This week in Cheap Laughs, we have Harvard grads, bitches in plaid, slavery fans, Labor Day plans, and a shame too great to hide. Let’s do it. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, August 27th
Over the Eight, 8 p.m. Free.
Harvard grad and proud son of very intense Indian parents Alingon Mitra just blew up on Last Comic Standing. He’s a likeable, brilliant joke-writer, yet there’s still a nice streak of darkness in his material. He’s going to go a long way. Catch him here for free before he takes Russell Peters‘ crown as comedy icon of the Indian diaspora. Plus the venue has $4 fancy draft beers and those delicious Venezuelan hot dogs with the shredded pickled carrot on them. You know the ones? Yeah, they have them. They’re very good.
Lucey’s Lounge, 8 p.m. Free
Are you a hip, Gowanus-type? The kind of hard working media professional who doesn’t like to leave the neighborhood on a Wednesday, but likes a fun local comedy show? Then Bitches’ Brew is for you. Come for the cheap drinks, stay for the likes of Christi Chiello, a rising NYC comic with an incredible voice (think Marcel the Shell meets Betty Boop) and great jokes.
Friday, August 29th
Two Book Minimum
Community Bookstore, 9 p.m. Free.
This is a cool event. It’s a free comedy show inside a closed indie bookstore. There’s stand-up, stories, and drunken ramblings about their favorite books. If you’re into books and laughing, it’s the nerdy first date spot of your dreams. Hosts Dan Wilbur (author of How Not to Read) and Ross Hyzer (a New Yorker contributor) welcome the hilarious Joe List, the anarchic Dave Hill, wickedly funny Myka Fox and a new big cheese fresh from success in Montreal, Jason Saenz.
UCBeast, 11.59 p.m. $5.
Gary Busey and Tom Cruise host an evening of first impressions. Well, actually it’s Brandon Gulya and Alan Starzinski. But it’s tough to tell, their impressions of Hollywood icons are so on point. They introduce comedians you know from stage and screen, attempting celebrity impressions they’ve never done before and you get to see them for the first and possibly only time. In particular, watch out for Amber Nelson of the sketch group juggernaut Murderfist. She could be on SNL any minute.
Sunday, August 31st
If You Build It
UCBeast, 8 p.m. $5.
Byron Bowers wants slavery to come back because “he’s tired of looking for work.” Sharp as hell, the L.A.-based comic is coming through UCBeast tonight, on one of the theatre’s strongest showcases. Joining him are a long bill of extremely funny people, many of whom pull off the toughest move in comedy: being funny while working clean. Folks like Kevin McCaffrey and Josh Gondelman. They’re the kind of funny you can both enjoy, and share with your parents.
The Stand, 8 p.m. $10 with code “GRIFT.”
If you avoided the throngs swarming out of town for Labor Day, and are looking for a rock solid good time, this is your show. It’s been a strong year for stand-up sets on Conan, but Gary Vider just may have taken the crown with his ultra-dry, scratchy delivery and clockwork-perfect jokes. Joining him tonight are L.A.’s Dov Davidoff, Mike Vecchione, and a hatful of brilliant others.
Monday, September 1st
People’s Republic, Doors 7.30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. Free.
Every comedian hates hecklers. But what if the comic knew their heckler? That’s the premise for this off-beat show at People’s Republic. Each month they welcome comedians and someone important in their lives, because only they get to interrupt the show. That’s right: a spouse, a sibling, a business partner… they all get to argue back. Not only is the event free, but if you show up before 7.30 pm, there’s free cake from Milk Bar. Hosted by actual IRL couple Omar Shaukat and Anna Suzuki.
Tuesday, September 2nd
Littlefield, Doors 7 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. $10 in adv.
At this point, this little show is more accurately called a phenomenon. Hailed on every NPR/Onion AV Club/BBC outlet all the hip kids know and love, it’s a show devoted to unearthing the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids. Of course, you see them, and you’re mortified. We see them, and we melt with laughter, joy and “awwww…” The show has spawned a documentary, a TV show, and two books, and it’s back in Brooklyn for a two-night run (tonight and tomorrow). The organizers believe there are a million stories buried in the pages of people’s lives. Their mission: “share the shame.”
Tom Cowell is a comedian.