NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 2/2/15

February 2, 2015

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TV Alert: John Oliver is on Seth Meyers;
Martin Short is on The Daily Show;
Nick Kroll, Jon Daly, and Seth Morris
of Kroll Show are on @midnight

Michelle Wolf

Rising star and Seth Meyers writer Michelle Wolf performs a 30-minute set at Stand-Up Spotlight

Joe Garden

…and former The Onion features editor Joe Garden (above) debates CNN producer Ted Schillinger about the role of media in Queens LIC at The Creek’s Sweaty Nixon

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] [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 Role of Media debated by Joe Garden (former Features Editor at The Onion) and Ted Schillinger (Emmy winner; Co-Executive Producer of CNN’s The Hunt With John Walsh) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Kissel: Sweaty Nixon

7:00 pm ($5): A monthly sketch show that takes you to “an alternative reality filled with unique characters, curious tales, and odd occurrences” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Blunderbuss

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation—which include group Jean Pool at 7:00 pm featuring the spectacular David Carl and Becky Krause—at The PIT downstairs lounge: Super Free Monday

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:45 pm, 9:30 pm, and 11:15 pm ($12 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s stand-ups include Judah Friedlander, Ryan Hamilton, Colin Jost, and Marina Franklin (hosting) at the 7:45 show; Nick Griffin, Greer Barnes, Carmen Lynch, Lenny Marcus, and Ralph Harris at the 9:30 show; and Mark Normand, Keith Alberstadt, Joe List, Sam Morril, and Wil Sylvince (hosting) 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 pm ($5): Deliciously long 30-minute sets from Michelle Wolf (rising star; staff writer for and performer on Seth Meyers; MTV’s Girl Code, IFC) and Phil Hanley (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, host ofChemistry) at the UCB Chelsea theatre: Stand-Up Spotlight: Michelle Wolf and Phil Hanley

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door or $9.47 online): Strong lineup of Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-upsin 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.), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Half Hour, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, comedy album Sadamantium), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central Half Hour, MTV’s Guy Code, Girl Code, Guy Court), Alison Leiby (host of It’s a Long Story), and Greg Barris (MTV, host of Heart of Darkness) performing stand-up or storytelling at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) hosted by Wyatt Cenac (former star correspondent for The Daily Show; albums Wyatt Cenac: Comedy Person and Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn): Night Train: Ted Alexandro, Mike Lawrence, Damien Lemon, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($16.82 online using code IKEA15, or $20 at the door): A fun, lively musical parody mashup of Wicked and Frozen from the perspective of a high-strung 7-year-old girl written & co-starring Zoe Farmingdale & Toby Singer at The PIT upstairs theatre: Wicked Frozen

8:00 ($5): Dean Haspiel (acclaimed comic book artist; Marvel Comics, American Splendor; 2010 Emmy winner for his design work on HBO’s Bored To Death), stand-up Tim Dillon, and musician Daniel Koren performing at UCB Easthosted by Nat Townsen: Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour

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: 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10 at the door at $11.59 online): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, comedy CDs Small, Dork, and Handsome. Vegan Mind Meld, and Meat Robot), Jon Ronson (New York Timesbestselling author of The Men Who Stare At Goats and more; screenwriter; This American Life), John Early (30 Rock,Ars Nova’s Showgasm), Vicky Kuperman, and Jenny Zigrino performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’sUnion Hall hosted by Mehran Khaghani: The Mehran Show: Myq Kaplan, Jon Ronson, and More

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, Phil Jackson, and/or Steve Theiss hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

10:00 pm ($7): Duo improv from groups Foxtrot, Old Man Time, Genetic Freaks, Suli, GCPD, and host MegaLou(Megan Gray & Louis Kornfeld) at The Magnet theatre: The Duo Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious red-hot rising star; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Half Hour, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever; comedy album Still Got It), Sabrina Jalees (irresistible dynamo stand-up and rising star; Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Failosophy, co-host of How Many Questions), Chris Distefano (David Letterman, Comedy Central, MTV2’s Guy Code), Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central Half Hour, VH1), Eleanor Kerrigan, Danny Palmer, and Kevin Iso 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: Mark Normand, Sabrina Jalees, and More

[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] 10:00 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] 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: 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.

If you have a comedy show you want considered for listing, simply create a Facebook page for the event—including price & lineup—make sure we’re FB friends, and invite me through that page.

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

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 3/13/12

March 13, 2012

For more, please visit

The Onion

Joe Garden and Todd Hanson, the editors of The Onion, perform at Tell Your Friends...

