NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/13/11

July 13, 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.

Rich Vos and Mindy Raf

Rich Vos and a fun mix of other comics tell stories for host Tom Shillue at Carolines, while brilliant singer/songwriter Mindy Raf is a Comedy School Dropout

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

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($11 & 2-drink min.): Star yarn-spinner Tom Shillue hosts a storytelling show with performances by an endrearing mix from our comedy community spectrum: Rich Vos, Kurt Braunohler, John Flynn, and Swords, all for one night only at—of all places—the Carolines Comedy Club: Tom Shillue’s FunnyStory.biz

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Improv geniuses Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers ofThe Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm form one of the finest comedy troupes in NYC as Outlook of the Poet; plus in the other half of this double-bill, Chelsea Clarke & Brandon Gardner perform as the duo Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Mindy Raf (brilliant singer/songwriter; VH1), 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), Abbi Crutchfield (MTV, VH1), and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central) performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Negin Farsad’s & Amy Albert’s free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

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

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Carla Rhodes (acclaimed ventriloquist), Calvin S. Cato (Game Show Network), Boris Khaykin (Comedy Central’s Atom TV), Kristeen von Hagen (Showtime’s Comics Without Borders), and Rae Sanni performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

9:15 pm ($5 if you say the code Not Guilty, What? at the door): Stand-up Adam Newman (College Humor), The People Sketch Association, and “a mystery guest from Toronto” performing at UNDER St. Marks for Sketch Block

9:30 pm ($5): A new UCBT sketch show by Ryan Karels: Radio Rogue; and in the other half of this double-bill, a mini-play that pleased the college-age audience I saw it with, but that I wish wasn’t written to be so calculating and by-the-numbers (e.g., the ending was dead obvious within the first few minutes)…but is probably worth seeing if only for the genuinely fresh & funny tailor scene: Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob

[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

[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 Sunday 7/10/11

July 10, 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.

Jesse Popp

Jesse Popp co-hosts one last time before moving to LA to write for Conan O'Brien: "Beauty Bar Comedy"

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] 2:00 pm: Leighann Lord (HBO, Showtime, ABC’s The View, Comedy Central), Jim Mendrinos (HBO, Comedy Central; author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Comedy Writing), and more performing for a free outdoor show at Mineral Springs in Central ParkLaughter in the Park

6:30 pm ($5): Duo Andy Emeritz & George Lakis performing “a musical comedy about America’s once greatest boy band. In the 80’s, Five Alive was on top of the world…until they were fleeced by their manager. Years later, their now-deceased manager’s fortune is up for grabs to the first of his washed-up bands to score a number one single. With their chart-topping “Kiss You With Tongue” a distant memory, Five Alive reunites as a duo of desperate has-beens, exploring a montage of hilarious original songs and classic 80’s tunes for a final shot at fame and redemption:” Five Alive! The Musical

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A one-man show about—wait for it—condiments. “Mitch ‘Packets’ Franco has demonstrated condiments at groceries, farmers’ markets, superstores, and gas stations in all 50 states; over the course of 25 minutes, he’ll give you the inside squeeze on how all your favorite condiments are marketed, shipped, distributed, and sold; how to seduce a checkout girl; how to tell a supermarket by its odor; and other lessons learned during his wild life in America’s grocery aisles:” Confessions of a Condiment Hustler

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBT’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, TBS’ Lopez Report, Comedy Central), Jessimae Peluso (Tyra Banks Show), John F. O’Donnell, Sammy Obeid, and more performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[$] 8:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who was a finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing, and has also performed on David Letterman, HBO, and Comedy Central headlining tonight and Saturday—with terrific openers Ophira Eisenberg and Rich Francese—at the Gotham Comedy Club: Roy Wood Jr.

