NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 4/16/13

April 16, 2013

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Catch a new The Jeselnik Offensive—tonight featuring the wonderful Pete Holmes—at 10:30 on Comedy Central

Mark Normand

Following killer sets for Conan O’Brien and Amy Schumer on tour, hilarious and beloved stand-up Mark Normand headlines tonight at the Carolines Comedy Club…

SNL's Kate McKinnon and Michael O'Brien

…Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon is at Sweet, and SNL writer/performer Michael O’Brien is at The Moon Show

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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok (Comedy Central) and Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open-mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT downstairs lounge, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

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] 6:30 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 Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Canons and Jezebellers (at 7:00), Fisticuffs and BEEES! (at 8:30), and Mint Condition (at 9:00), followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv troupe to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comic book artist Gideon Kendall and comic book writer Thomas Baehr joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: This weekly 2-hour open-mic storytelling show allows each performer a full 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge, tonight featuring guest co-host Malaika Gordon and host Jake Hart: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite people, Julie Sharbutt—who’s performed with some of the greatest improvisors alive at UCBT’s Gravid Water—goes for improv gold herself with comedy partner Cathleen Carr (Birds, The Scene, Dos Experimentos) as they “hope to establish themselves as the leading voices in contemporary South Boston crime noir improv comedy. Watch them, along with tonight’s guests Erick Hellwig, Bob Kulhan, and  Chris Roberti, unspool a suspenseful, heavily-accented mystery thrilla” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Mystic Improv

7:00 pm ($8): A sketch show written & co-starring Suni Reyes & Erock, plus a half dozen other performers, at The PIT upstairs theatre: You Gotta Be F-ing Kidding Me!

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:30 pm ($7.37 online using code BREAKOUT, plus 2-drink min.) A hilarious rising star who’s performed on Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; and is co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, offers these words to his legions of fans: “Remember how you’ve said you want to see me do a longer set? Me neither. But tonight I’ll be headlining Caroline’s like so many great comedians/bringers have done before me. Basically it’s my turn, and now that Thomas Dale is gone they had a few nights open. But I wanna make it a good one! So come on out and have a laugh. I’ve got material you’ve never seen, mostly because it’s not that good and is kinda offensive. But either way, I’m gonna do the stuff I never get to do. We’ll have fun. And I’ll be selling copies of my friends’ albums after. Plus I’ve got Gary Vider hosting because someone has to get him into the clubs. And JF Harris featuring because he ‘has a big family that will come out.’ His words… So let’s do it, guys!” For one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mark Normand

7:30 pm-9:15 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Bloody Mary, Huxtable, and The Regulars at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Michael O’Brien (writer for Saturday Night Live, star of SNL segment 7 Minutes in Heaven), Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!), Camille Harris (ace singer/piano player), Will Harris, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Pool (484 Union Avenue) along with sketches from Moon regulars Camille Harris, Jordan Clifford, and Tim Skinner, and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Michael Che (David Letterman, Comedy Central), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Turae: Judah Friedlander, Tom Papa, Michael Che, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, tonight features screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are “canceled” at Channel 101

8:00ish pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Jermaine Fowler (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show), Emily Heller (Comedy Central, FX’s Totally Biased), TJ Young (Beards of Comedy), Katie Compa (SF Sketchfest), Brian Parise, and Zach Sherwin performing stand-up at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) produced by Chenoa Estrada, Emily Heller, and George Gordon and hosted tonight by Erin Judge & Josh Gondelman: The Afterlife: Reincarnation

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by the brilliantly surreal and hilarious Joe Pera, plus Charles Gould and Dan Licata: Dan + Joe + Charles’ Show

8:00 pm ($8): A house sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: National Scandal

8:00 pm ($5): An all-gal sketch troupe takes The PIT upstairs stage straight from the seven seas: Pirate Sugar

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (for an update, please click here) performing at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, between Rivington & Stanton) hosted by Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, notable hair): Crime & Punishment

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Kate McKinnon (genius sketch comic and stellar cast member of Saturday Night Live; voice actress for Adult Swim’s Venture Brothers and Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, upcoming Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), singer Mike Doughty (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien; formerly of band Soul Coughing; solo album Sad Man Happy Man), and more performing at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Typically stellar NYC stand-ups (not  announced this time) with composer Matt Garrisona’s four-piece jazz band playing in the background!—at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Mike Finoia: Code Name: Comedy and Jazz

