NYC Comedy Picks for Week of June 13, 2011

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 6/13/11

Chris Gethard John Lutz & Scott Adsit

Comedy geniuses Chris Gethard (Deep Traffic), and John Lutz & Scott Adsit (John & Scott)


Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:


7:00 pm ($5): Any show ballsy enough to begin its description with "Have you ever loved a mop? Susan-Kate Heaney has..." is worth exploring. This one-woman show is happening at The PIT: Confessions of a Mop-oholic

7:00 pm ($5): Duo improv from team Snazzle Dazzle; and improv revolving around "the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies" in Double Date

7:00 pm & 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:30 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison's Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Roger Hailes (Comedy Central, Fuse TV), Dan Soder (Comedy Central), Mike Pomeranz (Comedy Central), Jermaine Fowler, Travis Irvine, Tracy Marhal, and Karl Hess performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim's awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo who should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX's Louie, HBO's Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Rob Cantrell (organic and delightful pothead stand-up), Mindy Raf (hilarious singer/songwriter playing her feminist character Leibya Rogers)—and for all of June, as house band the super-amazing Adira Amram and the Experience (winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act)—performing at Brooklyn's Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they've all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title's Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you'll ever see. This show was previously a wonderful theatrical event that cost $18 and up. Don't miss this run at The PIT that allows you to catch the gals for a mere $10: Naked in a Fishbowl

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT's The Chris Gethard Show; Magic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), Kurt Metzger (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Comedy Central's Ugly Americans), and Amazing Amy performing at the Magnet Theatre for Adam Lerman's and Willy Appleman's Deep Traffic

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1's Best Week Ever), superb singer/songwriters Stucky & Murray, Greg Barris (host of Heart of Darkness), Leah Dubie (co-host of Dykes on Mics), Yannis Pappas (host of Ditch Comedy), and Andy Haynes performing at Brooklyn's Freddy's Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free weekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; TLC, blogger for trutV; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and tonight's guest-host Mara Herron: Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two of UCBT's fine house sketch comedy troupes, Gramp's (Kate McKinnon's group, which was outstanding at last week's SketchFest NYC) and Onassis (with Sue Galloway), trying out new bits at Maude Night

9:30 pm ($5): "A drama written by teen Jerome McDonough that teaches teens about the evils of alcohol abuse. A talented and twistedly funny group of adults (the Marumsco Valley Players) will present the hard-hitting play, stage directions and all, while under the influence: Alky

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Adi Blotman, Carolina Hidalgo, Justin Murray, Chris Laker, Minday Raf, Jason Kantner, Juliana Forlano, and Matt Nagin performing stand-up at Pat O'Shea's and Troy Bynum's free weekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy's Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who haven't been announced yet, but you can check for updates by clicking here—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you're an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you're a comic who couldn't get booked on UCBT's all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin's dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh



NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 6/14/11

Meghan O'Neill Meghan O'Neill

A rising star who was a highlight at last week's SketchFest NYC performs at The PIT's downstairs lounge: Meghan O'Neill


Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:


[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Of all the superb comedic performers new to me at last week's SketchFest NYC 2011, the one who most impressed was Meghan O'Neill. This exceptional actress has such a strong command of voice and movement that in one sketch she managed to convincingly evoke a dozen pop culture figures in under 30 seconds. O'Neill is also a sharp writer, bringing a groundedness and underlying meaning to even the silliest of scenarios. O'Neill is a member of the acclaimed Striking Viking Story Pirates, but is just starting to achieve the fame her talent deserves. If she's been under your radar too, come check her out tonight at a one-woman show with a title that belies O'Neill's star quality: 'Fraidy Cat

7:00 pm ($5): Jen Sanders & Joel Jones "take the fragile stuff that makes us human and mock it mercilessly" in their sketch show Answer Man; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv from Dustin Drury & Andrew Yurman-Glaser that captures the laid-back feel of Upstate New York

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC's The Creek hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean's List

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Eddie Brill (stand-up booker for David Letterman; Comedy Central Presents), Andy De La Tour (UK comedy star), Danny Lobel (Comical Radio), "a secret guest," and musical guest Joe Yoga performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney's Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comic book creators Mark Sable & Paul Azaceta (Graveyard of Empires) join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage for a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club

8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Very Good Kiss, Ragnaröck, Grandma's Ashes, Sandino, and Standard Oil, and at 11:00 pm a small army of advanced UCBT improv students trying to snatch order from chaos—all at Harold Night

