This week in Cheap Laughs, we have daytime talk show legends, charitable causes, lots of gays, lots of pizza, and Jar Jar Binks doing his best Ed McMahon impression. Confused? Don’t be. All will be revealed in our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, April 30
The Cause B Show
The Cobra Club, 8 p.m. Free beer with donation.
Comedians aren’t all selfish narcissists complaining about minutiae. They help raise money for non-profits… by complaining about minutiae. This monthly series sees comedy introduced by a local campaign group, in this case Arts@Renaissance, a Bushwick arts organization providing a platform where artists and the community can unite to effect grassroots change. You get a free beer for donating whatever you can afford to the cause, and see great stand-up from Jermaine Fowler, Chesley Calloway, and many other funny people. It’s the easiest good deed you’ll do all week.
The Creek and the Cave, 7 p.m. Free.
Yes, this is real. Comedian, Emmy-winner and former View co-host Joy Behar will be working out her solo show FOR FREE at The Creek and the Cave (a.k.a. The CBGBs of comedy), Wednesday and Thursday. And yes, it’s that same Joy Behar who just roasted the living fuck out of Chris Christie and caused a wonderful stink. If you don’t think the existence of this show is extremely cool, please stop reading and go back to circle-jerking with everyone else in Lame Town. We know your family think you’re wasting your time living in this crazy city. But one mention that you attended this show will give you superstar status and beautifully formed anecdotes for next Thanksgiving. The wonderful Tom Shillue will open, so it’s a double treat.
Thursday, May 1
The Laughing Devil, 8 p.m. $5.
Attention all queers and the straights who love them: Joel Kim Booster hosts a new monthly show featuring hot New York comics. Some of them are gay, some of them are straight and some of them are just real curious after a few Mai Tais. But all of them will be funny. Brain Frange, Amber Nelson, and Julio Torres are among the talent on display.
Big Ups at Little Skips
Little Skips, 9 p.m. $5 (with a free cold one).
All Bushwick residents should know about this semi-secret weekly show that breaks out after closing time at a coffee shop. The line-ups are routinely great, with the occasional big name drop-in sprinkling a little magic on the stage. If you want your weekly joke fix without schlepping for miles, put this gig in your regular Thursday night plans.
Friday, May 2
Brooklyn Comedy Festival: A Night In the City
SubCulture, 10 p.m. $12 here.
The Brooklyn Comedy Festival is moving into its second triumphant year, and wants to build up some buzz ahead of all the fun in August. So Brooklyn is having a night in the city, starring the hilarious Sheng Wang, Kevin Barnett and Nimesh Patel. All proceeds will go towards making an incredible festival in the late summer. So it’s practically a charitable donation. Brag to your accountant and go have fun.
Saturday, May 3
Comedy at Stonewall
Stonewall Inn, 8 p.m. $5.
Michelle Wolf is a writer for Seth Meyers, and is becoming his go-to goofball when he needs a really weird desk piece (see above). A hardcore Twitter joke demon, she’s one of the many highlights at Chrissie Mayr’s show this evening, along with the hilarious Meghan Hanley and excitable Chris Duffy.
The George Lucas Talk Show
UCB East, 11.30 p.m. $5.
Tomorrow is the internationally recognized festive celebration “Star Wars Day” (May the Fourth… get it?). The UCB invites you to join them as we enter a Jedi’s favorite day with filmmaker George Lucas (Connor Ratliff) as he embarks upon an exciting new career as a comedian and talk Show Host. George and hilarious sidekick Jar-Jar Binks (Shaun Diston) welcome guests like Chris Gethard and Seth Meyers writer Andrew Law. Costumes for all audience members are encouraged. Be prepared to sing “Yub Nub” at the stroke of midnight when Star Wars Day officially begins.
Monday, May 5
Nat Towsen’s Downtown Variety Hour
UCB East, 8 p.m. $5.
It’s Cinco de Mayo, so the streets are awash with frat boys and regurgitated Corona. Avoid the amateurs with this cultured show. Each month, life-long New Yorker Nat Towsen and co-host Natalia Plaza dissect a piece of city culture with discussion, special guests, and large helpings of comedy. Tonight’s theme is NYC’s guilty pleasure: pizza. MC Chris (the comic rapper, Adult Swim voice actor and writer of cult rap hit “Pizza Butt”) stops by to give his take on the slice. Joining him is Scott Wiener (author of Viva La Pizza! The Art of The Pizza Box) , and live talk show host extraordinaire Scott Rogowsky. Two Boots Pizzeria owner Phil Hartman will also deliver a history of pizza’s role in downtown NYC life. See? Way better than throwing up tequila.
Tuesday, May 6
Littlefield, Doors 7:30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. $7.
PUNDERDOME 3000 is a monthly pun competition hosted by a self-proclaimed “Rodney Dangerfield impersonator” and his alleged daughter (Fred and Jo Firestone). The first 18 individuals/duos to sign-up at the door will have a chance to participate in competitive spontaneous pun-making, with celebrity judges Jason Zinoman (New York Times comedy critic) and MTV comedy star Jermaine Fowler. If puns are your thing, this show is 90 minutes of bliss.
Tom Cowell is a comedian.