NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 11/5/14

November 5, 2014

Want to be on an NBC prime time show?
America’s Got Talent is holding NYC auditions; details here.

TV Alert: Jim Gaffigan and Bette Midler are on Jimmy Fallon;
John Cleese in on Jon Stewart;
Bob Newhart and Melissa Rauch are on Craig Ferguson;
Rob Riggle is on David Letterman;
Howie Mandel and Deepak Chopra are on Conan O’Brien;
Howie Mandel is on Ellen DeGeneres;
Bridget Everett, Jeff Ross, and Hari Kondabolu are on @midnight

Schtick or Treat 7

Dozens of NYC comics gather in Brooklyn to impersonate other comics (Maria Bamford, Bill Burr, Aziz Ansari, Ellen DeGeneres, George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Mitch Hedberg, Kathy Griffin, Richard Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, Woody Allen, and lots more) at The 7th Annual Schtick or Treat

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] [$] (11/5-11/9) The New York Comedy Festival features some of the best stand-ups in the world performing headlining sets in such major NYC venues as Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, the Beacon, the NYU Skirball Center, Carolines, and The Stand during November 5-9. Among the stars performing this year are Amy Schumer, Maria Bamford, Marc Maron, Bill Cosby, Bill Burr, Bill Maher, Pete Holmes, Tig Notaro, Dave Hill, Kurt Metzger, Mark Normand, Hannibal Buress, Sasheer Zamata, Aparna Nancherla, Eric Andre, Sommore, Paula Poundstone, and Dane Cook; plus there’ll be interviews with such giants as Jim Gaffigan, and the teams creating TV series Inside Amy Schumer (including Amy), Broad City (including Executive Producer Amy Poehler), and the writers of The Late Show with David Letterman. To explore the entire schedule, please click New York Comedy Festival

[FREE] 6:00 pm-midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia’s Dream is both a reference to Mike’s hit play & film Sleepwalk With Me, and to the group of improvisors he’s gathered being a “dream team” for making up scenes springboarding off his stories. Tonight at UCB Chelsea Mike spins tales for SNL’s Mike O’Brien, Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and/or more: Mike Birbiglia’s Dream

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15 at the door or online): Storyteller Martin Dockery spins “a wild, surrealistic tale of an epic reunion between mother and child” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Dark Fantastic

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm ($7 for the entire evening): Four hours of improv from eight groups—plus a free improv jam at 6:00 pm—at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Witch, Boombox, and Rizzo: Lloyd Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12 at door, $15.30 in advance online): For the seventh year of this fabulous annual event, dozens of NYC comics get two minutes each to do a set as a famous comedian. This 2014 edition is slated to include impersonations of Maria Bamford, Bill Burr, Aziz Ansari, Ellen DeGeneres, George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Mitch Hedberg, Kathy Griffin, Richard Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, Woody Allen, and many more. It all takes place at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand: The 7th Annual Schtick or Treat

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brilliant Saturday Night Live writer & performer Mike O’Brien “performs solo sketch and stand-up, reads a short story, and in general, does things. Come out to see experimental comedy as well as comedy that involves no experimentation” at UCB Chelsea: Mike O’Brien: 30 Minutes of Things

…and in the other half of this great double-bill, “In 2010, Kristen Bartlett’s and Jason Gore’s dads died within months of each other. Kristen and Jason formed a grief-fighting force that is often tough, but occasionally falls apart when Big Fish is on HBO. This is a sketch show about what it’s like to lose a parent and realize that you are going to die too, and there’s nothing you can do about it. (But it’s funny, we swear.): The Dead Dads Club

