The Laugh Tract — Who's Bringing the Funny

Jerry Seinfeld and John Mulaney are the biggest names in town this week.

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  • Jerry Seinfeld is at The Mahaffey for three shows over two nights.

This week there's Jerry Seinfeld and John Mulaney, and everybody else. 


The "everybody else" guys are funny, too, of course. There are "Last Comic Standing" participants, witty touring headliners and great local talent ready to entertain. Just because they're not household names (yet) doesn't mean you can't share a lot of laughs with them.

Here are your best bets:

Theaters and Special Events

Jerry Seinfeld at The Mahaffey. What's left to say about Jerry Seinfeld? His blockbuster television show, "Seinfeld," opened the flood gates for networks looking for the next comedian vehicle, and he could have spent the rest of his life simply counting his money in luxury. ... But he didn't. Instead, he developed new material and went back on the road — an admirable and challenging task. Years later he's still comfortable behind a microphone, and somehow overcomes nearly-impossible expectations on stage. He's obviously not doing it because he needs the money. The stand-up comedian, in the end, is still a stand-up comedian.  Showtimes are Thursday at 7 p.m. and Friday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $69. 400 1st St. S., St. Petersburg. Info: TheMahaffey.com or 727-893-7832.

John Mulaney at Capitol Theatre. Some comedians do a little writing to beef up their credentials. Mulaney is not one of those comedians. He has as many accolades as a writer as he does in the world of stand-up. He's got an Emmy for his work on "The Primetime Emmy Awards," and received other nominations when he wrote for "Saturday Night Live." You know popular "Stefon" character? Mulaney helped create him. He also had his own Fox sitcom, "Mulaney," that ran last year.  But Mulaney's also a respected stand-up comedian, and that's what fans will get on stage Saturday night. The sharp writing is there, of course, delivered with a style that's both polished and conversational at the same time. Even his stories are worded to maximum comedic effect, but don't sound rehearsed or stale. It's what you might hear from a successful writer who's good at stand-up, too.  Showtime is Saturday at 8 p.m. $35. 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Info: atthecap.com or 727-791-7400.


Comedy Clubs

Dusty Slay at Tampa Improv. "Dusty Slay" sounds like a southern comedian, and that's exactly what Slay is. His easygoing demeanor serves as a strong platform for witty observations and more than a few thought-provoking punchlines. Showtimes are Wednesday at 8 p.m. $7. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: ImprovTampa.com or 813-864-4000.

Brandon T. Jackson at Tampa Improv. Jackson has a lot of energy and charisma. And when you add that to a direct style and a confident stage presence (with a few spot-on celebrity impressions thrown in for good measure) you have a recipe for a strong weekend of comedy. 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: ImprovTampa.com or 813-864-4000.

Friars Club Comedy at The Club at Treasure Island Get a taste of the Borscht Belt with Sal Richards, a veteran Catskills performer who won the region’s coveted Mike Award for Entertainer of the Year. He has headlined at Trump Plaza’s Taj Mahal, the Tropicana in Atlantic City and other hot spots. Stewie Stone, who has garnered critical acclaim for his appearances at Friars Roasts, and for producing and emceeing their successful Friars Frolics, co-headlines. Fri., Showtime is May 1, 9 p.m.  400 Treasure Island Causeway, T. I.  theclubti.com.

Josh Blue
at Side Splitters. Blue has cerebral palsy. And if you didn't know that, you will just as soon as he tears into his material. But the accomplished comedian (he's a previous winner of "Last Comic Standing") has plenty of other premises, and serves them up with a likeable, casual presentation. 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 10:30 p.m. $16-$20. 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: SideSplittersComedy.com or 813-960-1197.

Mike Baldwin at Side Splitters. Baldwin doesn't appear overly-comfortable on stage, but don't be fooled. That's part of his appeal. It gives him a unique, relatable delivery for his clever material. Showtime is Sunday at 7 p.m. $10-$14. 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: SideSplittersComedy.com or 813-960-1197.


Rich Vos at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Vos is a guy you've probably seen at some point, or heard on the radio. You might not place it at first, but once you hear his politically-incorrect observations and his direct style churning out funny premises, you'll remember it. And you'll probably remember laughing, too.  Showtimes are Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $15. 36657 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: SnappersGrill.com or 727-938-2027.

Carmen Ciricillo at Coconuts Comedy Club (at MJ's). Ciricillo has an everyman's attitude (he is known as "The Construction Comic," after all) and the presence of a stand-up comedian with -decades of experience. His blue-collar material is sometime self-deprecating, usually pretty straight-forward and designed to keep audiences laughing. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: CoconutsComedyClubs.com or 727-360-5653. 

Pat Duax at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. Duax has an energetic style and plenty of punchlines. He might even throw a character into the mix to go along with his personal stories and observations. Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. $10. 2950 Gulf To Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: TampaBayComedy.com or 727-741-8014.

Duncan Jay at Joke Factory. Jay has a direct, New York style and a relatable stage presence. His everyday observations are recognizable, but taken from a comedian's sharp perspective.  Showtime is Thursday at 7:30 p.m. $5-$7. 5015 US Highway 19, New Port Richey. Info: NPRJokeFactory.com or 727-807-6974.

One-nighters and Independent Shows


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 8:30 p.m. $20. 17093 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach. Info: 727-596-6725 or GDavidHoward.com.


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