NYC Comedy Picks for Week of May 5, 2008

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 5/5/08

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

the delightful & razor-sharp Heather Lawless (HBO, Comedy Central, Variety SHAC),

plus Christian Finnegan (Comedy Central Presents, Chappelle's Show, VH1), and

Todd Levin (Comedy Central, The Onion) at Andres du Bouchet Has Been Expecting You (7:30 pm),

brilliant stand-up Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, HBO, Comedy Central),

plus Chris Mata (Comedy Central, The Huffington Post), Matt Taylor (MTV),

and more at Liam McEneaney's free show Tell Your Friends (8:00ish pm),

inventive nationally touring sketch duo Andrew Connor & Mike Mathieu in

a rare NYC performance of their acclaimed The Cody Rivers Show (8:00 pm),

stand-up guests Pembroke & Lu, Lisa Kaplan, Tom Ragu, and Bev Reese joining delightful hosts

Jackie Monahan, Leah Dubie, Amy Beckerman, and Gloria Bigelow at Dykes on Mics (8:00ish pm),

political sketch comedy, plus an interview with star political analyst and bestselling author

Jeff Greenfield, at Liz Winstead's Shoot the Messenger (8:00 pm),

10 exceptional comics working extra hard for your laughs at a public audition for the upcoming

DC Comedy Festival, with performers including Matt McCarthy, Pete Grosz, Thomas Middleditch,

Joselyn Hughes, Brooke Van Poppelen, and Deb Downing at John Morrison's Ochi's Motel (9:00 pm),

and nerdcore rapper MC Chris, plus stellar stand-ups Leo Allen (SNL, Comedy Central Presents, Conan O'Brien),

Christian Finnegan (Comedy Central Presents, Chappelle's Show, VH1), and Bobby Tisdale (Invite Them Up)

at one of the finest comedy shows in NYC—which just happens to be free—Cavalcade! (11:00 pm).

 

Heather Lawless, Andres du Bouchet, and Christian Finnegan

Andres du Bouchet Has Been Expecting You

Comedy show playing on the first Monday of each month, hosted by

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;

live NYC comedy show Giant Tuesday; comedy videos).

Tonight's lineup includes

Heather Lawless (brilliantly funny and sexy stand-up comic; winner of the 2005 ECNY Award

for Best Female Stand-Up; HBO's Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central's Premium Blend,

MTV2's Wonder Showzen, 2007 feature film Be Kind Rewind; "I like to wear a neck brace to the gym because it makes my efforts on the treadmill appear heroic;" member of superb female

comedy group Variety Shac; for brief video about Heather's new book, please click here),

Christian Finnegan (Comedy Central Presents, VH1's Best Week Ever, Chappelle's Show, The Today Show, host of TVLand's Game Time, former staff writer for Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; comedy CD Two For Flinching;  for stand-up videos on how to get rid of a boring  guy and what your movie choices say about you, please click here and here), and

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

host of NYC live comedy show Todd Levin's TV Book Club).

7:30 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 and Liam McEneaney

Tell Your Friends

This free weekly comedy show is produced by Liam McEneaney

(VH1's Best Week Ever, Comedy Central's Premium Blend,

former writer for Standup Nation with Greg Giraldo),

and tonight is hosted by Mike Birch (partner with Rick Homan

of comedic singer/songwriter duo Fish & Chips).

This evening's superb guests are

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, Lucky Louie, and Sex in the City;

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;

check out his newest comedy CD From Heaven),

Chris Mata (Comedy Central's Premium Blend, mun2's Loco Comedy Jam,

SITV's Latino Laugh Festival; blogs for 236.com and The Huffington Post),

Matt Taylor (MTV's Parental Control; host of Astoria, Queens show Tuesday Night Comedy),

and musical guests A Brief View of the Hudson

and Los Navegantes de Morelos (a two-man mariachi band).

8:00ish pm at Lolita Bar, 226 Broome Street (between Allen and Orchard Streets); free

Nearest subway stops are Delancey Street via the F or Delancey-Essex via the J/M/Z.

 

 

Andrew Connor and Mike Mathieu

The Cody Rivers Show

Acclaimed two-man sketch group Andrew Connor & Mike Mathieu,

who call themselves The Cody Rivers Show,

have received glowing reviews and are well worth checking out.

This nationally touring duo perform at UCBT pretty rarely—for 2008, it might be

just tonight and Wednesday night—for if you're at all interested

in catching these inventive and colorful performers, grab the chance this week.

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

 

 

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 terrific guests:

Pembroke and Lu, Lisa Kaplan, Tom Ragu, and Bev Reese.

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

no cover, one item (food or drink) minimum

 

 

 

Political analyst and author Jeff Greenfield, and STM 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 political pundit Jeff Greenfield, who will undoubtedly share his views about the continually fascinating Democratic primary race. Greenfield was Political and Media Analyst for ABC News from 1983 to 1997; Senior Analyst at CNN from 1998 to 2007; and is now Senior Political Correspondent for CBS News. Greenfield has written for Time Magazine and The New York Times; and his 11 books include the 1996 bestselling novel The People's Choice.

To get a feel for STM, please view a fun interview with cartoonist David Rees by clicking here

and read a March 2008 New York Times article about the show by clicking here.

8:00 pm at The Green Room, 45 Bleecker Street (off Lafayette); tickets are $12.50

Nearest subway stop is Bleecker Street on the #6 (which brings you virtually to the door of the theatre)

 and Broadway-Lafayette on the F/V/D/B.

 

 

Thomas Middleditch, Joselyn Hughes, and Brooke Van Poppelen...

...and Peter Grosz, John Morrison, and Matt McCarthy

Ochi's Motel: DC Comedy Festival Auditions

This show is usually a lottery-style open mic, but tonight will serve as a

dazzling showcase for 10 comics trying out for the DC Comedy Festival.

