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‘Tis the season of giving. So we’re gift-wrapping the best in independent and alternative New York comedy just for you. This week has one-liner maestros, Stephen Colbert’s writers being let off their chain, and a chance to give back to the city’s neediest… while guzzling free beer and vodka. That’s the kind of charity we can all get behind. Cheap Laughs: the best comedy round-up in New York. We will gladly accept any milk and cookies you wish to leave us.
Wednesday, December 11th
Over the Eight, 8.30 p.m. Free.
Another Manhattan show moves to Brooklyn, joining the noble waves of web designers and trustafari moochers who paved the way. Hosts Joe Zimmerman, Jono Zalay and Taylor Ketchum bring their Hot Crowd show to Over the Eight bar in Williamsburg – fast-becoming a great spot to see live comedy. Conan alums Myq Kaplan and Mark Normand join Tom McCaffrey and Megan Gailey for the housewarming.
Thursday, December 12th
Three of Cups Lounge, 8 p.m. Free.
Rock dive Three of Cups has seen many perfect 10-second punk songs. Tonight, it gets perfect 10-second jokes. One-line joke master Ben Kronberg takes the stage this evening, and you should make time to see him. And he’s backed up by some extremely funny people, including Jim Tews, Myka Fox and Mark Chalifoux.
The Colbert Writers: Seize the Mustard
UCB Chelsea, 8 p.m. Free.
Sometimes Stephen Colbert takes pity on his writers, letting them out of their hog cage and sex masks for one night of improvised fun. They get together at UCB to perform a completely made-up show, and are so funny you will surely follow them on Twitter later. Look for head writer Opus Moreschi and Eric Drysdale, in particular.
Friday, December 13th
Legion Bar, 7 p.m. Free
Nate Fernald swings back into town, fresh from his writing gig on The Pete Holmes Show at TBS. He looks and sounds like the dirtiest, funniest teenager in your neighborhood. With him are MTV Guy Code’s Kevin Barnett and young Twitter genius Michelle Wolf. Morgan Miller and Jack Wilkinson host.
Brooklyn Comedy Festival presents: Winter Wonderlandia
The Paper Box , Doors 7.30pm / show 9 p.m. Tickets $10 in advance here
The borough’s new comedy festival was a big hit this summer, and they’re giving a little back over the holiday season. Festival organizers teamed up with New York Cares to collect gently used coats of any size (including kids) for a coat drive. Also being collected are toys and books for PS 231K, whose students come from primarily low-income families (gifts should be appropriate for grades K-8, ages 5-13). For every coat and/or toy attendees bring to donate, they get three rafﬂe tickets to win amazing prizes from generous local businesses. And if you don’t win? There’s still live comedy, live music, fat guys in Santa suits, and an afterparty hosted by Karaoke Killed the Cat. There’s also free beer from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. provided by Radeberger, and free Tito’s Vodka from 11p.m. – midnight.
Saturday, December 14th
UCB Chelsea, 11.59p.m. $5
The Upright Citizens Brigade runs its own wrestling league–the UCBW–editing out most of the violence, and focusing more on the goofs, flexes, and taunts. In short: it’s fantastic. Tonight is an all-Hebrew smackdown: a Hanukkah “Festival of Fights” as UCBW Stars battle in Eight Crazy Matches, run by “The K’nishioner” (commissioner–just go with it, there will be lot of Jewish puns at this thing).
Monday, December 16th
Spike Hill, 7.30 p.m. Free.
This board-game themed show is building a regular following at this venerable Williamsburg booze-hole. Famed weed and donuts appreciator Nick Turner headlines, backed up by Long Island’s own gay hero Tim Dillon. Hosted by Will Winner and Kyle Ayers, fresh from this live-tweet extravaganza of a couple’s breakup on his roof.
Tuesday, December 17th
The Stand Comedy Club, 8 p.m. $5 at NorthernDiscomfort.com using code “villagevoice.”
This is the kind of steal that makes New York the greatest place to see live standup in the world. It’s a Tuesday, but you can see crowd-killers Judah Friedlander and Janeane Garofalo for just $5 at an intimate comedy club venue. Have tourist friends in town for the holidays? Tell them to skip the Broadway B.S. and head here for entertainment that won’t drain the Christmas fund.
Tom Cowell is a comedian.