Our guide to stand-up, improv and variety shows happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
DAVE ATTELL at Carolines on Broadway (Dec. 26 and 29, 8 p.m.; Dec. 27-28, 8 and 10:30 p.m.). Earlier this year, Jason Zinoman of The New York Times described Attell as the best argument “for the aesthetic of New York club comedy.” A comedian beloved by other comedians, Attell embodies the topicality of Mort Sahl and the transgressive traditions of Lenny Bruce, combined with a fastidious yearning for the perfect joke. He headlines this holiday weekend in Times Square.
BABY WANTS CANDY at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater Hell’s Kitchen (Dec. 28, 10:30 p.m.). First formed in Chicago, and now with branches in New York City and Los Angeles, this improv group makes up a complete musical theater production on the spot, based on a fake title suggested by the audience. The Big Apple cast currently includes Amber Ruffin, a writer and performer on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” Jeff Hiller (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Playing House” and “30 Rock”) and Becky Drysdale, a writer on past episodes of “High Maintenance” and “Key & Peele.”
‘BLACK GUYS’ at Cherry Tree (Dec. 28, 9:30 p.m.). The guys referred to in the title, Brian Mitchell and Tyler Richardson, host this monthly showcase at a bar near Barclays Center. This time, their featured guests include Eagle Witt and Adrienne Iapalucci, whose new special premieres on New Year’s Eve as part of the second season of Netflix’s “The Degenerates.”
[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]
RAY DEJON 2ND ANNUAL HOLIDAY COMEDY SHOW at Kings Theater (Dec. 28, 8 p.m.). DeJon, who D.J.s “The Take Over” on Saturday afternoons on 103.9 FM, presides over this stand-up soiree in Brooklyn. Capone, known for hosting the long-running and ever-popular Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater, joins him, along with the sitcom veterans Carl Payne (“Martin,” “The Cosby Show”), John Henton (“Living Single,” “The Hughleys”) and Cocoa Brown, who has a recurring role on the Fox drama “9-1-1.”
‘I COULD HAVE BEEN A …’ at Caveat (Dec. 27, 9:30 p.m.). You might wonder what would happen if the funny person in your workplace actually tried to make a career in comedy. But what about the reverse? Chelsea Dallas Falato hosts this look into a parallel universe, in which comedians reveal how their lives and careers would have gone if they couldn’t earn a living in the funny business. Anita Flores, Anna Roisman and others will speculate.
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