This week in Cheap Laughs, we have starry eyes, honest lies, pole-dance highs, puppet guys, a dancing surprise, and two great showcases from the legendary Mr. Dave Attell. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, January 21
Oddly, a show called “Grift” gives you the best-value comedy experience in the city this week. For just $5, you can see four headliners with countless late-night and Comedy Central credits between them, along with a pair of bubbling-under comics about to break. If that’s a grift, you should sign up to be a sucker. Highlights include superstar podcast duo Mark Normand and Joe List, and co-creator of the brilliant Teachers Lounge series Ted Alexandro. Also, don’t sleep on Janelle James and Subhah Agarwal.
Thursday, January 22
New York comic veteran Sara Schaefer has been busy. She’s the host of a new hybrid WNYC/Nerdist interview show called LIES, which is just like every other NPR interview show, except that every single word each guest says is a total lie. And now she’s recording a brand-new stand-up album. Her opener and host for the evening is Brooke Van Poppelen, also a boss-ass bitch in her own right.
Friday, January 23
Heavy Metal Laser Plane
Legion, 7 p.m. Free
It’s the last-ever installment of the most punctual comedy show ever to grace New York City. Hosts Tom Cowell and John Anderson are going out with a bang, with an ultra-secret lineup that must be experienced to be believed. They politely request no haters. Saturday, January 24
Bonnema and Cunningham
Q.E.D., 7 p.m. $5
Burgeoning comedy hotbed Q.E.D. in Astoria just had a great idea: Book pairs of experienced comics to do longer sets to help them polish acts up for bookers of TV specials and the like. Tonight, you can see two NYC favorites — Leah Bonnema and Kendra Cunningham — blast out their best 30 minutes for just $5. Afterwards, stick around, grab a coffee/beer at the venue, and for another five-spot you can see a totally different pair of accomplished stand-up talents — Anthony DeVito and Greg Stone — do their thing. If you’re Astoria-based, this could be part of an ideal Saturday night.
If you’re reading this, it’s certain you’re a fan of two things: Nirvana and highly athletic pole-dancing. This show combines them. Comedians share the stage with hot pole-jockeys of both genders, and all the dancers will pick their favorite Nirvana song to start out 2015 right. Come as you are.
Set, naturally, in the sexiest of museums, this show features an all-female lineup of comedians who will recount their most awkward sexual experiences for your viewing pleasure. Corinne Fisher of the riotous Guys We Fucked podcast is one in particular to watch out for. Sunday, January 25
Adam Newman: Killed
Union Hall, Doors 8 p.m. / Show 8.30 p.m. $10 w/ free digital download of Newman’s new album, Killed
Adam Newman is celebrating the release of his new album, Killed, with an insanity-laced show. Guests include Paul McGinnis, a Sesame Street puppeteer who has put his hand up too many colorful characters to count, from The Muppets and Crank Yankers to The Colbert Report. Also present are Cocoon Central, a choreographed dance-comedy act who dance until people start laughing.
Tuesday, January 27
Comedy Underground Live with Dave Attell
Village Underground, 8 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. $15
Dave Attell runs shows at the Village Underground that are so good, they’d be illegal in some states. With three decades of comedy connections at his fingertips, he’s able to book insane special guests, the kind whose names can’t be promoted ahead of time for fear of a mob scene. Gilbert Gottfried is already booked for the 8 p.m. show, and every single performer on the bills (see the ridiculousness here) is a headlining murderer, worth every penny of the ticket price.
61 Local, 8.30 p.m. Free
If you’re broke in January, here’s your spot. Head down to this restored carriage house in Boerum Hill for some communal tables and convivial jokes. It will cost you zero dollars for your trouble. New Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj lays it down alongside Chris Calogero, Sam Evans, and other quality acts.