This week in Cheap Laughs, we have Twitter beasts, feminist feasts, Tinder grease, and the whitest actor to ever earnestly approach the role of Jay Z. Here’s our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.
Wednesday, June 3
Union Hall, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., $15
Emily Heller is the kind of comic who puts the “fun” in “feminism” even though it lacks all the correct letters. A passionate and political writer who somehow manages not to come across as a scold, Heller is a regular on Conan, a recent debutante (in the non-patriarchal sense) on Late Night With Seth Meyers, and a graduate cum laude of the New York comedy school of hard knocks. Tonight she’s recording her yet-to-be-titled album in the bowels of Union Hall, ably supported by Aparna Nancherla and Josh Gondelman.
The Bell House, 10 p.m., $25
Rob Delaney is an American comic who now lives in London. He has a lot of Twitter followers — more than 1.1 million, in fact. It wouldn’t be strange to call him the King of Twitter, or at least of the funny bits of it. He lives in the U.K. because they adore him over there: He once sold out a run at London’s Soho Theatre in seven minutes with a single tweet. Tonight he returns to New York for one night only, slinging more of his carefully honed, absurd premises.
Thursday, June 4
The Stand, 8 p.m., $15
Randy Liedtke likes to beat a joke to death. Actually, death is probably too soon for Liedtke to stop. He would prefer beating a joke to a foamy paste. Preferably a mist. Watch the Seth Meyers clip above for evidence, as an offhand comment about his girlfriend becomes a stop-start absurd premise for four whole minutes of lies on network television. The Last Comic Standing alumnus is in town from his regular turf of Los Angeles, so go see him. He’s maddeningly great. And listen to his Bone Zone podcast with comedian pal Brendon Walsh. If that’s your thing, he’s your thing, and vice versa.
Saturday, June 6
The Knitting Factory, 8.30 p.m., $10
Tinder is such a fertile ground for snap judgment and insult humor, it’s a miracle everyone isn’t doing comedy shows about it. But for some reason, only Conan O’Brien (see above) and Brooklyn’s own Lane Moore are doing it. Moore packs in a crowd of horny kids at the Knitting Factory and swipes through the douchiest of douches’ real-life Tinder profiles, using her actual Tinder account, live on stage. Her guests tonight are rap star Jean Grae, Girls writer Yassir Lester, and many more.
Monday, June 8
Mike O’Brien: 45 Minutes of Things
UCB Chelsea, 8 p.m., $5
Mike O’Brien can sell anything. The longtime SNL writer has the rare quality of occupying any comic scene, no matter what the circumstance, with complete honesty and reality. So when he plays a corn-fed white actor, sadly miscast as the lead in a biopic of Jay Z (see above), he can turn a “one-note” sketch into an unending Möbius strip of funny. He beats out new, weird shit at UCB, and attending such workout sessions is self-recommending.
Tuesday, June 9
Dave Hill: Let Me Turn You On
The Bell House, Doors 7p.m. / Show 8 p.m., $10
Dave Hill is a sweet guy from Cleveland with a self-effacing manner and a heart of gold. But onstage he plays with the persona of a faux-naïf, rock-star comic who’s in love with himself, and reads extremely dirty poetry with the expectation that his female audience will gush all over the venue carpet after just one sonnet. Tonight he’s celebrating the release of his latest album, the typically modestly titled Let Me Turn You On. He’ll be partying with Michelle Wolf, Greg Barris, Seaton Smith, and more.
The Stand, 8 p.m., $5 (here with discount code ‘villagevoice’)
Professional grump and one-man army against political correctness Nick Di Paolo is at the Stand tonight for its Northern Discomfort show. Nick spoke to the Voice earlier this week to discuss the legendary comics’ table at the Comedy Cellar, and how New York shapes his material. If you want a longer interview, where he doesn’t so much answer questions as tell you his opinions in an unbroken sequence with laughs in the middle, go see him do stand-up comedy.