NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/25/12

July 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Kate McKinnon and Jon Benjamin

One of the all-time great sketch comics, Saturday Night Live cast member & comedy genius Kate McKinnon; utterly unique TV star & comedy genius Jon Benjamin…

Julie Klausner, Cintra Wilson, and Josh Rubin

…and storyteller/wit Julie Klausner, author/critic Cintra Wilson, College Humor actor/director Josh Rubin…

Elna Baker and Kevin Townley

…plus red-hot hosts, genius author/storyteller Elna Baker & actor/singer/writer Kevin Townley: The Talent Show

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 The PIT upstairs theatre for Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Jonathan Blank and Samara Doucette say what everyone else thinks on dates, but never says… so join them and guest comedians as they divulge all of their wildest and most embarrassing dating stories! This monthly storytelling show contains the truth and nothing but the truth. However, most of the stories are more surreal than if David Lynch directed romantic comedies. Everything from wild hookups to emotional breakups are on the table” at The PIT downstairs lounge: This is Awkward

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Party Lions, Silver Fox, Millions of Hugs, Brick, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Leviathan, and Horses performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Party Lions at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Hoops and Kinsey: Lloyd Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door, or $6.39 in advance online—the latter is highly recommended because this show usually sells out): Killer lineup includes a now-rare stage appearance by newest Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon (comedy genius and one of the most hilarious sketch comics ever), Jon Benjamin (unique off-the-wall comedy genius; FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, FX’s Archer, Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, Adult Swim, MTV’s Human Giant), Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller; host of How Was Your Week podcast; author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), Joan Juliet Buck (Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue 1994-2001), Cintra Wilson (New York TImes “Critical Shopper” columnist, author of several books including A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-examined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), and more performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with hosts movie & TV actor Kevin Townley (Men in Black III, The Sitter, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Law & Order) and comedy jewel Elna Baker (NPR’s This American Life, author of The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance): The Talent Show: TED Talks

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wow—the two best sketch shows currently at UCB Chelsea are on a double-bill tonight, and are yours for an absurdly low five bucks. First up is a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Michael Martin, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., a leg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…and then it’s a noir mini-play written & directed with immense wit by Michael Trapp (Stone Cold Fox), who with this script demonstrates he’s a rising star with a surefire career in the biz. And beyond the pages, Michael’s put together an all-star cast, including John Murray (simultaneously gripping and hilarious as a hardboiled detective with an absurdly short attention span), Brandon Scott Jones (who delivers an unforgettable scene with John that’s worth the trip all by itself), and D’Arcy Carden (who abandons her usual laid-back persona here to be smoking hot). These are all total pros who are virtually assured careers in TV and film. Catch them while they’re honing their craft and waiting to be noticed in one of the most consistently fun shows in NYC: Death Wears Stilettos

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Abbi Crutchfield (co-host of Positively Awesome and The Living Room), Michael Che (Comedy Central), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), and Matt Wayne performing at the Niagra Bar (112 Avenue A & 7th Street) for this biweekly show hosted by Charla Lauriston & Sean Kleier: Fun Comedy Good Times Why Not?!

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers —who tonight are Adam Wade, Melanie Hamlett, Christian Capazzoli, Jon Gabrus, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s theme Virgins: The Nights of Our Lives

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) bringing their A-game—because their sets are captured at this new monthly show as audition tapes—performing at The PIT basement lounge: The Grass Route: Built from the Underground Up

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (ace improv troupe Doppelganger) hosts 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. (Tonight’s scheduled performers include Katey Healy-Wurzburg and Adam Newman; for the complete lineup, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea 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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 7/21/12

July 21, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For best video previews of FringeNYC 2012 shows, please click here.

