Stand-up comedy shows spring 2013 and the Thrilling Adventure Hour

Parks & Rec’s Nick Offerman, Maria Bamford and Jim Jefferies all perform stand-up comedy shows this spring. Plus, L.A.’s Thrilling Adventure Hour comes to NYC.

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  • Photograph: Mitchell Haaseth / NBC

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson

  • Photograph: Susan Maljan

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Maria Bamford

  • Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Marina Franklin

  • Photograph: Courtesy FX

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Jim Jefferies

  • Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Natasha Leggero

  • Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Big Terrific Fifth Anniversary

  • Photograph: Frank Micelotta

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Amy Schumer

  • Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction

  • Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Uptown Showdown at Symphony Space

  • Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    NYC Improv Festival

  • Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    A Conversation with David Cross

  • Photograph: Mark Mann/IFC

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Whitest Kids U Know

  • Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Ted Alexandro

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Stillsmoove.com

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    JB Smoove

  • Photograph: Mindy Tucker

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Julie Klausner

  • Photograph: John Shearer

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Jerry Seinfeld

  • Photograph: Seth Olenick

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Paul F. Tompkins

  • Photograph: Jonathan Reilly

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    The Thrilling Adventure Hour

  • Photograph: Jonathan Reilly

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    The Thrilling Adventure Hour

  • Photograph: Jonathan Reilly

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    The Thrilling Adventure Hour

  • Photograph: Jonathan Reilly

    Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    The Thrilling Adventure Hour

  • Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

    Anthony Jeselnik

Photograph: Mitchell Haaseth / NBC

Stand-up comedy shows and more spring 2013

Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson

Good news for fans of stand-up comedy: This spring sees a clusterflock (that’s the collective noun for comedians, right?) of stand-ups at comedy clubs and venues across New York. Spring’s best comedy shows include the man with the effervescent facial hair, Nick Offerman (Parks & Rec’s Ron Swanson); the melon-twisting (in the metaphorical, not the literal, sense… although you never know) Maria Bamford; and foul-mouthed Australian Jim Jefferies (so foul, that he can’t snag a lady, as he confessed to Time Out in Pickups gone bad). For a visual break from one person standing there talking, check out the Thrilling Adventure Hour for a group of people standing there talking.


RECOMMENDED: Spring in New York guide


Nick Offerman: American Ham

  • Price band: 2/4

Those hoping to see Ron Swanson curse Tammys One and Two to hell likely won’t be disappointed: Offerman’s man’s-man persona reflects his real life (he’s got a carpentry business) and his stage act. His show, American Ham, offers practical tips about living more successfully, with the sort of dry and laconic delivery that comes through on Parks and Recreation.

  1. The Town Hall 123 W 43rd St, between Sixth Ave and Broadway
  2. Sat Mar 2
More info

Maria Bamford

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Bammer is a tumult of cheery weirdness, winning hearts with a childlike whisper as she presents her idiosyncratic vision of the world. She drops comedic bits—unexpected impressions, goony faces, far-flung metaphors—like bread crumbs, keeping the audience intrigued regardless of how bizarre things may seem. In Bamford’s amazing 2012 release, Special Special Special, she performed an entire set in her living room for an audience comprising her parents; get excited for whatever oddball stroke of genius she might have in store.

  1. Carolines on Broadway 1626 Broadway, between 49th and 50th Sts
  2. Mon Mar 4
More info

Get It Out There

  • Critics choice
  • Free

BAM and IFC team up, working with comedy producer Caroline Creaghead to put together a free stand-up showcase of bold locals in BAM's atrium café. Tonight's all-lady lineup will satisfy audience members of both sexes. Emily Heller hosts Nikki Glaser, Marina Franklin, Kendra Cunningham, Naomi Ekperigin and the great Heather Lawless, who we've missed since she moved across the country.

  1. BAMcafé 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St
  2. Thu Apr 24
More info

Jim Jefferies

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The foulmouthed, confessional Australian stand-up delights in slaying sacred cows in a devilishly unapologetic manner. Though Jefferies’s sitcom, Legit, recently premiered on FX, those who have seen his specials (I Swear to God, Alcoholocaust, Fully Functional) know that his live show can’t be beat.

  1. Best Buy Theater 1515 Broadway, at 44th St
  2. Fri Mar 8
More info

Natasha Leggero + Moshe Kasher

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The West Coast comics—both of whom have performed on many late-night shows, including Chelsea Lately—pair up for a weekend of gigs. Kasher, whose 2012 memoir, Kasher in the Rye, candidly told tales of mental institutions and drug addiction, has an onstage force as dark and bawdy as it is wily. Leggero plays with languor, dismissing the peons beneath her—that is, pretty much everybody—while batting her eyes and swiping the hair from her face with a pair of silken evening gloves.

