Mike Lawrence describes his winding career path, from seven years of working a drive-through window at McDonald’s to currently being a staff writer at Emmy Award-winning series Inside Amy Schumer, for my new podcast here.
Delightful rising star Christine Bullen debuts a one-woman show in which she plays 17 characters in 25 minutes: Christine Bullen: A China Shop; and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch duo Greg Burke & Lou Perez perform a show “about terrible people making even worse decisions:” Greg & Lou: The Failures (9:30 pm, $5, UCB Chelsea at 307 West 26th Street)
More recommendations for the best in New York City comedy tonight
(in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:
[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation—which include groups Lovers & The Future at 8:00 pm featuring the spectacular Dana Krashin, Tracy Mull, and David Carl—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday
[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm, and 12:15 am ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among four shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) and a 7:30 pm show at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue): Comedy Cellar Monday
7:00 pm ($5): “Magician, ventriloquist, standup, storyteller, performance artist. These and many more are staples of a good variety show. But what happens if you don’t know what your act is until you’re introduced? Watch improvisers create characters and variety acts on the spot” at The PIT upstairs theatre, featuring Rachel Scherer, Rory Scholl, Kathleen Armenti, Nikita Burdein, and Ray Munoz: Guess Who’s Coming to the Stage?
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5; sold out of seats, but you can probably get in if you don’t mind standing): Top improvisors and Broadway & TV stars crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10 at the door or $11.59 online): Comics Myq Kaplan, Aparna Nancherla, Ben Kronberg, Giulia Rozzi, Shane Torres, Lisa Curry, and Lillian DeVane performing erotic fiction they’ve written based on audience suggestions at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Bryan Cook: Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction
[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): Mark Normand (one of the finest stand-ups in the country), Alan Starzinski (Broad City), and Ashley Brooke Roberts (co-host of Fresh Out) performing stand-up and/or being interviewed at UCB East hosted by the memorable Katie Kester: The Later Show
[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($6): A safe place to try out new material, with tonight’s stand-ups Joe Matarese, Victor Varnado, and Anthony DeVito, plus musical group The Dreamstalks, all performing at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue) hosted by Christian Finnegan (Conan O’Brien, co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show): New Release Day with Christian Finnegan
9:30 pm ($5): Three one-man shows from Will Neville, Patrick Hastie, and Jacob Williams at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ode to Stallone, Patrick Tells His Best Jokes, and Joke Box Hero
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Dan St. Germain, Gary Vider, Bonnie McFarlane, Derek Gaines, and more perform stand-up at one of the best comedy clubs in NYC, The Stand (239 Third Avenue off 20th Street), at absolutely no charge (feel encouraged to order food and//or drinks, but you don’t have to) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays
[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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Tiana Miller & Dee Marie: Gentrification
10:15 pm ($7): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens,” hosted by Megan Gray at The Magnet theatre: We Might Just Kiss
[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 (one of the best stand-ups in the country; writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers; Conan O’Brien, @Midnight, Last Comic Standing). Reservations go quickly, but you can probably get in if you arrive early and are okay with standing: Whiplash
Monday Open Mics & Jams
4:40 pm-7:00 pm ($5 plus 1 drink min., with drinks as low as $2): Walk-in stand-up open mic with two rounds, the first providing 5-6 minutes per set and the second 2-3 minutes per set, at The Grisly Pear (107 MacDougal Street) hosted by Tuval Mor: Kickin It 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’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) 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
For tomorrow’s top comedy picks, please click here.
For many more shows, please click the following links to top NYC comedy venues:
Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling
Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world; especially strong on improv, sketch, solo shows, and one-act comedic plays; shows free-$10)
Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seater; a top comedy venue that focuses more than sister theatre UCB Chelsea on stand-up and screenings, and on experimental shows taking big risks; shows free-$10)
The PIT Striker (Upstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seater; a top venue that’s a powerful rival of UCB, and often surpasses UCB when blending comedy with music and/or theatricality; shows free-$20)
The Annoyance Theatre
(367 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn; J/M/Z to Marcy or L to Lorimer; 50-seat theatre; spinning off from Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, brings a fiercely fresh, experimental approach to improv and sketch; shows free-$10)
Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs
Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar:
Click Any Image That Interests You to See the Discount Offer
From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: Thank God for Hy Bender’s religiously updated show bible BestNewYorkComedy.com…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, submit material to my short story anthology Ghosts on Drugs, hire me for book or screenplay work, or for any other reason by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.