NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 4/6/15

April 6, 2015

NYC Comedy Week Alert: Get two-for-one tickets
for scores of comedy shows this week here

TV Alert: Billy Gardell is on Conan O’Brien;
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 3/17);
Doug Benson, Justin Willman, and Jade Catta-Preta
are on @midnight

Game of Thrones Season 5

Kate Riley, Alan Starzinski, and eight other comics at UCB Chelsea promise “This is not a trap! We swear we won’t kill everyone you care about!” at their Game of Thrones Season Premier Extravaganza

The Staten Island Fairy

…the wonderful Jo Firestone stars as a fairy on the Staten Island ferry in The PIT’s Screening of Short Comedy Films

Chris Gethard and Eleanore Pienta

…while Chris Gethard and Eleanore Pienta (CCDT) are among the brilliant comics at Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

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 7:25 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl, Becky Krause, and Tracy Mull—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[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 The Men’s Rights Movement debated by Mel Feit (founder of the National Center for Men) and Jason Stanford (Democratic strategist and syndicated columnist) atThe Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City produced by Elise Flick & Ben Kissel and moderated by Ben Kissel: Sweaty Nixon

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): 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 monthly storytelling extravaganza The Adam Wade Show and cast member of The Nights of Our Lives; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here) hosts a show at The Magnet that’s “like watching the characters ofThe Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption,” with guest storytellers Leissa Perkinson Jackmauh, Mark Pagán, Catherine Davis, and Elissa Dauria:Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?

[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, Keith Alberstadt, Robert Kelly, Rachel Feinstein, and Sean Donnelly (hosting) at the 7:30 show; Judah Friedlander, Greer Barnes, Lori Palminteri, Dov Davidoff, and Ryan Reiss (hosting) at the 9:30 show; and Mark Normand, Nikki Glaser, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Jesse Joyce, and Sam Morril 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 ($5): Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Broad City, Parks & Recreation, The Office, Conan O’Brien 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), Cocoon Central Dance Team (delightful comedic dancers Eleanore Pienta, Tallie Medel, and Sunita Mani performing a great show at The PIT in April and May), and David Smithyman (correspondent for The Nightly Show) performing stand-up or dance at UCB East hosted by Nat Townsen: Downtown Variety Hour

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A mix of sketch and improv celebrate the return of the greatest show on TV, Game of Thrones. “Come join all your favorite villains, heroes, Whitewalkers, and Hodors of Westeros for a rousing night of comedy. This is not a trap! We swear we won’t kill everyone you care about” at the UCB Chelsea theatre hosted by Kate Riley & Alan Starzinski: Game of Thrones Season Premier Extravaganza

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A screening of three short comedy films: Staten Island Fairy starring the wonderful Jo Firestone (The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, host of numerous great stage shows) and written & directed by Steve Siddell in which “A fairy born and raised on Staten Island waxes poetically about New York City while riding the Staten Island Ferry;” Shogun of the Upper East Side written, directed, and co-starringMitch Lucas, and also starring Jodi Lennon, Meredith Hackman, and Will Nunziata; and The Auteurs: John Cassavetes written & directed by Mitch Lucas & Shawn Wickens, all at The PIT upstairs theatre: Screening of The Auteurs, Shogun of the Upper East Side, and Staten Island Fairy (Starring Jo Firestone)

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Jon Fisch (David Letterman, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, VH1), James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, finalist on Last Comic Standing, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, The Embassy), Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host of Big Long Sets), Loyiso Gola, and Trey Galyon performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted by Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out, sketch group Absolutely): Night Train

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 (Conan O’Brien, Moth GrandSlam Champion, The BTK Band): The Moth StorySlam

[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): Improvisors make up a Wikipedia entry on the spot at The Magnet theatre: Wikipedia Live

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, 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: Ari Shaffir, Robert Kelly, Seth Herzog, Liza Treyger, Amanda Seales, Yannis Pappas, JF Harris, Reggie Conquest, and H. Foley 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

10:15 pm ($7): Duo improv from teams Dubbadee, Ant. Jr., Trick Baby, Becca Squared, (K)rock & (K)roll, and hostMegaLou (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

[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] 10:30 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

[FREE] 11:00 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] 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.

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