The Laugh Tract — who's bringing the funny

  • Carlos Mencia is at Tampa Improv this weekend.

This week we have television stars, puppets (not the televisions stars. There are actual puppets) and a comedy competition on tap this week. From famous comedians to experience locals, there are plenty of styles and formats to keep you entertained all weekend. Here's what's on the schedule.

Comedy Clubs

Carlos Mencia at Tampa Improv. Mencia's best known for his successful run on Comedy Central several years ago, and the stand-up comedian is now hitting the club circuit with a run of special engagement shows. If you liked "Mind of Mencia," you already have a pretty good idea of the kind of unapologetic humor you'll get on stage this weekend.
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: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.

Florida's Funniest Comedian contest at Tampa Improv. Now in its fourth year, this competition begins with several satellite events, including Wednesday's show. A couple of winners will move on from the large field to battle it out in the semi-finals (one of which will be Nov. 5 at this location), and eventually the finals where the next winner will be named. Expect to see a lot of comedy — some great, some pretty good and some, well, at least they're trying.
Showtime is Wednesday at 8 p.m.

April Macie at Side Splitters. Macie isn't a sailor, but her language and material might make one blush. This is adult material for adult audiences. If you're easily-offended, this isn't the show for you. But if your brand of comedy is tinted blue, look no further.
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: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.

Carole Montgomery at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Montgomery is nothing but confidence on stage, discussing premises with the air of someone who knows what they're talking about. Much of it revolves around her own life, so she carries the experience of both someone who has lived it and a seasoned performer who can relate it to an audience.
Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. Highway 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: snappersgrill.com or 727-938-2027.

Tim Pulnik at Coconuts Comedy Club (at MJs). Pulnik has a likable stage presence, with a lot of energy and good timing. He doesn't mind going the extra mile to make sure his premises resonate with the audience.
Showtimes are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.

Peter Hefty at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. Hefty takes the stage with a little help from his traveling crew, including Justin, his most popular puppet. If comedy ventriloquism is your thing, this is your show this weekend.
Showtime is Friday at 9 p.m. 2950 Gulf To Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: tampabaycomedy.com or 727-741-8014.

Mike Rivera at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. Rivera was named "America's Funniest Teacher" by ABC's The View, and he'll show the audience why on Saturday night. His adult-oriented "teachable moments" highlight a fast-paced set.
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 Niagara Tap (free show). Arik, a former Creative Loafing "Best of the Bay" award-winner, usually asks if audiences want to hear the "clean show" or the "dirty show." Nobody ever chooses the former. That's a good thing, because Arik's set is designed to entertain adult audiences.
Showtime is Friday at 7 p.m. Niagara Tap is located at 11950 Seminole Blvd. in Largo. For more information, visit theniagaratap.com or call 727-581-5331.

Steve Arik at Oldsmar Tap House (free show). Arik's second set of the weekend takes him to Oldsmar for another set of experienced, clever comedy. The setting might change but the adult topics and clever premises remain the same.
Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 300 State St. E., Oldsmar. Info: 813-475-5996.

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