NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/23/12

January 23, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeffrey Sweet

For tonight only, Jeffrey Sweet reprises his tales of Nichols & May, Del Close, and other legends of comedy history in his fascinating one-man show "You Only Shoot the Ones You Love"

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] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Carol Hartsell’s & John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentaryMetaphyiscal GraffitiHigh Times), and “a surprise guest (he has an accent)”—who I suspect is a visiting comic only off from his Brooklyn theatrical show on Mondays and whose name rhymes with Spaniel Blitzen, but I could be wrong—performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches, a sneak peek at Kurt’s new IFC show, and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($15): Jeffrey Sweet, author of the seminal improv comedy book Something Wonderful Right Away, last year debuted his one-man FringeNYC show about Del Close, Nichols & May, Paul Sills, and other legendary comics whose work led to such comedy institutions as NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The Pit, and The Magnet. For this one night only, he’s reviving the show at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop). For my full review, please click here. If you have any interest in improv comedy history, this is an event not to be missed: You Only Shoot the Ones You Love

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots) returns to The PIT upstairs theatre to host “a unique talk show experience that needs to be experienced to be experienced. There will be plenty of bits, skits, chits and chats, and maybe that pretty girl you saw on the 6 train last night will be in the audience! It’s a big city, but you run into people,” with tonight’s wonderful guests Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and Manhattan Cable Access’ The Chris Gethard ShowThe Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do), Jena Friedman (staff writer for David Letterman), and Gabe Delahaye (senior editor of Videogum.com): Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

 8:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), and Kurt Metzger (Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans) performing at UCB Easthosted by Michael Che: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

8:00 pm ($5): For this sketch double-bill at UCB Chelsea, first up is a a meta-comedy in which a real estate agent tries to convince a couple that the actual theatre you’re in would be a great home for them. He does this by putting on a series of scenes that are presented as a random sampling of what UCBT has to offer but that, directly or indirectly, each promote the stage as a wonderful residence. It’s a way fun idea—for a 5-minute sketch. However, this entire show is handled like a single multi-jointed sketch, and 30 minutes is a long time to essentially tell one joke. If the script was further developed to use the internal sketches as stepping stones to achieve a larger and emotionally compelling story, this could become something quite special. Even as is, though, it’s great fun at the start; and if you find it wearing out its welcome after that, you’ll still enjoy sporadic laughs from individual bits and performers—especially standouts Brandon Gulya and Brandon Scott Jones—in the a-bit-too-clever-for-its-own-good This is Not a Sketch Show—A Sketch Show

…and second up is Sue Galloway performing a one-woman sketch show directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern about women’s magazines and “how to live the perfect life:” Pose

8:00 pm ($5, which includes FREE BEER): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1), Kevin Barnett (College Humor), Mara Herron (Web series That Chick Mara Herron), Yannis Pappas (Carolines), and Sabrina Jalees performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Sandbox Underground (257 Grand Street, near the L subway’s Bedford stop) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and Nimesh Patel, and featuring free beer: Broken Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: PIT owner Ali Farahnakian and the school’s razor-sharp instructors perform improv at The PIT downstairs lounge in The Faculty Part 2: Electric Boogaloo; plus improv troupe Technicolor

9:30 pm ($5): Two brand new UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: The Prom (which includes such talents as Sasheer Zamata, Stephen Soroka, Amber Nelson, and Ari Scott), and Everything Rabbits (which includes the lovely Violet Krumbein): Maude Night: The Prom &Everything Rabbits

9:30 pm ($5): Young improvisors at The PIT make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Shady Bunch

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Long-form improv from troupe Casual Sex Offenders at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: CSO Improv Comedy

10:00 pm ($5): A new variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits atThe Magnet hosted by Jon Bander: What’s to Get?

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Daniel Kitson, James Adomian, John Roy, and Erik Bergstrom—performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by comedy genius Chris Gethard: Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

New Year, Healthier You: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/24/11

June 24, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Death by Roo Roo

An epic improv battle for $10,000 to fund a short comedy film will be waged tonight by genius troupe Death by Roo Roo...

Jason Mantzoukas and Ed Herbstman

...equally genius duo Jason Mantzoukas & Ed Herbstman as The Mantzoukas Brothers...

