NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 4/5/12

April 5, 2012

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Mary Mack

Visiting stand-ups Mary Mack (above) and Janine Brito join Janeane Garofalo at Totally J/K...

Michelle Markowitz

...Michelle Markowitz and friends tell tales of apology & forgiveness at Failing Our Twenties ...

Chelsea Peretti

...and Chelsea Peretti too-briefly returns home to join her pals Andrea Rosen & Shonali Bhowmik at Variety SHAC

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: Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show; The New York Times, NPR, Moth GrandSlam Champion) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows I know nothing about, Kiwi & Jojo Are Unemployed and Everyone You Love Will Someday Betray You or Die at Sea, audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($13): The Story Pirates take stories written by New York City elementary schoolchildren, “enhance” them with adult language and themes, and them perform the heck out of them using music, puppets, and “a David Bowie-style tribute to a good Hebrew School education.” With tales ranging from the shame of chronic bedwetting, to the tender love between the Devil and some guy she met at Starbucks, the Story Pirates have blown the minds of over 100,000 second graders (sans the narrative enhancements), and lots of adults in their “After Dark” version—which is what they’ll be performing tonight at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): Story Pirates After Dark

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Guests Matt Oberg and Dyna Moe, and host John Lou, read “the most insane things that people share on the Internet; from the stupid to the outrageous to the grotesque, you’ll be sure to walk away shaken but entertained” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Lou Reads the Internet For You

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT upstairs theatre: Hot Diner and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 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

7:30 pm ($5): A sketch comedy radio show/podcast live on the UCB East stage, with tonight’s guests Jocelyn DeBoer, plus regulars Adam Bozarth, Dan Chamberlain, Matt Little, Taylor Moore, and Anna Rubanova: Left Handed Radio

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Steven Berkowitz (Moth StorySlam Champion; for a sample tale, please click here) and more tell tales at The PIT downstairs lounge along with hosts Michelle Markowitz & Bryan Rucker, who are now both 30 but still maintain they’re Failing Our Twenties

8:00 pm ($10): Unique and relentlessly silly performer Brandon Gulya does a one-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea that’s at times hilarious (the restaurant bit, which is an instant classic) , and at other times less so, in the hope that Brandon Gulya Will Be Famous Soon

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, Sue Smith performs a one-woman show about her Minimum Rage

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The PIT upstairs theatre: Frogmen and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Mark Grenier directing The Bat (improvised scenes that happen entirely in the dark), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) with troupe Upstate battling troupe Horses for laughs & votes: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[$] 8:00 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.) A comic who’s performed on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Bad Boys of ComedyShowtime at Harlem, BET’s ComicView, and the feature film Next Friday headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Michael Blackson

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Mary Mack (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, visiting from Minnesota), and Janine Brito (top stand-up visiting from San Francisco) performing stand-up at UCB East with best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster) at Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups (not announced this week) performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for a weekly comedy show with hosts Dan Wllber & Sean Crespo and producer Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5):Chelsea Peretti (top stand-up & a founding member of this show, visiting from LA), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), and Hennessy Youngman (art critic and host of Art Thoughtz) performing at UCB West with delightful hosts Shonali Bhowmik (leader of musical group Tigers & Monkeys) and Andrea Rosen (brilliant stand-up & storyteller; HBO, Comedy Centralwinner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up): Variety SHAC

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Bob Dorough (Miles Davis, Allen Ginsberg, Schoolhouse Rock!) will play his music to inspire improvised scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Beauty Love Truth

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Sharp improvisors from UCBT, The Magnet, The PIT, and/or more try their hand at stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Improvisers Standing Up

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Bridget O’Neil (Moth StorySlam champion), Carolina Rose Barlow, and JiJi Lee telling comedic tales at UCB East hosted by Caitlin Brodnick and Erin Barker: Shut Up: An All-Female Storytelling Show

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Airwolf has shot down two improv troupes in a row, and tonight sets its sights on Sandino at UCB Chelsea as the groups compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/3/12

April 3, 2012

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Werewolf and Dangrrr Doll

Lectures on The Werewolf's Guide To Life, obessions with AA meetings, and more are covered at Adult Education; burlesque star Dangrrr Doll is among the performers at Brooklyn storytelling show And I Am Not Lying...

