NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/28/11

May 28, 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.

Anthony King, Gavin Speiller, and Ben Rodgers

Anthony King, Gavin Speiller, Ben Rodgers, and more perform an "anything goes" midnight comedy show: "C.H.A.O.S."

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, Klepper & Grey), Jodi Lennon (Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) perform an improvised play—about which Israel Savage of Improvisation News writes, “Achieves something more…they shoot for the moon”—inWhat a Year!

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8; includes free cookies): NYC stand-ups & storytellers Brandy Barber, Glennis McMurray, Mindy Tucker, and Gabe Delahaye telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives for a show hosted by Sara Benincasa (CBS, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs): Family Hour with Auntie Sara

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Christina Gausas, and more—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors who’ve included writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and comedic actor who’s hosted NBC’sLast Comic Standing and MTV Jams, and performed on HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA, TBS, and feature films, headlining tonight and Sunday at Carolines: Bill Bellamy

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and TV writer who’s appeared on HBO, BBC, FOX News, and SiTV, and is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Comedy Writing, headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim Mendrinos

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

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

10:00 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced this week) 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

[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

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Brilliant comics Anthony King, Gavin Speiller, Ben Rodgers, Neil Casey, Kate Spencer, Will Hines, Jon Gabrus, and Fran Gillespie “will walk onto a bare stage and create the most unpredictable, unsettling, surprising, and hilarious comedy show imaginable. Anything can happen. Stand-up? Improv? Bare-knuckle boxing? SOMEONE MAY DIE! (Probably not. But they might.) These fearless warriors will battle for your laughs against the forces of order and control at C.H.A.O.S.

[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

[$] 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.

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/24/11

February 24, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you have a thyroid, or know someone with a thyroid, please consider buying my latest book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Outlook of the Poet

The heavens will shake tonight as Outlook of the Poet (above)...

The Stepfathers

...clashes with The Stepfathers at an all-star edition of the improv competition extravaganza "Cage Match"

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

7:00 pm ($12): Terrific NYC stand-ups Tom Shillue (Comedy Central Presents), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien), James Smith (Comedy Central), Rory Albanese (Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Chuck Nice (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jon Fisch (In the Tank), Tom McCaffrey (The Onion), Michael Somerville (Wingman), and Dan Naturman (Last Comic Standing) performing with host Sean Donnelly at Comedy Below Canal

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brilliant improvisor Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel, UCBT’s John & Scott) and veteran improvisor Rachel Hamilton perform as a duo—if Scott gets out of shooting 30 Rock in time tonight—as Hamilton & Adsit

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Matt Higgins (Centralia) and Stuart Bogie (FELA!) “let loose in a radically improvised theater show:” Amphibian

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A double-bill of vibrant improv troupes: Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik make up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie; and “fast, furious, and fearless” visiting Chicago-based improv troupe Ragdolls

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at Mortified

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and (throughout February) by the wonderful Brooke Van Poppelen:Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can get a behind-the-scenes peak—plus comics Streeter Seidell & Jeff, Kevin Barnett, Sam Morril, and possibly some special surprises—at CollegeHumor Live

9:30 pm ($10): “Ever wonder how you become a writer for an Emmy winning TV show? So does J. D. Durkin. Since no one has told him, here is his one-man show performing all original material to become a writer for The Colbert Report. Durkin channels Colbert live on stage to present political punditry as only The PIT could do it…and only The PIT, since he was escorted off the Comedy Central premises:” Stephen Colbert: Hire Me

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Titans walk the stage tonight as all-star genius improv troupes Outlook of the Poet (Jon Gabrus, Ben Rodgers, and Gavin Speiller) and The Stepfathers (Michael Delaney, Chris Gethard, Will Hines, Bobby Moynihan, Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Andy Secunda, and Zach Woods) compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you have a thyroid, or know someone with a thyroid, please consider buying my latest book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 1/13/11

January 13, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Outlook of the Poet and Gilbert Gottfried

Outlook of the Poet (above) battles The Brothers Hines tonight at Cage Match; and Gilbert Gottfried headlines for one night only at Carolines

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($24.50 & 2-drink min.)  A one-of-a-kind comedy star headlining at the Carolines Comedy Club: Gilbert Gottfried

