Cheap Laughs: The Best in Independent Comedy This Week, 3/19 – 3/26/2014


Spring is here! Are you anxious about your body yet? Another winter of layers, sweaters, and other paunch-hiding garments has flown by. But now the weather is warming up, and disgusting skinny people are flaunting their tight bods and friendly metabolisms. Our advice? Don’t try to compete. Wear something baggy (baggy is in, right?) and go see live comedy. Here are our picks for the best in independently produced New York laughs this week.

See also: AUDIO: Andrew W.K. and Wu Tang Clan’s Masta Killa Tell Road Stories

Wednesday, March 19

The Cause B Show
The Cobra Club, 8 p.m. Free (donations encouraged).

This live comedy series wants people to enjoy jokes and help their community at the same time. Come out, make a small donation, get a free show and a free Brooklyn Brewery pint for your trouble. Sounds swell to us. This month hosts Victoria Varney and Kerryn Feehan raise money and awareness for Make The Road, a Bushwick community organization who serve predominantly working class immigrants, Latinos and African Americans. Comedians include the hilarious Kevin Barnett, Alison Leiby, and Kendra Cunningham.

The NYC Improv Festival
The PIT Theater. Show times and prices vary. See for details.

The third annual NYC Improv Festival takes over The PIT this week, further cementing New York’s rep as the global capital of improv comedy. You hear that, Chicago? The capital. (Why don’t you shut up and find some more drywall to call pizza?) Teams from all over the US, Canada and the world will play right here in our backyard, as four continents of improv come to Gotham. The fest starts tonight and runs to Sunday the 23rd.

Thursday, March 20

Hotter Than Freud’s Mom
People Lounge, 8 p.m. Free.

No fuss, no muss: just another downtown free comedy show with a great lineup and genial hosts. Paul Oddo and Ray DeVito (host of the departed and much beloved cult East Village comedy show Sacapuntas!) bring you Carmen Lynch, Sarah Tollemache, Keith Alberstadt, and a bunch of other fine comics.

Friday, March 21

Stand-Up Showdown
The Creek and the Cave, 8 p.m. Free.

People love game shows and people love comedy. Why not put them together? Hosts Chip Dwyer and Natalie Shure bring you a night of nerding out and laughter. Two teams of two comedians compete in three rounds of buzzer beating quiz madness (trivia, visual, and “physical”). Between each round, other comics tell jokes.

Saturday, March 22

BLOGOLOGUES: Dat A.S.S. (The Annual Sex Show)
The Cow, 9.30 p.m. $20 online

This sketch comedy show features scripts culled 100% from the internet and performed word-for-word. Could a Facebook meltdown told verbatim or re-enacted messageboard war make for great theater? You bet it does. Each show has a theme, and this month it’s “Dat A.S.S.” (i.e. sex, in all it’s web-enabled glory). Night after night, co-creators Jen Jamula and Alli Goldberg and their cast bring to life the internet’s views on Tinder, anal sex, and bronies. It’s disgustingly well done.

Sunday, March 23

The Natives Are Friendly
HiFi Bar, 7 p.m. Free.

There are so many out-of-towner comedians in this city, it can be hard to see an honest-to-god, born and bred New Yorker on a show. The Natives Are Coming tries to fix that, by featuring only comedians and storytellers from the Big Apple. As a gesture to tokenism, they bring in one (just one) guest performer from another city. Tonight, Adrienne Iapalucci (Letterman), Neil Charles (The Eric Andre Show), Harry Terjanian (MTV) are on deck.

Monday, March 24

How I Learned
Le Poisson Rouge, 8 p.m. $5.

The How I Learned storytelling series features writers, storytellers, comics, and raconteurs holding forth on lessons learned, unlearned, relearned or in progress. Host Blaise Allysen Kearsley introduces tonight’s theme: “How I Learned The Awful Truth: Stories of Backstabbing and Betrayal as told by Alex Edelman, Diana Spechler and more.

Tuesday, March 25

Last Tuesday with Pat Dixon
The Stand, 10 p.m. $15
Pat Dixon is the closest thing New York comedy has to a grizzled Private Eye. Always in a suit, he hosts a podcast (The NYC Crime Report) about the worst cases bedeviling the NYPD, and probably uses the words “dame” and “greenbacks” un-ironically. And the last Tuesday of every month, gumshoe Dixon digs up a mixed bill of alternative and club regular comics. Tonight is a hot one, with Sherrod Small, Doug Smith and Chrissie Mayr aiming the jokes right at your kisser.

Tom Cowell is a comedian.