NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/9/12

November 9, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Patton Oswalt and Aziz Ansari

Patton Oswalt, Aziz Ansari, and Pete Holmes are among the stars performing tonight as part of the New York Comedy Festival

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] November 7th-11th: Among the stellar events at this year’s New York Comedy Festival are shows by comedy titans Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Aziz Ansari, Bill Maher, Pete Holmes, Colin Quinn, Kevin Hart, Brian Regan, the Wayans Brothers, and lots more, as well as interviews with such giants as Ricky Gervais and Robin Williams. For the complete massive schedule, please click: New York Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK]  [DISCOUNTED] November 7th-12th ($7 off most shows if you use discount code FANS online): A gathering of most of NYC’s best storytelling shows—which tonight are Oh Hey Guys and The Liar Show—packed into five evenings at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The First Annual Gotham Storytelling Festival

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

7:00 pm ($10): Sketch comedy at The Magnet in which “A young businessman makes a startling confession to his potential employer, a flash-in-the-pan movie star reveals to the world what he is really like in person, and God learns a valuable lesson: not everyone is perfect—not even Himself:” Citizen Models

7:00 pm ($10): A stand-up who’s appeared on Jimmy Fallon headlines tonight at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: NIck Turner

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern and Paul Oddo: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Mic

[$] 7:30 pm ($15): A stand-up who’s performed at the Just For Laughs festival does an hour tonight at UCB Chelsea as part of the New York Comedy Festival: Hobo Apocalypse: An Evening with Ben Roy

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($15): Comedy giant Pete Holmes (one of the very best stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Ugly Americans, VH1’s Best Week Ever, podcast You Made It Weird, staff writer for NBC’s Outsourced, The New Yorker; co-star of the hilarious Front Page Films) in a too-rare NYC appearance, plus Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another), Hari Kondabolu (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Presents, , FX’s Totally Biased), Jane Borden (former Comedy Editor of Time Out New York, author of I Totally Meant to Do That), and Michael Che (IFC’s Bunk, Comedy Central), performing stand-up, and musical group Summer & Eve, at UCB East hosted by Time Out New York Comedy Editor Matthew Love: Time Out Live

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): 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; and tonight they perform at The PIT upstairs lounge: The Beards of Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

8:30 pm ($7): Long-form improv at The Magnet from troupe Brick

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics 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 ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Fran Gillespie, Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Tim Martin, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot (formerly named Diamond Lion): KOSMOS Musical Improv

[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): Great lineup of TV & movie stars Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Todd Barry, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm: Joe Pera (very funny deadpan comic; I recently saw him sing beautifully and then smash three dozen plates to pieces; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), RG Daniels (host of Sunday Night Stand-Up), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Fort Useless (36 Ditmars Street) hosted by George Flanagan: Spit Take Friday

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($10): Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!, host of Nearly Naked Lady Comedy Hour), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Ben Roy, and Jason Kanter performing stand-up at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Say Anything

10:00 pm ($10): A comedy group that makes up a musical on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre after a friendly greeting: Hello

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($8): Sketches from young and forlorn comics at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Meredith Hackman: The Saddest Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Terrific comics Matt Koff, Reid Faylor, Erik Bergstrom, Emmy Blotnick, Paul Oddo, and Jake Young debating various topics, mixed with stand-up from Mike Lawrence and Michael Che at UCB East hosted by Michael Shawki, Jeff Wesselschimdt, and/or Dan Licata: The Great Debate

[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. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/8/12

November 8, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt and…

Aziz Ansari

…Aziz Ansari are among the stars at this year’s New York Comedy Festival

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] November 7th-11th: Among the stellar events at this year’s New York Comedy Festival are shows by comedy titans Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Aziz Ansari, Bill Maher, Pete Holmes, Colin Quinn, Kevin Hart, Brian Regan, the Wayans Brothers, and lots more, as well as interviews with such giants as Ricky Gervais and Robin Williams. For the complete massive schedule, please click: New York Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK]  [DISCOUNTED] November 7th-12th ($7 off most shows if you use discount code FANS online): A gathering of most of NYC’s best storytelling shows—which tonight are The Soundtrack Series, Told, and Bare—packed into five evenings at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The First Annual Gotham Storytelling Festival

