Cheap Laughs: The Best in Independent Comedy This Week, 3/26 – 4/1/2014


This week in Cheap Laughs, we hang out in bookstores, right a historic wrong done to Staten Island, brag abut Brooklyn’s best live talk show, and hear tall tales about the very worst topic known to man: cheating. Here are our picks for independently produced New York comedy worth your time over the next seven days.

Wednesday, March 26

Running Late with Scott Rogowsky
Littlefield, Doors 7.30 p.m / show 8.30 p.m. $8 online, $10 at the door.

After a three-month hiatus, Brooklyn’s favorite late night comedy talk show returns for a fifth season at Littlefield. And to celebrate, host with the most Scott Rogowsky has booked a blockbuster roster of guests: rap legend Pharoahe Monche (Oh No!), the New York Times‘ late night war chronicler Bill Carter, and The Daily Show‘s hilarious new cast member Jordan Klepper.

Nights of Our Lives
UCB Chelsea, 9.30 p.m. $5.

The UCB’s top storytelling show cuts close to the bone with tonight’s theme: “Cheating”. Expert raconteurs Adam Wade, Christian Capozzoli and Anna Roisman will regale you with tales of rule-breaking, betrayal, and bad, bad things.

Full Cup, 9 p.m. Free.

In all its storied 9-month history, Cheap Laughs has not listed a single event taking place in Staten Island. We’re ashamed and will do better, starting now. Alternative community venue Full Cup is under new management, and bringing all kinds of cool weird stuff to S.I.’s Stapleton neighborhood: gay movie nights, hardcore shows, burlesque fun (i.e. all that is great and good in entertainment). Tonight, comedy is in the mix. Host Joe Romby Jr. has a hook: nine comedians, a 90-minute show, starting at 9 p.m., in a show called “9-Ball.” Ashley Bez and Conrad Roth are the pick of a fun line-up. Like the ferry, the show is free.

Thursday, March 28

Class War
Three of Cups, 8 p.m. Free.

Louis Katz‘s album If These Balls Could Talk is fantastic and you should buy it right now. But if you need more convincing, go see him headline at Class War this week, a consistently good alt showcase in the East Village. Two other very funny dudes, Taylor Ketchum and Tim Dillon, are on deck too, helping hosts Evan Davis and Myka Fox deliver the goods.

How Do I Get There?
The Creek and the Cave, 8 p.m. Free.

This sweet, reflective stage show is all about direction in our lives: how do you get to where you want to be, from where you are? Comic host Shalewa Sharpe chats with different comedians each month about how well (or more often, poorly) they navigated the toughest portions of their lives. Emily Fleming, Rae Sanni and Mike Brown are some of the clowns musing about life’s riptides this time around.

Friday, March 28

Two-Book Minimum
Community Bookstore, 9.30 p.m. Free.

Dan Wilbur and Ross Hyzer have persuaded a local community bookstore to stay open after hours, and invite writer-comedians in for a free night of stand-up, stories, and drunken ramblings about their favorite books of all time. It’s nerdy, funny, and you feel like you’re getting away with something. This week has a dynamite roster of talent: if Sean Donnelly, Aparna Nancherla, Giulia Rozzi, and Josh Gondelman don’t make you laugh, you’re a dead person.

Over the Eight, 8 p.m. Free.

Imagine a TED talk, but actually funny. Or Neil deGrasse Tyson doing a tight 10 at the Funny Bone. That’s what this show is going for. Slideshow features comedians explaining and engaging with scientific ideas, as well as doing what they do best: telling jokes and not taking anything too seriously. Nate Fridson, Sarah Tollemache and Julia Solomon are among the nerds chatting this evening. And this is the only show on earth this evening where you can hear a plenary talk by Raj Sivaraman entitled: “Nobody’s Home: Using Mathematical Models to Disprove the Existence of Life on Earth”. Hoo boy.

Saturday, 29

Starfish Circus
The Bell House, Doors 6 p.m. / Show 6.30 p.m. $20.

Here’s a one-off chance to see two of the funniest comics working on the West Coast. Greg Behrendt has come a long way since his dating advice book (He’s Just Not That Into You) blew every woman’s mind back in ’04. He started an instrumental surf rock band (The Reigning Monarchs), got way into cardigans, and began a successful podcast (Walking the Room) with fellow comic Dave Anthony. These guys have an incredible rapport and you should try and bask in its angry, silly glow.

Tuesday, April 1

Comedy Notebook
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 7 p.m. Free.

Established comedians need time to work out new material, and it’s not always easy to come by. But if you’re willing to put up with unpolished bits, audiences can be lucky enough to catch magic as its being made. That’s the premise of this show. Deep in the bohemian confines of a Soho non-profit bookstore, TV legends Colin Quinn and Frank Conniff will turn the venue into a comedy gym for the evening, using you as their weights. Liam McEneaney and ventriloquist Carla Rhodes join them, along with musical guest Andy Shernoff of NYC punk royalty The Dictators. The whole shindig is hosted by Rob Paravonian.

Tom Cowell is a comedian.