NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 7/14/14

For FringeNYC 2014 pre-fest coverage, please click here.

TV Alert: Hannibal Buress is on David Letterman;
Margaret Cho’s on Craig Ferguson; Elie Kemper’s on Conan O’Brien;
Matt Besser is on @midnight

Chris Kelly

At UCB Chelsea, SNL & Broad City writer Chris Kelly (left) performs one-man storytelling show America’s Princess Diana

Aidy Bryant

…and at UCB East, SNL star Aidy Bryant tells stories with Aparna Nancherla and more at Ruby Karp’s HelloGiggles

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central, co-host of Live From Outer Space) hones a 30-minute stand-up set every night this week through Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Erik Bergstrom

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

[TOP PICK][$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Ted Alexandro, Rachel Feinstein, Kevin Brennan, Dov Davidoff, and Lenny Marcus at the 7:45 show, and Jeff Ross, Ryan Hamilton, Big Jay Oakerson, Matt Lamp, and Wil Sylvince at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in via the standby line if you don’t mind standing): A one-man storytelling show by Chris Kelly, staff writer for Saturday Night Live and Broad City, at the UCB Chelsea theatre: America’s Princess Diana

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Aidy Bryant (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry, razor-sharp stand-up; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, former writer/performer for FX’s Totally Biased), Phil Hanley (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey NBC series; MTV), John Early (30 Rock), and Molly Horan share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, 22 Jump Street, Arrested Development), Alex Koll (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim), Emily Maya Mills, and Sid Singh performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by the Kondabolu Brothers: Night Train

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Charla Lauriston (staff writer for upcoming Tina Fey NBC series; MTV), Alan Starzinski, Francesca Day, Debbie Meisenzahl, Ross Parsons, Jennifer Salzman, and Jeff Kreisler performing stand-up or sketch for this free weekly show at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Tim Ellis & Mo Fathelbab: Manifesto

[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]8:30 pm ($10, which includes a free drink): Superb storytellers Jim O’Grady (The New York Times, NPR’s This American Life, WNYC Radio, Moth GrandSlam Champion), Diana Spechler (author of Who By Fire and Skinny), Susan Kent (Tell It), and Lucas Connolly tell true tales about this month’s theme Revolutions at 2A (25 Avenue A off 2nd Street) hosted by Andrew Linderman: Local Stories: Revolutions

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: John Milhiser (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Joe Pera (hilarious and genius deadpan stand-up; Adult Swim; for a very special one-minute set at Carolines, please click here; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, sketch group Onassis, co-host of Late Night Trash), Michelle De Swarte (UK star visiting NYC), and Andrea Allan performing stand-up, plus group The Peace Accords performing improv, at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Dan Fox: Pizza Beach Comedy Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in via the standby line if you don’t mind standing): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Beige (which includes brilliant rising stars Dan Hodapp and Langan Kingsley) and (212) (which includes brilliant rising stars Natasha Rothwell and Tim Martin, plus the wonderful Veronica Osorio, Eddie Dunn, Ari Scott, Erik Tanouye, and Achilles Stamatelaky): Maude Night: Beige and (212)

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($12): Improvisors aim for “the comedy, drama, and vocal juiciness of a Mozart masterpiece made up on the spot; come hear beautiful arias appear out of nowhere as someone’s beloved is ravaged by a cheese monster, Gary Busey, or anything else the audience suggests” at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Improvised Opera

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Ryan Hamilton (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, Showtime), Gary Vider (hilarious deadpan stand-up; for great Conan O’Brien set, please click here; for more jokes, please click here), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Joe Zimmerman, Ry Doon, Nate Craig, Luchana Gatica, and Jeff Kreisler performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Twelve improv comics who are “friends of Dorothy” perform at The Magnet hosted by Andrew Fafoutakis: There’s No Place Like Home: A GLBTQ Event

[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

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 5 minutes on stage—and also allows everyone play Bingo!—at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Julia Lundy & Veronica Elizabeth: Bingo 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

6:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min.): Booked open mic stand-up providing 7 minutes per comic for this 2-hour show at Klimat Lounge (77 East 7th Street) hosted by Gregory Joseph. To get on the performance list for future shows, email Gregory at evgigglepit@gmail.com: East Village Giggle Pit

[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: Open-mic stand-up, with 5 minutes for each comic who reserves a spot in advance (by emailing Dan Fox at danmaxfox@gmail.com) 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, with each comic getting 5 minutes and room for 15 comics who sign up per show, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Kat Toledo and/or Alan Shain: The Power Exchange

[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)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$20)

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)

This Theater
(154 West 29th Street; new venue that, at its best, features shows comparable to UCB & PIT; free-$12)

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: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com. He is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what’s happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

Please feel encouraged to reach out to tell me about comedy shows, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at hy@hyreviews.com.

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