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15; no min.): Stand-ups create mashups with two mics on stage, tonight featuring stars Ted Alexandro, Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Bonnie McFarlane, Yannis Pappas, and Paul Virzi at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): The Mashup Comedy Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.34 online): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album), Lizz Winstead (Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, Air America), Guy Branum (Chelsea Lately, Totally Biased), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), and Jon Laster performing stand-up at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Anthony P. DeVito: Creek Cave Live: Chris Gethard, Lizz Winstead, Guy Branum, Monroe Martin, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Nick DiPaolo and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 8:00 show; Judah Friedlander, Todd Barry, Kyle Dunnigan, and Zainab Johnson at the 9:45 show; and Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Sam Morril, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Mike Cannon (MTV), Liz Barrett, Stephanie Holmes, Janelle James, Dan Shaki, Josh Rosen, and Andrew Lee performing at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street) produced by Henry Cruz & Keith Fuerstenberg and hosted by Alison Klemp: Train Wreck Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A 30-minute stand-up set from Jimmy LeChase, plus shorter sets from NYC stand-ups Lukas Kaiser, Justin Perez, Niles Turner, and Zane Golia, at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor): Jimmy LeChase: I’ll Never Earn This

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15 at the door or online): Superb storytellers Jim O’Grady, Jeff Simmermon, Cyndi Freeman, Brad Lawrence, and Amy Pascale (author of Joss Whedon: The Biography) tells tales about “people who inspire them: historical figures, family members & ancestors, mentors, or that guy that your friend told you about. These are tales of legendary individuals, well known and unknown, the awesome people who make us want to be more awesome” at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Cyndi Freeman & Brad Lawrence: Awesome People

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), Alingon Mitra (Craig Ferguson), Adam Richmond (Carson Daly), Abbi Crutchfield (hosting live daily on, Scott Sharp, and Gabe Morales performing at this free weekly stand-up show at Lucky Jack’s Pub (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

[TOP PICK] 9:15 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] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, stand-up and characters from Kevin Barnett, Jen Bartels, Lil Rel Howery, and Josh Rabinowitz, who perform TruTV sketch show Friends of the People

9:30 pm ($5): Mike Recine (Conan O’Brien), Mikey Heller, and Lorelei Ramirez performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Griffin Newman and/or Andrew Tavin: The Awooga Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($15; no min.): Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Brody Stevens (star of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, Comedy Central Half Hour, Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, @midnight), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Jordan Klepper (correspondent for The Daily Show), Ben Kissel (writer for MTV, MTV2, CMT, TLC; The Last Podcast on the Left, Roundtable of Gentlemen), and Dean Edwards (Saturday Night Live, MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, HBO’s The Sopranos, feature film Scared Shrekless) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Nick DiPaolo, Brody Stevens, Ari Shaffir, Jordan Klepper, and More

[FREE] 10:00 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

[TOP PICK] 10:15 pm ($5): Stellar improvisors Charlie Todd & Kevin Hines provide color commentary on improv sets by other top improvisors at UCB East for this monthly event: Play by Play

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Leslie Meisel & Kate Riley chose UCB comics to write sketches for the opposite sex, then cast and directed the scripts. Tonight’s show is the result of this fun experiment at the UCB Chelsea theatre: He Said, She Said: A Sketch Show

[TOP PICK] 11:15 pm ($5): The first round of a beloved annual November tradition at UCB East hosted by Pat Baer: 3-on-3 Improv Tournament

[FREE] Midnight: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Kaity Neagle & Irene Hartmann: Ragtag Team Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Sign up at 5:45 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with veteran improvisors: Magnet Improv Mixer

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

10:15 pm ($5): Randomly selected UCBT students perform with UCBT improv veterans at the UCB East theatre: The Lottery

[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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up show, with its 90 minutes split evenly among the comics who throw their names into a bucket, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Eagle Witt: Amateur Night At The Mercury

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 2-drink min.)

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 11/4/12

November 4, 2012

For more, please visit

Schtick or Treat

Delayed by Sandy but still a great event, dozens of NYC comics gather tonight to impersonate other comics (Groucho Marx, Ricky Gervais, Lisa Lampanelli, Maria Bamford, and lots more) at The 5th Annual Schtick or Treat

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] [$] 3:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm ($20): The return of one of the funniest comedies—and finest comedic ensembles—to grace New York, and what ended up as the very best show of this year’s FringeNYC Festival, playing at the Soho Playhouse’s upstairs theatre. Please read my review by clicking here, and then take advantage of this opportunity to see the Chicago-based 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & R an Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[$] 7:30 pm ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on 30 Rock and Comedy Central headlining tonight and Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mark Viera

