NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/7/12

September 7, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For free & $5 Greenwich Village Comedy Club tickets, please click here.

Donnell Rawlings

Donnell Rawlings headlines through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club…

Shannon O'Neill

…and Shannon O’Neill devotes an entire show to interviewing audience members at Strangers Wanted

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 show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying), Steve Zimmer (two-time Moth GrandSlam Champion), Ben Lillie (host of The Story Collider, Moth StorySlam Champion), and Carolita Johnson (cartoonist, writes blog NewYorkette.com) telling comedic tales at The Magnet with host Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show, Tales of the Cosmos, and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here): Super Stories

7:00 pm ($5): Hip hop musical improv at The PIT downstairs lounge from Nick Brown, Don Romaniello, and Michael Short pretending to be NYC police officers: Rap Crimes Division

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Shannon O’Neill (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion) does a monthly show at UCB Chelsea based on nothing but interviews with the audience and sheer guts: Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Show headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

8:00 pm ($5): “It may be made up on the spot, but there is a method to the madness. In this show players explore the structure of improv by performing unique forms provided by the community and abroad” at The PIT downstairs lounge: True to Form

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): Two of the most respected improvisors in the country, Magnet co-owner Armando DIaz and Christina Gausas team up as Diaz & Gausas

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($20 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed on NBC’s 30 Rock, a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, VH1, BET; in films including Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane, and Johnson Family Vacation; and was the spokesman for the 7 Up Yours campaign, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Godfrey

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Josh Rabinowitz (Comedy Central, MTV), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon), Jake Young, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Red Star (37 Greenpoint Avenue) hosted by Annie Lederman, followed by wild Karaoke: Pirate Party

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

9:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Reid Faylor (co-host of hilarious Creek show Underbelly), Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central, co-host of Pirate Party), Andrew Clark, and Narinder Singh performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Fort Useless (36 Ditmars Street) hosted by George Flanagan: Spit Take Friday

9:00 pm ($5): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Nore Davis (Russell Simons Presents: The Ruckus), and Team Submarine performing stand-up, plus others doing sketch, improv, and who knows what else, at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Jeremy Wein: Undefined

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Formerly titled Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy—until a “cease and desist” order arrived from the attorneys at EMI Music—this show marches on with terrific comedic musical performers at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Lerman and Tim Dimond: Radio Shack: A Comedy Musical Showcase

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

10:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups, improvisors, and more gather to discuss the Presidential election in, with luck, a funny way at The PIT downstairs lounge: Electoral Dysfunction 2012

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($5): Sketch host Meredith Hackman and her many friends promise “Despair. Pride. Heartbreak. Comedy.” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Saddest Sketch Show

11:00 pm ($5): Where else can you find a late-night improvised exorcism besides The PIT downstairs lounge?: The Exorcism of Lucas Hazlett

11:00 pm ($5): Improvisors Brandon Gardner (The Curfew) & Natasha Vaynblat (Surfing) and sketch comics James Coker (1-800-LONDON) & Marshall Stratton (The Awesome 80’s Prom) performing at the Richmond Shephard Theatre (309 East 26th Street) hosted by Caitlin Bitzegaio and friends: The Gadget Hour

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, top Maude sketch troupe Gramp’s, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For free & $5 Greenwich Village Comedy Club tickets, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/30/12

June 30, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Stepfathers

Last night The Stepfathers—Chris Gethard, Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Will Hines, Michael Delaney,and Connor Ratliff—delivered a genius 30 minutes of improv that garnered two standing ovations. Come see what happens tonight at…

14th Annual Del Close Marathon

…The Del Close Marathon

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:

[SUPER-MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Right Now-9:30 pm Sunday ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 14th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon is running continuously from 4:30 pm on Friday June 29th until 9:30ish pm on Sunday July 2nd. Improv troupes from all around the US and Canada—New York, Albany, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cambridge, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Fairfield, Austin, Miami, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, Raleigh, Carrboro, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Helsinki, and more—will perform over 150 shows, typically in 30 minute blocks, for 55+ hours. Tickets will be $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer said several  years ago the appropriate charge would be around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding.

