NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 12/15/14

December 15, 2014

For more, please visit

TV Alert: Oprah Winfrey and Idina Menzel are on David Letterman;
Tim Burton is on Jon Stewart;
Seth Rogen is on The Colbert Report;
Eric Andre and Lisa Kudrow are on Conan O’Brien;
Spike Feresten, Donnell Rawlings, and Jessimae Peluso are on @midnight

Dan St. Germain

Superb stand-ups Dan St. Germain…

Ari Shaffir

…and Ari Shaffir perform in Brooklyn for Wyatt Cenac’s’s Night Train at 8:00 and then in Manhattan for The Stand’s Frantic Mondays at 10:00

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 ($7): “They’ve called her a floozy. A grifter. A vicious black widow who ensnared five unwitting husbands in a glittery, glamorous web and brutally murdered each one. The infamous Maddy Harrow slices through the rumors and lies woven by the press with the double-edged dagger of story and song. You’ll hear the truth about her hardscrabble childhood, the men she’s loved and lost, and how she manages to sleep at night. Includes songs by Jack White, Burt Bacharach, Prince, Sia, and Morrissey” at The Magnet theatre: Maddy Harrow is Completely Innocent

[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 stand-ups include Ryan Hamilton, Keith Alberstadt, Greer Barnes, Zainab Johnson, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:45 show, and a great lineup of Dave Attell, Ari Shaffir, Paul Mecurio, Jena Friedman, and Big Jay Oakerson 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 ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Strong lineup of Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Jen Kirkman (HBO, VH1, Chelsea Lately, After Lately, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, staff writer for NBC’s Perfect Couples, author or I Can Barely Take Care of Myself), Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1), and “a special guest” 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Tami Sagher (superb staff writer for Broad City; former writer for 30 Rock; writer and producer for Mad TV 2001-2006) and 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) perform duo improv at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Sagher & Gethard

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Terrific character comics Natasha Vaynblat (improv group What I Did For Love, sketch group Absolutely, one-woman show United Federation of Teachers), Jon Bander (musical improv groups Aquarius and Dagger), Joanna Bradley (30 Rock, VH1’s Best Week Ever), Alan Starzinski (one-man show Guys You Love to Hate, improv group Sandino), Chelsea Davison, and Matt Starr performing sketch character bits for this “Best Of Two Years” show at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome: Second Anniversary “Best Of” Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?, and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), Caitlin Brodnick (Glamour, The Moth Podcast, co-host of Shut Up Storytelling), and Mike Kelton tell tales revolving around this month’s theme Holidays, and then Anna Rose Roisman and musical improv guest duo Rebecca Vigil & Evan Kaufman (Your Love, Our Musical) each sing about one of the stories, at The PIT upstairs theatre: You Probably Think This Song Is About You: Holidays Edition

[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

8:30 pm ($7): Political comic Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, CNN, MSNBC, Showtime, Citizen Radio) performs stand-up, and then leads his friends springboarding improv scenes off of “social and political stories from the lives of audience members” at The Magnet theatre: A People’s Guide to Comedy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days (which includes stellar performers Livia Scott, Ann Carr, Dan Chamberlain, Sean Hart, and more, plus exceptionally superb writers) and Roanoke: Maude Night: Legs For Days and Roanoke

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Storytellers Lyssa Mandel (host of The Bitch Seat), Kia Sayyadi, and Jamie LeeLo performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Val Roder: Story Time

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 Hilary Schwartz, Evon Campbell, Julia Prescott, and Andy Fiori performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue) guest-hosted by Richard James: Ed Sullivan on Acid

[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), Dan St. Germain (enormously likeable and rapidly rising star who has several TV shows in the works; Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half-Hour Special, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, MTV), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Thomas Attila Lewis, Josh Adam Meyers, Matteo Lane, Ian Fidance, and Subhah Agarwal 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

10:00 pm ($7): Longform improvisors Louis Kornfeld, Chet Siegel, Charlie Whitcroft, Dan Fairall, and Quinton Loder take over the stage at The Magnet theatre as house improv group The Boss

[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 Aparna Nancherla, Chris Gethard, Leo Allen, 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

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name is pulled from a bucket 4 minutes on stage at The Creek upstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Joseph Robert: PBR & Scrap Paper Open Mic Stand-Up

[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)

(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/The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; free cover Fri-Sat with code LICVIP; 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