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

6:00 pm ($5): Two shows I know nothing about, Gentlemen Thieves and Rewrite Movie Night, audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

[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 ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Diner and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life at UCB East, with magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Dirty Movie) hosting tonight as Amy Winehouse, Emily Dickinson, Marie Antoinette, Judy Garland, Lisa Left Eye Lopes from TLC, Truman Capote, and Janis Joplin, with wonderful singer/songwriter Corn Mo, Carla Rhodes (“rock’n’roll ventriloquist;” for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here; for act with “Keith Richards,” please click here), sketch troupe Supereasy, Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, VH1), Laura Anderson (burlesque star), and Kelly Hudson: Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.) The co-stars of In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Marlon and Shawn Wayans

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Rory Scovel (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central) performs a one-man stand-up show at UCB Chelsea: Zizzle Zazzles: An Evening with Rory Scovel

[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] [$] 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, Flower Girl, and The Boss performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Medusa (all improvisers stay on stage at all times, and alternate between speaking roles and playing inanimate objects), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) featuring Horses vs. Wanda: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door or $12.75 in advance online): Three of the hottest rising star nerds of stand-up perform at Brooklyn’s Union Hall—Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Mike Lawrence (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up), and Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1): The Dark Lords of Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), Brooks Wheelan, Sean Keane, Drennon Davis, and Matt Fulchiron performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover & Emily Heller: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced by 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Hannibal Buress (former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour), and more performing stand-up at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Improv genius John Lutz (John & Scott; 30 Rock; previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) and Peter Grosz (writer for The Colbert Report, star of over 100 Sonic fast-food commercials) perform two-man improv as 2 Square

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): Rob Barnett (CEO of My Damn Channel), Streeter Seidell and Jeff Rubin of College Humor, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Scott Rogowsky (The Onion): Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[FREE] 10:30 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The first round of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB Chelsea—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

11:00 pm ($5): Interns at UCB Chelsea show off their improv and sketch chops at Mop it Like It’s Hot: The UCB Intern Showcase

11:00 pm ($5): Sketch and improv by puppets at The PIT downstairs lounge: Puppet

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 12/9/11

December 9, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Aziz Ansari

One of the hottest stand-ups & star actors in the biz tries out new material at UCB East in "Aziz Ansari: Workin' on Some Thangs"...

Holiday Grab Bag

...and super-fan Kevin Maher delivers an unforgettable collection of hilarious Christmas-related film clips at "Kevin Geeks Out: Holiday Grab Bag"

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] 6:00 pm ($5): One of the most red-hot stand-ups & comedic actors in the biz trying out new material at UCB East for one night only: Aziz Ansari: Workin’ on Some Thangs

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): This Magnet sketch show set in old-time Hollywood (based on a series ofListen, Kid! shows by Kevin Cobbs & Alessandro King) describes itself as follows: “It’s the Holiday season again at Newberg Studios, and Irv and Charlie are set to release another classic Yuletide picture. But financial problems and a pesky Irish landlord may mean another lump of coal in Charlie’s already-threadbare stocking. Will Irv have to shut down his reindeer gulag? Will Charlie have to take the next handcar back to Shacktown? It looks like it’s going to take a Tim Allen-sized Christmas miracle to save our heroes. With special mystery guests:” A Very Listen, Kid! Christmas

7:00 pm ($5): For this double-bill at The PIT upstairs theatre, award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal Improvisors who’ve previously created viral sketch videos performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Candy Slice Comedy

