NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/21/11

January 21, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

Aziz Ansari and Pamela Murphy

Aziz Ansari returns to UCBT—and brings along comedy super-stars—at "The Super Secret Stand-Up Show;" and Pam Murphy (above) & Leslie Meisel perform the best double-bill you'll see anywhere: "The C Word" and "Love Can Suck a Dick"

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] 6:30 pm ($5): Fearless and hilarious stand-up/storyteller Andrea Rosen tests out a one-woman show that’s sure to be special because Andrea is: Ding Dong Meow

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Hilary Schwartz, Pat O’Shea, Jenn Palumbo, Fariaz Rabbani, and Miguel Dalmau performing at Otto’s Shrunken Head (538 East 14th Street, between Avenues A and B) hosted by Eric Vetter: No Name and A Bag O’ Chips

7:00 pm ($8): Award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Pamela Murphy proves herself to be a star in this not-to-be-missed autobiographical show that’s the best-scripted one-act to grace UCBT in the past year, performed with wit, grace, and pitch-perfect comedic timing (for video samples of Pam’s work, please click here). Don’t miss Jane Borden of Time Out New York‘s pick for Best Solo Show of 2010Pamela Murphy: The C Word

…and for the other half of this double-bill, a delightful tale of heartbreak by Leslie Meisel—who manages the impressive feat of being adorable, sexy, and hilarious all at the same time, and is a sharp comedic talent very much worth keeping an eye on—quite ably abetted by co-writer Megan Neuringer in one of the smartest theatrical shows to grace UCBT this past year: Love Can Suck a Dick…and So Can I

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, Verizon FIOS guy, Front Page Films, The Other Guys, comedy CD Come Clean), Mike Lawrence (hilarious sharp-witted stand-up; John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show), plus the usual sketch comedy gang, and musical band Fortress of Solitude, all performing at Karma Lounge with hosts Pat Stango & Blaine Perry for this endearingly oddball monthly comedy show: Don’t Touch Me There

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($28 online using discount code TMANIA): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 90 minutes with a true genius of comedy. Please note this is a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up…and not for every taste. But whether you’re ultimately grabbed by the story or not, it’s worth experiencing if only for Daniel’s lightning-quick flashes of humor. For example, at the performance I attended a woman sitting in the front row had the incredible gall to start reading. Daniel sweetly responded, “Ooh, that’s a subtle yet effective form of criticism. I’m certainly not cross with you, just too nosy about what you’re reading to plow on. Look, you’re still reading. What a lack of faith you have in live entertainment.” Place your faith in Daniel, check out write-ups in The New York Times by clicking here andhere, and catch this show running every day except Mondays through January 30th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.)  An energetic regular on Chelsea Lately who’s also appeared on Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, VH1, and his own Comedy Central special headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jo Koy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show), Dan St. Germain (rising star; MTV, FUSE), Adrienne Iapalucci, Ben Kissel, and Harry Terjanian performing at Brooklyn’s Coco 66 for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s Too Cool for School

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC’s American Chopper, Maxim and Cosmo Radio, So-Low Show; popular blogsNYisretarded.blogspot.com and RockBottom; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central), Matt Ruby, Zach Sims, and Nate Fernald performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by David Cope: Hot Soup

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) A comic’s comic who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, HBO, FX’s Louie, and three Comedy Central specials headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): 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 titled Ms. Larsen’s ClassThe Harvard Sailing Team

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm:”In 2005, Oprah Winfrey invited Cicely Tyson to her house for lunch, but forgot to invite Ruby Dee. Then she forgot to invite Della Reese, Maya Angelou, and Phylicia Rashad, so she decided, instead, to do something only Oprah would: invited, like, a million famous black ladies to her California estate for a three-day weekend that included a luncheon, a black-tie gala, and a gospel brunch. All of it—from the excessive preparation to the actual ceremonies—was captured on camera for a two-hour special that is some of the most insane television you will ever see, featuring bad poetry, an Oprah trolley, and Ashanti trying to speak eloquently. Join comedian and blogger Eliot Glazer as he presents the footage live with commentary, special guests, surprises, and Oprah-style giveaways” at Brooklyn’s Union HallOprah’s Legends Ball: The Deconstruction

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Aziz Ansari put together a stand-up line-up so spectacular that I’m not even allowed to tell you who’ll be on it. Which means this is not to be missed: The Super Secret Stand-up Show

11:00 pm ($5): “Actors enter with cell phones, not knowing what the night will hold. Their job: To speak aloud whatever they hear through their earpieces. The phones start to ring and the real-time adventure begins. Spontaneous conversations, narrated journeys, and unique experiences overlap as the night’s theme sporadically emerges: Line One

11:30 pm ($5): Five women performing an improvised, and possibly tipsy, parody of The View atFocus

