NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/29/13

June 29, 2013

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Eugene Cordero, Joe Wengert, and Shannon O'Neill

Among the highlights of Friday’s Del Close Marathon were Eugene Cordero, Joe Wengert, Shannon O’Neill…

Ian Roberts, Anthony King, and Jason Mantzoukas

…Ian Roberts, Anthony King, Jason Mantzoukas, and scores of other top improvisors. Don’t miss tonight and Sunday.

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-1:00 am Monday ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 15th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon is running continuously from 4:30 pm on Friday June 28th until roughly 1:00 am on Monday July 1st. Improv groups from all around the US and Canada—and a few places further away—are performing a mind-bending 420 shows, typically in 15- or 30-minute blocks, for 56+ hours. Tickets are $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer once said the appropriate charge is around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding.

As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, causing long waits to get into UCB Chelsea (307 West 26th Street), which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by six additional venues. The ones near UCB Chelsea are The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues), which seats 99; the large Silas Theatre and small Beatrice Theatre at the School of Visual Arts (333 West 23rd Street); and the Fashion Institute of Technology Haft Auditorium (227 West 27th Street, corner of Seventh Avenue). In addition, there’ll be shows at UCB East (153 3rd Street, between Avenues A and B), which seats 99, and Theatre 80 (80 St. Marks Place, between First and Second Avenues), which seats 161. To view shows organized by venue, please click here. To view shows organized by time, please click here. To view shows organized by performer, please click here. For an easy-to-read schedule, please click here.

The DCM shows at the SVA and FIT auditoriums are an additional $15-$20—unless they don’t sell out, in which case if you have a marathon pass you can receive a remaining seat free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.

DCM is pure comedy magic. Don’t miss it.

 Friday Highlights


    • In Play by Play, brothers Will & Kevin Hines provided color commentary as such genius improvisors as Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, and Jason Jason Mantzoukas made up scenes with breathtaking wit, timing, and commitment. For example, when Jason stood off to the side of a group scene, Kevin Hines commented, “The pressure mounts on Mantzoukas as he awaits his moment.” Jason responded by plopping into a chair and just sitting relaxedly while listening to the others on stage. Ian quickly responded by striding over to Jason, proclaiming “No lurkers!,” and beating him to death with his bare hands. Will then commented, “There’s nothing quite as wonderful as an enraged Ian Roberts.”
    • The Smokes created a family out on a Sunday drive that uncovers startling secrets. For example, Eugene Cordero, as an 11-year-old with ADHD, revealed that he saw his older brother Joe Wengert sport a giant fin. Joe eventually admitted, “Yes, of course I’m a merman. Haven’t you ever wondered why I spend six hours every day in the bathtub?” Then Billy Merritt, as the mother, revealed that she cheated on husband Chris Kula via a studly sea lion. Joe asked “What happened to my real father?” Chris replied, “I thought the seal was attacking my wife, so I clubbed him to death.” Not willing to let go of a line of inquiry, Joe asked, “What happened to the club?” Billy replied, “We used it to build your crib.”
    • Dan Black Won’t Die was based on the premise “Everyone has taken a class with the guy who refuses to die in improv scenes. That guy is Dan Black. Whether he’s gunned down, hit by a train, or decapitated, Dan Black always finds a dumb reason to come back to life; and he will do it for 15 minutes during the marathon.” The fun began as soon as Dan introduced himself—resulting in a single clap. Shannon O’Neill burst into laughter and declared, “Dan, there’s only one person who likes you!” Dan got his revenge by outliving everyone on stage. He ended by playing around with the sitting corpse of Neil Casey, who admiringly never twitched a muscle…even when Dan pulled him off, sending Neil’s chair flying.
    • The Straight Men delivered the pleasure of former UCBT Artistic Director Anthony King and current UCBT Artistic Direction Nate Dern performing scenes together. Here’s hoping for more of that as the marathon continues.

 Today’s notable shows include Upright Citizens Brigade, The Mantzoukas Brothers, Mantzoukas and Morris, The Chris Gethard Show, Nick Kroll and Friends, The Benson Interruption, Match Game ’76, Wicked Fuckin Queeyah…and tons more. Again, please see the complete schedule here.

