come watch three such matches at The PIT downstairs lounge: Triple Threat: Wrestling-Inspired Improv
[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets
[TOP PICK] [$] 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), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), and Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), and Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’S Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): The Nasty Show: Dave Attell, Big Jay Oakerson, Joe List, 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.