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Best Nerd Hang

Nerds, hang with your kind at the Secret Science Club, Brooklyn’s long-running monthly event that features “mind-bending lectures,” “volatile experiments,” “chemical libations,” and “star-gazing sounds.” Curated by jazz singer Dorian Devins and authors Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson, the SSC is a clubhouse for fun-loving smarties who enjoy music and cocktails with their talk of particle accelerators. A recent evening at the Bell House featured Hod Lipson, director of the Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University, posing questions like “Can robots ultimately design and make other robots?” Another lecture saw primatologist and author Frans de Waal investigating animal cognition — including “tool-making crows.” Admission ranges from free to $20, a small price to pay for expanding your mind.

The Bell House

149 7th Street, Brooklyn

718-643-6510

secretscienceclub.blogspot.com

 

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Best Dance Party

As any high school kid with an empty house and fake ID will tell you, throwing a decent rager is hard work. Somehow the geniuses behind the Rub have managed to bring quality partygoing to New York music lovers for over fourteen years. DJ Ayres and DJ Eleven originally conceived of this monthly hip-hop party with fellow DJ Cosmo Baker, eschewing pricey entry fees and bottle service in favor of simple jams provided at the now-closed Park Slope club Southpaw. Today Ayres and Eleven continue the tradition at the Bell House, masterfully mixing beats with their friends to produce some of the most eclectic and fun dance music in the DJ scene. Step into the spacious warehouse to find bodies of all kinds moving to Willie Colón one moment, Marvin Gaye the next, and OutKast a few minutes later. These finely crafted playlists go beyond typical club bangers and ensure that everyone will work up a sweat by the end of the night. The large room fills up quickly, so be sure to get there early or suffer the dreaded line. Warning: The Rub is a party for serious party people only. Leave your inhibitions, pretensions, and painful shoes at the door. 

The Bell House

149 7th Street, Brooklyn

718-643-6510

itstherub.com

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Stand Up for Charleston With Hasan Minhaj This Week

From Lenny Bruce to George Carlin to Hannibal Buress, comedy has always spurred social change. This week, you can have a tangible and immediate impact on the community affected by the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, thanks to a fundraiser at the Bell House featuring Hasan Minhaj and Michelle Buteau. Plus, there are plenty of other great shows for you to check out in support of free speech — and high-quality dick jokes.

Wednesday, July 29:

Stand Up for Charleston
The Bell House (149 7th Street, Brooklyn), 8 p.m., $20 in advance

Remember that shooting about three shootings ago? Well, comedy producer Sam Varela does and is holding a fundraiser for the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, tonight at the Bell House. While thinking about these kinds of violent events is pretty depressing, you can do your part while actually enjoying a night of fun and not-too-soon laughter. VH1’s Michelle Buteau and The Daily Show’s Hasan Minhaj head a stellar lineup that also features Seaton Smith, Guy Branum, and Naomi Ekperigin.

The Mash-Up Show Hosted by Luis J. Gomez & Adrienne Iapalucci
The Stand (239 Third Avenue), 8 p.m., $5 online with code MASHUP

When you see two comedians onstage at the same time, it’s usually a well-practiced professional duo or one of those times when a show has gone way off the rails. The Mash-Up Show splits the difference, giving pairs of comedians who normally don’t share the stage the opportunity to play off each other in creative, silly, unexpected ways. Among the comedy odd couples this month are tall stoner Dan Soder and short, cerebral Louis Katz.

****
Thursday, July 30:

Your Showcase of Showcases
Q.E.D. Astoria (27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria), 7:30 p.m., $10

Anthony DeVito is an underrated delight. He’s a tiny, hairy Italian full of great energy and even greater jokes. He can light up a dead room and make a good crowd roar so hard that nobody hears the thud when you fall out of your seat from laughing. So it’s an exciting night of comedy when he’s the host and you get to spend the whole evening with him.

****

Friday, July 31:

Picture This!
DSK (710 Fulton Street, Brooklyn), 9:30 p.m., Free

Animation Block Party is a four-day celebration of all things animated, from blockbusters to indie shorts. This year, they’re including Picture This!, a hybrid animation/stand-up show that tasks professional animators and graphic designers with illustrating a comic’s set in real time. Inevitably, that leads the comics down a whole new path, for a one-of-a-kind experience. Nick Vatterott and Michelle Wolf head up a stellar lineup of comedians and animators from MTV, Nickelodeon, and Guy Code.

