Winter's top 20 comedy shows
Get your bowl full of jelly wiggling with laughter this season.
Fri Dec 2 2011
This dry-witted local fixture has a rare ability to win over all kinds of audiences (we've seen him kill in the posh Theater at Madison Square Garden and an arty DIY space in Gowanus). Witness the stand-up's acerbic wit, deadpan delivery and wickedly smart punch lines as he tapes an hour-long special for Comedy Central. Gramercy Theatre, 127 E 23rd St between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave (212-777-6800, theblacklistnyc.com/toddbarry). Dec 1 at 7:15, 9:15pm; free.
Another likable NYC standout hits the Gramercy this week for an hour-long Comedy Central--special taping. (Oh, and this one's also free.) When the Chicago-bred comic and former SNL scribe isn't writing for 30 Rock, he hosts an enjoyable, gratis night of stand-up at Williamsburg's Knitting Factory every Sunday. It's worth catching Buress's smooth and delightfully understated delivery in a big room this evening. Gramercy Theatre, 127 E 23rd St between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave (212-777-6800, theblacklistnyc.com/hannibalburess). Dec 3 at 7:15, 9:15pm; free.
Baby Buggy's 10th Anniversary Gala: A Night of Comedy with Jerry Seinfeld and Friends
For a decade, Jessica Seinfeld's Baby Buggy charity has provided clothing and social services for children across the country. Tonight's fund-raiser, which stars Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart and Colin Quinn, aims to help the organization's programs for another year. The star-studded crowd will include Naomi Watts, Julianne Moore and you—if you've got a few bucks for needy kids other than yourself. Avery Fisher Hall (at Lincoln Center), 132 W 65th St at Broadway (212-721-6500, lincolncenter.org). Dec 5 at 7:30pm; $200.
Short Circuit and Police Academy plus Q&A with Steve Guttenberg
As the skeptical robot scientist corralling Johnny 5 and the calm in the center of Police Academy's storm of weirdo trainees, the Gute was a goofy but briefly bankable everyman. Take your 13-year-old or to enjoy the camp classics with the man himself; Short Circuit is at 7pm and Police Academy at 9:30pm. 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St at Canal St (212-601-1000, 92ytribeca.org). Dec 5 at 7, 9:30pm; $12.
The Party Machine Holiday Spectacular Benefit
To celebrate the season, Arden Myrin (Chelsea Lately) and Lisa DeLarios (Live at Gotham) bring their monthly variety show to the Bell House. And they've cooked up a stellar evening, enlisting The State's Michael Showalter, ace stand-up vet Colin Quinn, the Fiery Furnaces' frontwoman Eleanor Friedberger and a throng of surprise guests to enliven your holiday spirits. The Bell House, 149 7th St between Second and Third Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn (718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com). Dec 8 at 8pm; $15, advance $10.
The Pendulous Breasts Quarterly 1,493rd Annual Review
To fete the fourth edition of Onion writer John Howell Harris's self-dubbed "literary magazine for the discerning breasts enthusiasts," funny folks like Todd Barry, Michael Che and Matt Koff along with musical guests the National Reserve and Kelli Scarr, descend upon Gowanus space Littlefield. The price of entry includes a bound copy of the tome, which could make a nice stocking stuffer for the humorous boob man on your list. Littlefield, 622 DeGraw St between Third and Fourth Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn (718-855-3388, littlefieldnyc.com). Dec 8 at 8pm; $15, advance $12.
Shouting at the Screen
In this wallet-friendly, MST3K-style screening, The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac and Donwill of hip-hop collective Tanya Morgan sit at the back of the bar and make jokes about their favorite (or least favorite) blaxploitation films. They also invite loudmouths to spit their venom and drink every time a character says "honky." reRun Gastropub Theater, 147 Front St between Jay and Pearl Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-766-9110, reruntheater.com). Dec 8 at 10pm; $7.
Heart of Darkness
Comics Eric Drysdale, Shonali Bhowmik and Max Silvestri stop by Greg Barris's excellent stand-up and variety show to help absolve the audience's sins for the year. Between the funny, expect a mind-expanding lecture from geneticist Michael Wigler, live music and plenty of oddities. Union Hall, 702 Union St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-638-4400, unionhallny.com). Dec 9 at 8pm; $10, advance $8.
TJ & Dave
TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi quietly founded their own cult, and we couldn't be happier: Comedy nerds, theater enthusiasts and people who just like to laugh can all agree on their approachable and dynamic improv character studies. Trust us and drink their Kool-Aid. Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow St at Seventh Ave South (212-243-6262, barrowstreettheatre.com). Dec 9--11 at 10:30pm, Dec 12 at 9:30pm; $20.
Pretty Good Friends Holiday Show
Eugene Mirman's stand-up show moves from Union Hall to the Bell House's considerably larger digs for its seasonal soiree, which promises sets from SNL scribe John Mulaney, local mainstay Kristen Schaal and a host of surprise guests. The Bell House, 149 7th St between Second and Third Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn (718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com). Dec 11 at 8pm; $15.