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Sean Fennessey (Vibe, Spin, Pitchfork.com) is among tonight’s guests joining “opinionated audiophile John Frusciante hosting a revolving panel of music-loving comedians, writers, and musicians for a live monthly discussion about the state of music past and present, what you should and shouldn’t be listening to, and why KISS sucks so much. It is a guarantee that your favorite band will at some point be brought up, dissected, and either praised to the rafters or dismissed with the wave of a hand that knows how to properly handle vinyl:” Break Up Your Band

[$] 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 my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 1/7/11

January 7, 2011

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

Pamela Murphy and Daniel Kitson

The two funniest events tonight are life-affirming shows about cancer and suicide, from comedy giants Pamela Murphy ("The C Word") and Daniel Kitson ("The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church")

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Pamela Murphy proves herself to be a star in this not-to-be-missed autobiographical show that’s the best-scripted one-act to grace in the past year, performed with wit, grace, and pitch-perfect comedic timing (for video samples of Pam’s work, please clickhere). Don’t miss Jane Borden of Time Out New York‘s pick for Best Solo Show of 2010: Pamela Murphy: The C Word

…and for the other half of this double-bill, A delightful tale of heartbreak by Leslie Meisel—who manages the impressive feat of being adorable, sexy, and hilarious all at the same time, and is a sharp comedic talent very much worth keeping an eye on—quite ably abetted by co-writer Megan Neuringer in one of the smartest theatrical shows to grace UCBT this year: Love Can Suck a Dick…and So Can I

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A groundbreaking and surreal improv/sketch troupe—tonight performing with musical guests Marshall York, Jacob Brown and Chris O’Brien: Centralia

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-item min.): A TV & movie star known for his wry, smart observations headlining tonight through Sunday at the Comix Comedy Club: Larry Miller

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($45): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected comics alive. I’m seeing his one-man play tonight, so will be more specific about it shortly. It’s running through January 30th at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Julian McCullough (Comedy Central Presents half-hour special), Mike Lawrence (up-and-coming sharp stand-up), Will Hines (UCBT improv & sketch star determined to become great at stand-up too), and Joe Pera performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue), hosted by Matt Ruby: Hot Soup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Julian McCullough (Comedy Central Presents half-hour special), Roger Hailes (Comedy Central, VH1), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central), Damien Lemon, Annie Lederman, and Jono Zalay performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s Too Cool for School

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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): 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 titled Ms. Larsen’s ClassThe Harvard Sailing Team

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

10:30 pm ($10): Jonathan Gabrus, Sue Galloway, and other fine improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): A comedic freestyle rap contest featuring some of the funniest & sharpest comics in NYC—who tonight include Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big LakeMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York), Liam McEneaney (host of Tell Your Friends), Dave Rosinsky (Whitest Kids U Know), Kevin Barnett (Roundtable Of Gentlemen Podcast), and Whitney Meers (Comedy Central, Atom.com)—plus a volunteer from the audience!, hosted by genius comedic musical performers Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme) and Victor Varnado (Conan O’BrienJimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central) all at one of my favorite monthly shows: The BEATdown

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/30/10

December 30, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Sandra Bernhard

Sandra Bernhard performs tonight and on New Year's Eve at Joe's Pub...

Gavin Speiller and Pamela Murphy

...and two of the most brilliant rising stars in the biz are on stage tonight: Gavin Speiller playing both side at "Cage Match," and Pamela Murphy performing her unforgetable one-woman show "The C Word"

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] 6:30 pm ($5): Paul Welsh debuts a one-man show about which comedy giant Shannon O’Neil says “Paul made my job easy and asked me to direct gold covered in crazy. You are going to want to see this show!”; plus Jordan Klepper and Laura Grey debut a sketch show, in the double-bill Men in Paintings: A Day in the Crisp Family Hall of Portraits and Klepper and Grey: Baggage

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm ($50 cover, plus $12 min. if you sit at a table): A comic who’s been a movie star, a singer, and lived a roller coaster career, but remains a performer unlike anyone else, doing a new show with her band at Joe’s Pub through New Year’s Eve: Sandra Bernhard

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Pamela Murphy proves herself to be a star in this not-to-be-missed autobiographical show that’s the best-scripted one-act to grace UCBT this year, performed with wit, grace, and pitch-perfect comedic timing (for video samples of Murphy’s work, please clickhere); plus Michael Hartney performs a one-man show that (as a highly informed and engaged Superman fan) I found way too mild and superficial, but maybe I’ll give it a second look tonight, in the double-bill Pamela Murphy: The C Word and So I Like Superman

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sketch troupe The Upset Triangle—which includes Dan McNamara, animator of the wonderful The Bear, The Cloud, and God series—celebrates its 10th Year Anniversary with guests Free Love Forum (ace musical improvisors), stand-up Adam Newman (College Humor), Daft Punk, Teddy Roosevelt, and Kurt Braunohler, all at The Upset Triangle

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($42 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up comedy superstar headlining for one last night at Carolines: Dave Attell

[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 comedy genius Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set onJimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1): Comedy as a Second Language

9:30 pm ($5): UCBT comics, including the delightfully snarky Shannon O’Neill and quick-witted sarcastic sketch troupe Sidecar, look back at what was awful in 2010 at The It Sucked! Awards

9:30 pm ($5): Desiree Nash wrote and co-stars in a sketch show revolving around the comedic travails of dating: Check Please!