Infauxmation!
The Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), 10 p.m., Free

Take the weird and wacky “news” stories you see on BuzzFeed, Reddit, and your local news channel’s human-interest segment, then add comedians, jokes, and characters and you get Infauxmation! This Denver favorite makes its NYC debut at the Creek and the Cave this week. The show features Sam Morril, who has plenty of experience commenting on ridiculous “news” thanks to his many appearances on Fox News’s Red Eye; the unique and always hilarious perspective of Ben Kronberg; and Leah Bonnema’s smartmouthed common sense.

Late Night Basement
Livestream NYC (195 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn), 9 p.m., Free

Gary Vider is one of a small handful of comedians featured on this year’s America’s Got Talent. And while America is just getting to know him, New York has been loving his dry, sharp wit for a while. He’s the featured comedian on this late-night style talk show, hosted by multitalented comedy phenom Jo Firestone. Bonus: The first twenty people to RSVP on Eventbrite (and show up) receive a ticket for a free beer.

Josh Gondelman and Vladimir Caamaño
The Standing Room (47-38 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City), 9 p.m., Free

Vladimir Caamaño is that rare combination of very funny and very nice. He’s the kind of comedian who makes a crowd feel safe, warm, and fuzzy the minute he walks onstage. We can probably thank his parents for that, whose cross-cultural quirks he gently and lovingly skewers throughout his act. So it’s fitting he joins New York’s Comedy Sweetheart, Josh Gondelman, in this preview show at LIC’s newest venue.

****

Saturday, August 1:

First Saturday (See You in Hell and Dark Spots)
The Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), 8 p.m., Free

A longtime Creek favorite joins forces with a fresh new gem for a one-two punch of free shows. See You in Hell has been putting comedians through, well, hell for some time now, with onstage challenges like arm-wrestling and freestyle rapping. Nick Vatterott and Joe Zimmerman will be part of the crew facing their demons this month. And speaking of demons, new kid Dark Spots asks comedians to face their actual demons (and believe me, comedians have plenty). For August, now-sober Pat Dixon, Ian Fidance, and Taylor Ketchum will all mine their addicted pasts for comedic gold.

Stop Making Sense
Freddy’s Bar and Backroom (627 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn), 7 p.m., Free

Alana Eisner hosts this showcase of stellar up-and-comers. Remember how awesome we said Anthony DeVito was a few paragraphs up? Well, he’s still that awesome, and this time you can catch all that charming goodness for free!

****

Sunday, August 2:

Godfrey
Gotham Comedy Club (208 West 23rd Street), 8 p.m., $20

Godfrey is not just a comedian, he’s an experience. His charisma and personality fill the room even before he finishes his first joke, impression, story, or act out. He can annihilate a room in a short fifteen-minute set, so imagine what a full hour will be like!

If You Build It
UCB East (153 East 3rd Street), 8 p.m., $5

This excellent weekly lets you squeeze the last drop out of the weekend with some of the best comedians the city has to offer. It’s hosted by the incredibly funny, super-ballsy Kara Klenk, who keeps the show rocking from start to finish.

****

Monday, August 3:

Open Door Comedy
The Open Door (110 John Street), 8 p.m., Free

Guy Code heartthrob (and new dad!) Chris Distefano headlines this weekly free showcase, but don’t sleep on under-the-radar gems Paul Hooper and James L. Mattern. Hooper is a surprisingly pleasant and low-key mix of the Southern charm of his upbringing, the crabby old man–ness of a longtime New Yorker, and the chemical imbalance of his serious OCD. Mattern, who used to be known to club crowds throughout the city as “Maddog,” is just about the exact opposite end of the spectrum. His high-energy, highly interactive sets bounce around from sports to sex to TV shows like a teen off his Adderall.

Frantic
The Stand (239 Third Avenue), 10 p.m., Free

You could sum up Adrienne Iapalucci as “the Daria of comedy,” but that would be seriously shortchanging both the comedic and personal depths of her hilariously dark sets. Her dry, sarcastic takes on suicide, weight gain, and bad relationships will have you laughing at the absurd bleakness of life, or at least feeling good about the current state of your own. It Boy Joe List and Broke A$$ Game Show’s Derek Gaines will also be on hand to lighten the mood.

