Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Laugh Tract — who's bringing the funny

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

click to enlarge Sheryl Underwood is in town for special engagement shows at Tampa Improv.
  • Sheryl Underwood is in town for special engagement shows at Tampa Improv.

There's some unusual activity going down at comedy clubs this week. Mentalists and hypnotists are part of the schedule, as well as more traditional stand-up comedians and even a free show. In all cases, though, the goal is to make you laugh. Here are the performers on tap this weekend:

Comedy clubs

Sheryl Underwood at Tampa Improv. Underwood has been a staple of radio shows for years, and is a member of CBS' The Talk. But don't expect TV-friendly stand-up at her shows. She has a confident stage presence that includes plenty of adult themes and language, to the delight of her audiences. This is a special engagement show. Showtimes are Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Info: or 813-864-4000.

Gary Conrad at Tampa Improv. Conrad takes audience volunteers and makes them the focus of his comedy hypnosis show, suggesting outrageous situations and drawing funny responses out of them. The Wednesday and Sunday shows are less risque, with the R-rated version on Thursday night. Showtimes are Wednesday at 8 p.m., Thursday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m.

Tom Arnold at Side Splitters. Roseanne's ex-husband hits the stage in Tampa this weekend for a few special engagement shows. The actor/comedian discusses his life and other topics with the decidedly-adult perspective of a Hollywood insider. Showtimes are Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. 12938 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Info: or 813-960-1197.

James Sibley at Side Splitters. Sibley has a comfortable stage presence as he discusses family life and other daily grind scenarios. His demeanor allows the audience to feel like he's talking with them rather than at them.
Showtimes are Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m.

Joshua Seth at Side Splitters. Seth's show is called "HypnoMental," meaning it's a combination of comedy hypnosis and mentalist talents. Whether it's mind reading or the power of suggestion, Seth provides entertainment that's different from traditional comedy fare. His 6 p.m. show is the regular show, with the 8 p.m. show rated XXX. You've been warned.
Showtimes are Sunday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Michael Mack at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Mack takes the stage with his guitar and an arsenal of song parodies. If you like musical comedy and spot-on impressions, this is the show for you this weekend. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: or 727-938-2027.

Jay Hewlett at Coconuts Comedy Club (St. Pete Beach). Hewlett serves up traditional stand-up fare with colorful clothing and a clever perspective. He covers a wide array of slice-of-life topics with the casual demeanor of a seasoned comedian. Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 6200 Gulf Blvd. at the Beachcomber Resort, St. Pete Beach. Info: or 727-360-5653.

Kojo Prince at Jack's Joint. Prince is an experienced, animated performer. He presents funny scenarios with plenty of energy and a New Jersey perspective. Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 2950 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: or 727-741-8014.

One-nighters and independent shows

Kieran's Comedy Night at Finley's Irish Pub (free show). Kieran Quinn schedules free stand-up comedy at Finley's each month. April's show features locals Steve Baird, Steve Netta, Paul Soleo, Kyle Ruse, John J. and James Bailey performing a healthy amount of adult material. Showtime is Saturday at 9 p.m. 13477 S. Belcher Road, Largo. Info: or 727-535-7858.

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