NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 12/26/15

December 26, 2015

Mike Lawrence describes his winding career path, from seven years of working a drive-through window at McDonald’s to currently being a staff writer at Emmy Award-winning series Inside Amy Schumer, for my new podcast here.

Armando Diaz and Megan GraySuperb improvisors Armando Diaz (co-owner of The Magnet) and Megan Gray (Artistic Director of The Magnet) make up scenes in back-to-back shows The Armando Diaz Experience and Staten Island Diaz (7:30 pm & 9:00 pm, $10 per show, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street off Eighth Avenue)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight
(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

6:00 pm ($5): Four Indie improv troupes performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): Improvisors Sebastian Conelli, Don Fanelli, Will Hines, and more make up scenes using (probably terrible) British accents at the UCB East theatre: ‘Ello, Guv’nah!

7:00 pm ($5): A rotating cast of superb improvisors who, for some reason or other, left their PIT house groups. A current house team performs the first set and then The Quitters perform the second at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Quitters

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($5): Stand-ups including Liz Miele (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Damaged) perform at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Lauren Krass: Laughter School Special

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Improv groups Big Black Car (which includes Chris Grace, Nate Starkey, and Ashley Ward) and The Baldwins (which includes Micah Sherman, Sarah Nowak, and Brigid Boyle) make stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv group that includes such talents as Evan Kaufman (Your Love Our Musical) takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($16.25 online using discount code DAYAFTER; no min.): Dan St. Germain, Big Jay Oakerson, Adrienne Iapalucci, and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Saturday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Improv group Airwolf—with big talents Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, Achilles Stamatelaky, Eddie Dunn, Ben Rameaka, and Adam Fruccie—make up scenes about terrible audience experiences related to a home at UCB East: Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Armando Diaz, Megan Gray, Sebastian Conelli, and Louis Kornfeld (the last three comics all from Staten Island) make up scenes for this monthly show at The Magnet theatre: Staten Island Diaz

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors Brandon Scott Jones, Chelsea Clarke, and more make up scenes at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Mashed

9:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups performing for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Experiment Comedy Gallery (20 Broadway) hosted by Camille Harris, Camille Theobald, and Mo Fathelb: The Weekend Drop

9:00 pm ($10): Comics dissect current events at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tracey Carnazzo: Hashtag Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): A holiday celebration with stand-up, short form improv, a sing-a-long, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Jonathan Portee: Holiday Hangover

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio’s Last Podcast On The Left  “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the Left Live

10:00 pm ($10): Improvisors make up scenes based on audience tales of their holiday parties at the UCB East theatre: Christmas Hangover

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each time—with this week is Holiday—at The Magnet theatre: The Cast: Holiday Edition

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Freddy Goldstein: Last Stop Laughs

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Comics share true-life longish funny tales at this UCB East mashup of stand-up and storytelling hosted by Alison Leiby: It’s a Long Story

[DISCOUNTED] Midnight ($8.45 online using discount code DAYAFTER; no min.): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language, host of Frantic Mondays), and more performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): Dan St. Germain and More at The Stand Midnight

[FREE] Midnight: “Mother Oslo (a.k.a. Oslo The Gay Black Metal Southerner) will host and read scriptures from the most unholy book of all eternity. The Black Metal Bible. Come for the damnation, stay for the sacrifice” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue): Black Metal Chvrch

Midnight ($5): Two sketch groups compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by Alden Ford & Justin Tyler: Backyard Brawl

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evans: The Amateur Hour

For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

 For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

 Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

 Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive. It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 11/28/15

November 28, 2015

Please help beloved comedy performer Dana Krashin get her dream job
by voting once a day thru 12/3 here (a quick & easy way to be a hero)

Staten Island Diaz: Megan Gray, Sebastian Conelli, Louis Kornfeld, and Armando DiazSuperb improvisors Armando Diaz, Megan Gray, Sebastian Conelli, and Louis Kornfeld (the last three comics all from Staten Island) make up scenes for one night only: Staten Island Diaz (9:00 pm, $10, The Magnet at 254 West 29th Street off Eighth Avenue)

More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight
(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 10:00 pm, and Midnight ($15-$25; no min.): Typically terrific stand-ups performing at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street): The Stand Saturday

6:00 pm ($5): Four Indie improv troupes performing at The Magnet theatre: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:15 pm, and 12:15 am ($20-$24 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and the 7:15, 9:15, and 11:15 shows at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Saturday