****

Tuesday, August 4:

Comedy Juice
Gotham Comedy Club (208 West 23rd Street), 9:30 p.m., $15 (email NY@comedyjuice.com for limited free guest list)

Todd Barry is the consummate “comedian’s comedian.” His mastery of jokes, crowd interaction, and meta-humor draw admiration from the lowliest open mic-er to Louis CK, who produced his most recent special, Todd Barry: The Crowd Work Tour, and released it for $5 a pop on his own site. Sometimes the comic’s-comic term is thrown around to describe acts that are maybe a little too high-concept or artsy for general consumption, but Barry has so many levels, you’re bound to connect to at least one of them.

The United Ladies of Comedy: New York City
Treehouse154 (154 West 29th Street, 2nd floor), 9:30 p.m., $7 in advance

Maria Shehata is a dynamo of jokes and personality, so it’s no wonder she’s the center of an international documentary. After filming in London, Stockholm, and Copenhagen, the crew touches down in NYC for a show including the funny, dry-witted, and bilingual Carmen Lynch.

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Join the Cult of Tom Segura This Week

Even though Tom Segura has two albums, a Netflix special, and a top comedy podcast, he still feels like everyone’s little hidden gem of a comic. Segura’s just one of the many cult-favorite comedians on tap this week for you to discover.

Wednesday, July 15:

Blaria Live!
Union Hall (702 Union Street, Brooklyn), 8 p.m., $10

Powerhouse Phoebe Robinson and The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams are the duo behind the snarky, smartass mini-empire known as Blaria (Black Daria). Every month they bring a stacked lineup to Union Hall, and this time around they’ve supersized it to include Los Angeles visitor, Metalocalypse’s Brendon Small, and Aussie comic Scott Dooley. Two of New York’s most hilarious comics — Yamaneika Saunders and Sarah Tollemache — round out the bill.

The Front Room
The Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn), 8:30 p.m., Free

This free companion to the better-known Sunday show packs in the same great punch for none of the cost, plus it’s a great spot to discover hot new comics who haven’t burst onto the collective conscious just yet. Of course, it’s still got a stiff shot of high-caliber talent. This week it’s Gary Vider and Mike Cannon.

 

The Lemonade Stand Variety Show
The Stand (239 Third Avenue), 10 p.m., $5 with code LEMONS online

A lot of variety shows aren’t much more than, “Here’s a regular stand-up and then here’s a stand-up who strums a guitar while he tells jokes!” The newly revamped Lemonade Stand is aiming for a true multimedia experience: music, musical comedy, live sketches, and (of course) stand-up, all with a summer-camp talent show feel. Folk comedy group Summer and Eve, Guy Code’s Chris DiStefano and comedy’s greatest opera singer, Matteo Lane, lead the pack of talent on tap for the evening.

* * *

Thursday, July 16:

Howard Kremer
The Bell House (149 7th Street, Brooklyn), 9 p.m., $15

Howard Kremer is an incredibly prolific comedian, podcaster, and rapper. Yes, rapper. In addition to his many odes to “Summah,” he has released three comedy rap albums as Dragon Boy Suede. His podcast, Who Charted?, and annual Summahfest at Meltdown Comics in L.A. are feverishly beloved institutions of alt comedy, and his live appearances are always memorable and truly unique experiences.

Stand-Up on the Spot
The Stand (239 Third Avenue), 8 p.m., $15

This bicoastal show celebrates its East Coast anniversary this month with a stellar lineup of comedians forced to riff and joke on topics thrown out by audience members on the spot. Strong writers Dan Soder and Mike Vecchione complement the pleasantly unpredictable Sean Patton and the night’s emcee, Judah Friedlander.

Stuck Between Stations
Pacific Standard (82 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn), 7:45 p.m., Free

The delightful Josh Gondelman (Last Week Tonight, Modern Seinfeld) heads up an all-around strong lineup of great local talent, including Jason Saenz, Maria Heinegg, and Christi Chiello. No gimmicks, just great comedy.

Artprov
QED (27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria), 7:30 p.m., $5

This multidisciplinary show asks stand-ups and improvisers to create scenes and songs based on visual art, while that artist works to create a new piece based on the performances in front of him. Guest artist Matt Larsen’s graffiti-inspired work is the center of this artistic circle of life.

* * *

Friday, July 17:

Tom Segura
The Bell House (149 7th Street, Brooklyn), 8:30 p.m., $20

Tom Segura is the kind of comedian thousands and thousands of people consider their own. He’s developed a cult following thanks to his popular podcast, Your Mom’s House, and frequent appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience and other Deathsquad network shows. And he has even stronger comedy chops, with two albums and a Netflix special under his belt. Now’s your chance to “discover” this comedy beast for yourself.

