NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/5/15

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Eric Idle is on The Late Late Show;
Kathy Griffin is on David Letterman;
Ron Funches, Jon Daly, and Nikki Glaser are on @midnight

Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

Genius comic Chris Gethard reaches new heights in an extraordinary show about mental illness: Career Suicide

Sean Patton

…and top stand-ups Sean Patton (above), Aparna Nancherla, and Simon Amstell perform 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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star ofThe 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. In this show Chris achieves a new maturity to his already stellar career with a beautifully honest look at his experiences with mental illness and suicide that reaches exceptional heights at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: “A monthly debate-style comedy show that sets two expert combatants from different sides of a polarizing issue against one another” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Kissel: Sweaty Nixon

[FREE] 7:00 pm: “This show is very different. Our audience sits in a big circle where everyone may speak at anytime in a very chill open group conversation. Expect a lot of improv, storytelling, topic discussion, jokes, songs, and great vibes from everybody in a very casual no stress group atmosphere” at Solas (232 East 9th Street) hosted by Will Thilly: The Chill Circle

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Gary Gulman, Joe Machi, Nick Griffin, and Marina Franklin at the 9:30 show, and Mark Normand, Big Jay Oakerson, Keith Alberstadt, Pete Davidson, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:30 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Great lineup of Sean Patton (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; killer sets on Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1, feature film Wifed Out; co-host of Esquire Network’s Best Bars in America; frequent guest host of Whiplash), Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with a delightfully wry style and lightning-quick mind; Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, @midnight, Totally Biased, recently opened for Tig Notaro at Town Hall), Simon Amstell (UK TV star writer/performer who spent 3 years hosting pop quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 6 years hosting Popworld,and is currently the creator, writer, and star of sitcom Grandma’s House), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and Emmy Blotnick (blogger for Jimmy Fallon, MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live, VH1’s Best Week Ever) performing stand-up, plus music from The Reformed Whores (raunchy comedic singing duo Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; album Ladies Don’t Spit; CBS’ The Doctors), all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Personand Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train: Sean Patton, Aparna Nancherla, Simon Amstell, The Reformed Whores, and More

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Kristen Bartlett & Jason Gore perform a sketch show about dealing with losing their dads within months of each other “but it’s funny, we swear” at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Dead Dads Club

…and in the other half of this double-bill, sketch comedy from Matt Porter & Charlie Hankin as duo Good Cop Great Cop

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo—who’s getting a Two Boots pizza created in her honor, so there might be free slices for the audience—and more at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen (co-host of The Moon Show): Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

[$] 8:00 pm ($20): Clanging refers to speaking with a focus on sound rather than meaning, such as compulsive rhyming or alliteration. Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Liberal Arts) and Dion Flynn (sketch comic on Jimmy Fallon) have been clanging together for more than 15 years, and tonight do so at The PIT upstairs theatre: Clanging with Josh & Dion

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

9:30 ($5): New Maude Night groups Dangerous Woman and Lover perform sketch comedy at the UCB Chelseatheatre: Maude Night: Dangerous Woman and Lover

9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phil Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

10:00 pm ($7): Duo improv from groups The Friendship Club, Trick Baby, The Ali Fisher Duo, Big Fat Liars, and hostMegaLou (Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld) at The Magnet theatre: The Duo Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Sabrina Jalees, Christian Finnegan, Monroe Martin, Pete Lee, Joe List, Mike Recine, Derek Gaines, Bronston Jones, and Andrew Goldstein performing stand-up for this free weekly show at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) typically hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental,documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[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, 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 theStand 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)

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)

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 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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