NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 7/1/12

July 1, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Joe Wengert is mini-Batman

If you can picture Joe Wengert’s big-ass glasses placed over the mask on the right—coupled with a perfectly rendered deep, gravelly voice—and then imagine mini-Dark Knight raising his hand in a third grade classroom to say, “I’d like to go to the principal’s office. I’m sad because my parents were killed,” you’ll have a vision of what garnered the biggest laugh of the marathon—Saturday night at 3:08 am—at Batman-Prov. Don’t miss today’s unforgettable moments—including an ASSSSCAT 3000 at 8:00 pm with Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Horatio Sanz, and more, at…

14th Annual Del Close Marathon

…the final day of The Del Close Marathon

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:

[SUPER-MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Right Now-9:30 pm Today ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 14th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon is running continuously from 4:30 pm on Friday June 29th until 9:30ish pm on Sunday July 2nd. Improv troupes from all around the US Canada, and elsewhere—New York, Albany, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cambridge, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Fairfield, Austin, Miami, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, Raleigh, Carrboro, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Helsinki, and more—are performing over 150 shows, typically in 30 minute blocks, for 55+ hours. Tickets are $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer said several  years ago the appropriate charge would be around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding. Even if you skipped the marathon for its first two days, there’s enough going on to make buying for just today’s shows highly worthwhile.

For complete details, please click here.

DCM is happening at seven different venues this year. I’ll mostly be at UCB Chelsea, but please know there are incredible things happening at every one of these stages. That noted, the following are some of the highlights I personally experienced.

Friday Highlights

  • At the DCM press conference, Ian Roberts started announcing a major UCB project…only to have Matt Besser and Matt Walsh interrupt with, “Um, that’s still a secret.” Ian spent a few minutes in denial with “Gee, are you sure we haven’t said anything publicly about it?” When assured that was the case, Ian rebounded with, “Well, when we do you’ll all be very impressed.” I actually have a reasonable guess what it is…and yes, we all really will be.
  • Also at the press conference, Matt Besser swore that an improv manual they’ve been working on for nearly 10 years “will, we guarantee, be done before next year’s marathon.” Ian then added, “Absolutely! And the white buffalo will once again walk the plains…” (As an expert with 20 books under my belt—including five Dummies books—I’ve been offering to help with this for six years running. Ian, Matt, and Matt, at this point I’ll do it for a sentence in the Acknowledgements. Reach out to me…) Among the benefits of the UCB book will be clarifying terms and concepts that often confuse improvisors. For example, as Ian explained, “Beginners think Agreement means going along with whatever someone brings up. But if your partner suggests ‘Let’s jump out the window,’ and you say ‘Sure!’, then that’s the end of the scene…because at that point you’re both dead. What Agreement really means is saying yes to the reality of whatever scenario your partner suggests—but then responding in a genuine way that reflects how you—or your character—would really behave in that situation.” The book is another project from UCB very much worth looking look forward to.
  • Also at the press conference, the guys discussed how much work is involved in becoming good at improv. Ian said a lot of people who are funny think, “Improv is walking and talking. I do that every day. I’m ready to go on stage as an improvisor!” Ian continued, “That’s like my looking at a piano and saying, ‘I like music. I have fingers. I’m ready to give a piano concert!'” Ian also defended rules, explaining, “The fact that I can stand here is defying gravity. It’s a learned skill I’ve done so often it’s become instinctual. We all learn from habit and repetition.” Matt Besser added that taking a class is great, but not by itself: “You should have your own practice team. And every session you should rehearse with each other for three hours—not one hour, not two hours, three hours is the standard—and at least three times a week.”
  • Stellar NYC trio Doppelganger (Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar) were in top form, with running gags including a man (played by Nicole) who keeps proposing marriage at the most inappropriate moments—such as when his girlfriend is caring from her grandma who’s just moments away from death: “We’ll inherit the old bag’s house, car, and savings. Honey, be mine!” Another shining moment was when Sasheer brings an orphan (played by Keisha) into her house, outlining a space four feet by four feet and saying, “That’s how much room you have. Don’t leave that square, you’re dirty.” Keisha looks around rapturously and says, “At least it’s a home.” It was an apt metaphor for any young performer starting out; but chances are each of these fearless and razor-sharp gals will go on to lustrous careers.
  • When comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neil of The Stepfathers appeared at 9:00 pm, the crowd cheered wildly. Shannon growled, “We’re on this stage every Friday! And at this exact same time!” Then Shannon relented with, “But thank you for your drunken enthusiasm.” What followed was one of the most brilliant 30 minutes of improv I’ve even seen—from Chris, Shannon, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Will Hines, Michael Delaney, and Connor Ratliff working as a perfectly oiled machine, with all of them understanding each other’s strengths and playing them perfectly. That would’ve been enough; but then Chris said, “And now…let’s rewind.” The troupe responded with pure magic by reenacting every scene it had made up on the spot—backwards! As these stars got to the point of backing out the curtains from where they’d entered, the audience jumped to its feet to provide a rousing standing ovation. The set wasn’t quite over, though, so Shannon returned to growl, “Sit back down! We’re not done yet! Geez, we’re here every Friday!” The troupe proceeded to deconstruct what they’d done, with such comments as, “I thought that tag was a little premature” and “This scene came out of something that happened backstage no one else has any idea about.” When the lights finally came down, the audience jumped up to provide an even louder and more enthusiastic standing ovation.
  • There’s more I could write—about such troupes as Sentimental Lady from LA and Telenovela from Washington DC; a fun Bassprov with the form’s creators, improv legends Joe Bill and Mark Sutton, plus guest improv legend Matt Walsh; improv star Fran Gillespie doing an impressive job as a mirror in Paranormal Encounters; and another of the finest improvisors alive, Paul Scheer, in Bruckheimer; but I want to eat something and then get back to the marathon. Please check in here tomorrow for a report on tonight; and please get your ass over to DCM for this not-to-be-missed comedy event.

