NYC Comedy Picks for Week of November 3, 2008

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 11/3/08

   

Mike Birbiglia (Shut Up!), Andy Secunda (Palin Family), Andy Blitz (Whiplash), and Becky Drysdale (Shut Up!)

Tonight's recommendations for the best in New York City comedy

(in chronological order, with top picks marked by colored brackets) include:

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

and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours, who tonight include Joselyn Hughes, Blaine Perry, Matt Ruby,

Amy Beckerman, Jon Bander, and John Morrison—at John Morrison's Ochi's Motel (6:30 pm & 9:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] innovative TV mini-shows (no longer than 5 minutes each)

that live or die by audience votes at Channel101: NY (7:00 pm & 8:30 pm),

hilarious singer/songwriter Ben Lerman, and stand-ups Pat Camden and Wesley Cannon, joining delightful hosts Jackie Monahan, Leah Dubie, Amy Beckerman, and Gloria Bigelow at Dykes on Mics (7:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] a sharply funny political discussion with brilliant & lightning-fast comics Mike Birbiglia (David Letterman,

Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk with Me), Neil Casey (Death by Roo Roo, Fat Guy Stuck in Internet),

Becky Drysdale (Time Traveling Lesbian, Let's Have a Ball), and Scott Brown (writer for

Entertainment Weekly and Wired) at Anthony King's & Kate Spencer's Shut Up! I Hate You! (8:00 pm),

political sketch comedy, plus an Election Eve panel with pundits Eric Boehlert, Jane Hamsher, and Lee Papa, at Liz Winstead's Shoot the Messenger (8:00 pm),

fresh, sexy, brilliant comic Jessi Klein hosting a pre-Election comedy show with such

talented stand-ups as Myq Kaplan, Michael Weingartner, Reese Waters, and Robert Kelly

at the biweekly Comedy Central at Crash Mansion (8:00 pm),

a new, free weekly comedy show in Brooklyn featuring stand-up, sketch, music, and more,

hosted by the razor-sharp Jena Friedman: Entertaining Tammy (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] Kate Hess & Andy Secunda creating what's likely to be a hilarious political parody, plus political-based improv, at Palin Family All-Star Review and Election Spectacular and The Spin (9:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] and a free weekly show featuring some of the finest comics in the country—who tonight include Eugene Mirman (Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Andy Blitz (comedy genius who's written & performed for Conan O'Brien since 1999), and James Adomian (George W. Bush impersonator for CBS, ABC, MTV, Comedy Central)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central) at Whiplash (11:00 pm).

For details, please click here.

 

Album of the Month: Jessica Delfino's I Wanna Be Famous

Funny, filthy, graceful, seething, and always artful, Jessica Delfino is a rare treasure:

a stellar comic who employs the voice of an angel to sing lyrics that would make a sailor blush.

At times she tries too hard on the latter, going for shock over substance; but more often Jessica hits the right notes via marvelous songs such as I Wanna Be Famous, Don't Rape Me, and Only a Stranger's C*ck. Not for every taste; but if you're open to a different kind of comedy, this imaginative and beautifully packaged combination CD/DVD is a steal at $10 plus $2.99 shipping. To check out some of its tracks, and to then order multiple copies for yourself and your more unusual friends, please click here. Please also visit Jessica's Myspace page by clicking here; check out her music videos (which are previous HyReviews.com Video Clips of the Month) by clicking here; and keep an eye on this promising rising star.

 

New York Comedy Festival

The New York Comedy Festival is NYC's most famous annual comedy celebration. It's pretty expensive, and far from all its shows are stellar; but considering it features such comedy superstars as Sarah Silverman and Louis CK, NYCF is worth checking out .

For complete info, please click here.

November 4th-9th at various venues around NYC

 

 

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 25 comics perform in this 2½ hour show; producer

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

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

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.

Plus if you stick around till the show's end to support your fellow comics,

 you have a chance at winning the cash from the kitty, along with smaller prizes.

There are two shows, at 6:30 and 9:00 pm (with entirely different sets of comics).

