Cheap Laughs: The Best Indie and Alt Comedy This Week, 1/1 – 1/7/2014


You have a bunch of New Year’s resolutions–eat less, smoke more etc.–but how about making one you’ll actually keep? Resolve to see more live comedy. That’s pretty easy to stick to: you’re in the global capital of stand-up, sketch and improv. Plus, it’s way more fun than going to the gym. Cheap Laughs will help you out every Wednesday, recommending the pick of the city’s funny stuff that won’t break the bank.

Wednesday, January 1st

The Holiday Show at the Comedy Cellar
The Comedy Cellar, 10.30 p.m. Ticket prices vary. See website for details.

Start the year off with a bang, at the city’s undisputed best stand-up club. Tonight’s lineup is one for connoisseurs: laconic buck Michael Che, broken everyman Joe List, lantern-jawed Andy Hendrickson and the unnervingly calm Todd Barry. A sure thing good time.

Thursday, January 2nd

In the Garage Stand-Up Show
The Creek and the Cave, 8 p.m. Free.

The sweetly vulnerable and deeply funny Justy Dodge headlines this show that makes the most of The Creek’s new second showroom: an intimate subterranean garage. Also in the mix are fine jokes from Aparna Nancherla, Myka Fox, Tynan DeLong and Gonzalo Cordova. Music from Ben Lerman adds to the garage-iness of the whole affair. This is also the only show to our knowledge in which a woodworking company Locomotive Woodwork gives away free stuff. So come for the funnies, and you may leave with a beautiful hand-crafted bowl or something.

Friday, January 3rd

The Stepfathers
UCB Chelsea, 9 p.m. $10.

The Stepfathers are a rolling cast of the very best improvisers in the city, and the UCB’s showcase troupe. Want a guaranteed great improv show? This is it. SNL writer and theater legend Michael Delaney should be there, along with Will Hines, Jordan Klepper, Shannon O’Neill, and others.

The 8th Annual 50 First Jokes
The Bell House, 9 p.m. $10 in advance / $12 at the door.

Each year, 50 of NYC’s most talented up-and-coming and veteran comics come together to tell the first joke they’ve written in the New Year. Hosted by John F. O’Donnell, it’s basically like a “New York ComedianCon”: raucous, inappropriate, and a good time.

Saturday, January 4th

Grandma’s Ashes
UCB Chelsea, 10.30 p.m. $10.

Do you have a secret you need to let out? The hilarious UCB improv group Grandma’s Ashes asks audience members’ to write down deep, dark secrets and pass them up to the cast. They turn these shameful admissions into a brilliant, fully improvised show. Cathartic, if occasionally disturbing.

Monday, January 6th

UCB Chelsea, 11 p.m. Free.

Whiplash is New York’s pre-eminent alternative stand-up showcase, and a great cheap date night for hep cats who dig seeing shows at 11 p.m. on a Monday. It’s the go-to venue for big name comics working on new stuff or just visiting from L.A. Jim Gaffigan, Marc Maron and Pete Holmes have swung by recently, so expect to see someone at least quasi-famous.

Tuesday, January 7th

Legion of Skanks
The Creek and the Cave, 10 p.m. Free.

Podcasts can be dirty little things, but none are quite as filthy as Big Jay Oakerson‘s “Legion of Skanks.” With co-hosts Luis J.Gomez and Dave Smith, ex-bouncer and current loveable scuzzbag Jay discusses today’s pressing cultural topics with zero regard for how offensive he’s being. Random comedians drop by to join the distasteful fun, making for an unforgettable live taping experience.

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