Local standup can be a great alternative to a seventh consecutive night spent poisoning yourself in a bar; unfortunately, more often than not you end up squirming uncomfortably as a sweaty hack stammers pointless anecdotes about a day job he'd be insane to leave. So you don't waste time and money, we've suffered through dozens of chumps to bring you four future headliners whose routines will leave you spastically peeing your pants.
Mo Pitkins: Sat, Oct 29th, 8pm; $8 cover
34 Ave A, at E 3rd St; 212.777.5660
Where most failed musicians turn to hard drugs and suicide, Craig fills his desperate void with jokes about bands that actually made it. He's appeared on everything from College Humor's Comedy Tour to VH1's "Awesomely Bad Hair" -- which, coincidentally, is the inspiration for Craig's other comedic theme: a hilarious inability to get laid.
Gotham Comedy Club: Sun, Oct 30th, 8:30pm
$10 + 2 drink minimum
34 W 22nd St, between 5th and 6th; 212.367.9000
Michael thrives on audience interaction, but he's not an "insult comic", so don't worry about him ripping on your date's peg leg. On stage, Michael sounds less like a pro reading a script, and more like your funniest buddy -- who, like Michael, is also constantly drunk.
Rififi: Thu, Oct 27th, 8pm; 1 drink minimum
332 E 11th St, between 1st and 2nd; 212.677.6309
Instead of telling jokes, this ex-Texan invents characters so exaggerated, they couldn't possibly be real -- like a demented Scottish DJ, the preening idiot who invented bullfighting, and the stunning Canadian gymnast he claims is his girlfriend.
Telephone Bar: Thu, Nov 3rd, 9pm; $1 cover
149 2nd Ave, between 9th and 10th; 212.529.5000
This Comedy Central vet argues that if a bra's got to be stuffed, it should be with candy and money. He also riffs on masturbation and prostitutes, two subjects that come up a lot when you continually ask women to stuff their bras with candy and money.
So do yourself a favor and check these guys out. Not only will your life be enriched with laughter, you'll also be saving local hopefuls from yet another cat food dinner.