The extravaganza will be emceed by Ochi's Motel co-host Sean Donnelly.

The superb lineup (in alphabetical order):

Meg Cupernall (co-host of The Lighthouse)

Deb Downing (Second City)

Pete Grosz (Second City, The Colbert Report)

Joselyn Hughes (Second City, UCBT)

Matt McCarthy (2007 Montreal Comedy Festival)

Thomas Middleditch (Second City, Baby Wants Candy)

Greg Mills (Primetime Glick)

Blaine Perry (co-host of Don't Touch Me There)

Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of Slumber Party)

Joe Powers  (co-host of Ochi's Motel)

If you'd enjoy seeing a bunch of exceptional comedians trying their best

to entertain and impress, tonight's show is a great choice.

Ochi's Motel is produced by John Morrison, and normally

hosted & booked by Sean Donnelly and Joe Powers.

To be entered into the random drawing for next week's open mic shows,

please send email to ochismotel[at]gmail.com.

9:00 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)

 

 

   

Bobby Tisdale, Leo Allen, and Christian Finnegan...

 

...and concerned citizens eyeing nerdcore rapper MC Chris at Disneyland

Cavalcade!

This razor-sharp stand-up extravaganza is no place for the innocent.

However, it's enormous fun.

Tonight's superb guests are

Bobby Tisdale (comedy great who for five years has hosted the wonderful

NYC weekly live comedy show Invite Them Up; Comedy Central album;

film Junebug; HBO's Hysterical Blindness; show on SuperDeluxe.com),

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

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

MC Chris (a.k.a. Christopher Ward; popular & fun nerdcore hip hop singer; animator, voice artist, writer, and/or producer on such Adult Swim series as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, and the upcoming Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge; just released new album mc chris is dead), and

Christian Finnegan Comedy Central Presents, VH1's Best Week Ever, Chappelle's Show, The Today Show, host of TVLand's Game Time, former staff writer for Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; comedy CD Two For Flinching;  for stand-up videos on how to get rid of a boring  guy and what your movie choices say about you, please click here and here).

Tonight's show—produced by Jeremy Levenbach—is likely to be one of the funniest in NYC.

And it's free.

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 5/6/08

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

comics Rob O'Reilly, Liz Miele, Eliza Faria-Santos, and Chris Laker battling on stage for

audience laughs & votes in the stand-up competition Eric I's Comedy Showdown (7:00ish pm)

a rare opportunity to catch four of the most brilliant and hilarious improv troupes in the country—

The Stepfathers, Mother, Reuben Williams, and Death by Roo Roo—performing

back to back in two shows at Harold Night (8:00 pm & 9:30 pm),

Matt Evans & Frank Campanella performing a new sketch show, plus the acclaimed Adrianne Frost

creating a unique show based on improvised character monologues, at Suit Yourself and Be (8:00 pm)

lively & fun discussions about comic books at Comic Book Club (8:00 pm),

superb storytellers, including Adam Wade (Moth GrandSlam Champion), at SpeakEasy (8:30 pm),

comedy giants Eugene Mirman (HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim) and Michael Showalter

(MTV, films The Baxter and Wet Hot American Summer); witty political cartoonist David Rees

 (Get Your War On); plus a rare screening of a 25-minute documentary about wonderful host

Seth Herzog that's likely to be a treat, at one of the finest comedy shows in NYC: Sweet (9:00 pm),

the unique & hilarious Dave Hill, plus stand-ups including Greg Barris (MTV2's All That Rocks)

and DJ Hazard (Fuel TV's American Misfits) at Carol Hartsell's and Sean Crespo's Drink at Work (9:00 pm),

a comedic play about an unusual folk band: The Song of the Irish Peddler (9:30 pm),

an innovative new improv form, plus a one-woman show, in Tracers and Big, Bad, and Pink (9:30 pm),

and a free East Village show celebrating its one-year anniversary with superb comics

Glennis McMurray & Eliza Skinner (I Eat Pandas, 2008 ECNY Award winners), Joe Mande (also a

2008 ECNY Award winner), Eric Andre (Comedy Central), and more at Matt Ruby's Flying Carpet (10:00 pm).

 

 

Liz Miele and Rob O'Reilly

Eric I's Comedy Showdown

This new biweekly extravaganza is a comedy competition hosted by Eric I.

Four established NYC comics, plus two up-and-coming comics selected at the show's start

from the audience, each get 8 minutes on stage to be funny. The audience then votes

on who it believes was most hilarious. The winner receives an additional 5 minutes

of stage time to make comedic fun of the losers; and also moves on to a semi-final round in June to determine a season champion (with a prize of $500, and bragging rights).

Tonight's four battling veteran comics are

Rob O'Reilly (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; Live At Gotham; took second place out of 64 comics in this year's March Comedy Madness stand-up competition at Carolines;

for stand-up video about why you shouldn't trust Trojans, please click here);

Liz Miele (Comedy Central; took third place at the March Comedy Madness competition;

for 12-minute set at Carolines, please click here),

Eliza Faria-Santos (Comedy Central; for sketch about stalking celebrities, please click here),

and Chris Laker.

Expect sparks to fly.

7:00ish 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)

 

 

UCBT's Very Best, Together For Harold Night

Wow. Mother, The Stepfathers, Reuben Williams, and Death by Roo Roo are UCBT's finest improv groups—which means they're among the very best improvisors in the country.

And they'll all be performing the long form of improv known as Harold this evening, with Mother and The Stepfathers going from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm, and Reuben Williams and Death by Roo Roo from 9:30 pm to 11:00 pm.

This is a wonderful opportunity to catch four of the finest troupes in NYC in a row.

If you have any interest in improv, don't miss it.

(If I didn't have my screenwriters workshop tonight, I'd be there myself...)

