NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/24/11

January 24, 2011

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For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

Host Leo Allen returns, and Ophira Eisenberg (above) performs for the first time on NYC's hottest stand-up showcase: Whiplash

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] 6:30 pm ($5): From a comic Time Out New York says delivers “categorically pitch- perfect one-man comedy” comes this one-man show: “When Ryan Paulson moved to New York City he was a husky boy. And he’d never had sex. Even with himself. How did this happen? Well, he grew up speaking in tongues in an ultra-conservative, fundamentalist church. But now he’s taking a crash course in sex, alcohol and self-pleasure. And it’s going pretty well…other than regularly being condemned to hell on MySpace:” Ryan Paulson: I’m Uncomfortable

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—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 6:30 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca

7:00 pm ($5): Jenny Dunne and Rick Andrews improvise a single moment in two characters’ lives again and again, exploring three parallel realities, and the difference that a look or tone can make; and duo improv from Ruby Marez and Binu Paulose will improvise within a single scene, in the double-bill The Cascade and RuBin

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Mike Lawrence (John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up Show), Esther Ku (Last Comic Standing), Nore Davis (MTV), Harriet Halloway, and Jason Burke performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 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), Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Jessica Delfino (enjoys singing songs about her vagina, as demonstrated by her CD Dirty Folk Rock; created the hilarious and wildly popular YouTube animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; has a cool MySpace page, and an even cooler blog; to get a feel for Jessica’s amazing range and talent, please click here), and Vincent Frisari (opera singer turned bagel salesman) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-director & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious new improv duo who should not be missed: John & Scott

8:00 pm ($5): Improv based on headlines from the amazing New York PostHeadless Body in Topless Bar

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): World-class storyteller 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) hosts a show that’s “like watching the characters of The Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption, with Time Out New York’s Comedy Editor Jane Borden, Megan Gray, Joe Dettmore, and Jake Goldman: Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm ($15 online or at the box office using discount codeFBKTJD): Chicago-based TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are a widely acclaimed improv duo. This is the last evening of their four-night run at The Barrow Street Theatre: TJ & Dave

9:30 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Stone Cold Fox and Arbuckle, trying out new bits at Maude Night

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: Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, Comedy Central), Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller and sharp stand-up; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Liar Show), Jay Pharoah (cast member of Saturday Night Live), and Nick Turner (co-host of Too Cool for School)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) 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 stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and Erin Lennox: Fresh

For my all-time favorite oddball comedy videos, please click here.

For full details, please visit