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at door, $11.78 in advance online): For the fifth year of this fabulous annual event, dozens of NYC comics get two minutes each to do a set as a famous comedian. This 2012 edition is slated to include impersonations of Ricky Gervais, Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia, Wanda Sykes, Chelsea Handler, Flight of the Conchords, Lisa Lampanelli, Pete Holmes, Reggie Watts, and lots more. It all takes place at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand. Please note that N subway service hasn’t yet been restored in Brooklyn, but taking the 2/4/5 to Atlantic Avenue and then walking around 8 blocks along 4th Avenue to Degraw Street will get you to The 5th Annual Schtick or Treat

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Zoe Coombs Marr (visiting from Australia; for a love letter to a dinosaur, please click here), Max Silvestri (co-host of Big Terrific), and Kendra Cunnigham performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall guest-hosted tonight by Caroline Creaghead: Pretty Good Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Kevin Allison, Dan St. Germain, The Reformed Whores, and more tell stories about sex and romance at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street, between Second and Third Avenues) with host Jefferson: Bare: True Stories of Sex, Desire, and Romance

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): From Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman (producers of The Scene), improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, with tonight’s groups including Pumpkin, Maybe Sherman, and The Lottery: Act One

8:00 pm ($5): A weekly show at The Magnet featuring sketches, jokes, interviews, and more focused on the upcoming Presidential election: The Great American Sketch Show

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm (no cover if you reserve at (212) 367-9000 using code POWER, but 2-drink min.): Typically sharp NYC comics, such as Vic Henley and Ophira Eisenberg, performing at the Gotham Comedy Club: Gotham All-Stars

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Michael Kupperman, Aparna Nancherla, Mike Recine, Ryan McKee, and Jaqi Furback performing at RG Daniels’ free weekly show at the L’asso East Village lounge (107 First Avenue, off 7th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Nick Hart, Jono Zalay, Emmy Blotnik, and Josh Rabinowitz performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at the Beauty Bar

9:30 pm ($8): Improvisors and more gather to make fun of the Presidential election at The PIT upstairs theatre: Electoral Dysfunction 2012

9:30 pm ($5): Magnet sketch comedy teams Risky Bottom and Jacktown try out new material at this show with the on-the-nose title Magnet Sketch Teams

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

For more, please visit

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 10/27/10

October 27, 2010

For full details, please visit

Mike Birbiglia

Mike Birbiglia puts on a nearly-free show of what's likely to be amazing new material at "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend," and comics dress up & perform as other comics at the awesome annual event "Schtick Or Treat"

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 in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($8): For the third year of this fabulous annual event, over 30 NYC comics get two minutes each to do a set as a famous comedian. Tonight’s agenda includes Matt McCarthy as Bill Hicks, Erik Bergstrom as Lisa Lampanelli, Nick Turner and Ariel Bitran as Tenacious D, George Gordon as Eddie Murphy, Laura Prangley as Joan Rivers, Jared Logan as Soupy Sales, Dan Soder as Rodney Dangerfield…and much more (full lineup here) performing atArlene’s Grocery (95 Stanton Street), hosted by Matt Ruby as Andrew Dice Clay & Mark Normand as Norm MacDonald: The 3rd Annual Schtick Or Treat

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of the finest stand-ups & storytellers in the country tries out new material—delivering a show that’s likely worth $40+ tonight for a mere $5—in Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), and Boris Khaykin (UCB, performing at Brooklyn’s Legion Bar for a monthly show hosted by sketch duo Mark Bisi & Andrew Beckerman: The Weeping Skull

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Laura Krafft (The Colbert Report), Brendan McGlaughlin (Conan O’Brien), Andy Hendrickson (30 Rock), Danny Lobell, and Selena Coppock performing at the East Village’s Angels and Kings with delightful dark humor host Jena Friedman: Entertaining the Bartender

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Wonderful comics Jessica Delfino, Kurt Braunohler, Jena Friedman & Ben Kronberg, LandlineTV, and Serious Lunch share their tales of being turned down—with tonight’s theme Cease & Desist—at Jon Friedman’s wonderful The Rejection Show

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), master sketch comic Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets), Matt Higgins (Centralia), and more creepily performing pre-Halloween at Arlene’s Grocery (95 Stanton Street) hosted by the wonderful Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[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

For full details, please visit

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/5/10

June 5, 2010

For full details, please visit

For the best of genius comedic actress Kate McKinnon, click here.