Big Black Car and Doppelganger

...Big Black Car (which sometimes includes rising superstar Kristen Schaal), Doppelganger (a new group with a rep for toppling champs)...

Standards & Practices improv

...and Toronto troupe Standards & Practices at "The Friars Club Second Annual Improv Competition"

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A wonderful—and free!—outdoor concert at Brooklyn’s Red Hook Park with star Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please clickhere), famed DJ Stormin’ Norman, and more. Please note the F/G train’s Smith & 9th Street Station is very inconveniently closed, but you can take the F/G to Carroll Street and then walk a whole bunch to be rewarded with Reggie Watts at Red Hook Park

7:00 pm ($8): 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): Sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name: We’re Matt Weir: Universe Drugs

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm-10:30 pm ($12): Five improv troupes—Death by Roo Roo (UCBT-NYC), The Mantzoukas Brothers (The Magnet-NYC), Doppelganger (UCBT-NYC), Big Black Car (The PIT-NYC), and Standards & Practices (Toronto)—try hard to make you laugh for a prize of $10,000 (to fund the making of a stellar comedy short film) in this second annual contest sponsored by the Friars Club:The Friars Club Improv Competition

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($53 & 2-drink min.) Former co-host of The Man Show and Loveline, and now host of one of the most popular comedy podcasts on the Net, headlining tonight at the Carolines Comedy Club: Adam Carolla

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: TV & movie star TJ Miller (David LettermanOpie & Anthony; co-stared in ABC sitcom Carpoolers; co-starred in such hit as movies Cloverfield and She’s Out of My League; member of awesome sketch troupe Heavyweight, which blew the roof off at SketchFest NYC 2011), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents), Ryan Hamilton, Dan Soder, Justy Dodge, and Jeff Wesselschmidt performing stand-up at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

8:00 pm ($5): Comics Jon Bander and Dave Thunder vow to lose weight (in real life) while performing sketch scenes in this show over the next month: M4: Comedy’s Biggest Losers

[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: Mic and Cheese

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s appeared on NBC, MTV, Showtime, and a Comedy Central Presents special, and performed an award-winning one man show at last year’s FringeNYC, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim David

9:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): 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 how boys will be girls, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches: The Harvard Sailing Team

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he’s not in LA), Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): Stand-up and sketch comedy guests hosted by improv troupe Bad Luck Rising

11:00 pm ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches from troupe FUCT

11:30 pm ($5): Before the 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 (Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

Midnight ($5): Sketch comedy troupes Hammerkatz NYU and Skit Job compete for audience laughs and votes, with troupe Sidecar hosting, in Backyard Brawl

[$] 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 full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/22/11

June 22, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Kate McKinnon, Mamrie Hart, and Amy Heidt

Brilliant comedic actresses Kate McKinnon, Mamrie Hart, Amy Heidt...

Shannon O'Neill, Leslie Meisel, and Pamela Murphy

...Shannon O'Neill, Leslie Meisel, Pam Murphy, and more perform four hours of sketch comedy for a mere $5 at the Maude Night Marathon...

Reggie Watts and Natasha Leggero

...or if you prefer an entirely free show, catch comedy geniuses Reggie Watts and Natasha Leggero at Central Park SummerStage

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] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($5): Four full hours of sketch comedy, as all eight UCBT house teams—Dweeb, Fambly, Gramp’s, Stone Cold Fox, Neighbor Boy, Onassis, Arbuckle, and Thunder Gulch—gather to perform their best, funniest material from the past year on the same evening. With such performers involved as Kate McKinnon, Shannon O’Neill, Mamrie Hart, Amy Heidt, Leslie Meisel, Pam Murphy, Fran Gillespie, Sue Galloway, and Violet Krumbein, this will be an evening jam-packed with talent (and a golden gift if you’re a casting director or comedy producer…). Don’t be fooled by the absurdly low price of 63 cents per show; this is a sketch festival worth experiencing from beginning to end: Maude Night Marathon

7:00 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: A wonderful—and free!—outdoor concert at Central Park, with star stand-ups and musical comedy performers. The stellar headliners are Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here) and Natasha Leggero (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; star of Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Craig Ferguson,Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, Reno 911!The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Ugly Americans, Chelsea Lately) at Central Park SummerStage

Even though SummerStage is spacious enough to accommodate hundreds of visitors, it’s not uncommon for every square inch of ground to be occupied with folks eager to laugh. It’s therefore recommended you arrive early for this lovely comedy party to ensure you get in, and can nab either a seat or a comfortable spot on the grass. (And consider bringing a large blanket…)

Directions to SummerStage

 

 SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

From the East side: Take the #6 subway to 68th Street and Lexington,

or the M1/M2/M3/M4 bus to 72nd Street and 5th Avenue;

enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;

and then walk a bit following the map above.