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced this week) performing at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan) typically hosted by the wonderful Hannibal Buress: Comedy Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Jesse Popp, this show’s co-host for over seven years, is moving to LA to write for Conan O’Brien. Tonight will be his last appearance for a long while. Expect stand-up mayhem at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Vince Averill’s & Jesse Popp’s free weekly show Beauty Bar Comedy

9:30 pm ($5): “Ever watch an improv set and think, Geeze, I want to know everything about how that show came together: What were the performers thinking about? How did they approach each scene? What notes will their coach give them? Yep, us too. Presenting a post-show panel discussion, Q&A session, and debriefing that dissects, explores, and explains some of the ins and outs of improv:” The Operation Theater

9:30 pm ($5): Andrew Fafoutakis performs an autobiographical one-man show that’s “part comedy, part rock concert”—which frankly sounds like a formula for disaster, but ya never know: Prince and a Pauper

[$] 10:00 pm ($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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Jessimae Peluso (Tyra Banks Show), Chris Doucette (Logo’s Hot Gay Comics), and Naomi Ekperigin (Logo’s Gayest Week Ever) performing at a free weekly gay-themed show atTherapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 4 minutes per comic, at The PIT’s downstairs loungehosted by Rob Stern: Vicious Cycle

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 7/9/11

July 9, 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.

Sara Schaefer

The irresistible Sara Schaefer tapes a 30-minute stand-up set at Queens' LIC The Creek...

Murderfist

...and award-winning dark comedy troupe Murderfist kicks off a new monthly show at The PIT

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): 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A comedy superstar from Curb Your Enthusiasm headlining tonight and Saturday at Carolines: Jeff Garlin

7:30 pm ($5): Improv that claims to be Louder, Faster, Better

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: 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) and Scott Moran (Rubber Bullets) each performing a 30-minute stand-up set to be taped for posterity & industry at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Sara & Scott Need a Tape

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: James Adomian (superb impressionist with killer bit on Lewis Black as 14-year-old girl; finalist in last summer’s Last Comic Standing), Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; host of Joe Mande Presents at Carolines, co-host of Totally J/K; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster), John Flynn (stellar storyteller; The Nights of Our LIves), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel), Calise Hawkins (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), DC Benny (Comedy Central Presents), JC Coccoli (MTV, VH1), and Tom Dunlap performing at Karma Lounge (51 First Avenue, off 3rd Street) with hosts Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who was a finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing, and has also performed on David Letterman, HBO, and Comedy Central headlining tonight and Sunday—with terrific openers Ophira Eisenberg and Rich Francese—at the Gotham Comedy Club: Roy Wood Jr.

[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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Chelsea White, Arthur Carlson, Danny Leary, Evan Morgenstern, Jessie Geller, George Gordon, and Ash Louis performing at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City to raise money for Resolve Network, an international nonprofit that helps women reclaim their lives and rebuild their communities: Hot Blooded

[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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing anything but stand-up—e.g., sketch, improv, storytelling, singing, puppetry—at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kelly Fastuca, Reid Faylor, and Andrew Short : Underbelly

[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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won last year’s ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—debuts a monthly show at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Murderfist

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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Thin Skin Jonny. They had it all. They were icons, legends, anti-folk superstars. However, tragedy struck and they broke up, citing an alleged statutory charge, gay porn addiction, and Four Loko abuse. Now, two months later, they’re back to do one last show—a benefit! Can they find a way to get along long enough to raise the money needed to re-animate the corpse of Bea Arthur? Maybe, with your help!” Performers include Ari Scott, with direction from Pam Murphy: Thin Skin Jonny: Farewell Reunion Tour

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups in a late-night talk show format at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Michael Che: Michael Che’s Community Service

[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.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/8/11

July 8, 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 and Mike Still

Sketch comedy genius Kate McKinnon will make you laugh till it hurts in "Kate McKinnon on Ice;" and then Mike Still make just go directly for the 'hurting you' part in "Dictator for Life"....

Jeff Garlin

....and the wonderful Jeff Garlin graces NYC tonight and Saturday headliing 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:

[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

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 ($7): “Strange, mysterious, beautiful, and disgusting, this show will dazzle you with sketch comedy… and magic!” from The Weird Sisters

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): A comedy superstar from Curb Your Enthusiasm headlining tonight and Saturday at Carolines: Jeff Garlin

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy genius Kate McKinnon performing her latest one-woman show, which features “Singing! Dancing! Ice Skating! Hoarders! Conjoined Twins! Temple Grandin!” This inventive, dynamic production is among the very best to grace the UCBT stage this year. Kate is the most precious of diamonds in our NYC comedy community; come see why in Kate McKinnon on Ice