For complete details, please click here.

DCM is happening at seven different venues this year. I’ll mostly be at UCB Chelsea, but please know there are incredible things happening at every one of these stages. That noted, the following are some of the highlights I personally experienced from yesterday:

  • At the DCM press conference, Ian Roberts started announcing a major UCB project…only to have Matt Besser and Matt Walsh interrupt with, “Um, that’s still a secret.” Ian spent a few minutes in denial with “Gee, are you sure we haven’t said anything publicly about it?” When assured that was the case, Ian rebounded with, “Well, when we do you’ll all be very impressed.” I actually have a reasonable guess what it is…and yes, we all really will be.
  • Also at the press conference, Matt Besser swore that an improv manual they’ve been working on for nearly 10 years “will, we guarantee, be done before next year’s marathon.” Ian Roberts then added, “Absolutely! And the white buffalo will once again walk the plains…” (As an expert with 20 books under my belt—including five Dummies books—I’ve been offering to help with this for six years running. Ian, Matt, and Matt, at this point I’ll do it for a sentence in the Acknowledgements. Reach out to me…) Among the benefits of the UCB book will be clarifying terms and concepts that often confuse improvisors. For example, as Ian Roberts explained, “Beginners think Agreement means going along with whatever someone brings up. But if your partner suggests ‘Let’s jump out the window,’ and you say ‘Sure!’, then that’s the end of the scene…because at that point you’re both dead. What Agreement really means is saying yes to the reality of whatever scenario your partner suggests—but then responding in a genuine way that reflects how you—or your character—would really behave in that situation.” The book is another project from UCB very much worth looking look forward to.
  • Also at the press conference, the guys discussed how much work is involved in becoming good at improv. Ian Roberts said a lot of people who are funny think, “Improv is walking and talking. I do that every day. I’m ready to go on stage as an improvisor!” Ian continued, “That’s like my looking at a piano and saying, ‘I like music. I have fingers. I’m ready to give a piano concert!'” Ian also defended rules, explaining, “The fact that I can stand here is defying gravity. It’s a learned skill I’ve done so often it’s become instinctual. We all learn from habit and repetition.” Matt Besser added that taking a class is great, but not by itself: “You should have your own practice team. And every session you should rehearse with each other for three hours—not one hour, not two hours, three hours is the standard…and at least three times a week.”
  • Stellar NYC trio Doppelganger (Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar) was in top form, with running gags including a man (played by Nicole) who keeps proposing marriage at the most inappropriate moments—such as when his girlfriend is caring from her grandma just moments away from death: “We’ll inherit the old bag’s house, car, and savings. Honey, be mine!” Another shining moment was when Sasheer brings an orphan (played by Keisha) into her house, outlining a space four feet by four feet and saying, “That’s how much room you have. Don’t leave that square, you’re dirty.” Keisha looks around rapturously and says, “At least it’s a home.” It was an apt metaphor for any young performer starting out; but chances are each of these fearless and razor-sharp gals will go on to lustrous careers.
  • When comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill of The Stepfathers appeared at 9:00 pm, the crowd cheered wildly. Shannon growled, “We’re on this stage every Friday! And at this exact same time!” Then Shannon relented with, “But thank you for your drunken enthusiasm.” What followed was one of the most brilliant 30 minutes of improv I’ve even seen—from Chris, Shannon, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Will Hines, Michael Delaney, and Connor Ratliff working as a perfectly oiled machine, with each understanding each other’s strengths and playing them perfectly. That would’ve been enough; but then Chris said, “And now…let’s rewind.” The troupe responded with pure magic by reenacting every scene it had made up on the spot—backwards! As these stars got to the point of backing out the curtains from where they’d entered, the audience jumped to its feet to provide a rousing standing ovation. The set wasn’t quite over, though, so Shannon returned to growl, “Sit back down! We’re not done yet! Geez, we’re here every Friday!” The troupe proceeded to deconstruct what they’d done, with such comments as, “I thought that tag was a little premature” and “This scene came out of something that happened backstage no one else has any idea about.” When the lights finally came down, the audience jumped up to provide an even louder and more enthusiastic standing ovation.
  • There’s more I could write—about such troupes as Sentimental Lady from LA and Telenovelafrom Washington DC; a fun Bassprov with the form’s creators, improv legends Joe Bill and Mark Sutton, plus guest improv legend Matt Walsh; improv star Fran Gillespie doing an impressive job as a mirror in Paranormal Encounters; and another of the finest improvisors alive, Paul Scheer, in Bruckheimer; but I want to eat something and then get back to the marathon. Please check in here tomorrow for a report on tonight; and please get your ass over to DCM for this not-to-be-missed comedy event.

