NYC Comedy Picks for Week of April 14, 2008

NYC Comedy Picks for Monday 4/14/08

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

the perfect comedy show for short attention spans—open mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set

and around 30 comics crammed into 2 hours—at John Morrison's Ochi's Motel (6:30 pm & 9:00 pm),

genius stand-up comic—and star Daily Show correspondent—John Oliver, plus Rob Paravonian

(tours with George Carlin; immensely popular YouTube video Pachelbel Rant), ventriloquist

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

brilliant, fresh, and sexy headliners Adira Amram, Heather Lawless, and Carolyn Castiglia, plus

Rachel Feinstein, Ophira Eisenberg, Bridget Everett, and Mel & El—i.e., some of the most amazing

women in NYC—raise money for the upcoming all-female comedy Hysterical Festival (8:00 pm),

and political sketch comedy, plus an interview with author Mark Crispin Miller  (Fooled Again;

Cruel and Unusual; The Bush Dyslexicon) at Liz Winstead's Shoot the Messenger (8:00 pm).

 

Ochi's Motel

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

with 4 minutes per performer...in return for a $5 contribution to the weekly prize kitty.

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

A breathtaking 30+ comics perform in this 2 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.

Ochi's Motel is hosted & booked by Sean Donnelly and Joe Powers.

To be entered into the weekly random drawing for performers,

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

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

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 (on low-cost menu; e.g., draft beer for $4-$5)

 

 

Carla Rhodes & friend, John Oliver, and Rob Paravonian

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).

Tonight's host is Chris DeLuca (writer for a slew of TV shows; has performed on

VH1's Best Week Ever and CBS' former Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn).

And tonight's wonderful guests are

John Oliver (genius who's one of the very finest—and nicest—stand-up comics in the biz;

delightful & hilarious news correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

co-writer/star of The Department for BBC Radio 4; be sure to catch his first

Comedy Central special, Terrifying Times, which premieres this weekend),

Rob Paravonian (Comedy Central, VH1; opens for George Carlin on tour; to see his hit video

Pachelbel Rant, which has been viewed by over 4.5 million people on YouTube, please click here,), and

Carla Rhodes ("rock 'n roll ventriloquist;" for shout-out from David Letterman, please click here;

for act with "Keith Richards," please click here; if John Oliver brings his talking Noam Chomsky

doll, demand that it and Carla's Cecil dummy interact on stage for your amusement...).

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.

 

 

Heather Lawless, Adira Amram, and Carolyn Castiglia...

   

...and Bridget Everett and Rachel Feinstein

Hysterical Mini-Festival

This show is both a teaser and fundraiser for the upcoming Hysterical Festival

featuring some of the funniest women in the country.

Tonight is hosted by the wonderful Carolyn Castiglia (VH1, MTV2, Sirius Satellite Radio; writer for The Huffington Post; host & co-producer of NYC live comedy show Chicks & Giggles).

And this evening's guests are some of the most amazing women in NYC:

Adira Amram (brilliantly funny and sexy songwriter/singer; Jane Magazine Editor's Choice;

co-star of UCBT's Get Psyched!; for sample songs & videos, please click here),

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; member of superb female

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

Rachel Feinstein (Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Samurai Love God, Court TV's

Parko PI, regular on Sirius Satellite Radio, written for The Onion and Heeb Magazine),

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

E!, US Weekly's Fashion Police),

Bridget Everett (co-star of cabaret show At Least It's Pink at Ars Nova), and

Mel and El (New York Musical Theatre Festival Concert Series at Ars Nova).

For more info and/or to order tickets, please click here.

Note: Please use discount code EBLAST for $5 off each ticket.

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

$15 per ticket with discount code EBLAST (to order online, please click here),

plus two-item drink or food minimum (with tax & tip, figure on paying additional $13 or up)

 

 

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:

Danny Leary, Caroline Waxler, Emmy Rivera and Hailey Boyle .

