NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 11/10/11

November 10, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Rachel Bloom

Comedy gets hot tonight with rising stars Rachel Bloom (Triple Threat)...

Mamrie Hart and Stephen Soroka of BoF

...and Mamrie Hart & Stephen Soroka (BoF: Friends Without Benefits)

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] November 10th-13th: Among the stellar events at this year’s New York Comedy Festival are shows by comedy titans Louis C.K. (11/10 and 11/12 at the Beacon Theatre), Tracy Morgan (11/11 at the Beacon Theatre), Bill Burr (11/11 at Carnegie Hall), and Sarah Silverman (11/12 at BAM); shows by comedy stars Wanda Sykes (11/10 at Town Hall), Michael Ian Black (11/10 at Bowery Ballroom), Glenn Wool (11/10 at UCB East), Kumail Nanjiani (11/11 at UCB East), Bill Maher(11/12 at the Beacon Theatre), Norm MacDonald (11/12 at Town Hall), and Kathy Griffin (11/12 at Carnegie Hall); three panels on the art of comedy writing & performing (11/12 at UCB East), plus a panel discussion with the writers of Saturday Night Live (11/13 at the Paley Center); and a leisurely chat with Ricky Gervais (11/13 at the 92nd Street Y). For the complete massive schedule, please click: New York Comedy Festival

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn and tonight’s stellar guest host Melanie Hamlett (brilliant storyteller/writer; Moth Grandslam Champion, Marie Claire Magazine, amazing blog, roving adventurer): Oh, Hey Guys!

[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’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Charming sketch duo BoF (Mamrie Hart & Steve Soroka) audition their latest sketch show Friends Without Benefits, plus UCBT star writer/director Caitlin Tegart auditions a sketch show titled Caitlin Wins the Crop, all at this fun UCB West showcase: Spank

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and a long (and ongoing) run Saturdays at The PIT, doing a special extended show for one night only at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): The comics who train, teach, and perform at UCBT are among the finest improvisors in the world. The UCB Touring Company consists of the cream of the crop, with the mission of showing audiences beyond those visiting UCB’s theatres in NYC and LA what improv is all about. For just this evening, however, the traveling troupe—which includes brilliant comics Gavin Speiller, Neil Casey, Shannon O’Neill, Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, and Brandon Gardner—will be strutting its stuff on the UCB East stage: UCB TourCo All-Stars

7:30 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet co-owner helming The Armando Diaz Experience, plus house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, The Boss, and Phooka, performing improv, followed by improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with Friday Night Sh*w pitted against Aquarius at 11:00 pm: The Magnet’s Night Out

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): YouTube sensation Rachel Bloom performs a one-woman “musical theatre industry showcase for you that is sure to make you feel terrible about your own abilities” atUCB West to build on her cult following from such video hits as F*ck Me, Ray Bradbury and I Steal PetsRachel Bloom is a Triple Threat

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): This show begins with a delightful concept—Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare—and then executes it with the joyful craft only a sharp, tight theatrical ensemble can create. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but especially memorable are Kate Turnbull as the love interest, Dan Hartley as Maverick, and Vayu O’Donnell who steals every scene he appears in with his hilariously deadpan delivery as Iceman. While this is playing at The PIT for a mere $10, it’s really legit Fringe theatre, and I hope it eventually makes its way to FringeNYC or Edinburgh—or better yet, develops more songs and gets a commercial run as a musical. Meanwhile, don’t miss this opportunity to see a way fun parody of a cult classic for about half of what you oughta be paying: Jester’s Dead

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion), Todd Barry (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; 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), and Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1) performing UCB East, plus videos from Oren Brimmer starring Pete Holmes and Matt McCarthy, all hosted by best bud Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney perform new sketches atUCB West, as well as host stand-up and improv guests: BriTANicK: The Monthly Mankerthon

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre use an audience suggestion to make up a rockin’ musical on the spot: (Title from Audience): A Rock Opera

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PITdownstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7; or FREE COVER if you show up 30-60 minutes early and buy $7 worth of snacks/drinks): Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes blaxploitation in this delightful new series by Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show) and Donwill (hip-hop group Tanya Morgan) in which the boys watch a black cinema cult classic and yell comments at it throughout. It all happens at Brooklyn’s reRun (147 Front Street, between Pearl & Jay Streets), with tonight’s film a happy surprise: Shouting at the Screen

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (lineup not announced) performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Justin Williams: Death Comedy Jam

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): A sharp, thoughtful, and silly stand-up who’s Canadian, is a star in the UK, and is currently visiting NYC to entertain us performs tonight for an hour at UCB EastGlenn Wool

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Round 2 of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB West—Pat Baer’s 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/23/11

September 23, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Mamrie Hart

Mamrie Hart mourns the passing of Gwyneth Paltrow at Celebrity Funeral...