 Traveling crosstown: Take the M-66 or M72 bus to Fifth Avenue;

enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;

and then walk a bit following the map above.

 From the West side: Take the 1/2/3/B/C subway to 72nd Street,

or the M7/M10/M11 bus to 72nd Street and Central Park West;

enter the park at 72nd Street and Central Park West;

and then walk a whole lot following the map above.

 [TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Molly Knefel (member of superb improv troupe Naked in a Fishbowl) and her brother John Knefel (veteran stand-up) host this monthly comedy show, with tonight’s guests star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys), Dan Soder (Comedy Central), Jordan Carlos (Comedy Central), Kevin Barnett (Roundtable of Gentlemen), and Susan Prekel performing stand-up at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, off Thompson Street): John and Molly Get Along

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Erin Judge (Comedy Central), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central, VH1), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony tour), Ashley Brooke Roberts, and Billy Wayne Davis performing stand-up at the 11th Street Bar (510 East 11th Street, off Avenue A) for this monthly extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here) who notes “AND FREE DRINKS! If you are very pretty and make someone think you’re going to sleep with them. Otherwise there are reasonably priced drinks that you can buy yourself:” Erin Lennox’s I Like You Too Show

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’sNewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Will Hines (UCBT improv/sketch superstar who’s getting better at stand-up), Rob Gorden (storyteller; Onion News Network, The Big C), Walter Replogle (member of award-winning sketch troupe Murderfist), Sean Crespo (The Electric Company, Onion News Network, host of Lasers in the Jungle), Kristeen von Hagen (Showtime’s Comics without Borders), and Carrie Gravenson performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An evening of video comedy shorts from our NYC comedy community screened at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner & Jason Saenz: Free Comedy Videos

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern:Bucket ‘O Buckets

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/20/11

June 20, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

John Mulaney and Hannibal Buress

Stellar stand-ups John Mulaney (For the Hour) and Hannibal Buress (Morrison Motel)

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): Duo improv from team Snazzle Dazzle; and improv revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies” in Double Date

7:00 pm ($5): Musical/rap improv from troupe The Boombox Kids

7:00 pm & 9:30 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—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:30 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Ray Devito (E!), Madison Malloy, and Peter Moses performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A writer/performer for Saturday Night Live (for a sample, please click here) who’s also one of the very finest stand-ups in the country—with appearances on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever, etc.—performing a deliciously long set tonight that’s likely to leave you breathless with laughter and chuckling weeks later: John Mulaney: For the Hour

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of Collegeand The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), The Lady Aye (sideshow performer), Andy De La Tour (The Young Ones), and musical guest MC Frontalot (Nerdcore)—and for all of June, as house band the super-amazing Adira Amram and the Experience (winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act)—performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. This show was previously a wonderful theatrical event that cost $18 and up. Don’t miss this run at The PIT that allows you to catch the gals for a mere $10: Naked in a Fishbowl

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15, which includes 1 drink, if you mention HyReviews.com[otherwise $20]; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats): Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, Comedy Central), Jim David (2010 award-winning FringeNYC show South Pathetic; three-time MAC Award Winner for Outstanding Comedian), Maureen Langan (HBO, Joy Behar Show, ABC News, FOX, MSNBC, WE, The Onion; 2009 MAC Award for Outstanding Comedian), Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), David Cope (Last Comic Standing, co-host of Hot Soup), and Francoise Gordon performing at theCornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Arbuckle (which includes Pam Murphy, Violet Krumbein, and Michael Hartney) and Stone Cold Fox (which includes Leila Cohan-Miccio, Fran Gillespie, D’Arcy Erokan, and John Murray) trying out new bits at Maude Night

