H. Jon Benjamin might be the most recognizable voice in animated comedy. Unlike comic chameleons Harry Shearer and Seth MacFarlane, Benjamin’s voice is instantly recognizable in everything he’s done — from Dr Katz to Archer. But New York’s got more than just funny voices on tap this week in indie comedy:
Wednesday, July 1:
The NYC Comic Book Science Fiction Fantasy Horror and Roleplaying Game Club
QED (27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria), 9:30 p.m., $5
Nerds unite! There’s a lot of overlap between people who love comics (the folks who say funny things into microphones) and people who love comics (the graphic novels). Jared Logan has condensed all the fun of Comic Con into a comedy show, featuring stand-up’s übernerd, Mike Lawrence.
Your Showcase of Showcases
Eastville Comedy Club (85 East 4th Street), 9 p.m., $8
This regular showcase features a mix of newbies and comedy killers, and this edition showcases two comedians who are as equally amazing as they are stylistically different. Myq Kaplan is a master of clever wordplay and quiet understatement, while Jessica Kirson is a high energy whirlwind of absurdity and laughter. Both are guaranteed to have you practically falling out of your seat.
The Stand (239 3rd Avenue), 10 p.m., $5 with code GRIFT online
Nick DiPaolo is one of the most talented and revered comedians working in New York today. Forged in the Boston comedy boom, he’s still got the quick wit and sharp edge that made him a stand-out on Tough Crowd and keeps his podcast a favorite on the RiotCast network. But he’s not the only comedy beast on this stacked show, which also features Gary Gulman, Dan Soder and Mike Vecchione.
Thursday, July 2:
Running Late with Scott Rogowsky
Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street), 7:30 p.m., $10
This live late-night talk show features everything you loved about classic Letterman: a witty house band, wacky recurring characters (Scott’s dad, for one), great guests, and high quality stand-up. To wrap up its seventh season, Rogowsky is pulling out all the stops with guests Jon Benjamin (Archer, Dr Katz) and comedian Tom Papa.
Week at the Creek: Jono Zalay
The Creek and The Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), 7 p.m., Free
What happens when a Ph.D. in neuroscience turns all that brainpower to telling jokes? You get a guy like Jono Zalay, whose material about racist babies and the wage gap mingles with jokes about dick pics and having sex in front of his dog, all complimented by a sweet mustache. Check him out as he preps an hour for an upcoming album all week at the Creek and The Cave.
The Flat (308 Hooper Street, Williamsburg), 8 p.m., Free.
Cheap Laughs Editor Emeritus Tom Cowell presents the very first edition of his new free comedy show at this sexy, swanky coffee shop/cocktail lounge/DJ party space (oh, Williamsburg). Cowell and co-producers Kyle Ayers and Will Winner are kicking it off in style, with NYC favorites Aparna Nancherla and Tim Dillon leading the charge.
Friday, July 3:
Love Your Accent
Otto’s Shrunken Head (538 East 14th Street), 8:30 pm, Free
British transplant Chris Williams has been delighting New York audiences with his accent as much as his humour for the past three years. He’s heading back across the pond in August, but before he goes, he’s commemorating his stay among the yanks with an appropriately titled album. Be a part of the recording and feel free to walk around saying things like, “Pip pip, cheerio” all night long.
Saturday July 4:
The Dirty Show
QED (27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria), 9:30 p.m., $5
If you follow the media, you might think that there’s not much left that’s safe for comedians to say in public without being called out as racist, misogynistic, white privileged jerks. But everybody still loves a good dirty joke. Enjoy some finely crafted filth from Andy Sandford, Tim Dillon and Blair Socci.
Ari Shaffir & Monroe Martin
The Stand (239 3rd Avenue), midnight, $5 with code FIREWORKS online
After you’ve “oohed” and “ahhed” at the dazzling pyrotechnics display, have a seat, a drink and a laugh on the cheap. Ari Shaffir has amassed an enormous following over the past few years, thanks to his wildly popular podcast Skeptic Tank and Comedy Central Series This Is Not Happening. Even if you don’t love stories about international pooping, come get a load of the fauxhawk he’s currently rocking. Monroe Martin is a newcomer by comparison, whose good-natured sweetness while delivering darker jokes about growing up in the foster system shot him to the top of the Last Comic Standing pack last season.
Sunday July 5:
Rule of Threes Comedy
Halyard’s (406 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn), 7 p.m., $3
This show offers a rare city treat: a show featuring only three comedians, each doing longer sets. This week Julia Johns and Raj Sivaraman present MTV cuties Mike Cannon and Matteo Lane, along with Totally Biased’s Aparna Nancherla.
Monday July 6:
Nat Towsen’s Downtown Variety Hour
UCB East (153 East 3rd Street), 8 p.m., $5
This truly varied variety show features comedy, music, sketch, readings, a history lesson, and trivia, all while trying to grasp the ever-fading artistic ethos of the Village in its pre-gentrification glory. Everyone’s teenaged crush, Janeane Garofalo, headlines the show and if you know your neighborhood history, you could even win free pizza and comic books.
Tuesday July 7:
Legion of Skanks Live Podcast
The Creek and The Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), 10 p.m., Free
This self-proclaimed “most offensive podcast on the internet” features comedians Jay Oakerson, Luis J Gomez, and Dave Smith shooting the shit with guests about sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, cheating, exes, groupies, fist fights, knife fights, vine stars and hack comedians. It’s also the show most likely to give you a free contact high just from attending.