This week's offerings will interest fans of musical comedy, fans of clean comedy, fans of really dirty comedy and fans of free comedy. Nationally-touring performers fill the calendar alongside a few local favorites to give audiences a lot of variety. Here are the folks making the funny this week:
Gary Owen at Tampa Improv. Owen was once named "Black America's Favorite White Comic" by Ebony magazine, but there's more than just racial humor in his act. Expect plenty of pop culture references in a high-energy set with adult themes and language that appeal to audiences of any color.
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. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor. Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.
Robert Kelly at Side Splitters. Comedy fans will recognize Kelly as Louie CK's brother on Louie. But his forte for more than a decade has been stand-up, as evidenced by his Comedy Central special and CDs. The language and material are anything but clean, and they're delivered like a buddy telling you an inappropriate — but funny — story. Thursday's show is a special engagement with John Valby. Known as "Dr. Dirty" to his many fans, Valby serves as piano man and mastermind for vulgar sing-alongs that gets audiences laughing and singing — usually at the same time. Don't bring your mother or straitlaced friends to this one. Showtimes are Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. 12938 N. Dale Mabry. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.
Darryl Rhoades at Snappers. This fast-talking funnyman is both an accomplished comedian and musician (he's been performing for decades, released several comedy music CDs and played with an opening act for the Sex Pistols), and he uses some of both talents on stage to make audiences laugh. Fans of regular stand-up and a bit of thoughtful musical comedy will enjoy this weekend's shows.
Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: snappersgrill.com or 727-938-2027.
Carl Guerra at Coconuts (St. Pete Beach). Don't like dirty jokes? Wish you had the option to see a clean comedian? Guerra's your best bet this weekend. The Miami Beach resident performs stand-up and song parodies without the adult premises or curse words. Showtime tonight through Saturday is at 9:30 p.m. at 6200 Gulf Blvd. at the Beachcomber Resort, St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.
Mike Rivera at Jack's Joint. Rivera was recently named "America's Funniest Teacher" on ABC's The View, but he's been making crowds laugh on stage for decades. From inappropriate "teachable moments" to unusual traveling tips, Rivera takes his crowds through a fast-paced set with the wit and delivery of a seasoned educator and comedy veteran. Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 2950 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: tampabaycomedy.com or 727-741-8014.
One-nighters and Independent Shows
Tony Gaud at Beer Bumz (free show). Local comedian Gaud presents witty takes on everyday life, religion and pets (not necessarily in that order) with a casual demeanor and a smile. He often draws on personal experiences with an effective combination of jaded street knowledge and guarded optimism. Showtime is Saturday at 9 p.m. 2245 Nursery Road, Clearwater. Info: beerbumz.com or 727-532-1972.