Kaytlin Bailey
Kaytlin Bailey

The Naked Show
The Creek and The Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), 11:59 p.m., $20

While many comedians bare their souls in their acts, it’s become increasingly popular for them to bare their bodies as well. Maybe it’s because we get cooped up and covered in sweaters all winter, or maybe we’re all just a bunch of pervs, but there is a boom of naked and nearly naked comedy shows in the city. Catch the original, where you can even disrobe in your seat if you like, hosted by Kaytlin Bailey.

Zebra Cake
The Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street), 8:30 p.m., Free

You’d think offering gorgeous manicures and sexy drinks would be plenty to handle for one small venue, but the Beauty Bar also plays host to a regular rotation of music and comedy shows, including Zebra Cake on Fridays. It’s a fun, free way to get a little taste of the Brooklyn comedy spirit in kitschy retro Manhattan style. This week’s lineup features indie hotshots Ryan Beck and Evan Williams.

* * *

Saturday, July 18:

Warp Drive Presents Dave Hill & Friends
Union Hall (702 Union Street, Brooklyn), 8 p.m., $8

Los Angeles–based Stu Jenkins and Alex Dezen are Warp Drive, a band that’s part music, part sci-fi, and part comedy, with a dash of the indescribable. So they are a natural fit with the comedy/musical/weird brilliance that is Dave Hill. Throw in Aparna Nancherla, Noah Gardenswartz, and Amber Nelson and you have one heckuva fantastic show that’s sure to pack in everything you’ve ever dreamed of and a few things that would never even cross your mind.

The Blue Show
The Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), 11:59 p.m., Free

Aaron Berg’s fledgling comedy experiment takes comedians who normally work on the cleaner side of the ledger and forces them to bring out the darker and dirtier stuff they usually keep hidden. You never know if you’re going to be surprised to find out what lurks in the hearts of the normally cute and comforting, or if you’ll just get to watch someone awkwardly stammer through their first dirty jokes since the junior high playground. Casey Balsham, Chrissie Mayr, and Monroe Martin are the ones looking to get their mouth washed out with soap this month.

* * *

Sunday, July 19:

Mike Lawrence
Carolines on Broadway (1626 Broadway), 7:30 p.m., $20

Fresh off his first pilgrimage to Comic-Con in San Diego, Mike Lawrence will be doing a rare in-city headlining set. Though you can catch him around town doing shorter showcase sets most weeks, it’s worth the splurge to get a full hour of Mike’s often darkly personal pop-culture observations.

Colin Quinn: The New York Story
The Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street), 3 p.m., $76

While it’s definitely expensive compared to a free bar show, Colin Quinn’s sharp and hilarious observations on society and culture are priceless, so $76 is a relative steal. Directed by Jerry Seinfeld, Quinn’s latest one-man show is all about what makes our city wonderful and terrible at the same time. It runs through August 16, with many of the dates already sold out (this Sunday’s matinee still has seats available as of this writing), so grab your tickets quickly!

* * *

Monday, July 20:

Chris Gethard: Career Suicide
Union Hall (702 Union Street, Brooklyn), 9 p.m., $8

Chris Gethard is best known as the host of long-running cable access/Web show (now airing on Fusion) The Chris Gethard Show, which is a wild and engaging mix of high-concept and lowbrow humor that feels like it’s perpetually wobbling on a tightrope in the most enjoyable way possible. Fans of Gethard’s uncompromising ethics when it comes to the show will love how he brings the same vibe to his hour, which covers suicide, alcoholism, and “all the other funniest parts of life.”

Night Train
Littlefield (622 Degraw Street, Brooklyn), 8 p.m., $8

Guest host Jean Grae takes the helm of Wyatt Cenac’s long-running comedy showcase this week, with an incredible crew on board for the ride. The show features New York’s favorite wandering crazyman, Sean Patton, late-night scribe extraordinaire Matt Goldich, and Broad City’s Naomi Ekperigin.

* * *

Tuesday, July 21:

Adam Wade
Adam Wade

Adam Wade Album Recording
The Bell House (149 7th Street, Brooklyn), 8:30 p.m., $12

Storyteller Adam Wade has won The Moth’s GrandSLAM a staggering twenty times, so you know he can spin a good yarn. He’ll be spitting his best of the best as he records his debut album tonight, so why not grab a beer and settle into a chair and enjoy it?

