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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 $) include:
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Mark Normand and James Smith at the 7:00 show, and Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, and Mark Normand at the 10:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 75 minutes with a true genius of comedy. I haven’t seen this yet, but it’s probably a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is not to be missed. And beyond the script, it’s always worth experiencing his lightning-quick flashes of humor. For example, at a performance of a different show in 2011, a woman sitting in the front row had the incredible gall to start reading. Daniel sweetly responded, “Ooh, that’s a subtle yet effective form of criticism. I’m certainly not cross with you, just too nosy about what you’re reading to plow on. Look, you’re still reading. What a lack of faith you have in live entertainment…” Place your faith in Daniel and nab tickets before they sell out for this production running every day except Mondays from November 22nd through December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): Analog,Ue
[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($7.25 online using discount code MASH; no min.): Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code and Wildn Out, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Adrienne Iapalucci & Luis J. Gomez: Kurt Metzger, Jermaine Fowler, Big Jay Oakerson, and More
8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories) delivers as charming a performance as possible considering her one-woman show is about her talking a guy into a terrible marriage and then cheating on him until it mercifully ends in divorce. What’s an even bigger problem is that Giulia fails to identify how the experience changed her in a substantial way that would make the show emotionally satisfying for the audience. Giulia’s one of the most talented raunchy storytellers in the country, but some more focus on basic storytelling structure would go a long way in Bad Bride…
..and in the second half of this double-bill, writer/performers Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli use song, dance, sketch comedy, and PowerPoint to demonstrate that “Billy Joel is the greatest recording artist of all time” in Sketches From an Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show
[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
[FREE] 9:00 pm: Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Nore Davis (Comedy Central), Harrison Greenbaum (winner of 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), Tyler Fischer, Sergio Chicon, Kat Higgins, and Joe Harrington performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Antler Beer & Wine Dispensary (123 Allen Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?
…and in the other half of this double-bill, 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 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
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): SNL’s Kevin Meaney, Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Derek Gains, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Kevin Meaney, Ari Shaffir, Kurt Metzger, and More
[FREE] 10:00: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show) and/or Nathan Anderson (Uncoolio): /r/standup
[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($7.25 online using discount code TURKEY; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, and More
Wednesday Open Mics & Jams
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 PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Wednesday 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 Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In
[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
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)
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)
Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)
(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.)
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.