[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 the review from The New York Times, 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Wonderful comic Kurt Braunohler “relates how he destroyed a 13-year relationship in the dumbest, most complicated way possible, with bar fights, naked men, walruses, and an audition for Sasha Baron Cohen” in the one-man show The Amish Guide to Fucking

8:00 pm ($5): A two-man sketch show from very smart and somewhat nerdy comics Dan St. Germain (MTV; quick-witted rising star) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill) about history’s most infamous rivalries; and an interesting idea that doesn’t really get pulled off from adorable comics Geoff Garlock and Emily Strachan, in the double-bill They Hated Each Other and Gettin’ Quaid

8:00 pm ($5): Veteran improvisors play with “elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde” in Sleepover

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($12): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion), Chuck Nice (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Michael Somerville (Wingman), and Caroline Rhea (The Caroline Rhea Show, The Biggest Loser) performing stand-up at Comedy Below Canal

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set onJimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1): Comedy as a Second Language

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Rory Scovel (rising star; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central), Adrienne Iapalucci, Todd Womack, and David Smithyman performing stand-up at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for a show hosted & produced by recently engaged couple Sean Crespo & Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): John Mulaney (writer/performer for Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Aasif Mandvi (correspondent for The Daily Show), and Negrin Farsad (MTV, FringeNYC) joining delightful hosts Andrea Rosen and Shonali Bhowmik for Variety SHAC

9:30 pm ($8): “An improvised spoof on the process of rehearsing and performing a play takes the audience through the table read, bits of one of the rehearsals, and the opening night performance of a production that’s never been performed before and never will be again:” The Play Format

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Superb improv troupes Outlook of the Poet (Gavin Speiller, Ben Rodgers, and Jon Gabrus) and The Brothers Hines (Will and Kevin) competing for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/14/10

May 14, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Genius comics Kate McKinnon, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Rodgers, and more perform sketch at midnight's Beneath Gristedes

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “The most fabulous show on Earth,” hosted by Tim Gunn (John Flynn) and Tim Gunn (Michael Hartney), featuring such superb comedic performers (both straight and gay) as Claudia Cogan, Megan Neuringer, Sue Galloway, and Lou Perez, plus two audience members who’ll be selected to compete in a design challenge, at The Same Sex-Tacular

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A groundbreaking and surreal improv/sketch troupe performing with new guests each Friday and making a valid complaint: Centralia: We Were Supposed To Have Flying Cars By Now

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($33.48 online if you use code VIPMAY, plus 2-item minimum): A stand-up who’s performed frequently on Conan O’Brien and David Letterman, and who’s performed a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special and numerous Comedy Central Roasts, headlining tonight through Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Greg Geraldo

[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): The Harvard Sailing Team

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): In this new show, Thomas Middleditch, Jonathan Gabrus, 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): Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell, champions of the Magnet Theater’s 2009 Improv Duo Tournament, bring nearly five years of improv collaboration to stage “for an evening of bold, committed characters and truthful, grounded scenework” at Hodapp & Rothwell

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Top UCBT talents—tonight featuring Matt Fisher, Nate Lang, Kate McKinnon, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Rodgers, and Andree Vermeulen as the performers, and Adam Conover, John Frusciante, Kevin Hines, Anthony King, Shannon O’Neill, Craig Rowin, Jim Santangeli, Eric Scott, Nate Smith, Gavin Speiller, Erik Tanouye, Caitlin Tegart, and Greg Tuculescu as the writers—creating a one-night-only sketch comedy show directed by comedy genius Gavin Speiller, with musical guest Cavalier Rose: Beneath Gristedes

[$] 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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/13/10

April 13, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Comedy giants Anthony Jeselnik (Punch Up Your Life), Ben Rodgers (Outlook of the Poet), and Ben Schwartz (Sweet)

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:

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Hilary Schwartz and Rachael Parenta hosting an intriguing show atOchi’s Lounge described as “emotionally inappropriate comedy:” Please, Someone Kill Me

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Wil Sylvince, Erik Bergstrom, Ash Louis, Kara Klenk, Calvin Cato, and JC Coccoli performing at Cellar 58 (58 Second Avenue) alongside delightful host Abbi Crutchfield and comedic rapster Andrew Singer: Positively Awesome

