NYC Comedy Picks for Week of January 28, 2008

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 1/28/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in NYC live comedy include

what's likely to be one of the most fun and memorable events of the year,

a who's who of NYC comedy at the spectacular ECNY Awards (8:00 pm),

stellar comics & actors—including such special guests as luminous TV & movie star Amy Poehler

and Jason Sudeikis of Saturday Night Live—plus brilliant improvisors Michael Delaney, Christina Gausas,

Anthony King,  and many more—crashing improv into classic theatre scenes at Gravid Water (8:00 pm),

sketches & other fun regarding the Presidential primary season, plus an interview with

quick-witted political cartoonist David Rees, at Lizz Winstead's Shoot the Messenger (8:30 pm),

and wonderful star comics John Oliver (The Daily Show), Melissa Hill (Comedy Central, CBS, FOX, VH1),

and more at one of the funniest shows in NYC—which just happens to  be free—starring and

hosted by Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, and now-babyfaced Aziz Ansari of Human Giant (11:00 pm).

 

The ECNY Awards

This show promises to be one of the best comedy events of the year.

After an almost two-year hiatus, the ECNY Awards, New York's original comedy awards,

were resurrected and completely revamped by a group of brilliant NYC comedy stars:

Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show at  UCBT, Slightly Buzzed at Rififi), Alex Goldberg (world-class sketch troupe Fearsome), Carol Hartsell (Drink at Work at Ochi's Lounge), Nate (gold standard comedy site The Apiary), and Alex Zalben (spectacular annual SketchFest NYC, Comic Book Club at The PIT,  ace sketch troupe Elephant Larry). Bless them all

for the enormous hard, and very smart, work they put into making this happen.

ECNY was originally an acronym for Emerging Comics of New York,

but that was ditched this year to allow the finest talents in NYC

to be recognized whether they're "emerging" or not.

And the nominees truly do include some of the most razor-sharp,

awesomely talented, and hilarious comics in the country.

(To learn more about ECNY, please click here and here.)

According to producer Alex Goldberg, "The ECNY Awards will now, more than ever,

serve as a reflection of what's going on in New York comedy. We're

seeing an explosion of talent in the city right now, and how better to honor that

than with an overblown, self-important awards show?"

Indeed. And expect a memorable party afterwards.

The show is at Comix, a gorgeous comedy club that normally has a two-item

minimum. However, that's been waived tonight; and tickets are a mere $10.

If you're at all interested in live comedy in NYC, don't miss this special event.

To order tickets online, please click here.

8:00 pm, Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues); tickets are $10

 

 

Amy Beckerman, Gloria Bigelow, Jackie Monahan, and Leah Dubie

Dykes on Mics

Free gay-themed stand-up comedy show featuring the gals above

as regulars/hosts, plus tonight's guests:

Selena Coppack, Jessimae Peluso, and Scott Ryan.

8:00 pm at RubyFruit Bar & Grill, 531 Hudson Street (between West 10th & Charles); free

 

 

Luminous stars Jason Sudeikis and Amy Poehler of Saturday Night Live...

...and genius comedy performers Anthony King, Christina Gausas, and Michael Delaney

Gravid Water

Classic theatre scenes performed by professional actors who stay on book—

and an improv comic who hasn't read the play and has to make up lines on the fly.

Starring genius improvisers: Michael Delaney (The Stepfathers, The Swarm), Christina Gausas (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Stepfathers, Dorff & Gausas), Anthony King (brilliant UCBT-NY Artistic Director; Reuben Williams, Happy Hour, Let's Have a Ball, off-Broadway show

Gutenberg! The Musical), Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live cast member for five seasons and Weekend Update co-anchor for two seasons; luminous movie star in such hit features as

Mean Girls, and the upcoming Mr. Woodcock, Fast Track, and Southland Tales; co-founder of

milestone comedy troupe the Upright Citizens Brigade), and Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live

writer since 2003 and cast member since 2006; former love interest of Liz Lemmon on 30 Rock).

And also starring are some of NYC's top theatre actors: Jason Antoon (Contact), Jenn Gambatese (Is He Dead?), Jason Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone), Sandy Rustin (Neil Simon's Hotel Suite), and Amy Rutberg (Our Leading Lady).

Gravid Water is directed, hosted, and co-stars Stephen Ruddy...

and is one of the finest comedy productions in New York.

If you want to introduce an actor friend to the world of improv, start with this show.

8:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

 

Political cartoonist David Rees and host Lizz Winstead

Shoot the Messenger

Lizz Winstead is co-creator and former head writer of the original The Daily Show; former Executive VP of Air America Radio; and a performer on such shows as Comedy Central Presents and HBO's Women of the Night. (She's also a character; e.g., for a memorable anti-apology after canceling her appearance on the live NYC show Drink at Work, please click here.)

Tonight's guest is cartoonist David Rees, who creates political cartoon

series and books such as Get Your War On (for a sample, please click here).

To get a feel for STM, view a fun interview with David Rees from his previous

visit to the show  (on October 15, 2007) by clicking here.

To buy tickets online (each $10 plus $2.50 service charge), please click here.

8:30 pm at Ace of Clubs, 9 Great Jones Street (3rd St. between Lafayette and Broadway); $10

This theatre is downstairs from the Acme restaurant. Nearest subway stops are

Bleecker Street on the #6 and Broadway-Lafayette on the F/V/D/B.

 

 

Pent-up Hostility with David Caruso

Tom DiMenna and Stuart Luth (sketch troupe Slightly Known People)

take you on a journey through mankind's repressed emotions.

And apparently the focal point of this adventure is actor David Caruso.

How can you avoid being intrigued?

9:30 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

 

Melinda Hill and John Oliver...

...and Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, and Aziz Ansari (a.k.a. Human Giant)

Human Giant

The wonderful stars of MTV comedy hit Human Giant

Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, and recently-shaved Aziz Ansari—

will be showing off clips-in-progress for their

upcoming second season (slated to air in March).

There's no one better at working an audience than these guys;

and their first season was, in my opinion, one of the funniest shows in TV history.

(For details, please click here.)

Helping the guys throw a great party will be star comics, including

John Oliver (brilliant stand-up comic; delightful & hilarious news correspondent for

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, co-writer/star of The Department for BBC Radio 4;

currently perfecting material for his first Comedy Central Presents special), and

Melinda Hill (Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program and World Stands Up;

CBS' Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson; FOX, VH1, E!; The Groundlings;

for Melinda as adorable and thoroughly hilarious tooth fairy, please click here;

for Melinda doing comedy riffs on her mom, please click here).

This is likely to be one of the funniest shows in NYC.

And it's free.