…and in the second half of this double-bill, Mike Still (Death by Roo Roo, Diamond Lion) performs a one-man show that—like Kate’s show—was directed by fellow Roo Roo star Neil Casey: Dictator For Life

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 online using discount code BBOX1): One of the very best shows at FringeNYC 2010 was an award-winning comedy from NYC’s own Faye Lane, a luminous storyteller and singer who will charm your socks off—and possibly give you a moon pie to boot—at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. This marvelous event recently received a 2011 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy and 2011 MAC Award for Special Production. Please read my review by clicking here, watch Faye make a pecan pie by clicking here, and then take advantage of this revival running Friday nights to experience the hilarious and unforgettable Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories

[FREE] 8:00 pm: James Adomian (superb impressionist with killer bit on Lewis Black as 14-year-old girl; finalist in last summer’s Last Comic Standing), Adam Newman, Nore Davis, Damien Lemon, and Andy Sandford performing stand-up at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sara Benincasa, Mike Lawrence, Andy Haynes, and more performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City to raise money for Resolve Network, an international nonprofit that helps women reclaim their lives and rebuild their communities: Comedy for the Congo

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

8:00 pm ($7): Comics Jon Bander and Dave Thunder vow to lose weight (in real life) while performing sketch scenes in this show over the next few weeks: M4: Comedy’s Biggest Losers

[FREE—plus FREE WINGS!] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sharon Spell, Tim Warner, Paul Hooper, Wilson McDermet, and more performing at Brooklyn’s The Royal Oak (594 Union Avenue) with hosts Calvin S. Cato, Justin Murray, and Chad Plaines: The Pregame Comedy Show

[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

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who was a finalist on last summer’s Last Comic Standing, and has also performed on David Letterman, HBO, and Comedy Central headlining tonight and Saturday—with terrific openers Ophira Eisenberg and Rich Francese—at the Gotham Comedy Club: Roy Wood Jr.

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Dan St. Germain, Jared Logan, Kenny Zimlinghaus, Jeff Wesselschmidt, and more 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 ($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): “Boneless comedy” from all-gal sketch troupe Goldie & the Hawns

[TOP PICK] 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 (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

Midnight ($5): Your opportunity to perform on the UCBT stage with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT house troupe Airwolf: Jammin’ with Ralph

[$] 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 Sunday 6/26/11

June 26, 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.

Faye Lane

The thoroughly wonderful Faye Lane performs her last Sunday show today (she's switching to Fridays at 8:00 pm) at Beauty Shop Stories...

Tracy Morgan

...and comedy superstar Tracy Morgan concludes this run tonight headlining 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:

[FREE] 2:00 pm: Stand-ups Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, FOX), Karith Foster (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime, VH1, IMUS in the MorningOprah), DJ Hazard (Comedy Central, Showtime, A&E), and more performing for a free outdoor show at Central Park’s Mineral SpringsLaughter in the Park

[FREE] 4:00 pm: Streeter Seidell (College Humor) and a small mob of lesser-known stand-ups performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Andy Rocco: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 5:00 pm ($18.50 online using discount code ADVANCE ): One of the very best shows at FringeNYC 2010 was an award-winning comedy from NYC’s own Faye Lane, a luminous storyteller and singer who will charm your socks off—and possibly give you a moon pie to boot—at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. This marvelous event recently received a 2011 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy and 2011 MAC Award for Special Production. Please read my review by clicking here, watch Faye make a pecan pie by clicking here, and then take advantage of this revival running Sundays through June to experience the hilarious and unforgettable Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories

6:30 pm ($5): “Clown and sideshow theatrics” at the debut of Clown Baggage; and “five females search for happiness” at the sketch show Pussy Control

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBT’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($60 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlines one last night at Carolines: Tracy Morgan

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mara Herron, Chris Laker, Steve O’Brien, and more performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($5): Improv that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper”—at the debut of Scoresby

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Matt Ruby, Jen Statsky, Ken Schultz, and Adam Cozens performing at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sketch, stand-up, improv, and more at a comedy variety show at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by sketch troupe Froduce

[FREE] 8:30 pm: A monthly comedy video show “of epic proportions; this is every music head’s dream” at The Creek downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Holden McNeely & Ed Larson of award-winning heavy metal sketch troupe Murderfist: Stage Fright

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Andy de la Tour (pioneering UK comedy star; The Young Ones), Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy 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), Monroe Martin, and Damien Lemon performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue) guest-hosted by Nick Vatterott: Comedy Night

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[$] 10:00 pm ($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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 4 minutes per comic, at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace & Molly Austin: Vicious Cycle

 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 6/25/11

June 25, 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.

