The Laugh Tract — Who's Bringing the Funny

  • Tig Notaro is at The Palladium's Side Door Wednesday night.

Fresh off a holiday weekend, you might be in the mood for some laughs after having to return to work. The Tampa Bay area has you covered with a mix of strong writers, energetic performers, diverse showcases and maybe a puppet or two. Just find the style you like and enjoy.

Here's the schedule for this week:

Theaters and special events

Tig Notaro at The Palladium (Side Door). Notaro has an understated presence on stage, mostly because she lets the material do the heavy lifting. She's intensely personal at times, and free on creative tangents at others, but she always keeps the audience grounded, thinking and laughing. Notaro can tell a 10-minute story about running into singer Taylor Dayne and keep it compelling and funny, and she can build a set around cancer and make it an instant classic. One night only. Showtime is Wednesday at 7 p.m. $31. 253 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Info: 727-822-3590 or

Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cast 2015 at Tampa Improv. This showcase features local comedians who also host podcasts. Law Smith, John J., David Weingarten and Chris Gorges are all regulars on comedy stages in the area, and you can download or stream their free podcasts after you see them live. Showtime is Wednesday at 8 p.m. $5. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: or 813-864-4000.

Pablo Francisco at Tampa Improv. Francisco is an expressive storyteller, who isn't afraid to punch up his premises with an in-character voice or two. The sound effects make the jokes more relatable and Francisco more likable.  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. $20. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: or 813-864-4000.

Ken Rogerson at Side Splitters. Rogerson takes a cynic's view of the world, but he's a clever cynic with strong comic timing and plenty of witty material. Whether it's part of his own life experiences or general observations, he'll find the funny that audiences will understand and appreciate.  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. $10-$16.50. 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: or 813-960-1197.

Corey Alexander at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Alexander is a perceptive comedian. He finds the humor in unusual things and presents it with good energy and plenty of wit. Some of the material is about himself, and he's definitely not afraid to create self-deprecating punchlines about his own life.  Showtimes are Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $12. 36657 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: or 727-938-2027.

Cigar City Comedy at Coconuts Comedy Club (at MJ's). Cigar City Comedy hosts these shows on the beach all weekend, with different lineups each night. Local talents such as J.B. Ball, Matt Fernandez and Chris Matson will provide adult-oriented content, along with many others throughout the week. A special Sunday show features radio personality Johnny B. performing especially-dirty material. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8 p.m. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: or 727-360-5653.

Kevin Deady at 2 Palms. Deady has been seen on "Evening at the Improv," but when he performs live, it's normally at 2 Palms. He'll bring his show back to Clearwater this week to entertain the Saturday night crowd. Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. $10. 2950 Gulf To Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: or 727-741-8014.

Peter Hefty at Joke Factory. If you like comedy ventriloquism, this is the show for you this week. Hefty returns to the Tampa Bay area with a cast of characters, including Justin, his best-known puppet personality. Showtime is Thursday at 7:30 p.m. $5-$7. 5015 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. Info: or 727-807-6974.

One-nighters and independent shows

25 To Life at Firehouse Cultural Center. This show features comedians with at least 25 years in the business. Steve Arik is known for his clever, adult-oriented outlooks that cover everything from relationships and drugs to sex addiction.  Mike Rivera was named America's Most Hilarious Teacher by ABC's "The View," and puts on a fast-paced set with animated punchlines and a little call and response for the class (that's the audience). Showtime is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. $12-$20. 101 1st Ave. NE, Ruskin. Info: or 813-645-7651.

G. David Howard at Sporty's On The Beach. 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. By the way, there's a $5 coupon for this show on Howard's website under "special offers."  Showtime is Friday and Saturday at 9:05 p.m. $20. 17093 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach. Info: 727-596-6725 or

Scroll to read more Local Arts articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.