NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/26/10

For full details, please visit

For Hy’s take on Last Comic Standing, please click here.

Jennifer Coolidge

The beginning of a week of blowout comedy tonight features Jennifer Coolidge delivering a breathtaking stand-up set at Comix...

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

...the smartest & funniest comedy improv troupe in the world kicking off a spectacular week-long run in NYC to help pave the way for this weekend's legendary Del Close Marathon: The Improvised Shakespeare Company...

Matt Besser

...and legendary improvisor Matt Besser joining such other genius comics as John Mulaney and Chris Gethard at Whiplash

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($17.50 online with discount code NIFF): My #1 pick for the2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, and Lauren Seikaly, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest and nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then nab tickets for tonight’s eighth installment at the Soho Playhouse of a 10-week Monday night run: Naked in a Fishbowl

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Nore Davis, Trey Galyon, Amanda Baramki, Larry Bailey, Dino Vigo, and Dan Carroll performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:30 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 the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12.90 online, $12 at the door—but buy in advance, because every performance will sell out): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight begins a week-long NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Try to catch every single performance of the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($24.78 online if you use code VIPJULY, plus 2-item minimum): Last night, at a sold-out event at the Comix Comedy Club, an improvisor/actress best known as Stifler’s mom in the American Pie movies and a variety of oddball characters in Christopher Guest’s mockumentary films—and who once candidly observed “I like going back and doing a sequel; it’s the only chance to really ask for some money”—demonstrated that in addition to being great on film, she’s one of most razor-sharp, charming, and flat-out hilarious stand-ups in the biz. Don’t miss this extra chance to experience an extraordinary comic that—who knew?—was born to perform on a live stage and can do anything comedic: Jennifer Coolidge

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Some of the best  improvisors in the world—Tara Copeland (Mother, Ms. Jackson), Michael Delaney (Conan O’Brien, The Other Guys, The Stepfathers), Peter Gwinn (The Colbert Report, Baby Wants Candy), Arden Myrin (Mad TV, Chelsea Lately), and Michael Patrick O’Brien (Saturday Night Live)—mixing it up with Broadway & off-Broadway stars Kevin Kelly (Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night, The Brother/Sister Plays), Sandy Rustin (Neil Simon’s Hotel Suite, The Scariest Show on TV), Julie Sharbutt (Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night, Little Cecily), and Amy Warren (August: Osage County, The Adding Machine) as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, host of wonderful The Rejection Show), Greg Barris (Comedy Death Ray), and more performing stand-up at a free weekly LES show at Pianos hosted by Willy Appelman: It Is It

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Sara Schaefer (brilliant, inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), TV star Caroline Rhea, Costaki Economopoulos, Giulia Rozzi, Ryan Hamilton, and Jo Romero performing in the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12.90 online, $12 at the door): A Chicago-based troupe that’s wowed audiences around the world with their skill at creating a completely improvised hour-long musical. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment; even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are made up on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award last August for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event at the magical Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Michael Patrick O’Brien (staff writer for Saturday Night Live) performs a one-show show that begins with his trying to break a randomly selected Guinness World Record “using only a small bag of props and the advice of audience members,” followed by “an inspired sort of looniness,”at Shatter

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 online using discount code IMPROV): Chicago-based TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are widely considered among the finest long-form improvisors alive. Just by feeling their way through moment by moment, they create one-hour tales that most authors couldn’t match with months of labored writing. Tonight is the finale of their four-evening run at The Barrow Street Theatre: TJ & Dave

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the country—tonight including legendary improvisor Matt Besser (co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade), Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of upcoming Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake;Magic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York), John Mulaney (writer/performer for Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Brendon Walsh (stand-up visiting from LA), and Chris Locke (stand-up visiting from Toronto)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit

For Hy’s take on Last Comic Standing, please click here.

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