Halloween is coming up: do you have your comedy costume ready? Confuse trick-or-treaters by dressing as Richard Pryor on fire, Chris Farley eating, or the most terrifying sight in comedy… Carlos Mencia being himself. But there is no need to fear terrible, zombie jokes this week. Once again,we’ve scoured the city’s juke-joints and dives to find the week’s best independent comedy shows. We assure you: these gigs are 100% candy, with little to no razor blades.
Wednesday, October 9th
The Charleston, 8 p.m. Free.
A crudely named show in a gloriously filthy bar, host Eli Yudin‘s “Slack Butthole Show” stinks up Williamsburg’s go-to punk dive The Charleston every Wednesday. This week, L.A. comedian Ron Babcock swings through, along with gourmand comic Tim Dillon and the delightfully weird Julio Torres.
Thursday, October 10th
Tiny Comedy Club
266 West 37th Street (btw 7th and 8th Ave). Details here. Free.
This is so insanely weird, we can’t NOT write about it. Brooklyn comedian Jo Firestone has created a very tiny comedy club where the audience is a crowd of thirty baby dolls, equipped with the ability to laugh. Anyone off the street can come in and perform, and experience the feeling of getting laughs from the easiest-to-please audience in comedy history. It’s creepy, brilliant, and unmissable. The exhibit is open daily until the 26th. See website for details.
Friday, October 11th
Identity Bar & Lounge, 8 p.m. Free.
Some of the funniest young female comics in the city gather under one roof tonight at this cult comedy venue downtown. They all probably have a joke about their downtown too. Amber Nelson, Kate Wolff, Abbi Crutchfeld and Leighann Lord are among the acts, and all well worth a Friday night.
Saturday, October 12th
The Killing Joke
Legion, 7 p.m. Free.
Hosts Scotland Green and Ali Prier celebrate this standup show’s one-year anniversary with a big-hitting lineup, including Nick Turner, Mark Normand and Anthony DeVito. Come for the $3 lager and well-drink specials, stay for the dance party after.
Monday, October 14th
Yank Me, with Harmon Leon
UCBeast, 8 p.m. $5
Comedian and author Harmon Leon goes undercover to infiltrate extremist subcultures in America. He’s investigated everything from white supremacist hate groups to the Christian Wrestling Federation (bodyslams for Jesus!), and delights audiences with this multimedia tour through the diseased underbelly of America. Let him bring to life such horrors as the America’s Most Beautiful Baby Contest, riding shotgun with crime scene cleaners, and what it feels like to costar on a hidden camera prank show with OJ Simpson.
Tuesday, October 15th
Week at The Creek: Kurt Metzger
The Creek and the Cave, 7 p.m. Free. (Through Fri., 10/18)
The co-star of Ugly Americans and writer for Inside Amy Schumer, Kurt Metzger almost started a comedy war earlier this year, taking a stand against the UCB for their policy of not paying comics. But his views on the business of funny aren’t the most interesting thing about him: he’s also an exceptional standup talent, and you shouldn’t miss the chance to see him work out an hour of new material at this underground venue.
Tom Cowell is a comedian. Follow him on Twitter @mrtomcowell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with all listing suggestions.