The Laugh Tract — Who's Bringing the Funny

Funny guys. Go see 'em.

There's a lot of good television to watch these days. And that's exactly why you need to get out and see some live comedy.
Of course, you're going to catch new episodes of The Walking Dead or Better Call Saul, or even Fuller House if you need a nostalgia fix straight from the 1990s. But you can't sit around and watch television all the time: You need to get out, go on a proper date or go somewhere with friends. Take a break from your couch and see some funny people live on stage. Those shows will be there when you get home, but these comedians are only here this week.

It's a good group, too. Here's the lineup:

Comedy Clubs

25 to Life. This regular showcase features three performers who each have more than 25 years in the business. Normally they headline their own shows, but Alan Schubowsky, Steve Arik and Mike Rivera will come together for a full evening of experienced stand-up comedians. $5. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Tampa Improv, 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. 813-864-4000.

Helen Keaney. Keaney's a regular on the Home Shopping Network, but she's a comedian at heart. Her stage demeanor is personable and a bit edgy, with no-nonsense, often-inappropriate wisdom covering work to relationships and everything in between.  $8-$10. Thursday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 7 p.m. Tampa Improv, 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. 813-864-4000.

Bobcat Goldthwait. You might not recognize Goldthwait if you saw him, but you'd definitely know him by his trademark cadence. After decades onstage, Goldthwait is much more than "the guy with the weird voice." His clever observations and dark humor have made him a staple on comedy stages. $20. Friday, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tampa Improv,1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. 813-864-4000.

John Caparulo. With his trusty cap, Caparulo almost seems shy at times, but don't expect a slow, simple approach to comedy. He uses a quick delivery and a sharp wit to deliver his slice-of-life perspectives and observations to audiences.
$22-24. Thursday, 8:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.; Saturday, 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.; and Sunday, 7 p.m. Side Splitters, 12938 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. 813-960-1197.

Jose Sarduy. Sarduy's also part of Sunday's "GIs of Comedy" show, but he headlines the early Saturday show as well. He mines his background (a Cuban immigrant who looks more like a midwestern Eagle Scout) for plenty of self-aware comedy. $10. Saturday, 6 p.m. Side Splitters, 12938 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. 813-960-1197.

GIs of Comedy. This showcase of service personnel who are also talented comedians includes Thom Tran, Jose Sarduy, Key Lewis and Jody Fuller. Their stand-up will also raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation at this event. $15. Sunday, 7 p.m. Side Splitters, 12938 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. 813-960-1197.

Kevin Brennan. The former Saturday Night Live writer is now the beneficiary of his creative comedy, performing brash stand-up sets this weekend. A lot of it won't be politically correct, but the jokes are well-crafted and the timing is sharp.
$12. Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Snappers Grill & Comedy Club, 36657 U.S. Highway 19 N., Palm Harbor. 727-938-2027.

Ken Evans. Evans looks like he could be your neighbor who does a lot of complaining, only (unlike your neighbor) he does it with a smile. You've probably dealt with his pet peeves, but you didn't handle it with his brand of good humor. $18-25. Wednesday-Saturday, 9:30 p.m. Coconuts, 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. 727-360-5653.

Chuck Glass. Glass, a member of the acclaimed "Got Jokes?" improv troupe, takes the mic for an evening of stand-up comedy. Fellow improv comedians will provide support, setting the stage for Glass' observations and punchlines.
$10. Friday, 8:30 p.m. 2 Palms, 2950 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater. 727-400-6920.

Mike Rivera. Rivera was dubbed America's Funniest Teacher by ABC's The View, and there are quite a few lessons in his set. It's not part of any school curriculum you've ever seen, but it is fast-paced and adult-oriented, with a little audience interaction and a lot of laughter. $10. Saturday, 8:30 p.m. 2 Palms, 2950 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater. 727-400-6920.

One-nighters and Independent Shows

G. David Howard. Howard's weekly residence at Sporty's features the longtime comedian drawing from his decades of stage experience. He mixes his regular material with plenty of crowd work to provide the kind of set only a true stand-up veteran can provide. $20. Saturday, 9:35 p.m. Sporty's On The Beach, 17093 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach. 727-596-6725.

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