NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/21/12

May 21, 2012

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Scott Adsit and John Lutz

30 Rock’s Scott Adsit and John Lutz will blow the roof off as genius improv duo John & Scott…

Hannibal Buress and Janeane Garofalo

…and Hannibal Buress and Janeane Garofalo perform stellar stand-up at the Morrison Motel

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 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: 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

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12; SOLD OUT, but there’s a slim chance of getting in via a stand-by line at the door): Jim O’Grady (WNYC), Ed Gavagan (The Moth, TED), Cammi Climaco (Ask Me Stories), Slash Coleman (NPR, Frigid Festival), and Michelle-Leona Godin telling tales about this month’s topic “Running on Fumes” at UNDER St. Marks with host Seth Lind (NPR’s This American Life): Told: Running on Fumes

7:00 pm ($8): 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): Comics of a variety of races, views, and shoes perform a variety of comedy bits at The Magnet hosted by Chano Garcia: Stir the Pot

[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

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[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 Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Jordan Carlos (The Colbert Report, MTV’s I Want My Pants Back), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Mike Racine (Comedy Central), and Casey Ley (San Francisco SketchFest) 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] 8:00 pm ($5): 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, The Dave Hill Explosion, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; new book Tasteful Nudes), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Kevin Barnett (College Humor), and John F. O’Donnell (College Humor) performing stand-up at UCB East with the blessings of a highly notable TV network: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($11.34 [vs. $21.69] online using discount code LLED10): NYC stand-ups specializing in political humor make fun of our current election cycle at The Playroom Theater (151 West 46th Street); take advantage of discount code LLED10 to see this off-Broadway show for under $12: Laughing Liberally: Electile Dysfunction

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Murderfist (NYC’s fearless heavy metal version of a sketch troupe; winner of the 2010 ECNY Award), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Mara Herron (Web series That Chick Mara Herron), and more performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Mike Denyy, and/or Michael Che—and celebrating Michael Che’s birthday!: Broken Comedy

8:00 pm ($8): Improv performed by talented duos at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ampers&nd

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15 if you mention [otherwise $20], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is essential as this show is very nearly sold out): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, 2012 Comedy Awards’ “Best Club Comic,” one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Jimmy Tingle, Andy de la Tour, and Johnny Watson performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

8:30 pm ($5): Improv at The Magnet 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

9:30 pm ($8): Performers of The PIT’s Thursday musical improv shows form entirely new one-night-only groups to make up yet more musicals: Musical Improv Mix-Em-Up

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: Charlemagne (which includes such talents as Leslie Meisel) and Beige: Maude Night: Beige & Charlemagne

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set, and then a seasoned headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Charlie Kasov, Kendra Cunningham, Joe Pontillo, Debbie Bazza, Troy Bynum, Richard James, and Miguel Dalmau performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

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

[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 probably hosted by comedy genius Chris Gethard: 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 exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by the Thelma & Louise of comedy, Michelle Wolf & Erin Lennox: Fresh

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