Kate McKinnon

One of NYC’s greatest treasures, Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon, tells tales at Animated Stories…

Nikki Glaser

…Nikki Glaser performs at Heart of Darkness and The Great Debate…

Joselyn Hughes

…and Joselyn Hughes performs at If You Build It

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] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

[FREE] 5:00 pm: New improv teams experimenting with new forms at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Andy Rocco and Jon Monje: Anybody Vs. Everybody: An Improv Show for You

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Günther, Big Fat Liars, and Pumpkin at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy genius and Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon is tonight’s star guest at this monthly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East hosted by Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) that at the end selects a favorite from the audience tales to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month (for hilarious samples, please click here). Also guests tonight are Arthur Meyer (Jimmy Fallon) and Nate Dern (UCBT Artistic Director): Animated Stories

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ray DeVito, Ben Kronberg, Nick Cobb, and/or Tim Dimond: Shoot the Shite

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($7): Andrew Yurman-Glaser and Dustin Drury first go solo and then join forces at The Magnet as improv duo Upstate

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($46.50 & 2-drink min.) A comedy superstar (for a sample set, please click here) headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: D. L. Hughley

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Joselyn Hughes (delightful stand-up; former staff writer/performer for Tosh.0; BFF & occasional sketch comedy partner of Brooke Van Poppelen), Ryan Hamilton Rob O’Reilly, and Greg Stone performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($8 at the door or $10.70 in advance online): Stand-ups Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There) and Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC), musical guests Steven Bachmann and Susanna Raeven, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness

[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—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: A TV & Broadway stand-up star hones an hour of material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Colin Quinn Tries Stuff Out

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central; opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($8): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors—tonight including troupes Gameface, GCA, and Moscow River Sharks—make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge: Act One

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Stand-up, sketch, and who knows what else at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by a stand-up/sketch duo: Team Submarine and Friends

[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): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge for this new themed show: The Tarantino

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and has so far crushed 10 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

11:00 pm ($8): A young new all-guy improv troupe making stuff up at The PIT upstairs theatre: Gentlemen Party

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Improv is dominated by guys…and for no good reason. A way to help remedy this situation are shows like this one, which is an open improv jam for any gal wanting to participate, at any experience level. This new monthly UCB Chelsea event is helmed by the wonderful Shannon O’Neill Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion): The Lady Jam

Midnight ($5): Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing; podcast You Had to Be There), Greg Warren (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever) participate in a comedic debate at UCB East hosted by Michael Shawki, Jeff Wesselschimdt, and Dan Licata : The Great Debate

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, 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 more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/12/11

September 12, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

Chris Gethard and Puppy

Comedy genius Chris Gethard performs at new UCBeast stand-up show Wheelhouse; puppies are on parade at Hot Tub Variety...

Kate McKinnon

...Kate McKinnon's stellar group Gramp's performs sketch on Maude Night...

Puppy

...and more puppies at Hot Tub Variety

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 stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, back from their second year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they were proclaimed “biggest revelation” by the Guardian, performing a brand new sketch show: Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (unusually, not yet announced) performing stand-up at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): 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), Jiwon Lee (Comedy Central), musical guest Franz Nicolay, and puppies being hugged at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety: 2nd Annual 9/11 Memorial Puppy Hugging Parade

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comedy genius Chris Gethard (world-class improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard ShowMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter), plus stand-ups Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Nick Vatterott, Katey Healy-Wurzburg, and Amber Nelson at this new weekly stand-up show at UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B) hosted by ace improvisor and aspiring stand-up Will Hines: Wheelhouse

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of UCBT’s very finest in-house sketch comedy troupes Dweeb(spearheaded by the razor-sharp Amy Heidt and Stephen Soroka), plus in-house troupe Thunder Gulch (which isn’t what it used to be, but features such appealing talents as Leslie Meisel, Ari Scott, and Amber Nelson), trying out new bits at Maude Night

8:00 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

8:30 pm ($5): “A spectacular implosion of clown, medicine show, and sideshow theatrics” at The Magnet: Clown Baggage

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCBT has developed several terrific in-house sketch comedy troupes, but only two of them currently rival the finest sketch groups in the country. One is Stone Cold Fox (which now has a stellar show every Friday at 7:30 pm). The other is Gramp’s, spearheaded by comedy genius Kate McKinnon, which is performing tonight. Kate’s group will be trying out all-new bits this evening, but the chances are a bunch of them will be breathtakingly smart, inventive, and hilarious. Also on this double-bill is house troupe Onassis, which isn’t in the same league, but includes such notable performers as Sue Galloway—all at Maude Night

9:30 pm ($5): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at Act One

9:30 pm ($5): “A drama written by teen Jerome McDonough that teaches teens about the evils of alcohol abuse. A talented and twistedly funny group of adults (the Marumsco Valley Players) will present the hard-hitting play, stage directions and all—while under the influence!:” Alky

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Long-form improv from troupe Casual Sex Offenders at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: CSO Improv Comedy

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner & Chelsea Clarke hosting a show with guest improvisors at UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest stand-ups in the world—who tonight include 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) and Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, Comedy Central)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

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 7/22/11

July 22, 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

Kate McKinnon shows off her world-class star quality in one of the best comedy shows of the year, "Kate McKinnon on Ice"...