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm to midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Monstro, The Opera, Sandino, Bastian, and DeCoster; and at 11:00 pm a show with superb troupes Outlook of the Poet (improv geniuses Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of Reuben Williams, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) plus The Law Firm: The People’s Court—all at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Kumail Nanjiani (David LettermanSaturday Night Live, The Colbert ReportJimmy Kimmel, writer/performer for Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues; winner of the 2009 ECNY Awards for Best Male Stand-Up), Kevin Allison (legendary sketch troupeThe State, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!), Ben Schwartz (writer for SNL and David Letterman, member of brilliant sketch/improv troupe Hot Sauce), and “a special guest” performing at The Slipper Room for the LES weekly show hosted by the wonderful Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Delightful stand-ups Leah Dubie and Amy Beckerman hosting a sneak peek of the first episode of the upcoming new season of The Big Gay Sketch Showin Ochi’s Lounge at Dykes on Mics

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm ($5): Wonderful stand-ups Anthony Jeselnik (writer for Jimmy Fallon;Conan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night Live;Comedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, upcoming HBO series Funny or Die, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Emily Flake (cartoonist for The New Yorker), Nick Offerman (NBC’s Parks and Recreation), and Nick Stevens (host Of AMC’s Action Pack) performing at the Housingworks Bookstore Cafe for a free weekly show hosted by brilliant stand-up Pete Holmes (Comedy Central PresentsThe Daily ShowJohn Oliver and Friends, VH1’s Best Week EverThe New Yorker) and razor-sharp Joe DeRosa (Comedy Central, Carson DalyInsomniac Tour; for stand-up video about why Joe hates weddings, please click here): Punch Up Your Life

9:30 pm ($5): Superb stand-ups Rachel Feinstein (Comedy Central Presents), Claudia Cogan (Time Out New York’s Best Joke winner), and more with host Shawn Hollenbach at Minty Fresh Comedy

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Free open-mic stand-up show that’s seldom much fun for audience members but is a nice opportunity if you want 4-5 minutes to test out your comedy material on stage: Bring It

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/24/09

July 24, 2009

About Last Night: Special kudos to Thursday’s Cage Match for putting on one of the greatest shows I ever expect to see. Musical improv troupe Veal delivered a wonderful series of scenes & songs about airplanes, and proved it deserves more appearances on the UCBT stage. And much love always to hosts Ben Rodgers and Eric Scott. But an extra special acknowledgement goes to the almost superhuman skill, timing, and comedic mastery displayed by last night’s Death by Roo Roo improv focused on, of all things, a bake-off, from Curtis Gwinn, Gavin Speiller, John Gemberling, Adam Pally, and Gil Ozeri. Guys, you are all superstars.

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Oliver demonstrates his genius at stand-up tonight at Comix

John Oliver demonstrates his genius at stand-up tonight at Comix

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] [$] John Oliver, the star correspondent of The Daily Show and a genius stand-up, will show why he’s universally considered one of the finest comics alive tonight through Sunday as he delivers a deliciously long set Headlining at Comix (8:00 pm & 10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] a blow-out farewell to this weekly free show’s co-host, Cassidy Henehan, with stellar stand-ups Baron Vaughn, Sean Patton, and Jesse Pop, superb sketch comedy troupes Bishop & Douch and The Straightmen, and sexy & hilarious singer/songwriter Shayna Ferm, in Brooklyn at Nick Turner’s Too Cool for School: Bon Voyage, Cassidy Henehan (8:00 pm),

[FREE] superb stand-ups Claudia Cogan, Pat Dixon, and Danny Solomon answering personal questions on stage at Matt Ruby’s & Mark Normand’s We’re All Friends Here (8:00 pm),

NYC stand-up comics Allison Castillo (Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, MTV), Giulia Rozzi (VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Eddie Sarfaty (Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, Logo’s Wisecrack), Jason Saft (here! TV’s Hot Gay Comics), and more at a gay-themed comedy show hosted by Jenny Rubin: The Back Room (9:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers (9:30 pm),

singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical (10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] top UCBT talents—including Neil Casey, Eugene Cordero, Sue Galloway, Curtis Gwinn, Anthony King, Adam Pally, Ben Rodgers, Charlie Sanders, Eric Scott, Gavin Speiller, and Caitlin Tegart—writing and/or performing sketch comedy Beneath Gristedes (11:00 pm),

[FREE] and a free opportunity for you to perform sketch on the UCBT stage at Liquid Courage (12:20ish am).

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.