NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday August 24 – Friday August 28, 2009

For full details, please visit

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.

Janeane Garofalo performs on Wednesday at Totally J/K

Janeane Garofalo performs on Wednesday at Totally J/K

Recommendations for the best in New York City comedy for August 24- 27, 2009 (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

Monday 8/24 at 6:30 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel

[TOP PICK] Monday 8/24 at 8:00 pm ($5): Superb stand-ups Christian Finnegan ((three Comedy Central specials, commentator on MNBC’s Countdown with Keith Oberman and VH1’s Best Week Ever; Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show, commentator on MNBC, creator/star of Shoot the Messenger), Ritch Duncan, Gilad Foss, and more at performing at Lolita Bar in Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

Monday 8/24 at 8:00 pm ($5): UCBT house comedy troupes High Treason and Slow Burn try out their newest sketch material at Maude Night

Monday 8/24 at 9:30 pm ($5): Superb comics Peter Grosz (writer for The Colbert Report, star of over 100 Sonic fast-food commercials, co-writer & co-star of UCBT sketch show The Steve Miller Band and Other Annoying Monsters) and John Lutz (writer & occasional actor on SNL since 2004; recurring character on 30 Rock) perform two-man improv in 2 Square

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Monday 8/24 at 11:00 pm: A gathering of some of the finest comics in the country—tonight including two of my favorite stand-ups ever, comedy giants Pete Holmes and Anthony Jeselnik—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

[TOP PICK] Tuesday 8/25 at 8:00 pm ($5): Comics writer Marc Bernardin (Monster Attack Network, Genius, The Authority) and comics writer/artist Porter Mason (Bassist Wanted) joining in on a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club

Tuesday 8/25 from 8:00 pm to midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Scootch, Ragnaröck, Penthouse Riot, Law Firm, and The Bishop—followed by UCBT students at the top 600 level performing improv as citizens of Tiny Town, all at Harold Night

[FREE] Tuesday 8/25 at 8:00 pm: Dan St. Germain and Sean Donnelly host a free stand-up show at the Legion Bar in Brooklyn with terrific guests Kumail Nanjiani, Ali Wong, Kevin McCaffrey, Mike Drucker, and Jesse Pop: Sean and Dan Need Your Help

Tuesday 8/25 at 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): Delightful stand-up comics Jackie Monahan, Leah Dubie, Amy Beckerman, and Gloria Bigelow performing and hosting guest comics Ophira Eisenberg, Kendra Cunningham, and Shawn Hollenbach in Ochi’s Lounge at Dykes on Mics

[FREE] Wednesday 8/26 from 6:00 pm to midnight: six free hours of improvisation in The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] Wednesday 8/26 at 8:00 pm ($5): Movie & TV comedy superstar Janeane Garofalo and movie & Daily Show star Wyatt Cenac perform stand-up at an extravaganza hosted by the hilarious Joe Mande and Noah Garfinkel: Totally J/K

[FREE] Wednesday 8/26 at 8:00: Sharp NYC stand-ups at a free weekly stand-up comedy show at Rodeo Bar hosted by the luminous Margie Kment & Matt Maragno: Now We’re Talking

[FREE] Wednesday 8/26 at 8:00: Sharp NYC comics John Flynn, Chelsea White, Manson Family Singers, Rich Brooks, Rocco Supreme, and Michele Carlo at a free weekly show hosted by Sharon “Mama” Spell: Shrink

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Wednesday 8/26 at 8:30 pm: Typically superb stand-ups at a free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Gabe Liedman & Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] Wednesday 8/26 at 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers Curtis Gwinn, Anthony Atamanuik, John Flynn, John Gabrus, and wonderful host David Martin tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious, with tonight’s theme “Summer Jobs:” The Nights of Our Lives

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Wednesday 8/26 at 10:00 pm ($15 online if you order before day of show, plus 2-item min.): A gathering of some of the most brilliant and hilarious stand-up comics in the country—with the lineup to be posted here as soon as it’s available—performing at this monthly comedy event that should not be missed: ComedyJuice

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Wednesday 8/26 at 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) provides a mix of guests who perform stand-up, improv, sketch, 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 uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible: School Night

Thursday 8/27 at 8:00 pm ($5): Sharp improvisors directed by James Eason “take an audience suggestion and break it into a million funny pieces” in The Deconstruction

Thursday 8/20 at 8:00 pm ($8): Clever wordplay, conceptual comedy, and relentless silliness—applied to a parody of the already-goofy film Con Air—from sketch troupe Elephant Larry

[TOP PICK] Thursday 8/27 at 11:00 pm ($5): The most winning improv troupe in UCBT history, Death by Roo Roo, tonight defends its championship against troupe Dead Presidents in a competition for audience votes and laughs: Cage Match

[TOP PICK] Friday 8/28 at 9:30 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

Friday 8/28 at 10:00 pm ($5): Singing improvisors who use an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[TOP PICK] Friday 8/28 at 11:00 pm ($5): Stellar comics—Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Rodgers, Gavin Speiller, Andree Vermeulen, and Zach Woods—perform fresh sketch comedy from razor-sharp writers Neil Casey, John Frusciante, Dan Gregor, Dan Gurewitch, Anthony King, Craig Rowin, Eric Scott, Nate Smith, Caitlin Tegart, and Greg Tuculescu at a show directed by Will Hines and hosted tonight by superb stand-up Hannibal Burress: Beneath Gristedes

[FREE] Saturday 8/29 at 12:20ish am: Your opportunity to perform on the UCBT stage with improv veterans, hosted by stellar troupe The Law Firm: Jammin’ with Ralph

[$] Saturday 8/29 at 12:30 am ($31.25 & 2-drink min.) A provocative comedy star who’s written for Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Saturday Night Live, and performed on Chappelle’s Show and David Letterman, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Paul Mooney

More broadly, to check all comedy shows in the major low-cost NYC comedy venues, please visit these Web sites:

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

The Peoples Improv Theater

Ochi’s Lounge at Comix

The Magnet

The Creek and the Cave (Queens LIC)

Union Hall (Brooklyn)

And for comedy clubs, please visit:


Carolines Comedy Club Discounts

For full details, please visit

For comprehensive FringeNYC 2009 coverage, please click here.

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