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Jess Wood, Gilad Foss, Mike Pomeranz, Kendra Cunningham, Julien Dionne, Jordon Ferber, Lance Weiss, Frank Gallo, and David Lee Nelson performing at Pat O’Shea’s and Troy Bynum’s free weekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid

9:30 pm ($8): Young, energetic sketch troupe New Excitement

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic sketch, stand-up, improv, videos, and anything else quick & comedic, at The Magnet with host Leanne Linsky: Casual Sketch

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Anthony Jeselnik (one of my all-time favorite stand-ups; former staff writer/performer for Jimmy FallonConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central Presents; debut comedy CD Shakespeare), Jon Benjamin (star of new Comedy Central series Jon Benjamin Has a Van), and David O’Doherty (award-winning writer/stand-up visiting from Ireland; to get a feel for this extraordinary storyteller, please click here and here and here)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/18/11

June 18, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Jason Mantzoukas and Ed Herbstman

Jason Mantzoukas & Ed Herbstman will perform breathtaking duo improv tonight as The Mantzoukas Brothers

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] [$] 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (Second City, Baggage with Jordan Klepper at UCBT), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) performing an improvised play in What a Year!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions—all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

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

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO, ABC, NBC, and Comedy Central headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mario Cantone

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sara Benincasa (one-woman show & book Agoraphobia), Sue Funke, and other stand-ups with issues performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Chelsea White and Evan Morgenstern: Call Us Crazy

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s been on HBO’s Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, P. Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy, and a Comedy Central Presentsspecial headlining tonight at the Gotham Comedy Club: Tony Woods

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup hasn’t been announced; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—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

10:00 pm ($5): Nat Towsen (host of sketch-based The Moon Show), sketch troupe Casual Sexual Offenders, and Colin Summers performing at The Brooklyn Lyceum (227 Fourth Avenue) hosted by all-gal sketch troupe M.A.D. and all-guy sketch group Sidecar: Gentrify Brooklyn

10:00 pm ($5): “An onslaught of rapid-fire character comedy aimed directly at your face” at The PIT’s basement lounge, hosted by Rob Stern: Overload the Machine

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Jason Mantzoukas (rising film/TV star; (We Used to Go OutMother, Baby Mama) and Ed Herbstman (stellar comedic actor; co-founder of the Magnet Theater) show off how breathtakingly quick-witted and skillful they are at creating scenes from air. Time Out New York named these guys Best Improv Duo of 2006. Happily, Jason is back in NYC for a while, so take advantage of this opportunity to see these improvisation comedy stars shine—and then engage in an unusually intimate, and potentially awkward, debriefing session with the audience that can be as much fun as the formal part of the show: The Mantzoukas Brothers

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King interviews an audience member about where he or she grew up and then creates an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

11:00 pm ($8): A veteran sketch troupe explores themes of liberation in City Hall: Freedom Explosion

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine, 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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 6/17/11

June 17, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob

The debut of an intriguing sketch show: "Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob"...

Leslie Goshko

...and the always intriguing Leslie Goshko hosts stellar storytellers at "Sideshow Goshko"

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm:Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s stellar guests Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, The Liar Show), Robin Gelfenbien (delightful FringeNYC one-man show about wieners), and Steve Zimmer (Moth Grandslam champion): Sideshow Goshko

7:00 pm ($5): A live show about Facebook pages, complete with audience interaction: Philip Galinsky’s Facebook Comes Alive

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy interwoven with a live band: Citizen Models

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Brad Sacks isn’t your average 9th grader. He’s dope at Magic cards, sick at spontaneously breaking into song, and dopely sick at dancing like a businessman. But Brad’s life is about to change in the most awesome way possible—because Jessica Sanders, the hottest girl in school, is coming over to give him a handjob!” in the debut of a show I’m eager to see: Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob; plus in the other half of this double-bill, Veronica Osorio (directed by Caitlin Tegart) performs five very different gals with a chance to be The First Woman on the Moon

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO, ABC, NBC, and Comedy Central headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mario Cantone

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents, co-host ofRighteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Ben Kissel, Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Sean Donnelly (host of too many shows to mention) performing stand-up at O’Hanlon’s(14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[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: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s been on HBO’s Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, P. Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy, and a Comedy Central Presentsspecial headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Tony Woods

