This week in Cheap Laughs, we have opinionated Greeks, party sneaks, Baltimore tones, relationship moans, and a salute to the crappiest moments of 2014. There’s a lot to choose from. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, December 17th
A Funny Thing Happened
Poco Bar, 8 p.m. Free
Yannis Pappas, while being wrong about soccer (see video above), is right about almost everything else. This opinionated Greek is never happier than ranting about the ills of our time. He loves ranting so much, he’s created two different characters to do it: Mr. Panos (the expat Athenian diner owner who thinks that everything good in life…is Greek) and Mauricia, a pre-operative transgender Latina who thinks she lights up every room. Pappas is the star of the show at Poco tonight, but there are tons of other funny people on the bill too.
Producers Club, 8 p.m. Free
Are you stuck at your super-lame office party in midtown? Caught in a horrific riptide of small talk with Terrible Tina from accounting? Get out of there, for goodness’ sakes! And here is your excuse: You have to go see Train Wreck, the free weekly show at the Producers’ Lounge. Laconic Canadian Phil Hanley and Southern gentleman Joe Zimmerman are two hot properties to look out for.
Thursday, December 18th
Comedy Groupie Live
The Laughing Devil, 8 p.m. $5
This boutique Long Island City comedy club recently changed owners, and independent producers are working with the venue to throw mixed-up bills and shows. It’s a great vibe. Tonight, hilarious Baltimore native Josh Adam Meyers is the pick of the bunch. His voice is SUPER Baltimore: His throat is so B’more raw, it sounds like he blew the cast of The Wire.
Friday, December 19th
Treehouse 154, 10 p.m. $10
Is anything better than shitty relationship stories? We’ve all been in them, but somehow, when we’re being emotionally abused, we just can’t see it. But hindsight is a 20/20 HD telescope, letting us see the horror of crappy exes and spouses in excruciating detail. That’s what this show is all about: verbal autopsies on the worst relationships comedians and storytellers have ever been in. The “Bad Bride” herself, Giulia Rozzi, and human bunny rabbit Josh Gondelman are comics to watch for.
The Creek and the Cave, 11:59 p.m. Free
Frasier is one of the best shows to ever grace a television. And its pilot episode is perhaps the best-written one ever (with apologies to Cheers). So what could be better than watching a live table read of that historic 1993 episode “The Good Son”? We’ll tell you what would be better: if everyone involved was blind drunk. You don’t need to be a fan of the show already; it’s the pilot. Everything is explained. You just need to be a fan of comedians slurring their words and pretending they are Kelsey Grammer.
Sunday, December 21st
This N’ That, 8 p.m. Free
If you’re not back home this weekend, you’re probably getting ready to white-knuckle it and stay in New York all through Christmas. You need to fortify yourself. A comedy show at a gay bar in Williamsburg with dirt-cheap drink specials and post-show karaoke? Perfect. Your entertainment includes human joy gun Will Winner, the 13th-step Taylor Ketchum, and high-heel aficionado Joyelle Johnson.
Monday, December 22nd
The “It Sucked” Awards 2014
UCB Chelsea, 7.30 p.m. $5
It’s time to say goodbye to 2014 by reminding ourselves about all the stuff that sucked this year. There’s a long list to choose from. ISIS happened. Bill Cosby happened (at least 18 times over the years, allegedly). Taylor Swift yanking her hits off Spotify happened. Once again, this was the worst year to be alive in human history. Aparna Nancherla and a cavalcade of UCB performers will tell you exactly why, and honor the worst moments of the year with tiny turd trophies.
Pine Box Rock Shop, 8.30 p.m. Free
This all-woman comedy show is subtitled “Sugar, Spice, and Pubic Hair Lice.” It’s a nice throwback reference. Female grooming has reached such an extreme, public lice are an endangered species these days. Tonight, seven lady stand-up comics tell jokes and keep the liquor flowing at Bushwick haunt The Pine Box. It’s too nice to be called a dive bar, but it would sit comfortably in the category “dive plus” (if that’s a thing). Enjoy Liza Treyger, Anna Drezen and many more.
Tuesday, December 23rd
The Stand, 8 p.m. $5 with coupon code ‘villagevoice’
If your job didn’t give you Christmas Eve off, take revenge: Show up hungover and just quote comedians’ jokes over email all day. The Stand’s house goons Ray DeVito and Josh Carter present their final Northern Discomfort of the year with crowd-work monster Judah Friedlander, fresh Ridgewood slab Chris Distefano, and ’90s heartthrob Janeane Garofalo. They guarantee you, if not a merry Christmas, then at least a sarcastic one. Cheap Laughs is taking a traditional week off to celebrate the birth of Our Lord And Savior, and will return December 31st.
Tom Cowell is a comedian.