NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 10/27/14

October 27, 2014

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TV Alert: Amy Poehler is on David Letterman;
Melissa McCarthy is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Ray Romano is on Craig Ferguson;
Wyatt Cenac is on Carson Daly;
Rob Corddry, Alison Becker, and
Dannah Phirman are on @midnight

Gary Saves the Graveyard

Spearheaded by brilliant director & co-writer Todd Bieber, the screening of a new comedic film from Jim Santangeli, Shannon O’Neill, Nicole Byer, Laura Grey, Dan Chamberlain, and more: Gary Saves the Graveyard

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: Brilliant star stand-up Colin Quinn (SNL, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, HBO, NBC, Broadway) hones a long set Monday-Tuesday and Friday-Saturday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week At the Creek: Colin Quinn

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; author of A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York, plus My Comedy Album) seamlessly blends stand-up and storytelling in a way that creates a deep, poignant, and hilarious experience. Tonight Chris tries out some shockingly honest new material at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

7:00 pm ($7): Tales of pizza, dating, and near-death in this one-man show from Sean Taylor at The Magnet theatre: Slices of Life

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s comics include Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Zainab Johnson, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Mark Normand, Joe Matarese, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, Vic Henley, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell, Rachel Feinstein, Keith Alberstadt, Big Jay Oakerson, and Joe LIst at the 11:15 show, all performing stand-up at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and don’t mind standing): Top improvisors Scott Adsit, Jon Glaser, Tami Sagher, and Michael Delaney and Broadway & TV stars Jonathan Kaplan, Amy Rutberg, Julie Sharbutt, and Maggie Lacey crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Musical improv rap group North Coast, and stand-ups Jordan Carlos (MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court, HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, Adult Swim) and Matteo Lane (Comedy Central) being interviewed and/or performing at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Maeve Higgins (UK stand-up), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central, VH1), John Early (30 Rock, Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Vladimir Caamano, and more performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train

[$] 8:00 pm ($20): A musical version of a classic film at The PIT upstairs theatre: Steel Petunias: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Animator David Huntsberger hones a long set every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: David Huntsberger

8:30 pm ($7): Improvisors make up a Wikipedia entry on the spot at The Magnet theatre: Wikipedia Live

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: The musical stylings of Mindy Raf (brilliant comedic singer/songwriter; VH1, College Humor; author of YA novel The Symptoms of My Insanity; often performs as alter ego Leibya Rogers), plus stand-up from Mara Herron (Web series That Chick Mara Herron), Kate Hendricks, Ben Conrad, and Megan Gailey, all performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (co-host of TruTV’s Hack My Life; writer and/or producer for a slew of MTV shows; also performed on HBO, Comedy Central, VH1) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The debut screening of a Halloween treat (before it’s posted to YouTube) from brilliant writer/director Todd Bieber and friends (including wonderful comedic horror writer Laura Grey): “It’s Gary’s first night as a graveyard groundskeeper. Little does he know that his job isn’t just to rake the leaves and clean the toilets. He’s also a glorified camp counselor to the 235 living corpses that awaken every night to play ping pong and do jigsaw puzzles before they move onto the afterlife. When his best friend, who’s been dead for 20 years, encourages him to relive the glory days, things get out of control and could lead to Armageddon” starring Jim Santangeli, Shannon O’Neill, Nicole Byer, Daniel Chamberlain, Michael Delaney, Nate Dern, Dawn Luebbe, Tallie Medel, and Timmy Wood at the UCB East theatre: Gary Saves the Graveyard

[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 Ashley Brooke Roberts and Natasha Vaynblat): Maude Night: Ripley and Absolutely

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The Lucas Brothers (Jimmy Fallon, 22 Jump Street, FOX’s Lucas Bros Moving Company, Arrested Development), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Rory Albanese (The Daily Show), Alingon Mitra, Subhah Agarwal, Derek Gaines, Jon Laster, Chloe LaBranche, Chrissie Mayr, and Ken Krantz performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) typically hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

10:00 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss

[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 and/or Dee Marie: Gentrification

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who aren’t announced in advance, but it’s usually a great lineup and often an extraordinary one—at UCB Chelsea hosted by Leo Allen, Chris Gethard, Aparna Nancherla, or someone else 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

[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 East Village Giggle Pit

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with names drawn out of a bucket and 5 minutes per performer, at the Slake Bar (251 West 30th Street) hosted by Julia Wiedeman: Happy Hour Story Hour (Open-Mic Storytelling) with Julia Wiedeman

[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 The Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street, off Avenue B) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

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)

(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 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