NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 11/8/10

November 8, 2010

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Wyatt Cenac and Morgan Murphy

World-class comics Wyatt Cenac (performing at Whiplash) and Morgan Murphy (performing at Hot Tub Variety)

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 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] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), along with guest storyteller Cyndi Freedman telling tales of Thanksgiving, with improv illustrator Sharon Spell drawing scenes as they’re described and the rockin’ BTK Band following up at 9:00 pm, all atUnder St. MarksThe Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($15 at the door on $18.50 online with discount codeFISHFAN): My #1 pick for the 2007 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, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, 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 & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see.

In last week’s show, Lauren Seikaly’s character started melting down when she learned her husband left his job at a top law firm to work for a low-paying nonprofit organization, which could result in major changes to her lifestyle. Meanwhile, Katharine Heller chose to commit to borrowing $50,000 from her boyfriend so she could have a house, in an episode titled “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Although every episode is a wonderful theatrical event, readers of this site no longer have to pay theatrical prices; you can see this show for a mere $15 by mentioning code FISHFAN at the door. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then get in the habit of attending the Soho Playhouse to experience the always fresh and surprising Naked in a Fishbowl

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, VH1), Liz Miele (Comedy Central, Carolines headliner), Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, Comedy Central, College Humor), Damien Lemon (NBC’s Stand Up For Diversity), and Jim Tews (2010 New York Comedy Contest winner) performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson (NBC, The New York Times): 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online or $8 at the door): Todd Barry (HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central PresentsThe Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Morgan Murphy (fresh, original, and fearlessly dark; The Comedians of Comedy; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon), Magic Brian (fun carny performer; David Letterman, The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus), and Nick Turner (College Humor, co-host of Too Cool for School) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Thunder Gulch and Gorillia Gorilla, trying out new bits at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Thomas Middleditch, Eliza Skinner, Mike Still, and tonight’s genius improv guest Anthony King (artistic director of UCBT-NY)—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion

10:00 pm ($5): Hip hop musical improv from Nick Brown, Don Romaniello, and Michael Short pretending to be NYC police officers: Rap Crimes Division

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Wyatt Cenac (correspondent for The Daily Show), superb storyteller Starlee Kine, Raj Desai, and Prescott Tolk—guest-hosted by Jared Logan (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, co-host of Righteous Kill) at Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on that show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills on this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and Erin Lennox:Fresh

For full details, please visit

For the best of Bill Hicks, please click here.