Tonight's 6:30 lineup includes such fine stand-ups as Joselyn Hughes, Blaine Perry, Matt Ruby, Tim Ryan, and John Morrison.

And the 9:00 pm show includes such talents as Amy Beckerman, Jon Bander, Sean Donnelly, Sue Funke, and Vicky Kuperman.

Ochi's Motel is hosted by Sean Donnelly and Blaine Perry.

 

To be entered into the weekly random drawing for performers,

please send email to ochismotel@gmail.com.

6:30 pm & 9:00 pm, Ochi's Lounge at Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues)

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

 

 

Channel101: NY

Screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are "canceled."

Channel 101: NY (under its previous name, Channel 102) was selected by Time Out New York as one of NYC's 50 Essential Secrets. If you're exhausted watching CNN and MSNBC every night, why not come enjoy fresh comedic TV with a live audience?

7:00 & 8:30 pm at Pianos, 158 Ludlow Street at Stanton; free

 

 

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

Dykes on Mics

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

as regulars/hosts, plus tonight's guests

stellar comedic singer/songwriter Ben Lerman, Pat Camden, and Wesley Cannon.

7:00 pm at The Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher Street (at 7th Avenue South); free

 

 

 

Mike Birbiglia and Neil Casey...

...and Becky Drysdale, Anthony King, Kate Spencer, and Scott Brown

Shut Up! I Hate You!

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

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

and Kate Spencer (VH1.com, member of stellar improv troupe Reuben Williams).

Tonight's brilliantly funny panelists are

Mike Birbiglia (flat-out one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country;

hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing;

two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on

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

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

upcoming comedy series on CBS; for info on Mike's current

superb off-Broadway show Sleepwalk with Me, please click here),

Neil Casey (sharp, hilarious, multi-talented comic; member of wonderful improv troupes Death by Roo Roo and Krompf; superb substitute co-host for Cage Match; new show Saturday Night Slumber Party; Adult Swim's Fat Guy Stuck in Internet),

Becky Drysdale (stellar charismatic performer; acclaimed one-woman show

One Woman in Several Pieces, Web video series Time Traveling Lesbian,

stellar improv show Let's Have a Ball; catch her before she moves to LA!), and

Scott Brown (writer for Entertainment Weekly and Wired, and

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

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

 

 

 

Political pundits on historic Tuesday, 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 NYC show Drink at Work, please click here.)

Tonight's Election Eve show's guests are political experts Eric Boehlert, Jane Hamsher, and Lee Papa.

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.

Tickets are $12.50 at the door, or $12.50 plus onerous $5 service charge online.

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

 

 

 

Deliciously funny, honest, razor-sharp Jessi Klein

Comedy Central at Crash Mansion

The TV network with Comedy in its name demonstrates it truly knows what's funny by showcasing some of the finest comics in New York in this biweekly show.

Tonight's pre-Election bash is hosted by

Jessi Klein (deliciously honest, brilliant, hilarious stand-up star; Rolling Stones' comedy "Hot List;" Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn;

VH1's Best Week Ever; NBC's The Today Show; CNN; The Showbiz Show with David Spade;

voice of Lucy on Adult Swim's Lucy the Daughter of the Devil;

for a video stand-up sample about which celebrity would save

 the most Jews, and on email etiquette, please click here and here).

Jessi's stand-up guests include Myq Kaplan, Michael Weingartner,

Reese Waters, and Robert Kelly.

8:00 pm at Crash Mansion, 199 Bowery (at Spring Street);

$5 cover plus 2-drink minimum

Take the J/M/Z subway to the Bowery stop or the 6 subway to the Spring Street stop

 

 

Jena Friedman

Entertaining Tammy with Jena Friedman

Razor-sharp and delightfully dark stand-up comic Jena Friedman (playwright of 2008 FringeNYC show Refugee Girls; for a stand-up video about sexual predators, eggs, and Tai food, please click here) hosts this new and entirely free weekly comedy show in Brooklyn. This is actually a version of an acclaimed show Jena used to do in a Chicago bar run by a gal named Tammy. (When the bar started out it was often near-empty, so Jena began the show to entertain her friend and develop steady traffic. On both counts, it was a wild success.)