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

no cover, one item (food or drink) minimum

 

 

 

Author Mark Crispin Miller & his election book Fooled Again, 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 Mark Crispin Miller, author of the books Boxed in: The Culture of TV, The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder, Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order, and Fooled Again (which argues the last Presidential election was literally stolen).

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.

 

 

Storked: A Journey in Fatherhood

George Clark returns to The PIT with this one-man show

about becoming a dad.

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

 

 

Maude Night

Writers, performers, and directors, most of whom are students at UCBT,

 try out their sketch comedy routines.

Tonight features six groups in three double-bill slots:

at the 8:00-9:15 pm show, mixtape '98 and 27 Kidneys;

at the 9:30-10:45 pm show, The Skuntz and Stone Cold Fox;

and at the 11:00 pm-12:15 am show, Last Laid Off and The Spin Room.

Some of the material will probably be very funny.

And a lot of it probably won't.

But if you enjoy the raw energy of young artists trying out bits,

come and support tonight's experiments, live on stage.

8:00 pm & 9:30 pm & 11:00 pm at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); tickets are $5 per show

 

 

The Engagement

One of the finest talents in NYC is Kimmy Gatewood, who produces, directs, writes, acts, sings, dances, performs improv & sketch comedy—and tonight is doing this one-woman show.

The scenario: "Kim's getting married! It's the rehearsal dinner, and everyone is there—family, friends, co-workers...everyone, that is, except her husband-to-be. Kim runs into the coat room and refuses to come out. The whole family rallies: her best friend, her sister Val, her mother, her stepmother, her Youtubing younger cousin, and even Monkey the family dog. Things only get worse when the best man tries to hit on her..."

Frankly, the idea is better than the actual script, which needs a few rewrites.

But Kimmy's performance of the material is at times magical, and well worth catching.

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Tuesday 4/15/08

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

Helen Hong hosting a new show with comics taller than her—tonight including terrific stand-ups

Michelle Buteau and Danny Leary—at Little Ethnic Girls and Friends (7:30 pm),

a refreshing collection of voices not often heard, from stand-up comics whose origins are

Arab, Indian, Asian, Muslim, etc., hosted by The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi: The Others (8:00 pm),

lively & fun discussions about comic books, with guests including the co-creator of a series about

science fiction sanitation workers, plus a writer for Dr. Who, at Comic Book Club (8:00 pm),

and brilliant comics Anthony Jeselnik (Comedy Central, MTV), Reggie Watts (2007 Andy Kaufman Award),

Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central Presents) , Eddie Pepitone (Conan O'Brien, Last Comic Standing),

and more at a blowout edition of Carol Hartsell & Sean Crespo's Drink at Work  (9:00 pm).

For details, please click here.

 

Please Note: Seth Herzog—bless him—is currently in Kuwait entertaining US troops in Iraq.

However, I just got word his Tuesday show Sweet is happening anyway. It's helmed tonight by stellar hosts Bobby Tisdale and Craig Baldo, and slated guests include superb comics Roger Hailes and Eddie Pepitone (presumably racing from his gig at Drink at Work). The show is at 9:00 pm at The Slipper Room, 167 Orchard Street (corner of Stanton Street); tickets are $5.

 

Michelle Buteau and Helen Hong

Little Ethnic Girls and Friends

This new biweekly comedy show is hosted by two petite women,

one Korean-American and the other Arab-American, who like to make you laugh:

Helen Hong (TLC's What Not to Wear; E!'s Exposed: 25 Most Notorious Fashion Week Moments; Helen says " I love it when people ask me 'Where are you from?' and I say 'New York' and they say 'No, where are you really from???' I know they want me to name some Asian country like Japan or Korea. Instead I just stab them in the eye with a chopstick and scream 'I'm from the Land of Deadly Chopsticks, you evil Round Eye!' And then I shuffle away like a dainty geisha...;"

for Helen's hilarious stand-up video about false assumptions

and verbal misunderstandings, please click here), and

Maria Shehata (Comedy Central's The Watch List, TLC, Women's Entertainment Network, numerous appearances on Sirius Satellite Radio; for a stand-up video about Maria's parents' arranged marriage, please click here).