Saturday Highlights

  • Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts did something only comedy masters can pull off: They created a gripping and laugh-filled 30 minutes from simply playing with the audience. Starting with the premise that there are both guys and gals at DCM eager to hook up, but with no easy way to find each other, the UCB founders determined to fix things by becoming improv pimps. After a hilarious maze of ideas, they ended up getting five female and five male volunteers on stage. (There was actually a sixth guy, but—in an especially delicious moment—an audience member outed him as having a girlfriend, and in fact wearing her DCM bracelet to get into the theatre that day. The guy was unanimously booed off…) The volunteers were assigned numbers, from 1 to 10, and then told to close their eyes and use their fingers to indicate the number of the person they’d like to be with. Sadly, no digits corresponded across genders. At the last minute, to Matt Besser’s delight, an audience member shouted, “Second choice!” They gave that a try as well; but  most of the women raised empty fists… While the wild experiment failed at making a match, it succeeded at becoming one of the best shows of the marathon.
  • John Gemberling’s last official Death by Roo Roo show was last month, after which he moved to LA; so one of the special treats of this DCM was having John back one more time. The same goes for another former Roo Roo member now based in LA, Gil Ozeri. Gil’s down-to-earth brilliance was in top form as a guy who kills animals and small children and then explains it all away with, “I’m slow…” Roo Roo turned this unsettling scenario into a surreal ride of talking ravens, mountain spirits, and dreams within dreams within dreams. Still one of the finest troupes in improv history, Roo Roo keeps going via comedy giants Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Gavin Speiller, John Murray, and Dan Black every Saturday at 9:00 pm.
  • An eternal high point of DCM is Match Game ’76, which features a small army of 1970s celebrities doing incredibly stupid and disturbing stuff. Among the most memorable last night were Rob Lathan as a Chevy Chase who kept falling head over heels and knocking everything down, Adam Pally as a John Belushi obsessed with his long-term career plans, Bobby Moynihan as a Jim Henson whose personality was indistinguishable from Kermit the Frog, Michael Delaney as an eerily dead-on and effete 15-year-old Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Shannon O’Neill as “Sharon’s Tate’s dead unborn baby.” As always, Paul Scheer was pitch-perfect as the unflappable host; and this year’s contestant/victim was Chris Gethard, who was continually pelted by the celebrity guests. Chris was good-natured about it at first, but as the abuse continued got his wild “fighter” look in his eyes and began throwing objects back at the stars. This somewhat tense stand-off was resolved just a minute before the show’s end when a celebrity’s random throw managed to get past Chris’ defensive posture and score right into his balls. When Paul asked if he was all right, Chris gracefully replied, “I’m fine aside from the fact I was belted in the testicles with a hard-boiled egg.” Beginning improvisors, please note that these are words to live by.
  • There’s more to write about—including the biggest laugh of the marathon, lasting over half a minute, created by Joe Wengert at 3:08 am at Batman-Prov (see photos above); but I’ll get to those on Monday. Meanwhile, I’m off to experience the final day of DCM. Hope to see you there; and especially at the smash finale, ASSSSCAT 3000 at 8:00 pm at the Fashion Institute of Technology Haft Auditorium, Building C, at corner West 27th Street & 7th Avenue, with Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Horatio Sanz, and other improv stars.

