NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 11/18/13

November 18, 2013

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Amber Nelson

Amber Nelson tells funny tales at the debut of Jake Hart’s Antagonists Storytelling Series…

Brandon Gulya

…and Brandon Gulya performs his surreal & fun one-man show Who Are You People and Why Are You Watching Me?

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:

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy duo Nick Kocher & Brian McElhaney perform new sketches at the UCB East theatre: BriTANicK

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Cammi Climaco (host of Ask Me Stories), Catie Lazarus (host of Employee of the Month), and Tyler Coates (Editor of Flavorwire) tell stories, plus three audience members who’ve dropped their names into a hat get selected to tell a How I Learned story for 5 minutes each and then receive friendly, constructive feedback from seasoned storytelling coaches Andy Christie (host of The Liar Show), Aaron Wolfe (Moth GrandSlam Champion), and Katherine Lanpher (journalist for Al Jazeera America) at the Housingworks Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street) hosted by Blaise Allysen Kearsley & Brad Lawrence: How I Learned…Best Of Show & Fundraiser

7:00 pm ($5): Brothers Kevin & Will Hines perform sketches based on bits they’ve invented during their years of improvising together at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Kevin Hines and Will Hines Do A Sketch Show

7:00 pm ($8): Gal trio Lindsay Bracco, Michelle Petterson, and Katherine Korsak “once upon a time longed to be a part of the picture-perfect world of Disney movies. Then reality set in. Watch them unravel as their dreams turn into nightmares in a series of sketches, songs, and dance numbers designed to tickle, tease, and torment” at The PIT upstairs theatre: B.R.B. Presents Google That Sh*t

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Damien Lemon (MTV2’s Guy Code, Comedy Central) tries out new material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Damien Lemon

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30ish pm: Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, Second City, 2012 Andy Kaufman Award), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Sasheer Zamata (rapidly rising star; ABC’s Would You Fall for That?, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Hey Girl, FX’s Totally Biased, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky, host of UCBT’s School Night), and Josh Rabinowitz (FX’s Louie, MTV’s I Just want My Pants Back), and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Spike Hill (184 & 186 Bedford Avenue, off N 7th Street) hosted by Will WInners & Kyle Ayers: Game Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comedic storytellers Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupe The Prom, co-host of The Dream Show), Lucas Connolly, MIke Guild, and Andrew Collin performing at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street) for the debut of this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Bodger Millerd: Antagonists Storytelling Series

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, unique comedy talent Brandon Gulya performs a witty and surreal one-man show: Who Are You People and Why Are You Watching Me?

..and in the second half of this double-bill, a three-person mini-play that lets you know you’re not in a great place in its first five minutes, when a real estate guy strangles an elderly Mayor and then gives himself ownership of the city by signing a document using the Mayor’s dead hand—as if an elected Mayor had the power to hand over a city with a signature; or as if a dead hand would somehow replicate the Mayor’s signature! Silly is wonderful element of comedy, but it’s not a substitute for smart or funny; and this show simply lacks sufficient charms to merit spending time on Greasy Lake: Key to the City

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Jean Grae, Billy Wayne David, Desiree Burch, John Roy, and Taylor Ketchum performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show, Comedy Central hour-long special, Adult Swim): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brooks Wheelan (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Raj Sivaramen, and David Smithyman performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Joe Zimmerman: Comedy Central Corporate Retreat

[FREE] 8:00 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] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($15 if you mention [otherwise $20], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 to reserve seats is recommended): Stand-ups John Fugelsang, Ross Bennet, Liz Miele, and Sassi performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Brandon Scott Jones (top character comic; Stone Cold Fox, Gentrify), Rebecca Vigil (powerhouse improv singer The Vigilante), Pete Lee (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), Katina Corrao (HBO, Logo), Ben Moskowitz, and Katie Hannigan performing stand-up, sketch, storytelling, and/or music at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Charla Lauriston, Sue Smith, and Liza Dye: Free Cable

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Beige (which includes Dan Hodapp and Kelly Hudson) and (212) (which includes Tim Martin, Natasha Rothwell, Veronica Osorio, Eddie Dunn, Ari Scott, Erik Tanouye, and Achilles Stamatelaky): Maude Night: Beige and (212)

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 Evon Campbell, Calvin S. Cato, Samantha SJ Bednarz, Kyle Daniel Bostic, Hilary Schwartz and Dee Jay Dangler performing at Pat O’Shea’s free biweekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Kyle Ploof, Matteo Lane, Chris Lamberth, JF Harris, Alexis Guerreros, Crystian Ramirez, and more performing for this free weekly stand-up show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Frantic Mondays

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Strong lineup of 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), 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 red-hot 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), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Wil Sylvince (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View), Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy), and Rondell Sheridan (Jay Leno, MTV, That’s So Raven) performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Dave Attell, Todd Barry, Mark Normand, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by someone wonderful: 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 & 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 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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Biweekly open mic for telling stories about sex, desire and romance at The Delancey (168 Delancey Street) hosted by Jefferson and tonight featuring special guest hosted by Julia Wiedeman (see 6:30 pm): Foreplay: A Sexy Storytelling Open Mic

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)

(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.