Maria is slated to perform elsewhere (for details, please click here),

so Helen is hosting solo tonight. Joining the chopsticks-wielding femme fatale are

Michelle Buteau (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Premium Blend;

for stand-up video about Utah, sharing, and tits, please click here),

Danny Leary (host of weekly NYC live comedy show On the Rocks)

Liz Miele (Carolines; for wry, fun stand-up video, please click here), and

Danny Lobell (interviewer of such comedy giants as George Carlin on radio show The Comical Radio), and

Dave Kinney (for stand-up video involving dating above one's level, please click here).

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)

 

 

   

Negin Farsad and Maria Shehata

The Others

This show is based on the notion that "if you are not white, black, or hispanic in America, you are an other. The Others features these very funny other voices of stand-up comedy, including Arab, Indian, Muslim, Asian, and Iranian."

Tonight's extravaganza is hosted by Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi,

and produced by Dean Obeidallah (Comedy Central's Axis of Evil) and

Maysoon Zayid (Comedy Central's The Watch List).

Scheduled performers include

Negin Farsad (Comedy Central's The Watch List, comedy troupes Madame Funnypants

and Three Jews and a Persian, Laughing Liberally at Town Hall, host of NYC

live comedy show Dirty Immigrant Collective; for a video sample, please click here),

Maria Shehata (Comedy Central's The Watch List, TLC, Women's Entertainment Network,

Sirius Satellite Radio; co-host of new NYC live comedy show  Little Ethnic Girls and Friends;

for a stand-up video about Maria's parents' arranged marriage, please click here),

Mohamed Masoud (New York Arab-American Comedy Festival),

Fariaz Rabbani, Rio, and more.

Note: Please mention this site, HyReviews.com, to get half off the $10 ticket price.

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

$5 per ticket (vs. $10) by mentioning HyReviews.com via phone (212/757-2323) or at the door,

plus two-item drink or food minimum (with tax & tip, figure on paying additional $13 or up)

 

 

The first two issues of illustrator Robbi Rodriguez's comics series Maintenance...

 

...and images from writer Christos N. Gage's The Authority: Prime and writer Tony Lee's Dr. Who

Comic Book Club

Hosted by Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler and Pete LePage,

who enjoy discussing comic books while getting laughs.

Comedy giant David Cross recently remarked that the one thing TV science fiction series have in common is the inevitable appearance of two guys who, no matter when or where in the universe the story is set, talk like sanitation workers from New Jersey. One of tonight's guests, artist Robbi Rodriguez, has taken this a step further by basing an entire comics series, Maintenance, on two regular joes who make a living cleaning up assorted space sludge.

Also visiting tonight are Christos N. Gage (screenwriter of pulp movies such as 2002's

Teenage Caveman, and  writer of comics series including Thunderbolts and The Authority),

and Tony Lee (writer of such comics series as Hope Falls and Doctor Who).

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

 

 

Harold Night

The Harold is longform improv, pioneered by Del Close.

Tonight, five improv troupes—

T.R.U.C.K.S., Twelve Thousand Dollars, DeCoster, 1985, and Tantrum—

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

 

 

Les Encompetent

A new sketch comedy show by Lizzie Goldberg-Redner, Dave Maulbeck,

Lauren Olson, and Jana Schmieding. The official description:

"Inept characters and human folly give rise to this original compilation of sketches.

Employing witty transitions and the occasional dance number, Les Encompentent

is a fresh reminder of how silly sketch can become. "

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

 

 

Anthony Jeselnik (being lauded by Robin Williams), Leo Allen, and Reggie Watts...

