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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:
7:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups telling jokes, followed by improvisors making up scenes springboarding off the material, at Daws of Death
7:00 pm & 9:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:30 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca
[FREE] 7:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Josh Homer (Comedy Central), Geno Bisconte (FOX News), Hadiyah Robinson (BET), Rose Surnow, Merril Davis, and Brendan McLaughlin performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A writer/performer for Saturday Night Live (for a sample, please click here) who’s also one of the very finest stand-ups in the country—with appearances on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever, etc.—performing a deliciously long set tonight that’s likely to leave you breathless with laughter and chuckling weeks later: John Mulaney: For the Hour
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Improv genius Scott Adsit (30 Rock) & Paul Brittain (Saturday Night Live) make up scenes from the air; and a (mostly) one-woman show from Jet Eveleth, the artistic director of the Chicago Improv Festival, and who the Chicago Tribune has called “always terrific and subtle” (for video samples, please click here and here): Adsit & Brittain, and Jet Eveleth’s Touched
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Ira Glass (host of NPR’s This American Life), Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), a “hilarious lady from LA,” guest DJ Ted Leo, and as house band the super-amazing Adira Amram and the Experience (winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act)—performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from multi-award winning Kurt Braunohler (Kristen’s tied up but will be back with Kurt next week): Hot Tub Variety
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. This show was previously a wonderful theatrical event that cost $18 and up. Don’t miss this five-week Monday evening run, concluding August 15th, at the elegant Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) that allows you to catch the gals for a mere $10: Naked in a Fishbowl
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCBT has developed several terrific in-house sketch comedy troupes, but only one of them currently rivals the finest sketch groups in the country: Gramp’s, spearheaded by comedy genius Kate McKinnon. Kate’s group will be trying out all-new bits tonight, but the chances are at least some of them will be breathtakingly smart, inventive, and hilarious. Also on this double-bill is house troupe Onassis, which isn’t nearly in the same league, but includes such notable performers as Sue Galloway—all at Maude Night
9:30 pm ($5): “A group of renegade writers, actors, directors, and designers brought together by a shared belief that theatricality, production values, and sketch comedy are not mutually exclusive;” 2010 INNY Award winners for Best NY Sketch Group: People’s Sketch Association
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include TV & movie star Colin Quinn (Broadway & HBO show Long Story Short, Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central’s legendary Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn), TV & movie star TJ Miller (David Letterman,Opie & Anthony; co-stared in ABC sitcom Carpoolers; co-starred in such hit movies as Cloverfieldand She’s Out of My League; member of awesome sketch troupe Heavyweight, which blew the roof off at SketchFest NYC 2011), the lovely Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), and Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central) at Whiplash
[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh
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