NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 10/17/11

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Janeane Garafalo

Janeane Garofalo debuts her own monthly comedy show with an all-star lineup of Dave Hill, Jessi Klein, Brooke Van Poppelen, and The Onion head writer Todd Hanson: "Persons of Interest"...

Chris Gethard

...and Chris Gethard (above), Glenn Wool, Baron Vaughn, Adam Cayton-Holland, and Jessica Kirson perform on what promises to be an exceptional edition of "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: 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 on The PIT stage…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & 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 star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB West and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Top NYC stand-ups audition at UCB East for spots in a new Comedy Central series, with the participants Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Nikki Glaser (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, podcast You Had to Be There), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted rising star; Jimmy Fallon, MTV, VH1; for reenactment of Dan’s breakup, please click here), Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing), and Kevin Barnett (College Humor), hosted by Adam Newman (College Humor): Comedy Central Stand-Up TV Auditions

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Glenn Wool (Comedy Central; terrific UK comedy star), Lady Carol (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and more performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). Kurt & Kristen are out of town this week, but subbing for them are stellar guest hosts Joe Mande & Noah Garfinkel (hosts of Totally J/K): Hot Tub Variety

8:00 pm ($10): Twins Todd & Adam Stone perform stand-up and more at this monthly show at The PIT, along with comedy guests (not announced): Stone and Stone Show

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10 cover & $10 min.; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats, because this will sell out): Movie & TV star Janeane Garofalo, who was a pioneer of NYC downtown comedy, has decided to host her own monthly comedy show—starting tonight! Janeane’s scheduled guests are Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of Miami, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Dave Hill Explosion), Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer forSaturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC; co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), and Todd Hanson (head writer for The Onion; Adult Swim’s Squidbillies and Aqua Teen Hunger Force;The Aristocrats) performing at the Cornelia Street CafeJaneane Garofalo and Persons of Interest

8:30 pm ($5): Jarret Berenstein and friends debuting a show at The Magnet featuring sketch, stand-up, storytelling, animation, and songs mixed together in a hopefully satisfying way: Boosh! Kla-Klau!; and in the other half of this double-bill, a mini-play about aspiring Country Western musicians: The Oakwood Boys

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: PIT owner Ali Farahnakian and the school’s razor-sharp instructors perform improv at The PIT downstairs lounge in The Faculty Part 2: Electric Boogaloo; plus improv troupe Technicolor

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCB West 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 Kate McKinnon’s Gramp’s; and the other, Stone Cold Fox, is performing tonight. Stone Cold Fox has a stellar “best of” show virtually every Friday at 7:30 pm, which I highly recommend catching. Tonight the troupe tries out new bits, with some hitting the mark and others misfiring, but hopefully the whole experience will be fun. Also on this double-bill is house troupe Arbuckle, which isn’t in the same league, but includes such notable performers as Violet Krumbein (currently in a national TV ad for an investment firm)—all at Maude Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Emmy Blotnick, Josh Lay, and Cory Cavin all blog for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and see everything on the internet. Everything. Join them and other comedians who perform on the Net and in the real world” at The PIT upstairs theatre—hopefully accompanied by choice Web videos: Goodnight Internet

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Mike Trainor, Daniel Menke, Rose Surnow, Johanna Ross, Neil Constantine, and Scott Sclendinger performing at Pat O’Shea’s free biweekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid

[FREE] 9:30 pm: “In moments of exhaustion, in the space of a hesitation, when a faltering spirit looms large, the sixth man comes off the bench and sparks a revolt against complacency and routine. The sixth man powers the team and washes over that faltering spirit with a cleansing energy. A show in which awesome teams are made even greater with the addition of a special guest improviser. Tag-ins, walk-ons, lay-ons, swinging doors, all manner of support work is allowed and encouraged” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Andy Beckerman and Cory Palmer: Sixth Man

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5—and possibly free pizza from New PIzza Town): Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), stand-up Nimesh Patel, and more performing at The Magnet for hosts Willy Appleman’s & Adam Lerman’s Deep Traffic

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—with tonight’s guests Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake and UCBT’s The Chris Gethard Show; Magic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives, author of book Weird New York; winner of 2011 ECNY Award for Best Tweeter), Glenn Wool (Comedy Central; terrific UK comedy star), Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Facing Kate and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Adam Cayton-Holland (award-winning stand-up comic who writes weekly humor column for Denver alt newspaper Westword; also writes online pieces—for example, a 9/3/08 entry chided a young political celeb’s blog for calling the First Lady poised and elegant, commenting “Laura Bush ‘poised’? Pshaw! The woman has the wild-eyed look of a feral, cornered rabbit, like she’s either going to dart the f*ck away or go straight for your jugular, Bunnicula-style…And she looks about as elegant as a Texas whore who one day dreams of singing alongside the piany;” for a video sample, please click here), and Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at UCB West’s Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! 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 at this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

For full details, please visit

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