This week in Cheap Laughs, we have grind-core rawness, hyperdermic madness, kitschy gladness, marital slackness, trophy wackness, gateway drugs, and Andy Kaufman’s jacket. Also, special mention for The PIT’s four-day sketch comedy festival, which is taking over their 24th Street theater from Thursday through Sunday. If you’re sketch-obsessed, it should dominate your week. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, October 8th
Your Showcase of Showcases
Eastville, 9 p.m. $7.
This is your Wednesday night: you throw a couple back at venerable poet-weirdo hangout KGB Bar, then stumble 12 steps downwards into Eastville Comedy Club. Its kitschy subterranean gloom is fun enough. And a bill of excellent comedians for a bargain cover makes it a no-brainer. Sam Morril, Michelle Wolf and Noah Gardenswartz are just a taste of your heavy-hitters for the evening. There will be a two-drink minimum, but this menu of comics is worth indulging that anachronistic practice for one evening.
Treehouse Theater, 8 p.m. $8.
What if the happiest day of your life brought out the worst in you? Proud divorcee Giulia Rozzi confesses to her many adventures in depression, drunkenness and cowardice that made her say “I do” at precisely the wrong time. A hilarious stand-up comic featured regularly on Chelsea Handler and Playboy TV, this one-woman show is heavy on the jokes and much lighter on the “…and then I realized” monologues with bullshit lighting changes. And thank God for that. Rozzi is workshopping the show here before a short run in London, so catch it now before she’s famous and the tickets get way more expensive and she starts hosting a show on the E! Network herself.
Thursday, October 9th
Laurie Kilmartin: 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad
The Creek and The Cave, 7 p.m. Free.
Not many people think that live-tweeting the death of their father from lung cancer would be funny. But most people aren’t Laurie Kilmartin. The Conan writer and comic chronicled her Pop’s journey from hospice care to the great hereafter with wit, sarcasm and sensitivity, and received a lot of internet love for her joke-laden paean to her dying parent. This week, she’s working on a new hour of material at The Creek, and if you’re a fan of unapologetically dark, twisted comedy delivered with a soccer mom smile, you should go and see it.
The Trophy Awards
Radio Bushwick, 8 p.m. $5.
How does Bushwick know it’s on the cultural map? It’s getting its first ever awards show. The Trophy Awards is a comedy/variety show with all the glitz and glamor of a regional sales conference. Faux celebrity presenters give out meaningless awards for absurd categories until everyone is too drunk to stand. Yes, it does sound like the Golden Globes. But it’s infinitely more fun. House band GUNTIT (best band name of the year nominee) are masters of ceremony, with performances from comics like Amber Nelson and sketch groups like Good Cop Great Cop. You simply must attend. Anybody who’s nobody will be there.
Friday, October 10th
And I Am Not Lying
UCBeast, 11.59 p.m. $5.
Hoo boy. This is a wild one. Father/son grindcore band Vomit Fist are the guests of honor at this burlesque-comedy art mélange show that’s a highlight of UCBeast’s monthly calendar. While the duo thrash out their death metal anthems, dominatrix Miss Vivian will pierce herself with hypodermic needles live onstage. Before that happens, Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda star Mara Wilson will tell stories, NYC crime reporter Pat Dixon will do standup, and bullwhip and lasso trick expert Chris McDaniel will lash the audience into amazement. Comic and storyteller Jeff Simmermon hosts and tames the madness in his calm Virginia drawl.
Sunday, October 12th
The Andy Kaufman Award
UCBeast, 7.30 p.m. $15.
The Andy Kaufman Award recognizes highly original new talent that honors the spirit of the comic legend who rewrote the book on alternative comedy performance in his all-too-short life. It’s an auspicious prize to win: past honorees include Reggie Watts and Kristin Schaal. Tonight seven finalists will perform, each hoping to claim the trophy. All involved are hyper-talented, but anyone who saw Pam Murphy’s electric one-person show The C Word may secretly be crossing their fingers for her. T.J. Miller will also be performing, which is worth the $15 by itself. Also, Kaufman obsessives should come to the theater super early, to watch Chris Gethard host a two-hour special show of comedy, games, rare clips of Andy’s work, and remembrances about Andy Kaufman. A free Uncle Andy’s Funhouse T-shirt will be given to all audience members. The UCBT East will be open at 3:30 p.m. so that you can see some authentic Andy Kaufman costumes and props including the White Elvis Jacket, Hawaiian Shirt, and Andy’s Conga Drum and Guitar.
Monday, October 13th
The Stand, 10 p.m. Free.
If you’ve never been to a New York comedy club before, The Stand is where to start. And Monday nights are your gateway. Frantic! is a 100% free showcase hosted by Aaron Berg. The talent is always top drawer, with headliner comics back from weekend road gigs sharpening material for a friendly NYC crowd. Tonight Joe List, Adrienne Iapalucci, Barry Rothbart, Sean Donnelly are just some of the funny on offer. Every one of them has TV credits, a sweet disposition, and a straight-up love of the game.
Tom Cowell is a comedian. Find him on Twitter @mrtomcowell
or mrtomcowell.com. Email email@example.com with all listing suggestions.