...and Carol Hartsell, Sean Crespo, and Becky Donohue

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 amazing stand-up comedy lineup includes

Anthony Jeselnik (phenomenal comic specializing in darkly shocking jokes and one of

my favorite stand-ups ever; Comedy Central's Premium Blend, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live,

 NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly, MTV's Walk of Shame;

for a video stand-up sample, please click here),

Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; winner of 2007 Andy Kaufman Award;

scary talented vocalist, beatboxer, and musician whose unique skills will likely amaze you;

to learn more, please visit ReggieWatts.com; and for video samples of what Reggie does,

please click here and here),

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

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

Eddie Pepitone (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Comic Standing,

King of Queens, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, hit movie Old School;

for a stand-up video about personalized heckling, please click here), and

Becky Donohue (Comedy Central's Premium Blend, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and

Shorties Watchin' Shorties; TLC's Trading Spaces; Fashion Police writer for US Weekly).

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)

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Wednesday 4/16/08

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

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),

a breathtaking gathering of uniformly brilliant comics, including David Cross (HBO, Comedy Central),

Anthony Atamanuik (30 Rock), Reggie Watts (2007 Andy Kaufman Award), Bobby Tisdale, Chelsea Peretti,

Neil Casey, and host Brett Gelman—tonight playing an evil German children's entertainer—at Gelmania (8:30 pm),

an entirely improvised musical from magical duo Glennis McMurray & Eliza Skinner as I Eat Pandas (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: A strong case can be made that the best comedy show in the history of television

is South Park. I don't normally recommend it here for the same reason I don't plug, say,

the first month of auditions of American Idol; it just seems so obvious you should be watching...

This has been a particularly fine season of South Park, though—

which, considering how long the series has been going, is little short of astonishing.

And this evening's new episode involves the Internet.

So if you aren't already tuning in (as hard as that is for me to even contemplate),

for goodness sakes, set your TiVo to Comedy Central tonight at 10:00.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Liam McEneaney's Writings with Music

According to the official description, "Every musician secretly wants to be a comedian.

All comedians have a secret yearning to play music. On the third Wednesday each month,

these worlds collide in a music/comedy experiment, as some of New York's best comedy writers read pieces, creating a rhythm that a jazz band will use to create

 a live, improvised musical background."

Sounds tough to pull off; but an interesting experiment. There's no cover charge at Ochi's,

so if you're at all curious, poke your head in and see if the show grabs you.

Hosted by Liam McEneaney (VH1's Best Week Ever, Comedy Central's Premium Blend).

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

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

 

 

 

Lennon Parham and Nick Zimmerman

Lennon Parham: She Tried to Be Normal and Out of Africa My Mind

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 writes in this week's Time Out New York that Lennon's antics "will leave you wondering why she isn't famous yet.")

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.

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

 

 

 

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 new hip-hop parody album Fleetwood Cracked.)

Tonight Brett plays Klaus Van Vunn, "a famous German entertainer bringing joy to children everywhere! After a short time in prison, Klaus is back and ready to make your kids happy."

Joining the party is an awesome all-star collection of comedic talent:

David Cross (comedy genius, and one of the most respected guys in the biz;

credits as writer, actor, and comic include HBO's Mr. Show, FOX's Arrested Development, Comedy Central's Freak Show, Adult Swim's Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show...and scores of other TV and feature film roles),

Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; winner of 2007 Andy Kaufman Award;

scary talented vocalist, beatboxer, and musician whose unique skills will likely amaze you;

to learn more, please visit ReggieWatts.com; and for video samples of what Reggie does,

please click here and here),

Bobby Tisdale (comedy giant who for five years hosted the wonderful

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

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

Chelsea Peretti (exceptionally fresh, smart stand-up comic; member of superb

comedy troupe Variety Shac; writer for Village Voice, Details, Playgirl, Jest,

blackpeopleloveus.com, and Rejection Line: 212/479-7990),

Neil Casey (brilliant comedic performer and improvisor; member of arguably the gutsiest improv troupe in NYC, Death by Roo Roo; also member of  superb troupe Krompf; hilarious periodic announcer at Cage Match and panelist on Shut Up! I Hate You), and

Anthony Atamanuik (brilliant storyteller and improvisor; actor on NBC's 30 Rock; hilarious reporter who recently covered the New Hampshire primaries for The Huffington Post; ace yarnspinner on NYC monthly comedy show The Nights of Our Lives; and, like Brett and Neil, member of world-class NYC Friday night improv show Death by Roo Roo).

