This week in Cheap Laughs, we have spacious bars, Allentown stars, game show highs, video lows, festivals, desperation, people murdering on television, and the only party in history where selfies get you in free. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, August 13th
The PIT, 9.30 p.m. $8 or $1 with any student ID.
If you’re a student, the PIT theatre is a great spot to stretch your entertainment dollar this month. Tons of shows are just $1 with any valid student ID, including this one, with the plastic face and fizzing brain of absurd character comic Nick Vatterott. Joining him are Broad City vet Katina Corrao and your hosts Griffin Newman and Andrew Tavin. Plus, the PIT bar is one of the most fun spaces for a group hang-out in the entirety of New York comedy. So check it out if you’re traumatized by the closet-sized bars that blight comedy clubs in this fair city.
Thursday, August 14th
Week At The Creek: Jim Tews
The Creek and the Cave, 7 p.m. Free.
Jim Tews was just on Last Comic Standing and is a touchingly hilarious comic. Hiding behind those thick Pennsylvania glasses is a lot of heart. He’s working out 45 minutes of stand-up as the Creek’s artist-in-residence this week (Wednesday through Friday) and he’s well worth your time. And if you’re a child of divorce, he’ll become your favorite new guy who talks about it.
Friday, August 15th
The Creek and the Cave, 8 p.m. Free.
Skip the Friday night poseur bar scene and join a bunch of comedians playing dumb games, answering profane quiz questions, and flicking booze-sweat all over the stage. It’s the comic game-show that guarantees a good time, or your money back. Conveniently, the show is free.
Saturday, August 16th
Videology, 9 p.m. Free.
Time for another edition of the funniest comedy show in history that takes place in a video store. And thanks to the continued shrinkage of that sector, Comedyology may hold the title forever. Pick of the performers tonight is Gary Vider, the low-energy joke machine who murdered his first ever TV set earlier in the year. Joining him are Nate Fernald, Brad Austin, and other great comics and sketch creators.
Sunday, August 17th
Nate Fridson: Best Guy So Far
Beauty Bar, Doors 8.30 p.m. / show 9 p.m. Free
Detroit’s Nate Fridson would have made a great black guy (see promo video above). He’s passionate about hip-hop, holds himself with swag, and does a great line in angry rants on the street. Sadly, blackness wasn’t on the cards for Nate. For that, he blames his Jewish parents. But his identity crisis is our gain, because his act is full of that furious, funny confusion. And his best stuff is on his stellar debut album, which includes a wonderful chunk about divorce which you should listen to (also above). The album release is celebrated tonight with gusto at this weekly show he runs at Beauty Bar. Come for Nate. Stay for the after-party set by DJ Hollis James and manicures (yes, manicures) by nail artiste Lefty Lucy.
Sunday at The Lounge
Three of Cups, 7 p.m. Free.
Sunday at The Lounge is a great relaxed showcase at a legendary East Village punk venue. Watch out for Canada’s Nathan Macintosh, fresh from sets at the Montreal Comedy Festival. Joining him are Janine Brito, Dan Shaki and others. Happy hour prices are in effect all night.
The Stand, 8 p.m. $15 (2 for 1 with promo code GRIFT here)
Ari Shaffir is the headline grabber at The Stand tonight. One of the few big name U.S. comics brave enough to do the reverse coastal move (L.A. to New York), he’s sharpening his jokes into razors at club spots all over town. He hosts his own storytelling show on Comedy Central next year, so it might be a good idea to catch him now before his ticket prices crest the $30 mark. Joining Shaffir are road dog supremo Paul Hooper, Sean Patton, and a hatful of others.
Monday, August 18th
Carolines, 7.30 p.m. $5 with promo code “PARTY” (two-item minimum).
Sam Morril made his TV debut on Conan last week, and predictably destroyed. He’s back in New York and working out new stuff on Pat Dixon’s high-energy music and comedy show at Carolines. Carmen Lynch will also be there. And she’s phenomenal. Go already.
Game Night: BKCF Edition
Spike Hill, Doors 7.30 p.m / Show 8 p.m. Free.
The Brooklyn Comedy Festival is back for its second triumphant year, and it kicks off tonight at Spike Hill in Williamsburg. Adam Newman headlines, alongside musical comics The Reformed Whores, John Oliver’s web maven Josh Gondelman, and a hatful of other great performers. There will be Brooklyn Brewery drink specials all night. And if that doesn’t get you drunk enough, head to the 10.30 p.m. After-Party at Union Pool.
Tuesday, August 19th
The Stand, 10 p.m. $5 or free with a selfie here.
The Illuminati Party is the only comedy show in human history where you get in free just by taking a selfie. Go to @PartyIlluminati for instructions, then enjoy your free show. Brody Stevens is in town, one of the great crowd workers and one-liner clowns in the business. If you haven’t seen him before, make time to do so.
Tom Cowell is a comedian.