Tonight's guests haven't been announced, but they're typically a mix of talented stand-ups, sketch comedy performers, and musicians.

8:00 pm at Sound Fix Records, 110 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg Brooklyn; free

Take the L subway to Bedford Avenue and walk four blocks to N 11th Street

 

 

  

Palin Family All-Star Review and Election Spectacular and The Spin

Two political comedy shows for a mere five bucks.

Kate Hess (half of UCBT sketch show We Kate Shelly) and Andy Secunda (writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien, member of genius improv group The Swarm, creator/writer of UPN sitcom Love, Inc.) team up to bring you this romp about the most fun political figure to parody since Dan Quayle. The official description: "Join Bristol, Track, and Willow Palin as they sing, dance, and aggressively misinform their way into your hearts and The White House. Come on down and get to know the soon-to-be first second family as they realize their lifelong dreams of being stars! God bless America! Thanks but no thanks! I put it on eBay!"

Written by Kate Hess; directed by Andrew Secunda; performed by Andy, Beth White, Ari Scott, and Ryan Karels; and choreographed by Adina Grigore.

The double-bill then continues with improv troupe The Spin, which takes a current political news story chosen by the audience and then improvises scenes about it. The group consists of Jeremy Bent, Beth Cartier, Guy Cohen, Timothy Cooper, Eric Hollerbach, Barry Lank, Beth Newell, David Siegel, Matt Stillman, and John Robert Wilson, with direction by Doug Moe.

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

 

 

  

Eugene Mirman and James Adomian...

  

...and Leo Allen and Andy Blitz

Whiplash with Leo Allen: The Finest in Stand-Up Comedy, Free

Leo Allen is one of the most sharp, honest, and likeable stand-ups working in NYC. Leo was a writer for Saturday Night Live from 2002 through 2005. He's also performed two Comedy Central Presents 1/2-hour specials (one by himself and one with his writing partner Eric Slovin); done stand-up on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.; and acted on Ed and Sex and the City. Leo has now taken over the Monday-at-11:00 pm UCBT spot made super-special by Aziz Ansari's Crash Test and Jeremy Levenbach's Cavalcade! (in fact, Whiplash is produced by Jeremy).

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,

award-winning co-host of weekly Brooklyn comedy show Tearing the Veil of Maya),

who'll be performing a long set in preparation of the taping of his third comedy album,

Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being a writer and performer for

Late Night with Conan O'Brien since 1999; also a thoroughly unique stand-up

whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable;

to read about Andy's memorable hosting of Crash Test last year at UCBT, please click here), and

James Adomian (stand-up comic and impressionist who frequently impersonates President George W. Bush for Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson; has also appeared and/or performed voiceover on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central's Mad TV and Mind of Mencia, MTV's Celebrity Death Match and Short Circuitz, and the film Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; for Bush 2007 State of the Union, please click here).

If you love comedy, make a habit of attending this wonderful free weekly extravaganza.

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 11/4/08

  

Seth Herzog helps you watch election results tonight with comedy stars Kristen Schaal and John Mulaney at Sweet

Tonight's recommendations for the best in New York City comedy

(in chronological order, with top picks marked by colored brackets) include:

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

and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours, who tonight include Mark Normand, Adam Riemer,

Jeff Ragsdale, and John Morrison—at John Morrison's Broadway Motel (6:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] an election-watching event with sharp comics at the elegant Comix Comedy Club,

complete with large-screen TVs, running from 6:30 pm until a winner is declared

—plus a no-reservation-needed watch scheduled for downstairs at Ochi's starting at 9:00 pm—

at Televised Election Watch (6:30 pm / 9:00 pm),

a free election-watching event at The PIT in which you can follow the results

with comics via radio and Internet feeds from 7:00 pm until a winner is declared

at Political Science Theater 3000 (7:00 pm),

three full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes

The F*cking Kennedys, The Scam, The Law Firm, Bastian, and DeCoster—at Harold Night (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] and yet another long-into-the-night election watch, with comedy genius Kristen Schaal

(HBO, stellar correspondent on The Daily Show), John Mulaney (world-class stand-up,

Conan O'Brien, writer for Saturday Night Live), and James Adomian (George W. Bush impersonator)

at one of the finest and funniest shows in NYC, the wonderful Seth Herzog's Sweet (9:00 pm).