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Glennis & Eliza: I Eat Pandas

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 just won this year's ECNY Award for Best Improv Group.

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

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 4/17/08

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

world-class storytellers Tom Shillue and Kambri Crews, hilarious stand-up Rachel Feinstein, and more

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

expert storytellers who will entertain and amuse you in Brooklyn at SpeakEasy (7:30 pm),

stellar comics Reggie Watts (2007 Andy Kaufman Award), Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central

 Presents), Mike Drucker (Comedy Central), and Rachel Parenta at a show for smarties, Brainyaxe  (8:00 pm),

terrific stand-up comics Claudia Cogan, Jenny Rubin, and Giulia Rozzi

mixing it up with talented gay comedians in The Back Room (9:00 pm),

and superb improv troupe Bastian going up tonight against the winning-est group in UCBT history,

Mother, competing for audience laughs and votes at Cage Match (11:00 pm).

For details, please click here.

 

Happy children with "Aunt" Sara Benincasa...

   

...and Tom Shillue, Kambri Crews, and Rachel Feinstein

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 superb guests include

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

with Jon Stewart; storytelling podcasts; host of NYC monthly comedy show Moonwork;

comedy CD Overconfident!; for stand-up samples, please click here and here),

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),

Rachel Feinstein (Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Samurai Love God, Court TV's

Parko PI, regular on Sirius Satellite Radio, written for The Onion and Heeb Magazine),

Diana Saez (DC Comedy Festival;  XM Radio; created/produced Washington DC's

first all-female comedy showcase; for stand-up videos, please click here and here),

Leah Dubie (co-host of weekly NYC live comedy show Dykes on Mics),

Jennifer Kwok (finalist in NBC's Stand-Up for Diversity; for ukulele song in which Jennifer expresses how hard it is to be a funny fat girl in a skinny Asian girl's body, please click here),

Dan Frigolette, and DEL (host of Comedy for the F*ck of It at the Alibi Lounge).

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)

 

 

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 Ryan Britt, Tara Clancy, John Grady,

Daniel Reinich, Tracy Rowland, and Albert Stern.

For performer bios, please click here.

7:30 pm at Bar Reis, 373 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn (between 5th and 6th Streets); tickets are $10

 

 

Rachel Parenta, Leo Allen, and Reggie Watts

Brainyaxe

This monthly show, hosted by Sven Wechsler, strives for very smart comedy.

Tonight's lineup is stellar:

Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; winner of 2007 Andy Kaufman Award;

scary talented vocalist, beatboxer, and musician whose unique skills will likely amaze you;

to learn more, please visit ReggieWatts.com; and for video samples of what Reggie does,

please click here and here),

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Parenta (for fun video about not dating fellow comics and a song about Japan,

please click here).

8:00 pm at Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery (between Houston & Bleecker); tickets are $7

 

 

   

Jenny Rubin, Dave Rubin, and Shawn Hollenbach...

  

...and Claudia Cogan and Giulia Rozzi

The Back Room

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

Tonight's terrific guests are

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

for a video sample, please click here),

Claudia Cogan (ECNY Award nominee for Best Female Stand-Up;

Logo Network, Sirius OutQ; for stand-up video about Claudia's aspirations to be

a stripper, please click here; for video about her being unemployed, please click here),

 Michael Carbonaro (Another Gay Movie),

Pete Stikles (Shortbus),

H. Alan Scott (Dykes on Mics),

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)

 

 

vs.

Cage Match: Bastian vs. Mother

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.)