Mike Still

...and then Mike Still shows off his thirst to rule the world in "Dictator for Life"

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!” by The Weird Sisters

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): 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. (And if you don’t want to take my word alone, check out Jane Borden’s Time Out New York review.) 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Chris Laker, Sean Donnelly, and Nick Rutherford 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 ($7): Greg Wilker & Kelly Buttermore perform the best sketches they’ve written over the past five years at Kelly & Greg: 2007-2011

[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’s performed numerous times on David Letterman and Jay Leno, starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, and starred in a second Comedy Central special titled Mitch Fatel is Magical, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with opener Michael Somerville): Mitch Fatel

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

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): An imaginative and award-winning sketch troupe using song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

[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

[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

[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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Three NYC sketch troupes—delightful gal duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, quick-witted Patrick Borelli, and guy duo Inside Joke Films—each performing one of their most popular bits and one of their personal favorites in a sketch revue hosted by Aaron Kheifets: A-Side/B-Side

[$] 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 Thursday 6/30/11

June 30, 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

A genius comedic actress—who's one of my all-time favorites—debuts her hilarious one-woman show "Kate McKinnon on Ice"...

Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler

...after which Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler (Kurt & Kristen)...

Todd Barry

...and Todd Barry are among the talents performing at 92Y Tribeca for a special edition of "The Moon Show "

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: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the most talented and hilarious sketch comics in the biz debuts her latest one-woman show, which features “Singing! Dancing! Ice Skating! Hoarders! Conjoined Twins! Temple Grandin!” I’ve already seen this during its auditions, and it’s 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 the second half of this double-bill features the other most awesome UCBT production this year. Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what’s not as well-known is that Andrea’s among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend’s penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances that will grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show’s superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don’t miss Andrea’s unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Magnet Theatre co-owner Armando Diaz directs “veteran Magnet performers throwing down for an improv revue featuring classic long forms such as the montage, monoscene, time dash, and maybe even a little freeze tag:” Old School

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A mix of three booked stand-ups and six open-mic stand-ups (the latter drawing their names from a bucket) at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by comedy duo Team Submarine: A Time to Kill

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): TV & movie stars Kristen Schaal (one of the funniest women alive; shining star correspondent on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the ConchordsComedy Central Presents half-hour special; star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; co-author of bestselling book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV seriesPenelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), 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), MC Chris (nerd rapper; Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show), PuppeTyranny (puppet masters), and musical guest The CSC Funk Bank performing at 92Y Tribeca, along with sketches from Moon regulars such as co-producer Jordan Clifford,  the delightful Camille Harris, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles at this special edition of The Moon Show

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can get a behind-the-scenes peak—plus comics Streeter Seidell, Dan St. Germain, Jake & Amir, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

9:30 pm ($10): Musicians help inspire Improvisors to create scenes in Beauty Love Truth

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not yet announced) make up one-act plays on the spot in The Scene

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Boy Butter features young, vibrant talent and a feel-good energy—plus a brilliant comic in its female member, Ellena Chmielewski—that’s crushing every opponent it faces.

Last week a relative beginner to the stage, UCBT’s beloved Pat Baer, had the enormous courage of performing an improv show solo. (It’s been done before, but only by giants such as Ian Roberts and Ben Rodgers…) Pat did remarkably well when playing characters he could relate to; but his ambition exceeded his reach when he decided to portray a lesbian.

In the end, Boy Butter nabbed 125 audience votes…and its opponent 23. But that’s a testament to Boy Butter’s power, not any lack of adoration for the universally respected Pat.