 

Broadway 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, Broadway's one-item food or drink minimum applies to everyone.)

A breathtaking 25 comics perform in this 2½ hour show; producer

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

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

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.

Plus if you stick around till the show's end to support your fellow comics,

 you have a chance at winning the cash from the kitty, along with smaller prizes.

Tonight's lineup includes such talents as Mark Normand, Adam Riemer, Jeff Ragsdale, Cory Jarvis, Doug Adler, and John Morrison.

Broadway Motel is hosted by Cory Jarvis and Doug Adler.

 

To be entered into the weekly random drawing for performers,

please send email to motelme@gmail.com.

6:00 pm at Broadway Comedy Club, 318 West 53rd Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues);

$5 cover plus one-item food or drink minimum

 

 

 

Comix's Televised Election Watch

Follow the election results on Comix's large-screen TVs, along with quick-witted comics, from 6:30 pm until a winner is declared. No cover, 2-item minimum; but you must RSVP by clicking here and filling out the online form.

Please note there'll also be an election watch downstairs at Ochi's Lounge from 9:00 pm on. No reservation, no cover, 1-item minimum.

6:30 pm at Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues);

no cover, 2-drink or food item minimum

 

 

Political Science Theater 3000

A gathering of PIT regulars and other NYC comics help entertain you during this free all-night election-watching event, with live Internet and radio feeds for up-to-the-minute results. Scheduled performers include Kevin Allison (The State), Kevin Scott (Centralia, Burn Manhattan), and Leslie Collins (VH1's Best Night Ever). It starts at 7:00 pm and is slated to run until a winner is declared.

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

 

 

Harold Night

The Harold is longform improv, pioneered by Del Close.

Tonight, five improv troupes—

The F*cking Kennedys, The Scam, The Law Firm, Bastian, and DeCoster—

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

 

 

  

Kristen Schaal and John Mulaney...

  

...and Seth Herzog and friends

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 is a combination comedy show and televised election watch that will run from 9:00 pm until a winner is declared. As Seth puts it: "After a shortish show, we'll be showing the returns live all night on the big screen! And then when they call it for Barack (and I hope they will)....we dance!"

The thoroughly wonderful comedy guests include

Kristen Schaal (lovely, brilliant, breathtakingly talented writer/actress/comic;

thoroughly delightful correspondent and shining star on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart;

co-star of HBO's Flight of the Conchords; writer for MTV's Human Giant;

AMC's Mad Men; upcoming feature film Cirque du Freak (with Salma Hayek);

co-star of Web video series Penelope: Princess of Pets; winner of numerous comedy awards, including the prestigious 2nd Annual Andy Kaufman Award and the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Female Stand-Up; to read about Kristen's killer set headlining at Comix, please click here),

John Mulaney (one of the funniest stand-up comics in the country; since August 2008 has been staff writer for Saturday Night Live; frequently appears on VH1's Best Week Ever; performed stand-up twice on Late Night with Conan O'Brien; won the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Male Stand-Up Comedian; selected by Variety as among the 10 Comics to Watch for 2008; to check out videos of John's two Conan sets, please click here and here), and

James Adomian (stand-up comic and impressionist who frequently impersonates President George W. Bush for Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson; has also appeared and/or performed voiceover on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central's Mad TV and Mind of Mencia, MTV's Celebrity Death Match and Short Circuitz, and the film Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; for Bush 2007 State of the Union, please click here).

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 11/5/08

  

Justin Purnell (School Night), Arj Barker (Eugene Mirman and Friends), and Pete Holmes (Web Video Cram-Off)

 

Please note: I'll be away from the Net on Thursday.

