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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!
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
7:30 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-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 Comedy, Showtime 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 Central, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up): Variety SHAC
[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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