Tonight Boy Butter faces one of the most exciting new improv troupes in NYC, Doppleganger—which came pretty close to winning the recent Friars Club competition via such antics as climbing walls and hanging out near the UCBT ceiling—as they compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

11:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups competing for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with less well-known troupes and a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

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 Wednesday 6/22/11

June 22, 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, Mamrie Hart, and Amy Heidt

Brilliant comedic actresses Kate McKinnon, Mamrie Hart, Amy Heidt...

Shannon O'Neill, Leslie Meisel, and Pamela Murphy

...Shannon O'Neill, Leslie Meisel, Pam Murphy, and more perform four hours of sketch comedy for a mere $5 at the Maude Night Marathon...

Reggie Watts and Natasha Leggero

...or if you prefer an entirely free show, catch comedy geniuses Reggie Watts and Natasha Leggero at Central Park SummerStage

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($5): Four full hours of sketch comedy, as all eight UCBT house teams—Dweeb, Fambly, Gramp’s, Stone Cold Fox, Neighbor Boy, Onassis, Arbuckle, and Thunder Gulch—gather to perform their best, funniest material from the past year on the same evening. With such performers involved as Kate McKinnon, Shannon O’Neill, Mamrie Hart, Amy Heidt, Leslie Meisel, Pam Murphy, Fran Gillespie, Sue Galloway, and Violet Krumbein, this will be an evening jam-packed with talent (and a golden gift if you’re a casting director or comedy producer…). Don’t be fooled by the absurdly low price of 63 cents per show; this is a sketch festival worth experiencing from beginning to end: Maude Night Marathon

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: A wonderful—and free!—outdoor concert at Central Park, with star stand-ups and musical comedy performers. The stellar headliners are Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here) and Natasha Leggero (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; star of Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Craig Ferguson,Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, Reno 911!The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Ugly Americans, Chelsea Lately) at Central Park SummerStage

Even though SummerStage is spacious enough to accommodate hundreds of visitors, it’s not uncommon for every square inch of ground to be occupied with folks eager to laugh. It’s therefore recommended you arrive early for this lovely comedy party to ensure you get in, and can nab either a seat or a comfortable spot on the grass. (And consider bringing a large blanket…)

Directions to SummerStage

 

 SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

From the East side: Take the #6 subway to 68th Street and Lexington,

or the M1/M2/M3/M4 bus to 72nd Street and 5th Avenue;

enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;

and then walk a bit following the map above.

 Traveling crosstown: Take the M-66 or M72 bus to Fifth Avenue;

enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;

and then walk a bit following the map above.

 From the West side: Take the 1/2/3/B/C subway to 72nd Street,

or the M7/M10/M11 bus to 72nd Street and Central Park West;

enter the park at 72nd Street and Central Park West;

and then walk a whole lot following the map above.

 [TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Molly Knefel (member of superb improv troupe Naked in a Fishbowl) and her brother John Knefel (veteran stand-up) host this monthly comedy show, with tonight’s guests star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), 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), Dan Soder (Comedy Central), Jordan Carlos (Comedy Central), Kevin Barnett (Roundtable of Gentlemen), and Susan Prekel performing stand-up at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, off Thompson Street): John and Molly Get Along

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Erin Judge (Comedy Central), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central, VH1), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony tour), Ashley Brooke Roberts, and Billy Wayne Davis performing stand-up at the 11th Street Bar (510 East 11th Street, off Avenue A) for this monthly extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here) who notes “AND FREE DRINKS! If you are very pretty and make someone think you’re going to sleep with them. Otherwise there are reasonably priced drinks that you can buy yourself:” Erin Lennox’s I Like You Too Show

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’sNewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Will Hines (UCBT improv/sketch superstar who’s getting better at stand-up), Rob Gorden (storyteller; Onion News Network, The Big C), Walter Replogle (member of award-winning sketch troupe Murderfist), Sean Crespo (The Electric Company, Onion News Network, host of Lasers in the Jungle), Kristeen von Hagen (Showtime’s Comics without Borders), and Carrie Gravenson performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An evening of video comedy shorts from our NYC comedy community screened at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner & Jason Saenz: Free Comedy Videos

[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 Wednesday 6/8/11

June 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.

Kurt & Kristen, and Shayna Ferm

This year's magical SketchFest NYC runs June 8-11 at UCBT. Participants on this opening night include Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler (Kurt & Kristen), Shayna Ferm (Sketch Rocks!)...