Mary Mack and Arden Myrin

...Mary Mack performs at Sweet, and Arden Myrin performs at ComedyJuice

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: Witty writers offering delightfully wry lectures about this month’s topic “Transformation,” which range from The Werewolf’s Guide To Life to How to Be a Recovering Alcoholic When You’re Not an Alcoholic But Enjoy AA Meetings, at the Housingworks Bookstore Cafe for Charles Star’s comedic show Adult Education

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): “Jews in comedy have been ignored for too long. To combat this trend, The Magnet’s Jewish house team members have formed a Jewish super-group that will be performing around Jewish high holidays. Their Jewish shows will be based on Jewish monologues from a Jewish Rabbi about the upcoming Jewish holiday. For Purim we have monologist Rabbi Elli.” Among this small army of Jews is typically improv master Ed Herbstman—which is reason enough to come and enjoy The Chosen Ones

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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), John Harris (Senior Editor of The Onion), and more performing at Lolita Bar hosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Devin Clark (creator of Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans) and Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans) joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture The debut of this wonderful show about comic books at its brand new location Pianos (158 Ludlow Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A musical show at UCB East describing itself as “Female-fronted folky-pop band. Hyper-articulate, nerdy, post-modern sort of musical comedy. Folk singalongs and catchy pop jams are merely the metaphorical table holding up the buffet of wordplay, sarcastic wit, and rapid-fire pop culture references:” Summer & Eve: Folky-Pop Musical Comedy

8:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Bucky, Johnny Romance, Orb Genders, Sandino, and Creature—and at 11:00 pm advanced improv students make up two complete documentary films—all at Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): This one-woman show at The PIT upstairs theatre “follows Leanne’s journey from Waukegan, Illinois to Vegas, baby! Doesn’t every woman want to move to Vegas, sell guns, and get married a few times? It would be completely made up if it weren’t totally true:” Lady Luck is a Whore

8:00 pm ($5): Cathleen Carr (Two Girls for Five Bucks, Birds, The Scene) and Bob Kulhan (Second City, The Scene) host a show featuring two-person improv teams challenged with separation anxiety—the audience is asked to scramble them and create one-night-only pairings.The established duos participating tonight are Nate Starkey & Chris Grace, Nate Williams & Rich Hollman, and Cathleen Carr & Bob Kulhan at The PIT downstairs Lounge: Carr Kulhan: Dos Experimento

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 at the door, $12.75 online): A monthly storytelling show from Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s This American Life), Cyndi Freeman (The Moth, burlesque star) and Brad Lawrence (Moth GrandSlam champion) at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, with tonight’s guests stand-up Andy Ross, belly dancer Madame X, and burlesque star Dangrrr Doll: And I Am Not Lying

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: BEEES! and Mint Condition

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Julia Wiedeman (glorious nudist one-woman show Naked PeopleSNL, Gossip Girl, Law & Order), Mary Mack (HBO, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, visiting from Minnesota), Josh Zepps (star Australian comic, host of Australian Idol), and more performing at Ella(9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, from two of the most brilliant, fearless, and innovative comics in the biz, John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central) and Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives) at UCB East. Tonight’s guests are the lovely Amber Nelson (sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Late Night Stand and Mustache Party), the lovely Becky Yamamoto (God I’m Funny, Stickerbook), and the reasonably pretty Aaron Glaser (The Raspberry Brothers, College Humor): The Tony and Johnny Show

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Damien Lemon, Leah Bonnema, and Gonzalo Cordova performing atThe PIT downstairs lounge with host Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up, sketch, videos, and more at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre with Jeffrey Joseph and hosts Ron Krasnow & Joel Walkowski: The Short Bus

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TVChelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Steve Rannazzisi (FX’s The League), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Mint Condition 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 at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

For more, please visit

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.