This week in Cheap Laughs, we have an almost–Jon Hamm, a slightly–Louis CK, a kind-of Carrie Bradshaw, and a most-definitely Amy Sedaris. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, April 22
Union Hall, Doors 7.30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m., $15
Not so fast. Don Draper will not be present this evening, but this show’s gag name will probably put a few butts in seats, and butts are what hosts John Early and Hamm Sandwich (hence “John” and “Hamm”) are all about. Gay-icon-in-waiting Early is an outré performer specializing in the “annoying yet endearing” vein of comedy, finding a natural home as writer for Billy on the Street. And Hamm Sandwich refers to herself as an “ex-successful drag rapper and current failed drag singer-songwriter.” She’s also a frequent host of both local karaoke parties and the RuPaul’s Drag Race commentary podcast entitled Race Riot. They run a chaotic comedy show in the best sense.
Running Late With Scott Rogowsky
Carolines, 9.30 p.m., $8 with discount code ‘RLSFAN’ here
It’s a stacked lineup in every sense for live talk show host Scott Rogowsky tonight. Queen of kook Amy Sedaris is his guest of honor, fresh from her most recent turn serenading David Letterman during her final appearance on The Late Show. Joining her are affably cranky actor Richard Kind (you know him, he’s always “the guy from that thing”) and Brian Stack. Stack is the writing genius behind the greatest bits from the best years of Conan on NBC. Late-night TV nerd Rogowsky will make sure Stack is lauded appropriately, and perhaps make him spill some beans about Stephen Colbert’s new take on the Letterman gig. In good news for all of us, Stack is writing on that show.
Thursday, April 23
Live on Broadgay
Jerry Orbach Theater, 8 p.m., $8 here
Live on Broadgay is a cast of entirely gay male comedians (and one token straight female comic) performing a staged version of one of the greatest works of drama known to humankind: a Sex and the City episode. And not just any episode, but episode nine from season three! The one where Mr. Big tells Carrie he’s leaving his wife! And Samantha dates a dude with “funky spunk”! If you miss the halcyon days of Miranda’s snark and Charlotte’s shocked face, relive them tonight with some outrageous gays who feel your pain.
Stuck Between Stations
Pacific Standard, 7.45 p.m., Free
Comic Jim Tews is taking the night off from his hard-driving schedule in a Weezer tribute band (the Undone Sweaters) to perform for the good people of Boerum Hill. Jim had a walk-on role on Louie once. Make sure to talk to him about that; it’s a great story. Joining Jim at this show are the brassy Carolyn Castiglia, the bleary Ben Conrad, and the ballsy Kale Bogdanovs.
Friday, April 24
Knitting Factory, 8 p.m., $10
New York is a hard place to see comedians do extended sets. There are so many talented people trying to get onstage that clubs and alt shows typically limit performers to ten- or fifteen-minute sets, tops. Buck the trend at the Knitting Factory tonight and watch two local greats stretch out: Ben Kronberg and Brooke Van Poppelen. They both have TV credits out the wazoo, and will show you a good time. In the non-sensual sense. Two other beasts, Greg Stone and Kenny DeForest, also open and emcee.
The Magnet, 7 p.m., $5
Do you watch or read the news? Me neither. Why bury your brain in headlines when you can just catch up and hear all the important things during a live monthly comedy show? Comic Jarret Berenstein writes and performs a full, PowerPointed, joke-laden monologue about the news every goddamn month. He’s been doing it a long time, and he’s very good at it. Plus it’s not all political humor: He breaks up the show with spots from stand-ups, and, as with any good topical piece, there are usually plenty of jokes about insane stuff that recently happened in Florida.
Saturday, April 25
It’s a Long Story
UCBeast, 11.30 p.m., $5
If you’re buzzed and restless in the East Village late on a Saturday night, visit UCBeast to hear some of the best raconteurs in the stand-up game tell you wild tales from life in the joke business. Brendan Eyre and Sabrina Jalees will be joined by Letterman alum and frequent Bo Burnham opener Adam Newman. If you’re lucky, maybe Adam will tell you the story of the man who was arrested during his stand-up set last year, and how the cops yelled at him for providing a running commentary on their police work. That video is above.
Sunday, April 26
The Macaulay Culkin Show
Shea Stadium, 7 p.m., $5
Conner O’Malley is a writer for Late Night With Seth Meyers, and one of the many actors to have played a young Louis CK on Louie. You can see him tonight at this wild Bushwick alt show. Joining him will be Jason Saenz (the great mind behind #SaenzSigns), Phoebe Robinson, and a host of others. Brett Davis will host, playing another from his seemingly bottomless bucket of characters.
Tuesday, April 28
The Stand, 8 p.m., $5 with discount code “villagevoice” here
Tom Shillue is one of those legendary, hardworking, nice-guy comics everyone cheers for when they get a big break. Tom has opened for Jim Gaffigan for years, and he recently created a podcast about his life following Jim and his writing partner/wife Jeannie around America called Third Wheel. It’s a sweet, sensitive look at this oddball three-part relationship, and has become a big iTunes hit. Tom also sang a cappella with Fallon head writer A.D. Miles for a spell as a young man, which came in handy when Jimmy started a segment doing barbershop versions of pop hits. Shillue became one of “The Ragtime Gals” (see above), which is probably the thing you’ve seen him in most recently. And yet his main gig is not podcasting, or barbershopping, it’s stand-up. And tonight you can go see him in this showcase at the Stand for next to nothing. You’ll be glad you did.
Tiny Montgomery, Doors 8 p.m. / Show 8:30 p.m., $5
Every month, Last Comic Standing‘s Claudia Cogan and Brendan McLaughlin assemble a few of the most jaunty and endearing stand-up comedians the world has to offer. It’s held at Tiny Montgomery at Threes Brewing, the hardest-working brewery/pub/espresso bar/event space in Gowanus. Tonight’s show includes David Smithyman, the Fresh Off the Boat writer and Nightly Show correspondent, and Matt Koff, one-liner genius-in-residence at The Daily Show.