8:00 pm & 9:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue);

tickets are $5 per show (i.e., $10 total)

 

 

 

Suit Yourself and Be

A two-man sketch show and one-woman improv show for just five bucks.

First, skilled comics Matt Evans and Frank Campanella perform what they describe as "A sketch show we wrote for you. Save the date and stop by to watch! Oh... you have to work late that night? You have a blind date? You have a cold? Fine. Suit yourself..."

The double-bill then continues with a one-woman improvised show by veteran comic Adrianne Frost,  who'll use suggestions from the audience to craft complex and unique character monologues on the spot. Frost has previously performed similar show to great acclaim at the Toronto Improv Festival. Her many credits include The Daily Show, VH1s Best Week Ever, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and the book I Hate Other Peoples Kids.

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

 

 

 

Matt Loux's Salt Water Taffy, and the Timony Brothers

Comic Book Club

Hosted by Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler and Pete LePage,

who enjoy discussing comic books while getting laughs.

Tonight's guests are Matt Loux (Salt Water Taffy, Sidescrollers)

and The Timony Brothers (Night Owls).

To get a feel for the smart, playful vibe of Comic Book Club, please check out its podcasts—

that is, audio recordings of previous shows in their entirety—by clicking here.

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

 

 

SpeakEasy: Stories from the Back Room

There is little as satisfying as a well-told funny story...

that is, unless you can have an entire evening packed with them.

Sherry Weaver hosts this lovely show, which she says she created because

"she couldn't convince people to climb into bed with her at night and tell her stories."

Tonight's yarn-spinners are Kimmi Auerbach, James Braly, Lisa Haas, Andy Christie,

Jim O'Grady, and extra-special guest Adam Wade (Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion;

 credits include a fiction story in The New York Times Magazine and writing a column

for ReallySmallTalk.com). For all performer bios, please click here.

8:30 pm at Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street (between West 4th Street and Bleecker);

$10 ticket plus one item (food or drink) minimum

 

 

 

Eugene Mirman and David Rees...

 

...and best buds Seth Herzog and Michael Showalter

Sweet

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

Seth is one of the finest hosts around—and this is one of the best comedy shows in NYC.

Tonight's thoroughly wonderful guests are

Eugene Mirman (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special,

Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Jump Cuts, HBO's Flight of the Conchords, VH1,

The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman and En Garde, Society! comedy albums;

co-host with Michael of the award-winning weekly NYC live comedy show Tearing the Veil of Maya),

Michael Showalter (Michael Showalter (MTV's seminal sketch show The State, legendary comedy troupe Stella,

writer/director/star of feature film The Baxter, co-writer/co-star of feature film Wet Hot American Summer;

co-host with Eugene of the award-winning weekly NYC live comedy show Tearing the Veil of Maya), and

David Rees (political cartoonist who creates such popular series as

Get Your War On, which is a Web site that's garnered 8 million hits, has been turned into

a book, and is now also a play that'll be running at this year's Edinburgh Festival;

for an interview clip, please click here).

In addition, Seth will be screening a 25-minute documentary made about him

that's likely to be highly entertaining and worth the price of admission all by itself.

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

 

 

Carol Hartsell, Dave Hill, and Sean Crespo

Drink at Work

Weekly 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

Dave Hill (one of the sharpest and freshest comics in NYC, 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 Explosion—to learn more, please click here),

DJ Hazard (cast member of Fuel TV's American Misfits), and

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

9:00 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)

 

 

The Song of the Irish Peddler

A sketch show written by BJ Gallagher, with music by Chris Caniglia, and performed by John Flynn, Jacob Brown, Kirk Damato, and Chris Manley. The official description:

"In 1963 Irish folk band The Irish Peddlers was formed...in Canada! Join brothers Paddy, Maddy, Laddy, and the boys for a look at their rollicking career from rainbow's beginning to pot o' gold ending. Watch and listen as The Irish Peddlers themselves enchant you with original music and tales spun in traditional Irish yarn. One lucky audience member will win a Potato Surprise!"

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

 

 

 

Factory Factory: Tracers and Ali Bernstein: Big, Bad, and Pink

An innovative sketch troupe and one-woman sketch show for five bucks.

First, Chicago troupe Factory Factory demonstrates a fascinating new improv form called Tracers. The official description: "Two young lovers sneak into the boys locker room for a forbidden kiss. Morris, a retiring janitor, inadvisably tries out for the school play in the theater. The sound of a lot of broken glass rings out from the parking lot. The roar of a yeti is heard coming from the direction of the gym...Tracers allows the audience to see all of those locations over the same time period, and how they affect one another. When you fire a bullet into the next room, where does it go? With Tracers, the mystery is revealed." Factory Factory consists of Jon Bander, Karsten Cross, Luke Franklin, Megan Gray, Leslie Korein, Garrett Palm, and Morgan Phillips.

The double-bill then continues with a one-woman sketch show

written and performed by Ali Bernstein (and directed by Joe Schiappa).

9:30 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Flying Carpet

Matt Ruby's free monthly comedy show celebrates its

one-year anniversary tonight with these wonderful guests:

I Eat Pandas (Glennis McMurray & Eliza Skinner, who are simply geniuses at

taking a suggestion from the audience and creating an entire musical based around it,

using only their imaginations, immense talent, and the aid of their wonderful improv pianist

Frank Spitznagel; winners of the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group),

Joe Mande (2008 ECNY Award winner for Best Emerging Comic;

co-host of weekly NYC live comedy show Totally J/K),

Eric Andre (Comedy Central's Live at Gotham; 2007 HBO Aspen Comedy Festival;

Geico caveman; for a video sample, please click here),

Myq Kaplan (for superb stand-up video about religion, gay marriage, and dumplings,

please click here),

Ken Zimlinghaus (can be heard regularly on Sirius Satellite Radio's Wake Up With Cosmo;

hosts weekly NYC live comedy show Fat Tuesday),

Ryan Conner (for hilarious stand-up video about public bathroom issues, please click here), and

Micah Sherman (for a reel that includes him playing a cheese & steak sandwich, please click here).

