NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/11/11

August 11, 2011

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For your personal guide to the spectacular FringeNYC 2011 Festival, please click here.

Matt Walsh and Matt Besser

Upright Citizens Brigade co-founders Matt Walsh and Matt Besser make rare NYC appearances tonight (to help usher in this weekend's Del Close Marathon) at "Apples & Oranges" and "The Back Room"

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: A free screening of a 2002 documentary about improv legend Del Close featuring memories from such stars as Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh: The Delmonic Interviews

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics drawing names from a bucket, with each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free show, audience members (signing in at 6) can join in with veteran improv talents to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Please note this is among the last chances to enjoy improv genius Tara Copeland on an NYC stage before Tara moves to LA next month. Come see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching any or all of this five-night run (through Friday) at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street): Baby Wants Candy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Matt Besser, co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade, hosts comedy stars Horatio Sanz, Todd Barry, Chris Gethard, Kate McKinnon, John Gemberling, Craig Rowan, Rob Lathan, and James Adomian at The Back Room

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) performing an improvised play in What a Year!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Some of the Magnet Theatre’s finest improvisors make up theatrical plays on the spot: Playhouse

[$] 8:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who won Last Comic Standing Season 3, has performed on Jay Leno, and starred in his own Showtime one-hour special Who’s Paying Attention?, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Alonzo Bodden

8:00 pm ($8): “A 17-person middle school talent show created and performed by two people—Jo Firestone and Dylan Marron—who like themselves more now that they’re older. A comedic tribute to the best three years of our lives, and a comedic play for anyone who ever thought it couldn’t get any better than prank calls and slow-dancing:” Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite

[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: Comedy as a Second Language

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Matt Walsh, one of the finest improvisors alive, performs with Jon Glaser (Conan O’Brien, Adult Swim’s Delocated) in Apples & Oranges; and Mark Sutton & Jodi Lennon perform the beloved improv show Bassprov

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 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 who should not be missed…and are performing tonight at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street): John & Scott

9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups performing at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Sean Crespo’s & Carol Hartsell’s weekly comedy show Lasers in the Jungle

9:30 pm ($5): A brand new episode of a classic sitcom written (by Luke Ward) as if it was happening during the height of the show’s popularity, with tonight’s subject Family TiesTo Be Continued

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors (not announced) make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT’s basement lounge for The Scene

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Krompf, one of the best improv troupes in NYC (consisting of Neil Casey, Amey Goerlich, Ryan Karels, and Joe Wengert), performing with its graduating improv students: Second Annual Krompf Extravaganza

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): UCBT-LA’s late night sketch/music variety show performing for one evening only here in NYC. Come catch a small army of young talent at The Midnight Show

11:00 pm ($5): Magnet improv troupes Brick and Patina compete for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado

For full details, please visit

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 7/28/10

July 28, 2010

For full details, please visit

For Hy’s take on Last Comic Standing, please click here.

Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, and Ian Roberts

The legendary Upright Citizens Brigade—Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, and Ian Roberts—perform tonight at Radio Underground

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 & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with two installments running back to back every Wednesday at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12.90 online, $12 at the door): A Chicago-based troupe that’s wowed audiences around the world with their skill at creating a completely improvised hour-long musical. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment; even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are made up on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last August for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event at the magical Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A one-man show from Michael Hartney about an obsession (which, given my comic book background, I consider utterly reasonable); and a tale of heartbreak by Leslie Meisel and Megan Neuringer, in the double-bill : So I Like Superman: A One-Nerd Show and Love Can Suck a Dick…and So Can I

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($19.33 online if you use code VIPJULY, plus 2-item minimum): John Oliver (star correspondent of The Daily Show and genius stand-up comic) and assorted other stand-ups performing at a show hosted by Daily Show Executive Producer Rory Albanese at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: The Daily Show and Friends with John Oliver

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Myq Kaplan (kicking ass on this season of Last Comic Standing), Erin Judge (Comedy Central; for hilarious stand-up bit about being bisexual, please click here), Jesse Popp (co-host of Beauty Bar Comedy), and Alex Koll performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Gabe Liedman and Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[FREE] 8:30: Brilliant comedic chameleon Livia Scott, and NYC stand-ups Johanna Clearfield, Dan Wilbur, Mick Diflo, Andy Hendrickson, and Subhah Agarwal, performing at this free weekly show hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12.90 online, $12 at the door—but buy in advance, because every performance will sell out): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. There are three NYC performances left—tonight and Thursday at the Hudson Guild Theatre, and Friday at FIT—with each evening utterly different from the last. Try to catch every single performance of the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Comedy legends Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh (co-founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade) are joined by UCBT stars for a live Sirius/XM Satellite Radio broadcast: Radio Underground

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($19.33 online if you use code VIPJULY, plus 2-item minimum): Red-hot rising star stand-ups Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), Hannibal Buress (Variety’s 2010 Top 10 Comics to Watch; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, George Lopez; 2010 ECNY Award for Best Male Stand-Up), Dan St. Germain (hilarious, quick-witted stand-up who’ll be garnering credits soon), and more performing for a show hosted by Greg Barris at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Heart of Darkness

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing 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. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

For full details, please visit

For Hy’s take on Last Comic Standing, please click here.