8:00 pm ($8): The worlds of "magic, mind-reading, and mutilation" are explored by Matthew Holtzclaw and Prakash Puru: Strange Things

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Carolyn Castiglia, Rojo Perez, Ryan Conner, and Dan Soder performing at Queens LIC's The Creek hosted by Charlie Kasov & Gabe Pacheco: Anecdotal Evidence

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet's singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: BEEES! & Tambourine

9:30 pm ($8): Young, energetic sketch troup New Excitement

9:30 pm ($5): Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents), Chris Laker, and Karl Hess performing at the PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): A late night edition (this show is usually at 9:00) featuring stand-up Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS' Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1's Best Week Ever, Chappelle's Show, The Today Show), raunchy singer-songwriter Cock Lorge, burlesque star Franny Fluffer, and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1): Sweet

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free show, audience members can join in with veteran musical improv talents to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It



NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 6/15/11

Jamie Kilstein Anthony Atamanuik

A political one-man show from Jamie Kilstein; and celebrate Anthony Atamanuik's birthday with Neil Casey at the amazing Two-Man Movie


Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:



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

7:00 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet's Megawatt

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Political stand-up Jamie Kilstein performing a one-man show: No War, No God, No Nickelback

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Nick Cobb (Comedy Central, MTV), Jason Good (Comedy Central), Owen Smith (Comedy Central, Everybody Hates Chris), and Karl Hess performing at The Creek in Queens' Long Island City with guest-host Sean Donnelly: Monsters

[FREE] 9:00ish£ pm: Storyteller Brian Samonek, the Cocoon Central Dance Team, and stand-ups Joe Garden (Editor of The Onion, co-author of The New Vampire's Handbook), Cary Prusa (Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central), and Catie Lazarus (Sesame Street, Huffington Post) performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Michael Kayne, Winston Noel, Amber Petty, Mike Still, Ashley Ward, and guest improvisor Tim Martin (Airwolf)—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion; plus in the other half of this double-bill, Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Bill Dawes (Broadway's Lombardi), Rachael Parenta (2011 Women in Comedy Festival), and Sam Pepper (Unknown Comedy Hour at the Duplex) performing at the Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge (542 Tenth Avenue, between 45th & 46th Streets) for a gay-themed show hosted by Adam Sank: That Sank Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that's part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don't forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek in Queens' Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket 'O Buckets



NYC Comedy Picks for Thursday 6/16/11

Mel & El  Andrea Rosen

Bethany Hall, the producer of The Chris Gethard Show, demonstrates her own fierce talent tonight at Cage Match,
while Andrea Rosen performs one of the finest one-person shows of the year in Ding Dong Meow


Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:


[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Andrea Rosen is already famed as a comic—in fact, she recently won the prestigious 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up—but what's not as well-known is that Andrea's among the finest comedic storytellers in the country. This new one-woman show should fix that. It offers smart, fearless, hilarious material ranging from fast food you should avoid to the medicinal power of a boyfriend's penis. It also provides one of the sharpest comedic performances that will grace NYC this year (for which kudos are also deserved by the show's superb director, John Flynn). Plus if you sit in the first few rows, expect free home-baked cookies. Don't miss Andrea's unique blend of dark comedy and silliness: Ding Dong Meow...


...and in the other half of this double-bill, Paul Welsh performs a one-man show about a hall of portraits: Men in Paintings

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($27.25 & 2-drink min.)  A star stand-up who's done half-hour comedy specials for HBO, Comedy Central, and Showtime; was a regular on Comedy Central's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and cast member on FOX's The Jury; appeared repeatedly on Late Night with Conan O'Brien; and guest starred on such TV shows as NBC's The Office and FOX's Arrested Development, headlining for one night only at the Carolines Comedy Club: Patrice Oneal

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Magnet Theatre co-owner Armando Diaz directs "veteran Magnet performers throwing down for an improv revue featuring classic long forms such as the montage, monoscene, time dash, and maybe even a little freeze tag:" Old School

8:00 pm ($5): Jamie Lee, Damien Lemon, and David Foster performing stand-up at The PIT's basement lounge hosted by comedic rapper Andrew Singer and the delightful Abbi Crutchfield: Positively Awesome

8:00 pm ($8): A new sketch show from troupe FreeLoveForum

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: Typically terrific NYC stand-ups performing on this weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mike Still (Death by Roo Roo, Diamond Lion) performs a one-man show directed by Neil Casey: Dictator For Life...