Also, while I love DCM, please note that if you’re a stand-up fan Ted Alexandro is one of the very, very best, and it’s just bad luck he’s opposite the most incredible improv event of the year. If you might care to take two hours away from DCM and see Ted at the Gotham Comedy Club (just a few blocks away from UCB Chelsea), he’ll deliver gold as well. For more, please click here.

FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes Accelerate Duo Prov, Pumpkin, and Orange Augustus at The Magnetkicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Adam Conover, Jermaine Fowler, and Jessica Watkins participate in this “comedy chat show with boundary issues” that has stand-ups perform sets and then be interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Improv master Ed Herbstman and five others “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules” at The Magnettheatre: The Weave

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) One of the very finest stand-ups in the country, who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel; starred in twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; and frequently opens for Louis C.K., headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): One of the cast members of the seminal In Living Color headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tommy Davidson

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating—at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 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 (9:00 pm only), TV & movie star Todd Barry (might be 9:00 pm only), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe at The Magnet makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

9:30 pm ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

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

10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge for this new themed show: The Tarantino

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this talk & stand-up show hosted by Sarah Tollemache: Last Night

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154, Aquarius) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies.” Joining him is musical improv troupe Hot Diner to comment on one of the worst musical sequels of all time: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Grease 2

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) participate in the fake taping of a bad late-night TV comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Brad SteuernagelComedians Off Of the Leash

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/2/11

September 2, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

Ted Alexandro

Stand-up stars Ted Alexandro (above) and Gary Gulman perform tonight and Saturday at the Eastville Comedy Club...

Shannon O'Neill

...and improv geniuses Shannon O'Neill (above), Anthony Atamanuik, Jeff Hiller, and more make up musicals as "Diamond Lion"

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 show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekdownstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name:We’re Matt Weir

7:00 pm ($5): A troupe that performs a sketch show with an improv segment at the end, at The PIT downstairs lounge, directed by The Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz: Dumbkowsky

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Anthony Atamanuik, Shannon O’Neill, Jeff Hiller, Fran Gillespie, Mike Still, Amber Petty, Michael Kayne, Winston Noel, Ashley Ward, and Morgan Phillips—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion

8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($29 & 2-drink min.): A cast member of the much-missed Chappelle’s Showheadlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Donnell Rawlings

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Janine Brito, Josh Gondelman, Miguel Dalmau, Merrill Davis, and Nick Maritato performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Award-winning dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist, star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), hilarious videos from the Found Footage Festival, and stand-up Jermaine Fowler performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Sáenz’s Too Cool for School

8:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy interwoven with a live band: Citizen Models

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A comic who’s performed on Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Comedy Central, Showtime, Bravo, and VH1 headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Jessica Kirson

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm & 11:00 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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club’s A-List

9:30 pm ($5): Improvised scenes based on the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist atMissed Connections Two-Prov

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he’s not in LA), Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before the show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCBT schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCBT stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

[$] 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

 For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 7/23/11

July 23, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Shannon O'Neill

The always fearless & innovative Shannon O'Neill tackles Casey Anthony at her midnight show "The Unrehearsed, Historically Inaccurate Story of..."