Rich Vos

...and Rich Vos headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

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 Creekdownstairs lounge 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 ($5): A one-woman show by Alexis Lambright about her quest to pop her cherry: Combating Adult Virginity

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Called ‘a seedbed for mighty comedy talents’ by Time Out, this UK sketch comedy troupe has helped launch such stars as Monty Python, Hugh Laurie, Peter Cook, Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams, Emma Thompson, and Sacha Baron Cohen…This current show has already played a string of prestigious London venues and a sell-out month at the Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival. Now it transfers to the US, stopping off at Second City (Chicago), iO West (Los Angeles), and UCB West (New York):” Cambridge Footlights’ International Tour Show: Pretty Little Panic

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors—tonight featuring guests Fran Gillespie, Jim Santangeli, and Ari Scott—making up a musical on the spot at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 online or at the box office using discount code TMAN): 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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm:Three sketch teams compete, with the winner decided by combining audience votes with that of a panel of judges. And while the votes are being tallied, a well-known sketch troupe outside of the competition will perform. Tonight’s show is part of a 15-team sketch tournament at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Arena Sketch League Finals

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A writer/comic who’s currently playing Leon Black on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has performed on Saturday Night Live, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV, The Chris Rock Show, and such feature films as Pootie Tang and Mr. Deeds,headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: JB Smoove

[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.): A stand-up who’s starred on two seasons of Last Comic Standing; has performed a very popular Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; was a regular on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; was the first white comic on Def Jam; wrote for Chris Rock; played Lenny Bruce on NBC’s American Dreams; was an unlikely guest on The View; and is a regular on the Opie and Anthony radio show, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Rich Vos

8:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy, sometimes interwoven with a live band: Citizen Models

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB West’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): The unsinkable Mamrie Hart (rising star who’s snared over 180,000 visits to date with her Harry Potter viral video) hosts eulogies for Gwyneth Paltrow, with participants including Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), Henry Zebrowski (Murderfist), Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, and a small army of other comics at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Celebrity Funeral: Gwyneth Paltrow

[$] [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): Gary Gulman, Jon Fisch, Wil Sylvince, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): An award-winning sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar situations & rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, 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 UCB West’s The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): NYC comics Sad on Vacation, John Hartman, and Uber Luber Death Metal (Adam Newman & Trevor Williams) performing at UCBeast (UCB East, 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who’ll blow the roof off with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. Chicago-based Joe visits NYC only once a month; if he’s at this performance, upgrade it to “MEGA-TOP PICK.” Either way, the other superb players are 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), all declaring Lights Out, Shirley!

[FREE] Midnight: 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] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCBT schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB West stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

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 8/3/11

August 3, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz, blissfully unaware of her passing...

Mamrie Hart

...and Mamrie Hart mourning said passing at tonight's "Celebrity Funeral"

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Superb storytellers Ryan Paulson (Pentecostal Wisconsin, I’m Uncomfortable) and John Flynn (The Nights of Our Lives) joining hosts Robin Gelfenbien (VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC) and Michelle Markowitz (Failing Our Twenties) for the debut of this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue) that they hope will be deliciously good: Yum’s the Word

8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The unsinkable Mamrie Hart (rising star who’s snared over 130,000 visits to date with her latest YouTube viral video) hosts eulogies for an actress I happen to like enormously (Mamrie, in all of Hollywood you couldn’t find someone genuinely icky…?), but hopefully this will be great fun regardless, with participants including Arden Myrin, Sue Galloway, Katie Schorr, Tim Martin, Eliot Glazer, and a small army of other comics for Celebrity Funeral: Cameron Diaz

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): 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), Nate Bargatze (Comedy Central), Brent Weinbach, and Sean O’Connor performing stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner: Monsters

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Sarah Tollemoche (Last Comic Standing), Catie Lazarus, Cocoon Central Dance Team, and Zach & Zach performing in a Brooklyn bowling alley (no, seriously) called The Gutter (200 North 14th Street) hosted by Aaron Glaser & Lee Rubenstein: Get Loose

8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $6.84 online with discount code Supermango): Nick Prueher (Found Footage Festival), Nick Cobb, D.C. Benny, and David Cope performing at the Bowery Poetry Club with host Dan Allen: Sacapuntas!

