Blame Canada, Parents, and More: This Week in NYC Comedy


This week in Cheap Laughs, we have snow removal, parental approval, tales of the disgraceful, the nebbishy lord of Letterman, and a polar vortex of departing Canadians. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.

Wednesday, February 4

Train Wreck
The Producers Club, 8 p.m. Free

If you’re not on the mailing list for this show, get on it. Showrunners Henry Cruz and Keith Fuerstenberg bring the cream of the New York comedy crop through this midtown hole in the wall every week and charge you not a dime for the privilege. If you become a regular, you’ll see the “next big thing” before anyone knows they are a thing. Tonight, Dan Soder stops by to tell jokes about his moderate sex drive, and ribald road dog Sam Morril is always good value for some finely crafted filth.

Thursday, February 5


Northern Discomfort
The Stand, 8 p.m. $5 with discount code “villagevoice” here

Lenny Marcus just had three Letterman appearances in a little over a year. In stand-up, that’s a hot hand, like Linsanity but Jewier. Catch him tonight (for very little money) at this boutique show with a pretty rabid following. Joining him at The Stand are the beautiful Jersey tones of Jim Florentine and Friends of the People star Kevin Barnett.

Parental Approval
Over the Eight, 8 p.m. Free

This one-off show is the perfect night out for anyone still craving validation from their parents (i.e., everyone). Colin Burgess has assembled a bill of stand-up comedians to perform for…his parents. Chris and Sheila Burgess will be watching the entire show via Skype from their home, and at the end of the evening they will award their favorite act a large prize. It’s like their own personal competitive reality show. Burgess could have called it “One Very Specific Bar in Brooklyn’s Got Talent.”

Friday, February 6

The Shame Game
The Bell House, 9 p.m. $10

Comedians bare their most shameful stories in hopes of being crowned the King or Queen of Shame, provided they can endure the merciless burns from their fellow comics onstage as every excruciating detail of their embarrassment gets picked apart. Tonight’s panel includes Michelle Wolf, Phoebe Robinson, and Eliot Glazer. Anyone who knows them personally will confirm that they’ve all done shameful things and society will be a better place when they unburden their hearts. Hosted with an utter lack of shame by Ginny Leise and Soojeong Son.

Saturday, February 7

Awkward Sex and the City
The Museum of Sex, 9 p.m. $15

City hepcats are headed to the Museum of Sex this month to catch the art installation Funland. The purpose of the work is to “contemplate the sexual subtext of carnivals” while jumping through a bouncy house made of inflated rubber breasts. Why not go see it and make it a twofer with this dirty storytelling show? Natalie Wall invites comics to share their most awkward sex story in this messy confessional evening. Look out for Mulaney star Seaton Smith and the Ken doll–handsome Mike Kelton.

Sunday, February 8

The Bell House, 8 p.m. $15

Fresh off the release of his Netflix comedy special Folk Hero, Nick Thune is touring alt venues hard. VERY TOUR! MUCH COMEDY! promises to be a mix of “intimate stories and emotional breakdowns” along with more of the same from his two opening acts: Ben Kronberg and Kate Berlant. If your comedy tastes skew weird, this is the chance to see two monarchs of the Los Angeles alternative scene (Kronberg is NYC-based) do their oddball sets for a friendly crowd.

Monday, February 9

Mike Birbiglia: Working It Out
Union Hall, 7 p.m. $20

Comedian and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia usually commands the highest of high dollars for tickets at his big theater shows. But when he just works stuff out and tightens up his jokes, he comes down to Union Hall to deliver a more affordable experience. Tonight he tells some stories, takes requests, and welcomes a guest or two for an informal evening of comedy. He has one respectful request of his own: “Do not wear a tux.”

Tuesday, February 10

Polar Vortex
Pete’s Candy Store, 7 p.m. Free

Eman El-Husseini and Jess Salomon are putting on a one-off show and party before they head back home to Canada. The booze-fueled goodbye will see your hosts drowning their sorrows about leaving this town and dreaming up schemes to return. Americans who propose marriage drink for free. Performers include Charla Lauriston, Lance Weiss, and Jono Zalay.

Tom Cowell is a comedian.


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