Adam Newman

...and Adam Newman celebrates the release of his comedy CD "Not for Horses" at Queens LIC's The Creek

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:

7:00 pm ($5): Best friends Kathy Salerno (storyteller at Risk!) and Emily Altman (sketch comic forOnassis) form a sketch comedy duo directed by a friend of mine, the forever young and sexy Amanda Duarte: Total Sweethearts

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic storytelling at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Eugene Ashton-Gonzalez: 1001 Nights

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions—all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Alexis Lambright about her quest to pop her cherry: Combating Adult Virginity

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Movie star Janeane Garofalo, Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killerset on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Harrison Greenbaum, Owen Smith, Lucas Molandes, and Nick Rutherford performing at Karma Lounge (51 First Avenue, off 3rd Street) with hosts Kara Klenk and Nick Turner: If You Build It

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Adam Newman (College Humor) and friends celebrate the release of his comedy CD Not for Horses at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Adam Newman CD Release Party

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s performed numerous times on David Letterman and Jay Leno, starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special, and starred in a second Comedy Central special titled Mitch Fatel is Magical, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club (with opener Michael Somerville): Mitch Fatel

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup is never announced in advance; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm & 11:00 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): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Dean Edwards, Jordan Carlos, David Foster, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club’s A-List

9:00 pm ($7): 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, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King interviews an audience member about where he or she grew up and then creates an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney as comedy duo Trike

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Comedic storytelling about love in NYC and more at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City: Variety Amour

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): From the fearless and always innovative Shannon O’Neill, who won the 2011 ECNY Award for Best One-Person Show: “I seem to have made a big ole mistake. I wrote a script, I purchased the props, but I forgot to rehearse it. And on top of that I HAVE NO CAST!!!! So… I am going to cast YOU, moments before the show starts. I will hand you a script, give you some props and instruct you to just listen and get ready to perform. Oh man this is going to be a fucking mess of BEAUTY!! If you want a chance to be cast, make reservations and get in line by 11:15pm. I, Shannon O’Neill will personally come out and hand pick the best damn group of Thespians this play has ever seen and will ever see because this play will only be performed ONCE, never to be seen again! What do I look for in a cast? I love fatties, I love skinnies, I love sober people, I love drunk people. I love you all. Every shape, size, and ethnicity. Let’s hold hands and spin the world! What is this play about? Something real fucking weird. Thanks for helping me fix my mistake. I’ll see you soon friends!:” The Unrehearsed, Historically Inaccurate Story of…Casey Anthony

[FREE] Midnight: Two teams drawn from veteran improvisors, with each taking on an audience member drawn from a hat, making up scenes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Amey Goerlich and a different guest each month: Midnight Improv Run

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

[$] 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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/22/11

June 22, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Kate McKinnon, Mamrie Hart, and Amy Heidt

Brilliant comedic actresses Kate McKinnon, Mamrie Hart, Amy Heidt...

Shannon O'Neill, Leslie Meisel, and Pamela Murphy

...Shannon O'Neill, Leslie Meisel, Pam Murphy, and more perform four hours of sketch comedy for a mere $5 at the Maude Night Marathon...

Reggie Watts and Natasha Leggero

...or if you prefer an entirely free show, catch comedy geniuses Reggie Watts and Natasha Leggero at Central Park SummerStage

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 at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($5): Four full hours of sketch comedy, as all eight UCBT house teams—Dweeb, Fambly, Gramp’s, Stone Cold Fox, Neighbor Boy, Onassis, Arbuckle, and Thunder Gulch—gather to perform their best, funniest material from the past year on the same evening. With such performers involved as Kate McKinnon, Shannon O’Neill, Mamrie Hart, Amy Heidt, Leslie Meisel, Pam Murphy, Fran Gillespie, Sue Galloway, and Violet Krumbein, this will be an evening jam-packed with talent (and a golden gift if you’re a casting director or comedy producer…). Don’t be fooled by the absurdly low price of 63 cents per show; this is a sketch festival worth experiencing from beginning to end: Maude Night Marathon

7:00 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: A wonderful—and free!—outdoor concert at Central Park, with star stand-ups and musical comedy performers. The stellar headliners are Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy FallonElectric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here) and Natasha Leggero (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; star of Last Comic StandingJay Leno, Craig Ferguson,Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, Reno 911!The Sarah Silverman Program, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Ugly Americans, Chelsea Lately) at Central Park SummerStage

Even though SummerStage is spacious enough to accommodate hundreds of visitors, it’s not uncommon for every square inch of ground to be occupied with folks eager to laugh. It’s therefore recommended you arrive early for this lovely comedy party to ensure you get in, and can nab either a seat or a comfortable spot on the grass. (And consider bringing a large blanket…)

Directions to SummerStage

 

 SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

From the East side: Take the #6 subway to 68th Street and Lexington,

or the M1/M2/M3/M4 bus to 72nd Street and 5th Avenue;

enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;

and then walk a bit following the map above.

