NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/17/13

December 17, 2013

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Reggie Watts

Comedy geniuses Reggie Watts…

Daniel Kitson

…and Daniel Kitson are among the guests at Eugene Mirman’s bash in Brooklyn: Pretty Good Friends…

Seth Herzog

…while Seth Herzog puts on a gals final show for 2013 featuring Sean Patton, Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, a world-class juggler, and much more at Sweet…

Gary Vider

…and very funny rising star Gary Vider headlines at Carolines

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-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:00 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

[FREE] 7:00 pm: The co-host of weekly show Comedy at the Beaty Bar tries out material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Nate Fridson

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($7.37 if you use code BREAKOUT online or by phone, plus 2-drink min.) A hilarious writer & deadpan stand-up—for sample jokes, please click here —headlines for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club (with openers Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and Jasmine Pierce): Gary Vider

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm-12:30 am ($5): Eight long form UCB house improv groups—Greg, Higgins, Graceland, GoodGirl, Namaste, Grammer, The Regulars, and Bucky—get on the UCB Chelsea stage for a five hour holiday improv blast: The Longest Harold Night of the Year

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12 at the door or $13.41 online): “The Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast in its entirety only once, in the United States and Canada, on November 17, 1978, preempting Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk. It has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. David Hofstede called it ‘the worst two hours of television ever.’ George Lucas has reportedly said ‘If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.’ Join us and find out why Cherry Pitz is obsessed with it!” in this burlesque tribute accompanied by clips of the show at the R-Bar (218 Bowery) hosted by Cherry Pitz (a.k.a. sharp storyteller Cyndi Freeman): Hotsy Totsy Burlesque’s tribute to The 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online using discount code NORTHERN; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Reese Waters (David Letterman), Josh Carter, and Ray Devito performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Sean Patton, Nick Vatterott, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Ace group Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award) and sketch troupe Girls With Brown Hair perform at the upstairs Stand Up NY Lab (236 West 78th Street): Sketch Night at the Lab

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper, author of Tasteful Nudes), Livia Scott (magical comedic chameleon; Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, VH1, feature film National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie; sketch groups Scrambled Legs and The Livia Scott Sketch Program), Lou Perez, Sam Grittner, Rusty Ward, and Sandra Bauleo performing stand-up or sketch for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[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. This year he took a huge risk by doing a show in which he doesn’t speak a word, and doesn’t even interact with the audience, but instead walks around the stage playing a series of recordings of his and other voices—which is either highly artistic and poignant, or like watching a recorded radio program in a darkened theatre, depending on how you feel about it. 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. This is a sprawling, detail-packed scripted show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is something special. This is the final week of the run, which ends December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (29 Jay Street): Analog,Ue

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Kevin Meaney, Gary Gulman, Ryan Hamilton, and More

8:00 pm ($8): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre, directed by Holden McNeely (Murderfist): National Scandal

8:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match.” On the improv side is team PRISM; while the stand-ups are Jeffrey Joseph, Kara Klenk, and Adam Chisnall, all performing at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera, plus Charles Gould and Dan Licata: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): and Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Reese Waters (David Letterman), Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Nate Fridson, Chris Laker, Taylor Ketchum, and more performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($20 at the door or $25.49 online): Two of the quickest and most talented comedy geniuses alive, Daniel Kitson and Reggie Watts, star at this holiday bash hosted by Eugene Mirman, which also features Janelle James, Derrick Brown, and “special guests” (as if there’s anyone more special than Daniel and Reggie…), all performing at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues; take the R to 9th Street or the F to 4th Avenue): Pretty Good Friends

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, CNN, TBS), Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown), Clarke McFarlane (renowned juggler/comic currently starring in the circus variety show La Soiree at Union Square Theater), Chris Barron, Tim Harrington, Rosewood, and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, VH1, Nat Geo): Sweet

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically fine stand-ups (not announced) performing with composer Matt Garrison’s four-piece jazz band playing in the background at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Mike Finoia. Please note this is slated to be the final show of Code Name: Comedy and Jazz

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NY stand-ups (not announced) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Kevin McCaffrey, Robert Dean, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Phoebe Robinson debuts this monthly stand-up show, tonight featuring Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), and Jamie Lee (staff writer/performer for The Pete Holmes Show; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Girl Code, VH1) all performing at the UCB East theatre: Blaria Live Stand-Up Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): Short-form improv is best, argues Terry Withers: “New York City is filled with lowest common denominator long-form improvisors. Sure, that type of improv gets laughs, but nine out of ten scenes are cheap and undisciplined. Get to the heart of what’s great about spontaneity using short-form classics that point to hidden truths: Party Quirks, Match OUTMATCH, Freeze, Ape Nest, and The Slam Pun Competition feed the soul and edify the mind” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Short Form Is the Only Art Form

9:30 pm ($8): Sketch comedy from 4-gal group Buzz Off Lucille at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Buzz Off Lucille Christmas Pageant

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): 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, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Russ Meneve (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno), Joe List (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, co-host of Pirate Party), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Judah Friedlander, Sean Patton, Russ Meneve, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open-mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT downstairs lounge, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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

[FREE] 6:15 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jay Dean and Tynan DeLong: Two Nice Guys Open MIc

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening 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 Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:15: Sign up at 9:30 pm for the opportunity to make up a musical on the spot with The Magnet improv group The Jezebelies: Magnet Musical Improv Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): An improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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.