NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/12/15

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

TV Alert: Casey Wilson is on Seth Meyers;
Fred Armisen is on Conan O’Brien;
Marc Maron, Jen Kirkman, and John Hodgman are on @midnight

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

If you’re okay with standing…

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

…get on the standby line to experience the finest improv troupe in the world performing two sold out shows tonight at Theatre 80 St. Marks: The Improvised Shakespeare Company

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] 1:00 pm ($30): There are hundreds of walking tours in NYC, but my favorite so far is this survey of artwork in the New York City subway system. While guide Phil Desiere isn’t in any way a comic, the artwork itself primarily is comedic (and often includes a comic book sensibility). If you’d enjoy having your eyes opened to the whimsical art strewn about heavily traveled NYC subway stations that millions of busy commuters never notice, treat yourself to this 2½ hour expedition happening on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 1:00 pm: New York City Subway Art Tour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:30 pm ($25 at the door with discount code OPHELIA; please note all shows have SOLD OUT, but the theatre will be squeezing people in if you arrive early and are okay with standing):Genius improvisors from Chicago—typically including Blaine Swen (ISC founder) and Thomas Middleditch (star of HBO’s Silicon Valley)—delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a three-night NYC run at at Theatre 80 St. Marks (80 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue), with every evening utterly different from the last. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of 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), featuring guest storyteller Rob Penty at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue): The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers, Stone Cold Fox) tries out material for a one-man show at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Connor Ratliff’s Workout

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation—which include group Holiday at 9:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[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] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Jermaine Fowler, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Mark Normand, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Jena Friedman, Jon Fisch, Big Jay Oakerson, Pete Davidson, Sam Morril, and Godfrey (hosting) 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): Jackie Kashian (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing; for hilarious cartoon about LA pet owners, please click here), Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine), Andy Haynes (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Half Hour), Eliot Glazer (It Gets Betterish, author of My Parents Were Awesome), and Saurin Choksi 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): Matthew Patrick Davis (composer/lyricist of UCBT-LA musicals based on Jurassic Park, The Shining, King Kong, The NeverEnding Story, etc.) performs a one-man musical about his quest to not die alone, featuring such songs as “Superficial Bastard,” “I’m In Love With A Girl That I Hate,” and “She Doesn’t Like Radiohead,”at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Matt Davis Gets a Girlfriend

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Joel Weidl (Goat, Death by Roo Roo) writes and stars in sketch showAmerican Weidl

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Storyteller/comics Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Lately, writer for MTV’s Girl Code,VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories), Michelle Buteau (FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Lane Moore, and Akilah Hughes share true tales for this confessional storytelling show at UCB East hosted by the extraordinary Ruby Karp: HelloGiggles

8:00 pm ($10): Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC; clash with Roseanne on Last Comic Standing led to #gofuckyourselfBen) and more performing stand-up at The PIT upstairs theatre with twins Adam & Todd Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Goodbye, Handsome (which includes irresistible dynamo Christine Bullen) and Nipsy (which includes the highly talented Natasha Vaynblat):Maude Night: Goodbye, Handsome and Nipsy

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: Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy albumSadamantium), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Shang Forbes (Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View,The Newz), Luchana Gatica, Emma Willmann, and Chris Scopo 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, documentaryA Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): 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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly comedy variety show featuring sketch, character bits, and stand-up at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Anthony Apruzzese: Comedic Information

[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 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)

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 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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