There are some pretty big names in the world of comedy in town this week, and some less-famous people who are still funny. From theaters to smaller comedy clubs, plenty of venues are providing laughs this week.
Here are your best bets:
Ralphie May at Straz Center's Ferguson Hall (pictured above). May is one of the more prolific stand-up writers, so even if you've seen him several times you can expect a ton of new material. Whether he's ranting about a new annoyance or sharing a personal experience, his off-the-cuff style meshes well with his no-apologies approach to race and other sensitive subjects. Opening the show is Johnny B, winner of "Tampa Bay's Got Talent" and host of his own weekend show on 102.5 The Bone. His uncensored outlook on life as a father, poker dealer and stand-up comedian makes him a fitting complement to May. Showtime is Saturday at 7 p.m. The Straz Center is located at 1010 N. MacInnes Place in Tampa. For more information, visit strazcenter.org or call 813-229-7827.
Mitch Fatel at Tampa Improv. There's a child-like quality to his stage persona, which gives his clever punch lines even more of an impact. The fact that he used to intern with Howard Stern should tip audiences off that he's actually more naughty than naive.
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. and 9:30 p.m. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.
Dom Irrera at Side Splitters Comedy Club. Irrera, pictured left, has more than a quarter-century of stage experience, but his jokes, stories and observations still come straight from his Italian-American background. Longtime comedy fans will appreciate the opportunity to see the stand-up vet on a local stage. The headliner for the Thursday and early Sundays shows is Maurice Jovan, the radio and television personality who was a finalist in last year's "Tampa Bay's Got Talent" competition.
Showtimes are Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., and Saturday at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.
Tom Dustin at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Dustin almost looks like your likeable neighbor who's working his way through college, except he's majoring in inappropriate behavior and witty punch lines. Maybe a minor in adult language, too. Johnny Oz, a Tampa Bay comedian now living in Los Angeles, is the feature act. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: snappersgrill.com or 727-938-2027.
Tim Pulnik at Coconuts (St. Pete Beach). Pulnik has a casual demeanor, even as he's venting about life's frustrations or an absurd premise. But he walks the audience through all of it with an experienced and relatable stage presence. Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 6200 Gulf Blvd. at the Beachcomber Resort, St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.
Peter Hefty at Jack's Joint. When it comes to comedy ventriloquism, people either can't stand it or can't get enough of it. If you're in the latter camp, this is where you'll want to spend your Saturday night. Hefty travels with his main sidekick, Justin, but also has other characters that join him on stage. One night only. Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 2950 Gulf To Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: tampabaycomedy.com or 727-741-8014.