Cheap Laughs: The Best Indie Comedy This Week, 1/7 - 1/13

25-year veteran Simpsons writer Mike Reiss tells Springfield stories at the PIT this Thursday.
25-year veteran Simpsons writer Mike Reiss tells Springfield stories at the PIT this Thursday.
20th Century Fox Film Corporation

This week in Cheap Laughs, we have a sneaky dummy, a divorced rummy, a Queen of Dorks, Simpsons talks, and more New York podcasts than you can possibly fathom. Here's our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.

Wednesday, January 7th

Train Wreck The Producers Club, 8 p.m. Free Comedian Joe Machi didn't win Last Comic Standing, but was probably this season's big breakout star. His delivery and stage presence are completely unique, like a ventriloquist's dummy has temporarily given his handler the slip and started telling his own jokes. And the jokes are tight. Very, very tight. Go see him tonight for free in midtown. Sheng Wang and Gina Brillon will be there too.

Bad Bride The Treehouse Theater, 8 p.m. $8 What if the happiest day of your life brought out the worst in you? Proud divorcee Giulia Rozzi confesses to the many adventures in depression, drunkenness, and cowardice that made her say "I do" at precisely the wrong time. A hilarious stand-up comic featured regularly on Chelsea Handler and Playboy TV, this one-woman show is funny and heartbreaking in equal measure.

Thursday, January 8th

Northern Discomfort The Stand, 8 p.m. $5 with discount code 'villagevoice' Jackie Kashian is a frequent tour-mate of Maria Bamford, and host of The Dork Forest, a podcast where guests share their weirdest personal obsessions. Recent guests have revealed their undying love for things like marine biology, sneakers, and the band Chicago. Tonight she headlines at The Stand with fellow oddities Yannis Pappas and Myq Kaplan. Ray DeVito and Josh Carter host the fuck out of it.   The Simpsons Backstage Tour The PIT, 8 p.m. $20 Mike Reiss is TV writer royalty. His non-Springfield achievements are embarrassingly huge. A former writer for Johnny Carson and It's Garry Shandling's Show, he co-created The Critic and contributed to animated films like Despicable Me, Rio, and The Lorax. Oh, and he wrote for The Simpsons for twenty-five years. And ran the show in season four (i.e., the best one of all time). Tonight he'll reveal stories from the show's past, dealing with guest stars and network censors and tales of the show's fans (Pope Benedict) and detractors (George H.W. Bush) alike, and show some rare clips starring the yellow geniuses at 742 Evergreen Terrace.

Friday, January 9th

NYC Podfest 2015 The Bell House, 8 p.m. start. Shows individually priced. See nycpodfest.com Entering its third triumphant year, the NYC Podfest returns this weekend to show the world that comedy podcasts aren't just an L.A. thing. Twenty of Gotham's funniest online radio shows will perform live episodes across two venues, all weekend. The action kicks off at The Bell House with Kevin Allison's deeply inappropriate storytelling show RISK!, followed by The Flop House, the podcast dedicated to oral autopsies of terrible movies. Tonight they deconstruct the 2014 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and ask: Why was it so bad? It could be a long night...

And I Am Not Lying UCBeast, 11.59 p.m. $5 What is "boylesque"? Well, it's burlesque done by boys. Want to know more? Come and watch Mr. Gorgeous do his thing at Jeff Simmermon's midnight variety show, taking over UCBeast once again this weekend. Joining him are storytelling maven and human bird Adam Wade, Mark Normand, and more burlesque clothing-removal from Vada James. Plus, we just heard that living legend Gary Gulman will be dropping by. Don't miss.

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Saturday, January 10th

NYC Podfest 2015 Fontana's, 1 p.m. to midnight. Shows individually priced. See nycpodfest.com There's an embarrassment of podcast riches at Fontana's tonight. Dale Seever's bizarre podcast is an excellent way to start, and try to catch the Laughspin Podcast with guests Robert Kelly and Kurt Metzger. Also, don't miss The Daily Show Without Jon Stewart, a TDS-themed show hosted by Jon Stewart's executive producer Adam Lowitt and show correspondent Hasan Minhaj.

Sunday, January 11th

Mind Warriors Union Hall, Doors 7.30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. $10 Mind Warriors is a joke-sprinkled science interview show hosted by Greg Barris. He delves into the spiritual and scientific research of his guests, and the life-practices to which that led them. Tonight, Village Voice columnist and lord of partying Andrew W.K. shares his philosophies with an audience of fellow mind-trippers.  

NYC Podfest 2015 Fontana's, 1 p.m. to midnight. Shows individually priced. See nycpodfest.com

The Podfest comes to a close tonight. If you're not already a fan of Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast!, tonight you can remedy that with Gilbert's live guest, Curb Your Enthusiasm's Susie Essman. Then, make time for The Todd Barry Podcast, with guests Yo La Tengo and Wyatt Cenac. The fest ends with a DJ party hosted by two-man art/DJ collective AndrewAndrew.

Monday, January 12th

Side Ponytail Over the Eight, 8 p.m. Free The first Side Ponytail of the year stars Aparna Nancherla and a pair of filthy Philadelphians. Monroe Martin is a giant person with great jokes about adoption delivered in his signature rasp. Carolyn Busa is not a giant, but her voice is nicer, delivering observations about life in bad neighborhoods and the curse of looking like a sexy librarian.

Tuesday, January 13th

Homeschooled: A Comedic Lecture Series UCBeast, 9.30 p.m. $5 Homeschooled invites comedians to present short lectures on topics they have researched, with varying degrees of thoroughness but consistent amounts of jokes. Would you like to know what an ayahuasca trip is like? Or which contemporary architects are fairly interesting? Or perhaps you'd like to know why it was a bad idea (and actually impossible) to scale the Berlin Wall, or which dead president was categorically the best? Tonight, all of those things and more will be hilariously pumped into your brain-holes.

Tom Cowell is a comedian. Find him on Twitter @mrtomcowell or mrtomcowell.com. Email voicecheaplaughs@gmail.com with all listing suggestions.



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