NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/16/12

April 16, 2012

For more, please visit

Colin Quinn

Colin Quinn performs at Big Shrink...

Todd Barry

...and Todd Barry headlines at Morrison Motel

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

6:00 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—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for Carol Hartsell’s & John Morrison’s Motel Luca

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with each of the four audience members chosen from the bucket of names getting to tell tales for 7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

7:00 pm ($5): Young comics performing sketch comedy at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Disappointments

7:00 pm ($5): At The Magnet, Athos Cakiades performs a one-man sketch show exploring “marginal portraits of masculinity:” Cock of the Walk

[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 ($5): Comedy genius Kate McKinnon used to dominate UCB Chelsea with her dark and deliciously quirky sketch shows. Now Kate is at Saturday Night Live, the show she was born to shine on. Meanwhile, nobody on an NYC stage has really stepped into the void Kate left…but this show is the closest I’ve seen so far as a contender. Sue Galloway delivers smart, organic, beautifully crafted physical & verbal comedy that’s fresh, specific, at times surreal, and very funny. It’s no easy thing to walk the tightrope between darkness and hilarity, but Sue manages it here with impressive grace. Kudos also go to UCBT’s Artistic Director Nate Dern, who did a brilliant job of providing guidance and judgment as the show’s director. Ignore this production’s lame title and official description, which don’t do it justice, and simply come to see one of the best one-woman sketch shows of 2012: Pose

…and in the other half of this double-bill, the debut of an improv show spearheaded by Nate Dern in which an audience member is interviewed about his or her love life as the springboard for inventive comedic scenes: What I Did For Love

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Carmen Lynch (sharp & adorable Last Comic Standing finalist; Comedy Central), and Tony Camin The Marijuana-Logues) 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Wonderful improv trio Doppelganger, delightful singing duo Reformed Whores, and stand-ups Amber Nelson, Kara Klenk, Glennis McCarthy, Annie Lederman, and Kate Berlant performing at UCB East for Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15 if you mention [otherwise $20], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is recommended): 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), Victor Varnado (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central, NBC’s My Name is Earl, Adult Swim, Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show; films Pluto Nash, End of Days, A Guy Thing), Sue Funke, Mike Trainor, Andy Pitz, and Tony Kelly performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, “different teams of improvisers explore curious and confounding questions of pop culture, science, history, ‘common knowledge,’ and more. Like the Internet, it is full inaccuracies and entertaining nonsense but will always find the truth in the end! Written & hosted by Lisa Flanagan, this is Citation Needed

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups including Dan Soder (and also officially including Arden Myrin, though since Arden’s due at UCB East for Big Shrink at 9:30 that’ll be tricky to pull off) performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Matchless (557 Manhattan Avenue) hosted by Mike Denny, Michael Che, and/or Nimesh Patel: Broken Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): TV & Broadway star Colin Quinn, Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, Chelsea Lately, host of The Party Machine; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Bridey Elliott (David Letterman), Squirm & Germ, and more performing at UCB East hosted by Sharon Spell and featuring The Shrink Dancers: The Big Shrink

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: The Prom (which is overflowing with wonderful talent, including Sasheer Zamata, Stephen Soroka, Amber Nelson, Ari Scott, and Siobhan Thompson), and Everything Rabbits (which includes the lovely & uniquely hilarious Violet Krumbein): Maude Night: The Prom & Everything Rabbits

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Improv spinning off stand-up sets, with typically stellar performers all-round, performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Micah Sherman: Fun

9:30 pm ($8): “An evening of disquieting scenes and considerations” in this sketch comedy show Sarah Nowak & Kevin Townley at The PIT upstairs theatre: Dark Teen Poetry

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Nick Ruggia, Kate Hendricks, Douglas Smith, Garry Hannon, and Kip Potharas performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[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 and hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): 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 more, please visit

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