11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); free

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 1/29/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in NYC live comedy include

terrific female stand-up comics, including Margot Leitman, Giulia Rozzi, and Abbi Crutchfield

(explaining "How to Use a Mascara Wand as a Shiv") at Carolyn Castiglia's Chicks & Giggles (8:00 pm),

always-fun explorations of comic books with a comedic slant at Comic Book Club (8:00 pm),

wonderful star stand-ups Dave Hill, Mike Birbiglia, and Victor Varnado, plus acclaimed comedy

screenwriter/director John Hamburg, at the 150th edition of the fabulous Seth Herzog's Sweet (9:00 pm),

and some of the best improvisors in NYC mixing it up at The Blender (11:00 pm).

For details, please click here.

 

An Exciting New Source of Comedy on the Web

One of the most positive forces for comedy in our time,

the Upright Citizens Brigade (see directly below) has just launched a comedy Web site.

Called UCBcomedy.com, it's designed to be a home for hilarious sketches,

new TV series ideas, music videos, live performances, pranks, found footage, and more.

The site plans to host fresh videos every day and a new original short every Tuesday.

(The first short is titled Shirts and Skins, stars Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Sean Conroy, and Joe  Nuñez, and is both funny and disturbing...) The founding members of UCB—Matt Besser,

Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh—are comedic geniuses; and

through their school/theatres in New York and LA, they've helped shape

an entire generation of fresh, brilliant comedy talent who've spread UCB's

wonderful philosophies and techniques around the country.

Can UCB do for Web comedy what it's already done for

live and TV comedy? Visit UCBcomedy.com regularly and

decide for yourself about this new venture, "UCB's third stage."

 

The Upright Citizens Brigade

Amy Poehler: ASSSSCAT—Sexy Tennis

Amy Poehler: SNL—Really!?!

Matt Besser: MySpace Tom

Matt Besser: Crossballs—Drugs

Matt Walsh: Dog Bites Man—Jewish Room

Matt Walsh: Dog Bites Man—Racism

Matt Walsh & Matt Besser: Al Roker

Ian Roberts: Martin and Orloff

Ian Roberts et al: UCB—Astronaut Racism

(to purchase DVDs of the Upright Citizens Brigade TV show,

please click for Season 1 and Season 2;

and to purchase a fine taped version of UCB's signature live show ASSSSCAT!,

which was performed in 2007 at the LA Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, please click here)

 

   

Abbi Crutchfield, Carolyn Castiglia, and Giulia Rozzi

Chicks & Giggles

Carolyn Castiglia hosts a lineup of talented female stand-up comics.

Tonight's scheduled guests are:

Margot Leitman (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, VH1, ESPN;

co-host of red-hot NYC live comedy show Stripped Stories;

for Margot's fun reel, please click here),

Giulia Rozzi (VH1's Best Night Ever podcasts; monthly video series The Message Board, which makes fun of brides, on ComedyNet.com; co-producer of East coast version of hit national show Mortified; other co-host of monthly NYC red-hot live comedy show Stripped Stories;

for a video sample, please click here),

Abbi Crutchfield (possibly as Dr. Eric Newberry, feminist motivational speaker who teaches class on self-defense via everyday items, e.g., "How to Use a Mascara Wand as a Shiv"),

Jodie Wasserman (Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Comic Remix, BET),

Mara Herron (Maury), and

Susannah Perlman (Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad).

8:00 pm, Ochi's Lounge at Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues);

no cover, 1 drink or food item minimum (on low-cost menu; e.g., draft beer for $4-$5)

 

 

Comic Book Club

Hosted by Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler and Pete LePage,

who enjoy discussing comic books while getting laughs.

Tonight's industry guests are Greg Pak (World War Hulk)

and Fred Van Lente (Action Philisophers).

8:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Harold Night

The Harold is longform improv, pioneered by Del Close.

Tonight, five improv troupes—

Twelve Thousand Dollars, 1985, fwand, Bastian, and Raynard—

each give it a go for 30 minutes, with

short breaks in between, for a total of 3 hours.

Some of the groups are great; some are less so. And this show

is designed more for students of improv than the general public.

But if you're interested, and patient, a mere $5 will buy you

a full evening's education...and periodic solid laughs.

8:00-11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

 

Dave Hill, Mike Birbiglia, Victor Varnado, and Seth Herzog

Sweet: 150th Show!

Hosted by the razor-sharp, dynamic, and hilarious Seth Herzog (VH1's Best Week Ever).

This is one of the finest comedy shows in NYC; and tonight is extra special, as it's the 150th.

Tonight's wonderful all-star guests include

Dave Hill (written for The New York Times, Salon, HBO, and the eerie

Web site Black Metal Dialogues; written and performed for VH1, Spike TV,

The Learning Channel, and the fabulous Smoking Gun TV series; hosts monthly

UCBT extravaganza The Dave Hill Explosionto learn more, please click here),

Mike Birbiglia (razor-sharp stand-up comic—his routine about CNN is worth the trip by itself;

Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, two Comedy Central Presents

specials; new Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing airing

in a couple of weeks, so please keep an eye out for that;

comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live;

for sample stand-up videos, please click here and here),

Victor Varnado (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, NBC's My Name is Earl, Chicago City Limits; for a stand-up sample, please click here), and

John Hamburg (creator/writer/director of CBS' new single-camera sitcom Welcome to the Captain; writer/director of movie hit Along Came Polly; co-writer of such other movie hits as Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, and Zoolander).

9:00 pm at The Slipper Room, 167 Orchard Street  (corner of Stanton Street); tickets are $5

 

 

The Blender

Stellar members of various UCBT improv teams are

mixed together to form new teams for just an evening.

Tonight's (pretty awesome) one-time-only troupes are:

Team 1:  Bobby Moynihan, Silvija Ozols, Aubrey Plaza, Ben Rodgers, Nick Ross,

Gavin Speiller, Charlie Todd, and Greg Tuculescu.

Team 2: Bob Acevedo, Brian Barrett, Jen Bartels, Eric Bernat, Jackie Clarke,

Eugene Cordero, Megan Neuringer, and Charlie Sanders.

Come take advantage of this chance to see wonderful improvisers

who normally don't work together try to instantly form a group mind.

11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 1/30/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in NYC live comedy include

the magical Livia Scott delivering a brilliant performance in her one-woman show about OJ Simpson fans,

plus a joyously silly celebration of school days, in Goodnight, O.J. and High School Talent Show  (8:00 pm),

typically stellar stand-up comics at Eugene Mirman's & Bobby Tisdale's Invite Them Up (9:00 pm),

one of the most fascinating and hilarious storytelling shows in NYC, The Nights of Our Lives (9:30 pm),

and a laid-back free show where virtually anything can happen on a School Night (11:00).

