Cheap Laughs: The Best Independent Comedy This Week, 2/5 – 2/11/2014


This week in New York comedy is all about rare cuts and odd birds. You have the chance to see both Rory Scovel and The Pajama Men on one of their infrequent trips to the Big Apple. Scovel is one of the big lights in Los Angeles’ alt-comedy scene, and New Mexico’s Pajama Men are apparently famous everywhere on the planet except New York. Still want more? We have dark and dirty Bushwick laugh-dens, sweet weirdos hosting showcases at UCBeast, and a very special evening of watching 1940s cartoons while drinking free vodka. Don’t say we don’t spoil you. Here is Cheap Laughs, our pick of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.

Wednesday, February 5th

Joe Zimmerman
Union Hall, 8. p.m. $8.

With his sing-song delivery and calm silliness, Joe Zimmerman could be your next favorite New York comic. Tonight he’s throwing a show to celebrate the release of his debut comedy album “Smiling At Wolves”, surrounding himself with a stellar line-up of local stand-up talent. Dave Hill, Nick Vatterott, and Michelle Wolf are in that wolf pack, and they won’t disappoint.

The Guest Room
Tandem Bar, 9 p.m. Free.

This weekly Bushwick show is building momentum, like a hipster’s fixed-gear bicycle steaming down Wilson Avenue. Dual headliners Mark Normand and Dan St Germain take the mic in this strange Brooklyn backroom, along with Corinne Fisher (of the charming “Guys We F*cked” podcast). Ronnie Fleming and Bob Palos host.

Thursday, February 6th

Modern Day Philosophers
The Creek and the Cave, 8 p.m. Free.

Open bar vodka drinks, classic Hanna Barbera/Merrie Melodies cartoons, followed by a quality stand-up show? That’s a hell of a deal offered by the Creek and the Cave this Thursday. All vodka drinks are free for half an hour before 8pm show time, and you can giggle into your straw at Bugs Bunny’s antics on the big screen before the comedians arrive. Our pick of the comics performing is the hilarious Joe Machi, who looks like a demented ventriloquist’s dummy come to life.

The Dan + Joe + Charles Show
UCBeast, 10.30 p.m. $5.

This fine alt-comedy showcase moves to its new home at UCBeast, celebrating with a set from gravel-voiced young grouch Dan Soder. The hosts are some of the oddest birds in New York stand-up: Twin Peaks-y everyman Joe Pera, the impish Dan Licata, and tragic middle child Charles Gould.

Saturday, February 8th

Rory Scovel
SubCulture, Doors 9 p.m. / Show 9.30 p.m. $10.

Here’s a rare chance to see a former NYC comic and now rising star of the alternative LA comedy scene. Scovel is notorious for old-school bits of silliness on Conan that hark back to O’Brien’s golden days in late night. The one where he and fellow comic Jon Dore were “accidentally” double booked and performed simultaneously? That was particularly good. You can see him at NoHo venue SubCulture for $10 tonight or $50 at Carolines in a few years. Entirely up to you.

Sunday, February 9th

If You Build It
UCBeast, 8 p.m. $5.

Kara Klenk’s Sunday night showcase keeps on trucking, as the super-clean and super-funny Ryan Hamilton stops by to warn us of the dangers of hot air ballooning. Joining him are MTV Guy Court’s star attorney Jermaine Fowler, NYC crime obsessive Pat Dixon and many more.

Tuesday, February 11th

The Pajama Men
SubCulture, Doors 7 p.m., Show 7.30 p.m. $29.

This show is not exactly cheap in dollar terms, but it’s a bargain in the cosmic sense. Hailing from Albuquerque, The Pajama Men perform a straight hour of physical and character comedy on a bare stage, dressed only in their PJs. A huge hit at comedy festivals from Sydney to Edinburgh, the Pajama Men offer a show unlike anything else you’re likely to see in your show-going life. They are so good, their run in London’s West End broke box-office records at the venerable Soho Theater. The Men don’t play New York very often or at all, so don’t miss the chance to go.

Tom Cowell is a comedian.

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