10:00 pm at Rififi, 332 East 11th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); free

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 5/7/08

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

the magical Livia Scott delivering a series of brilliant performances in her

 ECNY-nominated one-woman show about OJ Simpson fans: Goodnight, O.J.  (7:00 pm),

inventive nationally touring sketch duo Andrew Connor & Mike Mathieu in

a rare NYC performance of their acclaimed The Cody Rivers Show (8:00 pm),

a small army of brilliant comics—Eugene Mirman, Jon Daly, Julie & Jackie, Anthony Atamanuik,

John Gemberling, Neil Casey, Craig Baldo, Patrick Borelli, Matt Hall, and more—joining comedic

chameleon Brett Gelman (Cracked Out, NY Lotto's "Little Bit of Luck") at Gelmania (8:30 pm),

open mic stand-up in Queens' LIC, with wonderful comic & Sweet host Seth Herzog

as guest headliner, at John F. O'Donnell's The Kingdom of Heaven (8:30 pm),

an entirely improvised musical from genius duo Glennis McMurray & Eliza Skinner, and

a soap opera improv troupe, in the double-bill I Eat Pandas and Hot Lather (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.

 

TV Alert: South Park is one of the funniest shows in TV history, and this season

has been especially superb—which, considering the series is in its 11th year,

is little short of astonishing. On tonight's repeat, Cartman contracts a terrible disease...and then

does something shockingly wrong, even for him. If you aren't already tuning in, for goodness sakes,

set your TiVo for Comedy Central at 10:00 pm and discover the latest catch-phrase

South Park has contributed to our culture: "I'm not only sure, I'm HIV-positive..."

 

Livia Scott: Goodnight, O.J.

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."

(P.S. The book became a blockbuster bestseller.)

The idea is clever; but Livia's thoughtful choices and

 hilarious performances 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).

7:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Margot & Giulia are two fun-lovin' gals...who are world-class storytellers

Stripped Stories: Sexual Surprises

Sexual storytelling with a comedic slant.

Tonight's theme is sexual surprises: literally, "What the f*ck!?"

Offering frank confessions will be comedy guests Chris Gethard (one of the finest and funniest storytellers in the country), Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Premium Blend), and music from Reggie Watts (genius improv beatboxer who'll amaze you); plus the two sensual hosts, Giulia Rozzi (VH1's Best Night Ever podcasts) and Margot Leitman (Late Night With Conan O'Brien). In addition, there'll be "audience interviews, sex games, and hookups...hopefully."

This is a wonderful show, and highly recommended.

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

$15 online with code EBLAST, plus two-item food or drink minimum

 

 

Andrew Connor and Mike Mathieu

The Cody Rivers Show

Acclaimed two-man sketch group Andrew Connor & Mike Mathieu,

who call themselves The Cody Rivers Show,

have received glowing reviews and are well worth checking out.

This nationally touring duo perform at UCBT pretty rarely—for 2008, it might be

just tonight and Wednesday night—for if you're at all interested

in catching these inventive and colorful performers, grab the chance this week.

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

 

 

Big Black Car and Fancy Dragon

This free weekly show features the two PIT improv teams above,

each of which performs for about 30 minutes. For a video sample of Big Black Car,

please click here; and for a video sample of Fancy Dragon, please click here.

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

 

 

Eugene Mirman, John Gemberling, Jon Daly, and Craig Baldo...

...and Brett Gelman, Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, and Julie Klausner & Jackie Clarke

Gelmania

This wonderful weekly show is hosted by Brett Gelman, a comedic chameleon

who's currently ubiquitous as the Little Bit of Luck guy in New York Lottery ads.

Brett's numerous credits include Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Colbert Report,

and ace improv troupe Death by Roo Roo. For a recent interview with Brett, please click here; for samples of Brett's mind-blowing work with partner Jon Daly, please click here and here,

and also check out their hip-hop parody album Fleetwood Cracked.

Tonight's wonderful guests are

Eugene Mirman (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special,

Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Jump Cuts, HBO's Flight of the Conchords, VH1,

The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman and En Garde, Society! comedy albums;

co-host of the 2008 ECNY Award-winning weekly NYC live comedy show Tearing the Veil of Maya),

Jon Daly (member of superstar improv group Mother; recently wrapped acting in feature comedy films College Road Trip and Stick It Detroit; for samples of Jon's unique work with partner Brett Gelman, please click here and here, and also check out their hip-hop

parody album Fleetwood Cracked...and keep an eye out for their just-completed

Cracked Out pilot for Comedy Central),

Julie Klausner & Jackie Clarke (writer/performers creating some of the freshest & most hilarious material in NYC at their monthly UCBT show Obsessed with Julie & Jackie; writers for Logo TV's The Big Gay Sketch Show; please check out their recent short films by clicking here),

Anthony Atamanuik (actor on NBC's 30 Rock; hilarious reporter who recently covered the New Hampshire primaries for The Huffington Post; ace storyteller on NYC monthly comedy show

The Nights of Our Lives; member of great NYC Friday night improv show Death by Roo Roo),

John Gemberling (co-creator and co-star of TV series Fat Guy Stuck in Internet,

MTV's Human Giant; member of genius improv troupe Death by Roo Roo),

Neil Casey (sharp, hilarious, multi-talented comic; member of wonderful improv troupes Death by Roo Roo and Krompf; periodic panelist for Shut Up! I Hate You!; superb substitute co-host for Cage Match),

Craig Baldo (performed over 30 sketches on Late Night with Conan O'Brien; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Comic Remix; VH1, Bravo, The Onion),

Patrick Borelli (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central's Premium Blend,

ESPN's Cheap Seats, Video Power Hour), and

Matt Hall (frequent comedy partner of Patrick Borelli;

co-creater with Patrick of Video Power Hour).