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the finest scripted shows to ever grace UCB Chelsea, troupe Stone Cold Fox performs hilarious parodies of off-off-Broadway theatre, as well as some of the very best sketches it’s crafted over the years, in a tight hour-long production directed by comedy genius Neil Casey (who, after also recently directing stellar one-person shows by Kate McKinnon and Mike Still, apparently can do no wrong), featuring delightful performances by Fran Gillespie, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden (watch for these three gals playing existential Truth or Dare), John Murray, Nate Smith, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jonathan Fernandez, and the writing of Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Owen Parsons, and Michael Trapp. Don’t miss one of the sharpest and funniest comedy shows of the year from the first sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCBT weekend schedule: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($18, plus $15 food/drink min.; if you don’t drink, either the burger or lasagna is a fine choice): One of the highlights of FringeNYC 2011 was Andrea Alton playing Molly “Equality” Dykeman, a security guard at PS 339 who writes poetry while popping Cheetos and anti-depressants and chasing after every woman she sees. While in lesser hands Molly might be offensive, Alton walks the comedy tightrope Molly requires with skill and grace. Alton’s spent years learning her craft as a razor-sharp New York sketch comic and stand-up, and as a superb comedic actress. So if you have an open mind, and love comedy and/or gay parody, you’ll probably grow to love her hilariously over-the-top lesbian character. To get a feel for Molly, click here and here; and then go see her live at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (in the West Bank Cafe at 407 West 42 Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues). Helping Molly out tonight will be Athena Reich (award-winning singer/songwriter/actress), BOB (downtown icon), Inma Heredia (Latin ACE Award-winning actress), and The Mollettes (dancers Victoria Smalc & Meliza Fernandez). Just be aware that if you’re a woman sitting near the front, you’ll probably be propositioned. (Repeatedly…): A Molly Jolly Christmas

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($14.45 online using discount code LAUGHTRACK): One of my favorite theatre duos, Rachel Buethe & James Presson, have come out with a new play that updates Hedda Gabler to the world of network TV. It’s a fresh, ambitious work that pushes at the borders between art and reality, entertainment and meaning. And while it’s not a comedy—in some ways, it’s actually an anti-comedy—at its core is a sitcom. For my full review, please click here. If you’re open to something different, don’t miss the too-brief run (ending December 18th) of this vibrant show at Walkerspace (46 Walker Street, near the Canal Street stops of the A/E/C/N/R/1/2/3/6 subways): Friends Don’t Let Friends

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Ryan Karels (KrompfRadio Rogue) hosts a live podcast interview show at UCB East with guests “who put the ordinary in extraordinary” (I think that’s supposed to be a compliment, somehow), with tonight’s subjects the wonderful Melanie Hamlett (brilliant storyteller/writer; Moth Grandslam Champion, Marie Claire Magazine, amazing blog, roving adventurer) and Aaron Glaser (Jimmy Fallon, Funny or Die, host of Get Loose): Radio Rogue: The Roguing

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A glorious collection of hilarious genre film clips from super-fanKevin Maher and friends at 92 Y Tribeca, which tonight is focused on holiday-themed movies, plus live segments including “Confessions of a 12-Time Macy’s Santa,”
“How He-Man Spends the Holidays,” and an exploration of one of the most depressing Christmas songs ever, as well as treats and triva prizes—and possibly a visit from Cookie Puss: Kevin Geeks Out: Holiday Grab Bag

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): This show begins with a delightful concept—Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare—and then executes it with the joyful craft only a sharp, tight theatrical ensemble can create. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but especially memorable are Kate Turnbull as the love interest, Dan Hartley as Maverick, and Vayu O’Donnell who steals every scene he appears in with his hilariously deadpan delivery as Iceman. While this is playing at The PITupstairs theatre for a mere $10, it’s really legit Fringe theatre, and I hope it eventually makes its way to FringeNYC or Edinburgh—or better yet, develops more songs and gets a commercial run as a musical. Meanwhile, don’t miss this opportunity to see a way fun parody of a cult classic for about half of what you oughta be paying: Jester’s Dead

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 plus 2-drink minimum): A former Saturday Night Livestar, cast member of Showtime’s Weeds, star of his own Comedy Central special, and actor in over two dozen comedy feature films—including Anger Management, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Daddy Day Care, Get Smart, and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan—headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kevin Nealon