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00-9:30 pm open bar, 9:30 pm show: Ace dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist, Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Owen Smith (Comedy Central), Chris Nangle (writer for SNL), Owen Smith (Comedy Central), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Karl Hess performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s  Too Cool for School

9:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): 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 how boys will be girls, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches: The Harvard Sailing Team

10:00 pm ($5): Team Submarine and Danny Jolles each perform 30-minute sets at The PIT’s downstairs lounge with host Aaron Glaser: The 30/30 Club

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he’s not in LA), Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart and Grace Helbig welcome NYC talents for a morning chat show…that’s happening late at night. Tonight’s guests include Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Mark Malkoff, and music group The Bad Parts: The Morning Show with Hobart and Grace

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York offers lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC: Jordan Klepper (Klepper & Grey, iO, ), Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH!’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer). Improv legend Joe Bill also performs with this troupe, but only near the start of each month when he’s visiting NYC from Chicago. But even sans Joe, it’s well worth catching Lights Out, Shirley!

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): The third show of an exciting new sketch troupe, with brilliantly talented comedic performers Kate McKinnon, Leslie Meisel, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie, Nate Lang, D’Arcy Carden, John Murray, Timothy Dunn, and Ben Rameaka, and steered by superb writer/director Caitlin Tegart—as well as writers Beth Appel, Leila Cohan-Miccio, Matt Fisher, Frank Hejl, Chris Schell, Alex Scordelis, and Michael Trapp—that perform all-new material every month, and that I’ll be going out of my way to catch tonight: Tremendous Machine

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/11/11

June 11, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

It’s the finale of the magical SketchFest NYC 2011 at UCBT.
Among the most notable participants during today’s 12-hour fest are:

Meat Sketch Comedy Elephant Larry

Meat and Elephant Larry

Marvel Comics The Onion News Network

…panels from Marvel Comics and The Onion News Network

The Other Other Guys Craptacular

…and The Other Other Guys and The Closing Night Craptacular

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] 1:00 pm – 2:00 am: One of the most delightful comedy festivals to grace NYC, this seventh annual SketchFest boasts shows from The Onion, The Whitest Kids U’ Know, Marvel Comics, and a one-night-only reunion of acclaimed all-gal troupe Meat. And it concludes with what’s often the most delightful event of the whole shebang, a Craptacular featuring material from festival participants too rude or bizarre to fit into their regular shows, and this year hosted by Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show).

To get a feel for some of the best troupes who’ll be participating, please click here.

Produced by Alex Zalben, who has excellent comedic taste, this is an extravaganza worth experiencing. The past three days of SketchFest have featured superb shows from such stellar troupes as Kurt & Kristen, Pangea 3000, Harvard Sailing Team, Murderfist, BriTANick, Fraidy Cat (starring Meghan O’Neill), The Pyramid Shew (starring Megan Kellie and directed by Laura Grey), and stellar musical acts from Adira Amram, Shayna Ferm, Mindy Raf, Murderfist (as The Cowmen), and Snakes (Adam Lustick, Billy Scafuri, and Chloé Wepper).

This final day runs over 12 hours, from 1:00 pm till however long the midnight Craptacular takes. Many of these shows will almost certainly sell out, so buy tickets in advance for the ones you want ($10 each); or, even better, simply opt for the $40 all-you-can-see pass to get into any and every show of this final day of SketchFest NYC 2011

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (Second City, Baggage with Jordan Klepper at UCBT), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) performing an improvised play in What a Year!

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

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup hasn’t been announced; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House

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] [$] [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

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Ace storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), stand-up Sheng Wang (Comedy Central), white rapper Carolyn Castiglia (VH1), and “a surprise guest” performing at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by Laura Prangley: Too Soon

10:00 pm ($5): Sketch troupes The Nice Brothers (Adam Newman & Trevor Williams), The New Deal, and Weekend of Regret, plus stand-ups Karl Hess and Sean Hart, performing at the The Brooklyn Lyceum (227 Fourth Avenue) hosted by all-gal sketch troupe M.A.D. and all-guy sketch group Sidecar: Gentrify Brooklyn

10:30 pm ($7): Improv from the four guys of Phooka

11:00 pm ($5): All-gal improv from Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell, plus stand-up from Michelle Wolf, and sketch from gal groups Firth and Funkle Todd:Goldie and the Hawns: A Night of Women in Comedy

[$] 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 full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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