NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/21/14

April 21, 2014

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Brooke Van Poppelen

Brooke Van Poppelen performs at The Stand’s free show Frantic Mondays

Big Jay Oakerson

…and Big Jay Oakerson performs in Brooklyn at Wyatt Cenac’s Night Train

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 ($10): Sketch about in which “one wave of the magic wand and all your dreams come true—that is, until there’s a hassle in the castle. Watch dreams turn into nightmares as the pretty little princesses get a big ugly dose of reality” at The PIT upstairs theatre: POOF!

7:00 pm ($5): Improvisors take a single (but large) location and explore the many characters who might populate it. “What begins as a collection of disparate scenes across various sub-locations will slowly close in on itself as intersecting storylines converge, the boundaries of space and time are stretched, and we show you firsthand how small the world can be” at The Magnet theatre: Small World

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of young improvisors performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Free Improv Monday

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Chris Laker (host of The Show) practices stand-up material for his comedy album taping later that week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Chris Laker

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Marina Franklin (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1), Calise Hawkins (Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, writer for, Abigoliah Schamaun, J.F. Harris, Giulio Gallarotti, and Rojo Perez performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Mike Brown, Molly Austin, and/or Shakir Standley: Big Pony Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, Louie, HBO, Showtime, MTV, IFC), Dan Soder (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), and Doug Smith performing stand-up, plus music from band King’s, 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) & Jean Grae: Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Eliot Glazer has too many things he wants to share with you, so consider this variety show one big mashup featuring comedy, dance, video, special guests, maybe a dog, and definitely nudity”—with tonight’s guests including Eliot’s sister Ilana Glazer (Broad City), Hari Kondabolu (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, Totally Biased), Pop Roulette, and Varsity Interpretive Dance Squad—at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Mashterpiece Theater

[TOP PICK][$] 8:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Hannibal Buress (co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City and Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show; former staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, one-hour Comedy Central specials Animal Furnace and Live From Chicago, host of Comedy Night), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Carmen Lynch (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), 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): Hannibal Buress, Kevin Meaney, Carmen Lynch, Ryan Hamilton, and More

8:00 pm ($5): “Improvisers and stand-ups do what they do best…and then switch places to try their hand at what the other does best. Performing to sold out crowds at UCBT-LA, this show is a cross-discipline Cage Match.” On the improv side is team Grammer; while the stand-ups are Mark Normand (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing; opens for Amy Schumer; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Peggy O’Leary, and Mike Recine, all performing at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin: Impro(vs)tandup

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($20 if you mention [otherwise $25], which includes one drink; calling 212.989.9319 for reservations is recommended): 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), Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Chelsea White (producer of MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, TLC, co-host of What Else and Call Us Crazy), and Lane Moore performing stand-up at the Cornelia Street Cafe guest-hosted by Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Showtime) for producer John Morrison’s Morrison Motel

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5): A prank call show that asks you to “Bring a number. Tell us about your victim. Sit back and don’t laugh” at The Magnet theatre: Prank Phone Calls with Charles Rogers

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: NYC stand-ups Subhah Agarwal, Mike Cannon, Mike Gillerman, Charles McBee, and more, plus music from Mista Mista Ian Jay, performing at this new monthly show at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted & produced by sisters Kerry Overfab Coddett & Krystal Coddett: Brooklyn, Stand Up

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Ripley (which includes brilliant comedic writer Marguerite Spellman) and Absolutely (which includes stellar comic Bridey Elliot): Maude Night: Ripley and Absolutely

9:30 pm ($10): Storytellers Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Sue Smith, Andrea Ilene Shaprio, Andrea Macy and Melissa Caminecci tell “hilarious, gross, awkward, and heartfelt stories of how they started out in NYC” at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Mallory Schlossberg (“who actually is a Girls fan, but once lived in a basement): Real Girls: Lena Dunham Got It Wrong

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 Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Calvin S. Cato, Justin Murray, Gabriel Pacheco, and Mike Speirs performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) guest-hosted by Richard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[TOP PICK][$] 10:00 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): 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), Paul Mecurio (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Nikki Glaser (former co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Last Comic Sanding, Comedy Central Half Hour; podcast You Had to Be There), Nick Griffin (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Keith Alberstadt (David Letterman, VH1, contributor to SNL’s Weekend Update), Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy) 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): Todd Barry, Paul Mecurio, Gary Gulman, Nikki Glaser, Nick Griffin, and More

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant writer, stand-up, and storyteller; writer and/or producer for MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Failosophy, and Nikki & Sara Show; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy), Michelle Wolf (staff writer for Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV, TruTV), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Myka Fox, Anthony DeVito, Tommy Pope, Nore Davis, and Anthony Zenhauser performing for this free weekly stand-up show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Michael Kosta: Frantic Mondays: Brooke Van Poppelen, Michelle Wolf, Sean Donnelly, and More

10:00 pm ($5): A veteran improv group perform at The Magnet theatre: The Boss

[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 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: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at and 3 minutes for each comic who signs up on the spot (sign-up starts at 6:45 and ends at 8:30) at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Muchmore’s Stand-Up Open Mic

[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

[FREE] 10:30 pm: 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

11:00 pm ($3): Open mic stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: Magic Mic Mondays

[FREE] 11:00 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

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.)

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.