Kate McKinnon and Adira Amram

...Kate McKinnon (Gramp's and This Is About Smith), and Adira Amram (Sketch Rocks!)

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm – 1:00 am: One of the most delightful comedy festivals to grace NYC, this seventh annual SketchFest boasts shows from Kurt & Kristen, The Onion, The Harvard Sailing Team, The Whitest Kids U’ Know, Comedy Central Digital, Channel 101, and even Marvel Comics!

Other notable shows include a one-night-only reunion of acclaimed all-gal troupe Meat; a “Secret Screening” of something special Friday at midnight; and often the most delightful event of the whole shebang, the closing night Craptacular featuring material from festival participants too rude or bizarre to fit into their regular shows, and this year hosted by Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show).

To get a feel for some of the best troupes who’ll be participating, please click here.

Produced by Alex Zalben, who has superb comedic taste, this is a four-evening extravaganza worth experiencing. Many of these shows will almost certainly sell out, so buy tickets in advancefor the ones you want ($10 each); or simply opt for the $100 all-you-can-see pass to get into any and every show of SketchFest NYC 2011

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Sara Schaefer (Jimmy Fallon, VH1), Eric Bergstrom (author of Grimmer Tales), David Cope (Comedy Central), Kevin Barnett (Roundtable of Gentlemen), and Yannis Pappas (MTV, VH1) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($10 plus $10 drink minimum; for reservations, call 212.989.9319): Some of the finest stand-ups in NYC—Jessie Klein, Brooke Van Poppelen, Jared Logan, Dan St. Germain, and Jordan Carlos—performing at the West Village’s Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) with host Gilad Foss: Comedy Under Cornelia

[FREE] 10:00 pm: All-gal line-up of Robin Fox, Mara Herron, and Jeni Aron performing stand-up at the Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge (542 Tenth Avenue, between 45th & 46th Streets) for a gay-themed show hosted by Adam Sank: That Sank Show

[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 Friday 5/13/11

May 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.

Kate McKinnon

Brilliant comedic actresses Kate McKinnon...

Leslie Meisel

...and Leslie Meisel are among the talents performing at midnight as "Tremendous Machine"

Blaine Perry and Pat Stango

Also, hosts Blaine Perry & Pat Stango bid a fond farewell to their long-running show "Don't Touch Me There"

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: Sharp NYC comics who perform as characters audition for participation in the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival: Just For Laughs Character Showcase

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: The final installment of this show running strong for five years—so that beloved hosts Pat Stango & Blaine Perry can focus on other creative activities such as screenwriting—tonight featuring Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Shayna Ferm (brilliant, sexy, hilarious singer/songwriter and brand new mom), Nick Turner (host ofToo Cool for School), and the usual sketch comedy gang, plus musical band Fortress of Solitude, all performing at Karma Lounge for this bittersweet farewell to Don’t Touch Me There

7:30 pm ($5): Monologues and improvisation about moustaches and the people who wear them at If I Were a Moustache

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Nick Vatterot (Jimmy Fallon), Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Cameron Esposito (visiting from Chicago), Beth Stelling (also visiting from Chicago), and Tim Dimond performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott performing with a three-piece rock ensemble: Centralia

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): Stellar Australian comic who’s been a regular on Opie & Anthony and who performed his own HBO special, I Swear To God, headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Jim Jefferies

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia has long been one of the finest stand-up comics in the country, with credits including the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; and the comedy CDsTwo Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live. But what puts Mike in a class all his own is a unique style he’s developed that mixes the razor-sharp hilarity of the finest stand-up with the depth of emotionally moving theatre. Mike pioneered this approach with his previous off-Broadway hitSleepwalk with Me (which he then turned into a New York Times bestselling book, Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories); but he’s raised his game to a whole new level with this show, which is regularly selling out—for good reason. The $35.50 (discounted via code BOX) price is about what you’d pay at a comedy club…and it’ll buy you one of the richest experiences you’re ever likely to receive from art. To enjoy world-class laughs while being taught how to value what’s truly important, 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): Sketch comedy from TV comics duo Ithamar Enriquez & Brian Shortall, and from fun-loving duo John Haskell & Arthur Meyer, in the double-bill Delicious Moments and Two Fun Men

[$] 8:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on Jay Leno, VH1, E!, UPN, and her own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Loni Love

