NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/22/12

August 22, 2012

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Scott Adsit and John Lutz

At UCB Chelsea, 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit and John Lutz will blow the roof off as genius improv duo John & Scott…

Michael Patrick O'Brien

…and then Saturday Night Live’s Michael O’Brien will perform his one-man show 45 Minutes of Things

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 The PIT upstairs theatre for Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A TV & Broadway stand-up star hones an hour of material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre every day this week: Colin Quinn Tries Stuff Out

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch show about NYC commuting written & produced by Michelle Francesca Thomas at The PIT downstairs lounge: Transit Stories

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes The Party Lions, Silver Fox, Featherweight, Brick, The Wrath, Chet Watkins, Leviathan, and Horses performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Party Lions at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Top UCB East comics—including Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, Brandon Gulya, and Jim Santangeli—perform solo character bits and sketches, hosted by Kara Klenk: UCBT Comedy Talent Showcase

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[FREE] 8:00 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] 9:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Saturday Night Live write 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: 45 Minutes of Things

[TOP PICK] 10:00 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Celebrating the release of Douglas Widick’s music video “Lemme Eat That Off Yo Abs” are the Cocoon Central Dance Team, Kiah Victoria, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Douglas Widick Music Video Release Party

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts 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. (Tonight’s scheduled performers include Kara Klenk, and “Alex Kane & his dad;” for the complete lineup, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea 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

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/14/12

May 14, 2012

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Arden Myrin

Mayhem will be wreaked by Arden Myrin…

Janeane Garofalo

…and Janeane Garofalo at Brooklyn’s Dive Comedy…

Jena Friedman and Michael Patrick O'Brien

…and Jena Friedman (writer for David Letterman), Michael Patrick O’Brien (writer for SNL), and more will form a human chain of laughter at the return of Jena’s Entertaining the Bartender

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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with each of the four audience members chosen from the bucket of names getting to tell tales for 7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

7:00 pm ($5): Sketch troupe Shelby Company performs oddball bits for this Magnet sketch show show that in the past has included two-timing monsters and presidential ninjasEphemerama

[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): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed (in fact, attending this show is part of how I plan to celebrate my birthday today…): John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): All-star lineup of Rob Delaney (over 410,000 Twitter followers at @robdelaneyHow to “Make It” in Comedy), Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; MTV, VH1), Eugene Mirman (Conan O’BrienComedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), and Seaton Smith 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Two of my favorite musical talents, Mindy Raf (brilliant comedic singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor, YA novelist; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers) and Robin Gelfenbien (VH1, Sirius Radio, FringeNYC, one-woman show about wieners), join forces for “an evening of original songs, characters, and saucy tales” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Raf ‘n Robin

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

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host ofWhiplash), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), Leah Bonnemma, Christian Polanco, and Matthew Graham performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Matchless(557 Manhattan Avenue) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and/or Nimesh Patel: Broken Comedy

8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, a mini-play from Chris Nester & Ross Taylor about aspiring Country Western musicians: The Oakwood Boys

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Super line-up of TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TVChelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’s NewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Jon Fisch (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1, The Apprentice), and Lucas Molandes performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; TLC, trutV; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($8; or free with proof of unemployment or of employment as a comedian, or an awkward Facebook message to Jena the day of the show “but seriously, it has to be awkward”): The return of this monthly stand-up show from wonderful dark humor comic Jena Friedman (staff writer for David Letterman), with tonight’s guests Michael Patrick O’Brien (staff writer since 2009 for Saturday Night Live; 7 Minutes in Heaven), Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; co-star with Kurt Braunohler of Night of the Living; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment Tuesdays at Cake Shop), and—my favorite, verbatim from Jena—”my ex-boyfriend Dale (JDate, Christian Mingle, Craigslist),” plus music from Jefferson Hamer (Sound of Young America), and “a surprise guest,” all performing at the Ace Hotel(20 West 29th Street, between Fifth Avenue & Broadway): Entertaining the Bartender

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: The Prom (which is overflowing with wonderful talent, including Sasheer Zamata, Stephen Soroka, Amber Nelson, Ari Scott, and Siobhan Thompson), and Everything Rabbits (which includes the lovely & uniquely hilarious Violet Krumbein): Maude Night: The Prom & Everything Rabbits

9:30 pm ($8): From the wonderful Jen Nails’ Do It Yourself class, the debut of two one-woman shows at The PIT upstairs theatre. First up is Laurie Lattimer in “a story about an alcoholic father, a perfectionist mother, seven weddings, four divorces, one funeral, two boroughs, and the crossing of one very big ocean:” Things Would Be Different; and then Cara Kilduff describes going “from babysitting the spawn of Satan to learning how to kill an attacking dog to plotting recurring revenge upon a pervy McDonald’s manager” as she “acquired a non-traditional skill set as an adolescent and beyond:” How I Became an Unskilled Laborer

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set, and then a seasoned headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

9:30 pm ($5): A monthly stand-up competition at UCB East in which “new and emerging stand-up comics face off against each other in front of a panel of judges eager to provide unsolicited advice and even more unsolicited scores”—the judges being Brian Cichocki (Caroline’s, Stand-Up New York), and Shannon Coffey. If you’re an up-and-coming stand-up, send a video link and brief bio to for a chance to participate in Stand-Up Smackdown

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[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 haven’t yet been announced, but you can check for an update here—performing at UCB Chelsea and hosted by comedy genius Chris Gethard (star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of new bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do): 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 exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by the Thelma & Louise of comedy, Michelle Wolf & Erin Lennox: Fresh

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