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Today is Selena Coppock’s birthday! Celebrate it by buying her new book here.
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] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Juliet Hope Wayne (Moth GrandSlam winner; animator) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, hosted by the wonderful John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!
[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies
6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic
6:30 pm ($5): Two shows about which I know nothing audition for ongoing inclusion on the prestigious UCB Chelsea schedule: Alan Starzinski: Guys You Love to Hate and Road To Roswell. If you’re incredibly patient, you may find that virtually all these try-out shows have interesting elements; and for the ones that don’t get green-lit, this is the only chance to ever experience them. Plus whether great or awful, at $2.50 per show you can’t go far wrong. That’s part of the fun of Spank
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): Storytellers Blaise Allysen Kearsley (host of How I Learned), Robin Gelfenbien (host of Yum’s The Word), and Aaron Wolfe (The Moth) performing at this unique storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) hosted by the lovely Leslie Goshko (delightful & razor-sharp storyteller/comic; WNYC, Sirius XM, Huffington Post) that features such charms as accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin and a trivia contest with alcoholic prizes: Sideshow Goshko
7:30 pm ($5): Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Jason Saenz (sketch troupe Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), and Tony Zaret (Channel 101) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Sean Crespo, Dan Wilbur, and Katina Corrao: Lasers in the Jungle
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): This UCB Chelsea double-bill kicks off with a one-act play about the Biblical end of the world written by & co-starring Kevin Hines and directed by Brandon Gulya: Apocalypse in Connecticut…
…and then a one-man show by Arthur Meyer (writer for Jimmy Fallon and The Onion; sketch troupes Pangea 3000, Fambly, and Two Fun Men): Arthur Meyer: Rock and Roll
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: A jaw-dropping dark comedy group, which includes members of ace sketch troupe Murderfist, will terrify Manhattan for an hour at the Comedy Bar (134 West 29th Street): The Cowmen
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12 at the door or $14.80 online): Carla Facciolo (VH1’s Mob Wives), Onion News Empire (writers Will Graham & Dan Mirk and director Todd Strauss-Schulson), Jake & Amir (College Humor), Sam Lipsyte (The Ask, The Fun Parts), and Jeff & Eric Rosenthal (Urbane Outfitters) performing and/or being interviewed at Brooklyn’s Galapagos Art Space (16 Main Street) hosted by Scott R.: Running Late with Scott Rogowsky
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($11.34 online or $10 at the door): Stand-up comics and sideshow attractions at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience hosted by Matteo Lane and Abigoliah Schamaun: Abigoliah’s Bizzarre Bazaar
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck
8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes, Hemlock (which includes stellar singer Megan Maes) and Dagger (which includes notable talents Ryan Dunkin and Jon Bander), make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT downstairs lounge: Hemlock and Dagger
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Featherweight, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by The Sleepover (long form improv with elements of monoscene, deconstruction, and La Ronde), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component): The Magnet’s Night Out
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language
9:00 pm ($5): Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim), Alison Leiby, Ben Kissel, Kiran Deol, and David Dineen-Porter performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover and/or Emily Heller: Fresh Out
[FREE] 9:00 pm: “For years audiences have wondered what group of people make the best comedians. For his birthday, one man has decided to settle this centuries-long debate. Join AJ Thompson as he throws several funny contenders in the comedy ring from different races, genders, cultures and whatever else you can think of and see who survives” at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: AJ’s Ethnic Cleansing
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame (Reformed Whores), AJ Jacobs (author of Drop Dead Healthy, My Life as an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself), Roger Hailes (Jimmy Fallon, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spins; Web series Mansome), and Tommy O’Malley (YearAboveTheInfluence.com) sharing true tales at The PIT upstairs theatre on tonight’s theme My Old Lady at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!: My Old Lady
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, first up is four-gal comedy group Georgie Aldaco, Danielle Gibson, Viviana Olen, and Katie Simon performing a series of surreal sketches that are both unsettling and charged with comedic energy. A long bit about a mother threatening to do something surprising to her husband and son is an instant classic (when you see it, you’ll have no doubt what sketch I’m talking about…). The show could be greatly improved with periodic nuanced emotion to create a roller coaster effect—right now the audience is hit with surface shock after shock, which after a while desensitizes and loses impact—but if you’re open to the purity of conceptual comedy that challenges your sanity, you’ll enjoy Former Business Partners: Everything Must Go…
…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch troupe Boat performs 30 minutes of bits at Boat: Comedic Sketches
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($5 & 2-item food/drink min.) Comics heckle a genre feature film—with tonight’s victim the 1974 World War II gore epic Ilsa, She Wolf of the S.S. (for the disturbing trailer, please click here) at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Devil Science Theater 3000
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In last week’s spectacular battle, improv group GoodGirl performed one long scene set in a funeral home, and then all-star group The Law Firm jumped from one scene to another with a crazy logic that was joyful. Both teams were great; and the audience vote was as close as it gets, with GoodGirl just barely edging out a victory at 64-63. Tonight the new champion competes with team Scrambled Legs for your laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match
[FREE] 11:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve, with each comic getting 3-5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Josh Alba: Mic and Cheese
[TOP PICK] [$] Midnight ($14 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Uncensored stand-up from Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Ardie Fuqua (HBO’S Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central), and Turae (Comedy Central) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), : The Nasty Show: Jena Friedman, Paul Mecurio, Big Jay Oakerson, Kurt Metzger, and More
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.