NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/13/13

December 13, 2013

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Todd Barry and Reggie Watts

Todd Barry, Reggie Watts (above), Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Kate Berlant, Nick Vatterott, Amber Nelson, Murderfist, The Cowmen, The Reformed Whores, and more at a spectacular Brooklyn stand-up, sketch, and comedic music event: Winter Wonderland…

Stone Cold Fox

…and a world-class sketch group kicks off the run of a brand new show at UCB Chelsea: Stone Cold Fox—Sexy Idiots

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] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell “bring more than five years of improv collaboration to stage for an evening of bold, committed characters and probably a fart joke for good measure,” and are joined by friends (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hodapp & Rothwell

7:00 pm ($8; SOLD OUT, but there’ll be a standby line): Sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre from group Boy Girl Boy Girl

[$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include comedy dynamo Ali Wong at all five shows, plus Greg Rogell, Greer Barnes, James Smith, and host Lynne Koplitz at the 7:00 show; Russ Meneve, Greer Barnes, Lynne Koplitz, and host Keith Robinson at the 10:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Jermaine Fowler, and host Keith Robinson at the 12:15 am show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) except for the 8:00 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Friday

[FREE] 7:00ish pm: Neil Charles (Last Comic Standing), Charlie Kasov (blogger for MTV’s Guy Code), Marianne Schaberg (VH1), Rae Sanni (Huffington Post), Chris Lamberth, and Andy Fiori performing at this monthly stand-up show at the One and One Bar (12 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Jeff Cerulli and the delightful Chelsea White (MTV, VH1, TLC, co-host of Call Us Crazy): What Else? Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch group (vs. improv group) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its writers (who include stellar comics Brandon Gulya and Silvija Ozols) are terrific, and its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez. (If you’re in the industry, hire them.) Tonight is the kick-off of a brand new collection of sketches from these sexy performers: Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots

7:30 pm ($5): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Naomi Ekperigi (30 Rock, Totally Biased, VH1, Logo), Charla Lauriston (MTV, host of Free Cable, co-host of School Night), and Brendan McLaughlin performing stand-up or storytelling at UCB East hosted by Halle Kiefer: Splitsider and Tumblr’s Dog and Pony Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20; no min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Paul Virzi (FOX, Spike TV) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Christian Finnegan, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest writer/performers alive. His NYC production last year was the most revealing I’ve seen from him, but distancing at the same time, essentially opening himself up to tell us that he’s not very good with trust or intimacy. This year he’s doing a show in which he doesn’t speak a word, but instead plays recordings of his and other voices (draw your own conclusions…). I haven’t seen this because of massive deadlines, but you can read a carefully balanced and nuanced review from Jason Zinoman of The New York Times here and a blunt review from Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post here. Expect a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is something special. Nab tickets for this run playing every day except Mondays from November 22nd through December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): Analog,Ue

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): “In November of 2011 Michelle Ward was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. She took to her pink ukulele Lucille and broke the news on the Interwebs with an original titty ditty. Join us for a night of show tunes, boob tunes, raffles, and more as we raise money for her Avon Walk for Breast Cancer team” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Boob Cancer & Show Tunes

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($27 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Showtime, and his own hour-long Comedy Central special headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Sebastian Maniscalco

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) A cast member of Saturday Night Live and In LIving Color (most famously playing Homey D. Clown), and an actor in numerous feature films, headlining tonight through Sunday—albeit at a steep price—at the Carolines Comedy Club: Damon Wayans

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm show; FREE BEER from 7:30-9:00 pm ($12.65 online, $15 at the door): Amazing lineup of Reggie Watts, Todd Barry, Sean Patton, Mark Normand, Kate Berlant, Nick Vatterott, Amber Nelson, Murderfist, The Cowmen, The Reformed Whores, and more performing stand-up, sketch, and/or music at Brooklyn’s The Paper Box (17 Meadow Street) hosted by Chris Nester & Julian Kiani and produced by the Brooklyn Comedy Festival: Winter Wonderland

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Cipha Sounds (Hot 97, Chappelle’s Show) thought it would be cool if a hip-hop star told tales and then improvisors made up scenes based on them. This monthly show is the result, with a “secret” music celebrity “mesmerizing the crowd with amazing stories and linguistic darts to spark the creativity of some of the best improvisers in NYC,” the latter being Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Phil Jackson, Christian Capozzoli, and/or Abra Tabak at the UCB East theatre: Take It Personal: The Hip-Hip Improv Show

9:30 pm ($10): Two PIT upstairs theatre improv groups making up a musical on the spot, one with sharpness and the other with a friendly greeting: Dagger and Hello

[FREE—plus FREE PIZZA & DRINKS! Reserve seats by emailing with subject YANNI CASH] 9:00 pm for free pizza & drinks, 9:30 pm for show: Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Adam Conover (VH1’s Best Week Ever, Olde English, College Humor, host of Fresh Out), Mike Recine, and more performing stand-up at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Hoff Matthews & Lukas Kaiser: HP5000 Live Comedy

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Justin Grace, Mike Pullan and James Ferrarella, who also promise “skits, arm wrestling, jeopardy, contests, drinking, and everything else you would do on an” Almost Saturday Show

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Sasheer Zamata (rapidly rising star; ABC’s Would You Fall for That?, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Hey Girl, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky, host of UCBT’s School Night), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, Nat Geo; host of Sweet), and Ross Kimball (ABC, Chicago iO) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Eric Drysdale (brilliant staff writer for The Colbert Report) and Eli Bosnick (magician & mentalist) interviewed at a late night talk show hosted by Jamie Leelo at The PIT upstairs theatre: Brunch Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: Pot stand-up from “highly talented comics who have been highly recommended from people who are thought highly of in the business. Oh, and they’ll be high” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Clayton English & Noah Gardenswartz: High Five

Midnight ($5): A variety of oddball comedy acts, with tonight’s theme “Matt Dennie’s surprise birthday party,” at UCB East hosted by sketch duo Matt Dennie & Josh Sharp: Cool Shit / Weird Shit

Friday 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

5:45 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 1 hour. 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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and/or Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Attend to perform improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge, with a weekly rotating selection of formats and hosts: Happy Hour

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage hosted by members of Maude troupe Moriarty: Liquid Courage

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.