7:00 pm ($5): An all-gal improv show mixing women from The PIT’s free improv nights with those on PIT improv house teams—and that includes such talents as Ashley Ward—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ladies of the PIT

7:00 pm ($10): Political activists and pundits mix with comics at this political comedy show that makes fun of the news at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction

7:00 pm ($5): House improv groups Santeria and Improv Frogs perform for an hour at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Santeria + Improv Frogs

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv powerhouses Charlie Todd, Jeff Hiller, Jim Santangeli, Natasha Rothwell, Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye, and John Timothy at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Created in 1995 at the iO Theater in Chicago, The Armando Diaz Experience is the longest running improv show ever. A guest monologist takes a suggestion from the audience and shares true personal tales. These stories are then brought to life by a rotating cast of improv all-stars—and occasionally Armando himself” at The Magnet theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

7:30 pm ($7): Storytellers and stand-ups are encouraged to tell brutally honest tales at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Caitlin Brodnick or Lauren Krass: Brutally Honest! A Night of Thanks

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:00 pm ($10 per show): The three final rounds of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB East hosted by Pat Baer: 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A freestyle rapping long-form improv group that includes such talents as Evan Kaufman (Your Love Our Musical) takes the stage for nearly an hour at The PIT downstairs lounge: North Coast

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A Thanksgiving dinner goes horribly wrong in this comedic play directed by Philip Markle (Artistic Director of The Annoyance) at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Annoyance Thanksgiving Show

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC comics “attempt to unravel the worlds craziest conspiracy theories” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Ray Kump: False Flag

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): An improvised apocalypse from superb comics Anthony Atamanuik, John Murray, Sean Casey, Jackie Jennings, Joanna Bradley, Chad Carter, and Joel Weidel at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Goat

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm ($24.75 via Goldstar [vs. $29 at the door]): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

9:00 pm ($10): NYC stand-ups performing for this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Experiment Comedy Gallery (20 Broadway) hosted by Camille Harris, Camille Theobald, and Mo Fathelb: The Weekend Drop

9:00 pm ($10): Comics dissect current events at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Tracey Carnazzo: Hashtag Comedy

9:30 pm ($10): A one-woman show by Jamie Aderski in which she “presents to you the things she wants to hide…there will be cookies, charts and crafts, people from her past, and song,” plus an opening act by magician David Frasure, all at The PIT downstairs lounge: I Just Disappear

9:30 pm ($5): Nate Starkey, Chris Griggs, and Walter Murphy perform trio improv at The PIT upstairs theatre as Captain Chaos

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks of Cave Comedy Radio’s Last Podcast On The Left  “explore the dark recesses of humanity, both real and imagined, via short films, clips from favorite features, and audio spookiness” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Last Podcast on the Left Live

[$] 10:00 pm ($15): Andy Kindler performs a long stand-up set, with the superb Joe DeVito opening, at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Andy Kindler: Live and Even More Impersonal

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): At UCB Chelsea, improv group Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—takes your written secrets and turns them into very funny improv scenes: Grandma’s Ashes: We Won’t Tell

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Long form improv about the behavior of a theatrical troupe both on-stage and off-stage, revolving around a different show biz theme each month, at The Magnet theatre: The Cast

10:30 pm ($5): A variety show showcasing an eclectic range of diverse performers at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street) hosted by Rita Chinyere: DIP—Diversity In Progress

11:00 pm ($5): “A monthly show featuring long form improv of three diverse schools of thought and culminating in a cross-team closing” at The PIT downstairs lounge: World’s Fair

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Stand-ups performing at Astoria Queens comedy venue QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Freddy Goldstein: Last Stop Laughs

[FREE] Midnight: “Bringing comedy back to its vaudeville and cabaret roots, a no holds barred strictly R-rated comedy show featuring filthy stand-up and storytelling sandwiched between some of the hottest burlesque acts in the city” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Charles Stunning & Freddie Heinemann: Raunchy Risque

Midnight ($5): Two sketch groups compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by Alden Ford & Justin Tyler: Backyard Brawl

Saturday Open Mics and Jams

3:00 pm ($5; your ticket provides $3 off a drink at nearby Pioneers Bar): Walk-in lottery style open mic (sign-up starting at 2:45 pm) at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Swing Riders Open Mic

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”), with sign-up at 3:30 pm, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Raj Sivaraman & Sam Evans: The Amateur Hour

 For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.

