NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 2/16/15

February 16, 2015

For more, please visit

TV Alert: Natasha Leggero, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Maz Jobrani
are hosted by Thomas Lennon on The Late Late Show;
Matthew Perry is on David Letterman;
Jason Bateman is on Conan O’Brien (repeated from 11/20)

Kapow-i GoGo

Anime such as Dragon Ball Z inspires this 3-part live action play that debuts tonight with Kapow-i GoGo Part 1: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!

Chris Gethard

…Chris Gethard faces his demons in a genius (and hilarious) long stand-up set about depression: Career Suicide


…and one of the best UCB parody shows ever returns in Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 6:30 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Conan O’Brien, The Office, IFC; star of Fusion’s The 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 East theatre: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: The king of roasts, after headlining the last two nights at Carolines, performs a free headlining set for one night only at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Jeff Ross: One Night Only

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm ($10 for each of these three distinct “episodes” that together comprise “Part 1” or $20 for all three): Part 1 of a 3-part epic saga debuts tonight: “Kapow-I Gogo is a 14-year-old girl on a big adventure. Can she stand up against evil monsters, the big bad Ultra Corporation, or an eviler space demon? She’s got love, hope, and joy on her side along with her best friends—and 32-year-old brother—on a mission to become The World’s Greatest Fighter! And she’s going to save the world. Again. And again. And again. Matthew Cox’s live-action hybrid of Dragon Ball Z, cyberpunk space operas, Final Fantasy, and every after-school cartoon you watched in the mid-to-late 1990s began as one of the most popular plays at The Flea Theater’s #serials@theflea. For this run the show has been expanded and re-conceived into three totally new, separate evenings: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!, Kapow-i GoGo Z, and Kapow-i Neo Evolution GT-X” at The PIT upstairs theatre, with this Part 1 itself split into three episodes playing respectively at 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm (coupled with G.U.S., an improvised post-apocalypse show), and 9:00 pm (coupled with Shrink, an improvised puppet therapy show): Kapow-i GoGo Part 1: Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Michael Che, Dan Soder, Marina Franklin, Robert Kelly, Monroe Martin, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Gary Gulman, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Keith Alberstadt, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Big Jay Oakerson, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) at the 11:15 show, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a sketch group that promises to give away $100: Awful DJ

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a rare gem that’s one of the very best shows to grace UCB Chelsea, in which sketch group Bellevue and director Brandon Gulya create a totally hilarious “missing” episode of a classic sitcom: Seinfeld: “The Leaning Susan”

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Jessica Williams (star correspondent of The Daily Show) and Phoebe Robinson guest-host tonight, with Liza Treyger, Michelle Billoon, Matteo Lane, Jim Tews, and Bryan Babylon performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street): Night Train

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Character comics who typically include rising star Christine Bullen (one-woman show My Melonbasket, sketch group Goodbye Handsome) performing bits at UCB East hosted by Justin Tyler & Michael Hartney: Characters Welcome

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: (212) (which includes rising star Langan Kingsley, Cody Lindquist, Eddie Dunn, and Rob Cuthill, and stellar sketch writer Achilles Stamatelaky) and One Idiot (a young group that includes writer Nathan Min): Maude Night:(212) and One Idiot

9:30 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): NYC stand-ups Jono Zalay, Janelle James, Josh Gondelman, and Samaria Johnson performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Mehran Khaghani: The Mehran Show

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Celebrating the birthday of Adrienne Iapalucci (David Letterman, Last Comic Standing, VH1) are Mark DeMayo (retired NYC cop with great stories; MTV’s Guy Code), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Luis J. Gomez, Josh Homer, Paul Virzi, Vladimir Caamano, and Fariaz Rabbani 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: Adrienne Iapalucci Birthday Bash

10:00 pm ($7): Anarchic improv from nearly a dozen comics at The Magnet theatre: The Stank

[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 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

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
(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.

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