For details, please click here.

 

 

The ECNY Awards

This year's ECNY Awards were presented January 28, 2008 at a gala event at Comix.

After an almost two-year hiatus, the ECNY Awards, New York's original comedy awards,

were resurrected and completely revamped by a group of brilliant NYC comedy stars:

Jon Friedman (The Rejection Show at  UCBT, Slightly Buzzed at Rififi), Alex Goldberg (world-class sketch troupe Fearsome), Carol Hartsell (Drink at Work at Ochi's Lounge), Nate (gold standard comedy site The Apiary), and Alex Zalben (spectacular annual SketchFest NYC, Comic Book Club at The PIT,  ace sketch troupe Elephant Larry). Bless them all

for the enormous hard, and very smart, work they put into making this happen.

ECNY was originally an acronym for Emerging Comics of New York,

but that was ditched this year to allow the finest talents in NYC

to be recognized whether they're "emerging" or not.

And the nominees truly included some of the most razor-sharp,

awesomely talented, and hilarious comics in the country.

(To learn more about ECNY, please click here and here.)

As for the winners, each of whom richly deserves the recognition, they are as follows:

Best Director

Kurt Braunohler (Penelope: Princess of Pets, Big Black Ballet, Police Procedures)

Best Improv Group

Glennis McMurray & Eliza Skinner: I Eat Pandas

Best One Person Show

Nick Kroll (Fabrice Fabrice)

Best Sketch Comedy Group

Harvard Sailing Team

Outstanding Achievement in Postcard or Flyer Design

Keith Huang & Matt Johnson (for The Apple Sisters)

Best Technician

Pat Baer

Best Short Comedic Film

Minesweeper (Elephant Larry)

Best Web Site—Original Comedic Content

The Onion News Network

Best Web Site—News or Commentary

The Apiary (run by one-man army Nate)

Best Host(s)

Eugene Mirman & Michael Showalter (Tearing the Veil of Maya @ Brooklyn's Union Hall)

Best Variety Show

The Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy Show

Emerging Comic Award

Joe Mande

Best Musical Comedy Act

The Apple Sisters

Best Male Stand-Up Comedian

John Mulaney

Best Female Stand-Up Comedian

Kristen Schaal

ECNY Lifetime Achievement Award

Eddie Brill

Eloquent ECNY producer Alex Goldberg added, "We couldn't be more proud

of the winners. Over 5,000 people voted online, coupled with our industry committee

votes, making sure this was the fairest ECNYs ever. These winners truly represent

the best New York, and the world, has to offer."

Agreed. Huge congratulations to the winners...and to everyone who was nominated.

 

As Sparks Fly Upward: Stories->Improv->Sketch

This comedy troupe tells stories off the top of their heads, then improvises

 scenes based on the tales...which may later turn into scripted sketches.

It's a clever way of crafting a sketch show organically, week by week—and you can

watch the whole process, at no charge. The group consists of Kevin Allison,

Chris Caniglia, Scott Eckert, Sarah Nowak, Nate Starkey, and Shelly Stover.

6:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); free

 

 

Livia Scott in Goodnight, O.J...

 

...and High School Talent Show's Ilana & Eliot Glazer (left) and Mindy Raf (right)

Goodnight, O.J. and High School Talent Show

Two terrific sketch shows for a mere five bucks.

Brilliant comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Late Night with Conan O'Brien,

world-class sketch group Meat, Livia's Castle of Enchantment), wrote and performs

this superb ECNY Award-nominated one-woman show, described as follows:

"In 1994, while he was in prison and on trial for murder, O.J. Simpson received

over 300,000 letters. To help pay for his defense and gain public support,

he had them published in a book called I Want to Tell You by O.J. Simpson: My Response

to Your Letters, Your Messages, Your Questions. Alternately humorous, disturbing,

and poignant, Goodnight, O.J. explores the minds of the people who wrote him."

The idea is clever; but Livia's thoughtful choices and hilarious performance make this truly special...and recommended.  For a video sample, please click here. Directed by

Baron Vaughn (MTV's The Gamekillers, VH1's Best Week Ever, Shoot the Messenger).

The double-bill then continues with High School Talent Show,

a fun extravaganza from brother-sister duo Eliot & Ilana Glazer  in which

"Upper Central High School's brightest stars take to the stage to deliver rabble-rousing performances in song, dance, magic, slam poetry, stilts, and more!" The cast of enormously talented comics playing high school students includes Ann Carr, Carolyn Castiglia, Shawn Hollenbach, Rob Lathan, and brilliant writer/singer Mindy Raf.

8:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Invite Them Up

Hosted by comedy greats Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale (above).

The lineup—which is usually stellar—tends to be posted late afternoon

on the day of the show. To check whether the Web page

has been updated yet, please click here.

9:00 pm at Rififi, 332 East 11th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); tickets are $5

 

 

The Nights of Our Lives: Two Sides to Every Story

This is one of the best shows in New York.

The format is simple: A bunch of razor-sharp writer/performers tell stories

about themselves revolving around the evening's theme

—which tonight is "two sides to every story."

The only rules are that the tales must be true, and must be funny.

The brutal honesty, and jarring bravery, of some the participants can be hair-raising.

What they offer aren't merely jokes, but resonant, humane perspectives on life.

At the same time, there are very few shows, on or off Broadway,

that will make you laugh as consistently and as loud.

Enormous kudos go to host David Martin; and to brilliant storytellers

Anthony Atamanuik, John Flynn, Chris Gethard, Curtis Gwinn,

Anthony King, Margot Leitman, Adam Pally, and the other comedy soldiers

who've bared some of their darkest and funniest secrets on the Nights of Our Lives stage.

8:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

   

Kurt Braunohler, Pat Shay, and Kimmy Gatewood

The Faculty and The Baldwins and Sid Viscous

Some of the PIT's instructors—who include such talents as Ali Farahnakian,

Kurt Braunohler, Ptolemy Slocum, Jen Nails, Pat Shay, Matt Donnelly, Kevin Scott,

Rebekka Johnson, and Kimmy Gatewood—perform improv for around 30 minutes.

And opening for them will be house improv troupes The Baldwins and Sid Viscous.

9:30 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); free

 

 

School Night

Host Justin Purnell provides a mix of guests who perform stand-up, improv, music,

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.

Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises,

that this free show makes possible.

