This week in Cheap Laughs, we have smoldering SNL talent, organized labor, electro-disco, gay improv, slams, snark, anonymous dating shows, and just the nicest young man from Wisconsin. It’s irresistible. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, July 9th
The Pit, 9.30 p.m. $8.
Stand-up and character comic John Milhiser was didn’t see a lot of screen-time in the last season of Saturday Night Live (his first). But he shouldn’t worry: a quick look at his work on YouTube gives you the impression that this guy is an unexploded firework waiting to go off. He’s the guest of honor at this solid Pit stand-up showcase, alongside UCB veteran John Frusciante (no, not the former heroin-addicted guitarist of RHCP) and variety supremo Sharon Spell.
Thursday, July 10th
Tammany Hall, Doors 8 p.m. / show 8:30 p.m. Free.
This column is called Cheap Laughs. How can we not write about a show called Cheap Seats? They’re what we’re all about. And it’s easy with a sweet line-up like this. Ted Alexandro is routinely talked about as one of the nicest guys in New York entertainment, as well as being subtly brilliant, a labor organizer of comedians (the rarest of birds), and the creator of the forthcoming web series “Teachers Lounge.” Joining him are Aparna Nancharla and the deep green jokes of Noah Gardenswartz,.
Over the Eight, 7 p.m. Free.
Husband/wife team Patrick Clair and JiJi Lee host some of the city’s best storytellers and sketch comics at this Williamsburg storytelling and character show. The first part of the show is conducted “slam” style: anyone can put their name in for a chance to perform a five minute true, personal story or a set of sketch characters/impressions. Performances have ranged from heartfelt tales of redemption, to an audience sing-a-long of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” The back half of the show features Calvin Cato and Jim Gaffigan’s hilarious tour mate Tom Shillue.
Friday, July 11th
UCB Chelsea, 7.30 p.m. $10.
Aidy Bryant already has her ticket for the “stay as long as you want” club at SNL, which should make all comedy fans happy. It means she’ll be dropping in at improv shows all over New York for the foreseeable future. Tonight she’s joined by two more of the funniest improvisers in New York (who happen to be women): Tami Sagher and Shannon O’Neill.
And I Am Not Lying
UCBeast, 11.59 p.m. $5.
Adam Newman is the comic guest at New York’s hotbed variety show, hosted and produced by Moth champion Jeff Simmermon. He’s joined by DC electro-disco kings Coup Sauvage & The Snips, burlesque by Zoe Ziegfeld and Fem Appeal, and much, much more.
Saturday, July 12th
Comedy At Stonewall
Stonewall Inn, 8.30 p.m. $5.
Matteo Lane could be the next big deal famous gay comic. With his operatic stage chops, adorable snark and annoyingly good gym body, he seems destined for the E! Network and places beyond. Tonight he’ll be telling jokes at Stonewall’s upstairs den of gogo dancing iniquity. With him are gay improv groups Fancy Man and No Place Like Home, and a trio of great female talent: Ashley Bez, Sydnee Washington and joke-writing natural Chrissie Mayr.
Sunday, July 13th
If You Build It
UCBeast, Time p.m. $5.
Joe Zimmerman just had a half hour special on Comedy Central, and it is so good it’s fury-provoking. He’s just one of five good reasons to come to one of the strongest stand-up shows in town. The others include SNL‘s Sasheer Zamata, Rojo Perez, and others. Drinks are cheap too, and there’s great pizza next door. Violate your many solemn commitments to get a beach body, all in one place. And laugh while you’re doing it.
Friends of Single People
Littlefield, Doors 7:30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. $5.
Friends of Single People is a dating game show where you get to represent your single friends, live onstage. Your loveless pals are free to cringe and remain as anonymous as they wish in the crowd. What results is part-roast, part gong-show, part twisted social experiment. Arrive early if you want to register you and a friend, and don’t worry who you love: it’s open to all orientations. Host Jo Firestone claims that out of 100 couples matched, 5 couples have managed to develop actual long-term relationships, and one couple just moved in together. We like those odds.
Tuesday, July 15th
The Stand, 8 p.m. $5 with code ‘villagevoice’ here:
The Stand continues its summer tradition of handing out bargain ticket deals to hot shows midweek. Independent producers Josh Carter and Ray DeVito are great at assembling eclectic bills: clean crowd pleasers mixed with darker, edgier acts. Tonight features the World Champion Judah Friedlander, troublesome twins The Lucas Brothers, and ultra-nice Wisconsinite Pete Lee.
Tom Cowell is a comedian.