Also, while I love DCM, please note that if you’re a stand-up fan Ted Alexandro is one of the very, very best, and it’s just bad luck he’s opposite the most incredible improv event of the year. If you didn’t manage to nab tickets to ASSSSCAT 3000, please consider instead attending Ted’s 8:00 pm headlining show at the Gotham Comedy Club (just a few blocks away from UCB Chelsea); he’ll deliver gold as well. The details:

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) One of the very finest stand-ups in the country, who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel; starred in two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; and frequently opens for Louis C.K., headlining one last night at the Gotham Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro

Complete daily comedy listings will resume tomorrow (i.e., post-DCM).

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/12/11

August 12, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2011 Festival, please click here.

Riki Lindhome & Kate Micucci as Garfunkel & Oates

Riki Lindhome & Kate Micucci will be brilliant, sexy, and irresistibly fun tonight at Gotham Comedy as musical duo "Garfunkel & Oates"

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] One of the most magical events in NYC, the annual Del Close Improv Marathon will run continuously from 4:30 pm on Friday August 12th until 9:30ish pm on Sunday August 14th. Improv troupes from all around the US and Canada—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Austin, Miami, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Phoenix, Raleigh, Toronto, Vancouver, and more—will perform over 150 shows, typically in 30 minute blocks, for 55+ hours. Tickets will be $25 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer said several  years ago the appropriate charge would be around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding.

As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, which will cause long waits to get into the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre at 307 West 26th Street, which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by three additional venues just a couple of blocks from UCBT: The Hudson Guild Theatre at 441 West 26th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), which seats 99; Urban Stages at 259 West 30th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), which seats 74; and the Fashion Institute of Technology Kate Murphy Amphitheatre at corner West 27th Street & 7th Avenue, which seats 280. To learn more, please click here.

The listings below include DCM shows at the FIT Auditorium that are an additional $12 to see—unless they don’t sell out, in which case those with marathon passes can receive any remaining seats free of charge.

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): 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. Please note this is among the last chances to enjoy improv genius Tara Copeland on an NYC stage before Tara moves to LA next month. Come see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event—performing tonight at the Fashion Institute of Technology Kate Murphy Amphitheatre (corner West 27th Street & 7th Avenue): Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($18 at the box office by mentioning discount codeFAYEB): 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, see Faye be a Green Bean 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: Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Joe List (Comedy Central), Liz Miele (Comedy Central), Kara Klenk (co-host of If You Build It), and Matt Baetz performing stand-up at O’Hanlon’s(14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

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

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who won Last Comic Standing Season 3, has performed on Jay Leno, and starred in his own Showtime one-hour special Who’s Paying Attention?, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Alonzo Bodden

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are an adorably dark comedy folk duo who have appeared on such network TV shows on Scrubs and Jay Leno (to check out their videos, please click here); and they’re headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club via their stage names Garfunkel & Oates

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($12): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo who should not be missed…and are performing tonight at the Fashion Institute of Technology Kate Murphy Amphitheatre (corner West 27th Street & 7th Avenue): John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($12): The Emmy-winning writers of The Colbert Report—and possibly a surprise star or two—gather on stage to perform an all-improvised show at the Fashion Institute of Technology Kate Murphy Amphitheatre (corner West 27th Street & 7th Avenue): Seize the Mustard

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors, including such world-class performers as the breathtakingly talented Tara Copeland, using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:15 pm ($5): A brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York—spearheaded by Improv legend Joe Bill, who’s coming into town this weekend for the Del Close Marathon—offers lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. In addition to Joe, the troupe consists of 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). While this Magnet show isn’t part of DCM, with Joe Bill participating it’s likely to be as awesome as anything at the UCBT festival: Lights Out, Shirley!

