We have entered the holiest time in America’s cultural calendar: Super Bowl week. And man, is this an irony-free zone. Everyone in the nation is required to have an opinion on how 22 sacks of meat will behave for four hours this Sunday, regardless of how ridiculous they sound. Want to burst this bubble of bloviation? Go watch some live independent comedy. This week, Cheap Laughs recommends some lurid true tales of gym class, showcases for the next generation of stand-up talent, and comedy shows either ABOUT video games OR performed in actual video stores.
Wednesday, January 29th
Heavy Metal Laser Plane
Legion Bar, Doors 8pm / Show 8.30 p.m. Free.
Dan St Germain headlines this tight neighborhood show in Williamsburg, bringing the same manic ex-boozehound energy that powered him to every “comedians to watch” list in town. Check out his animated Comedy Central web series “In Security” before you go, to dial in to his goofily grim clown persona. Seaton C. Smith (Carolines), Eli Yudin (@NotTildaSwinton) and Kara Klenk (UCB) will also be on hand to drink everything St Germain isn’t allowed to anymore.
The Nights of Our Lives
UCB Chelsea, 9.30 p.m. $5
In honor of the Super Bowl, this venerable UCB storytelling show is asking performers to share stories of their athletic prowess. The theme this week? “Tales of Gym Class”. Peter Aguero, Christian Capozzoli and Michelle Markowitz are among the raconteurs. And if you’re reading this while bored at work, you can listen to past shows at BreakThruRadio.
You & the Screen
The Creek and the Cave, 8 p.m. Free.
The worlds of comedy and video games collide tonight, so laughter and reluctant celibacy are guaranteed. Join host “Alec Tronic” as he introduces stand-up comics who are judged on their performances by a mysterious force in the lighting booth – “The Screen”. Will someone be sucked into the game, Tron-style? Hey, maybe. Hosts Steven DeSiena and Stephen Whalen will try to stop that happening.
Thursday, January 30th
The Awooga Comedy Hour
The PIT, 8 p.m. $10.
Kevin McCaffrey headlines this goofy stand-up showcase hosted by Griffin Newman and Andrew Tavin. Doogie Horner (America’s Got Talent Finalist) and Sarah Hartshorne (America’s Next Top Model–yes, you read that right) join the fun.
Friday, January 31st
Abby Holland: The Wo/Men In Me
, 7 p.m. The PIT$10.
Abby Holland, founding member of female sketch group Buzz Off Lucille, tonight asks herself the question at the heart of all one-person shows: “What does it mean to be a woman?” Unlike other similar shows, this one is actually funny and great. The night will also featuring a guest performance from Pete Lee of VH1’s Best Week Ever.
Saturday, February 1st
Videology, 8 p.m. Free.
Don’t you miss the magic of video rental stores? No? Well, Williamsburg is where retro rules with an iron fist, so of course it STILL has a hip and cool video spot. And now it’s host to a hip and cool stand-up comedy show. Hosts Ross Parsons and Daralyn Kelleher present some of New York City’s finest comedians, interspersed with screenings of original short comedic films so fresh they haven’t even made it to YouTube. Joe Machi (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) headlines.
Tuesday, February 4th
Creek Cave Live
The Creek and the Cave, 8 p.m. Free
Every now and then, the Creek and the Cave (a.k.a. the CBGB’s of New York comedy) throws industry-friendly shows, showcasing comedians the club likes and introducing them to a wider audience. If you’ve been on the fence about this oddball Long Island City venue, and have never visited, this would be a great show with which to break your Creek cherry.
Klimat Lounge, 8 p.m. Free.
This stand-up show nestled in the basement of an East European bistro is warm, good-natured and very funny. Hosts Ahri Findling and Andrew Collin welcome Nick Vatterott, and a gaggle of up-and-coming comics from across the city.
Tom Cowell is a comedian. Follow him on Twitter @mrtomcowell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with all listing suggestions.