NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/5/11

December 5, 2011

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The finest sketches from UCBT scripted comedy troupes Dweeb...

Thunder Gulch

...Thunder Gulch...




...and Gramp's for December's end-of-year Best of Maude Night

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): 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. Tonight is the final show for this season at the elegant Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): Naked in a Fishbowl

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch comedy troupe that believes “theatricality, production values, and the form of sketch comedy are not mutually exclusive” performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: People’s Sketch Association

7:00 pm ($5 for the entire evening): What I’m guessing is a one-woman show auditioning for a spot on The Magnet schedule: Sick Girl and Other Freaks of Nature

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 atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): In one of my favorite semi-annual events, for the next two MondaysUCB Chelsea hosts its house sketch troupes presenting their very best work to date for both your pleasure and posterity (each show will be videotaped). Performing for the 8:00 pm double-bill are Dweeb (which includes Stephen Soroka of BoF) and Thunder Gulch (which includes Leslie Meisel, Amber Nelson, and Ari Scott): The Best of Maude Night: Dweeb and Thunder Gulch

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Dave Hill, Todd Barry, and Bobby Tisdale celebrate the screening at UCB East of excerpts from Eugene Mirman’s brand new TV comedy pilot: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat: Eugene’s Pilot

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Utterly adorable comedic singers The Bandana Splits (for video samples, please click here and here), Phoebe Robinson (host of Case of the Mondays Comedy), and Dave Thunder (Conan O’Brien, ESPN) performing 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 with Kurt & Kristen

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here andhere), Nick Cobb (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing), Jim Tews, and Gary Vider performing at the One and One Bar (1st Street & First Avenue) for this new weekly stand-up show hosted by Louis Katz, Tim Dimond, and J. F. Harris: Raw Guts

8:00 pm ($5): A cross-pollinating, anything goes improv show at The PIT upstairs theatre that welcomes performers from a variety of comedy schools and styles to make up stuff together—ending with an open jam session that lets audience members on stage: Honey Badger

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($18): The winning team that created Pope!: An Epic Musical (a big hit at last year’s FringeNYC) and The Spidey Project (a media sensation) is now developing a pirate musical at The Magnet about “the dashing young hero Declan as he seeks out the vicious Martin La Foe, the second most famous pirate ever,” with book and lyrics by Justin Moran & Jon Roufaeal, and music by Adam & Matt Podd: Nightfall on Mirango Island

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): In one of my favorite semi-annual events, for the next two MondaysUCB Chelsea hosts its house sketch troupes presenting their very best work to date for both your pleasure and posterity (each show will be videotaped). Performing for the 9:30 pm double-bill are Onassis (which includes Lauren Conlin Adams of Pig: A Restaurant) and Gramp’s (which until recently was one of the finest sketch troupes in the country in large part thanks to Kate McKinnon; I’m especially eager to see how the troupe is doing with Kate in LA): The Best of Maude Night:Onassis and Gramp’s

9:30 pm ($5): Buoyant all-new sketch at The PIT upstairs theatre from troupe Boat

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales), Allison Castillo (HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, FOX), Mo Diggs, Kendra Cunningham, Justin Murray, Asi Monterez, Josh Carter, and J.F. Harris performing at Pat O’Shea’s free biweekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Typically stellar comics in a show “where improv and stand-up bleeds in and out of each other. One comedian starts with stand-up. Soon he or she is joined by a second comedian—and the two improvise scenes inspired by the first comic’s stand-up. Eventually the first comic leaves and the second comedian performs stand-up. When that set is over, her or she’s joined by the first comedian and a third comedian. The three improvise scenes inspired by the second comedian’s set. Then comedians one and two exit, and the third comedian performs his/her set until being joined by comedians one, two and a new fourth comedian…and so on. The process continues till we run out of comedians stashed backstage.” It’s all the brainchild of Nick Vatterott, who hosts this bold & messy new format at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Klusterphuk

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

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer forLate Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’sHuman Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night LiveDavid Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, upcoming one-hour Comedy Central special), Robert Kelly (Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Tourgasm, FX’s Louie, MTV, VH1), Sheng Wang—atUCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1): 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 at this stand-up open-mic at The PITupstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh

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:

For full details, please visit

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