Northern Discomfort
The Stand (239 Third Avenue), 8 p.m., $5 with code VILLAGEVOICE online

Look, I’m going to feature a show with Jessica Kirson on it every single week until each and every New Yorker has gone and fallen in love with her for themselves. Because she’s incredible, but just hasn’t received the kind of wide exposure that allows whole demographics to fall in love with her all at once. But I promise if you check her out, you’ll walk away a fan for life.

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CASHING IN

The Man in Black would have turned 83 just about a week ago, and this evening, the Bell House pays tribute to the country music legend for the fifth year running. Tonight’s Johnny Cash Birthday Bash is headlined by classic country-folk outfit Alex Battles & the Whiskey Rebellion, whose frontman has been plucking the banjo since childhood. Joining them are a host of local musicians, including the Calamity Janes, an all-female group that specializes in fiddling and distinctive songwriting and will open with a set of Carter Family tunes. Friday’s event is 21+, but this year, for the first time, the celebration will extend to Sunday for an all-ages show that will include gospel music.

March 6-8, 8 p.m., 2015

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SPANKS A LOT

What do you have to do to deserve a seven-year-long spanking? Just be your irresistible self! Tonight SPANK, the queer art zine, is back in Brooklyn for its seventh birthday. An offshoot of the original Spank party — a meet-up equal parts sexy and smart — the concept has grown into a handsome art journal and daily blog, still dedicated to its original goal of providing a stage for queer artists. Tonight’s entertainment includes music by Sean Be and DJ Will Automagic and art installations by longtime collaborator Jeffrey Owen Ralston, all of it lovingly hosted by Paul Leopold and Mark Dommu of The Culture Whore art collective. Arrive early for readings by the Bureau of General Services–Queer Division.

Sat., Jan. 24, 10 p.m., 2015

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The Vaselines

The Vaselines‘ on-again-off-again songwriting partnership of Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee has survived decades of strife, skewered pop glee, and Kurt Cobain’s raw-throated patronage. What last year’s V for Vaselines lacks in terms of the sexually frustrated ickiness that characterized the group’s best-known singles, it makes up for in impeccable hooks, mid-tempo buoyancy, and sweet microphone-swapping payoffs. The crush of organs and barroom pianos on “Inky Lies” is worth more than twice the price of admission. Opening is Amanda X. The show is open to everyone 21 and older.

Fri., Jan. 16, 9 p.m., 2015

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BIG FANS

Like all live entertainment, burlesque is a transitory art. Every performance is like a fluttering fan dance — now you see it, now you don’t. But certain artists shape the form indelibly, and they’re celebrated tonight at the Legends of Burlesque Calendar Show, as today’s stars — including Ginger Twist, Lil’ Miss Lixx, Tiny D, and Dangrrr Doll — pay homage to the all-time greats, all to raise money to help these groundbreaking performers attend this year’s induction ceremony in Las Vegas. Miss Astrid hosts, with a special appearance by Canadian burlesque legend Judith Stein — the Grand Beaver of Burlesque.

Sat., Jan. 10, 9 p.m., 2015

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CASTING CALL

The Washington Post has already heralded 2014 as “the year the podcast came back.” Here in New York we know that it never left, but with super-hits like NPR’s Serial and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk, and the continuation of the wonderfully weird Welcome to Night Vale, we’re going to call it “the year the podcast proved itself.” Feel the love live at NYC Podfest 2015 — a full weekend of onstage broadcasts at The Bell House in Gowanus and Fontana’s on the Lower East Side. This year features The Daily Show Podcast Without Jon Stewart, The Dork Forest with Bridget Everett, The AndrewAndrew Show, and a special edition of Risk! (the theme is BUTTS) with Kevin Allison, Sasheer Zamata, Matt Braunger, and more. Don’t miss this chance to see all the comedians you love to listen to.

Jan. 9-11, 8 p.m., 2015

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BROAD AMBITION

As the new year ushers in a new season of Broad City (January 2015!), Abbi and Ilana are gradually working their lovely way back into our lives as surrogate best friends/navigators of twentysomething-or-other New York life. We were thrown a few scraps this Thanksgiving with their “Guide to Surviving Holiday Parties” short, preaching the social benefits of drug experimentation and craft Molotov cocktails, but tonight you can binge the whole delicious pie at the Bell House, where the ladies will be hosting Broad City Live, a special stage version of the show. Both have a healthy background in stand-up, so we’re confident they can captivate the room just as well as the screen. If anyone can pull it off, it’s this duo — their only-slightly-exaggerated antics are fundamentally rooted in real life, and tonight, real life is a broad term.

Sat., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m., 2014