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($12): TV star & improv legend Horatio Sanz gets together with some of his friends to make stuff up at the Fashion Institute of Technology Kate Murphy Amphitheatre (corner West 27th Street & 7th Avenue): Horatio Sanz & the Kings of Comedy

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 7/31/10

July 31, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Blaine Swen

Blaine Swen's one-man improvised musical BASH was among the highlights at Day 1; be sure to catch as much as possible of the Del Close Improv Marathon

Tonight’s recommendation for the best in New York City comedy is:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] All Day Today and Sunday ($25): One of the most magical events in NYC, the annual Del Close Improv Marathon runs continuously from 4:30 pm yesterday until after midnight on Sunday, August 1st. Groups from all around the US and Canada—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Austin, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Montreal, and more—will perform over 150 shows, typically in 30 minute blocks, for 55+ hours. Tickets are a mere $25 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer said several  years ago the appropriate charge would be around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding. As in past years, the only down side will be way more patrons than available space, causing long waits to get into the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre at 307 West 26th Street, which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by three additional venues just a couple of blocks from UCBT: The Hudson Guild Theatre at 441 West 26th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), which seats 99; Urban Stages at 259 West 30th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), which seats 74; and the Fashion Institute of Technology Kate Murphy Amphitheatre at corner West 27th Street & 7th Avenue, which seats 280. This is one of the finest comedy events in the country, always magical, and flat-out should not be missed.

Highlights from the 12 hours I spent at the festival yesterday included:

The Improvised Shakespeare Company taking the suggestion hope” to craft a play about royal serial killing, unending senseless war, and the highest body count of the Marathon…for which the audience rewarded the troupe with a standing ovation.

ISC’s founder Blaine Swen demonstrating he can do anything by performing a one-man improvised musical with an inventiveness, skillfulness, and depth that was breathtaking…and garnered the only other standing ovation of the Marathon.

The wonderful Bobby Moynihan (cast member of Saturday Night Live) tap-dancing on a talk show hosted by the also wonderful Horatio Sanz.

Many of the finest improvisors at UCBT—led by rising star John Gemberling—wearing nothing but diapers to perform as whiny babies.

Another group of top NYC improvisors pretending to be Bostonians who continually cursed the Yankees, drank beer, and sprayed copious amounts of beer on the audience.

Several shows that didn’t pan out but tickled us with their concepts, including Jane Austen-era improvisors, hillbilly improvisors, and a small army of Jay Leno impersonator improvisors.

The guys of the Upright Citizens Brigade—Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh—announcing that they and Artistic Director Anthony King will be opening a new NYC theatre in January 2011 named UCB-EAST—on 3rd Street off Avenue A (where the Two Boots indie film theater used to be)—and that its focus will be on stand-up to complement the Chelsea theatre’s focus on improv.

There are other comedy events happening tonight; but they pale in comparison.

Come experience the awe, mystery, and hilarity of The 12th Annual Del Close Marathon

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 7/30/10

July 30, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Del Close Improv Marathon 2010

The spectacular annual Del Close Improv Marathon, running continuously this entire weekend and hosting over 150 shows, will attract most of the finest improv talent in the county—and should not be missed

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] [$] 4:30 pm Friday – Midnight Sunday ($25): One of the most magical events in NYC, the annual Del Close Improv Marathon runs continuously from 4:30 pm today until after midnight on Sunday, August 1st. Groups from all around the US and Canada—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Austin, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Montreal, and more—will perform over 150 shows, typically in 30 minute blocks, for 55+ hours. Tickets are a mere $25 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer said several  years ago the appropriate charge would be around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding. As in past years, the only down side will be way more patrons than available space, causing long waits to get into the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre at 307 West 26th Street, which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by the use of three additional venues just a couple of blocks from UCBT: The Hudson Guild Theatre at 441 West 26th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), which seats 99; Urban Stages at 259 West 30th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), which seats 74; and the Fashion Institute of Technology Kate Murphy Amphitheatre at corner West 27th Street & 7th Avenue, which seats 280. This is one of the finest comedy events in the country, always magical, and flat-out should not be missed. (I’m listing other comedy events happening tonight, but almost grudgingly…) Come experience the awe, mystery, and hilarity of The 12 Annual Del Close Marathon

7:00 pm ($8): Corinne Fisher performing a one-woman show that details how to keep tabs on someone with whom you’re obsessed: I Stalk You

[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 ($21.51 online if you use code VIPJULY, plus 2-item minimum): An Emmy award-winning prankster famed for his work on Crank Yankers and The Howard Stern Show headlining tonight and Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Jim Florentine

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): One of the cast members of the seminal In Living Colorheadlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Tommy Davidson

[FREE] 8:00: NYC stand-ups performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue), hosted by Matt Ruby: Hot Soup

[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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 8/30/09

August 30, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.