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

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Ben Kronberg, Rose Sunrow, Team Submarine, George Gordon, and Brendan McLaughlin performing on this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Fort Useless (36 Ditmars Street) hosted by George Flanagan: Spit Take Friday

[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 awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, 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

11:30 pm ($5): One of the oddest ideas for a themed improv show I’ve ever come across, this is the debut of improvisors Bianca Casusöl, Nina Klemow, and Jolene Turner as—get this—”three struggling burlesque beauties on the stage and in the dressing room of Larry Lazlo’s Lamplighter Lounge:” Go Kitty: A Burlesque Improv Revue

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): The second show of an exciting new sketch troupe, with brilliantly talented comedic performers including Kate McKinnon, Leslie Meisel, and Fran Gillespie, and steered by superb writer/director Caitlin Tegart—as well as writers Beth Appel, Leila Cohan-Miccio, Matt Fisher, Frank Hejl, Chris Schell, Alex Scordelis, and Michael Trapp—that I’ll be going out of my way to catch tonight: Tremendous Machine

[$] 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 Thursday 4/28/11

April 28, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Kate McKinnon

A genius comedic actress who may make you scream with laughter debuts her latest one-woman show: "Kate McKinnon on Ice"

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

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): One of the most talented and hilarious sketch comics in the biz debuts her newest one-woman show, which I’m enormously looking forward to catching: Kate McKinnon on ice; and in case that wasn’t more than enough for your $5, a fun musical trio will audition for a UCBT run: Thin Skin Johnny

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-item min.): A razor-sharp comic and pitch-perfect impressionist who’s also a movie star in such classics as The Usual Suspects headlining tonight through Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Kevin Pollak

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): This revival of one of my all-time favorite UCBT shows involves a group of stellar comics taking an audience suggestion and, while sipping beers, telling personal tales related to it—with an emphasis on the ribald and ridiculous, just like what you’d want to hear from your friends while hanging out at a bar. The yarn spinning is great fun; but on top of that, when the performers hear a story that especially tickles them, they’ll jump up and instantly create scenes revolving around it. And because these talents are razor-sharp improvisors, the results are hilarious. My one concern is that this show used to include world-class storyteller Chris Gethard—whenever Chris opened his mouth, everyone else went dead silent as if God was about to speak. (Yes, Chris is that respected by his peers.) I don’t see Chris on the lineup tonight, so the show might be a little light on the storytelling side; but on the other hand, it includes improv geniuses such as Anthony King, Gavin Speiller, and Pam Murphy, so it’s definitely worth checking out Happy Hour

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Alicia Levy performing a one-woman rock concert, complete with a talented band. Alicia’s energy is admirable, but she needs to learn to balance that with organic nuance rather than make everything unremittingly over the top. Still, this is worth catching for Alicia’s very entertaining parodies of Tori Amos, Macy Gray, and Cyndi Lauper, and some memorable costumes: Chickapalooza

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): An hour of improv directed by Magnet Theatre co-owner Armando Diaz: Evente

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia has long been one of the finest stand-up comics in the country, with credits including the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; and the comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live. But what puts Mike in a class all his own is a unique style he’s developed that mixes the razor-sharp hilarity of the finest stand-up with the depth of emotionally moving theatre. Mike pioneered this approach with his previous off-Broadway hitSleepwalk with Me (which he then turned into a New York Times bestselling book, Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories); but he’s raised his game to a whole new level with this show, which is regularly selling out—for good reason. The $35.50 (discounted via code BOX) price is about what you’d pay at a comedy club…and it’ll buy you one of the richest experiences you’re ever likely to receive from art. To enjoy world-class laughs while being taught how to value what’s truly important, grab tickets while you can at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop); this utterly brilliant one-man show is slated to run only through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[$] 8:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up and impressionist who’s done a one-hour Comedy Central special, and performed on Jay Leno and Mad TV, headlining through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Pablo Francisco

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($12): Superb NYC stand-ups Julian McCullough, Kurt Braunohler, Mindy Raf, Helen Hong, and Jess Wood performing at Comedy Below Canal

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and guest-host Ben Kissel (while Sean Patton shares his gifts with other cities): Comedy as a Second Language

