NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 12/16/14

December 16, 2014

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TV Alert: Dick Van Dyke and Jenny Slate are on Conan O’Brien;
Vanessa Bayer is on Seth Meyers;
Tracey Ullman is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Brooke Van Poppelen, Wil Wheaton,
and Kevin Pereira are on @midnight

The Buttcracker

Anthony Atamanuik and friends bring to life holiday classic The Buttcracker at The Tony Show

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] 7:00 pm-11:00 pm ($7 for the whole evening): In this 4-hour extravaganza, five of The Magnet’s singing improv groups make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion, followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with a musical improv group to make up stories in song: Magnet Musical Megawatt

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics creators join super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates (and if you can’t make it, watch in online here): Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from all eight UCB Chelsea house groups tonight—Apollo, Grammer, Greg, Higgins, The Enemy, Side Piece, Smalls, and Women & Men—at the annual Longest Harold Night of the Year

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Nick DiPaolo, Ryan Hamilton, Gregg Rogell, and Mike Yard (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Nick Griffin, Dan Soder, Kyle Dunningham, and Judy Gold at the 9:30 show; and Dave Attell and Rachel Feinstein at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Tuesday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): 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) hosts this holiday special with stand-ups Jared Logan (rising star; Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Jacqueline Novak (smart, funny stand-up; Comedy Central, College Humor), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, TruTV’s Friends of the People, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), and Team Submarine performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: Dan St. Germain’s Christmas Spooktacular

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Amber Nelson (fearless, innovative rising star; Comedy Central; sketch troupes Murderfist and The Prom), Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Tallie Medel (Cocoon Central Dance Team), and Michael Antonucci (HBO) “perform the stupidest ideas they’ve ever had” at UCB East hosted by Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV) & Jason Saenz (Comedy Central, co-host of Late Night Trash): DOY!: A Stupid Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The wonderful Pay Shay (who’s taught improv to thousands) describes this solo holiday show this way: “I know you know A Christmas Carol. You know Scrooge and the Cratchits and Jacob Marley and the rest. I know, you’re like ‘Come on, Pat? Really? Another Solo Christmas Carol? Don’t George C Scott and the Friggin’ Goodman have this covered?’ But here’s the deal—every time I’ve read this book, it’s been so much funnier than any production I’ve seen. The writing is so much sharper and less austere. The characters are so much more layered than the archetypes that, let’s face it, we’ve all programmed into our brains. So come and let me try to tell you this story the way I hear it—a funny, moving, delightful tale, using all original text” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Yes, a Solo Christmas Carol

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Nick DiPaolo (star stand-up, with numerous appearances on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Louie; Emmy-nominated comedy writer, talk show host), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Paul Virzi, and Danny Palmer performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): $5 Funnies: Janeane Garofalo, Nick Dipaolo, Damien Lemon, Monroe Martin, and More

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): A two-gal sketch show about dating during the holidays from Angela Spera & Laura Lane at The PIT upstairs theatre: This Is Why You’re Single: Holiday Edition

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “The best stand-ups in the city will take to the stage armed with jokes, quirky observations, and anecdotes. Simultaneously, the producers will craft a battery of trivia questions for the audience based entirely on the comics’ material. Competitors of all levels are welcome, no matter how much you watch TMZ. You can walk in the door with a blank slate and come out victorious! All that’s required is your attention and short-term memory” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Observational Trivia Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm (reserve your free spots by clicking here): Typically terrific stand-ups (for the line-up, usually posted by 1:00 pm, please click here) performing stand-up at The Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue, off 52nd Street, in the back room) produced every Tuesday by Mark Normand, Matt Ruby, Gary Vider, and Sachi Ezura: Hot Soup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Storytellers Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive Comedy and Stripped Stories), Jake Hart (host of The Dump), Jefferson (The Moth), Morgan Pielli (Relationshit), and Michele Carlo tell true tales about this month’s theme Holidays at 2A (25 Avenue A off 2nd Street) hosted by Andrew Linderman: Local Stories: Holidays

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Peggy O’Leary (host of Creek Cave Live), Emma Willmann, and Tony Zaret performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Robert Dean, Sachi Ezura, and/or Steve O’Brien: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Brilliantly innovative comic Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, The Nights of Our Lives) plays oddball characters in a mix of sketch and improv (with help from producer Andy Rocco and Jesse VandenBergh). Tonight “Master Tony’s ballet company are proud to present a bitter old communist’s stupid dance-play about a common plumber who fixes a politburo elite’s shit-stuffed toilet on Christmas Eve. Bring your children, so we can fondle them.” Plus stand-ups Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central) and Sue Smith, and storyteller 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), all performing at the UCB East theatre: The Tony Show Holiday Edition: The Buttcracker

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5; no min.): Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Monroe Martin (finalist on this season’s Last Comic Standing), Bonnie McFarlane (HBO, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), and Rory Albanese (The Daily Show) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Alexis Guerreros & Mike Cannon: The Illuminati Party: Ari Shaffir, Cipha Sounds, and More

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Janeane Garofalo and other stand-ups (not announced) at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard Street) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon long-time staff comic, Comedy Central, VH1, host of Nat Geo’s Science of Stupid): Sweet

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Big Jay Oakerson (Comedy Central Presents, HBO, Showtime, MTV), Luis J. Gomez, Dave Smith, and other NYC stand-ups performing live on stage for this podcast show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Legion of Skanks

[FREE] 10:00 pm: This show “randomly pairs duos from the world of comedy. They have one week to prepare a comedy set for the physically and emotionally taxing Battlebowl where these teams will compete against one another” at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) hosted by Bret Davis & Darren Mabee: The Lethal Lottery

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A mix of superb and lesser-known stand-ups (not announced) performing at this free weekly show at UCB East typically hosted by Phil Hanley: Chemistry

Tuesday 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

[TOP PICK] [ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): In this delightful weekly open-mic show, each comic has 3-5 minutes to try out a character-based bit (e.g., for a solo show, sketch, or audition) at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): Imposter Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic sketch that allows you to either perform a sketch with your own performers or bring in pages for the audience to perform at The PIT Green Room, followed by feedback on your bit from PIT “sketch-perts:” Pens & Pencils

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show 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: Open mic for comedy of all types providing 2 minutes for each performer (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Tim Unkenholz: Butt Factory

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic, with walk-ins tossing names into a hat and set length determined by the number of comics who show up, at Bunga’s Den (137 West 14th Street, between Sixth & Seventh Avenues) hosted by Jimmy LeChase and/or Justin Perez: Townies Open Mic

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Weekly stand-up open mic (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at People’s Republic of Brooklyn (247 Smith Street) hosted by Dustin Drury: This Is Happening Open MIc

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly two-hour open mic storytelling show allows each performer 8 minutes to tell a compelling and funny tale at Queens LIC’s The Creek downstairs lounge hosted by Jake Hart and a guest co-host: The Dump

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Open mic stand-up that’s first come, first serve (signup starts at 8:30) and provides each performer 5 minutes—or 4 minutes plus 2 minutes of feedback!—at the Producer’s Club (358 West 44th Street): Train Wreck Open Mic Stand-Up

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv group Wonderland to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

11:00 pm ($3): A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Weekly walk-in open mic stand-up providing 3 minutes for each comic whose name is pulled from a bucket at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Michelle Slonim: Rapid Fire

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): A weekly improv jam for students at all levels to work on their skills at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Elke Reid and David Frasure: Study Hall

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)

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