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Graceland, City Mouse, and Bucky—plus advanced improv students make up scenes chock-full of genre conventions, tropes, and archetypes for improv form The Genre—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliant storyteller Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) tells tales of Boston to raise money for the Red Cross doing its good work there. Joining him are stand-ups Jamie Lee (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Emil Kim, plus producer Andy Rocco, all at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show: Tales of Boston

9:30 pm ($5): A stand-up performs a set, then an improv team makes up scenes based on the material; and then this happens again with a different stand-up and different improv group at The PIT downstairs lounge. Audience applause then determines the “winner” of Rumble

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Jena Friedman (wry dark comedy stand-up and rising star; producer for The Daily Show, former staff writer for David Letterman, host of Entertaining the Bartender), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle Show, For the Love of the Game), Andrew Schulz (MTV2’s Guy Code), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Turae: Ted Alexandro, Jena Friedman, Nick Griffin, Paul Mecurio, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: 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

[$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Barry Rothbart (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Chris Distefano (Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Maddog Mattern (Sirius Radio, Howard Stern TV; to see Maddog handle a heckler, please click here), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, CNN, TBS): ComedyJuice

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): 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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

 From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/30/12

January 30, 2012

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For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.

Tracee Chimo

Broadway actress Tracee Chimo (to the left of Amanda Peet & David Duchovny)...

Michael O'Brien

...and Michael O'Brien (writer for Saturday Night Live) are among the stars at tonight's Gravid Water

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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): World-class storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of The Adam Wade Show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here) hosts a show at The Magnet that’s “like watching the characters of The Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption,” with tonight’s guests Catherine Pappas, Hillary Rea, Rob Hurst, and Amy Bennett: Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?

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

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Broadway & off-Broadway stars Tracee Chimo (Circle Mirror Transformation, The Five-Year Engagement, Irena’s Vow on Broadway), Maggie Lacey (Broadway actress in Our Town, Dividing the Estate, Inherit the Wind), Cristin Milioti (30 Rock;  Broadway actor in Coram Boy, Lieutenant of InishmoreOnce), Stephen Ruddy (Skype Duet, Chekhov’s Gun), and Julie Sharbutt (Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night, Maladies) mixing it up with stellar  improvisors Michael Delaney (Conan O’Brien, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Stepfathers), Becky Drysdale (Baby Wants Candy, Let’s Have a Ball, One Woman in Several Pieces), and Michael O’Brien (Saturday Night Live, 7 Minutes in Heaven) as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and DirtyComedy Central Presents, co-host of Righteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows), Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), and Damien Lemon (Russell Simmons Presents) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen

8:00 pm ($5): This monthly show at UCB East describes itself as featuring “the next generation of performers who epitomize Andy Kaufman’s alternative, bizarre, and envelope-pushing sense of humor.” Tonight’s guests are NYC stand-ups Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Harrison Greenbaum (writer for Mad Magazine; head writer of Tu Nite con Lorenzo Parro on NBCU/Telemundo; winner of the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award), Harry Terjanian (Sirius XM Radio), and Dan Crossley, capped off by a short Andy Kaufman film: Andy Kaufman’s Fun House

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Matt Ruby, Jermaine Fowler, JF Harris, and more performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) guest-hosted tonight by Kate Hendricks: Broken Comedy

8:00 pm ($10): Twins Todd & Adam Stone perform stand-up and more at this monthly show at The PIT, along with comedy guests (not announced): Stone and Stone Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: PIT owner Ali Farahnakian and the school’s razor-sharp instructors perform improv at The PIT downstairs lounge in The Faculty Part 2: Electric Boogaloo; plus improv troupe Technicolor

9:30 pm ($5): Two brand new UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: Charlemagne (which includes such talents as Leslie Meisel) and Beige: Maude Night: Beige &Charlemagne

[FREE] 9:30 pm: An improv show that asks you to drop written suggestions into a box before it begins and then dips into the collection of suggestions throughout to propel new scenes: The Drop Box

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom(627 5th Avenue) with host .Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens” at The Magnet hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

10:00 pm ($5): Rob Lathan (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, ABC, Stinson’s Awesome Movie Night) and more performing at UCB East hosted by Chris Wilkes (Thunder Gulch): After Dark

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight haven’t yet been announced, but you can check for an update here—performing at UCB Chelsea and probably hosted by comedy genius Chris Gethard: Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic at The PITupstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For more, please visit

For my favorite stand-up jokes, please click here.