11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); free

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Thursday 1/31/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in NYC live comedy include

the delightful Kate Hess & Shelly Stover singing & crying for laughs, and real-life ER doctor Devlyn Corrigan

providing an insider's look at life at NYC hospitals, in We Kate Shelly and This is Gonna Hurt (8:00 pm),

superb stand-up comics Heather Fink, Victor Varnado, Brooke Van Poppelen, and Peter Kassnove

at Jon Friedman's and Stuckey & Murray's wonderful comedy extravaganza Slightly Buzzed (8:30 pm),

star comics having fun with the news, including The Daily Show's brilliant correspondents

John Oliver and Rob Riggle, plus UCBT comedy superstars Jason Mantzoukas and Jackie Clarke,

and hosts Anthony King and Scott Brown at Shut Up! I Hate You! (9:30 pm),

a cornucopia of comedy hosts & comedy duos performing sketch and stand-up,

with Adira Amram & Rob Lathan, Matt McCarthy, Glennis McMurray, Katina Carrao,

and many more at  Carol Hartsell's & Sean Crespo's Drink at Work's Extended Family (10:30 pm),

two improv troupes, Fat Penguin and T.R.U.C.K.S., battling for audience votes at Cage Match (11:00 pm),

and two sketch/improv troupes, Sidecar and 3-D Beard, who've decided to team up

for twice the laughs in Speakeasy: Double-Action Hilarity (11:00 pm).

 

 

Kate Hess & Shelly Stover, and Devlyn Corrigan

We Kate Shelly and This is Gonna Hurt

This comedy double bill kicks off with We Kate Shelly,

a sketch show that has great fun with uncomfortable encounters (e.g., a woman declares joy

over her recent abortion, causing the women she's with to burst into tears because

she's just had a miscarriage...). Featuring singing, dancing, and even more crying,

written and starring the irresistible Kate Hess & Shelly Stover,

and directed by comedic genius Andy Secunda (The Swarm).

The dark comedy then continues with This Is Gonna Hurt: The ER Through a Doctor's Eyes.

This one-man show is written and performed by Devlyn Corrigan, a veteran improvisor,

storyteller (on The Nights of Our Lives), and performer (for a video sample, please click here)

who'll be recreating hair-raising experiences from his "day job" as a doctor

working at some of the busiest ERs and trauma centers in New York City.

Directed by the wonderful Adam Pally (Hot Sauce, Cage Match, The Nights of Our Lives).

8:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Heather Fink, Victor Varnado, and Brooke Van Poppelen...

 

...and hosts Jon Friedman and Stuckey & Murray

Slightly Buzzed

An evening of hilarious comedy hosted by

Jon Friedman (host of the superb NYC monthly live comedy extravaganza The Rejection Show

and author of the upcoming book Rejected: Tales of the Failed, Dumped, and Canceled) and

Stuckey & Murray (The Discovery Channel, E!, VH1, Fuse, The College Sports Network; two comedy music series for NBC Digital Media and Heavy.com; wildly popular comedy videos on YouTube, Funnyordie.com, and their own Web site).

Tonight's wonderful guests include

Victor Varnado (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, NBC's My Name is Earl, Chicago City Limits; for a stand-up sample, please click here),

Heather Fink (sly & sexy stand-up comic; host of monthly NYC live comedy show Street Meat;

for videos demonstrating Heather's acting skills, please click here and here),

Brooke Van Poppelen (Carolines, Laugh Factory; co-host of NYC live comedy show Slumber Party, which plays the 1st and 4th Wednesdays of the month at Ochi's Lounge;

for a video sample, please click here), and

Peter Kassnove (for parody of sitcom pilot trailer, please click here).

8:30 pm at Rififi, 332 East 11th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); tickets are $5

 

 

 

The Daily Show correspondents Rob Riggle and John Oliver...

 

...and Anthony King, Scott Brown, Jackie Clarke, and Jason Mantzoukas

Shut Up! I Hate You!

A funny look at the news, with lots of amusing video clips,

hosted by Anthony King (UCBT Artistic Director, Reuben Williams)

and Scott Brown (writer for Entertainment Weekly, and

co-writer with Anthony King of Gutenberg: The Musical).

Tonight's panelists are

John Oliver (brilliant stand-up comic; delightful & hilarious news correspondent for

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, co-writer/star of The Department for BBC Radio 4;

currently perfecting material for his first Comedy Central Presents special),

Rob Riggle (hilarious, organic, honest; correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart;

other credits include Saturday Night Live, The Office, Arrested Development)

Jackie Clarke (creating some of the freshest & most hilarious material in NYC with comedy partner Julie Klausner via their UCBT show Obsessed with Julie & Jackie, member of genius improv troupe Death by Roo Roo; writer for The Big Gay Sketch Show), and

Jason Mantzoukas (one of the finest improvisors on the planet, and very talented writer; Mother: The Soundtrack, We Used to Go Out, The Mantzoukas Brothers).

9:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Murderfist

Sketch group Murderfist creates sketches that are very odd and unsettling.

For example, to watch a somewhat grueling tale of an unlikely gay couple done in

the style of a silent film, please click here. And here's the description of tonight's show:

"Use your mind's eye, and picture your beloved and elderly grandfather. Now, bit by bit, imagine him naked and hard as the dickens. That's what we do everyday, for a long time, in order to provide for you the entertainment to quench your souls.  You're welcome."

9:30 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Drink at Work's Extended Family

Comedy show produced by Carol Hartsell and hosted by Sean Crespo

(stand-up comic and prolific filmmaker; for samples, please click here & here & here).

Tonight's terrific lineup mostly consists of sketch from comedy show hosts and/or comedy duos:

Adira Amram & Rob Lathan (hilarious comedy duo Get Psyched!),

Matt McCarthy (superb stand-up, co-host of Max!)

Glennis McMurray (half of award-winning genius comedy duo I Eat Pandas),

Katina Carrao (half of comedy duo Matt & Katina),

Brandy Barber & Sara Jo Alloco (hosts of The Kissing Booth),

Gabe McKinley & Nick Stevens (host of The Shark Show),

Rob Gorden & Mark Douglas (hosts of Giant Tuesday),

Kevin Janus (host of Comedy Igloo),

Lucas Held (co-host of Her Majesty's Stand-Up), plus

stand-up performances from comics Dan Allen, Anthony DeVito, and Will Franken.

10:30 pm at The Green Room, 45 Bleecker Street (off Lafayette); tickets are $12

 

 

vs.

Cage Match: Fat Penguin vs. T.R.U.C.K.S.

This delightful show pits two improv teams against each other while creating the

atmosphere of a professional wrestling arena (and providing such side-shows

as a bout to the death between guys costumed as an alcoholic wolf and TV's Alf...).

Tonight, two small armies of improv troupes go head to head.

