NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/6/10

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Ted Alexandro and Jeff Hiller

World-class stand-up Ted Alexandro performs tonight at Whiplash, brilliant improvisor Jeff Hiller makes up a musical on the spot at Diamond Lion...

Naked in a Fishbowl

...and Brenna Palughi (left) and Daliya Karnofsky (right) tonight may once again subtly express skepticism at the plans of the breathtaking Lauren Seikaly at the wonderful theatrical improv show Naked in a Fishbowl

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] [$] [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 episode, Brenna Palughi provided an unforgettable description of her experience drinking a liter of salt water to achieve a “master cleanse.” With that warning, watch the video and be forever altered…

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Fine NYC stand-ups Roger Hailes (Comedy Central), Mark Normand (Last Comic Standing; co-host of We’re All Friends Here), Myka Fox (Comical Radio), Mara Herron (Sirius Radio), and Kevin Barnett (College Humor) performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

7:00 pm ($5): An all-gal improv troupe consisting of Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell, with tonight’s guest guy improvisor Paul Wielunski (Bad Luck Rising), performing as Goldie and the Hawns

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): Myq Kaplan (finalist on this summer’s Last Comic StandingConan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents half-hour special), Adam Lowitt (Producer at The Daily Show, co-host of stand-up show It Is It), and musical guest Amy Miles (Michael Showalter’s The Baxter, David Wain’s The Ten, Children’s Hospital) 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, Stone Cold Fox and Gorilla Gorilla, trying out new bits at Maude Night

8:00 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever), Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host ofRighteous Kill), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel), and Ben Kissel (Roundtable of Gentlemen) performing at the White Rabbit (145 East Houston Street) for John Szeluga’s Not Friday

8:00 pm ($5): “Best friends Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixell created an Internet phenomenon by challenging pairs of women to double date them and documenting the hilarious results for YouTubers everywhere. Two hundred dates later, their experiences were translated into reenactments, educational songs, and valuable lessons in everything from dancing to kissing. Tonight, these dating experts employ audience-recounted horror stories as inspiration for improvised scenes, in an attempt to enlighten you on the art of romance:” Dating Coaches

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, Ashley Ward, and tonight’s guest Jon Gabrus (The Law Firm)—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 Ted Alexandro (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials, recent perfect set at Carnegie Hall opening for Louis C.K.), Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveLouie, Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson), and more—guest-hosted by the wonderful Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1) at Whiplash

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

For full details, please visit

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