NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/6/14

January 6, 2014

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For a sampling of Classics, please click here.

Ophira Eisenberg

Bestselling author Ophira Eisenberg shares her obsessions at UCB East for “So Into It”…

Alan Starzinski

…and Alan Starzinski performs a clever one-man show at UCB Chelsea in “Guys You Love to Hate”

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:

7:00 pm ($8): A (more or less) solo show by Meg Griffiths about “a hardened female New York City landlord who threatens to evict each of her tenants unless someone admits to killing her prized heirloom hydrangea bush in this comedic who-done-it” at The PIT upstairs theatre: It Came From Below

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sharp comic Alan Starzinski (Sandino, Fat Penguin) performs a clever one-man sketch show in which he plays characters ranging from Aquaman to Gary Busey to the rescue pilot at the end of Jurassic Park at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Guys You Love to Hate

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch from gal duo Samantha Schecter & Becky Chicoine, with some help from Kelly Harper and director Matt Dennie: Womantown

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A monthly show about obsessions with pop culture, featuring tonight’s guests Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book being made into movie Screw Everyone) and Alison McDonald (Nurse Jackie, Alpha House) performing at UCB East hosted by Damian Bellino and Anne: So Into It: A Fanatic Variety Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Michael Che (hilarious rising star stand-up; David Letterman, Comedy Central, VH1), Lenny Marcus (David Letterman, MTV), Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central) 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): Kevin Meaney, Michael Che, Lenny Marcus, Marina Franklin, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): 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), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Max Silvestri (host of Big Terrific), Tiffany Stevenson, and more performing stand-up 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

8:00 pm ($5): Storytellers Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Robin Gelfenbien (host of storytelling show Yum’s the Word; VH1, Sirius Satellite Radio, FringeNYC), and Eli Reiter (host of Long Story Short), plus stand-up from Julia Lundy, and an open mic for 6-minute tales from the audience, at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Talk Therapy

[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] 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 Natasha Rothwell, Tim Martin, Veronica Osorio, Eddie Dunn, Ari Scott, Erik Tanouye, and Achilles Stamatelaky): Maude Night: Beige and (212)

9:30 pm ($8): A solo show mixing characters & music from Jillian Green at The PIT upstairs theatre: Balls

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: Rachael Parenta (Gawker.com, contributor to book What Was I Thinking?: Bad Boyfriend Stories; for sample video, please click here), Joe Pontillo, Alex Grubard, Dan Shaki, Kyle Ploof and Mike Spiers 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.): 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), Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; Jay Leno, FOX, NBC’s Are You There Chelsea?, film Savages), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, For the Love of the Game), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Dan Soder (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Godfrey (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, 30 Rock, VH1; films Zoolander, Original Gangsters, Soul Plane; 7 Up Yours ads), and Modi (Comedy Central) 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): Mark Normand, Ali Wong, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, and More

[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), Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Harry Terjanian (Sirius XM Radio, 2013 Andy Kaufman Award winner), Monroe Martin, Molly Austin, Kris Tinkle, and more performing for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($5): Duo improv from groups Megalou, I’m Right Behind You, Eye of Tigh, Show Me Love, and Chris & Dmitry at The Magnet theatre: The Duo Show

[FREE] 10:00 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 the headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

[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

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.)

Comic Strip Live
(1568 Second Avenue, off 81st; Upper East Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Stand Up NY
(236 West 78th Street, off Broadway; Upper West Side club with typically solid lineups; 2-drink min.)

Laughing Devil
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club, with MST3K-style movie night on Thursdays; 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.