Picks for Wednesday appear below; new shows will be posted on Friday.

 

Also, if you were rooting for Barack...yay!!!

 

Tonight's recommendations for the best in New York City comedy

(in chronological order, with top picks marked by colored brackets) include:

The PIT presenting the first of four evenings of comedy troupes each performing both

sketch and improv at SketchProv Festival 2008 (7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:30 pm),

a comedy video contest sponsored by the New York Comedy Festival and hosted by one of quickest & funniest comics in the country, Pete Holmes (Comedy Central, VH1, The New Yorker): Web Video Cram-Off (7:30 pm),

veteran comic Judy Gold performing her new one-woman show Mommy Queerest (7:30 pm),

some of the finest stand-up comics in NYC—Jessi Klein (Comedy Central, NBC, VH1),

Arj Barker (David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, HBO, Comedy Central), Kumail Nanjiani (Comedy Central), and more—at a new show from a comedy giant, Eugene Mirman and Friends (8:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] and a free, laid-back, and occasionally magical variety show where virtually anything can happen on a School Night (11:00).

 

The PIT Presents SketchProv Festival 2008

NYC improv and sketch troupes—most of whom perform at The PIT—compete against each other via this unusual contest in which each group, regardless of specialty, will perform both improv and sketch...as well as a comedy form known as sketchprov using the Second City routine "The Pad.

The 16 teams participating are Audience of Two, The Avatards, Boy Castaways, Etc..., Fancy Dragon, Finger, H & M, The Impending Moustache, Jen + Steve, Pembroke and Lu, Project:Projekt, Secret Hospital, Sid Viscous!, Vacation Island, Washington Sidepost, and The Wilhelm.

This competition runs through Saturday. You can purchase $8 tickets for individual shows, or $75 for an all-festival pass.

7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:30 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $8 per show or $75 for pass covering all 13 shows through Saturday

 

 

  

Web Video Cram-Off

The New York Comedy Festival (which is running November 4-9) gave people a one-word suggestion and a week to write, shoot, and edit an original video around it. Now a panel of judges from MySpace, UCBComedy.com, and the Festival will present these videos for the first time anywhere and pick a winner to be featured on MySpaceTVís Comedy Spotlight.

The show is hosted by Pete Holmes (razor-sharp & lightning-fast mind, and one of the finest stand-ups in the country; 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 extravaganza Gutbucket). Pete is the ideal choice to host because even if the videos don't turn out to be very good, he's likely to make pitch-perfect comments about them and create a hilarious show.

7:30 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $10

 

 

  

Judy Gold: Mommy Queerest

Judy Gold has been a co-host of The View, a writer/producer on The Roseanne Show and The Rosie O'Donnell Show, and a regular on such shows as VH1's All Access, Comedy Central's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and The Hollywood Squares. Tonight she performs her new one-woman show Mommy Queerest.

7:30 pm at Ochi's Lounge at Comix, 353 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues);

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

 

 

  

Eugene Mirman and Arj Barker...

  

...and Jessi Klein, Hannibal Buress, and Kumail Nanjiani

Eugene Mirman and Friends

Comedy giant Eugene Mirman has performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien,

his own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, Comedy Central's

Premium Blend and Jump Cuts, HBO's Flight of the Conchords, VH1, and Adult Swim;

has released two comedy albums, The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman

and En Garde, Society!, and is currently at work on his third; and is the award-winning

co-host of hit weekly Brooklyn comedy show Tearing the Veil of Maya.

Tonight Eugene debuts a comedy show at brand new venue 92YTribeca.

