NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/15/15

June 15, 2015

TV Alert: Aziz Ansari is on Jimmy Fallon;
Jeff Garlin and Tim Minchin are on Conan O’Brien;
Judd Apatow is on The Daily Show;
Chris Gethard is on Jimmy Kimmel (repeated from 6/10);
Dave Hill, Margaret Cho, and Matt Lucas are on @midnight

Unauthorized! Showcase

At the PIT at 7;00 pm, the top original songs from four superb musical parodies of classic movies are showcased in Unauthorized!

jurassic park

…and at 9:30 pm a popular shot-by-shot homage to Jurassic Park returns: Hold On To Your Butts

 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, Tracy Mull, and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Christopher W. Barnes (book), Ryan Mercy (songs), Ronny Pascale (producer), and a wonderful cast that’s a mix of comics and actors perform some of the best songs from the four superb musical parodies to date in the Unauthorized! series: Steel Petunias (Steel Magnolias), The Hungry Hungry Games (The Hunger Games), That 80s Time Travel Movie (Back to the Future), and Ghostcatchers (you get the idea…). This super-medley of a show is being performed and recorded for theatre producers—and for your laughs and cheers—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Unauthorized: The Showcase

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code) tries out material tonight through Thursday at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Chris Distefano

7:00 pm ($7): “A fully improvised show that highlights the relationship between music, time, memory, and the best party you’ve ever been to” at The Magnet theatre: Dance Floor Makeout

[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, Gary Gulman, Mark Normand, Joe Machi, Ryan Hamilton, Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Liza Treyger, and Sam Morril, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; comedy album I Did It; frequently opens for Louis C.K.) hosts this monthly show that tonight features stand-ups Dan Soder (smart, edgy rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code and Guy Court, VH1), Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, The Today Show, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another, bestselling book Screw Everyone, comedy album Bangs!), and Myka Fox performing stand-up, plus an interview with former New York Governor contender Zephyr Teachout, all at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Ted Alexandro Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, “a sketch comedy about nonsense, lies, and exaggerations” from over a dozen comics: That’s Bullshit!

…and in the second half of this double-bill, the wonderful Laura Grey (Dorothy Goes to Hollywood, Faeries, stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm) and Kristen Acimovic (ace sketch group Legs For Days) perform sketches focused on women—including a brilliant extended bit about how to difficult it is to say you’re beautiful:Crazy Bitch/Crazy Pussy

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

8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Adam Newman (David Letterman, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, host ofBig Long Sets), Kara Klenk (writer for VH1’s Girl Code & Guy Code and contributor to Broad City; Comedy Central, TruTV, Spike, Nickelodeon; host of If You Bring It), Alingon Mitra (Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Daniel Simonsen, and Cliff Cash performing stand-up, plus DJ Donwill, all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch duo Marina Tempelsman & Niccolo Aeed and storyteller Sam Dingman join forces “to teach you everything they know about love & sex” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Everything We Know About Love

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item food or drink min.): NYC stand-ups Kendra Cunningham, Joe DeVito, Maria Heinegg, Evan Jones, Patrick Holbert, and Taylor Ketchum perform at The Village Lantern Downstairs Club (167 Bleecker Street) hosted by Khalid A. Rahmaan and/or LeClerc Andre: Unarmed and Dangerous Comedy Show

[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] [$] 9:00 pm ($15): Aparna Nancherla, Sasheer Zamata, Jena Friedman, Greg Barris, Sean Donnelly, Matteo Lane, Diana Kolsky, and Girls with Brown Hair perform for a fundraiser for Nepal at Brooklyn’s Cameo(behind Lovin’ Cup) hosted by Sue Smith & Katie Kester: Comedians Who Care: A Benefit for Nepal

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20 at the door or $22.09 online; please note this show usually sells out): Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, and foley artist Kelsey Didion perform a spectacular live shot-for-shot stage version of Jurassic Park atThe PIT upstairs theatre directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker: Hold On To Your Butts…Jurassik Parc

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Goodbye, Handsome (which includes irresistible dynamo Christine Bullen, the also superb Audrey Stanfield and Lauren Brickman, and a terrific group of writers) 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: Steve Byrne, Matt Koff, Damien Lemon, Monroe Martin, Kendra Cunningham, Derek Gaines, Amanda Seales, Giulio Gallarotti, H. Foley, and Anthony Zenhauser 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: Steve Byrne, Matt Koff, Damien Lemon, and More

10:15 pm ($7): Dustin Drury & Andrew Yurman-Glaser, both from upstate NY, perform duo improv at The Magnettheatre: Upstate Improv

[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 the wonderful Aparna Nancherla (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; Comedy Central’s Meltdown, Conan O’Brien, Last Comic Standing): 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

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: Open mic stand-up show that provides each performer whose name i 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/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