If you like diversity, this is a good week to catch some stand-up. Familiar names, local performers, radio personalities, and politically-minded comedians are all on the schedule. Just pick your favorite style and find a stage. Here's what's on tap this week:
Negin Farsad at the University of South Florida Marshall Student Center. Yes, Farsad discusses plenty of politics and current events as part of her show. But there's some traditional comedy, too, and she has an ability to take serious topics and weave them together with humorous observations.
The following night she'll host a showing of "The Muslims Are Coming!" which she produced.
Showtime is Thursday at 8:30 p.m. 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. Info: 813-974-3180.
Steven Lolli at Carrollwood Cultural Center. Comedian Katt Williams calls Lolli the "Urban Jew" for his ability to connect with black crowds in Los Angeles. On Friday he'll be on the not-so-mean streets of Carrollwood, but he'll deliver the same biting wit and sharp stage presence he brings to the stage back home.
Showtime is Saturday at 10 p.m. 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. Info: carrollwoodcenter.org or 813-269-1310.
Bobcat Goldthwait at Tampa Improv. You might recognize Goldthwait if you saw him, but you'd definitely know him by his trademark cadence. On stage, Goldthwait is more than "the guy with that weird voice." His clever observations and dark humor have made him a stand-up draw for decades.
Showtimes are Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.
Funny Diva show at Tampa Improv. Aniria, Susan Saiger and Miss Hope take the stage as the evening's "divas," bringing their comedy show to Tampa Improv for one night only. David Weingarten (not a diva per se, but still funny) serves as emcee.
Showtime is Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Pretty Paul Parsons at Tampa Improv. There isn't a whole lot of "pretty" in Parsons' set. On the surface, he's a kindly senior citizen. But on stage he's one of the dirtiest comedians you'll see, serving up offensive material by the truckload. If you like your comedy beyond the pale, this is the show for you.
Showtime is Thursday at 8 p.m.
Robert Kelly at Side Splitters. Kelly's becoming more familiar to television audiences and podcast listeners as time goes by. And on stage, the comedy vet doesn't pull many punches. His material is often adult-oriented, sometimes abrasive and usually witty. But it's also his no-nonsense demeanor that keeps audiences entertained.
Showtimes are Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. 12938 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.
Stefan Davis at Side Splitters. Davis isn't the most energetic guy on stage, but don't let his low-key demeanor fool you. There's plenty of wit behind his material, and he often uses casual story-telling to get his premises across to the audience.
Showtime is Saturday at 6 p.m.
Maurice Jovan at Side Splitters. Jovan is a regular on 102.5 The Bone, hosting and co-hosting shows most nights a week. He's also an author and comedian, and he'll bring his various entertainment talents to his headlining stand-up set.
Showtime is Sunday at 7 p.m.
Mike Rivera at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Rivera is a local talent, but gained national attention when ABC's The View dubbed him America's Funniest Teacher. On stage he offers rapid-fire premises on numerous adult topics, encouraging some class participation and a few inappropriate "teachable moments."
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.
Steve Lazlow at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. Lazlow's material is clever, but he doesn't always stick to the script. If something (or someone) in the crowd catches his eye, he'll use the moment for maximum comedic effect with the capable skill of an established stand-up vet.
Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 2950 Gulf To Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: tampabaycomedy.com or 727-741-8014.
Independent shows and one-nighters
G. David Howard at Sporty's on the Beach. Howard's been doing comedy longer than many of his audience members have been alive. After so many decades in the business he might have forgotten more jokes than some comedians have written, but he still remembers how to keep audiences laughing.
Showtimes are Thursday-Saturday at 9 p.m. 17093 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach. Info: 727-596-6725.