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

8:00 pm ($5): Improvisors perform as duos at The PIT downstairs lounge: Couples’ Retreat

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe Casual Sex Offenders at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: CSO Improv Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($18): The winning team that created Pope!: An Epic Musical (a big hit at last year’s FringeNYC) and The Spidey Project (a media sensation) is now developing a pirate musical at The Magnet about “the dashing young hero Declan as he seeks out the vicious Martin La Foe, the second most famous pirate ever,” with book and lyrics by Justin Moran & Jon Roufaeal, and music by Adam & Matt Podd: Nightfall on Mirango Island

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pablo Francisco

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:00 pm ($5): A charming monthly comedy variety show, tonight featuring Christopher Miles (storyteller), Dreadnought (improv troupe), and Naomi Ekperigin (stand-up) performing at ABC No Rio (156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton) hosted by the wonderful Bridgid Ryan and her improv/sketch troupe Chester (Bridgid Ryan, Sunita Mani, Bryan Rucker, Zack Willis, Caitlin Steitzer, and Adam Jacobson): Don’t You Find Us Charming?

[$] [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): Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($10): A magic show for adults at UCB East from stand-up Harrison Greenbaum: Harrison Greenbaum: What Just Happened?

 [TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): A beloved high-concept sketch troupe that delights in exploring silly ideas and wordplay (for example, demonstrating that a caveman and the Cookie Monster sound remarkably alike when saying such things as “Me have problem with subject/verb placement…”) at The PIT upstairs theatre debuting an all-new show: Elephant Larry

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: An all-musical comedy night with Mindy Raf, the Reformed Whores, Uber Luber Death Metal, and Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City) performing at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Lerman and Tim Dimond: Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improvised science fiction at The PIT upstairs theatre from veteran improvisers Geoff Grimwood (Someday the Cake, iO Chicago) and Lee Eddy (Story Pirates, Whiskey Rebellion), who say “You tell us what type of planet to crash upon. We crash upon it. We go from there:” Desert Planet

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet event, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[FREE] Midnight: 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] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCBT schedule for a long time—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 Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 3/8/11

March 8, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, buy them my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari (above) and staffers of The Onion are among the stand-ups peforming tonight at Tell Your Friends

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:

7:00 pm ($5): Six improvisors play themselves on stage (similar to Naked in a Fishbowl) in Self Image; and in the second half of this double-bill, Jenny Dunne and Rick Andrews improvise a single moment in two characters’ lives again and again, exploring three parallel realities, and the difference that a look or tone can make, in The Cascade

[TOP PICK] 7:30ish pm ($5): TV & movie star Kristen Schaal (one of the funniest women alive; shining star correspondent on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the ConchordsComedy Central Presents half-hour special; star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; co-author of bestselling book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex), Ted Alexandro (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials), 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; delivered perfect set recently at Carnegie Hall), Chesley Calloway (co-host of Comedy as a Second Language), Neal Stasny, and Josh Carter performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall with hosts Tyler Fischer & Sharron Paul: Cheap Date Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star Aziz Ansari (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; co-star of NBC’s Parks & Recreation and MTV’s Human Giant), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien), Brody Stevens (HBO, Comedy Central, The Hangover), The Onion staffers Joe Garden, Lane Moore, and John Harris, and more performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Superb veteran improvisors—including Tara Copeland, Matt Higgins, and Matt Oberg—performing as new  troupe HugeTown

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm ($5): Comics industry pros joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Dybbuk, Grandma’s Ashes, Ragnaröck, Sandino, and Standard Oil; and at 11:00 pm improv from advanced UCBT students—all at Harold Night

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Molly Knefel, Jen Perney, Subhah Agarwal, Scout Derwood, and Mark Anthony Ramirez performing at Cellar 58 (58 Second Avenue) hosted by the delightful Abbi Crutchfield and guest-host Maggie Nuttall: Positively Awesome

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Sound & The Fury and Rebound