 Traveling crosstown: Take the M-66 or M72 bus to Fifth Avenue;

enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue;

and then walk a bit following the map above.

 From the West side: Take the 1/2/3/B/C subway to 72nd Street,

or the M7/M10/M11 bus to 72nd Street and Central Park West;

enter the park at 72nd Street and Central Park West;

and then walk a whole lot following the map above.

 [TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Molly Knefel (member of superb improv troupe Naked in a Fishbowl) and her brother John Knefel (veteran stand-up) host this monthly comedy show, with tonight’s guests star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys), Dan Soder (Comedy Central), Jordan Carlos (Comedy Central), Kevin Barnett (Roundtable of Gentlemen), and Susan Prekel performing stand-up at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, off Thompson Street): John and Molly Get Along

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Typically sharp NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Erin Judge (Comedy Central), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central, VH1), Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony tour), Ashley Brooke Roberts, and Billy Wayne Davis performing stand-up at the 11th Street Bar (510 East 11th Street, off Avenue A) for this monthly extravaganza hosted by the razor-sharp & delightful Erin Lennox (co-host of Fresh; for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here) who notes “AND FREE DRINKS! If you are very pretty and make someone think you’re going to sleep with them. Otherwise there are reasonably priced drinks that you can buy yourself:” Erin Lennox’s I Like You Too Show

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Ben Lerman (nuanced raunchy comedic singer/songwriter; Logo TV’sNewNowNext, Sirius Radio’s Frank DeCaro Show), Will Hines (UCBT improv/sketch superstar who’s getting better at stand-up), Rob Gorden (storyteller; Onion News Network, The Big C), Walter Replogle (member of award-winning sketch troupe Murderfist), Sean Crespo (The Electric Company, Onion News Network, host of Lasers in the Jungle), Kristeen von Hagen (Showtime’s Comics without Borders), and Carrie Gravenson performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[FREE] 10:00 pm: An evening of video comedy shorts from our NYC comedy community screened at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Nick Turner & Jason Saenz: Free Comedy Videos

[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 in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern:Bucket ‘O Buckets

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 4/8/11

April 8, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Kristen Stewart

Learn which is spookier, "Twilight" or real life, in Shannon O'Neill's one-night-only audience participation bio-play "Kristen Stewart"

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:

7:00 pm ($8): Award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

7:30 pm ($10): Sketch shows from Two Fun Men and from Bleak, in the double-bill Two Men Having Fun and Stomachtown

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Groundbreaking and highly acclaimed improvisors Matt Higgins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott performing with a three-piece rock ensemble: Centralia

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($49.50): One of the finest comics in the country, Mike Birbiglia’s credits include the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live; the book Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories; and his hit off-Broadway show Sleepwalk with Me. Mike’s now returned to the stage, once again creating his unique blend of stand-up and storytelling, for an all-new one-man show at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) slated to run through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A special guest,” plus NYC stand-ups Raquel D’Apice, Jordan Carlos, Dan Goodman, and Nikki Glaser, performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Improv duo Nathan Phillips & Joe Schiappa, plus guests, make stuff up using unusual improv structures for this free event at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: The Nathan & Joe Show

8:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins

[FREE—plus FREE WINGS] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Kevin McCaffrey (writer for David Letterman, TruTV), Hilary Schwartz (Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad), David Lee Nelson, Max Cohen, Laura Prangley, and Jay Welch performing at Brooklyn’s The Royal Oak (594 Union Avenue) with hosts Calvin S. Cato, Justin Murray, and Chad Plaines: The Pregame Comedy Show

