NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/20/16

Revelers hold balloons, representing the colors of a rainbow, to form the word, "Love" during the annual gay pride parade in Lima, Peru, Saturday, June 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) ORG XMIT: ABD107LGBTQ-themed shows rule tonight, with four at The Magnet: Confetti: A Pride Night Mixer at 6:30 pm, Spectrum: An LGBTQ Storytelling Hour at 7:30 pm, Palette: An LGBTQ Sketch Hour at 9:00 pm, and Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event Pride Night at 10:30 pm; plus Straight Marriage at 7:00 at The Annoyance, and Live with Kelly and Jay at 7:30 pm at The PIT

More recommendations for the best in NYC 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 at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($5 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Broadway, TV, and film star Colin Quinn (Trainwreck) hones material for his one-man shows at the Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street): Colin Quinn: New York Story

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Gay comics Kelley Quinn & Chris Burns portray a heterosexual married couple at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Straight Marriage

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): LGBTQ-themed storytelling from Meg Ferrill (Moth GrandSLAM champion), Kevin R. Free (Welcome to Night Vale), Tim Manley (Moth StorySlam winner), Noah Michelson (Huffington Post Editorial Director), C Bain, and Melissa Gordon at The Magnet theatre hosted by T.J. Mannix (NPR’s All Things Considered): Spectrum: An LGBTQ Storytelling Hour

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Some of the finest stand-ups in the country spread among three shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Monday

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm [$] ($25): Ophira Eisenberg tapes her comedy trivia radio show live with tonight’s guest Loudon Wainwright III at Brooklyn’s The Bell House (149 7th Street): Ask Me Another

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Jay Malsky (highly talented, super-charged improvisor & character comic; FringeNYC) hones his skills to become the new co-host with Kelly Ripa via this interview parody show, with tonight’s guests actor/director Peter Michael Marino and actress/singer/sketch comic Taylor Ortega at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Live with Kelly and Jay

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($5): Jo Firestone, Bobby Tisdale, Seth Herzog, Brett Davis, and host Edmond Hawkins screen actual commercials and short video clips, and then discuss how to make each one just a little bit better at Brooklyn’s Union Hall (702 Union Street; take R subway to Union Street): Focus Group with Edmond Hawkins

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, sketch group OSFUG performs its best bits in ‘The Fast Fuckin’ Sketch Show

…and in the second half of this double-bill, sketch group One Idiot performs a parody of series such as Serial and Making a Murderer: This Murder A Real Murder

8:00 pm ($5): Comics perform character bits at UCB East hosted by Frank Garcia-Hejl & Justin Tyler: Characters Welcome

8:00 pm ($8): Michelle Buteau (daily host of VH1’s Morning Buzz; FOX’s Enlisted, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Craig Ferguson, VH1’s Best Week Ever, @midnight), Doogie Horner, Kyle Ayers, Adam Mamawala, and Martin Urbano performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by the wonderful Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; writer for numerous awesome shows, including South Park; albums Comedy Person and Brooklyn): Night Train

8:00 pm ($5): A five-person group performs a show that has something to do with iPhone game Neko Atsume: KItty Collector at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): Frisky Bitz

[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 ($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, with tonight’s guests Jim Tews (Last Comic Standing, Louie, co-host of Fresh Out, author of Felines of New York) and Greg Stone performing stand-up at Astoria Queens’ QED: A Place to Show & Tell (27-16 23rd Avenue): The Ted Alexandro Show

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): LGBTQ writers & performers create sketch comedy at The Magnet theatre directed by Charlie Nicholson: Palette: An LGBTQ Sketch Hour

9:00 pm ($5): A musical sketch show about the rise of the terrible (fictitious) boy band at The PIT Loft (154 West 29th Street): Glory Boyz: Inches From Glory

9:00 pm ($5): A new television network, live on stage, at Brooklyn’s The Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Avenue; take J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue or L to Lorimer Street): The Hyve

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($20): From the team that created the amazing Hold On To Your Butts: Kyle Schaefer, Nick Abeel, Matt Zambrano, and foley artist Blair Busbee create live on stage “a ‘shot for shot’ parody of the first chapter in the most epic fantasy trilogy of all time” directed by the highly talented Kristin McCarthy Parker at The PIT upstairs theatre (123 East 24th Street): Fly, You Fools!

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch groups try out new material: Maude Night: Choir and Mama’s Gotta Go

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

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Carmen Lagala asks audience members to select from among her numerous wigs (she owns 40), and then assigns comics to wear those wigs and create comedic characters on the spot at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Wigging Out

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Your chance to experience one of the best comedy clubs in NYC at absolutely no charge (feel encouraged to order food and//or drinks, but you don’t have to), with a different stand-up lineup every Monday—tonight featuring Damien Lemon and Derek Gaines—at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue, off 20th Street) hosted by Aaron Berg (TV series 24 Hour Rental, documentary A Universal Language): Frantic Mondays

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): Storytellers share their true “coming out” tales, and then improvisors make up either a play or a musical based on each story at The Magnet theatre hosted by Laura (Dubbs) Weinblatt: Thank You For Coming Out: An LGBTQ Event Pride Night

[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 typically 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

4:30 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

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open-mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand 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 3 minutes on stage. Arrive at around 5:45 to sign up, or wait for the late bucket at 6:15, to perform at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ LIC (10-93 Jackson Avenue) hosted by Matt Anderson: First Stop 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

[FREE] 6:30 pm: In this free LGBTQ Magnet show, audience members can join in with veteran LGBTQ improvisors to make up scenes on the spot, hosted by Peter Appleby & Eleanor Lewis: Confetti: A Pride Night Mixer

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] 10:30 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

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 John Field: 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

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 PIT Underground (Downstairs) Theatre
(123 East 24th Street; 40-seater; often more quirky & experimental than upstairs Striker; shows free-$10)

The PIT Loft
(154 West 29th Street; 50-seater; not at the level of its two sister PIT theatres, but evolving; shows free-$10)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; strong on improv, musical improv, sketch, and energy; shows $5-$10)

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)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Union Hall
(702 Union Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 50-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Littlefield
(622 Degraw Street in Brooklyn; R to Union Street; 100-seat theatre; shows $5-$20)

Bell House
(149 7th Street in Brooklyn; R to 9th Street or F/G to Fourth Ave.; 200-seat theatre; shows $10-$25)

QED: A Place to Show & Tell
(27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria Queens; N/Q to Ditmars Boulevard; 40-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.)

Village Underground
(130 West 3rd Street; Comedy Cellar’s larger sister venue, just around the corner with the same top comics; 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.)

The Standing Room
(4738 Vernon Blvd., by #7 train; Queens LIC club; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Other NYC Live Shows, Heavily Marked Down via Goldstar

The Stand

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

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 hy@hyreviews.com.

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