Brooke Van Poppelen

Brooke Van Poppelen reveals shocking personal details at the 2nd Anniversary edition of We're All Friends Here

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 6:00 pm ($15 including one drink; reservations via calling Cornelia Street Cafe at 212.989.9319 highly recommended): Four world-class writer/performers tell personal stories. Three of them are true…but one is a pack of lies. Then the audience asks questions to try to figure out who’s fibbing. Tonight’s yarn-spinners are Faye Lane (delightful storyteller, upcoming FringeNYC show Beauty Shop Stories), John Flynn (superb storyteller for UCBT’s The Nights of Our Lives), Jim O’Grady (The New York Times, Huffington Post), and Joey Novick (writer for Politics Unusual), and Steve Osborne (NYPC Gang Squad Detective), performing with wonderful guest-host Ophira Eisenberg (sharp stand-up and brilliant storyteller; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime), at The Liar Show

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisor Christina Gausas and friends she originally made in Chicago—which include writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors, all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Joe Devito, Rob O’Reilly, Gilad Foss, Steve Bossous, and “special guests” performing in Ochi’s Lounge at Lil’ Seany Boy

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up veteran who’s appeared on David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Last Comic Standing; hosted the HBO stand-up showcase Down and Dirty; was a cast member of the wonderful though short-lived HBO sitcom Lucky Louie, and performed his own HBO half-hour One Night Stand special; has appeared in such hit films as Spider-Man; is a regular on XM Satellite Radio’s The Opie & Anthony Show; and is the author of the book Happy Endings, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jim Norton

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Gorgeous Brooke Van Poppelen (TLC’s American Chopper, Maxim and Cosmo Radio, So-Low Show; popular blogs and RockBottom; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here andhere), hilarious human dynamo Ali Wong (The Onion), and Erik Bergstrom (author of Grimmer Tales) perform stand-up and are then interviewed about their personal lives at this special 2nd Anniversary edition of Matt Ruby’s and Mark Normand’s “comedy chat show with boundary issues” at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: We’re All Friends Here

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 11:00 pm ($37.50 online or at the box office using discount code ALIEN): Sharp comics and 80 Henson puppets collaborating on a show that’s partly scripted and partly improvised: Stuffed and Unstrung

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($19.33 online if you use code VIPJUNE, plus 2-item minimum): In a questionable bit of booking, two stand-ups with very different styles and very different audiences are somehow headlining on the same show; but if you love one or the other, come for the star you adore performing at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Eugene Mirman and Andy Kindler

8:00 pm ($10): In this unique monthly show, stand-up comics perform in the buff. A reviewer fromThe Boston Globe observed, “The dynamic of nude comedian and clothed audience added an extra dimension to self-deprecating material.” For a New York Magazine review, please click here; or simply come see for yourself at The Naked Comedy Showcase

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($20): Brilliant singer/songwriter Shayna Ferm and “white rapper” Carolyn Castiglia, sharp stand-ups Hari Kondabolu and Dan Allen, word-class storyteller Tom Shillue, and possibly a special guest or two—plus free beer!—at the season finale of acclaimed monthly comedy showcase Moonwork

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—and the Cage Match Champion for two years in a row!—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($5): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, quick-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:30 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codePISANO, otherwise $20): A Chicago-based troupe that’s wowed audiences around the world with their skill at creating a completely improvised hour-long musical. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment; even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are made up on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last August for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event at the magical Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King: Reuben Williams

10:30 pm ($5): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): An open contest to see who can create the most shockingly funny & filthy sketch running three minutes or less. If you’re easily offended, don’t even consider attending; but if you appreciate comedy that pushes the envelope without hurting anyone (with the possible exception of prudes), you’ll applaud this wild, uninhibited breaking of taboos to get laughs. If a routine is dreadful (many will be), the festivities will be maintained by superb hosts Gil Ozeri, John Flynn, and John Frusciante at The Dirtiest Sketch in NYC Contest

[$] 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

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For the best of genius comedic actress Kate McKinnon, click here.