With America on the verge of a historic agreement with Iran, don’t miss the chance to see a bunch of comedians not really understand what’s going on with that. They will have great jokes about NFL bullying, though! Sidenote: does anyone know why Iran ISN’T our friend? They hate Al-Qaeda, they love family, and they are fairly nice for a bunch of theocrats. They’re practically Utah. While we flip through back issues of The Economist to get up to speed, please enjoy our latest round-up of the brightest, boldest and best value comedy in New York this week.
Wednesday, November 13th
Heavy Metal Laser Plane
Legion Bar, doors 8.30 p.m. / show 9 p.m. Free.
Like a great joke, Wednesdays are about tension and release. They start off grim, deep in the bowels of a hellish workweek that might last forever. By the end, you see the light at the end of your soul-tunnel, and you’re laughing all the way to the weekend. So come celebrate hump day with some of the best set-up/punchers in the business. Hard hustling Detroiter Nate Fridson joins Daily Show writer Matt Koff and Twitter phenom Michelle Wolf.
The Expert Show
Littlefield, doors 7.30 p.m./ show 8.15 p.m. $10 in advance, $12 door.
If you’re a public radio nerd who wants more shows blending comedy with academic research, you need to get out more. And here’s the perfect excuse. You’re the Expert is a new program featuring a panel of hilarious comedians trying to guess what a distinguished professor in an obscure field studies all day. It’s kind of like “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” and a TED talk had sex. It’s way, way more fun than it sounds. Plus, this live taping is the only show this week that features Myq Kaplan (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing) talking to an authority on whale anatomy.
Thursday, November 14th
Death Comedy Jam
The Creek and the Cave, 10 p.m. Free
Here’s some New York math: free show+ free beer = a good deal. Justin Williams hosts this grungy gem in Long Island City, featuring UCB mainstay Aaron Glaser and as much Tecate as your gassy ass can guzzle.
Friday, November 15th
Cranky Pants Two-Year Anniversary Show
One and One Bar, 7.30 p.m. Free
Cranky Pants, the kick-ass weekend kick-off show, celebrates its second birthday this week, walking on its own, eating solid food, and speaking words that sound like English. A crushingly sweet lineup of Chris Gethard, Nick Vatterott, Mark Normand and Kate Berlant awaits you.
Jimmy’s No. 43, Doors 8:45 p.m. / Show: 9:00 p.m. Free (performer donations accepted).
Tired of the standard eight-to-ten minute comedian set? Watch some of the funniest, hungriest young comics stretch their legs with longer bits and stories at this cool donation-only show. Letterman writer Jena Friedman, Montreal vet Mike Recine and the brilliant Jacqueline Novak anchor the bill.
Saturday, November 16th
UCBeast, 11.30 p.m. $5.
You know what “mainstream” sketch comedy is. It’s people in silly costumes with silly props saying one joke for eight minutes. This is not that. It’s fastfastfast: don’t like what you’re watching? Wait 90 seconds. Something totally different will be along shortly. Katie Simon, John Zachary Townsend, and Riley Soloner lead the sketchy madness.
Monday, November 18th
Greasy Lake: Key to the City
UCB Chelsea, 8.00 p.m. $5.
Key to the City is a comic play set in the small 1950s Jersey beach community of Greasy Lake. When a corrupt real estate developer murders the mayor, hoping to turn the town into a luxury resort, residents fight back to reclaim their home. Anthony Apruzzese, Daniel LoPreto, and John Purcell present a host of rich characters, including panda-eating star crossed lovers, a vaudevillian barber, and a Scottish surfing legend.
Tuesday, November 19th
Awooga Comedy Hour
The PIT Theatre Mainstage, 9.30 p.m. $8.
Missed your chance to see John Mulaney for $70 at the New York Comedy Festival? It’s OK. Come see him for $8 instead. Mulaney (SNL, “New in Town”) headlines the Awooga Comedy Hour at the PIT, also featuring sets from Bridey Elliot (UCB), Russ Armstrong (30 Rock). Best deal in New York comedy this week? Right here, people. Right here.
Tom Cowell is a comedian. Follow him on Twitter @mrtomcowell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with press releases for upcoming shows.