  1. Carolines on Broadway 1626 Broadway, between 49th and 50th Sts
  2. Until Sun Nov 17
More info

Big Terrific Fifth Anniversary

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Though Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman have moved to L.A., Big Terrific cohost Max Silvestri happily welcomes them back for this stand-up celebration. There's no lineup announced as of yet, but expect the trio to bring along some of the best up-and-comers around as they perform their own bits.

  1. Music Hall of Williamsburg 66 North 6th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Until Fri Mar 15
More info

Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Bryan Cook's L.A. comedy show gives the crowd something it never knew it wanted: sexy literature written by comics about favorite characters—say, Theo Huxtable or Bilbo Baggins—or extant fictional universes. After reading a prepared piece, each winner goes on to create a new work on the spot, based on audience suggestions.

  1. Union Hall 702 Union St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
  2. Until Fri Mar 7
More info

Uptown Showdown

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Two teams of comics and comic writers face off in a debate competition meant to settle age-old arguments, including whether pirates or ninjas would win in a brawl. As the performers take shots at each other and do untested material, the room gets charged (in the silliest way possible).

  1. Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, At 95th St
  2. Until Tue Mar 25
More info

NYC Improv Festival

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Improvisers from around the country take part in a weekend of performances, workshops and panels, though this festival, now in its second year, also has plenty of New Yorkers (many of whom are regular PIT performers) on the bill. This year's big tickets include a reunited Threat, a set from Centralia and a visit from Toronto’s physical, frenetic 2-Man No-Show.

  1. Peoples Improv Theater 123 E 24th St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Sun Mar 23
More info

A Conversation with David Cross

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

That low, liquidy sound you hear is comedy nerds across the city frothing at the maw. One of New York’s comedy heroes sits down to talk about everything: The Ben Stiller Show, Mr. Show, Arrested Development, Modern Family, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret—and that list doesn't even include stand-up or film. He'll chat with that other George Michael, Michael Cera.

  1. 92nd Street Y 1395 Lexington Ave, between 91st and 92nd Sts
  2. Until Wed Mar 20
More info

Whitest Kids U Know

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This sketch comedy quintet, which garnered a loyal following while hosting a weekly show at Pianos, produced its self-titled show on Fuse and IFC for five seasons. The troupe’s mix of skewed historical reenactments, social observation and gross-out gags always plays great live, so this tour is worth looking out for.

  1. Gramercy Theatre 127 E 23rd St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Until Sun Mar 24
More info

April Fools Comedy Show

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

This annual April 1 show trots out an overstuffed lineup sure to keep the entirety of MSG doubled over. In addition to boisterous performers such as JB Smoove and Tracy Morgan, there will be time with SNL’s resident Denzel, Jay Pharoah, and a favorite local, the straight-talking Damien Lemon.

  1. Theater at Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Ave), between 31st and 33rd Sts
  2. Until Mon Apr 1
More info

How Was Your Week? Live with Julie Klausner

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Comic and writer Julie Klausner sings, dances, raves and kvetches through this taping of her popular podcast, How Was Your Week? In a live setting, Klausner goes for the gusto with big numbers, guests and her musical director, Ted Leo—the nicest (and possibly funniest) man in rock.

  1. The Bell House 149 7th St, between Second and Third Aves
  2. Until Wed Oct 30
More info

Stand-Up for a Cure

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

After returning last fall to both his comedic and geographic roots, Jerry Seinfeld gives fans another opportunity to catch this carefully crafted hour of silliness about everything from hydration to marriage. During the show, which benefits medical research and treatment, Seinfeld will be joined by his good pal, caustic NYC everyman Colin Quinn.

  1. Theater at Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Ave), between 31st and 33rd Sts
  2. Until Wed Apr 17
More info

The Thrilling Adventure Hour

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This Los Angeles–based series, which asks well-known comic actors to read new scripts written in the style of old-timey radio dramas live onstage, brings a playfully anachronistic experience to modern eyes and ears. TAH’s musical numbers, Foley effects, and campy, quip-laden stories involving martians, hobos and robots are perfect for mannered players, including New York cast members Paul F. Tompkins and John Hodgman. This show should sell out quickly; nab tickets now.

  1. The Bell House 149 7th St, between Second and Third Aves
  2. Sat May 11
More info

Anthony Jeselnik

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

This comic regularly proves—in specials such as Caligula and on his new series, The Jeselnik Offensive—that he can make the crowd love him in spite of themselves. Sure, people want to stare because he's handsome; but his one-liners are so sly and well crafted, those same people end up laughing at his very dark jokes before they have a chance to stop themselves.

  1. Carolines on Broadway 1626 Broadway, between 49th and 50th Sts
  2. Until Sat Nov 9
More info


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