NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 1/26/15

January 26, 2015

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TV Alert: Louis CK is on David Letterman
(and please note Louis’ Madison Square Garden show tomorrow
has been canceled due to the anticipated snowstorm…);
Martin Short, Tony Danza, Alan Alda, and Susan Sarandon
are hosted by Regis Philbin on The Late Late Show;
Amanda Peet is on Conan O’Brien;
John Gemberling, Ken Marino, and Tymberlee Hill are on @midnight

Naomi Ekperigin

Broad City writer Naomi Ekperigin…

Ilana Glazer

…and Broad City co-star Ilana Glazer perform at UCB East’s Stand-Up Spotlight

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] 6:30 ($5): Naomi Ekperigin (writer for Broad City and Hulu’s Difficult People; MTV, VH1, FX) performs stand-up for 40 minutes, with an opening set by Ilana Glazer (co-star of Broad City) at the UCB East theatre: Stand-Up Spotlight

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Writer Allyson Morgan (2014 Tribeca Film Festival) and director Kristin McCarthy Parker (PIT hit Hold Onto Your Butts), and assorted actors put on a reading of Allyson’s TV pilot Neighbors in which “Melanie, a single gal in the city, gets a new horrible neighbor every week” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Neighbors

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Ralph Harris, Lenny Marcus, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Todd Barry, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Dan Soder, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Paul Mecurio, Joe Matarese, Big Jay Oakerson, Lori Palminteri, Monroe Martin, and Godfrey (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all shows 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 crash into classic theatre scenes played by Broadway, off-Broadway, and TV stars—tonight including Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Mike Birbiglia (one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country; feature film Sleepwalk with Me), and Ellie Kemper (star of upcoming Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)—at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): 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), Christine Bullen (stellar character comic; sketch group Goodbye Handsome, one-woman showMy Melonbasket), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code and Guy Code; Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Abbi Crutchfield, Sue Smith, and Rekha Shankar being interviewed and/or performing at UCB Easthosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($29): The only FringeNYC show to ever include a barbershop quartet singing about alcohol and three rounds for each audience member (for my full review, which includes a rave for the spectacular Nicole DiMattei, please click here) is now playing as a perfect show for a date every Friday & Saturday night at the West Village’s Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, in the downstairs Huron Club): The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Hasan Minhaj (correspondent for The Daily Show), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Liza Treyger (co-host with Sabrina Jalees of How Many Questions?), and Tanael Joachim performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Phoebe Robinson (Comedy Central’s Broad City, MTV’s Girl Code, FX’s Totally Biased, Glamour Magazine): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): Two actors perform from different famed plays and an improviser crashes into the scripted scenes atThe PIT upstairs theatre directed by Meg Griffiths Anderson: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

[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

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

[CANCELED DUE TO SNOWSTORM] 9:30 pm ($5): The two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups scheduled to perform tonight—the daring, out-of-the-box brilliant, and hysterical Legs for Days, and Roanoke—have been canceled due to the anticpated snowstorm Maude Night will be back next week.

[CANCELED DUE TO SNOWSTORM] 9:30 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, Phillip Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss normally host & perform at UCB East at this time. However, the show has been canceled due to the anticipated snowstorm. Improv Nerds will be back next week.

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live), Justy Dodge (co-host of Married to Comedy podcast and Too Much Information on; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Crystian Ramirez, Joe Bartnick, Lisa Corrao, and Vladimir Caamano 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: Cipha Sounds, Brooks Wheelan, Justy Dodge, and More

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

[CANCELED DUE TO SNOWSTORM] 11:00 pm: Normally, some of the finest comics in the world perform at UCB Chelsea’s wonderful Whiplash. However, the show has been canceled tonight due to the anticipated snowstorm. Whiplash will be back as usual next week.

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

[CANCELED DUE TO SNOWSTORM] 10:30 pm: Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson normally host an improv jam at UCB East at this time, but won’t tonight because of the anticipated snowstorm. Improv Nerds Jamwill be back next week.

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)

The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; shows free-$10)

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/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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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