Michelle Buteau and other sharp comics celebrate the one-year anniversary of Brad Loekle's gay-themed Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

Michelle Buteau and other sharp comics celebrate the one-year anniversary of Brad Loekle's gay-themed Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($10 plus $7 drink min.): Four world-class storytellers—Jim O’Grady, Mike Albo, Nancy Balbrirer, and Jeff Simmerson—joining host Andy Christie (The New York Times, Moth GrandSlam Champion) in trying to mislead the audience at The Liar Show

[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 ($5): Typically stellar stand-ups performing at a weekly LES show at Pianos hosted by Greg Johnson: The Comedians

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up star Christian Finnegan, plus sharp NYC stand-ups Jesse Pop, Rory Scovel, M. Dickson, and Catie Lazarus performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Stand-up star Christian Finnegan, plus sharp NYC stand-ups Neal Stastny, Brent Sullivan, Jason Saenz, and Anthony Devito performing at Vince Averill’s & Jesse Popp’s free weekly East Village show Beauty Bar Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Terrific stand-ups Michelle Buteau (Comedy Central), Jessimae (TruTV), Scott Ryan (Here! TV), Yamaneika (BET), and Karith Foster (Imus in the Morning, Comedy Central) celebrating the one-year anniversary of this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

[$] 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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 8/29/09

August 29, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.

Adam Lustick & Billy Scafuri (The Harvard Sailing Team) gather brilliant NYC musical comics who rap at the midnight show Snakes

Billy Scafuri & Adam Lustick (The Harvard Sailing Team) gather brilliant NYC musical comics who rap at the midnight show Snakes

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($10 plus $7 drink min.): Four world-class storytellers—Adam Wade, John Flynn, Dina Pearlman, and Juliet Wayne—joining host Andy Christie (The New York Times, Moth GrandSlam Champion) in trying to mislead the audience at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improvisation from writers & performers at 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): The gutsiest improv troupe in NYC, Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Superb NYC stand-up comics Christian Finnegan (MSNBC’s Countdown, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Comedy Central specials), Joe Devito (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Hannibal Buress (Jimmy Fallon), Pat Stango & Blaine Perry (Don’t Touch Me There), and more performing in Ochi’s Lounge at Lil’ Seany Boy

[$] 9:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, quick-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

9:30 pm ($10): Sara Benincasa performing her one-woman show AGORAFABULOUS

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): All-star improv troupe Reuben Williams

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): The hilarious Adam Lustick and Billy Scafuri of world-class sketch troupe The Harvard Sailing Team perform at & host this show devoted to top NYC comics who happen to be great at rapping from such genius troupes as Freestyle Love Supreme, I Eat Pandas, and more: Snakes: NYC’s Top Comedic Rappers

[$] 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.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday August 24 – Friday August 28, 2009

August 24, 2009

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.

Janeane Garofalo performs on Wednesday at Totally J/K

Janeane Garofalo performs on Wednesday at Totally J/K

Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy for August 24- 27, 2009 (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

Monday 8/24 at 6:30 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel

[TOP PICK] Monday 8/24 at 8:00 pm ($5): Superb stand-ups Christian Finnegan ((three Comedy Central specials, commentator on MNBC’s Countdown with Keith Oberman and VH1’s Best Week Ever; Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show, commentator on MNBC, creator/star of Shoot the Messenger), Ritch Duncan, Gilad Foss, and more at performing at Lolita Bar in Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

Monday 8/24 at 8:00 pm ($5): UCBT house comedy troupes High Treason and Slow Burn try out their newest sketch material at Maude Night

Monday 8/24 at 9:30 pm ($5): Superb comics Peter Grosz (writer for The Colbert Report, star of over 100 Sonic fast-food commercials, co-writer & co-star of UCBT sketch show The Steve Miller Band and Other Annoying Monsters) and John Lutz (writer & occasional actor on SNL since 2004; recurring character on 30 Rock) perform two-man improv in 2 Square

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Monday 8/24 at 11:00 pm: A gathering of some of the finest comics in the country—tonight including two of my favorite stand-ups ever, comedy giants Pete Holmes and Anthony Jeselnik—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

