The Laugh Tract — who's bringing the funny

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It's a pretty full slate this weekend, with theaters, comedy clubs and independent venues all putting on stand-up comedy shows. If you're looking for laughs, you should have no problem finding them this week and weekend. Here's what's on the schedule this week:


Jay Mohr at The Straz. Even if you don't know Mohr from his stand-up comedy, you'd know him for his role in "Jerry Maguire," or his sports talk show or his popular podcast. But really, you should know him for his stand-up, too. His quick wit and sharp delivery has made him a popular draw for comedy audiences.  Showtime is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Info: or 813-229-7827.

Jenny McCarthy's Dirty Sexy Funny At Capitol Theatre. Newlywed McCarthy heads up a lineup of funny females, including Tammy Pescatelli, Paula Bell, Justine Marino and Lynn Koplitz. If you recognize some names, it's because a few of them have headlined area shows in their own right. Expect plenty of discussiona about being single and married life, motherhood, sex and everything in between.
Showtime is Saturday at 8 p.m. 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Info: 800-875-8682 or

Comedy Clubs

Arnez J at Tampa Improv. Arnez J brings a high-energy, active set to the comedy stage. His animated personality meshes well with his storytelling, keeping audiences entertained mentally and visually. Expect big crowds all weekend; these are special engagement shows. Showtimes are 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.

Crack Up Cancer at Tampa Improv. As the name implies, this is a benefit show for those battling cancer — specifically, patients at Moffitt Cancer Center and All Children's Hospital. Dean Napolitano, Steve Netta, Tim Pulnik, John Jacobs, Tony Gaud and Chris Matson will entertain the crowd for a good cause. Showtime is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Best of Comedy in the Raw at Tampa Improv. The most talented of the club's open mic comedians hit the main stage. Performers include Randy Holton, Law Smith, Mona Chiorizio and a set by Improv regular Sloan.
Showtime is Thursday at 8 p.m.

Happy Cole at Side Splitters. Cole's engaged, likable personality leads the audience through a variety of topics, which could include family, race and whatever else comes to mind. If the first punch line doesn't get you, the follow-ups and tags probably will. Showtimes are 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.

Slade Ham at Side Splitters. Ham is a young guy with plenty of opinions and the personality to share them in an entertaining way. From crazy relationships to people-watching, Ham's perspectives are relatable even when they're absurd.  Showtime is Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Dave Siegel at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Siegel is good a breaking down everyday situations with a rational eye, and exposing the absurdity, hypocrisy and hilarity inside. There's some thinking involved with his comedy, and that's a good thing. It's worth it. Showtimes are Friday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. Highway 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: or 727-938-2027.

John Knight at Coconuts Comedy Club (at MJs). Knight has a loud stage presence, but an easygoing style as well. If that sounds contradictory, it's part of the balancing act performed by a comedy vet with decades in the business. Either way, his thoughtful storytelling provides plenty of punch lines. Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: or 727-360-5653.

Elliot Smith at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. If you like comedy and magic, this is the show for you this week. Smith combines two forms of entertainment to keep the crowd guessing and laughing. Showtime is Saturday at 7 p.m. 2950 Gulf To Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: or 727-741-8014.

Pat Duax at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. Duax brings his storytelling style back to 2 Palms for the second show of the evening. He has the confident style of a seasoned performer. Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

One-nighters and Independent Shows

G. David Howard at Sporty's. Odds are that wherever Howard is performing, he's the most experienced stand-up in town. Decades' worth of jokes are available to him, and he'll use what's in his significant comedy arsenal to keep audiences entertained.  Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. 17093 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach. Info: 727-596-6725.

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