The Laugh Tract — Who's Bringing the Funny

John Morgan, Theo Von and others in town this week are even better than leftover turkey sandwiches.

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It's Christmas time!

Well, not really. But if you go shopping, it sure seems like it. The colors, the music and the sales all tell you it's that time of year again.

Since we're getting into the holiday spirit, why not enjoy some laughs? There's a good group in town this weekend, including some free shows. So pick your favorite and enjoy some (early) holiday cheer.

Here's this week's lineup:

Theaters and Special Events

Craig Ferguson at The Capitol Theatre. Ferguson has stepped away from his Late Show desk and returned to the stand-up stage (his game show duties notwithstanding). Fans will enjoy more of the likable personality and comic timing he displayed during his show's monologues, with the added benefit of not being constrained by network censors. One night only.

Showtime is Friday at 8 p.m. $53.50-$78.50. 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Info: atthecap.com or 727-791-7400.


Comedy Clubs

Al Romas at Tampa Improv. Comedian (and author) Romas has sharp writing skills, and he's been recognized as a previous "Best of the Bay" winner for stand-up comedy. But it's his banter with the crowd that really stands out, creating spontaneous comedy in a way only a true stage veteran can.

Showtime is Wednesday at 8 p.m. $5. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa (Ybor City). Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.

John Morgan at Tampa Improv. No, not the marijuana-supporting attorney whose commercials are a staple of Tampa Bay television. This is the "Ragin' Cajun," who's been seen on MTV and Showtime. His Louisiana drawl almost makes him sound like a preacher on a rant, but you won't hear these bits at any church sermon. He seasons his material with spicy language and a confident attitude.

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. $14-$18. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa (Ybor City). Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.

Theo Von at Side Splitters. With a comfortable southern drawl, Von spits out pop culture references and scenarios that showcase his conversational style. He sounds like a buddy telling you an amazing story, but he's really weaving punchlines together in smart, comedic fashion.

Showtimes are Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. $10-$16.50. 12938 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.

Alvin Williams at Side Splitters. Williams' comedy is brash but thoughtful, taking on current topics with layers of wit and humor. His headlining show on Saturday night showcases his clever (and relatable) observations.

Showtime is Saturday at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. $10-$12. 12938 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.

Mo Alexander at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Alexander is an established comedian who has no problem speaking his mind. It's not good for political correctness, but it's a fun evening for people who have thick skin and can let their hair down a little.

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. Highway 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: snappersgrill.com or 727-938-2027.

Danny Bevins at Coconuts Comedy Club (at MJ's). Sometimes Bevins pokes fun at people in the news. Sometimes it's just people he runs into at a restaurant. But no matter the target, he brings a knowing wit and focused perspective in sharing his frustrations, translating them into laughs from the audience.

Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 9:30 p.m. $18-$22. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.

Lazlow at 2 Palms. 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's not afraid to engage with them or go off-track entirely and start riffing on whatever comes to mind.

Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. $10. 2950 Gulf To Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: 2palmstampabay.com or 727-400-6920.

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 9:05 p.m. $20. 17093 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach. Info: 727-596-6725 or gdavidhoward.com.


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