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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: The wonderful Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, host of Animated Stories [please see 7:30 pm listing], Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) 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 receiving two minutes—and if that goes well, maybe a hug (but not actual puppies)—at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ross Parsons & Trey Galyon: Free Puppies
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): P.J. O’Rourke (bestselling author of over a dozen humor books, including Don’t Vote!—It Just Encourages the Bastards), Andy Borowitz (The Borowitz Report), Eugene Mirman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), 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), and Dean Obeidallah (CNN, Comedy Central’s Axis of Evil, one-man show I Come in Peace) are challenged to dissect the week’s news for a live taping at UCB Chelsea of a BBC Radio 4 show (please note Tig Notaro, who was scheduled, had to cancel at the last minute; Jena’s taking her place): News Quiz USA
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($8): A critically acclaimed show described as “Two Men. One Chain. Fully Improvised,” with Dion Flynn (Jimmy Fallon, Matador) & Nate Starkey (Big Black Car, Starkey & Grace) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shackled
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Dan Klein (The Onion, sketch troupe Pangea 3000, improv troupe The Law Firm) and Josh Ruben ((College Humor) are tonight’s guests at this monthly open-mic storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the wonderful Todd Bieber (Commercial Interruption, Director of Content & Production for UCBComedy.com) that at the end selects a favorite from the audience tales to be turned into an animated short film premiering the following month (for hilarious samples, please click here): Animated Stories
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($20): A former roommate & drinking buddy of such comedy giants as David Cross and Marc Maron performs a one-man show that was such a hit at August’s FringeNYC it’s been extended indefinitely. Please read my review by clicking here, and Jason Zinoman’s New York Times review by clicking here; and then come share an intimate hour with Matt Graham at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club so he can explain life and meaning and why This Too Shall Suck
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 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
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Junior Varsity, Bloomer, and Hello Laser performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Evente (long-form improv directed by Armando Diaz), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) featuring Nintendo vs. Horses: The Magnet’s Night Out
[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club
[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
9:00 pm ($5): NYC stands-ups Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, MTV’s Punk’d, IFC’s Do Whatever), Aaron Glaser, Aparna Nancherla, Will Hines, Tom Clark, Taylor Williamson, and Morgan Evans performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): David Wain (member of seminal MTV sketch show The State and comedy group Stella; writer/director whose work includes Children’s Hospital and feature films Wanderlust, Role Models, Little Big Men, The Ten, Wet Hot American Summer), Paul Dinello (The Colbert Report, Strangers with Candy), and AJ Jacobs (Esquire, The Year of Living Biblically, Drop Dead Healthy) describing what it’s like to have a dreamy job at UCB Chelsea to host Catie Lazarus, with musical accompaniment by Chris Sullivan (a.k.a., Shockwave; amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown) & Arthur Lewis: Employee of the Month
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Joe Matarese (Fixing Joe, Chelsea Lately, Letterman), Kelly MacFarland (The View, The Biggest Loser, Today Show), David Crabb (Bad Kid, Ask Me Storytelling, The Moth) Juliet Hope Wayne (The Moth, Ask Me Storytelling), and Ken Reid (Shirt Tales) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme Eek! at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!
[$] 10:00 pm (call 212.757.4100 for price; cover and 2 drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on Comedy Central and Last Comic Standing headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Joe List
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): A show that’s been providing thrilling surprises this year delivered another last week, when semi-legendary improv troupe Rogue Elephant was defeated by upstart Improv Nerds via a decisive vote of 98-65. Tonight the Nerds face the perfect opponent for them, team Gadget, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.