This week in indie comedy kicks off with a pizza party hosted by SNL‘s Sasheer Zamata. But the freebies don’t end there: Free beer, free shots, and a whole Free Comedy Festival are on the schedule this week, all to help ease your end-of-summer wallet woes.
Wednesday, September 2:
Sasheer Zamata Pizza Party Time!
Union Hall (702 Union Street, Brooklyn), 8:30 p.m., $10
What do you do when you’re rolling in all that Saturday Night Live fame and money? Throw a great show with free pizza for everyone, of course. Saheer Zamata is doing just that, with a great group of comedians and free slices from Williamsburg Pizza. The highlight of the show is Marina Franklin, who just hit an out-of-the-park home run on Conan. (The Voice also spent a night running between different comedy clubs recently; watch that below.)
Carolines on Broadway (1626 Broadway), 7:30 p.m., $10 with code AKAASH online
Carolines continues to offer great weeknight shows featuring long sets from the plethora of headliners we’ve got crammed into this city. This week’s special hour comes from Akaash Singh, whose sharp tongue and sharp pop culture knowledge have had him all over MTV the past few years.
Thursday, September 3:
Everything but Country
Carolines on Broadway (1626 Broadway), 9:30 p.m., $10 with code COUNTRY
Ever since Chris Rock pointed out that women don’t care how misogynistic rap lyrics are (“if the beat’s all right, she’ll dance all night”), every young comedian has taken a stab at dissecting the message behind what’s killing the charts. This show takes that a step beyond, breaking down famous rap beefs and the music they spawned, culminating in an actual rap battle.
Laugh It Up Astoria
QED (27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria), 9 p.m., $5
QED is a major part of the ever-growing Queens comedy boom, with a well-rounded schedule that has a little bit of everything, and so does this show: trivia, prizes, drinks, and, most importantly, stand-up from some of New York’s best. Alingon Mitra, who has been on just about every showcase for stand-up on TV, including Last Comic Standing and Conan, is joined by two feisty comedic spitfires, Leah Bonnema and Justy Dodge, for a night that’s sure to be delightful fun.
The Standing Room (47-38 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City), 9 p.m., $5
Phil Hanley and Amber Nelson have a couple of new jokes they’d like to run by you, as do the rest of this lineup. The Garage offers a chance to get a peek into the creative process, as some of NYC’s favorites test out jokes they’ve been working on in the past month, and a few they come up with on the subway on the way over. You’ll help decide if they sink or swim on to the next show.
Friday, September 4:
Creek Cave Live
The Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), 10 p.m., Free
Do you like British wit and surprisingly outrageous jokes from a nice chap in glasses? Then you’ll love Tom Cowell. If you prefer smart, frank observations from a hot no-nonsense broad, may I suggest Sydnee Washington. You get both of them, plus a free beer, and even a free shot for those brave enough to sit in the front row (no one will be mean to you…unless you get a little rowdy after the beer and shot), all at this free show.
Saturday, September 5:
The Bitch Seat: Therapy for Your Misspent Youth
Union Hall (702 Union Street, Brooklyn), 8 p.m., $8 in advance
Did you burn that box of embarrassing love notes and pitiful attempts at becoming the next Jackson Pollock from high school? Or does your mom still trot out VHS tapes of your sixth-grade dance recital every time you bring a new guy home? Either way, this show is for you. Liza Treyger, Giulia Rozzi, and a handful of other comedians will be revealing (and making fun of) the awkward people they once were before they became the awesome people they are today.
Free Stand Up Festival Kick Off Party
New York Comedy Club (241 East 24th Street), 5 p.m., Free
The Free Stand Up Festival is now an annual tradition highlighting the top-notch comedy available for free throughout the city all year long. The week-long collection of great comedy, absolutely free, gets a strong start with this show featuring Christian Finnegan, Mike Recine, and Doug Smith.
See You in Hell (Free Stand Up Comedy Festival Edition)
The Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), 8 p.m., Free
Normally, a host’s job is to get the crowd ready, keep the crowd happy, and bring the crowd back after a bomb or an awkward set. In other words, the host is supposed to make the show go smoothly. Not with this show, where hosts Matt Wayne and Doug Smith do everything they can, from dance challenges to encouragement of hecklers, to put the other comedians through hell.
Sunday, September 6:
The 4th Annual Creek Awards
The Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), 6 p.m., Free
The Creek takes a break from presenting every kind of comedy under the sun to celebrate it! With awards for everything from Best Podcast and Best Open Mic to Best Hang and Worst Day Job, this is more community celebration than cutthroat competition. Hosts Nick Turner and Joe List will lead a fun, funny, booze-fueled night that’s sure to inspire a few new categories for next year. Head to the Creek website for details.
Monday, September 7:
Broken Comedy (Free Comedy Festival Edition)
Bar Matchless (557 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn), 9 p.m., Free
One of Brooklyn’s original waves of hot free comedy shows, Broken gave Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che a weekly home when he was just The Next Big Thing and continues to feature comedians you’ll be thrilled you saw in such an intimate setting when everyone in America knows their name. This week is no different, with Mike Cannon, Vladimir Caamano, and Zainab Johnson all gracing the stage.
Frantic (Free Comedy Festival Edition)
The Stand (239 Third Avenue), 10 p.m., Free
This weekly “free bar show at a club” ups the ante in honor of the Free Comedy Festival this week with a lineup fit for a Saturday night. Last Comic Standing’s Joe List, America’s Got Talent’s Gary Vider, This is Not Happening’s Ari Shaffir, Mark Normand, Dan Soder, Michelle Wolf, and Derek Gaines round out this stacked show.
Tuesday, September 8:
Hot Soup (Free Comedy Festival Edition)
Irish Exit (978 Second Avenue), 8 p.m., Free
Consistently one of the best free weeklies in town, Hot Soup boats a strong lineup, a packed house, and regular drop-ins from the likes of Colin Quinn, Louis CK, and Sarah Silverman. Hosts Mark Normand, Gary Vider, and Matt Ruby are pretty swell, too. If you haven’t gotten yourself over to the unlimited laughs and unlimited bar special at Irish Exit yet, the Free Comedy Festival is a great excuse.