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Gavin Speiller, who has one of the most brilliant minds to ever grace the improv world, battles himself tonight as his world-class improv troupe Death by Roo Roo competes against his original stellar improv troupe Rogue Elephant for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 12/9/10

December 9, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Pamel Murphy and Kurt Braunohler

Tonight breathtakingly talented comedic actress Pamela Murphy performs a one-woman show about disease and triumph in "The C Word," and master sketch comic Kurt Braunohler practices his one-man show for the Edinburgh Festival in "The Amish Guide to Fucking"

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:

6:30 pm ($5): Comedy troupe Sandino performs a sketch show that has something to do with reading in The Sandino Book Club: Catcher in the Rye, plus comedy troupe MADCAR performs a sketch show titled Dave n’ Brenda’s Wedding, at tonight’s double-bill installment of the audition series Spank

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): Top comics and comedic storytellers—who tonight include Aasif Mandvi (correspondent for The Daily Show), Ryan Paulson (one-man shows Pentecostal Wisconsin and I’m Uncomfortable), Lee Camp (The Huffington Post, The Green Room with Paul Provenza), Benjamen Walker (WFMU’s Too Much Information), Jo Weldon (The Burlesque Handbook), and Gemma Clarke—joining brilliant sketch comic and storyteller Kevin Allison (The State) to share tales on tonight’s theme “Eye of the Beholder” at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Master sketch comic Kurt Braunohler “relates how he destroyed a 13-year relationship in the dumbest, most complicated way possible, with bar fights, naked men, walruses, and an audition for Sasha Baron Cohen” in the one-man show The Amish Guide to F*cking

8:00 pm ($8): The Magnet’s co-owner Armando Diaz performs monologues on the spot and improvisors then act out scenes based on them at The Armando Diaz Experience

8:00 pm ($5): Lennon Parham demonstrates her comedy genius by utterly stealing this show with just a few minutes of performance time—via Skype video from LA!—while other talented performers on stage struggle with a sadly underdeveloped script…though Marcy Jarreau somehow manages to rise above the material, and is the other standout to look for (in the scene with the mirror…); plus young talents perform a loud and mildly amusing sketch show about cops, in the double-bill Oh My God, I Heard You’re Dying! and The Sit Down and Shut Up NYPD Variety Hour

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing stand-up on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killerset on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1): Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; commentator on MNBC’s Countdown with Keith Oberman and VH1’s Best Week Ever; Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Hari Kondabolu (John Oliver’s New York Standup Show, Jimmy Kimmel), Mark Normand (co-host of We’re All Friends Here), and Ken Schultz performing at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for a show hosted & produced by just-engaged couple Sean Crespo & Carol Hartsell: Lasers in the Jungle

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Comedy genius Pam Murphy proving herself to be a star in this not-to-be-missed autobiographical show that’s the best-scripted one-act to grace UCBT this year, performed with wit, grace, and pitch-perfect comedic timing (for video samples of Murphy’s work, please click here); and Nicole Shabtai performing a one-woman show about “an illustrious 13-year-old socialite and notorious Upper East Side private schooler we all love to hate,” in the double-bill Pam Murphy: The C Word and Citizen Rothstein

9:30 pm ($8): “An improvised spoof on the process of rehearsing and performing a scripted play takes the audience through the table read, bits of one of the rehearsals, and the opening night performance of a play that’s never been performed before and never will be again:” The Play Format

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Star improv troupe Reuben William and UCBT Harold Night troupe Badman competing for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wed. 11/24/10

November 24, 2010

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.

Pamela Murphy

Unique and beloved comedic actress Pamela Murphy performs a one-woman show tonight about disease and triumph in The C Word

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($24.50 & 2-drink min.)  A one-of-a-kind comedy star headlining tonight and Thursday at Carolines: Gilbert Gottfried

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Real-life siblings Will Hines (The Stepfathers) and Kevin Hines (Reuben Williams) perform stellar improv as The Brothers Hines; and in the other half of this double-bill, Nicole Shabtai performs a one-woman show about “illustrious a 13-year-old socialite and notorious Upper East Side private schooler we all love to hate” as Citizen Rothstein

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Patrick Borelli (Jimmy Fallon), Sara Benincasa (Comedy Central, YouTube star), Joe DeLuca (Comedy Central), Lance Weiss, and Cindy Cornelson performing at the East Village’sAngels and Kings with guest host Alexis Guerreros: Entertaining the Bartender

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show from the hilarious Pam Murphy about breast cancer (which I’ll be eagerly attending tonight); and Geoff Garlock and Emily Strachan are friends bonded by their love of Randy Quaid who attend an epic Quaid-con, in the double-bill Pam Murphy: The C Word and Gettin’ Quaid

For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.