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($16.50, plus 2-item minimum): Unforgettably hilarious co-star of NBC’s Ed, member of legendary sketch troupe & seminal MTV series The State, co-star of Comedy Central’sMichael & Michael Have Issues, and much more headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Ian Black

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Jeff Ross (veteran Roastmaster on Comedy Central), Neal Brennan (co-creator & director of Chappelle’s Show), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by the wonderful Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

9:30 pm ($5): One-person scripted mini-shows by students of the wonderful Jen Nails, who’s stellar at teaching how to Do It Yourself

[TOP PICK] 10:00ish pm ($5): A UK comedy star performing a one-man show for one night only at Brooklyn’s Union HallTom Allen

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free show, audience members can join in with veteran musical improv talents to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, buy them my latest book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/21/11

January 21, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

Aziz Ansari and Pamela Murphy

Aziz Ansari returns to UCBT—and brings along comedy super-stars—at "The Super Secret Stand-Up Show;" and Pam Murphy (above) & Leslie Meisel perform the best double-bill you'll see anywhere: "The C Word" and "Love Can Suck a Dick"

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] 6:30 pm ($5): Fearless and hilarious stand-up/storyteller Andrea Rosen tests out a one-woman show that’s sure to be special because Andrea is: Ding Dong Meow

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Hilary Schwartz, Pat O’Shea, Jenn Palumbo, Fariaz Rabbani, and Miguel Dalmau performing at Otto’s Shrunken Head (538 East 14th Street, between Avenues A and B) hosted by Eric Vetter: No Name and A Bag O’ Chips

7:00 pm ($8): Award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Pamela Murphy proves herself to be a star in this not-to-be-missed autobiographical show that’s the best-scripted one-act to grace UCBT in the past year, performed with wit, grace, and pitch-perfect comedic timing (for video samples of Pam’s work, please click here). Don’t miss Jane Borden of Time Out New York‘s pick for Best Solo Show of 2010Pamela Murphy: The C Word

…and for the other half of this double-bill, a delightful tale of heartbreak by Leslie Meisel—who manages the impressive feat of being adorable, sexy, and hilarious all at the same time, and is a sharp comedic talent very much worth keeping an eye on—quite ably abetted by co-writer Megan Neuringer in one of the smartest theatrical shows to grace UCBT this past year: Love Can Suck a Dick…and So Can I

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, Verizon FIOS guy, Front Page Films, The Other Guys, comedy CD Come Clean), Mike Lawrence (hilarious sharp-witted stand-up; John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show), plus the usual sketch comedy gang, and musical band Fortress of Solitude, all performing at Karma Lounge with hosts Pat Stango & Blaine Perry for this endearingly oddball monthly comedy show: Don’t Touch Me There

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($28 online using discount code TMANIA): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 90 minutes with a true genius of comedy. Please note this is a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up…and not for every taste. But whether you’re ultimately grabbed by the story or not, it’s worth experiencing if only for Daniel’s lightning-quick flashes of humor. For example, at the performance I attended 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, check out write-ups in The New York Times by clicking here andhere, and catch this show running every day except Mondays through January 30th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.)  An energetic regular on Chelsea Lately who’s also appeared on Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, VH1, and his own Comedy Central special headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jo Koy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show), Dan St. Germain (rising star; MTV, FUSE), Adrienne Iapalucci, Ben Kissel, and Harry Terjanian performing at Brooklyn’s Coco 66 for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s Too Cool for School

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC’s American Chopper, Maxim and Cosmo Radio, So-Low Show; popular blogsNYisretarded.blogspot.com and RockBottom; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central), Matt Ruby, Zach Sims, and Nate Fernald performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by David Cope: Hot Soup

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A comic’s comic who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, HBO, FX’s Louie, and three Comedy Central specials headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches titled Ms. Larsen’s ClassThe Harvard Sailing Team