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

 

 

 

John F. O'Donnell and Seth Herzog

The Kingdom of Heaven

Free open mic stand-up comedy show in Queens' Long Island City

(just one stop from Manhattan on the #7 train).

Hosted by John F. O'Donnell (Comedy Central's Fresh Faces; for stand-up video, please click here),

a wild man who will make you love him...and who genuinely loves comedy and fellow comics.

If you're looking for stage time, John makes this a very friendly place to perform.

Sign-up for the open mic is at 7:30.

Tonight's guest headliner is the razor-sharp, dynamic, and hilarious Seth Herzog.

Seth appears on such fun TV show as VH1's Best Week Ever; and

he's the wonderful host of Sweet, one of the very best weekly live comedy shows

 in the country (playing every Tuesday at 9:00 at NYC's Slipper Room).

8:30 pm at The Creek and The Cave, 10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens; free

From Manhattan, take the #7 subway to the Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue stop (one stop after Grand Central);

exit on Jackson Avenue and walk one block north to 49th Avenue.

 

 

 

Glennis & Eliza: I Eat Pandas and Hot Lather

Two unique improvisation troupes for a mere five bucks.

Glennis McMurray and Eliza Skinner are simply geniuses

at taking a suggestion from the audience and creating

an entire musical based around it, using only their imaginations,

immense talent, and the aid of their wonderful improv pianist

Frank Spitznagel. Each of these gals is a powerhouse performer;

what they manage to create together tends to be sheer magic.

You don't have to take my word for it, either;

the duo won the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group.

Don't miss any chance to enjoy these comedic wizards at play.

The double-bill then continues with Hot Lather, an improv group that specializes

in the soap opera format. Its members include some powerhouse performers:

Mike Cavanaugh, Matt Fisher,  Jon Gutierrez, Molly Lloyd, Anna Rubanova, Achilles Stamatelaky, Mike Still, Abra Tabak, Andree Vermeulen, and Paul Welsh,

with direction by Rob Webber.

9:30 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 5/8/08

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

razor-sharp comics Joe Mande, Chris Gethard, and Jenny Slate recreating on stage

Joe's experiences interning for The Maury Povich Show, plus fun sketches from

 comedy duo Greg Burke & Lou Perez, in Workdays with Maury and Greg & Lou (6:30 pm),

world-class storyteller Kambri Crews, and a small mob of stand-up comics—

including Paul Case (MTV) and Sergio Chicon (BET)—telling funny and sometimes

poignant  tales about their relatives at Sara Benincasa's Family Hour (7:30 pm),

Lennon Parham, one of the most appealing & hilarious comedic actresses you'll ever see on stage,

tackling eight wildly different characters, plus the understated Nick Zimmerman performing

 a mini-play, in Lennon Parham: She Tried to Be Normal and Out of Africa My Mind (8:00 pm),

top comics Leo Allen (SNL, Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central), Kurt Metzger (Chappelle's Show),

and more at the hilarious Joe Mande's & Noah Garfinkel's Totally J/K (8:30 pm),

Baron Vaughn, Lucas Held, Carmen Lynch, and more at Dan Allen's & Ray Devito's °Sacapuntas! (9:00 pm),

fine gay and straight stand-ups hosted by Jenny Rubin in The Back Room (9:00 pm),

some of  the freshest comedy, and finest timing, in NYC from sharp duo Julie & Jackie (9:30 pm),

and gloriously energetic & inventive improv troupes Bastian and Death by Roo Roo

competing for audience laughs & votes at Cage Match (11:00 pm).

 

Joe Mande creates a mini-play about his unpaid internship on The Maury Povich Show...

...and comedy duo Lou Perez & Greg Burke perform a series of fun sketches

Greg & Lou, and Katie Schorr

Two terrific sketch shows for a mere five bucks.

Kicking off this double-bill is Workdays with Maury, a comedic memoir about an unpaid internship on The Maury Povich Show. If you've ever wondered what it's like to work on a seedy talk show, don't miss this true-life tale written and starring Joe Mande (winner of the 2008 ECNY Award winner for Best Emerging Comic; co-host of superb weekly NYC show Totally J/K).

The mini-play also co-stars these two hilarious and razor-sharp comedic actors:

Chris Gethard (one of the most talented and brilliant storytellers and improvisors in New York; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, Happy Hour, author of book Weird New York), and

 Jenny Slate (VH1; co-host of Brooklyn live comedy show A New Experience with Gabe & Jenny;

for very funny video, please click here).

The fun then continues with smart writing and committed performances from Greg & Lou:

Greg Burke (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Law & Order, Guiding Light) and

Lou Perez (co-star with Greg in sketch comedy group The Wicked Wicked Hammerkatz;

also a talented short story writer & contributor to Fiction Magazine as Luis Amate Perez).

For a video sample, please click here.

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

 

 

Happy children with "Aunt" Sara Benincasa...

   

...and Paul Case, Sergio Chicon, and Kambri Crews

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's guests include

Kambri Crews (luminous performer, stellar publicist & producer, and one of the most sharp, charming, and heartfelt comedic storytellers working in NYC; for Kambri's correspondence with her deaf dad, who's in a Texas prison for trying to  stab his wife to death, please visit Web site LoveDaddy.org; for a video of Kambri reading her jailed dad's wedding toast, please click here),

Sergio Chicon (BET; producer of NYC live comedy show Serg's Fresh Faces at Laugh Lounge),

Paul Case (MTV; co-producer of NYC weekly live comedy show The Back Room),

Adam Strauss (for stand-up video about bathroom etiquette, please click here),

Ben Lerman (ukulele-playing comedian),

Kyle Supley (series of autobiographical videos), and

Blanca Dominguez ("I have that Latin temper. I can't help it. I hope that I evolve

as a person so I become one with the universe and get Inner Peace.

