See the Guy Who Brings ‘Archer’ to Life

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.

Grift Comedy
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.

Pure Joy
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.


The 10 Best Frozen Drinks in NYC

Break out the acid wash denim jorts — it’s downright summery outside. And no better way to celebrate a warm day (or pretend that it’s swimsuit season) than with a frozen drink. Here are our 10 favorites around town.

10. Kelvin Natural Slush, check website for locations

Alex Rein and Zack Silverman made an icy splash with this frozen drink company in 2010 and have since found love and thirsty admiration from food celebrities like Martha Stewart and Andrew Zimmern. The customizable beverages can be mixed with fruit purees, herbs, and booze — several versions of which can be found in the warm months at Madison Square Garden. Seasonal suggestions from Kelvin’s slush jerks always satisfy, but we’ve got a soft spot for their lightly floral citrus tea with bourbon.

9. Bushwick Country Club, 618 Grand Street, Brooklyn; 718-388-2114

This East Williamsburg wonderland for the tight-pantsed and snark-raving masses offers many of the hipster watering hole trappings that Brooklynites have come to know and love: kitschy decor, a photo booth, picklebacks, and a slushie machine that whirs nonstop, spewing forth frozen sweet tea vodkas and whiskey and Cokes whose mugs frost over with the promise of relief and inebriation. There’s a charming albeit dilapidated mini-golf course in the backyard patio. When the weather’s nice, there’s no better place for a brain freeze.

8. Nights and Weekends, 1 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-383-5349

With cocktail and food menus that play fast and loose with tropical influence, this sister establishment to beloved neighborhood restaurant Five Leaves plies revelers with plenty of rum and tequila, plates of mojo pork ribs, callaloo, and fish tacos served grilled or fried baja-style. Frozen margarita flavors change daily and use premium Combier triple sec, and a rotating “slushie del dia” keeps patrons well-lubricated with fruit flavors like watermelon and mango.

7. Otto’s Shrunken Head, 538 East 14th Street, 212-228-2240

Before Tiki took the city by storm a few years ago, this eccentric island-themed bar — replete with naugahyde booths, faux grass over the bar, and plenty of bamboo — found success among the city’s punk adherents, who perhaps ironically flocked to 14th Street to hear their favorite bands and slurp down sizeable carafes of Polynesian and frozen cocktails. Steer clear of inventions like the scurvy dog (cinnamon vodka with butterscotch) in favor of fruit daiquiris and a creamy chocolate slushy reminiscent of that most esteemed of Floridian tipples, the Bushwacker (basically, a chocolate pina colada).

6. Skinny Dennis, 152 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn; no phone

Don’t let the Williamsburg-Honkey tonk atmosphere deter you: This sibling to pooch-friendly bar Lucky Dog serves one of the city’s finest frozen drinks (in a borough that already shows plenty of love for slushies), an amalgam of Oslo coffee, milk, vanilla, sugar, bourbon, coffee liqueur, and brandy dubbed Willie’s Frozen Coffee. The icy mixture receives an extra slug of bourbon on top, and Skinny Dennis bartenders serve the concoction in the quintessential Greek-inflected coffee cups that have become synonymous with down and dirty NYC java.

5. Debasaki, 3367 Farrington Street, Queens; 718-886-6878

Low-lit Flushing Korean joint Debasaki is known around the populated dining neighborhood for its ‘gyoza’ chicken wings – hollowed-out, boneless wings filled with vegetables, cheese, or shrimp – as much as for its pitchers of frozen soju (a clear Korean distilled beverage with a lower proof than vodka). Available in fruit flavors like frothy, pink strawberry and a thick, creamy plain yogurt variety, the drinks pack tons of flavor but little intoxicating punch, leaving you to sip away for hours with little fear of repercussion.

4. Uncle Boons, 7 Spring Street; 646-370-6650

Besides cooking one of the best versions of curry-based Thai noodle stew khao soi, this quirky Nolita restaurant from Per Se vets Matt Danzer and Ann Redding, which opened last April, serves infinitely appealing Chang and Singha beer slushies. The frosty suds are agitated in a motorized ice bucket, which helps create enough movement within the bottles that the beer maintains its slushy state. They’re innocuous compared with other beers, but there’s no better relief from Uncle Boons’ chili-spiked fare than these frozen brews.

3. Battery Harris, 64 Frost Street, Brooklyn; 718-384-8902

What was once expansive beer garden Loreley has been transformed into this Caribbean restaurant and bar, which sports the same large outdoor patio for partying when the weather’s nice. Head bartender Saul Ranella — formerly of La Mar Cebicheria — mixes a lineup of inventive cocktails with an island bent (while still occasionally utilizing Peruvian ingredients like Pisco, maize, and mint), including a slush-ified take on that ambassador of Anglo-Caribbean drinks, the Dark’n’Stormy, and a frozen version of the Peruvian purple corn drink called chicha morada mixed with passion fruit juice, Pisco, and traditional Peruvian Amargo Chuncho bitters.

2. Daily slushie from Mother’s Ruin, 18 Spring Street, 212-219-0942

Yes, this place is down the street from #4 pick Uncle Boons, but Richard Knapp and TJ Lynch have imbued this spacious Nolita watering hole with a ramshackle charm. Tin ceilings and large back tables encourage socializing in addition to drinking, and a slushy machine holds court up front, filled with whatever flavors strike the bartenders on that particular day. Sweet fruits are on heavy rotation (anything with bananas is a good bet), but the machine occasionally plays host to frozen bloody marys as well.

1. Frozen Horchata from El Quinto Pino, 401 West 24th Street, 212-206-6900

This gorgeous tapas bar from husband and wife team Alex Raij and Eder Montero expanded into an adjacent space last year, finally giving the restaurant a proper dining room dubbed “El Comedor.” Even with the ornate back room up and running, the U-shaped bar up front is still the place to be. True to its Spanish roots, El Quinto Pino’s bartenders serve a variety of sherry and gin-based tipples. Half-dessert, half-cocktail (which could be said for many of the picks on this list), the frozen horchata bears little resemblance to the Mexican cinnamon-and-rice-milk concoction most people associate with the name, basing this version instead on an icy scoop of frozen chufa tiger nut milk, which melts lusciously into a shot of brandy.


Best Tiki Bar

It might be the only tiki bar in town, but still, it would be hard to top Otto’s Shrunken Head, which was founded in 2002 to combat the sad absence of places like Hawaii Kai and Trader Vic’s. But this isn’t an uptown tourist attraction, it’s a 14th Street hangout on a block filled with value stores. And it’s tiki’d upside down! From the giant tiki heads in the window to the Hawaiian record covers and fish-shaped light fixtures inside, the place is a quickie trip to the Pacific via Avenue B. Ten-dollar tiki drinks are served, including Wicked Willies, Stormy Skulls, Pang’s Punch (“radioactive rum punch,” named after co-owner Steve Pang), and, of course, your parents’ faves: Mai Tais and Singapore Slings. And at 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday, they exclusively offer a Slice of Heaven, with “deep-fried bacon and a shot of your choice.” (By the way, you put down a $5 deposit for your drink, which you only get back if you return the tiki mug it’s in. There were too many walkaways.) Best of all, the atmosphere is pure party. Happy sounds emanate from the red patent-leather booths, whether there’s live music, comedy, spoken word, or an open mic or not. Go and get lei’d. 538 East 14th Street, 212-228-2240, (10009)