NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/2/12

January 2, 2012

For full details, please visit

New Year, Healthier You: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.

Reggie Watts

Musical improv genius Reggie Watts performs at "Whiplash"...

Brandon Gulya

...and Brandon Gulya hopes to be "Famous Soon"

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

7:00 pm ($5): An audience interactive one-woman show at The Magnet described as follows: “Tarot cards are an ancient system of divination, steeped in mystery and esoteric wisdom. Marcy Currier is a 33-year-old woman with a million ideas and an unreasonable point of view. Together, they will answer your questions about the great mysteries of life: love, sex, money, and getting the dishes done. This show is about you, so bring questions for…:” Tarot Live!

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 & Carol Hartsell’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 7:30 pm: RG Daniels (host of Sunday Night Stand-Up), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales), Adam Cozens, Lance Weiss, and Toby Muresianu performing at a free weekly stand-up 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

8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, Joanna Bradley performs a one-woman show in which she proves that she’s neither dumb nor boring, but might need a bit more discipline in creating a consistently entertaining journey for the audience. Digressions include singing a song she warns us won’t be funny, and then it really isn’t—and so shouldn’t have been included; and taking most of her clothes off and telling us there’s no reason for her doing so, and this is once again true (aside from it being a signature move for her director, the wonderful Becky Drysdale; but Becky always uses this to make the performer vulnerable and open up, while Joanna defeats that by continuing to hide behind sarcasm…). Bradley is appealing as a performer, though, and that might be reason enough to experience Everybody’s Dumb and Boring

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a new one-woman show by Sue Smith about anger, directed by the always inventive and delightful Laura Grey: Minimum Rage

8:00 pm ($5): Charmingly silly & very funny performer Brandon Gulya tries his hand at also being a charming & very funny writer with this one-man show he’s hoping will make his career: Brandon Gulya Will Be Famous Soon; plus in the other half of this UCB East double-bill, improvisor Patrick Noth and beatbox sound master Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan freestyle rap a fully improvised Harold at MC Harold

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Mike Racine (Comedy Central), Jaqi Furback, and Dan Wilbur performing at the One and One Bar (1st Street & First Avenue) for this weekly stand-up show hosted by Louis Katz, Tim Dimond, and J. F. Harris: Raw Guts

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): This revival of one of my all-time favorite UCB Chelsea shows involves a group of stellar comics taking an audience suggestion and, while sipping beers, telling personal tales related to it—with an emphasis on the ribald and ridiculous, just like what you’d want to hear from your friends while hanging out at a bar. The yarn spinning is great fun; but on top of that, when the performers hear a story that especially tickles them, they’ll jump up and instantly create scenes revolving around it. And because these talents are razor-sharp improvisors, the results are hilarious. Just as a sidenote, this show used to include world-class storyteller Chris Gethard—and whenever Chris opened his mouth, everyone else went dead silent as if God was about to speak. (Yes, Chris is that respected by his peers.) Chris is now tied up with other things, but tonight will be a fine show regardless thanks to such brilliant improvisors as UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, UCBT Artistic Associate John Frusciante, and Fran Gillespie: Happy Hour

[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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Jordon Ferber, Seth Joseph, Jen Mutascio, Evon Cambell, Mike Cannon, Jim Tews, and Jessica Watkins performing at Pat O’Shea’s free biweekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid

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

10:00 pm ($5): Improv that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby

[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 Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; Comedy Central special; Jimmy Fallon; Electric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Katie Crown (Comedy Central’s Hotbox, MTV, Comedians Of Comedy Tour)—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; brand new book A Bad Idea I’m About to Do): 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 at The PIT upstairs theatre 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

New Year, Healthier You: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.