The Laugh Tract — who's bringing the funny



Young comedians, more "senior" comedians, mighty female headliners, local favorites, national acts and ventriloquists are all gathering in our area to perform at different venues. There's even a traveling show on tap. If you want to see a show, it should be pretty easy to find something that suits you. Here are your best bets:

Theaters and Special Performances

Anjelah Johnson at The Straz Center (Ferguson Hall). Odds are you know Johnson's famous "nail salon" bit, or her Bon Qui Qui character from MADtv. But there's a lot more to her stand-up than that, and her comedic talents will be on full display for fans this week. One night only. Showtime is Thursday at 7 p.m. 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Info: strazcenter.org or 813-229-7827.

Elayne Boosler at The Club (Treasure Island). If you've been a fan of comedy over the past three decades, you've seen Boosler at some point. Put it this way: Andy Kaufman was the one who encouraged her to tell jokes on stage. He must have been on to something, because she's still entertaining crowds around the country. Showtime is Saturday at 9 p.m. 400 Treasure Island Causeway, Treasure Island. Info: theclubti.com or 727-367-4511.

Comedy Clubs

Guy Torry at Tampa Improv. The well-known actor/comedian sets up shop in Ybor City for what should be a busy run of shows. Torry's animated set touches on race and other topics, punctuated with the emphatic tones of a confident stage performer. Showtimes are Thrsday 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.

Made in New York at Tampa Improv. If you're in a New York state of mind, this is the show for you this week. Big Apple natives Jennifer Hensleigh, Akeem Woods, Catherine Maloney and Mary Tischbein hit the stage with jokes that audiences will get no matter where they're from. Showtime is Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Mike E. Winfield at Side Splitters. Winfield is a young guy, but already has the casual stage presence of a seasoned comedian. His humor adds clever layers to relatable premises. 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.

Tommy Savitt Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Savitt looks and sounds like your no-nonsense neighbor from the old neighborhood in New York (if you've never lived there, you can imagine it). But while your neighbor might spend all day complaining, Savitt's creative jokes make it clear he belongs on stage. 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.

John Knight at Coconuts Comedy Clubs (at MJs). Knight is a talented storyteller, with a polished stage presence and delivery. He's confident in his material and how to deliver it to audiences, so they can expect solid sets at the beach this weekend. Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.

Down & Dirty Show at Coconuts Comedy Clubs (at MJs). The name says it all: Dirty comedy for dirty minds. Kyle Ruse and Catherine Maloney are among those providing support for headliner Johnny B, regular host on 102.5 The Bone. If you like your comedy blue, this is the show for you.  Showtime is Sunday at 7 p.m.

Peter Hefty at The Event Venue. Hefty and his puppet sidekick, Justin, hit the stage in Oldsmar to provide plenty of comedy ventriloquism. If you like humor with dummies (sorry, couldn't resist) this is the show for you. Showtime is Friday at 9 p.m. 1000 Derek Blvd., Oldsmar. Info: 727-741-8014.

Bull at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. Bull is a nice guy and a dad. He just looks kind of mean. Fortunately, his comedy is witty and friendly, so don't judge this funny book by its cover, okay? 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

G. David Howard at Sporty's On The Beach. Howard has been a stand-up staple for decades. His regular stint at Sporty's features just a slice of his material, because you probably couldn't hear it all in one night. But there will be plenty of laughs to go around at both shows. Showtime is Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. 17093 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach. Info: 727-596-6725.

Cigar City Comedy's Brew Bus Comedy Show. Here's an interesting idea: Instead of going to see a comedy show, let the comedy show come see you. The Brew Bus loads up with local comedians and hits a couple of venues for free shows on Thursday night. They'll be at the Green Bench Brewing Company, 1133 Baum Ave. N., at 7 p.m. and at 3 Daughters Brewing, 222 22nd St. S., at 8:15. Both venues are in St. Petersburg.


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