NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 9/12/11

September 12, 2011

For full details, please visit

For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

Chris Gethard and Puppy

Comedy genius Chris Gethard performs at new UCBeast stand-up show Wheelhouse; puppies are on parade at Hot Tub Variety...

Kate McKinnon

...Kate McKinnon's stellar group Gramp's performs sketch on Maude Night...


...and more puppies 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: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 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): Comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, back from their second year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they were proclaimed “biggest revelation” by the Guardian, performing a brand new sketch show: Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting

7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 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

[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (unusually, not yet announced) performing stand-up at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Todd Barry (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, FX’s Louie, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), Jiwon Lee (Comedy Central), musical guest Franz Nicolay, and puppies being hugged at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety: 2nd Annual 9/11 Memorial Puppy Hugging Parade

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comedy genius Chris Gethard (world-class improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard ShowMagic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter), plus stand-ups Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Nick Vatterott, Katey Healy-Wurzburg, and Amber Nelson at this new weekly stand-up show at UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B) hosted by ace improvisor and aspiring stand-up Will Hines: Wheelhouse

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): One of UCBT’s very finest in-house sketch comedy troupes Dweeb(spearheaded by the razor-sharp Amy Heidt and Stephen Soroka), plus in-house troupe Thunder Gulch (which isn’t what it used to be, but features such appealing talents as Leslie Meisel, Ari Scott, and Amber Nelson), trying out new bits at Maude Night

8:00 pm ($5): Any show ballsy enough to begin its description with “Have you ever loved a mop? Susan-Kate Heaney has…” is worth exploring. This one-woman show is happening at The PIT: Confessions of a Mop-oholic

8:30 pm ($5): “A spectacular implosion of clown, medicine show, and sideshow theatrics” at The Magnet: Clown Baggage

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCBT has developed several terrific in-house sketch comedy troupes, but only two of them currently rival the finest sketch groups in the country. One is Stone Cold Fox (which now has a stellar show every Friday at 7:30 pm). The other is Gramp’s, spearheaded by comedy genius Kate McKinnon, which is performing tonight. Kate’s group will be trying out all-new bits this evening, but the chances are a bunch of them will be breathtakingly smart, inventive, and hilarious. Also on this double-bill is house troupe Onassis, which isn’t in the same league, but includes such notable performers as Sue Galloway—all at Maude Night

9:30 pm ($5): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at Act One

9:30 pm ($5): “A drama written by teen Jerome McDonough that teaches teens about the evils of alcohol abuse. A talented and twistedly funny group of adults (the Marumsco Valley Players) will present the hard-hitting play, stage directions and all—while under the influence!:” Alky

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Long-form improv from troupe Casual Sex Offenders at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: CSO Improv Comedy

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner & Chelsea Clarke hosting a show with guest improvisors at UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest stand-ups in the world—who tonight include Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim) and Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, Comedy Central)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash

For full details, please visit

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.