NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/23/13

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Fucking Tom Cruise Christmas Special

Brandon Gulya debuts a one-man show as Tom Cruise in “The Fucking Tom Cruise Christmas Special”

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, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($12 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Nick Griffin and Lynn Koplitz at the 8:45 show, Ted Alexandro, Greer Barnes, Jermaine Fowler, and Marina Franklin at the 10:30 show, and Paul Mecurio, Jon Fisch, and Nikki Glaser at the 12:15 pm show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

7:00 pm ($5): Storytelling from Anna Roisman & Randall Lotowycz, stand-up from Justin Perez, improv from Gift Receipts, and more at The PIT upstairs lounge: Last-Minute Shopping

7:00 pm ($5): Roughly a dozen comics, including Kathryn Dunn, Richard Templeton, Peter Velez, and Nate Foster, perform Christmas-themed sketch or stand-up in this interview show with Santa at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Matt Yeackel: Santa’s Sketchy Talk Show

7:00 pm-10:00 pm ($7): Improvisors make up holiday-themed scenes for three hours at The Magnet theatre: Holiday Improv Fun Time

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, 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), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), and more 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): 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, Brandon Gulya performs yet another one-man show, this time based on the premise “When you think ‘symbol of Christmas,’ what comes to your mind? That’s right, fucking Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise has offered UCB Theatre a ton of money to let him perform his Christmas Special live on our stage. And guess what? It was enough money. So, for one night only, Tom Cruise takes over the UCB Theatre to spread the spirit of Christmas. He’ll teach you songs. He’ll tell you stories. He’ll raise the roof and bring a fucking Christmas tree. So come be merry. Drink a little. And get down with Tom Cruise” at The Fucking Tom Cruise Christmas Special

9:30 pm ($5): UCB Harold group GoodGirl performs a holiday-themed show with “character bits, video sketches, musical performances of your favorite Christmas carols, and a visit from Old Saint Nick himself, all ending in a joyful, eggnog-induced Christmas improv jam” at the UCB East theatre: A Very GoodGirl Christmas

9:30 pm ($5): Veteran UCB improvisors “gather around the couch to turn each others’ bizarre tales and armchair philosophies into an evening of improv comedy. It’s like hanging out with your friends, except that your friends are really funny and need to suddenly turn their stories into improv scenes” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Living Room

9:30 pm ($8): A table reading of a play about peer pressure written & directed by Harrison Young at The PIT upstairs theatre: A Cocaine Comedy

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($12 & 2-drink min.): Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Nikki Glaser (co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Kurt Metzger (staff writer for Inside Amy Schumer; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, Ugly Americans), Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club: ComedyJuice

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Seaton Smith, Nore Davis, Yannis Pappas, Lori Sommer, John Moses, Ben & Josh, and more performing for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Frantic Mondays

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller & Dee Marie: Gentrification

[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 the wonderful Leo Allen: 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 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show, with 10 comics each performing for 5 minutes, at Brooklyn’s Colony (274 4th Avenue) hosted by Emily Winter: Sparky the Dog Open Mic

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 guest storyteller Jessie Male: 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)

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.

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