Thanksgiving is a time to spend with friends and family, and a lot of touring stand-up headliners are doing just that. So this a weekend where it will be mostly local comedians featured on comedy stages, and larger theaters don't have a big name on the bill.
But that doesn't mean it isn't a good weekend to laugh. There's a lot of experienced talent in Tampa Bay and Central Florida, and their best material will be highlighted all this week.
Except Thursday, of course. But here's what's on tap the rest of the week and weekend.
Maryellen Hooper at Tampa Improv. Hooper has a knack for describing her hectic family life in a funny way, without the kind of adult material you often find in a comedy club headliner. If you're looking for someone who's witty instead of vulgar, this is a good option for you. Showtimes are Wednesday 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. $15-$17. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.
Pedro Lima at Side Splitters. Lima is a Central Florida comedian with plenty of stage experience and a no-nonsense outlook on life. Expect plenty of honest declarations and sharp wit from this confident and clever Puerto Rican. (Note: Admission is free at the Friday late show, Saturday early show and Sunday show if you bring a new, unwrapped toy). 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. $10-$16.50. 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.
Sloan at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Sloan's punchlines are rarely the end of the joke. He always seems to have an extra tag that takes a funny topic and makes it even better. No subjects are out of bounds, including race, relationships and whatever else comes to his mind. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $10. 36657 U.S. Highway 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: snappersgrill.com or 727-938-2027.
Dougie Almeida at Coconuts Comedy Club (at MJ's). Almeida hails from Queens, which isn't all that surprising when you see and hear him. But it's his slice-of-life punchlines delivered in a conversational style that keeps the audiences laughing. Showtimes are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 9:30 p.m. $18-$20. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.
Steve Sabo at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. Sabo likes talking about traditional guy things, like women, relationships and sex. But both genders will appreciate his comic timing and premises that are familiar, but often taken in an outlandish — and funny — direction. 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
Steve Arik at The Clarion Hotel. Arik's experience allows him to work any room with ease. His jokes are often off-color but his material is on-point, relatable, and most importantly, funny. Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 9331 E. Adamo Drive, Tampa. Info: 727-741-8014.