This week in Cheap Laughs, we have last comics standing, ultra-slick branding, funny bastards, funny stories, funny feelings, and an improvised musical based entirely on your own relationship. We aren’t big on boundaries. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, September 24th
Last Comic Standing Showcase
The Stand, 8 p.m and 10 p.m. $15.
Want a snapshot of the best stand-up material being written in New York right now? Go to a TV audition. The Stand is hosting two shows tonight, on behalf of the bookers at NBC’s Last Comic Standing. MC Yannis Pappas will bring his unique acerbic energy to the proceedings, as a hungry generation of comics tries to kill hard enough to bag a precious three minutes of network TV airtime. If you only have time for one live comedy show this year, a showcase like this ain’t a bad choice: you’ll find your new favorite comic, get obsessed with their podcast/web-series/Tumblr, and generally feel like you nailed New York this week.
Thursday, September 25th
A Funny Thing Happened
Poco Bar, Doors 7.30 p.m / Show 8 p.m. Free.
This is your ideal hip Alphabet City restaurant basement show. A weekly fixture on Avenue B, FTH’s producers run a slick, awkwardness-free comedy room. And it’s a dope accompaniment to the respectable tapas being served upstairs. Lance Weiss and Chicago’s Clark Jones perform tonight. A weekly raffle might net you free drinks and a $20 gift certificate, but if you’re not a winner you can drown those sorrows with $5 margaritas and $1 Oysters all night.
Friday, September 26th
Heavy Metal Laser Plane
Legion, Doors 7.30 p.m / Show 8 p.m. Free.
Sam Morril is very young, very talented, and very successful. Don’t you hate him already? A club regular at New York’s storied Comedy Cellar since his mid-20s, Morril runs his successful Moonlighting podcast with co-host Joe Machi, headlines nationwide, and had possibly the best Conan set of the year. With him tonight are New Orleans’ Neal Stastny, storytelling supremo Jeff Simmermon, Clench & Release creator Charla Lauriston, and more.
Saturday, September 27th
It’s A Long Story
UCBeast, 11.30 p.m. $5.
The storytelling and stand-up worlds are close, but somehow still distant. Like siblings who don’t call. The stand-ups can be too quippy, and the storytellers too sappy. Is there a place they can meet in the middle? Yes, and it’s this show, hosted by Alison Leiby. It’s the 2-year anniversary of It’s a Long Story, a forum for great performers to tell longer true stories with the accent heavily on laughter. Tonight the boyish Josh Rabinowitz, Chicago’s Liza Treyger, Buffalo booster Matt Wayne and good Canadian Nathan Macintosh are your entertainers.
Monday, September 29th
The Not Quite Midnight Show
Muchmore’s, 8 p.m. Free.
Young gadabouts Chris Calogero and Courtney Maginnis were so excited to take over for Letterman, but were sadly passed over without even a returned phone call. So they decided to build their own late night talk show empire, in the humble cluster-fucky surroundings of Williamsburg. Their band, Steven DeSiena & The Rumrillionaires, will keep things swinging, and a ton of talent will make you laugh. It’ll be the talk of Havemeyer Street.
Tuesday, September 30th
Your Love, Our Musical
The PIT, 9.30 p.m. $10.
This show is sappy and sweet in all the right ways. Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman interview a real couple in the audience, asking how they met and fell for each other. Minutes later they use those details to create a completely improvised musical about the couple’s love story. This is the ideal date show for that “we’re six months in, let’s rekindle something” couple.
Tom Cowell is a comedian.