The Laugh Tract — Who's Bringing the Funny

Juston McKinney and Colin Kane lead the pack of comedians in town this week.


Local showcases, dirty comedians, traveling headliners and free shows are all on tap this weekend. If you're sick of storm warnings and 130 percent chances of rain, maybe it's time to laugh a little. So pick your show and enjoy some live comedy. Besides, you already have plenty of water and plywood for next week's storm, don't you?

Here's the comedy roster for this week:

Juston McKinney at Tampa Improv. McKinney's a great storyteller, whether he's talking about family, weather, shooting a deer or just about any topic. He has a confident, animated presence that isn't overbearing, which lets the solid premises and humor do the talking. Showtimes are Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. $18. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa (Ybor City). Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.

Sunday Funnies at Tampa Improv. This showcase features nearly a dozen talented locals and guests, offering different perspectives and premises. Comedy regulars Tony Gaud, Mary Tischbein, Joe Riga and guest Rod Paulette are scheduled to perform. Showtime is Sunday at 7 p.m. $5. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa (Ybor City). Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.

Rod Paulette at Tampa Improv. Paulette has such a casual, cool presence on stage, he can get away with discussing all kinds of adult topics. It's hard to be offended when the comedian is both funny and likable. Showtime is Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. $7. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa (Ybor City). Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.

Colin Kane at Side Splitters. Kane is a clean comedian. Just kidding! He has some of the most offensive material you'll hear on stage this weekend. Thing is, as shocking and vulgar as it can be, it's also very clever, funny and strangely relatable. Bring thick skin and a sense of humor. Showtimes are Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. $15-$20. 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.

J.B. Ball at Side Splitters. Ball is Florida's Funniest Comedian (according to the annual competition) and the winner of Side Splitters' March Madness comedy contest as well. But judges aren't the only ones who appreciate his casual style and pop culture references. His personality keeps audiences engaged and laughing through a set that varies each night, weaving together established favorites, newer material and maybe some funny stuff that popped into his head on the way over. Showtime is Saturday at 6 p.m. $5-$10. 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.

Steve Arik at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. With more than 25 years in the business, Arik doesn't use clean material, isn't clean-cut and isn't politically correct. But he definitely knows how to keep audiences laughing: A comfortable stage presence and a knack for finding the humor in sex, smoking and other naughty habits. Showtimes are Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $12. 36657 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: snappersgrill.com or 727-938-2027.

Steve Miller at 2 Palms. Local funnyman Miller's set is a torrent of rants, cynical perspectives and self-deprecating humor. The punchlines are clever and the comedian himself is a likable guy, even when he's saying something extremely inappropriate. Another area talent, Quinton Greene, provides support. Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. $10. 2950 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: 2palmstampabay.com or 727-400-6920.


One-nighters and Independent Shows

Cigar City Comedy at Wicked 'Wiches. This weekly free show (donations accepted) includes a few shorter sets followed by a featured closer, usually delivering adult material. This week's closer is Jared WatersShowtime is Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Free (donation). 223 S. Howard Ave., Tampa. Info: cigarcitycomedy.com.

Kava Komedy at Bula Kafe. This regular show features local up-and-comers to warm up the crowd, and a more established closer to cap things off. This week it's Cam BertrandShowtime is Thursday at 9 p.m. Free. 2500 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Info: 727-498-8913.


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