NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 8/19/13

August 19, 2013

For my FringeNYC 2013 coverage, updated daily, please click here.

John Flynn and Jeff Simmermon

Stellar storytellers John Flynn, Jeff Simmermon, and Robin Gelfenbien are the guests at tonight’s East Village extravaganza Adventures with Melanie Hamlett…

Mike Drucker and Mark Normand

…and hilarious stand-ups Mike Drucker, Mark Normand, Todd Barry, and more perform 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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): A powerhouse lineup of storytelling show hosts John Flynn (rising star storyteller/actor; Saturday Night Live, The Nights of Our Lives, host of Oh, Hey Guys!), Robin Gelfenbien (host of Yum’s the Word; VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC), and Jeff Simmermon (NPR’s The American Life, Moth StorySlam Champion, host of And I Am Not Lying) telling true tales of hair-raising adventures, and also sharing shorter anecdotes on the fly in a campfire setting, with wonderful host Melanie Hamlett (three-time Moth StorySlam Champion; Dr. Oz; co-author of book Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, contributor to Marie Claire Magazine and Nerve.com, roving adventurer who tours the globe to find memorable tales). This is among my all-time favorite shows, and one of the only comedy events for which I’m taking a break from FringeNYC. Please join me at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) for surreal travel slides, camp intimacy, and astounding stories at Adventures with Melanie Hamlett

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A stand-up who’s performed on HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, and Comedy Central tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Bonnie McFarlane

[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): At UCB East, Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Eugene Mirman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), Becky Yamamoto (rave reviews from The New York Times and The New Yorker; former beard-wearing member of band Stickerbook), Nat Towsen (co-host of The Moon Show), and Ahmed Bharoocha performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Seaton Smith (Opie & Anthony Virus Tour): Night Train

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and more performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): John Mulaney, Tom Papa, Big Jay Oakerson, and More

8:00 pm ($5): Making great use of UCB East’s previous incarnation as an indie movie theatre, tonight features screenings of select films running five minutes or less—most of them funny—crafted in the style of TV pilots. The shorts receiving the most audience votes get to continue with additional episodes, while the others are “canceled” at Channel 101

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups (not yet announced) performing at the Niagra Bar (112 Avenue A & 7th Street) for this weekly show hosted by Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012) & DJ CnC: Crickets

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15 if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $20], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is recommended): Terrific lineup of 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), Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), and Frank Vignola performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel: Todd Barry, Mark Normand, Mike Drucker, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): A triple-bill of the relatively rare form of solo long form improv from 1 Deep (Shacottha Fields), Andy, Please! (Andy Moskowitz), and Pepita (Elana Fishbein) at The Magnet theatre: Solo

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1) performs a club-length headlining set at The PIT upstairs theatre: Dan St. Germain

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Tami Sagher (former writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006) and Chris Gethard (comedy genius; The Office, Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York) perform duo improv at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Sagher & Gethard

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups (not announced) presumably auditioning for spots on a Comedy Central show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Comedy Central Showcase

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Subhah Agarwal, Angel Castillo, Dave Wisell, Dean Masello, Debbie Bazza and Mack Lindsay performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) with host Pat O’Shea: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Dave Attell (one of the most respected stand-ups in the biz; star of Showtime’s Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Central’s Insomniac; HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Mark Normand (hilarious rising star; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here) and more performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Dave Attell, Nick Griffin, Mark Normand, and More

10:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet from a group that promises to create “a universe of unique sensation, demonstrations, and displays appealing to the sensible and nervous alike:” The Boss

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Whiplash

Monday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

6:00 pm ($5 cover for comics, no cover for audience with code HyReviews, plus 1-drink min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 1/2 minutes per set and 20 comics crammed into 2 hours—at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal Street) for John Morrison’s Village Motel

6:00 pm & 8:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, with each show running 1 hour and 45 minutes. Arrive 30 minutes before the show you want to be in to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Abigoliah Schamaun & Peggy O’Leary: Dicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”), hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Open-Mic Storytelling with Julia Wiedeman

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Monday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Tim Duffy: Comics Phoning It In

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

10:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

[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 & Langston Belton: Base Jam

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night. 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 Jarrid Reed: Fresh

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.