Tracy Morgan

Tonight and Sunday, 30 Rock & movie star Tracy Morgan headlines 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:

7:00 pm ($8; includes free cookies): NYC stand-ups & storytellers Elon James White, David Cope, Ben Kissel, and Asie Mohtarez telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives for a show tonight guest-hosted by Nick Turner (Monsters, Too Cool for School) while usual host Sara Benincasa is busy in LA: Family Hour

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic storytelling at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eugene Ashton-Gonzalez: 1001 Nights

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm-10:30 pm ($12): Last night five improv troupes competed for a prize of $10,00 to fund the making of a stellar comedy short film. The winners were comedy geniuses Jason Mantzoukas & Ed Herbstman as The Mantzoukas Brothers—and they totally earned the ten grand. (Can hardly wait to see their mini-movie…) Tonight is a similar competition for five sketch troupes—albeit ones not always quite as famous or stellar as Friday’s improv groups—hosted by Jon Friedman at The Friars Club Sketch Competition

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm tonight, 8:00 pm on Sunday ($60 & 2-drink min.): A co-star of 30 Rock who’s one of the most hilarious guys in the biz headlines for two nights only at Carolines:Tracy Morgan

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 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 at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim David

[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!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this delightful monthly mix of stand-up and sketch, with tonight’s guests Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), SNL’sJason Sudeikis, Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jon Glaser (long-time writer for Conan O’Brien, star of Adult Swim’sDelocated), and Nikki Glaser performing at Brooklyn’s Union HallThe Party Machine: Michael Jackson Edition

[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): “We’ve all been drunk on something—love, power, money, alcohol, the heat of the moment. This storytelling show examines how far we’ll go when we find ourselves under the influence. Each month hosts Megan Lohne and Ruby Marez cover a new aspect of being consumed by factors outside your control. Oh yeah, we’ll play some drinking games too. Before each show a list of drinking rules will be handed out to the audience based on that month’s theme. Yeah. We’ll have fun:” Reckless and Loaded

[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): Gay improvisors at The Magnet gather to celebrate New York’s historic marriage legislation and more: Pride Week Extravaganza

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Comedic storytelling and more at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by the superb John Flynn: Variety Amour

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): From the fearless, dynamic, and always innovative Shannon O’Neill, who won the 2011 ECNY Award for Best One-Person Show: “I seem to have made a big ole mistake. I wrote a script, I purchased the props, but I forgot to rehearse it. And on top of that I HAVE NO CAST!!!! So… I am going to cast YOU, moments before the show starts. I will hand you a script, give you some props and instruct you to just listen and get ready to perform. Oh man this is going to be a fucking mess of BEAUTY!! If you want a chance to be cast, make reservations and get in line by 11:15pm. I, Shannon O’Neill will personally come out and hand pick the best damn group of Thespians this play has ever seen and will ever see because this play will only be performed ONCE, never to be seen again! What do I look for in a cast? I love fatties, I love skinnies, I love sober people, I love drunk people. I love you all. Every shape, size, and ethnicity. Let’s hold hands and spin the world! What is this play about? Something real fucking weird and TBA. Thanks for helping me fix my mistake. I’ll see you soon friends!:” The Unrehearsed, Historically Inaccurate Story of…

[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.


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 Tuesday 6/21/11

June 21, 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.

Jessi Klein

Jessi Klein performs in Brooklyn's Union Hall for "Mr. Coconuts Comedy Show"...

