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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 $) include:
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Michael Hartney (The Prom, host of Characters Welcome) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!
[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies
[$] 7:00 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Pete Correale (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central one-hour special), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), and Modi (HBO’s The Sopranos, Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color): Tom Papa, Pete Correale, and More
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Frank Conniff (“TV’s Frank” on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Cinematic Titanic), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Naomi Ekperigin, Michael Fisher, and more—plus the Shrink Dancers—performing at UCB East hosted by Sharon Spell: The Big Shrink
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Longtime UCBT stars Neil Casey (writer for Saturday Night Live; Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) in a two-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea directed by Michael Delaney: Small Men
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($42 plus 2-drink min.): The creator & star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac, has also performed on HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, and his own Comedy Central Presents special, and is one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Dave Attell
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe Zimmerman (Rooftop Comedy), Dave Stone (Adult Swim’s Squidbillies), Andy Sanford (TBS), and TJ Young “deliver an original brand of humor that’s deeply rooted in stand-up and lightly blended with avant-garde elements of music, sketch and improv.” This bearded quartet’s credits include the album Cardio Mix from Comedy Central Records. Tonight they’re joined by NYC stand-ups performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: The Beards of Comedy & Friends
8:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Featherweight, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by The Narrator (a storyteller tells a tale, based on audience suggestions, which other improvisors then turn into a musical on the spot): The Magnet’s Night Out
8:00 pm ($10): Matt Ruby (MTV; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit), Gibran Saleem (charming stand-up recently graduated from NYU), Geoff Kole, and Dan Crossley performing at this monthly show at The PIT hosted by twins Todd & Adam Stone: Stone and Stone Show
[$] 8:45 pm ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Pete Correale (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central one-hour special), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), and Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Jermaine Fowler (FOX’s new In Living Color): Tom Papa, Pete Correale, Gregg Rogell, and More
[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 ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced as of this morning, but you might find an update by clicking here) performing at UCB East co-produced by Chenoa Estrada, and hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle one of my favorite SF films, based on one of my favorite short stories by Harlan Ellison—1975’s A Boy and His Dog—at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Superb comedic musical band Summer and Eve (for some of its best songs to date, please click here) will treat you with hilarious original tunes for a full hour at the UCB East theatre: Summer and Eve: Folky-Pop Musical Comedy
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In celebration of the holidays, improvised Jews battle improvised Christians for supremacy—via audience laughs and votes—at UCB Chelsea. Overall, history favors the Christians. But this is New York, where Jewish comics may well have the edge. There’s no telling what will happen…which is one of the great pleasures of the extravaganza Cage Match: Jews Vs. Christians
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Comics Oscar Montoya, Lisa Flanagan, Jon Gutierrez, and more make up funny commentary about oddball holiday-themed short films—industrials, educationals, etc.—at The PIT downstairs lounge, plus stand-up from the lovely Bridget Fitzgerald: Down in Front: Holiday Edition
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.