Fat Penguin describes itself as "a comedy group that is cute and adorable and a surprisingly good swimmer." Last week it waddled over its opponent Tantrum, winning decisively with an audience vote of 79-50. FP's members are Dave Bluvband, Bridget Fitzgerald, Kelly Hudson, Johnny McNulty, Amber Nelson, Benjamin Ragheb, Alan Starzinski, and Rob Stern.

Tonight's challenger is T.R.U.C.K.S., which performs regularly on UCBT's Tuesday Harold Night. Its members are Bob Acevedo, Sarah Burns, John Frusciante, Jon Gutierrez, Nick Ross, Nate Smith, Achilles Stamatelaky, and Betsy Stover.

Can tuxedoed fowl triumph over mechanical transport? There's no telling what will happen...which is one of the great pleasures of this extravaganza.

11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

+

Matt Fisher, Alden Ford, and Justin Tyler of Sidecar + Joe Randazzo, Henry Kaiser, and Chris Ryan of 3-D Beard

Speakeasy: Double-Action Hilarity from 3-D Beard & Sidecar

Offering an alternative to the gloriously combative Cage Match, in this show

two terrific improv troupes team up with each other. They are

Sidecar: Alden Ford, Matt Fisher,  and Justin Tyler

(for a sketch about their interrogation technique, please click here)

and

3-D Beard: Joe Randazzo, Chris Ryan, and Henry Kaiser.

11:00 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 2/1/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in NYC live comedy include

one of the most appealing & hilarious comedic actresses in NYC, tonight flying solo

on a double-bill with a fun sketch group: Lennon Parham and The Situation Room (6:30 pm),

an awesome holiday blowout in celebration of "Groundhog's Eve:" star stand-up comics Tom Shillue,

Roger Hailes, Leo Allen, Andrea Rosen, Jackie Monahan, Todd Levin, and Luke Thayer, plus

luminous storyteller Kambri Crews, telling funny tales about relatives at Sara Benincasa's Family Hour (7:00 pm),

comedy giant Eugene Mirman celebrating the premiere of his Comedy Central Presents 30-minute special

(tonight at 10:00 pm; set your TiVo!) with a free show in Brooklyn: Eugene Mirman (8:00 pm)

two problematic but memorable sketch shows, Jen & Angie and BLITZKRIEG! (8:00 pm),

typically stellar stand-up comics at one of the funniest productions in NYC—which just this week

won the 2007 ECNY Award for Best Variety Show—The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show (8:30 pm),

some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers (9:30 pm),

an improvisation show that uses audience suggestions to create a new episode of Star Trek (10:00 pm),

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

and one of my all-time favorite improv troupes, the brilliant and daring members of Death by Roo Roo (11:00 pm).

 

 

Lennon Parham Goes Solo and The Situation Room

There are few performers, comedic or otherwise, as appealing as

the sexy, laid-back, wry, and hilarious Lennon Parham (above left).

Whether she's playing Nomi Malone (see my review of her Showgirls parody), author JK Rowling (as the clear highlight of a Harry Potter parody, in which Rowling reveals all the novels are based on actual events in her life), Sandy Michaelson as a Solid Gold Dance understudy, or zillions of characters while delivering world-class improvisation every Saturday night as part of stellar troupe Reuben Williams, watching the wonderful Ms. Parham is always a treat.

Tonight she takes the stage for a solo outing. Stop by and fall in love with one of the finest comedic actresses in New York.

The other half of this double-bill is sketch group The Situation Room,

headed by David Juliano and Scott Courlander (above right).

6:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

 

Christina Casa & Sara Chase in Jen & Angie, and time traveling sketch troupe BLITZKRIEG!

Jen & Angie and BLITZKRIEG!: A Sketch Show From the Future

Two interesting work-in-progress sketch comedy shows for eight bucks.

Jen & Angie imagines what would happen if Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie

were stranded together on a desert island. It's a cute idea that's gotten the show some press.

But frankly, considering how fascinating and complex the real-life celebrities are,

this parody is disappointing—the script is way too shallow, all too often

making easy and obvious choices.

That said, there's pleasure to be had in the dopiness of Christina Casa's portrayal

of Jolie as a husky-voiced android who speaks in short declarative sentences,

never uses contractions, and always calls her rival by her full name

(e.g., "Have some condor, Jennifer Aniston. It is good for you, Jennifer Aniston.").

If Casa and her writing partner Laura Buchholz keep this character, but otherwise

rethink the show from scratch to make it deeper and wiser,

they might end up with something that goes beyond being an actress showcase.

Nonetheless, Casa's absurd version of Jolie provides memorably silly fun.

The show co-stars Sara Chase as Aniston, and is directed by Susanah Becket.

The other half of this double-bill is BLITZKRIEG!: A Sketch Show From the Future.

Two of the sketches—involving a pot-head being recruited to save the future, and a father who demonstrates remarkably poor parental skills—are hilarious instant classics. The other sketches need work, making this a mixed bag. But if you're patient, it's worth sitting through the lesser material to get to the gold. As the official description accurately states,

"When you are called from the future to defend the human race against destruction, will you be ready?

Blitzkrieg! ensures you are."

Written & performed by Matt Cady, John Frusciante and Aaron Glaser; featuring Molly Lloyd.

Directed by Dominic Dierkes (Derrick).

8:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8

 

 

Happy children with "Aunt" Sara Benincasa...

   

...and guests Roger Hailes, Leo Allen, and Tom Shillue...

 

...and Andrea Rosen, Kambri Crews, and Jackie Monahan

Family Hour with Auntie Sara

A stand-up comedy show in which everyone tells jokes and/or stories related to

their family. Hosted by comic/actress Sara Benincasa (MTV's Choose or Lose Campaign;

host of Tub Talk with Sara B. on Nerve.com; for video sample, please click here).

Tonight Sara has put together an all-star holiday blowout "to celebrate Groundhog's Eve."

The awesome stand-up comic guests are:

Tom Shillue (Comedy Central Presents, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show with

Jon Stewart, storytelling podcasts; for stand-up samples, please click here and here),

 Roger Hailes (exceptionally sharp, personable, funny stand-up; VH1, Chappelle's Show;

for sample videos, please click here and here),

Leo Allen (writer for Saturday Night Live 2002-2005; Late Night with Conan O'Brien,

Comedy Central Presents, Ed, Sex and the City),

Andrea Rosen (Comedy Central's Stella, VH1's All Access, comedy troupe Variety Shac),

Jackie Monahan (Dykes on Mikes at RubyFruit, Lesbians of Laughter tour;

for sharp stand-up video, please click here),

Kambri Crews (luminous storyteller & actress, and stellar publicist & producer;

for video of Kambri reading her jailed deaf dad's wedding toast, please click here),

Todd Levin (Comedy Central's Premium Blend, The Onion, popular blog Tremble), and

Luke Thayer (co-host of Brooklyn biweekly live show Living Room Comedy).

