The Laugh Tract — who's bringing the funny

The year ends with plenty of laughs on both sides of the bay. Touring headliners and local talent perform throughout the weekend, and most clubs have special New Year's Eve shows as well.

Here are the best bets to close out 2013 with a laugh:


Gilbert Gottfried at Ruth Eckerd Hall. You probably know Gottfried from his stage demeanor, as he seems to squint through each joke he tells at a roast. But you almost certainly know his voice, which doesn't seem capable of a whisper. After voicing everything from the AFLAC duck to lago The Parrot in Disney's Aladdin, fans have heard him scream through everything from insurance commercials to dirty jokes. Expect a lot of the latter on Sunday night.
Showtime is Sunday at 7:30 p.m. 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Info: or 727-791-7400.

Comedy Clubs

Guy Torry at Tampa Improv. Torry has plenty of television and movie credits and enjoys a strong following on tour. His material is presented with a bit of attitude, a lot of energy and enough cursing to keep fans of clean comedy far, far away.
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., Tampa. Info: or 813-864-4000.

Happy Cole at Side Splitters. A healthy amount of Cole's set is devoted to children and family. Just don't expect it to be presented in a "family-friendly" way. Cole's material is adult-oriented, yet still relateable to most adults.
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 Highway, Tampa. Info: or 813-960-1197.

Valarie Storm at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. A regular at comedy clubs and cruise ships, Storm uses her likeable stage presence to discuss relationships and some adult topics with a friendly and folksy demeanor.
Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. Highway 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: or 727-938-2027.

Al Lubel at Coconuts Comedy Club (St. Pete Beach). Lubel has an odd stage energy, but it meshes will with his witty and off-kilter outlook on life. One thing's for sure: You'll definitely remember his name after seeing his set.
Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 6200 Gulf Blvd. at the Beachcomber Resort, St. Pete Beach. Info: or 727-360-5653.

Chris Gorges at Jack's Joint. A long-time improvisational performer, Gorges mixes regular stand-up and off-the-cuff commentary to string together a fast-paced set. If you like motionless comedians stuck in front of a mic, this show isn't for you.
Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 2950 Gulf To Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: or 727-741-8014.

New Year's Eve Shows

Dean Napolitano at Tampa Improv. Shows at 7:30 ($20) and 10 p.m. ($34)
Carl LaBove at Side Splitters. Shows at 7:30 p.m. ($17) and 10:30 p.m. ($75)
Mike Rivera at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Show at 9 p.m. ($30 advance, then $40 online or $50 at the door)
Danny Bevins, Carl Faulkenberry and Tim Pulnik at Coconuts Comedy Club (St. Pete Beach). Shows at 7 p.m. ($35) and 9:30 p.m. ($49)

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