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm:”In 2005, Oprah Winfrey invited Cicely Tyson to her house for lunch, but forgot to invite Ruby Dee. Then she forgot to invite Della Reese, Maya Angelou, and Phylicia Rashad, so she decided, instead, to do something only Oprah would: invited, like, a million famous black ladies to her California estate for a three-day weekend that included a luncheon, a black-tie gala, and a gospel brunch. All of it—from the excessive preparation to the actual ceremonies—was captured on camera for a two-hour special that is some of the most insane television you will ever see, featuring bad poetry, an Oprah trolley, and Ashanti trying to speak eloquently. Join comedian and blogger Eliot Glazer as he presents the footage live with commentary, special guests, surprises, and Oprah-style giveaways” at Brooklyn’s Union HallOprah’s Legends Ball: The Deconstruction

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Aziz Ansari put together a stand-up line-up so spectacular that I’m not even allowed to tell you who’ll be on it. Which means this is not to be missed: The Super Secret Stand-up Show

11:00 pm ($5): “Actors enter with cell phones, not knowing what the night will hold. Their job: To speak aloud whatever they hear through their earpieces. The phones start to ring and the real-time adventure begins. Spontaneous conversations, narrated journeys, and unique experiences overlap as the night’s theme sporadically emerges: Line One

11:30 pm ($5): Five women performing an improvised, and possibly tipsy, parody of The View atFocus

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sean Fennessey (Vibe, Spin, Pitchfork.com) is among tonight’s guests joining “opinionated audiophile John Frusciante hosting a revolving panel of music-loving comedians, writers, and musicians for a live monthly discussion about the state of music past and present, what you should and shouldn’t be listening to, and why KISS sucks so much. It is a guarantee that your favorite band will at some point be brought up, dissected, and either praised to the rafters or dismissed with the wave of a hand that knows how to properly handle vinyl:” Break Up Your Band

[$] 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 Carolines: Paul Mooney

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 11/6/10

November 6, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For the best of Bill Hicks, please click here.

Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari is among the wonderful comics performing tonight as part of the New York Comedy Festival

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] All Evening: Too many NYCF events to list individually tonight, but visit the schedule to find shows from Aziz Ansari (Beacon Theatre), Brian Reagan (Lincoln Center), Tracy Morgan (The Times Center), and more as part of the spectacular New York Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink): Four funny people tell amazing stories. Three of the tales are absolutely true…but one of them is a pack of lies. The audience then asks questions to try and identify the fibber—and everyone who does gets a free t-shirt! This evening’s yarn-spinners are Mark Katz (author of Clinton and Me), Andy Ross (The Onion News Network), Colin Dempsey, and Joey Novick. Come let host Andy Christie (The New York Times, Moth GrandSlam Champion) attempt to mislead you at The Liar Show

7:00 pm ($8): Jessica Marasco and Becky Flaum performing two-gal sketch comedy as Geek Dreams

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Christina Gausas, Scott Adsit, Becky Drysdale, Anthony King, and more—including writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, andThe Daily Show—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors, all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[$]  7:30 pm & 10:00 pm & 12:30 am ($51.25, plus 2-drink minimum): Former Man Show host and current Internet sensation headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Adam Carolla

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($25.95 online if you use code PLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A co-star of Whose Line Is It Anyway? who’s also performed on Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, and his own Comedy Central Presents special: Greg Proops

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—and the Cage Match Champion for two years in a row!—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

10:30 pm ($5): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

Midnight ($5): Storytelling from Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), stand-up from Ray Payton, and music from Jordon Cooper (folk pioneer) and Morgan O’Kane (acclaimed banjo player) “celebrating the seedy and urbane life in America; think of us as The Prairie Home Companion, just a little more fucked up” atAndy Rocco’s Underground Americana

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For the best of Bill Hicks, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 2/3/10

February 3, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Comedy giants Aziz Ansari, Kristen Schaal, and more perform at the Comix Comedy Club this week at Aziz Ansari and Friends

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:

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): One of the highlights of FringeNYC 2008 was Hot Cripple, a superb and heartfelt one-woman show by Hogan Gorman about her experiences with the US health care system, legal system, and government programs for the down-but-not-out. (The performance I attended was especially memorable because a small fire broke out on the second floor of the venue. Hogan had to stop two-thirds into her monologue so the building could be evacuated; and she did so with a wry smile, telling a comforting audience member “Oh, I’ve been though a whole lot worse than this.” Three fire trucks and 30 minutes later, the fire was out…and Hogan made a quick joke about the Hot in her show’s title and then resumed performing as if nothing had happened…) Running through February, come see a New York hero in Hot Cripple

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($40): TV comedy star Aziz Ansari celebrating the release of his first comedy DVD with his friends—meaning some of the finest comics in the biz—performing stand-up at the elegant Comix Comedy Club tonight through Saturday: Aziz Ansari and Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Superb stand-ups Gary Gulman, Kumail Nanjiani, Giulia Rozzi, Mark Douglas, and “a super secret guest” at Dan Allen’s & Ray Devito’s stand-up showcase ¡Sacapuntas!

8:00 pm ($5): The delightful Andrée Vermeulen performing a one-woman show in which she applies for “The Greatest French Person in the World Award” only to discover a terrible family secret involving waffles—and while performance trumps material here, Andrée is a fresh young talent worth discovering… (for a memorable show highlight, shot with Andrée’s real-life boyfriend Thomas Middleditch, please click here); plus an all-white musical about fast food that claims to “give new life to the most popular songs of Tupac Shakur. Join us for a romp through all the themes held most dear to Tupac’s heart: economic oppression, dreams
deferred, and mall food courts,” in the double-bill French Toast and 2Pac: The Musical

[FREE] 8:00: NYC stand-ups Leslie Goshko, Matt Rohr, Mick DiFlo, Pat Galante, and Fariaz performing at this free weekly show hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: TV & movie star Kristen Schaal (lovely, brilliant, breathtakingly talented writer/actress/comic; shining star on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords; Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; AMC’s Mad Men; feature film Cirque du Freak (with Salma Hayek); co-star of Web & upcoming UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; winner of numerous comedy awards, including the prestigious 2nd Annual Andy Kaufman Award and the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Female Stand-Up), Joe Randazzo (Editor of The Onion), Julian McCullough (Comedy Central Presents), and Edith Zimmermann (The Awl, NYMag.com) performing at a free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Max Silvestri and Gabe Liedman: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Theatrical scenes made up on the spot with breathtaking skill by brilliant and passionate improvisors Scott Adsit (30 Rock, Moral Orel) and Christina Gausas (Conan O’Brien, The Colbert Report) at Adsit & Gausas

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 9/22/09

September 22, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2009 Encore Series coverage, please click here.

Aziz Ansari helps celebrate the return of one of the finest comedy shows in NYC: Pete Holmes' and Jessi Klein's Punch Up Your Life

Aziz Ansari helps celebrate the return of one of the finest comedy shows in NYC: Pete Holmes' and Jessi Klein's free Punch Up Your Life

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:

5:00 pm & 8:00 pm (NYTVF pass): The New York Television Festival, running through September 26, has two comedy panels today: The Future of Comedy at 5:00 pm, with Brent Haynes (East Coast Senior VP of Series Development at MTV) and Debbie DeMontreux (Senior VP of Original Programming at IFC TV), running 45 min.; and Late Show with David Letterman Writer’s Room at 8:00 pm, with co-head writers Eric Stangel and Justin Stangel, moderated by SNL’s Jason Sudeikis, running 75 min. For details on getting festival passes, please visit the Web site of The New York Television Festival

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Writer David Gallaher & artist Steve Ellis, the creators of Zuda Comics High Moon (a Western comic book about werewolves that’s published on the Web), joining in on a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club

8:00 pm to midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Ragnaröck, Scootch, Robber Baron, The Law Firm, and DeCoster, followed by UCBT students improvising a Cops & Robbers story on the spot based on an interview with a randomly selected audience member—all at Harold Night

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Terrific stand-ups Ophira Eisenberg, Abbi Crutchfield, Luke Thayer, and Ray Ellin performing at the Conker Hill Bar, hosted by Doug Adler & Harris Bloom: Comedy at Conker Hill