And joining him will be some of the finest stand-up comics in New York:

Jessi Klein (deliciously honest, brilliant, hilarious stand-up star; Rolling Stones' comedy

"Hot List;" Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn;

VH1's Best Week Ever; NBC's The Today Show; CNN; The Showbiz Show with David Spade;

voice of Lucy on Adult Swim's Lucy the Daughter of the Devil;

for a video stand-up sample about which celebrity would save

 the most Jews, and on email etiquette, please click here and here),

Arj Barker (superb and internationally popular stand-up; cast member on HBO's Flight of the Conchords; Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien; off-Broadway show The Marijuana-Logues),

Kumail Nanjiani (rising stand-up star; Comedy Central's Open Mic Fight; terrific one-man show Unpronounceable about experiences with Islam—for my review, please click here; co-host of monthly NYC live comedy show Game Bros. Live!; to get a feel for Kumail's style, please check out his very funny stand-up about the dark side of video games, odd memories, and the many ways cell phones are eliminated in horror films by clicking here), and

Hannibal Buress (Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, Chicago's Finest, The Awkward Kings of Comedy).

To purchase tickets in advance online, please click here, select the number

of tickets you'd like, and click the Add to Shopping Cart button.

8:30 pm at 92YTribeca Mainstage, 200 Hudson Street (intersection of Canal & Hudson Streets);

tickets are $12; take the 1/6/E subway to Canal Street stop

 

 

Justin Purnell

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 typically wonderful free show makes possible.

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 11/7/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in New York City comedy

(in chronological order, with top picks marked by colored brackets) include:

The PIT presenting the third of four evenings of comedy troupes each performing both

sketch and improv at SketchProv Festival 2008 (7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:00 pm),

a gay-themed stand-up comedy show hosted by Jenny Rubin: The Back Room (9:00 pm),

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

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

[TOP PICK] a comedic freestyle rap contest, hosted by genius musical comics Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan

(Freestyle Love Supreme) and Eliza Skinner (I Eat Pandas) at The BEATdown (11:00 pm),

and a free opportunity for you to perform sketch on the UCBT stage at Liquid Courage (12:20ish am).

For details, please click here.

 

  

Stacy Mayer: The Funeralogues

Stacy Mayer is a stellar comedic actress and razor-sharp improvisor who's the founder & Artistic Director of the Manhattan Comedy Collective. She conceived of and performs this one-woman show that explores a series of both funny and dramatic eulogies—and takes place in an actual church chapel.

The script, by Robert Charles Gompers, draws from such diverse sources as the mourners for Martin Luther King Jr. to a six-year-old girl bidding farewell to her headless Barbie doll.

Stacy also shares her experiences of wandering through the services of total strangers.

Plus you'll learn "the not-so-certain answers to the uneasy questions we all ask, including 'What will they say at my funeral?' and 'Does this dress make me look fat?'"

The Funeralogues is running November 7-December 13 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $25, but are available to HyReviews.com readers for just $20 (20% off). To use the discount, please click here, type HyReviews into the Promotion Code box near the bottom of the screen, and click the Refresh button.

For additional information about the show, please click here.

November 7-December 13 on Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 pm at All Souls Chapel,

1157 Lexington Avenue (between 79th & 80th Streets);

tickets are $20 online using discount code HyReviews

Nearest subway stop is 77th Street on the #6 train

 

 

The PIT Presents SketchProv Festival 2008

NYC improv and sketch troupes—most of whom perform at The PIT—compete against each other via this unusual contest in which each group, regardless of specialty, will perform both improv and sketch...as well as a comedy form known as sketchprov using the Second City routine "The Pad.

The 16 teams participating are Audience of Two, The Avatards, Boy Castaways, Etc..., Fancy Dragon, Finger, H & M, The Impending Moustache, Jen + Steve, Pembroke and Lu, Project:Projekt, Secret Hospital, Sid Viscous!, Vacation Island, Washington Sidepost, and The Wilhelm.

This competition runs through Saturday.

7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater,

154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $8 per show

 

 

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

The Back Room

Gay-themed comedy (with both gay & straight comics),

hosted by the charming Jenny Rubin (WE TV).

Tonight's stand-ups include

Back Room co-producer Paul Case (MTV, D-Listed Radio),

Back Room co-producer Shawn Hollenbach (here! TV's Busted), and

Back Room co-producer Dave Rubin (here! TV's Dave Rubin Project and Hot Gay Comics).