7:00 pm, Ochi's Lounge at Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues);

no cover, 1 drink or food item minimum (on low-cost menu; e.g., draft beer for $4-$5)

 

 

 

Eugene Mirman: Comedy Central Premiere Party

If you live in Brooklyn, or simply don't mind going a few subway stops

beyond Manhattan, come to this free show by one of the finest comics of our time,

Eugene Mirman (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central's Premium Blend

and Jump Cuts, HBO's Flight of the Conchords, VH1, En Garde, Society! and

The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman and comedy albums).

Eugene's first Comedy Central Presents 30-minute special premieres tonight

and he's inviting you to celebrate with him.

Joining Eugene will be DJ Jim Leyland.

Whether you attend this show or not, be sure to tune into (or set

your VCR/TiVo to) Eugene's special on Comedy Central at 10:00 pm.

8:30ish pm at Union Hall, 702 Union Street at 5th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn; free

Take the R train to Union Street and walk 1 block east; or take

the F train to 4th Avenue, walk north on 4th Avenue and turn right on Union Street, and go 1 block up;

or take the  2/3/4/5/Q train to Atlantic Avenue, walk south on 5th Avenue, and make a left on Union Street.

 

 

Larry Murphy & Greg Johnson

The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show

Hosted by Greg Johnson (sharp, quick-witted stand-up comic)

and Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor who performs all the

key characters on Adult Swim's Assy McGee; other TV series include

Home Movies, O'Grady, Cheapseats, Computer Lab, Puppets N Such;

for an animated VO reel, please click here).

Tonight's lineup hasn't been announced yet, but it's usually stellar.

To check for a last-minute update, please click here.

8:30 pm at Rififi, 332 East 11th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); tickets are $5

 

 

 

Ms. Jackson and Surf n' Turf

"They're all street, all the time." Ms. Jackson is five funny women—pictured left to right,

 Jessica Allen, Bayne Gibby, Stephanie Kasen, Caitlin Miller, and Tara Copeland

—who won the 2004 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group.

The other half of this double-bill is Surf n' Turf, consisting of

Improv performers Bob Acevedo, Dave Furfero, and Ernie Privetera:

"Three men with no fear of intimacy or injury...who create

spontaneous theater that is physical, intense, moving, and occasionally funny."

As the official description indicates, Surf 'n Turf's style's not laugh-a-minute,

so isn't  for every taste; to get a feel for it, please click here.

8:30 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Dave Rubin, Paul Case, and Shawn Hollenbach

The Back Room

Gay-themed comedy hosted by Paul Case, Shawn Hollenbach, and Dave Rubin.

Tonight's scheduled guests include

Claudia Cogan (Logo),

Lianne Stokes (True Sex Confessions), and

Keith Price (Out Q Radio).

8:30 pm, Ochi's Lounge at Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues);

no cover, 1 drink or food item minimum (on low-cost menu; e.g., draft beer for $4-$5)

 

 

Bobby Moynihan, Zach Woods, Christina Gausas, Michael Delaney, and Chris Gethard

The Stepfathers

Some of the smartest & finest improv comics in NYC—Michael Delaney, Christina Gausas,

Chris Gethard, Will Hines, Bobby Moynihan, Shannon O'Neill, Silvija Ozols,

and Zach Woods—make up a series of scenes from a one-word audience suggestion.

With art and grace, these star talents will make you laugh—a lot.

9:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8

 

 

Splitzville

From the creators of Centralia comes this series of sketches, monologues, and short films exploring "the end of the road: love, loss, losing grip, holding onto hope, seeking revenge, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Breaking up is hard to do, so why not enjoy it?"

The scheduled performers are Kevin Allison, Jeremy Brisel, Chris Caniglia, Centralia (Matt Highins, Jay Rhoderick, and Kevin Scott), Daiva Dupree, Scott Eckert, Ali Farahnakian, Brendan Gallagher, Kimmy Gatewood, Becca Greene, Grace Helbig, Rebekka Johnson, Megan Neuringer, Will Nunziata, Matt Oberg, Stephanie Silver, Ptolemy Slocum, Nate Starkey, Shelly Stover, Maryln Torrez, Ashley Ward, and Tracey Wilson.

9:30 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $8

 

 

 

Manhattan Comedy Collective: Star Trek Improv

If you'd like to experience a gentler, more relaxed, but still quite smart type of improv,

visit the Manhattan Comedy Collective run by the wonderful Stacy Mayer

(who's quick as lightning, but much funnier).

Tonight's show is a monthly feature titled Start Trekkin', in which

improvisors make up a Star Trek episode on the spot. The official description:

"Eight improvisers take the stage in full Federation uniform and, based on audience suggestions, create an entirely original 'episode' set in the Star Trek universe. Expect melodramatic acting, pointy sideburns, aliens in bad wigs, paper-maché rocks and transparent social commentary. But don't expect James T. Kirk or the USS Enterprise; this is a different ship and a new captain every week." The performers are Kate Caldwell, Topping Haggerty, Karie Hunt, Phil Ristaino, Aaron Saenz, Ben Sterling, Kenneth Scott Thompson, and Joyce Trotta.

10:00 pm at the Sage Theatre, 711 Seventh Avenue, 2nd floor (between 47th and 48th Streets);

tickets are $10 online (with no service charge) and $10 at the door

 

 

The Made-Up Musical

Veteran improvisor John O'Donnell is accompanied

by a rotating cast that might include such superb talents as

Tara Copeland, Scott Glover, Alex Marino, Louis Kornfeld,

 Jessica Allen, Robin Rothman, and Megan Gray

—and with Frank Spitznagel on piano—

turn an interview with an audience member

into a musical they make up on the spot.

10:00 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $7

 

 

Death by Roo Roo: Your F*cked Up Family

Arguably the gutsiest improv troupe in NYC, the brilliant comics of Death by Roo RooAnthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Jackie Clarke, Brett Gelman, John Gemberling, and Curtis Gwinn—interview an audience member about family and then act out his or her life story

via improvised scenes. Sometimes scary, and usually hilarious.

11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8

 

 

Liquid Courage

The ultimate in audience participation: any group can submit a sketch and perform it!

If all you want is to be entertained, this show probably isn't a good choice.

But if you'd like to act on the UCBT stage, and/or have your sketch writing judged by an exceptionally savvy audience, this is a golden opportunity.

Sign-up begins at 10:30 pm and runs till 11:45 pm; sketches will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis, so it's wise to arrive early. For a complete list of the rules, please click here.