For the previous six weeks, genius improv troupe The Stepfathers swept away one opponent after another with seeming ease, at times nabbing over five times as many votes as the competition. But last week, these titans were felled—ironically, tackling an audience suggestion of Titanic.

Were The Stepfathers off their game? In a word, no; they were as brilliantly funny as I've ever seen them. For example, when Bobby Moynihan rattled off reasons Chris Gethard might be having trouble attracting women ("chicks just aren't that interested in the origins of bridges"), the audience was in hysterics.

The challenger, Bastian, put on a strong show that wasn't as razor-sharp, but pushed harder on physical comedy and on extending core themes throughout. And thanks to lovely new Spring weather, the audience was the smallest of the season. The result was a very close vote

in which Bastian squeezed ahead 55 to 46.

Happily, the Stepfathers can still be seen in front of rapt audiences every Friday at 9:30 pm at UCBT. And also happily, Bastian—an extremely likeable troupe consisting of Brian Barrett, Maggie Carey, Adam Frucci, Brandon Gardner, Lydia Hensler, Molly Lloyd, Oscar Magallanes, and John Murray—is back to test itself against another formidable foe.

This evening's challenger is Mother, which has won more Cage Matches than any other group

in the show's history—a breathtaking 49 (with a total of 2,633 votes). The troupe's members are

some of the finest improvisors in the country: Scot Armstrong, Tara Copeland, Jon Daly,

James Eason, Jesse Falcon, Jason Mantzoukas, Doug Moe, and Christine Walters.

Tonight is likely to be hugely entertaining, and there's no telling what will happen...

which is one of the great pleasures of this extravaganza.

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Friday 4/18/08

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

three of the sexiest comics in NYC—brilliant singer/songwriter Shayna Ferm (Blonde), and

world-class storytellers Margot Leitman & Giulia Rozzi (Conan O'Brien, VH1, Stripped Stories)—

helping celebrate the release of an album from the unique Cock Lorge: Thank Cock It's Friday (7:30 pm)

John Flynn telling hilarious, hair-raising tales about his adventures with Terrible Sex (8:00 pm),

Claudia Cogan & Jackie Monahan debuting a new monthly comedy show, with stellar guests

John Oliver (brilliant correspondent for The Daily Show), John F. O'Donnell (Comedy Central),

Amy Schumer (Last Comic Standing), and more at Doris Yeltsin (8:00 pm),

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),

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),

and UCBT's free monthly open mic stand-up show, where deliciously surreal things tend to happen

around 1:30 am, hosted by the lightning-fast & hilarious Pete Holmes: Gutbucket (12:15ish am).

 

Margot Leitman, Shayna Ferm, and Giulia Rozzi

Thank Cock It's Friday

Unique raunchy singer Cock Lorge celebrates the release of his album

titled (of course) Rise with the help of three of the hottest & funniest comics in NYC:

Shayna Ferm (brilliantly funny and sexy writer/singer; member of world-class

sketch troupe Fearsome; lead of band Shayna and the Upper Decks;

for samples of Shay's witty songs, please click here; and to hear sample tracks from

and/or buy her new album Blonde, please click here),

Margot Leitman (stellar comedic storyteller, and co-host of red-hot NYC live comedy show Stripped Stories; performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, VH1, ESPN, and new Spike TV show The Team; for Margot's fun reel, please click here), and

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

for a video sample, please click here).

7:30 pm at Pianos, 158 Ludlow Street at Stanton; tickets are $5

 

 

John Flynn

John Flynn Has Terrible Sex (with Jason Mantzoukas)

Starting from his initial gay sexual experience up through the near-present, John Flynn (Showgirls: The Best Movie Ever Made. Ever!, The Nights of Our Lives) relates a multitude of amusing, shocking, but most of all very human encounters. These range from the first time anyone threw a line at him ("Want to pretend we're f*cking?"), which worked like a charm; to a friend helping John out of a financial jam by pimping him; to a college dorm neighbor who, John learned the hard way, got aroused in an unusual manner; to an Internet hookup with someone who turned out to be beneath his stature—literally. The tales are fascinating and laugh-filled throughout; and to make things even livelier, a friend helps by periodically asking questions in the role of "ignorant straight guy" (played by Jason Mantzoukas (Mother: The Soundtrack, We Used to Go Out, The Mantzoukas Brothers).

