Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Laugh Tract — who's bringing the funny

This week's biggest local stand-up comedy shows.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 6:10 PM

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This week you'll have a chance to see stand-up comedy, improvisational comedy, musical parodies and nationally-touring comedians. Some of these shows are even free, so no matter your budget there are laughs to be had this weekend.

Here are the best bets for this week:

Comedy Clubs:

Greg Behrendt at Tampa Improv. Behrendt is a story-teller (and best-selling author) who successfully mixes a confident demeanor with a touch of self-deprecating material. Expect unsolicited — but funny— advice on topics such as parenting, relationships and getting older.
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 City. Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.

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Gary Valentine at Side Splitters. Valentine's long-term stint on The King Of Queens introduced him to audiences, where he played a relative of his real-life brother Kevin James. There's definitely a family resemblance, but it's his casual demeanor and straight-talk style that keeps crowds coming back. Sunday's show is the annual "Bad Santa" event with Pretty Paul Parsons, a septuagenarian with a dirty mind and the kind of stand-up comedy that would get him kicked out of any senior center.
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, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.

Darryl Lenox at Coconuts St. Pete Beach. Visual impairment isn't normally considered a source of comedy-rich material, but Lenox has made it a staple of his live performances and acclaimed CD, Blind Ambition. Not one for self-pity, Lenox's personal experiences quickly become funny premises and a launching pad for witty observations.
Showtimes are Thursday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 6200 Gulf Blvd. at the Beachcomber Resort. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.

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Traci Kanaan at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. The "Princess of Parodies" gives audiences a one-two punch of stand-up comedy and humorous takes on well-known songs. Armed with a keyboard and sharp punch lines, Kanaan draws audience laughs with parodies of stars such as Elton John, Tracy Chapman and even Ozzy Osbourne.
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.

Kevin Deady at Jack's Joint. Local comedian Deady (he's actually a New York native) brings his act to Jack's for one night only. Hosting the event is longtime stage veteran Larry Greenbaum.
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

Johnny B at Niagara Tap (free show). Winner of the 2013 "Tampa Bay's Got Talent" contest, Johnny B earned himself a radio show on 102.5 The Bone by being unapologetically incorrect — both politically and socially. The poker dealer/youth football coach/stand-up comedian isn't afraid to make fun of himself while delivering personal observations with a fair amount of adult language.
Showtime is Friday at 7 p.m. 11950 Seminole Blvd., Largo. Info: theniagaratap.com or 727-581-5331.

Toys For Tats at Billy Jack's Burger Shack (free show). Local comedians Kyle Rule, John J, Bill Zapf, Jonas Presendieu and others perform adult-oriented comedy. Donate an unwrapped toy worth at least $5 and get a $20 gift card for Atomic Tattoos at Tyrone Square Mall.
Showtime is Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 1479 Belcher Road S., Largo. Info: 727-530-1011.

Post Dinner Conversation at Tampa Pitcher Show. The USF-based improvisation troupe runs through sketches and improv games with the help of audience suggestions and participation.
Showtime is Saturday at 7 p.m. 14416 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Info: tampapitchershow.net or 813-963-0578.

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