Cheap Laughs: The Best (Mostly Free) Indie and Alt Comedy This Week

Calise Hawkins performs at Heavy Metal Laser Plane this Wednesday
Calise Hawkins performs at Heavy Metal Laser Plane this Wednesday

This week in New York city comedy is packed with heavy hitters, real deals, and genuine articles. From rapid-fire topical jokes at The Magnet to drunken literary critiques in a community bookstore, the city's funny people are bringing the goods in all manner of weird and wonderful shows. And best of all? Every show we list is either free, or leaves enough change from a ten-spot for a slice of pizza. And you deserve that pizza. Here's our round up of the best in independent clowning this week.

Monday, September 23

Crickets! Niagara Bar, 8 p.m. Free. Stevedore-lookalike Sean Donnelly headlines this weekly showcase that always guarantees laughs. Just last month, Donnelly donned a sweet suit and tie for his first Letterman appearance, which became disheveled approximately five seconds into his set. In doing so, he may have become the only comedian in network history to have their necktie adjusted by Dave on live television. The hilarious Jermaine Fowler, Alex Koll, Matt Wayne and Merrill Davis are on deck too.

Tuesday, September 24

Upcoming Events

Public Funny Over the Eight, 8:30 p.m. Free. Montreal Comedy Festival vet Anthony DeVito headlines this cozy Williamsburg venue that's fast becoming a sweet spot for live comedy. The $2 tacos don't hurt none, neither. Evan Williams, the laconic Brad Austin and sharp joke-writer Lauren Vino round out the bill.

Dan + Joe + Charles' Show The Creek and the Cave, 8 p.m. Free. Three of the weirdest cats in alternative comedy--Dan Licata, Joe Pera, and Charles Gould--host this oddball variety show with an unpredictable whiff of chaos. On any given week you could get dance troupes, short films, original one-act plays, or musical strangeness. This week, musical dynamos Reformed Whores, operatic standup Matteo Lane join Jo Firestone, and Mike Brown for fun and danger. Also, look out for semi-regular guest Keyboard Cathy, known for her sushi-inspired music.


Wednesday, September 25

Heavy Metal Laser Plane

Legion Bar, 8 p.m. Free. The fast-rising (and hilariously vulnerable)

Calise Hawkins

joins MTV's

I Just Want My Pants Back


Josh Rabinowitz

for a stand-out night of stand-up.

Joel Walkowski


Missy Baker


Jay Dean

set the stage.

Friday, September 27

Two-Book Minimum The Community Bookstore (143 7th Ave Brooklyn, NY), 9:30 p.m. Free. On any given Friday night, who hasn't thought to themselves "Let's get drunk and laugh in a shuttered bookstore!" Tonight is your lucky night. Dan Wilbur (author of "How Not to Read") and the New Yorker's Ross Hyzer invite writer-comedians into a closed Brooklyn bookshop for a free night of jokes, stories, and a few drunken ramblings about their favorite books. This month features Fallon scribe Mike Drucker, Daily Show writer Elliott Kalan, and "Lean Over" co-author Alison Leiby.

Saturday, September 28

Comedy Dreamz The Silent Barn, 8 p.m. Free. You like crazy? We'll give you crazy. Comedy Dreamz is a totally insane comedy show and dance party, hosted by Santigold's hype-woman Rose Luardo (this is a true statement) and artist Andrew Jeffrey Wright. Tonight you will see manic step troupe Body Dreamz, the gut-wrenchingly funny Eliza Skinner (see video), along with Dave Hill, Greg Barris, weird videos, DJs, and late night dance-floor mistakes. Why aren't you at this show already?

Sunday, September 29

Current Events The Magnet Theater, 7:30 p.m. $5. Why read the news during the month, when you can watch it all happen in one hilarious show? Jarret Berenstein performs this brand new show written about all the news that just happened this month. It's like the Daily Show, but for... like... all of September. Correspondents Brian Frange and Tomas Delgado will provide their very best John Oliver impressions.

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

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