John Flynn is a great storyteller, and he's created a rich, hilarious show

that anyone, gay or straight, is likely to enjoy.

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

 

 

Doris Yeltsin

This brand new monthly show is hosted by two delightful comedic gems:

Claudia Cogan (ECNY Award nominee for Best Female Stand-Up;

Logo Network, Sirius OutQ; for stand-up video about Claudia's aspirations to be

a stripper, please click here; for video about her being unemployed, please click here), and

Jackie Monahan (co-host of weekly NYC live comedy show Dykes on Mics;

Lesbians of Laughter Tour; for sharp stand-up video, please click here).

Kicking off tonight's debut are these superb stand-up guests:

John Oliver (genius who's one of the very finest—and nicest—stand-up comics in the biz;

delightful & hilarious news correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

co-writer/star of The Department for BBC Radio 4; be sure to catch his first

Comedy Central special, Terrifying Times, which premieres this weekend),

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

host of biweekly Queens open mic stand-up comedy show The Kingdom of Heaven;

for stand-up video, please click here),

Amy Schumer (Last Comic Standing, Night of Too Many Stars),

Greg Barris (producer of Heart of Darkness), and

Mara Herron (The Lighthouse, Housewives With Attitude).

8:00 pm at Karma Lounge, 51 1st Avenue (between 3rd and 4th Streets); free

 

 

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).

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Girly Girl Burleskapades and Naked Boys Improvising

This double-bill begins with traditional burlesque—that is, woman stripping—

though with the emphasis a bit more on the side of laughter than titillation.

The show then continues with five guys who seem very nice and sharp but

perform only so-so improvisation and, in the process, invent reasons to take off articles

of clothing. By the last couple of minutes, they're completely naked.

It's not great comedy; but if you're in the right mood, it's harmless fun

that provides something of visual interest to both men and women.

11:00 pm at The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 West 29th Street (off 7th Avenue); tickets are $10

 

 

Pete Holmes

Gutbucket

UCBT's monthly open mic show for stand-up comics.

If you're simply looking to laugh, this show can be

lots of fun, or deadly, depending on who turns up.

But if you're a comic yourself, it's a fine opportunity

to perform in front of an exceptionally sharp audience.

And in my opinion, it's well worth sitting through five minutes of

a dreadful comic to get even 30 seconds of hilarious comments

about the set afterwards from brilliant host Pete Holmes (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).

Holmes' lightning-fast mind will generate more perfect remarks

in a few moments than most comics can manage in a week.

Watching a master like Pete Holmes is a great treat;

and this show is free.

On top of that, the fact Gutbucket runs from roughly 12:15 am to 2:00 am

adds a surreal, drunken spin to the festivities that usually results in something

weird and memorable happening with either an amateur comic or an audience member.

For all these reasons, this is my favorite open mic show; and if you're both

patient and adventurous, it's highly recommended.

12:15ish am at UCBT, 307 West 26th Street (off 8th Avenue); free

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Saturday 4/19/08

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),

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

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

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

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

and a potentially uproarious parody of a fundraiser for the afflicted, the victim in this case

being a man whose facial nerves blew up during orgasm (played by Rob Lathan), with

drop-dead funny guests including brilliant comedic character actors Lennon Parham,

Jon Daly, and Ben Rodgers: A Special Benefit for Permanent Nutface Gary (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

 

 

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

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 scheduled visitors are sketch troupe Lolabrigada

and stand-up comic Leo Goodman.

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 $12.00

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.

 

 

 

Rob Nathan and Lennon Parham...