Kurt Braunohler

...while Kurt Braunohler headlines 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:

7:00 pm ($5): Two tough guys from the 1930s will explain the ins and outs of Hollywood at sketch show Listen Kid! ; and a sketch show about how life sometimes turns into a storm, in German: Der Storm

7:00 pm ($5): Any show ballsy enough to begin its description with “Have you ever loved a mop? Susan-Kate Heaney has…” is worth exploring. This one-woman show is happening at The PIT: Confessions of a Mop-oholic

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe Creek hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent of The Daily Show), Colin Jost (writer for SNLJimmy Fallon), Phoebe Robinson (host of Case of the Mondays Comedy), and musical guest Chris Dyas (Musical Director of Blue Man Group) performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Dan St. Germain, Calise Hawkins, Nikki Glaser, Erik Bergstrom, Seaton Smith, Pat Thornton, and more performing at The Studio at Webster Hall (125 East 11th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues) hosted by Team Submarine: MTV Comedy Showcase

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Bandter (Jon Friedman with Stuckey & Murray), Rob Cantrell (organic pothead stand-up), Kara Klenk, Ashley Brooke Roberts, and more performing stand-up at Queens LIC’s The Creek hosted by Jackie Zebrowski, Julia Johns, and Sharron Paul: Twat’s Up!

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Dance Break, Grandma’s Ashes, Airwolf, Sandino, and Very Good Kiss, and at 11:00 pm UCBT students mixing it up with improv veterans—all at Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5 at the door, $7.63 in advance online): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death,Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), 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), Gabe Liedman (co-host of Big Terrific), and more Dan St. performing for this new monthly show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Gabe Delahaye: Mr. Coconuts Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; host of Joe Mande Presents at Carolines, co-host of Totally J/K; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster), 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), comedy duo James & JF, and musical guest The Birdhive Boys performing at Brooklyn’s The Royal Oak (594 Union Avenue) along with sketches from Moon regulars such as co-producer Jordan Clifford, the delightful Camille Harris, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show

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 ($5): Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night LiveComedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives), 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), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] [$] 9:30 pm (only $5 cover if you buy in advance by calling (212) 757-4100, plus 2-drink min.) A sketch master who’s also gotten good enough at other forms of comedy to win this year’s ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up; is the creator & host of IFC game showPointless; is the co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; and co-hosts Hot Tub Variety, headlining for one night only (with Nick Turner and Lisa Delarios opening) at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kurt Braunohler

9:30 pm ($5): David Angelo (writer for Jimmy Fallon), Will Sylvince (HBO), and Dan Soder (Comedy Central) performing at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and Dirty,Comedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

9:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show from Julie Ann Dulude about being raised by strict Catholic parents: Bless This Mess

[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, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 6/19/11

June 19, 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.

Laurie Stanton's Sound Diet and Ed Herbstman

Genius performer Ed Herbstman and much more at Melanie Hoopes' extra special show: "Laurie Stanton's Sound Diet"

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

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 5:00 pm ($18.50 online using discount code ADVANCE ): One of the very best shows at FringeNYC 2010 was an award-winning comedy from NYC’s own Faye Lane, a luminous storyteller and singer who will charm your socks off—and possibly give you a moon pie to boot—at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. This marvelous event recently received a 2011 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy and 2011 MAC Award for Special Production. Please read my review by clicking here, watch Faye make a pecan pie by clicking here, and then take advantage of this revival running Sundays through June to experience the hilarious and unforgettable Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): An extraordinary event that happens only once every few months, this show mixes the style of live radio with the depth of classic theatre and the energy of stage comedy to create something unique and unforgettable. It’s written and produced by Melanie Hoopes, and stars Melanie, her genius husband Ed Herbstman, Arthur Aulisi, Jenny Bacon, Kelly Park, Konrad Meissner, and Ethan Sandler, plus musical guest Mike Ferrio, with tonight’s themeThe Call. Be sure to reserve tickets because this is likely to sell out: Laurie Stanton’s Sound Diet

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBT’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[$] 7:30 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: NYC stand-ups Seaton Smith, Tom E. Morello, Alice Wetterlund, and Danny Soloman performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge:Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT’s downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Chesley Calloway, Annie Lederman, Kate Berlant, Ryan Conner, and Matt Wayne performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar at Vince Averill’s & Jesse Popp’s free weekly show Beauty Bar Comedy

[FREE] 10:00 pm: All-gal lineup of Jena Friedman (delightful dark comedy stand-up), Karith Foster (Comedy Central, VH1), and Yamaneika (TruTV) performing at this free weekly gay-themed show atTherapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 4 minutes per comic, at The PIT’s downstairs loungehosted by Rob Stern: Vicious Cycle

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.