Is there anyway I CAN GET SOME OF THAT DAMN INNER PEACE NOW?").

7:30 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)

 

 

 

Lennon Parham and Nick Zimmerman

Lennon Parham: She Tried to Be Normal and

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

the sexy, laid-back, wry, and hilarious Lennon Parham.

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 Lennon burns up the stage with an array of characters ranging from an unsettling radio DJ to a sweet little girl to Freddy Kruger...and will likely have you helpless with laughter.

(And if you don't want to take just my word for it, Jane Borden has written in Time Out New York that Lennon's antics "will leave you wondering why she isn't famous yet;" and writes in this week's edition, "Attention Lorne Michaels, please give Lennon Parham a job." )

The extravaganza is directed by the brilliant Jason Mantzoukas, who should take a bow for helping Lennon really show off what she can do in this 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 Out of Africa My Mind, a one-man show written and performed by Nick Zimmerman. The material didn't quite resonate with me,

but Zimmerman's gentle and unsettling style makes him a performer worth keeping an eye on.

(And TONY's Jane Borden found it "a candid and hilariously awkward monologue...")

Directed by the wonderful John Flynn (John Flynn Has Terrible Sex, The Nights of Our Lives).

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

 

 

Totally J/K

Hosted by quick-witted best buds Noah Garfinkel and

Joe Mande, the 2008 ECNY Award winner for Best Emerging Comic.

(For dueling birthday videos, please click here and here; and

 for other videos, please click here and here.)

Tonight's fine guests are

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

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

Kurt Metzger (writer for Chappelle's Show; for a video stand-up sample, please click here),

Max Silvestri (host of Brooklyn monthly live comedy show I Like Attention), and

Dave Horwitz (for video about a unique hand, please click here).

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

 

 

°Sacapuntas!

Dan Allen and Ray Devito host this monthly show focused on sharp stand-up comedy.

Tonight's terrific guests are

Baron Vaughn (MTV's The Gamekillers, VH1's Awesomely Oversexed and

Best Week Ever, co-star of weekly NYC live comedy show Shoot the Messenger;

for a radio interview, please click here),

Carmen Lynch (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Premium Blend;

for stand-up video about being tall, please click here),

Lucas Held (writes popular blog The Most Famous Dolphin),

and Australian comic James Smith.

9:00 pm at Jimmy's No. 43, 43 East 7th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Jenny Rubin, Dave Rubin, Paul Case, and Shawn Hollenbach

The Back Room

Gay-themed comedy (with both gay and straight comics), hosted by the charming Jenny Rubin.

Tonight's guests haven't been announced, but they'll probably include

Back Room co-producer Paul Case (MTV),

Back Room co-producer Shawn Hollenbach (here! tv.com), and

Back Room co-producer Dave Rubin (here! tv.com).

9:00 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)

 

 

Julie Klausner & Jackie Clarke

Obsessed with Julie & Jackie

Julie Klausner and Jackie Clarke are writer/performers

creating some of the freshest & most hilarious material in NYC—

please check out their recent short films by clicking here.

Tonight's guests haven't been announced, but expect fun.

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

 

 

vs.

Cage Match: Bastian vs. Death by Roo Roo

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.

(For a spirited weekly report on the wrestling aspect of Cage Match, please click here.)

Improv group Bastian is becoming an underdog star, winning four tough battles in a row

against The Stepfathers, Mother, 1985, and Bad Data.

In its first three bouts, Bastian triumphed by razor-thin margins—the largest being 9 votes,

and the smallest a mere 4 votes! The group broke its skin-of-their-teeth status last week, though,

thoroughly debugging Bad Data with a victory of 91 to 23.

Can the champions of Bastian—Brian Barrett, Maggie Carey,

Adam Frucci, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Molly Lloyd, Oscar Magallanes,

and John Murray—manage another miracle tonight?

That's pretty much what's needed, as this evening's challenger is one of the finest improv troupes in the country: Death by Roo Roo, consisting of uniformly brilliant comics Anthony Atamanuik, Neil Casey, Jackie Clarke, Brett Gelman, John Gemberling, and Curtis Gwinn. The gang performs to adoring crowds every Friday night at 11:00 pm at UCBT; and it's arguably the gutsiest comedy group in NYC.

Tonight's match could be a firestorm, and there's no telling how it'll turn out...

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 5/9/08

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

a talk show that interviews someone who's appeared on TV and then creates

 improvised scenes based on the interview at The Spotlight with Sean Taylor (7:00 pm),

one of the funniest stand-up comics in the country, Mike Birbiglia (David Letterman,

Conan O'Brien, three Comedy Central specials), performing a deliciously long set

of fresh material in a UCBT showcase: 60 Minutes of New Comedy (8:00),

a blowout party celebrating Gossip Girl, the TV teen drama sensation of the year, hosted by

Sara Benincasa (MTV, Family Hour) and including a small mob of NYC comics, Emmy-winning

writers, and other very smart fans having enthusiastic fun at the Gossip Girl Summit (8:00),

typically stellar stand-up comics at one of the funniest productions in NYC—and winner of

the 2008 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),

silly concepts, clever wordplay, and terrifically fun sketch comedy from Elephant Larry (9:30 pm),

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

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

veteran Chicago comics from The Second City, The IO Theater, and The Annoyance Theater

gathering in NYC for an evening of improv and sketch comedy at The Windy City Rebellion (11:00 pm),

and some of the most hilarious stand-up comics on the planet—including Patton Oswalt, Anthony Jeselnik,

and host Doug Benson—at a very special show called The Benson Interruption (12:15ish am).