   

...and Matt DeCoster, Ben Rodgers, and Jon Daly

A Special Benefit for Permanent Nutface Gary

In what promises to be a memorable event, veteran comedic performers gather for this mock-benefit in support of Permanent Nutface Gary, who due to a rare nerve condition found his face forever frozen mid-orgasm. The participants include:

Rob "Nutface" Lathan (Late Night with Conan O'Brien, MTV, VH1; plays comedic characters

such as Lanny Lathan and "Quick Lips" Lathan; previous UCBT show Get Psyched!

and current High School Talent Show; for Rob's reel, please click here),

Lennon Parham (sexy, laid-back, wry, and hilarious comedic chameleon and rising star;

current one-woman show She Tried to Be Normal; previous Showgirls parody; performs at UCBT every Saturday night as part of world-class improv troupe Reuben Williams; in the words of Jane Borden at Time Out New York, "will leave you wondering why she isn't famous yet"),

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),

Ben Rodgers (razor-sharp & thoroughly hilarious announcer at UCBT's

weekly smash hit improv comedy competition & wrestling event Cage Match),

Matt DeCoster (leads UCBT Harold Night improv troupe DeCoster; former member

of acclaimed improv group Monkeydick; two-man sketch show 7 Fights), and

Nate Shelkey (UCBT show Get Psyched!).

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

 

 

NYC Comedy Picks for Sunday 4/20/08

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),

an opportunity to help bring a comedy album to life with your laughter,

along with hilarious stand-up guests Roger Hailes (Chappelle's Show), Greg Johnson (Rififi), and

 Sam Brown (The Whitest Kids U' Know) at the free event Tom McCaffrey is Recording a CD (8:00 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),

and Leslie Collins performing what appears to be a charming one-woman show

based on her memories of growing up in Texas: Poteet Girls (9:30 pm).

For details, please click here.

 

TV Tip: Don't miss tonight's premiere of the first Comedy Central special by John Oliver,

a genius who's best known as a beloved correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,

but is also one of the very finest—and nicest—stand-up comics in the biz.

The hour-long show is titled Terrifying Times and airs at 10:00 pm on Comedy Central.

Expect exceptionally sharp hilarity.

 

 

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)

 

 

Tom McCaffrey is Recording a CD

The title pretty much says it.

Come and have your laughs immortalized on this new comedy CD

being made by superb stand-up comic Tom McCaffrey

(Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Shorties Watchin' Shorties).

Helping Tom out will be these wonderful guests:

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

VH1's All Access; writer for Comedy Central and MTV;

for sample videos, please click here and here),

Greg Johnson (co-host of one of the finest weekly comedy extravaganzas in NYC,

The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show), and

Sam Brown (member of popular comedy group and IFC TV show

The Whitest Kids U' Know; and who, along with Timmy Williams, normally

hosts his own weekly live show, Scum and Villainy, in this time slot).

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

 

 

 

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 (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.

 

 

Secret Documentary Project

It's hard to say much about a show that's a secret.

But what's been leaked so far is it's the brainchild of Megan Gray and Shawn Wickens;

will feature the groups Afternoon Playland, Fat Penguin, Fish, and Buttermore & Wilker;

and that you're encouraged to "come celebrate a night of 'jumping and the net will appear'

performances of sketch, stand-up, and improv."

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

 

 

Poteet Girls

Leslie Collins (VH1's Best Night Ever) performs a one-woman show based on the memorable folks she met growing up in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Her characters deal with situations ranging from science fair projects clashing with religious beliefs to a "Miss Junior Poteet" beauty contest. BroadwayWorld.com praises Collins' acting, saying her characters are "all handled with a gentle, realistic humor that's very funny while remaining sincere and affectionate." The director is Broadway performer & fellow Texan Erick Devine.

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

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

 

 

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 fine guests are

Laurie Kilmartin, Mike Gaffney, Tom Ragu, and Vicki Ferentinos.

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