Steve McGrew and Adam Freeman, Monday, November 7, 2022
This event is a true, deep comedy-industry double bill. While Freeman is the one-time show runner of The Chelsea Handler Show, Total Request Live, Wild n’ Out with Nick Cannon and Gene Simmons Family Jewels – and chooses to call his stand-up “a slightly skewed, very diseased take on the world” based on his clinically diagnosed introverted-extroverted-ness, McGrew, better known as “Mudflap,” has scores of radio credits to his name with his work on 24/7 Comedy and Sirius XM. Plus, “Mudflap” is a regular at the Vegas Laugh Factory and always kills with his brand of Southern charm.
Laugh Factory Las Vegas, 3801 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV
Stand-Up on the Spot with Nikki Glaser, Zainab Johnson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Keenan Baker, Jeremiah Watkins, Tuesday, November 8, 2022
The legendary West Hollywood Sunset Strip room is a perfect place to watch Nikki Glaser ply her trade – a 21st Century Rusty Warren with a foul mouth and a freakishly fine-boned stand-up set. Also on the smart bill is actor and comedian Mary Lynn Rajskub who most audiences will recognize for having saved (or doomed) the world several times over as Chloe O’Brian in the Fox network, action thriller series 24, or as Gail the Snail in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
The Belly Room at the Comedy Store, 8433 Sunset Blvd. at East La Cienega, West Hollywood, CA.
Jenny Slate, Wednesday, November 9, 2022
For the third night of the New York Comedy Festival (more of this annual event of stand-up, improv, sketch and live podcasting will litter my list), stand-up comedian and sketch variety show host turned actor Jenny Slate from Bored to Death, Bob’s Burgers and the animated Big Mouth hits the large stage of my favorite room in NYC, the Town Hall (Slate is also family friendly as her children’s short film and book series Marcel the Shell with Shoes On continues to be a big hit with kids and moms alike). She is also a winner as an actor as her role in Obvious Child netted Slate a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actress in a Comedy, an Independent Spirit Award and a Gotham Independent Film Award, and she more than likely will get an Oscar nom for the 20222 science-fiction film Everything Everywhere All At Once. What comedy stand-up will she do at Town Hall? Who cares? It’s going to be smart stuff.
The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street (between 6th Avenue and Broadway), New York City, NY
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend Thursday, November 10, 2022
The New York Comedy Festival only comes once a year so excuse me if I stick to NYC. This is a big moment. For as hailed and regarded as Conan O’Brien has been for his writing (Saturday Night Live (1988–1991), The Simpsons (1991–1993), his television hosting (Late Night (1993–2009), The Tonight Show (2009–2010), Conan (2010–2021) and his televised travelogues (Conan Without Borders), it is as a podcaster where he’s truly come into his own after nearly 40 years in the comedy business. The top podcast on iTunes, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend finds the comedian Team Coco digital media business leader talking to, and with, anyone who’ll give him time – Will Ferrell, Barack Obama – and with his usual outrageousness absurdity as his primary tool. And no, I don’t know what Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend will look like in a live setting.
Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, New York City, NY
Jessica Kirson, Friday, November 11, 2022
Kirson isn’t only an astute observational-ist of the human condition and the comedy club tradition (as witnessed most recently in the Netflix comedy special Bill Burr Presents: Friends Who Kill from the Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival). She was a writer, consultant and producer on the Robert De Niro film The Comedian (OK, don’t hold that against her). Kirson was behind the Jerky Boys-like prank call album, with Rachel Feinstein. She is the owner of two podcasts, the character-driven Disgusting Hawk, and the interview heavy Relatively Sane. And Kirson is the filmmaker behind FX’s Hysterical feature-length documentary that looks at the changing landscape of women in stand-up comedy with Margaret Cho, Nikki Glazer and Chelsea Handler.
Punch Line Philly, 33 E Laurel Street, Philadelphia, PA
Melissa Villaseñor, Saturday, November 12, 2022
The shyest and subtlest of comedians, Melissa Villaseñor – the first-ever Latina cast member of the late night staple, Saturday Night Live and its most accomplished of musical impressionists – never seemed to completely fit into SNL’s nervous electricity. Which, for the reasons of mental health said she, Villaseñor left the gig for which she is most famous. This isn’t the first time that Villaseñor – new to podcasting with Laughing with Myself – has gone the stand-up, comedy club route. Villaseñor’s current “Whoops….Tour,” is, however, the first time that she’ll be relaxed fit about it since the days before SNL. Plus, she’ll be in Brooklyn, her home turf. Bonus points for sly comfortability.
The Bell House, 49 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Emma Willmann, Sunday, November 13, 2022
The one-time co-star of the musical sit-com at the CW, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the host and showrunner of SiriusXM’s The Check Spot and a regular on the Gay Girl Straight Girl promises devilish, daring relationship and intimate sex comedy with an historical perspective on the diversity of women in comedy.