This week in Cheap Laughs, we have sweater kings, Daily Show zings, Puerto Rican Rattlesnakes, Jazz babycakes, and New York’s spirit clown, Mr. Colin Quinn. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, October 22nd
Greg Behrendt: I Am The King Sweater
Union Hall, Doors 7.30 p.m. / show 8 p.m. $8.
Greg Behrendt is the patron saint of comedy comebacks. He specializes in blazes of success, unfortunate sputters, and then triumphant self-discoveries that leave him older, wiser, and sporting great knitwear. The stand-up comic and author of He’s Just Not That Into You, Behrendt was lord of the dating advice racket for part of the ’90s. He was an official consultant on Sex and the City and even host of his own TV show. Then it all went away. It’s a pattern: In the mid ’80s he was garlanded as a rockabilly star in Japan, made a record, and…yes, it all went away. This show is an ode to that phase in Behrendt’s life. It’s a stand-up comedy show with guitars. For the past seven years, Greg has played in instrumental surf punk band the Reigning Monarchs, and on this tour, he’ll be playing his 1980s single “Cakebox”…which, as luck would have it, has just fallen out of rights protection in Japan, enabling him to re-release it.
Thursday, October 23rd
The Daily Show Writers: A non-Daily Show
UCB Chelsea, 9.30 p.m. $5
Every once in a while, the whip-smart mind-knights who pen the country’s preeminent satirical news show grow weary of their work. They need a break. A rush. Some kind of buzz that caffeine, candy, or Jon Stewart remembering their kid’s name cannot deliver. So they perform a completely improvised show for the discerning crowds at UCB. Watch out in particular for Matt Koff, Chad Carter, and Hallie Haglund. They are very funny.
The Laughing Devil is a boutique comedy club in Long Island City that recently changed owners. The new management is bending over backwards to book eye-catching comics and build audiences. Tonight features MMA obsessive and self-confessed “Puerto Rican Rattlesnake” Luis J. Gomez, libertarian philosopher-clown Dave Smith, and professional pizza opinion-haver Alexis Guerreros…and that’s just the dudes. Worth making time for.
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Saturday, October 25th
Here’s the problem. Comedy is amazing, but it’s not “classy.” Jazz is also amazing, but it’s not funny. How can we resolve this dilemma? Well, we don’t have to, because comic and host Chrissie Mayr already did. Tonight sees the debut of Greenwich Village’s first combined jazz-comedy show since Woody Allen’s day (we’re guessing). Catch Chappelle Show staple Christian Finnegan, Guy Code star Jordan Carlos, and a host of others, sharing the stage with the hepcats of the downtown jazz scene. Save your click-claps till the end.
Sunday, October 26th
If You Build It
UCBeast, 8 p.m. $5.
UCBeast’s heavy-hitting Sunday showcase returns with a great lineup. Gary Gulman is one of the greatest stand-up comedians working in the world and should be on that C.K./Rock/Seinfeld Mount Rushmore the media tries to build in our minds. His current tour, “It’s About Time,” is blowing minds all over, so catch him here for five dollars and fall in love with the guy. Alongside him are the hilarious Joyelle Johnson, John Early, and a host of other great comics.
The Gowanus freak-out show Manifesto! is one year old this evening, and they’re pulling out the stops to celebrate. One-liner craftsman Ben Kronberg is the first among equals, and appears with New York municipal treasure Dave Hill, the brilliant Emmy Blotnick, and too many other funny jerks to list. Tickets are $5 in advance, but those mustache-curling robber barons jack the price up to an eye-bleeding EIGHT bucks on the door. So for goodness’ sake, don’t be a mark, and buy your seats ahead of time.
Monday, October 27th
Colin Quinn: Week at The Creek
The Creek and The Cave, 7 p.m. Free
There is no justice. Colin Quinn is no longer on TV every night, but right now he’s putting out the most incredible stuff of his career. His Twitter account has a peerless brilliance, perfectly capturing the hyper-annoying essence of “some idiot stranger on an elevator” (see above). He makes incisive one-man shows about the Constitution. And his stand-up is phenomenal. New York is so fantastic, you can see a guy like this work out a new hour of material, for nothing, five nights this week (see the Creek site for details). If you don’t go, you are, as Quinn would say, a dummy.
Tuesday, October 28th
Your Fantastic Life
61 Local, 8 p.m. $5.
Your Fantastic Life is an all-new show from producer Jo Firestone. Audience members are invited to put their name in a bucket if they personally identify as “miserable.” Do-gooder comedians then get to pick a name out of the bucket and attempt to really make that audience member’s life better for up to 10 minutes. Comedians get an unfair reputation for being sad-sack pieces of shit, so watch them re-balance the scales in intriguing fashion. And if Joe Pera (above) can’t fill you with hope for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, there is no hope for you.