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A stand-up who’s performed on Conan O’Brien and his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Dwayne Perkins

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): Ace improvisors who are married—some to each other—including such world-class talents as Ed Herbstman and Doug Mo: The Mamas and the Papas

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches: The Harvard Sailing Team

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 online or at the door using code MOON): Star comedic storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) performing a smart, engaging, and often hilarious one-man show at PS 122 (150 First Avenue off 9th Street ) running through April 9th: Tom Shillue is Supernormal

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Thomas Middleditch and Nate Lang (back after pilot season in LA), plus Craig Rowen, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): PIT students mix it up with PIT improv veterans at The Draft

11:30 pm ($5): Before the show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinons which the improvisors will use onstage: The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): From the fearless and always innovative Shannon O’Neill, who recently won the 2011 ECNY Award for Best One-Person Show: “I seem to have made a big ole mistake. I wrote a script, I purchased the props, but I forgot to rehearse it. And on top of that I HAVE NO CAST!!!! So… I am going to cast YOU, moments before the show starts. I will hand you a script, give you some props and instruct you to just listen and get ready to perform. Oh man this is going to be a fucking mess of BEAUTY!! If you want a chance to be cast, make reservations and get in line by 11:15pm. I, Shannon O’Neill will personally come out and hand pick the best damn group of Thespians this play has ever seen and will ever see because this play will only be performed ONCE, never to be seen again! What do I look for in a cast? I love fatties, I love skinnies, I love sober people, I love drunk people. I love you all. Every shape, size, and ethnicity. Let’s hold hands and spin the world! What is this play about? Something real fucking weird and TBA. Thanks for helping me fix my mistake. I’ll see you soon friends!:” The Unrehearsed, Historically Inaccurate Story of…Twilight’s Kristen Stewart

[$] 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

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 2/24/11

February 24, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you have a thyroid, or know someone with a thyroid, please consider buying my latest book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Outlook of the Poet

The heavens will shake tonight as Outlook of the Poet (above)...

The Stepfathers

...clashes with The Stepfathers at an all-star edition of the improv competition extravaganza "Cage Match"

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:

7:00 pm ($12): Terrific NYC stand-ups Tom Shillue (Comedy Central Presents), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien), James Smith (Comedy Central), Rory Albanese (Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Chuck Nice (VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jon Fisch (In the Tank), Tom McCaffrey (The Onion), Michael Somerville (Wingman), and Dan Naturman (Last Comic Standing) performing with host Sean Donnelly at Comedy Below Canal

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brilliant improvisor Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel, UCBT’s John & Scott) and veteran improvisor Rachel Hamilton perform as a duo—if Scott gets out of shooting 30 Rock in time tonight—as Hamilton & Adsit

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Matt Higgins (Centralia) and Stuart Bogie (FELA!) “let loose in a radically improvised theater show:” Amphibian

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A double-bill of vibrant improv troupes: Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik make up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie; and “fast, furious, and fearless” visiting Chicago-based improv troupe Ragdolls

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): A comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) are shared by their original authors before total strangers at Mortified

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and (throughout February) by the wonderful Brooke Van Poppelen:Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can get a behind-the-scenes peak—plus comics Streeter Seidell & Jeff, Kevin Barnett, Sam Morril, and possibly some special surprises—at CollegeHumor Live

9:30 pm ($10): “Ever wonder how you become a writer for an Emmy winning TV show? So does J. D. Durkin. Since no one has told him, here is his one-man show performing all original material to become a writer for The Colbert Report. Durkin channels Colbert live on stage to present political punditry as only The PIT could do it…and only The PIT, since he was escorted off the Comedy Central premises:” Stephen Colbert: Hire Me

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Titans walk the stage tonight as all-star genius improv troupes Outlook of the Poet (Jon Gabrus, Ben Rodgers, and Gavin Speiller) and The Stepfathers (Michael Delaney, Chris Gethard, Will Hines, Bobby Moynihan, Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Andy Secunda, and Zach Woods) compete for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

If you have a thyroid, or know someone with a thyroid, please consider buying my latest book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.