Every weekend there's stand-up comedy happening across the Bay area, from theater shows featuring household names to comedy clubs offering nationally-touring headliners to the local bar or restaurant showcasing local talent. If you want to see comedians performing live, you have a lot of options.
Here are the biggest shows happening Nov. 14-18:
Craig Ferguson at The Palladium Theater. This show isn't until Monday, Nov. 18, but we want you to know about it. The longtime host of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson is also an actor, author and stand-up comedian. With a trio of comedy specials, Ferguson is known as much for his funny observations as his Scottish accent and likable stage presence. Showtime is Monday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The Palladium is located at 253 5th Ave. N. in St. Petersburg. For more information, visit mypalladium.org or call 727-822-3590. Click here for Leilani Polk's preview.
John Caparulo at Tampa Improv. Caparulo has a distinctive voice and a blue-collar, southern demeanor (he was part of Bill Engvall's Blue Collar Comedy: The Next Generation). But don't expect a slow, simple approach to comedy. He has a quick delivery and a sharp wit (as seen on Chelsea Lately), using both to send his slice-of-life perspectives and observations to audiences. Showtimes are Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. The Tampa Improv is located at 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City. For more information, visit improvtampa.com or call 813-864-4000.
sidesplitterscomedy.com or call 813-960-1197.
Tom Anzalone at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Anzalone's set involves a mix of music and comedy, as he crafts impressions of famous stars and parodies of well-known songs. Armed with a guitar and minor costume enhancements, he runs through a who's who of familiar musicians with unfamiliar and comedic changes to their hits. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Snappers is located at 36657 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. For more information, visit snappersgrill.com or call 727-938-2027.
Ken Evans at Coconuts (St. Pete Beach). Evans looks like he could be your neighbor who spends Saturday washing his boat in the driveway, but on stage he offers unusual perspectives on everyday life. He likes to share personal stories in his set — some obviously embellished, others quite real. Both come with a sharp sense of humor and more than a little sarcasm. Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit coconutscomedyclubs.com or call 727-360-5653.
One-nighters and Independent Shows:
Steve Arik at Niagara Tap (free show). Arik has worked with Bobcat Goldthwait and Dan Whitney ("Larry The Cable Guy") and has been seen on MTV and Comedy Central. He's also a previous winner of Creative Loafing's "Best Stand-up Comedian" award. Never mind the 80s metal hairstyle, this longtime comedy vet keeps the locals laughing with dirty perspectives on sex, drugs, drinking and other wholesome topics. Showtime is Friday at 7 p.m. Niagara Tap is located at 11950 Seminole Blvd. in Largo. For more information, visit theniagaratap.com or call 727-581-5331.
Steve Arik and Johnny B at Lonzalo's. This two-headliner show features Steve Arik (see above) and Johnny B, the winner of the recent "Tampa Bay's Got Talent" contest presented by 102.5 The Bone. Now a weekend host for the station, Johnny B.'s set is self-deprecating straight talk, with no boundaries with regard to race or sexuality, and little respect for conventional social mores. Showtime is Saturday at 9 p.m. Lonzalo's is located at 3104 Town Ave. in Trinity. For more information, visit lonzalos.com or call 727-494-7615.