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Mike Still (Death by Roo Roo, Diamond Lion) pulls out all the stops for a dynamic one-man show packed with comedic ideas revolving around a tyrant so evil that he machine-guns the audience (twice!), with direction by fellow Roo Roo star Neil Casey: Dictator For Life;

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Seth Kirschner (30 Rock, Lipstick Jungle) plays every character in a half-hour one-man TV episode parodying 90s sitcoms titled Sertainly Seth

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Short videos from NYC comics (lineup not announced) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Free Comedy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge 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 7/15/11

July 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.

A Harry Potter Musical

J. K. Rowling is made acceptable for evangelical Christians tonight at "A Harry Potter Musical"...

Mamrie Hart

....and—right here and now—the magical Mamrie Hart offers a transformative drink for Harry Potter fans (simply click this photo...)

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

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s stellar guests Margot Leitman (Conan O’Brien, VH1, Spike TV, co-host of sexy & funny Stripped Stories), Dan Allen (host of Sacapuntas!), Carter Edwards, and accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A beloved high-concept sketch troupe that delights in exploring silly ideas and wordplay (for example, demonstrating that a caveman and the Cookie Monster sound remarkably alike when saying such things as “Me have problem with subject/verb placement…”) debuts an all-new show:Elephant Larry

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) performing an improvised play in What a Year!

7:00 pm ($7): “Strange, mysterious, beautiful, and disgusting, this show will dazzle you with sketch comedy… and magic!” by The Weird Sisters

[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($10): Achilles Stamatelaky (book & lyrics), Ari Scott (music), and Ryan Karels (director), along with hilarious UCBT performers such as Mike Still, Timothy Dunn, and Amber Petty, create a Harry Potter-based musical with proper Christian values in which witchcraft is evil and Jesus is good. “The audience is encouraged to bring Harry Potter books and Leonardo DiCaprio DVDs to the show, as there will be a book and DVD burning during the performance:” The Kirk Cameron Repertory Players Present: A Harry Potter Musical

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, TBS’ Lopez Report, Comedy Central), Mike Recine, Jamie Lee, Sean Wilkinson, and Avid Angelo performing stand-up atO’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): Comics Jon Bander and Dave Thunder vow to lose weight (in real life) while performing sketch scenes in this show over the next few weeks: M4: Comedy’s Biggest Losers

[FREE] 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.): An acclaimed stand-up who co-stars on IFC’s Z Rock, and has also performed on truTV, TBS, and her own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Lynne Koplitz

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, TBS’Lopez Report, Comedy Central), 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), Vince Averill (Comedy Central, host of Beauty Bar Comedy), Kara Klenk, and brilliant singer/songwriter Shayna Ferm performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s  Too Cool for School

9:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): A fresh, 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 the breathtakingly talented Tara Copeland, using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.) Judah Friedlander is a hilarious stand-up and occasional agent of chaos. Judah is a cast member of 30 Rock, and has also performed on VH1’sBest Week Ever, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, MTV’s Wonder Showzen, and NBC’s The Tonight Show. In addition, Judah has acted in over 20 films, including such hit comedies as Meet the Parents, Zoolander,  and Full Grown Men. Judah was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his role in American Splendor. When asked in an interview about his influences, Judah responded: “Audiences. They are often the forgotten ingredient in stand-up comedy. Stand-up is live entertainment, and a live audience is needed. Also, whatever is happening at the moment. I play off of that. The moment is a big influence. If you’re not playing the moment you’re not doing stand-up comedy–someone just reciting material but not responding with what’s going on in the room is not stand-up comedy.” This playful, anarchic, in-the-moment comedy veteran—and author of the book How to Beat Up Anybody—is headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Judah Friedlander

[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] 11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart and Grace Helbig welcome NYC talents for a morning chat show…that’s happening late at night. Tonight’s guests include Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Mike O’Gorman (Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), and musical guest Shonali Bhowmik (Tigers and Monkeys, Variety SHAC): The Morning Show with Hobart and Grace