Myq Kaplan

...and Myq Kaplan performs at Sweet

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] 7:00 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Robert Dean: The Dean’s List

8:00 pm ($5 at the door or $7.63 online): Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker), Leah Bonnema, The Lucas Bros, and Robert Dean performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for this show that calls attention to its inexpensive price: Cheap Date

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A birthday celebration for Joe Garden (editor of The Onion), plus Todd Hanson (another editor of The Onion), Mike Trainor (TruTV), and “a super special secret guest stand-up” performing at Lolita Bar hosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Comics industry guests joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at The PITdownstairs lounge: Comic Book Club

8:00 pm ($5): A one-man show by Pat Bellatina “being selected as the keynote speaker at his former high school’s commencement. Will he be brave enough to admit that he knows nothing? This comedic musical memoir explores the illusion of success, the joys of lying, and growing up in the Bronx while pretending you didn’t” at The PIT upstairs theatre following a sold-out run at Ars Nova: No No No Yes

8:00 pm ($5): Ann Carr, Greg Johnson, Laura Prangley, and George Flanagan performing at UCB East for a comedy variety show produced by Sara Schaefer & Scott Moran: Hot Dang

8:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv at UCB Chelsea for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes Still Mike, Creature, Very Good Kiss, Grandma’s Ashes, and Deckard—and at 11:00 pm a range of UCBT students getting on stage with improv veterans at The Lottery—all at Harold Night

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Rosencrantz and Mint Condition

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Sheng Wang (Comedy Central Presents), RG Daniels (host of Sunday Night Stand-Up), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm (no cover, one drink min.): Erin Judge (Comedy Central; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here), Phoebe Robinson, Matt Ruby, Scott Moran, and Nate Fridson performing stand-up for this weekly show at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A): The Afterlife

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Charlie Kasov, Tyler Gildin, Jason Quarles, and Ben Asher performing stand-up at Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by twins Adam & Todd Stone, who for this weekly show leave behind their trademark suits: Jackets Off

9:30 pm ($5): D&D-style epic fantasy improv, plus nerdy stand-up and music from David Cope and Jonathan Mann, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Eric Grundhauserled as your Dungeon Master

9:30 pm ($5): Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Neil Constantine, and Andrew Sanford performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up and sketch at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, typically hosted by sketch troupes Savage Animal and/or Jerk Practice: Savage Animal

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): 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) and maybe a top female stand-up who’s performed on HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, TBS, E!, and Chelsea Lately, plus lots more at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): Two of the most brilliant, fearless, and innovative comics in the biz, John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central) and Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives), team up to create their special dark version of a comedy variety show at UCB East. Tonight’s guests are Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Streeter Seidell (CollegeHumor), and Todd & Adam Stone (Last Comic Standing): The Tony and Johnny Show

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Rosencrantz to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

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NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 3/23/09

March 23, 2009

For full details, please visit

Long-time Conan O'Brien writer Brian Kiley...

Long-time Conan O'Brien writer Brian Kiley...

Andy Blitz

...and long-time Conan O'Brien writer Andy Blitz

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:

the perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours, at John Morrison’s Ochi’s Motel (6:30 pm & 9:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] a show showcasing rejected material by top writers and comedic performers who were then rejected again by Jon Friedman when submitting to his recently-published book Rejected: Tales of the Failed, Dumped, and Canceled—plus performances and readings from contributors who were actually accepted into the book—at a special free edition of The Rejection Show (7:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [$] some of the most lightning-quick & hilarious stand-up comics in the country—including Anthony Jeselnik (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; HBO, Comedy Central), Pete Holmes (Comedy Central, VH1, The New Yorker), Big Jay Oakerson (HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, MTV), and many more—relating tales of when they used to support their art by working as waiters: Service Not Included! (8:00 pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] a going-away party for Brian Kiley (brilliant writer for Conan O’Brien since 1994; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents), Christian Finnegan (two Comedy Central specials, commentator on MNBC’s Countdown with Keith Oberman and VH1’s Best Week Ever; Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Jason Reich (four-time Emmy winner for The Daily Show), Joe Garden (Features Editor for The Onion; co-author of The Devious Book for Cats), and more at Liam McEneaney’s free Tell Your Friends (8:00ish pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Jessica Delfino (brilliantly funny and stunning rising star comedic writer/singer), Hannibal Burress (Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson), Dan St. Germain (MTV), RG Daniels (host of Sunday Night Stand-Up), and more performing at a free weekly variety show in Brooklyn hosted by endearing dark comedy stand-up Jena Friedman: Entertaining the Bartender (8:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] an entirely improvised musical from genius improv duo Eliza Skinner and Glennis McMurray, and an improvised soap opera, in the double-bill I Eat Pandas and Hot Lather: As the Diamond Burns (9:30 pm),

[TOP PICK] [FREE] and a free weekly show featuring some of the finest comics in the country—who tonight include as guest-hosts magical comedy duo Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords) & Kurt Braunohler (Penelope, Princess of Pets; 2008 ECNY Award for Best Director), plus guests Andy Blitz (comedy genius; writer & performer for Conan O’Brien since 1999), Seth Herzog (VH1’s Best Week Ever, host of Sweet), and Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1, host of Tell Your Friends)—at Whiplash (11:00 pm).

For full details, please visit