Cheap Laughs: The Best Free Indie and Alt Comedy This Week
Brooke Van Poppelen
These are extraordinary times in New York: two politicians with penis problems are sword-fighting for high office, Derek Jeter just declared immortality, and Jay-Z is in a public slanging match with Harry Belafonte. Why are you not out there, hearing some jokes GUARANTEED to crush in the break-room? You don't have a good reason. So here are our top picks for incredible free comedy this week.
Monday, July 29th
Lee & Suzuki Present: Okie Dokie Super Fun Time Now! Pete's Candy Store Free. A comedy experience built around a Japanese game show, this collection of local weirdos features lots of free prizes. Stand up Alison Leiby (feted by Page Six for mocking Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, with her e-book "Lean Over") and musical comedy duo Reformed Whores front this show, which claims to be over 120% Asian.
Crickets! Niagara Free This staple East Village comedy night delivers big-time this week. Ben Kronberg is probably the best one-liner guy in town, comic-book nerd stripling Mike Lawrence just dropped a blockbuster standup album, you'll know Calise Hawkins from Fallon, and Guy Branum and Aparna Nancherla are a one-two punch from the writing staff of Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.
Tuesday, July 30th Public Funny Over the Eight Free Don't cook tonight. Gorge on $2 tacos and watch a kick-ass show while you pig out. Brooke Van Poppelen from MTV's Girl Code, Detroit's lethally funny Nate Fridson and drawly goof-ball Ryan Beck will make you spit-take your mouthfuls of salsa. Bone-dry Chip Dwyer hosts and keeps a relaxed crowd on its toes.
Heavy Metal Laser Plane Legion Bar Free Daily Show writer J.R. Havlan has eight Emmys as compensation for 16 years working beside Jon Stewart, and he makes a rare visit to Brooklyn to tell them what's wrong with America (surely part of the answer is: "Brooklyn"). Brutally funny Leah Bonnema and Seaton Smith (who guest-hosts for the all-conquering Hannibal Burress at his Knitting Factory shows) make up a rock-solid bill. John Anderson and some prick named Tom Cowell host, potentially debuting a secret handshake.
Sunday, August 4th
The Quota Show The Creek and the Cave Free. Fan of New York's unique brand of excessively racialized street humor? You've come to the right place. This show pits members of various cultures and ethnicities against each other to, well ... brutally mock one another. Each comedian competes to win "The Trophy of Insensitivity" which allows a one-time, guilt-free use of a pre-determined racial slur. It sounds awful. It is. But it's also hilarious. One of the most prolific comics in the business, Subhah Agarwal, represents the Indian people on the show, while Long Island native Tim Dillon goes to bat for his tribe: the gays.
Tom Cowell is a comedian. Follow him on Twitter @mrtomcowell.
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