Midnight ($5): Young UCBT improvisors make up scenes as Harry Potter characters: The Hogwarts Improvisation Society

 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 Thursday 6/9/11

June 9, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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

This year’s magical SketchFest NYC runs June 8-11 at UCBT.
Last night Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler provided organic, nonstop laughs; they’ve never been better. Musical comics Adira Amram, Shayna Ferm, and Snakes (Adam Lustick, Billy Scafuri, and Chloé Wepper) were all thoroughly wonderful in Sketch Rocks. And UCBT house troupe Gramp’s proved itself among the best in NYC, thanks in large measure to sketch genius Kate McKinnon. Notable participants on this second night include:

Mamrie Hart and Stephen Soroka

Mamrie Hart & Stephen Soroka as "BoF"...

Danielle Puterbaugh and Tiffany Puterbaugh

...and Danielle & Tiffany Puterbaugh in "The Puterbaugh Sisters Variety 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:

[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 The Onion, The Harvard Sailing Team, The Whitest Kids U’ Know, Comedy Central Digital, 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] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at theKabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and Sean Patton—with tonight being the gala Fourth Year Anniversary edition, running past 1:00 am: Comedy as a Second Language

9:30 pm ($5): Any show ballsy enough to begin its description with “Have you ever loved a mop? Susan-Kate Heaney has…” is worth exploring. Tonight is the debut of this one-woman show at The PIT: Confessions of a Mop-oholic

[$] 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

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Paul Hooper, Thomas Dale, and Jason Good performing at The PITfor 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 Tuesday 6/7/11

June 7, 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.

Mamrie Hart and Leah Rudick

Mamrie Hart and Leah Rudick belting it out in preparation for tonight's spectacular all-musical The Moon Show...

Adam Wade and Bobby Moynihan

...Adam Wade explains how to pick up women at Adult Education, and SNL's Bobby Moynihan performs at Sweet

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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Three of Canada’s most celebrated improvisers, Naomi Snieckus, Ron Pederson, and Matt Baram, bring fresh, artful, and provoking spectacle to life in the fashion of an improvised one-act play:” Impromptu Splendor

7:00 pm ($5): Young, adorable performers make up a musical on the spot as Zamboni Musical Improv

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Witty writers offering delightfully wry lectures about  this month’s topic “The Experimental Method”—e.g., What is the Right Way to Pick Up Ladies at Bars? by storytelling genius Adam Wade, The Twelve Steps of Twitter in which Corey Randolph explains how “through trial and error he learned to get his work done by completely avoiding it,” and Life is the Orgy You Make It, all at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for Charles Star’s comedic show Adult Education

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star 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), Eric Legin & Justin Shanes (staff writers for Jimmy Fallon), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel), and musical guest Michelle Leona-GodinTodd performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

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

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Ragnaröck, Standard Oil, Very Good Kiss, Sandino, and CAPTCHA, and at 11:00 pm a small army of advanced UCBT improv students trying to snatch order from chaos—all at Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): “A panel of comedians give their hilarious takes on the more grim/sensational crime stories taken from NYC’s daily newspapers. It’s live comedy with a streak of yellow journalism and dark New York flavor,” with tonight’s guests Big Jay Oakerson, Danny Solomon, and Chemda at Queens LIC’s The Creek hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): The New York City Crime Report

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: A spectacular night of musical comics “who will delight the senses with personal interpretations of selections from their favorite musicals,” featuring such wonderful talents as Adira Amram, Mamrie Hart, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Tom Shillue, John Flynn, and many more at Brooklyn’s The Royal Oak (594 Union Avenue), along with sketches fromMoon regulars such as co-producer Jordan Clifford and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles, in this not-to-be-missed edition of The Moon Show

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Rebound and The Sound & the Fury

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): A rare appearance by Bobby Moynihan (beloved stellar cast member ofSaturday Night Live), Craig Baldo (Conan O’Brien, VH1), and John O’Donnell performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Some of the most inept movie scenes of New York City being destroyed by a natural disaster, with clips from The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Knowing (2009),Aftershock: Earthquake in New York (1999), and Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York (2006), guided by stand-ups Dan St. Germain, Mark Normand, Mike Lawrence, Robert Dean, and Danny Solomon at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Pat Dixon: Hey We Live There!: Tidal Waves, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up, sketch, videos, and more at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Jeffrey Joseph: The Short Bus

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free show, audience members can join in with veteran musical improv talents to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

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