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

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

 

 

Back: Will Hines, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, and Bobby Moynihan

Front: Chris Gethard, Shannon O'Neill, and Silvija Ozols

The Stepfathers

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

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 $10

 

 

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

 

 

  

The BEATdown

This new show is a comedic freestyle rap competition.

(Think 8 Mile, only way funnier.)

It's hosted by two comedic musical geniuses:

Shockwave (Chris Sullivan, the amazing human beatbox of Freestyle Love Supreme;

The Age wrote he "uses his mouth like a sound effects program that

no computer could possibly match for depth of stored data or

instantaneous retrieval." And Seth Herzog wrote, "One of the most entertaining

sound effect/comedic artists you'll ever see. He stole the show at the

closing night of Mo Pitkins," referring to a 3-hour blowout that Seth hosted

and that featured such artists as Moby!), and

Eliza Skinner (member of the genius improv musical groups I Eat Pandas

and Baby Wants Candy; drummer and singer in comedic alt band Stickerbook;

MTV's Damage Control).

Tonight's contestants are some of the sharpest comics in NYC: Carolyn Castiglia, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, Victor Varnado, and Baron Vaughn...plus an audience volunteer!

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

 

 

 

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.

12:20ish am at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); free

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 11/8/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in New York City comedy

(in chronological order, with top picks marked by colored brackets) include:

The PIT presenting the final of four evenings of comedy troupes each performing both

sketch and improv at SketchProv Festival 2008 (7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] 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),

an improv troupe with a theatrical approach: Stray (7:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] one of my all-time favorite improv troupes—which this season broke the Cage Match record

for winning streaks with 17 triumphs in a row, and has now taken over UCBT's prestigious prime-time

Saturday night slot—the brilliant and daring members of Death by Roo Roo (9:00 pm),

a small mob of talented comics—including Margot Leitman, Leah Dubie, and RG Daniels—telling funny, poignant, and at times unforgettable tales about their relatives at the gorgeous Sara Benincasa's Family Hour (9:00 pm),

organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track! (9:00 pm),

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

and two of UCBT's finest improv troupes, Krompf and Hot Sauce (midnight).

 

The PIT Presents SketchProv Festival 2008

NYC improv and sketch troupes—most of whom perform at The PIT—compete against each other via this unusual contest in which each group, regardless of specialty, will perform both improv and sketch...as well as a comedy form known as sketchprov using the Second City routine "The Pad.

The 16 teams participating are Audience of Two, The Avatards, Boy Castaways, Etc..., Fancy Dragon, Finger, H & M, The Impending Moustache, Jen + Steve, Pembroke and Lu, Project:Projekt, Secret Hospital, Sid Viscous!, Vacation Island, Washington Sidepost, and The Wilhelm.

This four-evening competition concludes tonight.

7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:30 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater,

154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); $8 for first two shows, $12 for finale

 

 

 

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.

Among the players often performing are 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 $10

 

 

Stray

Improv troupe Stray "plays in a theatrical, narrative style that was developed in Seattle, honed in Europe, and blended in New York. Stray's unique approach creates spontaneous theatre that is comedic, dramatic, or abstract, sometimes all at once." The group consists of Jill Farris, Wendy Herlich, Kristy Kershaw, and Stefan Schick.

7:30 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, John Gemberling, Curtis Gwinn, Adam Pally, and Gavin Speiller—interview an audience member about family and then act out his or her life story

via improvised scenes. Sometimes scary, and usually hilarious.

Tonight marks the group's well-deserved move from its late Friday spot

to UCBT's prime time spot on Saturday night.

9:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $10

 

 

    

Margot Leitman, "Auntie" Sara Benincasa, and RG Daniels

Family Hour with Auntie Sara

In this unique weekly comedy show, everyone tells jokes and/or stories related to

their family. It's hosted by stand-up comic Sara Benincasa, whose many credits include correspondent for MTV's Choose or Lose Campaign and host of Tub Talk with Sara B. on Nerve.com. (Sara is also a fine comedic actress; to watch her be hilarious as Sarah Palin and as a yoga instructor, please click  here & here and here.)