 

The Spotlight with Sean Taylor

A talk show with a guest who's had 15 minutes of fame by briefly appearing on TV.

Talented improvisors then act out scenes based on the interview.

Tonight host Sean Taylor interviews Noah Starr.

For a video that provides a feel for the show, please click here.

7:00 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

Mike Birbiglia: 60 Minutes of New Comedy

Mike Birbiglia is flat-out one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country.

He's not loud or rude—just smart, relaxed, honest, and very funny. (Sample line:

"If the best part of waking up is Folgers in my cup, I'm not sure I want to wake up.")

This razor-sharp comic recently performed an hour-long Comedy Central special

titled What I Should Have Said is Nothing. Mike's also performed two

Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; appeared multiple times on

Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien;

and has released the comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live.

The latter was chosen by Time Out New York as the Comedy Album of the Year.

Tonight, as his show's on-the-nose title states, Mike will be performing

an entire hour of fresh material...which, if you already know Mike's work, is thrilling.

For sample stand-up videos, please click here and here;

and then come let Mike make you laugh helplessly with this solo show.

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

 

 

The Ultimate Gossip Girl Summit

New York Magazine recently called the CW series Gossip Girl "The greatest teen drama of all time."  Writers Jessica Pressler & Chris Rovzar explain: "Peopled by preternaturally attractive new stars, dressed in the latest clothes, steeped in simmering emotions, and smothered with a thick coat of money...Gossip Girl is the ultimate teen Frankendrama, with archetypal characters and classic story lines. But itís also a thoroughly modern take on the genre (itís a show about a blog, for Perezís sake!), where teenagers are stalked by camera phones, the parents are as screwed up as the kids, and there are absolutely no consequences for anyoneís actions."

To celebrate the series, Sara Benincasa (MTV's Total Request Live and Choose or Lose Campaign; Tub Talk with Sara B. on Nerve.com; host of weekly NYC live comedy show Family Hour) has put together tonight's extravaganza, which features "hilarious reenactments, trivia games, prizes, and a fierce moderated debate featuring GG experts Richard Lawson/LOLCait (Gawker), Diana Saez (Sirius), Jen Kwok (NBC Stand Up For Diversity), Heather Fink (Street Meat), Rya Backer (MTV News), Ces Marciuliano (Emmy-winning writer), and GG virgin Jon Friedman (Rejection Show)."

If you've never seen Gossip Girl, this is a great opportunity to learn what all the fuss is about.

And if you're already a fan: OMFG, how can you even think about missing this?!?

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

 

 

The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show

This is one of the best comedy shows in New York.

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).

The lineup is typically announced on the day of the show

—and is almost always stellar.

To check for news on tonight's show, please click here.

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

 

 

Elephant Larry

 Elephant Larry (above) is a NYC-based sketch group consisting of Geoff Haggerty, Stefan Lawrence, Chris Principe, Jeff Solomon, and Alex Zalben (former artistic director of  The PIT, co-host of the Comic Book Club, and co-producer of the spectacular annual SketchFest NYC). The troupe specializes in conceptual humor, silliness, and wordplay—for example, demonstrating that a caveman and the Cookie Monster sound remarkably alike when saying such things as "Me have problem with subject/verb placement..." For videos about a sci-fi version of Beckett

and using Adobe Photoshop, please click here and here.

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

 

 

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

 

 

The Windy City Rebellion

A mix of some of Chicago's best Improv, sketch, and stand-up comics

from The Second City, The IO Theater, and The Annoyance Theater.

Hosted by improv troupe Broad Shoulders, which consists of the acclaimed Thomas Middleditch, Mackenzie Condon, Mary Grill, James Harris, Scott Markman, and Steve Pasieka.

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

 

 

  

Doug Benson

The Benson Interruption

Doug Benson (finalist on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, VH1's Best Week Ever) is one the sharpest stand-ups in the world.

In this superb show, Benson invites some of the funniest people he knows—who include some of the most sought-after comics in the country—to perform stand-up. And whenever he feels like it, Benson interrupts the act with a sharp observation to make the audience laugh even harder...and, with luck, crack up the comedian on stage as well.

Tonight's stupendous lineup includes Patton Oswalt, Anthony Jeselnik,

Rob Cantrell, Esther Ku, and Team Submarine.

Understandably, advance seats quickly sold out. But if you're okay with standing, chances are

you can still get in...and enjoy what promises to an unforgettable night of comedy.

12:15ish am at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 5/10/08

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

organic and immensely loveable married duo Mary Theresa Archbold and Pat Shay performing an

unforgettable sketch show based on Mary's life of being born with only one arm: Jazz Hand (7:00 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),

disturbingly odd sketch comedy you may have trouble getting out of your head from Rue Brutalia (8:00 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),

stellar stand-ups, including Tom Shillue (Comedy Central Presents, Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show), Leo Allen (Comedy Central Presents, Conan O'Brien, Saturday Night Live), Liam

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

superb sketch troupe Party Central USA, plus comics John Knefel and Clayton Fletcher, joining

sketch group host Slightly Known People to make you laugh in Random Hookups with SKP (10:30 pm),

organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track! (10:30 pm),

and nerdcore rapper mc chris (Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show, etc.) digging deep

to perform songs about pizza, ninjas, and masturbation from his new album mc chris is dead (Midnight).

 

Mary Theresa Archbold finds a unique way to silence

husband Pat Shay in their funny and touching show

Jazz Hand: Tales of a One Armed Woman

This sketch-based play is based on the real life experiences of Mary Theresa Archbold,

who was born missing an arm...and was one of the most sharp, engaging,

and endearing performers to grace last August's FringeNYC Festival.

In fact, she won a Best Actor Award, beating out literally

hundreds of other terrific talents from around the country.

It would've been easy to fall into the trap of creating something maudlin;

but instead Archbold and husband Pat Shay offer a very entertaining series

 of autobiographical  vignettes that are "slightly exaggerated...

but often closer to the truth than you'd suspect."