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can get a behind-the-scenes peak—plus comics Streeter Seidell, Jeff Rubin, Adam Lowitt, Hallie Cantor, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight are Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC; co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Marc Sam Rosenthal (stellar one-man show Blanche Survives Katrina in a Fema Trailer Named Desire), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), and Bodger Millerd—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to share tales on tonight’s theme Trust at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Top improvisors, including Jordan Klepper & Laura Grey, Swords, and Doppelganger make up one-act plays on the spot in The Scene

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of the greatest improv troupes of all time, the mighty Death by Roo Roo, competing with troupe CAPTCHA for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

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 4/15/11

April 15, 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

Comedy giant Kate McKinnon and other brilliant comedic performers debut an exciting new sketch troupe at midnight: "Tremendous Machine"

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] 7:00 pm: Chicago-trained improv veterans gather in NYC to make you laugh, with tonight’s scheduled participants Ali Farahnakian (former SNL writer, 30 Rock, owner of The PIT, Chicago Improv troupe The Family), Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57, The Annoyance Theater, Second City, iO), Ari Voukydis (VH1’s Best Week Ever, UCBT), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien), Jordan Klepper (Second City, UCBT), and possibly more performing at this free show atThe PIT’s basement loungeChicago Improv Gorillas

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): The delightful Jen Kwok debuting a one-woman show that “introduces you to a magical world where wishes can come true with music, strange creatures, and an exceedingly wacky fairy godmother:” Wish Come True

7:30 pm ($10): Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) performing a one-woman show in which she engagingly plays a variety of oddball characters you might encounter at summer camp, and sketch troupe Bleak performing a show about what goes on in your stomach, in the double-bill Welcome to Camp!and Stomachtown

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Streeter Seidell (College Humor, Jimmy Kimmel), Jared Logan (Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), 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), and Eliza Faria-Santos (Comedy Central), plus the usual sketch comedy gang, and musical band Fortress of Solitude, all performing at Karma Lounge with hosts Pat Stango & Blaine Perry for this endearingly oddball monthly comedy show: Don’t Touch Me There

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($18.88 online; buying in advance highly recommended as this will probably sell out): Kristen Schaal and Wyatt Cenac (star correspondents of The Daily Show), Kurt Braunohler (award-winning comic and rising TV star), Arden Myrin (MadTV), and much more performing at this fundraiser for Japan relief at Brooklyn’s The Bell House hosted by Liam McEneaney: Japan Benefit

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott performing with a three-piece rock ensemble: Centralia

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($49.50): One of the finest comics in the country, Mike Birbiglia’s credits include the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live; the book Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories; and his hit off-Broadway show Sleepwalk with Me. Mike’s now returned to the stage, once again creating his unique blend of stand-up and storytelling, for an all-new one-man show at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) slated to run through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Award-winning dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist, plus stand-ups Andy Haynes, Nick Vatterott, Reese Waters, and Scott Moran, performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for host Nick Turner’s & guest-host Neal Stastny’s Too Cool for School

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Barry Rothbart, Michael Che, Jermaine Fowler, Todd Womack, and “a special guest from LA” performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Matt Ruby: Hot Soup

 8:00 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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-ups Mo Diggs (MTV’s Choose or Lose), Brendan Fitzgibbons (The Onion, McSweeney’s, Gandhi Is That You?), Jesse Jones, Subhah Agarwal, and TJ Amick performing at Brooklyn’s The Royal Oak (594 Union Avenue) with hosts Calvin S. Cato, Justin Murray, and Chad Plaines: The Pregame Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.) A cast member for four seasons of Saturday Night Live who’s also performed on Conan O’Brien, MTV, VH1, and feature films, headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jim Breuer

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($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 awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches: The Harvard Sailing Team

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Thomas Middleditch and Nate Lang (back after pilot season in LA), plus 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

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): The debut of an exciting new sketch troupe, with brilliantly talented comedic performers including Kate McKinnon, Leslie Meisel, Fran Gillespie, and Nate Lang, and steered by superb writer/director Caitlin Tegart—as well as writers Beth Appel, Leila Cohan-Miccio, Matt Fisher, Frank Hejl, Chris Schell, Alex Scordelis, and Michael Trapp—that I’ll be going out of my way to catch tonight: Tremendous Machine

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