...and in the other half of this double-bill, Seth Kirschner (30 Rock, Lipstick Jungle) plays every character in a half-hour one-man TV episode parodying 90s sitcoms titled Sertainly Seth

9:30 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors—tonight including Neil Casey, Jeff Hiller, Silvija Ozols, and Micah Sherman—make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT's downstairs lounge in The Scene

9:30 pm ($5): Kelli Porterfield performs a one-woman show about five residents of Joplin, MO: Mirror Mirror On The Wall

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at The PIT for this comedy club-style (i.e., long set) weekly show hosted by Harrison Greenbaum: The Big One

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Vibrant improv troupes Boy Butter and 8GirlsHarold (Susan Casey, Shalyah Evans, Bethany Hall, Jackie Jennings, Marie Latagan, Fiona Mallek, Cathryn Mudon, and Verónica Osorio Videtta) competing for audience laughs and votes at the raucous Cage Match

11:00 pm ($5): Two improv groups competing for audience laughs and votes—yes, like UCBT's Cage Match, but with less well-known troupes and a game-like challenge component—at Inspirado



NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 6/17/11

Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob  Leslie Goshko

The debut of an intriguing sketch show: Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob; and Leslie Goshko hosts stellar storytellers at Sideshow Goshko


Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:



[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek in Queens' Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm:Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight's stellar guests Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, The Liar Show), Robin Gelfenbien (delightful FringeNYC one-man show about wieners), and Steve Zimmer (Moth Grandslam champion): Sideshow Goshko

7:00 pm ($5): A live show about Facebook pages, complete with audience interaction: Philip Galinsky's Facebook Comes Alive

7:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy interwoven with a live band: Citizen Models

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): "Brad Sacks isn't your average 9th grader. He's dope at Magic cards, sick at spontaneously breaking into song, and dopely sick at dancing like a businessman. But Brad's life is about to change in the most awesome way possible—because Jessica Sanders, the hottest girl in school, is coming over to give him a handjob!" in the debut of a show I'm eager to see: Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob; plus in the other half of this double-bill, Veronica Osorio (directed by Caitlin Tegart) performs five very different gals with a chance to be The First Woman on the Moon

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who's performed on HBO, ABC, NBC, and Comedy Central headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mario Cantone

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that's one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway's Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend

8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents, co-host of Righteous Kill, comedy CD The Depression Auction), Ben Kissel, Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Sean Donnelly (host of too many shows to mention) performing stand-up at O'Hanlon's (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open mic show that's first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek in Queens' Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who's been on HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam, P. Diddy's Bad Boys of Comedy, and a Comedy Central Presents special headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Tony Woods

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00-9:30 pm open bar, 9:30 pm show: Ace dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist, Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Owen Smith (Comedy Central), Chris Nangle (writer for SNL), Owen Smith (Comedy Central), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Karl Hess performing at Brooklyn's Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner's & Jason Saenz's  Too Cool for School

9:00 pm ($7): "In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don't know." In other words, improv from Chet Watkins

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here) delivering a brand new collection of sketches: The Harvard Sailing Team

10:00 pm ($5): Team Submarine and Danny Jolles each perform 30-minute sets at The PIT's downstairs lounge with host Aaron Glaser: The 30/30 Club

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he's not in LA), Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member's legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart and Grace Helbig welcome NYC talents for a morning chat show...that's happening late at night. Tonight's guests include Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1's Best Week Ever), Mark Malkoff, and music group The Bad Parts: The Morning Show with Hobart and Grace

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York offers lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC: Jordan Klepper (Klepper & Grey, iO, ), Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central's Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH!'s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O'Brien, UCB), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer). Improv legend Joe Bill also performs with this troupe, but only near the start of each month when he's visiting NYC from Chicago. But even sans Joe, it's well worth catching Lights Out, Shirley!

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): The third show of an exciting new sketch troupe, with brilliantly talented comedic performers Kate McKinnon, Leslie Meisel, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie, Nate Lang, D'Arcy Carden, John Murray, Timothy Dunn, and Ben Rameaka, and steered by superb writer/director Caitlin Tegart—as well as writers Beth Appel, Leila Cohan-Miccio, Matt Fisher, Frank Hejl, Chris Schell, Alex Scordelis, and Michael Trapp—that perform all-new material every month, and that I'll be going out of my way to catch tonight: Tremendous Machine



NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 6/18/11

Jason Mantzoukas Ed Herbstman

Jason Mantzoukas & Ed Herbstman will perform breathtaking duo improv tonight as The Mantzoukas Brothers


Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:


[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($49.50): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that's one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway's Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (Second City, Baggage with Jordan Klepper at UCBT), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O'Brien, VH1) performing an improvised play in What a Year!