[TOP PICK] Tuesday 8/25 at 8:00 pm ($5): Comics writer Marc Bernardin (Monster Attack Network, Genius, The Authority) and comics writer/artist Porter Mason (Bassist Wanted) joining in on a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club

Tuesday 8/25 from 8:00 pm to midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Scootch, Ragnaröck, Penthouse Riot, Law Firm, and The Bishop—followed by UCBT students at the top 600 level performing improv as citizens of Tiny Town, all at Harold Night

[FREE] Tuesday 8/25 at 8:00 pm: Dan St. Germain and Sean Donnelly host a free stand-up show at the Legion Bar in Brooklyn with terrific guests Kumail Nanjiani, Ali Wong, Kevin McCaffrey, Mike Drucker, and Jesse Pop: Sean and Dan Need Your Help

Tuesday 8/25 at 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Delightful stand-up comics Jackie Monahan, Leah Dubie, Amy Beckerman, and Gloria Bigelow performing and hosting guest comics Ophira Eisenberg, Kendra Cunningham, and Shawn Hollenbach in Ochi’s Lounge at Dykes on Mics

[FREE] Wednesday 8/26 from 6:00 pm to midnight: six free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] Wednesday 8/26 at 8:00 pm ($5): Movie & TV comedy superstar Janeane Garofalo and movie & Daily Show star Wyatt Cenac perform stand-up at an extravaganza hosted by the hilarious Joe Mande and Noah Garfinkel: Totally J/K

[FREE] Wednesday 8/26 at 8:00: Sharp NYC stand-ups at a free weekly stand-up comedy show at Rodeo Bar hosted by the luminous Margie Kment & Matt Maragno: Now We’re Talking

[FREE] Wednesday 8/26 at 8:00: Sharp NYC comics John Flynn, Chelsea White, Manson Family Singers, Rich Brooks, Rocco Supreme, and Michele Carlo at a free weekly show hosted by Sharon “Mama” Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Wednesday 8/26 at 8:30 pm: Typically superb stand-ups at a free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Gabe Liedman & Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] Wednesday 8/26 at 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers Curtis Gwinn, Anthony Atamanuik, John Flynn, John Gabrus, and wonderful host David Martin tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s theme “Summer Jobs:” The Nights of Our Lives

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Wednesday 8/26 at 10:00 pm ($15 online if you order before day of show, plus 2-item min.): A gathering of some of the most brilliant and hilarious stand-up comics in the country—with the lineup to be posted here as soon as it’s available—performing at this monthly comedy event that should not be missed: ComedyJuice

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Wednesday 8/26 at 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) provides a mix of guests who perform 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. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible: School Night

Thursday 8/27 at 8:00 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors directed by James Eason “take an audience suggestion and break it into a million funny pieces” in The Deconstruction

Thursday 8/20 at 8:00 pm ($8): Clever wordplay, conceptual comedy, and relentless silliness—applied to a parody of the already-goofy film Con Air—from sketch troupe Elephant Larry

[TOP PICK] Thursday 8/27 at 11:00 pm ($5): The most winning improv troupe in UCBT history, Death by Roo Roo, tonight defends its championship against troupe Dead Presidents in a competition for audience votes and laughs: Cage Match

[TOP PICK] Friday 8/28 at 9:30 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

Friday 8/28 at 10:00 pm ($5): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] Friday 8/28 at 11:00 pm ($5): Stellar comics—Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Rodgers, Gavin Speiller, Andree Vermeulen, and Zach Woods—perform fresh sketch comedy from razor-sharp writers Neil Casey, John Frusciante, Dan Gregor, Dan Gurewitch, Anthony King, Craig Rowin, Eric Scott, Nate Smith, Caitlin Tegart, and Greg Tuculescu at a show directed by Will Hines and hosted tonight by superb stand-up Hannibal Burress: Beneath Gristedes

[FREE] Saturday 8/29 at 12:20ish am: Your opportunity to perform on the UCBT stage with improv veterans, hosted by stellar troupe The Law Firm: Jammin’ with Ralph

[$] Saturday 8/29 at 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

More broadly, to check all comedy shows in the major low-cost NYC comedy venues, please visit these Web sites:

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

The Peoples Improv Theater

Ochi’s Lounge at Comix

The Magnet

The Creek and the Cave (Queens LIC)

Union Hall (Brooklyn)

And for comedy clubs, please visit:

Comix

Carolines

HyReviews.com Comedy Club Discounts

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.