NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 10/17/13

October 17, 2013

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Riley Soloner and Veronica Osorio and Dan Hodapp

Riley Soloner, Veronica Osorio, Dan Hodapp, and many more show off their stellar comedic talents at 7:30 and 9:00 at UCB East for this second half of industry event UCBT NY Variety Hour Showcase…

Long Story Long

…Eli Reiter debuts a show providing 25 minutes each to such top storytellers as Elna Baker and Andy Christie: Long Story Long…

Glbert Gottfried

…Gilbert Gottfried headlines for one night only at Carolines…

New York Musical Improv Festival

…and The Magnet kicks off its annual four-day New York Musical Improv Festival

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] 7:00 pm-12:30 am ($10 for the entire evening): The Magnet hosts its Fifth Annual Musical Improv Festival, kicking off tonight with solo musical improv at 7:00, musical improv from improv instructors at 9:00, and an improv competition at 11:00: The Fifth Annual New York Musical Improv Festival

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.34 online; cover price includes free drink; no min.) The debut of a “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, which tonight’s stellar guests Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; NPR’s This American Life; writer for Glamour, Elle; for sample tales, please click here), Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show; The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam Champion), and Peter Aguero (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, WNYC’s Moth Radio Hour, The BTK Band) performing at The Tank (151 West 46th Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($11.34 online, $12 at the door): How cool is this? Mega-bestselling author R. L. Stine (Goosebumps) is interviewed by Dave Herman, and then reads passages from his books—as springboards for improvised scenes from a small mob of comics. The awesomeness happens at The PIT upstairs theatre: Inside the Mind of R. L. Stine

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm & 9:00 pm ($5): The first half of this industry showcase, yesterday at UCB Chelsea, provided brilliant comedic performances from Chris Gethard, Sasheer Zamata, Natasha Rothwell, Neil Casey & Will Hines, John Murray & Leslie Meisel & Connor Ratliff, Jordan Klepper & Russ Armstrong, and more. On this second half of the showcase, UCB sketch, stand-up, and improv comics such as Dan Hodapp, Riley Soloner, Don Fanelli, Veronica Osorio, and Tim Dunn perform at UCB East. Please note this is one show that’s being performed twice, back to back, for the sake of filming; the best bits of both will later be edited into one show to be used for, well, lord knows what. Come experience it live: UCBT NY Variety Hour Showcase

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($26; SOLD OUT): Kelly Carlin talks about life with her legendary father George Carlin for this one-woman show at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): A Carlin Home Companion

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($24.25 & 2-drink min.)  A one-of-a-kind comedy star headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfried

[$] 7:30 pm ($15 at the door or $16.52 online): Jenn Dodd plays numerous characters 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Comics & storytellers 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), David Crabb (frequent host of The Moth, two-time Moth StorySlam Champion, co-host of Ask Me Stories), Cara Kilduff, Jonah Loeb, and Karen Bergreen performing at this biweekly storytelling show at 2A (25 Avenue A & 2nd Street) hosted by JR: The Jenny Rubin Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, IFC) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy) demonstrate they’re superb comedic performers in this two-man sketch show about men who fail and/or regret. I wish the guys had worked with another writer, or at least a tough editor, to make the writing uniformly stronger; but there are enough solid bits, and strong comic acting throughout, to make this worth catching: Guilty Bystanders

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Dan Black (FUSE, Death by Roo Roo, Ripley) performs a one-man show “as a student of the dude game” in The Pageantry of Man

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): “Improvised one-acts in the style of prominent playwrights and genres, spontaneously generating an original and hilarious work of instantly important theater right before your eyes” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Play

8:00 pm ($5): Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged), Nore Davis, Janelle James, and Nathan Macintosh 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: A monthly showcase of both stand-ups and improvisors at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by stand-up Zach Broussard and improv troupe Priest & the Beekeeper: Pig Pile

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, a musical “based on the true history of the founding of America, in which Jesus Christ embarks on a journey to help build a country that’s courageous, pious, and gun-crazy enough for his precious Constitution…as long as the evil King Barrack Hussein George III doesn’t get in the way,” written by Eric Gersen and directed by John Flynn: Seventeen Seventy-Something

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a one-man show by Arthur Meyer (writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon; David Letterman; sketch groups Pangea 3000, Fambly, Two Fun Men) that features some hilarious songs, especially the last one that’s a show-stopper homage to what rock ‘n roll is all about: Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): Comedy troupe Private Cabin has been skewering trashy cinema since 2010 via its podcast, and tonight will make entertainingly harsh comments about horror flick Scream 3 at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Andrew Jupin, Stephen Sajdak, Chris Cabin, and Eric Szyszka: We Hate Movies

[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

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1971 horror/orgy flick The Vampire Happening (for the 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): Juggernaut improv group Namaste last week provided a resounding No to challenger A Tribe Called Yes last week, winning with 81 votes to 41. With seven victories in a row, tonight champion Namaste faces force-of-chaos Fuck That Shit at UCB Chelsea, competing for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Current events analyzed with a comedic twist from guests 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), Mark Gagliardi (Comedy Central’s Drunk History), Pat Cassels (College Humor), and Joe Burns (Weekend of Regret) at UCB East hosted by Zhubin Parang (The Daily Show, What I Did for Love) and Cody Lindquist (Improv Everywhere): Topical Storm

11:00 pm ($5): “Ever wonder how Abraham Lincoln really made it to the White House? Whether Ryan Gosling only took up acting because of his failure at acupuncturist grief counseling? If Gloria Steinem went through a “skank phase”? Watch as indie team Free Cake and others improvise the timeline of your most beloved celebrities from Socrates to Shakira using your suggestions” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Biopic

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] 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

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.