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions—all joyously declaring Let's Have a Ball

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft making up a play on the spot in Theory of Everything

[$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who's performed on HBO, ABC, NBC, and Comedy Central headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mario Cantone

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Sara Benincasa (one-woman show & book Agoraphobia), Sue Funke, and other stand-ups with issues performing at The Creek in Queens' Long Island City with hosts Chelsea White and Evan Morgenstern: Call Us Crazy

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who's been on HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam, P. Diddy's Bad Boys of Comedy, and a Comedy Central Presents special headlining tonight at the Gotham Comedy Club: Tony Woods

[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that's not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup hasn't been announced; but if you'd care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!

9:30 pm ($10): "A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics," following sold out shows at Joe's Pub: Political Subversities

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

10:00 pm ($5): Nat Towsen (host of sketch-based The Moon Show), sketch troupe Casual Sexual Offenders, and Colin Summers performing at The Brooklyn Lyceum (227 Fourth Avenue) hosted by all-gal sketch troupe M.A.D. and all-guy sketch group Sidecar: Gentrify Brooklyn

10:00 pm ($5): "An onslaught of rapid-fire character comedy aimed directly at your face" at The PIT's basement lounge, hosted by Rob Stern: Overload the Machine

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Jason Mantzoukas (rising film/TV star; (We Used to Go Out, Mother, Baby Mama) and Ed Herbstman (stellar comedic actor; co-founder of the Magnet Theater) show off how breathtakingly quick-witted and skillful they are at creating scenes from air. Time Out New York named these guys Best Improv Duo of 2006. Happily, Jason is back in NYC for a while, so take advantage of this opportunity to see these improvisation comedy stars shine—and then engage in an unusually intimate, and potentially awkward, debriefing session with the audience that can be as much fun as the formal part of the show: The Mantzoukas Brothers

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King interviews an audience member about where he or she grew up and then creates an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here

11:00 pm ($8): A veteran sketch troupe explores themes of liberation in City Hall: Freedom Explosion

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form "rare and wonderful one-night-only teams," with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer



NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 6/19/11

Laurie Stanton's Sound Diet Ed Herbstman

Genius performer Ed Herbstman and much more at Melanie Hoopes' extra special show: Laurie Stanton's Sound Diet


Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight

(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:


[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 5:00 pm ($18.50 online using discount code ADVANCE ): One of the very best shows at FringeNYC 2010 was an award-winning comedy from NYC's own Faye Lane, a luminous storyteller and singer who will charm your socks off—and possibly give you a moon pie to boot—at the Soho Playhouse's downstairs Huron Club. This marvelous event recently received a 2011 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy and 2011 MAC Award for Special Production. Please read my review by clicking here, watch Faye make a pecan pie by clicking here, and then take advantage of this revival running Sundays through June to experience the hilarious and unforgettable Faye Lane's Beauty Shop Stories

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): An extraordinary event that happens only once every few months, this show mixes the style of live radio with the depth of classic theatre and the energy of stage comedy to create something unique and unforgettable. It's written and produced by Melanie Hoopes, and stars Melanie, her genius husband Ed Herbstman, Arthur Aulisi, Jenny Bacon, Kelly Park, Konrad Meissner, and Ethan Sandler, plus musical guest Mike Ferrio, with tonight's theme The Call. Be sure to reserve tickets because this is likely to sell out: Laurie Stanton's Sound Diet

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBT's signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

[$] 7:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A comic who's performed on HBO, ABC, NBC, and Comedy Central headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Mario Cantone

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Seaton Smith, Tom E. Morello, Alice Wetterlund, and Danny Soloman performing at RG Daniels' free weekly show at the Three of Cups East Village lounge: Sunday Night Stand-Up

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT's downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Chesley Calloway, Annie Lederman, Kate Berlant, Ryan Conner, and Matt Wayne performing in the East Village's Beauty Bar at Vince Averill's & Jesse Popp's free weekly show Beauty Bar Comedy

[FREE] 10:00 pm: All-gal lineup of Jena Friedman (delightful dark comedy stand-up), Karith Foster (Comedy Central, VH1), and Yamaneika (TruTV) performing at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 4 minutes per comic, at The PIT's downstairs lounge hosted by Rob Stern: Vicious Cycle



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