Midnight at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); free

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 2/2/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in NYC live comedy include

the perfect comedy show for short attention spans—open mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set

and around 30 performers crammed into 2¼ hours—at John Morrison's Ochi's Motel (6:00 pm),

star improvisation from writers & performers at 30 Rock, The Colbert Report,

and The Daily show who joyously declare Let's Have a Ball (7:30 pm),

Second City veterans, Magnet instructors, UCBT stars, and occasional celebs

at the Magnet's signature improv show, The Tiny Spectacular (7:30 pm),

comics experiencing the rush of performing with no clothes on in The Naked Comedy Showcase (8:00 pm),

brilliant stand-up Pete Holmes, character comic Rob Lathan, and more at Drink at Work (8:30 pm),

genius star comics Todd Barry, Reggie Watts, and more at Tom Shillue's acclaimed monthly Moonwork (9:00 pm),

improv comedy mixed with audience-supplied music at the rockin' Mother: The Soundtrack (9:00 pm),

inventive & hilarious sketch comedy from The Harvard Sailing Team (9:30 pm),

improvised TV shows about audience members via world-class troupe Reuben Williams (10:30 pm),

and stellar sketch groups such as Olde English and host Party Central USA in Sketchubator NYC (11:00 pm),

 

Ochi's Motel

Lottery-style open mic for stand-up comics trying out material,

with 4½ minutes per performer...in return for a $5 contribution to the weekly prize kitty.

(In addition, Ochi's 1-item food or drink minimum applies to everyone.)

A breathtaking 30+ comics perform in this 2¼ hour show; host

John Morrison (above) has described it as "comedy on crack."

If you're seeking consistent laughs, this might not be the best way to kick off

your evening. But if you're patient and adventurous, it's a potentially wild ride.

And if you're a performer looking for some stage time, it's a nice opportunity.

To be entered into the weekly random drawing for the show's performers,

please email host John Morrison (above) at ochismotel[at]gmail.com.

6:00 pm, Ochi's Lounge at Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues);

no cover, 1 drink or food item minimum (on low-cost menu; e.g., draft beer for $4-$5)

 

 

 

Becky Drysdale, Anthony King, Christina Gausas, Peter Gwinn, and Tami Sagher

Let's Have a Ball

Some of the sharpest writers and performers in NYC get together for long-form improv fun.

The players typically include Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-director & cast member of Adult Swim's brilliant & Emmy-winning Moral Orel), Kay Cannon (writer for 30 Rock), Becky Drysdale (acclaimed one-woman show One Woman in Several Pieces, Web video series Time Traveling Lesbian), Christina Gausas (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Stepfathers, Dorff & Gausas), Peter Gwinn (writer for The Colbert Report), Anthony King (UCBT-NY Artistic Director, Reuben Williams, Gutenberg! The Musical), Laura Krafft (writer for The Colbert Report), Tami Sagher (writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006), and Rob Riggle (correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; Saturday Night Live, The Office).

7:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8

 

 

The Tiny Spectacular

Magnet instructors & Second City veterans such as Rachel Hamilton, Ed Herbstman, Abby Sher, and Miriam Tolan, plus stars of Mother: The Soundtrack (see below) Jason Mantzoukas, Tara Copeland, James Eason, Christine Walters, plus occasional special guests (such as superstar Mike Meyers), turn a tiny suggestion into larger-than-life improvised scenes.

7:30 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Andy Ofiesh, creator of The Naked Comedy Showcase

The Naked Comedy Showcase

Oddly enough, this is just what it sounds like;

stand-up, sketch, and improv comics performing in the buff.

A reviewer from The Boston Globe observed, "The dynamic of nude comedian

and clothed audience added an extra dimension to self-deprecating material."

For a New York Magazine review, please click here.

8:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $10

 

 

SKP's Stu Luth, Mel DeLancey, and Dan Maccarone

Slightly Known People Is Seeing Other People

Slightly Known People—Erik Bowie, Mel DeLancey, Stu Luth,

Dan Maccarone, and Josh Mertz—performs funny songs and sketch comedy.

In this weekly show SKP invites other talented comics

 to come play along with it for an evening.

Tonight's guest is sketch troupe Bacivo Nuggets,

consisting of Andy Kleiman, Jake Serlen, and Marcus Terry.

For a hilarious SKP video deconstructing Billy Joel, please click here.

For a review of the show, please click here.

8:30 pm at Rififi, 332 East 11th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); tickets are $5

 

 

Rob Lathan, Mark Douglas, and Pete Holmes...

...and Carol Hartsell and Sean Crespo

Drink at Work

Comedic variety show produced by Carol Hartsell and hosted by Sean Crespo

(stand-up comic and prolific filmmaker; for samples, please click here & here & here).

Tonight's scheduled guests include

Pete Holmes (brilliant, lightning-fast stand-up; VH1's Best Week Ever,

Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Motherload; writer for CollegeHumor.com;

cartoonist for mags ranging from The New Yorker to Cosmo Girl;

host of UCBT's monthly open mic stand-up show Gutbucket),

Rob Lathan (plays comedic characters such as Lanny Lathan and "Quick Lips" Lathan,

stars with Adira Amram in the UCBT show Get Psyched!; for Rob's reel, please click here),

 Mark Douglas (former co-host of live comedy show Giant Tuesday; for a stand-up audio sample, please click here), and

Greg Barris (MTV2's All That Rocks, Carolines).

8:30 pm, Ochi's Lounge at Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues);

no cover, 1 drink or food item minimum (on low-cost menu; e.g., draft beer for $4-$5)

 

 

   

Todd Barry, Tom Shillue, and Reggie Watts

Moonwork

Acclaimed comedy show hosted by Tom Shillue (Comedy Central Presents,

Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, storytelling podcasts;

for stand-up samples, please click here and here), who demonstrates his storytelling prowess via an extended witty monologue at the end of the show.

Tonight's stellar lineup:

Todd Barry (wryly brilliant stand-up who's one of the very best in the biz;

Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien,

Comedy Central Presents; HBO's Flight of the Conchords and Lucky Louie;

Comedy Central's Freak Show, Dr. Katz, and Shorties Watching Shorties;

Adult Swim's Space Ghost, Aqua Teen Hunger Force,  and Tom Goes To The Mayor),

Reggie Watts (winner of 3rd Annual Andy Kaufman Award; scary talented vocalist, beatboxer, and musician who will likely amaze you; to learn more, please visit ReggieWatts.com),

Andres du Bouchet (writer for & performer on FOX's Talkshow with Spike Feresten; Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn, Cheap Seats, Giant Tuesday, comedic videos),

Jiwon Lee (Comedy Central), and

Bliss Blood (delightful singer/songwriter).

