NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/22/15

June 22, 2015

TV Alert: Judd Apatow is on Conan O’Brien;
Seth MacFarlane is on Jimmy Fallon;
Chris Tucker is on Jimmy Kimmel;
Eddie Izzard is on James Corden (repeated from 4/29);
Sara Schaefer, Randy Sklar, and Jason Sklar are on @midnight

Pete Lee

Pete Lee kicks off a week of trying out stand-up material via a free show at The Creek

Julie Klausner

…and Julie Klausner and Sasheer Zamata celebrate the One Year Anniversary of Katie Kester’s The Later Show

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] 6:00 pm party, 7:00 pm show ($5): The wonderful creators & cast of the superb Unauthorized! series mingle with you at The PIT bar area at 6:00 pm and then put on a fundraising show at The PIT upstairs theatre at 7:00 pm: Fundraiser for Unauthorized!

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing) tries out material every night this week at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Week at the Creek: Pete Lee

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Comedic storytellers Marie Faustin, Joseph Robert, Mike Guild, and more performing on the premise “Sometimes people are dicks. Then they tell us about it onstage. It’s great!”—which tonight might include tales of their dads’ disappointment—at Brooklyn’s Over the Eight (594 Union Ave) for this monthly show hosted by Jake Hart & Nick Padilla: Antagonist Storytelling Series

7:00 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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Nick DiPaolo, Greer Barnes, Nick Griffin, Marina Franklin, Joe Matarese, Jon Fisch, Big Jay Oakerson, Rachel Feinstein, Pete Davidson, and Sherrod Small, with all three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($15; no min.): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, hour-long set Passive Aggressive), and more performing at The StandComedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street) hosted by Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1): Janeane Garofalo, Ari Shaffir, Jessica Kirson, and More

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The smartest, funniest parody currently playing at UCB, in which Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz tackles zombies, homophobia, weak scripting for female protagonists, and the Hollywood studio system, written and co-starring Glenn Boozan and directed by the wonderful Laura Grey (Crazy Bitch/Crazy Pussy,Faeries, stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm). If you see only one scripted show at UCB Chelsea this month, make it the charming and hilarious Dorothy Goes to Hollywood: A Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a one-woman show by Santina Muha about her life in a wheelchair, directed by Pam Murphy: That Girl in the Wheelchair

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Sasheer Zamata (instant star cast member of Saturday Night Live), Julie Klausner (razor-sharp comic & storyteller; host of How Was Your Week podcast; author of I Don’t Care About Your Band), and musical duoFantasy Grandma performing at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.79 online): Jared Logan (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing, CNN, TBS), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central’s Broad City, VH1, co-host of Lasers in the Jungle), Jordan Temple, and Casey James Salengo performing stand-up, plus music from , DJ Tara, all at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; Adult Swim; albums Comedy Personand Brooklyn): Night Train

8:00 pm ($8): A group of actors and improvisors attempt to duplicate the success of UCBT’s Gravid Water by putting improvisors in the middle of classic theatre scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre. UCBT uses top Broadway and improv talent for its show, making it extraordinary. The participants of this show are unannounced; but the format is so strong that this might work anyway, despite the awful title: The Actor’s Worst Nightmare

8:00 pm (no cover, 1-item food or drink min.): Carolyn Castiglia (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VH1; for sample of Carolyn as white rapper, please click here), Carlos Delgado, Jamarr John Johnson, and Regina DeCicco performing stand-up for this weekly show 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] 8:30 pm ($7): Favorite sketches from Magnet house groups and indie groups hosted by Matt Antonucci and/or Joe Lepore: Bonus Round

[FREE] 8:30ish pm: Jo Firestone (exceptionally inventive and irresistible rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, radio host of WFMU’s Dr. Gameshow, live-on-stage host of Punderdome 3000, The Unexpectashow, and The Incredible Game Show Showcase), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Dan Chamberlain (ace sketch group Legs for Days), Blair Socci, James Folta!, Mary Jo Bono, Matt Porter, Dewey Lovett, and Drennen Quinn performing stand-up or sketch at Brooklyn’s Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer Street) hosted by Julio Torres (Ars Nova) & Joe Rumrill: Fresh Perspectives

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing): Ellie Kemper & Christina Gausas used to perform duo improv together. Tonight they do so again at the UCB Chelseatheatre: Kempsas

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from group Parade Grounds at The PIT upstairs theatre: Parade Grounds: Big Lights, Bright City

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: Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, host of Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening , HBO’sDown and Dirty, National Lampoon, Comedy Central special Passive Aggressive), Pete Lee (Comedy Central Half Hour, Last Comic Standing), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV, ABC), Eleanor Kerrigan, Vladimir Caamano, Megan Gailey, Chris Laker, Emma Willmann, Joe Praino, Andrew Schiavone, and Sean White 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: Ari Shaffir, Pete Lee, Ben Kronberg, and More

[FREE] 10:00 pm: A monthly stand-up show covering “UrbanAlternative comedy, with a mix of comedians calling out the absurd facets of dealing with life in the concrete jungle” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Tiana Miller and/or Dee Marie: Gentrification

10:15 pm ($7): Two “coming out” stories from Lisa Sperry and Kevin Gilligan serve as springboards for LGBTQ improvisers to make up scenes at The Magnet theatre: Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event

[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 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