Cheap Laughs: The Best Indie Comedy This Week, 8/20 - 8/26

Sheng Wang performs on Heavy Metal Laser Plane, at Legion Bar this Wednesday night
Sheng Wang performs on Heavy Metal Laser Plane, at Legion Bar this Wednesday night

This week in Cheap Laughs, we have cake shops, chaotic performance art, gift shows, shift shows, the black Daria, and two triumphant celebrations for the Brooklyn Comedy Festival (all of which has shows you should consider attending here). Here's our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.

See also: Don't Make Eye Contact With Doug Stanhope

Wednesday, August 20th

Caked Up Cake Shop, 8 p.m. Free

The Lower East Side's hippest rock venue now hosts a weekly stand-up show, and they're booking it with a great mix of heavy hitters and talented newcomers. Brooke Van Poppelen seems to have written on every funny show made in New York over the past five years, Joe Zimmerman is oen of the funniest clean comics out there, and Mark Normand is on a tear of success that may kill him. See them all tonight.

Thursday, August 21st

Dan + Joe + Charles Show UCB East, 10.30 p.m. $5

How do you categorize an act like Dynasty Handbag? Jibz Cameron created this stage persona, and describes her as a "performance-arty-leotardation-comedy-psychic-meltdown-voiceover-stretchpants/antipants-lezbiananationalarmy vehicle". In other words, she's funny and very weird. In the video above, she portrays a male drone operator whose violent calling so disrupts his nuclear family, he must escape the pain by living a double life as cabaret singer and hair-metal demigod. We all have coping mechanisms. She performs tonight at this super-strong alt-comedy showcase.

Friday, August 22nd

Heavy Metal Laser Plane Legion, Doors 7.30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. Free

Sheng Wang is terrifyingly funny. He's the kind of funny that makes other funny people want to quit: dry, calm, a definite point of view, and comfortable in front of four people or four thousand. Catch him tonight for free at this classic Williamsburg clusterfuck show. Each month, the hosts give away about $100 worth of books, DVDs and other swag from various media mailrooms across town. So come for the superbly booked comedy show and stay for the chance to win a book about Metallica and Aretha Franklin's greatest hits (or similar).  

Damien Lemon SubCulture, Doors 10 p.m. / Show 10.30 p.m. $15

Damien Lemon just had a half-hour special on Comedy Central and is making a steady paycheck with two shows on MTV, Guy Code and Guy Court. So things are going well for him. But don't worry: like any good comic, he can still fill an hour with beautiful, hilarious complaining. See him at this up-and-coming downtown venue and feel pleased with yourself for discovering it. And him.

Saturday, August 23rd

Brooklyn Comedy Festival Closing Party (Pt I & II) Baby's All Right, Doors 8 p.m / Shows 9 p.m. $10

This is a two-fer. The Brooklyn Comedy Festival closes its second triumphant year with two shows at Baby's All Right, and if you buy a ticket for the earlier 9 p.m. one, you get in free to the second at 11. And you don't even have to leave the venue. Come for Michelle Buteau's satisfied rants about bagging a Euro-trophy husband. Stay for the all-star 2nd show with the Lucas Brothers, Josh Rabinowitz, Jermaine Fowler and other hot shits.

Monday, August 25th

Greg Barris: Unbunned Union Hall, Doors 8 p.m. / Show 8.30 p.m. $8

Greg Barris is a long-haired no-goodnik, who's actually very good at stand-up comedy. Tonight, he's letting his voluminous locks down and performing at his regular Union Hall show. Hosting will be indie rock newlyweds Corrupt Autopilot. They'll be introducing Chris Gethard, Nikki Glaser and other drop-ins.

Tuesday, August 26th

Blaria Live UCB East, 9.30 p.m. $5

Phoebe Robinson styles herself as "Blaria", the black Daria. Like the fictional character, Robinson is cynical, dry, secretly confused, and very funny. You should check out three things of hers: her website, her podcast, and this monthly show she hosts at UCB East. Guests this evening include The Daily Show's phenomenal Jessica Williams, the wickedly funny Sabrina Jalees, and Nikki Glaser.

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

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Use Current Location

Related Locations

Cake Shop

152 Ludlow St.
New York, NY 10002



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



790 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211



45 Bleecker St.
New York, NY 10012


Baby's All Right

146 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Union Hall

702 Union St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215


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