Cheap Laughs: The Best in Indie and Alt Comedy This Week

Sara Schaefer headlines If You Build It at UCBeast this Sunday
Sara Schaefer headlines If You Build It at UCBeast this Sunday

It's the spookiest, goofiest time of the year! The one industrial town in Bangladesh that ONLY makes fake spiderwebs is running three shifts a day to celebrate Halloween (or as they call it "that time in November we're not starving"), so let's all party with them! You're lucky this is the city that never sleeps, because we have some NIGHTMARE-ishly good alt and indie comedy shows to preview for your entertainment pleasure. Prepare to laugh yourself into the grave.

Wednesday, October 30th

Mike Birbiglia's Dream UCB Chelsea, 7 p.m. $5.

"This American Life" megastar (we think that's a thing) Mike Birbiglia brings a rare gem of an improv show to UCB for just $5, which is catnip to this column. Birbiglia will be telling true stories, then watching his dream cast of performers improvise scenes around them, Assscat-style. Guests include current SNL phenoms Mike O'Brien and Aidy Bryant, as well as improv legends Chris Gethard and Christina Gausas. Reserve now: it will sell out.

Late Night Scary Stories in The Dark! Legion Bar, 10 p.m. Free. Come hear some of New York's finest actors, writers, comedians, and performers tell really scary stories IN COMPLETE AND TOTAL PITCH DARKNESS. You'll think it's not going to be scary. You're going to be dead wrong.

Thursday, October 31st

Tales from the Creek: a Halloween Comedy Show Creek and the Cave, 8 p.m. Free.

The Creek and the Cave (a.k.a. The CBGB's of contemporary New York comedy) hosts its annual Halloween ghoul-a-thon, where costumes of all kinds are encouraged. They'll have sketches, stand-up, and characters from a ridiculously good lineup of the most insanely talented comics in the city (far too many to list, but Nick Vatterott is first among equals). Scary and funny in equal measure, you'll be kept on the edge of your seat... that you've already drenched due to bladder-shredding laughter. And if that wasn't enough, you should stick around for...

Revenge of the Bawdy Snatchers Creek and the Cave, 10 p.m. Free.

This is how comedians communicate the emotion of love: brutal insults. The pick of the city's undergound and rising comic talent takes turns impersonating and roasting their colleagues. It will get profane, personal, and very "inside baseball." So expect the atmosphere of your office holiday skit-show ... except here all your co-workers are actually funny, and (almost) everyone can take a joke.

Saturday, November 2nd

Radness, with Wyatt Cenac Union Hall, 7.30 p.m. $6.

Hot97 DJ and massive comedy booster Cipha Sounds, along with co-host Lukas Kaiser, bring ex-Daily Show crowd slayer Wyatt Cenac and sketch/standup impresario Adam Conover to Park Slope. Locals shouldn't miss it.


Sunday, November 3rd

If You Build It @ UCB East UCBeast, 8 p.m. $5. New MTV star Sara Schaefer headlines this stalwart East Village show that keeps growing in leaps and bounds. Hosted by Kara Klenk, professional mover Matt Wayne and Big Terrific host Max Silvestri do their thing, joined by many other brutally hilarious drop-ins.

Large Naturals

Large Naturals Old Man Hustle, 9 p.m. Free.

Two of the largest-breasted (female) comics in New York -- Christy Coffey and Ashley Bez -- present this lady-friendly standup gadabout. Fallon writer Mike Drucker, Brooklyn's funniest garbage man Mike Recine, and Seattle transplant Maria Heinegg stop by.

Tuesday, November 5th Week At the Creek: Keith Robinson Creek and the Cave, 7 p.m. Free. You could stump up 20-plus dollars and buy two rum and cokes to see the incredible Keith Robinson hold court at The Comedy Cellar, but it would be way cooler to see him work out new stuff for free at some indie venue. But when will that ever happen, you ask? This Tuesday, we reply. And once he's done, stick around for the hilarious Joe Zimmerman, who may not be funnier than Keith, but is undeniably whiter.

Tom Cowell is a comedian. Follow him on Twitter @mrtomcowell. Email with all listing suggestions.

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Use Current Location

Related Locations

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

307 W. 26th St.
New York, NY 10001



790 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211


The Creek and the Cave

10-93 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101-5756


Union Hall

702 Union St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215



153 E. 3rd St.
New York, NY 10009


Old Man Hustle

39 Essex St.
New York, NY 10002


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