Tonight's terrific comics are, in alphabetical order, Matt Daly, RG Daniels, Leah Dubie, Shawn Lee, Margot Leitman, Evan Morganstern, Jennifer Prediger, Chris Sifflet, and Diana Yanez.

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

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

 

 

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.

9:00 pm at The Magnet Theatre, 254 West 29th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5

 

 

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 $10

 

 

 and

Saturday Night Slumber Party: Hot Sauce and Krompf

Two top NYC improv troupes for a mere five bucks.

First up is sharp-witted & lightning-quick Hot Sauce, winner of

the 2006 Cage Match Improv Championship. The trio consists of

Gil Ozeri (SNL; animator and creator of Team Gibba),

Adam Pally (written for ABC; performed for MTV, Comedy Central,

UCBT's The Nights of Our Lives), and

Ben Schwartz (freelance writer for SNL's Weekend Update and

Late Show's David Letterman monologues;

staff writer for Adult Swim's wonderful Robot Chicken;

short filmmaker for SuperDeluxe.com; co-author of upcoming humor

postcard book Grandma's Dead: Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals).

For video samples of these talented guys' work, please click here and here.

Krompf is a superb comedy troupe consisting of Neil Casey (member of UCBT's weekly hit show Death by Roo Roo), Ryan Karels, Amey Goerlich, and Joe Wengert (member of UCBT's weekly hit show Reuben Williams). At a memorable 2007 appearance on Cage Match, these improvisors took the kickoff suggestion Christendom to heights of delicious absurdity, in which young children about to be initiated into Catholicism are made to wear suits of armor and engage in swordplay while a voracious winged monster (played memorably by Ryan Karels) perches ready to gobble up the head of any who show hints of wavering. And in another subplot, Neil Casey was hilarious as a perpetually grieving cab driver who tells every passenger about his bride dying on their wedding day. At the end, we learn that as he backed up the cab preparing to drive them both to the Church, he accidentally ran her over...

With two such brilliant teams performing, this show promises to be special and memorable.

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 11/9/08

Tonight's recommendations for the best in New York City comedy

(in chronological order, with top picks marked by colored brackets) include:

[TOP PICK] UCBT's playground for celebrities and ace improvisors,

ASSSSCAT 3000 (7:30 pm and 9:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] typically stellar stand-up comics joining comedy giants Eugene Mirman & Michael Showalter—winners of the 2008 ECNY Award for Best Hosts—for their weekly shindig at Brooklyn's Union Hall: Tearing the Veil of Maya (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] typically stellar stand-ups 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 (8:00 pm),

and sharp NYC comics at a free stand-up comedy show hosted by star sketch/improv troupe Derrick in Queens' Long Island City: This Is New York (9:00 pm).

 

 

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 & 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 (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 world-class stand-up comics.

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.

 

 

Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy

The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show

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

It's hosted by Greg Johnson (sharp, quick-witted stand-up comic) and

Larry Murphy (genius comedic chameleon & voiceover actor who performs all the

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

Home Movies, O'Grady, Computer Lab, Word Girl, and Sunday Pants;

sketch performer on Late Night with Conan O'Brien; announcer for

ESPN's Cheap Seats;  for an animated VO reel, please click here).

Tonight's stand-up comics haven't been announced, but the lineup is usually stellar.

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

 

 

Donald Glover, DC Pierson, and Dominic Dierkes of Derrick

This Is New York

Derrick is three sharp and enormously appealing performers,

Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, and DC Pierson, who are sketch comedy

stars via their wildly popular YouTube videos—

for some samples, please click here and here and here.

The guys have also just finished shooting their first feature comedy film—

to view the trailer, please click here.

And in this weekly free show in Queens' Long Island City, these impressively

multi-talented comics host a comedy showcase featuring NYC stand-ups

...and also themselves performing both stand-up and sketch.

Tonight's guests haven't been announced, but they're typically fine NYC comics.

9:00 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

 

 

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 $3.50 each—

please read Hy on Theatre Discounts.

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Tonight

 

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Copyright © 2008 Hy Bender

Email: hy@hyreviews.com