NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/2/15

March 2, 2015

For more, please visit

TV Alert: Aziz Ansari is on Conan O’Brien;
Robert Smigel is on The Daily Show;
Steve Carell is on David Letterman (repeated from 2/9);
Jen Kirkman, Doug Benson, and Baratunde Thurston
are on @midnight

Myq Kaplan and Eugene Mirman

Myq Kaplan and Eugene Mirman are among the stellar stand-ups at Wyatt Cenac’s Night Train


…and ISIS is the subject of a somehow comedic debate at The Creek’s Sweaty Nixon

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] [FREE] 7:00 pm: This monthly debate-style comedy show “sets two expert combatants from different sides of a polarizing issue against one another,” with tonight’s topic ISIS debated by Adam Edelman (political reporter for New York’s Daily News) and Saman Arbabi (award-winning Iranian-American journalist and satirist) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Kissel & Elise Flick: Sweaty Nixon

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): World-class storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 20-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of The Adam Wade Show; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here), hosts a show at The Magnet that’s “like watching the characters of The Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption,” with tonight’s guest storytellers Christina Dabney, Michael Richard McLarnon, Zoë Dennis, and Stacey Miller: Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?

7:00 pm ($7): Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Matt Dennie (MTV, IFC, half of brilliant sketch duo Dennie & Sharp), Myka Fox (stand-up), Meg Griffiths Anderson (improv group The Baldwins), musician Alex Nahas (band Bright Brown), and Vinny DePonto (magician & mind reader) performing comedy, music, and/or magic at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Shannon Manning (improv group Beauty Love Truth): Spark

[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 Todd Barry, Jessica Kirson, Lenny Marcus, Chris Distefano, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Ted Alexandro, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, and Seaton Smith (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Kurt Metzger, Big Jay Oakerson, Keith Alberstadt, Sam Morril, 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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out, but you can probably get in if you’re okay with standing): Some of UCB Chelsea’sfinest sketch & character comics—including Joe Pera, Christine Bullen, Connor Ratliff, Don Fanelli, and Aaron Jackson & Josh Sharp—perform before industry folks who can make their careers at an all-you-can-watch revue hosted by Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1): UCB Chelsea’s I’m Cool Sketch Showcase

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Strong lineup of Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Eugene Mirman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Nore Davis (Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Boardwalk Empire, Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus, MTV), Hadiyah Robinson (BET’s Comic View), Scott Dooley, and Tanael Joachim 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 Personand Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train: Myq Kaplan, Eugene Mirman, and More

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A “longform storytelling” show, providing a whopping 25 minutes per storyteller, which can be awesome or agonizing depending what any given storyteller delivers, with tonight’s guests Andy Ross (Comedy Central, The Onion, Mad Magazine, host of Real Characters), Alan Gordon (author), and Nelson Lugo (magician) performing at Brooklyn’s Local 61 (61 Bergen Street) hosted by Eli Reiter: Long Story Long

8:00 ($5): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Cipha Sounds (Chappelle’s Show, MTV, Hot 97), and more performing at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen: Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

8:00 pm ($8): Storytellers gather in hopes of being randomly selected to tell tales and compete for judging panel approval at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street) hosted by Peter Aguero: The Moth StorySlam

[$] 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

8:30 pm ($7): “Improvisers create scenes inspired by essays written about personal experiences and show that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine” at The Magnet theatre: You Are Not Alone: An Uplifting Show About Depression

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 Foxtrot, Old Man Time, Genetic Freaks, Suli, GCPD, and host MegaLou(Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld) at The Magnet theatre: The Duo Show

[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), Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer,MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Emma Willmann (Bravo, Oxygen, AxisTV’s Live at Gotham), Subhah Agarwal, and Chloe Hilliard 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: Mike Lawrence, Dan Soder, Pete Lee, and More

10:15 pm ($7): Duo improv from groups Bagel Boys, Little Buddy, Stellar Death, Drama!, and host MegaLou (Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld) at The Magnet theatre: The Duo Show

[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

[ALMOST FREE] 5:30 pm-6:45 pm ($1): Open-mic storytelling, with each performer getting 4 minutes on stage followed by the option of critiques from the audience, at the Treehouse Theater (154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor) hosted by Val Roder: Oomph: Comedy Storytelling 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)

(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