For a full review of the show, please click here. (The short version: Don't miss this.)

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Rue Brutalia Presents Two Guys and a Finger

Rue Brutalia is comedy duo Jon Pack and Jason Kalter, who create

quirky, unsettling sketches you may have trouble getting out of  your head.

To obtain a feel for their odd work, check out a saga about a cartoon character with no balls,

and another about two guys who are the same man, by clicking here and here.

Tonight Jon & Jason are joined by new PIT sketch troupe Finger,

which consists of Mamrie Hart, Grace Helbig, Jenn Hibbs, Matt Hobby,

Yang Miller, Chris Roberti, Mandy Schmieder, Steve Soroka, and Phil Wells.

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

SKP's Stu Luth, Mel DeLancey, and Dan Maccarone; and Party Central USA

Random Hookups with Slightly Known 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 superb guests are

Party Central USA (hilarious sketch troupe consisting of

Mike Condrick, Patrick Dall'Occhio, Brianne Halverson, and Michael Terry,

and whose motto is "Life is a fluffy buttermilk pancake filled with glass dust;"

host of great monthly show Sketchubator, which brings together a small army of sketch troupes to each show off one new or favorite bit; for sharply written & performed PCU videos about father-son chats, trying to get fired, and a special bachelor party, please click here & here & here),

Clayton Fletcher (host of weekly NYC stand-up show at the New York Comedy Club; 2004 FringeNYC hit musical All Good Things; national tours of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and Hank Williams: Lost Highway), and

 John Knefel (member of Bare Hand Wolf Chokers Association).

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

For a review of the show, please click here.

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

Nearest subway stop is Bleecker Street on the #6 (which brings you virtually to the door of the theatre)

 and Broadway-Lafayette on the F/V/D/B.

 

 

mc chris is dead

MC Chris (Christopher Ward) grew up on a steady diet of G.I. Joe, Star Wars, and

rented Betamax tapes. In high school, chris was a big fan of counter culture hip hop

after hearing Public Enemy. That was followed by alternative hip hop acts, the Pharcyde,

De la Soul, Tribe Called Quest, and Black Sheep. chris memorized it all.

After graduating, chris get involved with the then-fledgling Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, working as an animator, voice artist, writer, and/or producer on such series as

Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, and the upcoming Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge.

chris then combined his love of pop culture and rap by touring and creating albums with his own special nerdcore slant. Tonight he performs from his newest CD, mc chris is dead,

the result of  chris "asking the hard questions and looking deep within himself in hopes of making the most honest album he's ever released. Seeking no frills and the absolute truth, the songs cover a wide range of topics including pizza, ninjas, and masturbation. Come see him perform it live along with some of his friends as he prepares for four months of touring, including the entire run of warped tour."

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 5/11/08

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),

typically stellar stand-up comics joining comedy giants Eugene Mirman & Michael Showalter

for their weekly shindig at Brooklyn's Union Hall: Tearing the Veil of Maya (8:00 pm),

stand-ups Jamie Lee, Andrew Wright, Hannibal Buress, and more at Whitest Kids U' Know

Timmy Williams' and Sam Brown's free show Scum and Villainy (8:00 pm).

and one of the funniest stand-up comics in the country, Mike Birbiglia (David Letterman,

Conan O'Brien, three Comedy Central specials), performing a deliciously long set

of fresh material in a solo showcase: 60 Minutes of New Comedy (9:30).

 

 

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)

 

 

 

Michael Showalter and Eugene Mirman

Tearing the Veil of Maya

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

some of the best funny minds in New York can be found at this weekly show

run by these two comedy giants (winners of the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Hosts):

Eugene Mirman (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special,

Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Jump Cuts, HBO's Flight of the Conchords, VH1,

The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman and En Garde, Society! comedy albums) and

Michael Showalter (Michael Showalter (MTV's seminal sketch show The State, legendary comedy troupe Stella,

writer/director/star of feature film The Baxter, co-writer/co-star of feature film Wet Hot American Summer).

Tonight's guests haven't been announced, but they're usually stellar.

8:00 pm at Union Hall, 702 Union Street at 5th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn; tickets are $7

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.

 

 

Timmy Williams and Sam Brown

Scum and Villainy

This free weekly show is hosted by Timmy Williams and Sam Brown, members of

popular comedy group The Whitest Kids U' Know (currently starring in a TV show on IFC).

Tonight's fine guests are

Jamie Lee, Andrew Wright, Hannibal Buress, Julian McCullough, and Joe Macchi.

8:00 pm at Pianos, 158 Ludlow Street at Stanton; free

 

 

Ampers&nd

A showcase for talented improvisation twosomes.

Tonight's duos haven't been announced,

but some fine scenes usually arise from this show.

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

 

 

Mike Birbiglia: 60 Minutes of New Comedy

Mike Birbiglia is flat-out one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country.

He's not loud or rude—just smart, relaxed, honest, and very funny. (Sample line:

"If the best part of waking up is Folgers in my cup, I'm not sure I want to wake up.")

This razor-sharp comic recently performed an hour-long Comedy Central special

titled What I Should Have Said is Nothing. Mike's also performed two

Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; appeared multiple times on

Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien;

and has released the comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live.

The latter was chosen by Time Out New York as the Comedy Album of the Year.

Tonight, as his show's on-the-nose title states, Mike will be performing

an entire hour of fresh material...which, if you already know Mike's work, is thrilling.

For sample stand-up videos, please click here and here;

and then come let Mike make you laugh helplessly with this solo show.

9:30 pm at Union Hall, 702 Union Street at 5th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn; tickets are $7

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.

 

 

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 guests are

Michelle Buteau, Eric Alexander, Lexi Cullen-Baker, and Scott Ryan.

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