9:00 pm at Phil Coltoff Center, 219 Sullivan Street (between Bleecker & West 3rd); tickets are $20

 

 

Mother: The Soundtrack

Jason Mantzoukas leads a vibrant team of improv comics—Scot Armstrong, Tara Copeland, Jon Daly, James Eason, Jesse Falcon, Doug Moe, and Christine Walters—who make up scenes based on CD tracks contributed by the audience. One of UCBT's most beloved shows.

9:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8

 

 

The Harvard Sailing Team: A Hundred Years of Song and Dance

The Harvard Sailing Team, which just won the ECNY Award for Best Sketch Comedy Group,

performs their special brand of fresh, imaginative comedy

that turns familiar rituals on their head. (For a video about awkward goodbyes

at the end of a party, please click here.) The very talented troupe consists of

Rebecca Brey, Jen Curran, Clayton Early, Faryn Einhorn, Katie Larson,

Adam Lustick, Chris Smith, Billy Scafuri, and Sara Taylor.

This new collection of sketches, titled

A Hundred Years of Song and Dance, covers such topics

as Melissa Etheridge, Duck Tales, and American Gladiators.

9:30 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $8

 

 

Reuben Williams: As Seen on TV

Anthony King demonstrates that in addition to running UCBT-NY brilliantly, he's a superb improvisor and actor. Joining him are stellar talents Eugene Cordero, Lennon Parham, Charlie Sanders, Eric Scott, Kate Spencer, Charlie Todd, and Joe Wengert. Together, they interview an audience member, and then use the answers as the basis for a new TV show...which this fiercely talented comedy troupe creates & performs for you on the spot.

10:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $8

 

 

4 Track!

Springboarding from a word suggested by the audience,

George Basil, Frank Campanella, Christian Capozzoli, and Matt Evans

perform organic & energetic long-form improv for about 40 minutes.

Basil is a stand-out, but they're all sharp, committed improvisors.

There's also a warm chemistry between the men, which is especially evident

if you arrive early to watch them getting ready on stage: They toss a ball

back and forth, and then toss each other back and forth...sending

a body message of "If you throw an improv concept at me, you can trust me

to not let it drop..." One of the Magnet's most popular shows.

10:30 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

 

Sketch troupes Olde English and Party Central USA

Sketchubator NYC

In this monthly show, each of a bunch of sketch groups performs

one of its favorite sketches. Tonight's scheduled troupes are

A Dan Amongst Dans, Lolabrigada, Olde English,

Peoples Sketch Association, Two Idiots and An Idiot,

and host Party Central USA.

Also participating will be wonderful stand-up comics Seth Herzog and Ann Carr.

11:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $8

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 2/3/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in NYC live comedy include

UCBT's playground for celebrities and ace improvisors, ASSSSCAT 3000 (7:30 & 9:30 pm),

John F. O'Donnell, Mike Drucker, and other fine stand-ups at Writers Room Comedy (8:00ish pm),

and razor-sharp comics including Tom McCaffrey and Greg Johnson at County Fair Comedy Show (9:30 pm).

For details, please click here.

 

 

ASSSSCAT 3000

The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre's signature show, which features a monologist telling stories based on audience suggestions and a group of top improvisers (sometimes including stars such as SNL's Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz) creating scenes based on the stories. There are two shows every Sunday which share the same format, but are otherwise entirely different because everything is improvised. The 7:30 pm show is $8; advance tickets might be sold out by the time you read this, but a limited number of seats are available at the door for those who arrive early enough to nab 'em...and even more tickets are available for those willing to watch the show standing. The 9:30 show is free, with tickets distributed outside the theatre at 8:15 pm;

but again, you may need to come early and wait on line to ensure getting into this first come,

 first served performance.

7:30 pm & 9:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue)

 

 

 

John F. O'Donnell and Mike Drucker

Writers Room Comedy: Anti-Bowl Edition

Stand-ups, sketch writers, and funny authors

read excerpts from their most hilarious material.

Tonight's scheduled guests are

Mike Drucker (winner of Disney's 2007 So You Think You're Funny competition

and performer on Comedy Central's The Watchlist; for Drucker's explanation of

how life is like video games and comic books, please click here; and to learn

why Drucker's girlfriend wouldn't give him a gold star, please click here),

John F. O'Donnell (wild man who will make you love him; Comedy Central's Fresh Faces,

 host of bimonthly Long Island City comedy show The Kingdom of Heaven),

Ed Murray ("I won the 2006 $10K Laugh-Off at Sal's Comedy Hole. I blew the money in a month.

What? It was a great month..."; for stand-up video, please click here),

 Jon Clarke (for a stand-up video about Cookie Monster, please click here),

and Adrienne Iapalucci.

8:00ish pm at Rififi, 332 East 11th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); tickets are $5

 

 

Ampers&nd

A showcase for talented improvisation twosomes.

Tonight's scheduled duos are

Marcy Jarreau & Frank Bonomo,

Babsy Singer & Megan Gray, and

Samantha Gurewitz & Ernie Privetera.

Hosted by Louis Kornfeld.

8:00 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

 

   

 Tom McCaffrey, Ross Hyzer, and Greg Johnson

County Fair Comedy Show

Monthly show hosted by Ross Hyzer (for stand-up videos, please click here and here).

Tonight's scheduled guests are

Tom McCaffrey (Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Shorties Watchin' Shorties),

Greg Johnson (razor-sharp, quick-witted stand-up comic, and co-host of the award-winning

NYC weekly live comedy extravaganza The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show),

Lisa Kaplan (Carolines, The LOL Tour),

Becky Ciletti, and Dave Lester,

with music by Mike Milazzo.

9:30 pm at Pianos, 158 Ludlow Street at Stanton; tickets are $8

 

 

The Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

Adam Sank (former TV news producer for FOX and WABC-TV; written

for The New York Times, Esquire Magazine, and The San Francisco Sentinel)

hosts this free gay-themed stand-up comedy show.

Tonight's scheduled guests are

Shecky Beagleman, Sherry Davey, Colin Kane, and Tom Ragu.

To get a feel for the show, please click here.

10:00 pm at Therapy, 348 West 52nd Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues); free

 

 

Alternatively, consider seeing a funny and/or musical

Broadway, off-Broadway, or off-off-Broadway show.

To learn how theatre tickets can be purchased for around 50% off—

or, in some cases, for as little as $3 each—

please read Hy on Theatre Discounts.

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Tonight

 

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Copyright © 2008 Hy Bender

Email: hy@hyreviews.com