 [TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

7:30 pm ($10): Sharp Magnet improvisors “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules:” The Weave

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.): A former staff writer for Saturday Night Live and writer/performer for 30 Rock who’s also performed on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, and a one-hour Comedy Central special headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Hannibal Buress

9:00 pm ($10): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv master Ed Herbstman & Nick Kanellis perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, Comedy Juice on Tuesdays, and more; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 10/30/10

October 30, 2010

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A scene from a previous production of the Halloween comedy/horror tradition concluding tonight at UCBT: "Killgore: The New Blood"

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): Daily Show producer Jimmy Donn, performers Jessie Cantrell &, Sarah Walker, Mike & Ted O’Gorman and Pat Driscoll perform sketch comedy designed to make you “laugh, be slightly offended, laugh again, cough once or twice, recall a repressed memory, and drink:” The Dan Ryan

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($35.57 online if you use code PLAYBILL, plus 2-item minimum): A star of MTV, Road Trip, and Freddy Got Fingered headlining tonight and Saturday at the Comix Comedy Club: Tom Green

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & midnight ($15): “In ancient times, an evil spirit would rise from hell every Halloween and appear incarnate at the UCB Theater…where he would soak the stage (and parts of the audience) with a ridiculous amount of fake blood. Now that demon is back, ready to unleash a gory, hopelessly bloody torrent of vengeance…and a ridiculous amount of fake blood. Fortunately, the beast only slaughters those who are rife with selfishness, greed, hatred, and a few people who just suck (though a little bit of fake blood sometimes gets on the audience). That demon’s name is Killgore.” This show is written by legendary UCB co-founder Matt Walsh and stars such comedy geniuses as Anthony Atamanuik & Neil Casey (Death by Roo Roo, Two Man Movie), and will run three times tonight and tomorrow night to celebrate Halloween. Come wearing cheap washable clothes and enjoy Killgore: The New Blood

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

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please clickhere), W. Kamau Bell (FringeNYC), and Jesse Popp (Comedy Central) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Sean Donnelly: Halloween Eve

10:00 pm ($10 at the door or online): Jena Friedman revives her dark musical comedic parody of the American Girl Dolls, which includes such brilliant talents from the NYC comedy community as Jessica Delfino, Ben Lerman, and Jena herself at Theatre 80 (80 St. Marks Place off 1st Avenue):The Refugee Girls Revue

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

[$] 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

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/20/09

February 20, 2009

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Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt

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] one of the finest improv duos to grace an NYC stage, reunited after a long hiatus: The Mantzoukas Brothers (7:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] rising star Charlie Sanders performing one of the most vibrant and hilarious autobiographical shows you’ll ever see, plus sketch comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney performing a science fiction farce, in the double-bill Minnesota Muslim and The Infinity Prison (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] a star stand-up comic who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and his own HBO special, has been called one of the best joke writers in America, and is headlining tonight and Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Emo Philips (8:00 pm & 10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] a brilliant comedy superstar headlining at Carolines: Patton Oswalt (8:00 pm & 10:30 pm), terrific stand-ups Ophira Eisenberg, Kara Buller, Poppy Kramer, Anne Necyzpor, and Mike Singer 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 (10:00 pm),

ace sketch troupe Olde English—and unannounced guests—performing all-new material for a show that’s Very Fresh (11:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] and awesome improv troupe Five Dudes (Eugene Cordero, Chris Gethard, Bobby Moynihan, Charlie Sanders, and Zach Woods) teaming up with troupe Thank You Robot for The Thank You Robot Second Anniversary Spectacular (12:20ish am).

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/9/09

January 9, 2009
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Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks marked by brackets) include:

a world-class improvisor and utterly unique comic trying out his special brand of silliness in a debut solo show: Eugene Cordero (7:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] one of the funniest stand-ups alive, and a TV & movie celebrity who stars in MTV’s hit sketch comedy show Human Giant and will soon be co-starring in NBC’s sitcom spinoff of The Office, performing a deliciously long, fluid set in his trademark laid-back style headlining at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Aziz Ansari (8:00 pm & 10:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] one of the most razor-sharp and uproariously funny storytellers in the country performing this extraordinary new one-man show that should not be missed: Chris Gethard’s Magic Box of Stories (8:00 pm),

a groundbreaking and surreal improv troupe tackling our new hard times in Centralia: The Really Great Depression (8:00 pm),

a gay-themed stand-up comedy show hosted by Jenny Rubin: The Back Room (9:00 pm),

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

and a sketch show (with some improv thrown in) from the superb stars of Derrick (11:00 pm).

For full details, please visit