For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)

The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)

The PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

 Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer

The Stand

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Kinky Boots

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive. It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 11/26/11

November 26, 2011

Get expert help for your book or book proposal at HyOnYourBook.com.

Armando Diaz and Joe Bill

It's a spectacular night for improv, with Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz pairing with Christina Gausas as "Diaz & Gausas," legendary improvisor Joe Bill leading a super-group of Chicago & NYC performers at The PIT for "Screw Doggies"...

Pat Baer

... and Pat Baer hosting the final rounds of UCB Chelsea's annual "3-on-3 Improv Tournament"

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] 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass—executed by a Broadway-caliber cast, and with several memorable show-stoppers—is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by RG Daniels & Jared Fried: It Starts at 4

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Based on her years inside the velvet trenches of Wall Street, Michelle Wolf (co-host of Fresh) introduces you to the characters who deserve every penny of their 20 billion dollars in cash bonuses (actual 2010 figure, via CNNMoney) via this one-woman show at The PITdownstairs lounge: Wall Street Analysis

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): The debut of a comedy quiz show full of heavily researched quirky facts in which contestants Amy Whitehouse, Johnny McNulty, Matt Little, and Shaun Diston get points if their answers are correct but get more points if their answers are “quite interesting” at UCB Eastcreated & hosted by Katey Healy-Wurzburg: The Fascinator

7:00 pm ($5): Asian-American improvisors from UCBT, The Magnet, The PIT, and elsewhere all gather for one night to perform at The PIT upstairs theatre—”These guys are taking everything they know about math, dry cleaning, nursing, academically demanding parents, Tony Jaa, online role-playing games, fish, outsourced call centers, Gojira, and cab driving, and tossing it all in the wok for you to eat up with a hot cup of tea:” InvAsian

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnetmaking up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre), spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who’ll blow the roof off for this show at The PIT downstairs theatre where the lights might go off or on at any time. The other players are Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Jordan Klepper (iO, UCB, Klepper & Grey), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor, Theory of Everything), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer, Mint Condition), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer, The Boss). It’s kind of unfortunate this is opposite the first semi-finals round of the 3-on-3 Tournament at UCBT and the one-night-only pairing of Gausas & DIaz (see below); but let’s just call it an embarrassment of improv riches on a magical Saturday night: Screw Doggies

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:00 pm ($5): The semi-finals (at 8:00 & 9:30) and finals (at 11:00) of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB Chelsea—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): One of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly show—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): Stellar Australian comic who’s been a regular on Opie & Anthony and who performed his own HBO special, I Swear To God, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jim Jefferies

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Adam Newman (MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses), Justy Dodge (co-host of Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), and Chris Distefano (Carolines) performing sets and then being interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s appeared frequently onDavid Letterman and Craig Ferguson, and starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, headlining through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Nick Griffin

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives, host of storytelling show Oh, Hey Guys!), Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1) performing stand-up at UCB East, hosted by Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Two of the most respected improvisors in the country, Magnet co-owner Armando DIaz and UCBT star Christina Gausas, team up for one night only: Diaz & Gausas

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight’s edition of Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

10:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at UCB EastAirwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A post-holiday very dark comedy show, with Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard ShowMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of bookWeird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter), Sean Patton (red-hot rising stand-up star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Leslie Meisel as Holly Hunter, and Dan Shaki performing at UCB East with host Chris Wilkes (Thunder Gulch): After Dark

11:00 pm ($5): Four sketch troupes compete for audience approval at The PIT, hosted by Bleak Comedy: Iron Sketch

Midnight ($5): Caitlin Tegart directed this UCB Chelsea sketch show that’s “a super-positive lifestyle program for teenage girls hosted by two guys with a huge passion for glossy pop music, Lisa Frank school supplies, and all that the world presents as ‘hip’ to young women during the melodramatic years of adolescence. With help from their outstanding panel of experts, Dan Chamberlain & Jason Flowers rap about entertainment, fashion, boys, and more in an effort to bring empowerment and enlightenment to the teen girl inside all of us:” Cool Show 4 Teen Girlz

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups Ben Kronberg, Kate Berlant, Seaton Smith, and Grant Gordon participate in the fake taping of a bad late-night TV comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Brad SteuernagelComedians Off Of the Leash

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

[$] 12:30 am ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Paul Mooney

 For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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