NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 2/20/12

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John Oliver

Comedy genius John Oliver will consider rolling around the floor for your amusement at the Morrison Motel...

Pig: A Restaurant

...while Lauren Conlin Adams stars in the smart comedic sketch play Pig: A Restaurant...

Todd Bieber's Commercial Interruption

...and on the same double-bill, Todd Bieber screens terrible TV commercials to create one of the best solo comedy shows in NYC: Commercial Interruption

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): Young improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Shady Bunch

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 Carol Hartsell’s & 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): Todd Bieber, the razor-sharp Director of Content & Production for, has had his video/film work viewed over 25 million times via such sites, and But before his success, Todd spent a couple of years churning out, as he bluntly puts it, “shitty local commercials in rural Pennsylvania.” If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of ridiculously awful late-night TV ads, or someone who likes to laugh, come enjoy this fascinating and hilarious insider look at microbudget commercials and the creative process (for a trailer, please click here). Directed by UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, this debuted in December and was instantly one of the very best solo shows of 2011: Commercial Interruption

…and in the second half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but pig (including “bacon-infused martinis”), written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams (keep an eye out for her Aurora, a hot and hilariously bubble-headed waitress): Pig: A Restaurant

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Superstar stand-up whose name I’m not allowed to say, but he’s pale and tells a lot of jokes about food including Hot Pockets; plus Rory Scovel (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central), 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 and here), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), and Jackie Kashian performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with guest host Jared Logan (rising star;Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of ComedyJuice): Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Some of the most talented women in NYC comedy—Adira Amram, Shannon O’Neill, Sasheer Zamata, Katina Corrao, Emily Heller, and more—performing at The PITupstairs theatre hosted by Glennis McCarthy: Gorgeous Women

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Practicing for their upcoming 30-minute Comedy Central Presentsspecials are Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; host of Joe Mande Presents at Carolines, co-host of Totally J/K; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster) and Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon, MTV, Second City) at UCB East for this two-set edition of Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

8:00 pm ($5, which includes FREE BEER): Mike Recine, Phoebe Robinson, David Foster, Chris Doucette, and Corinne Fisher performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Matchless (557 Manhattan Avenue) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and/or Nimesh Patel, and featuring free beer: Broken Comedy

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15 if you mention [otherwise $20], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is highly recommended because this willsell out): John Oliver (star correspondent of The Daily Show, co-star of NBC’s Community, star of Comedy Central’s New York Stand-Up Show, screenwriter, and genius stand-up comic), Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel; just returned from India!), Liam McEneaney (host of Tell Your Friends), and more performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Storytellers Elizabeth Blue, Gardiner Comfort, Eloise Eonnet, Chad Hoeppner, Phil Pickens, Matt Moses, and David Lee Nelson tells tales of New York at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Matt Dellapina: This Island

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: The Prom (which includes such talents as Sasheer Zamata, Stephen Soroka, Amber Nelson, and Ari Scott), and Everything Rabbits (which includes the lovely & uniquely hilarious Violet Krumbein): Maude Night:The Prom & Everything Rabbits

[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): After hosting her weekly comedy variety show for years in a shrunken venue, Sharon Spell tonight breaks out into the lovely UCB East theatre to present the delightful Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame), Ann Carr (Louie, The Actress), Mitch Magee (HBO’s Funny or Die Presents), The Shrink Dancers, and more: The Big Shrink

10:00 pm ($5): A new variety show in which comics perform characters, stand-up, and other bits atThe Magnet hosted by Jon Bander: What’s to Get?

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

[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 haven’t yet been announced, but you can check for an update here—performing at UCB Chelsea hosted by I have no idea who (but probably someone great): 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

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