NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/10/13

October 10, 2013

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New York Comic Con 2013

The fourth largest annual cultural event in NYC, attracting over 96,000 people, New York Comic Con is sold out for every day except today, for which tickets are still available at $30 (click the image to buy online)…

Gary Gulman and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

…and Gary Gulman and Doogie Horner (creator of the award-winning book cover above) are among the talents at Jeff Simmermon’s unique show blending stand-up, storytelling, and burlesque: And I Am Not Lying…

TJ and Dave, and Greg Kotis

…and The PIT has two major events tonight, with superstar improvisors TJ & Dave, and Tony Award-winning writer Greg Kotis debuting comedic play Give the People What They Want

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:

6:00 pm ($5): “Experts and historical figures discuss the most important topics of the day in this comedy panel show” at UCB East hosted by Erik Tanouye and/or Will Hines: What’s All This Then, America?

6:30 pm ($5): Sharon Spell (host of The Big Shrink) auditions a one-woman show about her parents passing away within three weeks of each other, which Sharon will somehow make hilarious: You’re Doing Great!—A Bold-Faced Lie; plus The Eddie Dunn Show, which also auditions for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): “From dancing gang members to award-hungry actors who may or not be able to sing, come see everything that makes a movie-musical special. Like the recent Les Miserables film, we tamper with a classic musical to give it a modern, unforgettable twist” for this sketch musical at The PIT upstairs theatre: West Side Story Remade

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Conan O’Brien, The Office, Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), and Peggy O’Leary performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and/or Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle

[$] 7:30 pm ($15 at the door or $16.52 online): Jenn Dodd plays numerous roles in this production that shows off her wit and versatility at Stage Left Studio, 214 West 30th Street (off Seventh Avenue), on the 6th Floor: No Show: A One Woman Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Tony Award-winning playwright/lyricist Greg Kotis (Urinetown) has written “a collection of seven short plays that explore love, sex, truth, sex, money, sex and justice. In that order” featuring wonderful comedic actors Julie Sharbutt, Micah Sherman, Dan Hodapp, Keisha Zollar, and Chris Robert at The PIT upstairs theatre: Give the People What They Want

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv groups The Boss and Hello Laser performing improv for an hour, followed at 9:00 pm by The Sleepover (long form improv with elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde), and at 10:00 pm by veteran improvisors making up scenes based on improvised monologues from star storyteller Adam Wade at The Armando Diaz Experience, and finally at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, first “Allie Kokesh and Matthew Brian Cohen dated for 18 months. Then they broke up. Maybe if they go through their relationship, scene by scene, they can figure out what happened. Or, it could just be a mess. Relationships are funny like that” (here’s hoping): Why We Broke Up

..and in the second half of this double-bill, a three-person mini-play that lets you know you’re not in a great place in the first five minutes, when a real estate guy strangles an elderly Mayor and then gives himself ownership of the city by signing a document using the Mayor’s dead hand—as if an elected Mayor had the power to hand over a city with a signature; or as if a dead hand would somehow replicate the Mayor’s signature! Silly is wonderful element of comedy, but it’s not a substitute for smart or funny; and this show simply lacks sufficient charms to merit your spending time on Greasy Lake: Key to the City

8:00 pm ($5): Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Ben Rosen, Simeon Goodson, Mike Brown, and more performing stand-up at Poco Restaurant & Bar (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) hosted by Sooyah Jun & Jawann Carmona: FTH Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This monthly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

9:00 pm ($5): Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV’s Pranked), Ron Babcock (visiting from LA; killed at yesterday’s School Night), sketch trio Boat, Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Louis Katz (Jimmy Fallon, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), and Paul Oddo (co-host of The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Heller and/or Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Chicago-based TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are widely considered among the finest long-form improvisors alive. Just by feeling their way through moment by moment, they create one-hour tales that most authors couldn’t match with months of labored writing. Tonight they make a rare appearance at The PIT upstairs theatre (in preparation for their upcoming show at Town Hall): TJ & Dave

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report gather on the UCB West stage to perform an all-improvised show at Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1975 uncut version of crime drama Mitchell (for the “Brute Force With a Badge” trailer, please click here) at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Stand-up, storytelling, and carny join forces to bring the blog And I Am Not Lying to life on stage, with storytelling from stellar host Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life) and Christine Gentry (NPR’s This American Life), stand-up from Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and Doogie Horner (America’s Got Talent; cover artist of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which won Amazon’s 2010 Cover of the Year Award), and burlesque from Corvette LeFace and Fern Appeal, all at the UCB East theatre: And I Am Not Lying

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Seemingly unstoppable improv group Namaste last week easily conquered musical hip-hop group North Coast 97 votes to 48 (no small achievement, as last year North Coast had a healthy run clobbering Cage Match teams). With six victories under its belt, tonight King-out-of-nowhere Namaste faces A Tribe Called Yes at UCB Chelsea, competing for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

Thursday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 5:30 pm: All-gal open-mic at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Anna Drezen & Sue Smith: Open Michelle: Ladies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies

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

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email with subject line Phoning Thursday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Ian Fidance: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv group Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

9:00 pm (free for audience members, $5 or 1 drink min. for stand-ups wanting to perform): Open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic (and a free recording of your set!), with order determined raffle-style. Sign up by emailing or calling (212) 253-7747, or just walk in and supply your name, to perform at the Old Man Hustle Bar (39 Essex Street) hosted by Solomon Chehebar: Peep Show Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An open stage for indie improv groups—and if you’re not in a group, that’s also fine, you’ll simply be added to one—at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Darcy Burke & Donna Lobello: New Team Lunacy

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

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.