Cheap Laughs: Viking Funerals, Bad Cop Shows, and Plenty of April Fools

Charla Lauriston presents new episodes of Clench and Release tonight at Littlefield.
Charla Lauriston presents new episodes of Clench and Release tonight at Littlefield.

It's April Fools' Day, and like all true comedy fans, we are NOT cooking up some nonsense prank that anyone with a brain can see coming a mile off! This week in Cheap Laughs, we have unbreakable writers, unsinkable losers, bad cop shows, hot gay shows, and Viking funerals. Here's our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.

Wednesday, April 1

Clench and Release Littlefield, Doors 7.30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m., $5

Charla Lauriston is a writer on the hit Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but has somehow found time to pump out a second season of her Web series Clench and Release. It's a Louie-like take on an up-and-coming black comic, navigating the hunt for love and stand-up success in the face of heartbreak, dicks, fried chicken, and other sundries. Tonight features a screening of the show, alongside an all-star stand-up set featuring all female comics. Look out for Sabrina Jalees, Liza Treyger, and Jo Firestone in particular.

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Chris Gethard: Career Suicide UCB Chelsea, 8 p.m., $5

Chris Gethard does nothing the easy way. The UCB veteran just got picked up by Fusion to produce a late-night talk show, and he's stretching his stand-up chops before his schedule is dominated by that project. So is he having fun before his big new job starts? Well, kinda. He's performing an hour of material focusing on suicide, alcoholism, and what he calls "all the other funniest parts of life." Gethard's persona has always been that of a lovable "king of the losers," and it's got him this far. So if you wondered what all the fuss over Gethard was about, here's a great chance to find out.

Thursday, April 2

It's So Up and Coming 739 Franklin Bar and Lounge, Doors 8.15 p.m. / Show 8.45 p.m., Free

This hot Crown Heights show is building a loyal following, and it's a just reward for the consistently funny lineups it showcases. Tonight, Megan Gailey spews venomously funny vitriol all over the place, Brendan Fitzgibbons heals the racial divides in Crown Heights with one pitch-perfect joke, and J.L. Cauvin just might do his pitch-perfect Louis C.K. impression (see above). Hosted by the delightful Khalid Rahmaan.

Friday, April 3

Big Weird: The Last Ride Over the Eight, 8 p.m., Free

It's always bittersweet when long-running comedy productions disappear. It's sad to acknowledge that it takes a lot of work to run these shows (especially free ones), and nothing can last forever. On the other hand, comedians often choose these moments to get really drunk, have a spectacular meltdown, and/or do things onstage that can never be replicated in another moment, ever. The last ever Big Weird has that potential tonight, with appearances from Nick Turner, Aparna Nancherla, Nick Vatterott, and more. Like a Viking funeral, this send-off show guarantees flames, foul language, and many drunk bearded white people.

Saturday, April 4

Comedy at Stonewall Stonewall, Doors 7.30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m., $5

Pete Lee is a giant hopeful ball of happiness in a fallen world — or maybe it's just impossible to sound depressed and angry with a Wisconsin accent. Either way, he's a wonderful stand-up comedian, and possibly the most heterosexual person in the world. So where better to see him than at the most famous gay venue on the planet? Stonewall's monthly comedy night returns tonight, and joining Lee are Long Island gourmand Tim Dillon, the pyrotechnic Mike Brown, Jessica Rabbit impersonator Chrissie Mayr, and many more.

Monday, April 6

Colin Quinn: Breuklyn Over the Eight, 7.30 p.m., Free

Cop Show, Colin Quinn's Larry Sanders–esque take on a (terrible) New York cop drama, demands a click on the "subscribe" button, and represents another chapter in Quinn's journey to become the New York–iest comic of all time. Further proof of that ambition? His new one-man show, Breuklyn, which he is workshopping all over the place (for free). It's one cranky New Yorker's attempt to reconcile Brooklyn's past (churches, immigrants, racial tension) with its present (gentrification, artisanal cheeses, racial tension). Tonight you can see the show, in its current form, for nothing.

Tuesday, April 7

The Mash Up Show The Stand, 8 p.m., $7.50 with the NYC 2-for-1 Festival

Morgan Murphy swings in from Los Angeles tonight at the Stand, and is worth making time to see. Her waifish good looks hide a troubled heart, devastating one-liners, and some of the best "low energy" stand-up you're likely to see anywhere. She appears tonight on The Mash Up Show, which is giving away 2-for-1 tickets tonight only as part of New York Comedy Week (more on that next post). Also worth your buck (or 50 cents, as it turns out) is the Puerto Rican Rattlesnake Luis J. Gomez, husband-and-wife team Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane, and Adrienne Iapalucci.

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

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