This week in Cheap Laughs, we meditate on why we’ve lived in New York so long, rock out to a Weezer cover band, and admire the killing powers of Jesus Christ. We also have shows starring filthy people, shows starring lady people, and shows starring real actual scientist people. We do it all. Here’s our pick of the best in independently produced comedy this week.
Wednesday, April 16
Klimat Lounge, 8 p.m. Free.
This great stand-up showcase happens in the stylish basement of an Eastern European bistro. It looks like the kind of place Czech anti-communists held meetings. Chris Gethard headlines tonight, fresh from a week of speculation that Comedy Central is eyeing him for the Colbert time-slot. With him are Doug Smith, Jason Burke, Maria Heinegg and Will Miles.
Thursday, April 17
Christian Finnegan has lived in New York City for almost 23 years. And like most of us long-timers, he’s asking himself why. A mixture of standup and storytelling, this show is Finnegan’s attempt to figure out why we move here, and what makes us stay. It’s an hour of comedy he describes as “half love letter, half cry for help.” If you like it, be sure to download (or catch on Netflix) his new comedy special “The Fun Part”, released this week.
Stand Up NY Labs, 8 p.m. Free.
The experimental upstairs space at Stand Up NY comedy club continues to do weird cool stuff absolutely for free: an incredible resource for innovative comedy in the city. Tonight is a show all about comedy duos. Both established and brand new two-person teams bring you stand-up, sketch, improv, or musical comedy, as is their wont. After the show, be sure to download a bunch of the venue’s fantastic podcasts.
Friday, April 18
Union Hall, Doors: 8:30 p.m. / Show: 9 p.m. $10.
The Kondabolu brothers are successful in different fields. Hari is a comedian, and Ashok is an MC, DJ and former member of defunct rap legends Das Racist. They run this variety show together, and tonight’s bill is a hot one. Rap dynamo Jean Grae stops by, along with comedians George Gordon and Alice Wetterlund, and Weezer cover band The Undone Sweaters (see the first episode of their adventures below). If you can’t have fun watching a show like that, you’re legally dead.
Jesus the Barbarian
The Creek and the Cave, 10 p.m. Free.
“This Jesus didn’t come to die for our sins. He came here to kill… for vengeance.” That’s the strap-line for this unique version of the Passion story, so you know what you’re getting. Featuring goblin queens, evil wizards, three-headed wise men and GALLONS of fake blood, this nuanced take on the resurrection miracle is a perfect night out for you and grandma this Easter. An all-star cast of alternative comedians present a deeply blasphemous evening of entertainment… and have you heard the Good News? It’s free.
Saturday, April 19
Andy Rocco’s Underground Americana
UCB Chelsea, Midnight. $5.
Underground Americana is a talk/variety show hosted by longtime UCB stalwart Andy Rocco. The show’s theme? Everything weird and warped that pumps through America’s cultural veins. Tonight, there’s stand-up, sketches and bits from Michelle Wolf, Myka Fox, Emmy Blotnick and Ashley Brooke Roberts.
Monday, April 21
Littlefield, Doors: 7:30 p.m. / Show: 8 p.m. $5.
Wyatt Cenac’s showcase show at Littlefield is getting more fun by the week. But spare a thought for the poor sensitive hipsters about to feel the force of Big Jay Oakerson blowing through Gowanus tonight. The video above? Actually pretty tame by his standards. The king of Philly-forged filth is joined by Dan Soder, Matt Koff and musical guests KINGS.
Tuesday, April 22
The Stand, Doors: 7:30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. $5 (with coupon code ‘villagevoice’).
There’s another hot show at The Stand tonight that will barely put a dent in your pocket book. Canada’s ultra-dry crowd worker Phil Hanley is worth a ticket alone. He’s joined by Janeane Garofalo, Lil Rel Howery, Mike Britt, and more. It’s all for just $5 with no drink minimum if you use the coupon code above. Don’t say we don’t spoil you.
Tits and Giggles
People’s Republic of Brooklyn, 10 p.m. Free
This Carroll Gardens show is called Tits and Giggles, and it delivers both. Every comic on stage will bring at least two tits, since they are all women. And giggles are guaranteed at a minimum, because everyone on the bill is hilarious. Sue Smith hosts this all-female stand-up showcase, with Missy Baker, Peggy O’Leary and Julia Solomon a lock to make you laugh.
Secret Science Club
The Bell House, Doors: 7:30 p.m. / Show: 8 p.m. Free.
Not strictly a comedy show, this lecture-slash-performance series brings some of the finest and strangest scientific minds in the country to a live Brooklyn audience. This week features perhaps the most popular science writer in the country — Harvard professor Steven Pinker. Author of The Better Angels of Our Nature, Pinker says that war and violence between human beings is becoming less common, and we don’t give ourselves enough credit for our progress. Don’t believe him? Come by and ask him yourself.
Tom Cowell is a comedian. Follow him on Twitter @mrtomcowell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with all listing suggestions.