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: After an August hiatus, this wonderful free weekly show triumphantly returns with TV stars Aziz Ansari (NBC’s Parks and Recreations, Human Giant) and Kumail Nanjiani (SNL, The Colbert Report, writer/performer on Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues), plus superb comic Joe Mande (co-host of superb NYC live comedy show Totally J/K; writing book for St. Martin’s Press based on his blog Look at This Fucking Hipster) performing at the Housingworks Bookstore Cafe, and hosted by brilliant stand-ups Jessi Klein (Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim) and Pete Holmes (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The New Yorker): Punch Up Your Life

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Some of the finest comics in the country—Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; 2009 ECNY Award for Best Musical Comedy Act and the 2007 Andy Kaufman Award; cast member of the new Electric Company; Jimmy Fallon), Whitney Cummings (visiting from LA; HBO, ABC, FOX, Showtime), Ben Kronberg (visiting from LA; Jimmy Kimmel, Carson Daly), and more—performing at the famed LES weekly stand-up show at The Slipper Room hosted by the wonderful Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Delightful stand-ups Leah Dubie and Amy Beckerman in Ochi’s Lounge hosting guest comics Lisa Kaplan, Calvin Cato, and Clayton Fletcher at Dykes on Mics

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2009 Encore Series coverage, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/21/09

September 21, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2009 Encore Series coverage, please click here.

TV star Aziz Ansari headlines tonight at both Tell Your Friends and Whiplash

TV star Aziz Ansari headlines tonight at both Tell Your Friends and Whiplash

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:

6:30 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel

[FREE] 7:15ish pm: Sharp stand-ups Helen Hong, Julian McCullough, Tom McCaffrey, Dave Greek, and Jayson Cross performing at this new free weekly show at the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): World-class stand-up and TV star Aziz Ansari (NBC’s Parks and Recreations, Human Giant), The Trachtenburg (hilarious family musical act), stand-ups Jamie Kilstein, Mike Birch, and Rob Paravonian, and an eating contest pitting The Onion editor Joe Garden against show producer Liam McEneaney at the Lolita Bar for the 4-year anniversary celebration of Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($5): The talented young writer/performers of UCBT scripted comedy house troupes Slow Burn and High Treason try out their newest sketch material at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the country—who tonight include TV star Aziz Ansari (NBC’s Parks and Recreations, Human Giant), Kumail Nanjiani (SNL, The Colbert Report, writer & co-star of Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues), and Ben Kronberg (visiting from LA)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2009 Encore Series coverage, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/4/09

May 3, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Aziz Ansari and Nick Kroll

Aziz Ansari and Nick Kroll

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:

the perfect show for short attention spans, open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—tonight including Emily Epstein, Amy Beckerman, Chelsea White, Karen Batista, Hilary Schwartz, RG Daniels, Josh Comers, Charlie Kasov, Dan Mahoney, Dan Upham, Dan Cartwright, Sean Donnelly, Blaine Perry, Aalap Patel, and Matteson Perry—at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel (6:30 pm & 9:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents) performing what’s likely to be a mesmerizing comedic one-man show: Supernormal (7:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] comedy star Greg Giraldo (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Root of All Evil), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, Rejected!), stand-ups visiting from Britain and Ireland, and more at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends (8:00ish pm),

fresh sketch comedy from UCBT house groups Gorilla Gorilla and Stone Cold Fox at Maude Night (8:00 pm),

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] and a gala blowout consisting of genius NYC comics who moved to LA but are back for a visit—Nick Kroll (one of the funniest humans alive; new feature film I Love You Man; co-star of HBO’s The Life & Times of Tim, FOX’s Sit Down, Shut Up, CBS’ Worst Week, ABC’s Cavemen), Aziz Ansari (one of the finest stand-ups ever; NBC’s Parks and Recreation, MTV’s Human Giant), and Sean Conroy (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, brilliant member of legendary improv troupe The Swarm)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central) at Whiplash (11:00 pm).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.