The Laugh Tract — Who's Bringing the Funny

It's kind of a light week for comedy in Tampa Bay. With Halloween this weekend, other events are taking center stage and some nationally touring performers are off the road. Plus, some clubs have altered schedules or aren't having shows. That doesn't leave many options for stand-up fans.

The good news is that the options we have are very funny. Doug Benson is in town, doing both stand-up comedy and his popular podcast. There are other funny travelers who have braved Halloween to perform. And a couple of Florida comedians — Rahn Hortman and Dean Napolitano — are holding court at local clubs. Both of those guys are good enough to be on tour, and they frequently are.

So don't lament the lack of comedians on stage. No tricks here, but plenty of treats if you like to laugh.

See what we did there? Okay, here's the lineup.


Chris Porter at Tampa Improv. Porter has a strong stage presence and a definitive delivery. Emphatic and thoughtful, his opinions are laced with sarcasm and precise punchlines.
Showtimes are Wednesday at 8 p.m., Thursday at 10:15 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Saturday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. $15-$17. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa (Ybor City). Info: or 813-864-4000.

Doug Benson at Tampa Improv. Benson's clever style has earned him respect and notoriety from both his fellow comedians and audiences around the country. He's also a prolific writer, so odds are, no matter how big of a fan you are, he's got new things to share with you.
Showtime is Thursday at 8 p.m. $20. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa (Ybor City). Info: or 813-864-4000.

Doug Loves Movies at Tampa Improv. Doug Benson's popular movie-themed podcast gets an afternoon recording, providing a unique comedic experience for the audience. It's at 4:20 p.m., of course. If you don't get the significance, it might not be for you.
Showtime is Saturday at 4:20 p.m. $20. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa (Ybor City). Info: or 813-864-4000.

Rahn Hortman at Side Splitters. Hortman isn't dirty, but he is funny. Expect thoughtful conversations about his family (and other observations) without the in-your-face blue material you'd find with most performers. It will, however, have some self-deprecation and a lot of wit.
Showtimes are Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. $10-$16.50. 12938 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Info: or 813-960-1197.

Dean Napolitano at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Napolitano’s all about family. From his upbringing to his own kids, he tells funny stories from a creative perspective. And whichever generation he highlights, the material is strong, relatable and delivered with a likable stage presence.
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: or 727-938-2027.

Mike Rivera at Coconuts Comedy Club (at MJ's). Rivera is a longtime teacher and a longtime stand-up comedian. Those career paths merge when the comic, dubbed "America's Most Hilarious Teacher" on ABC's "The View," tears through a fast-paced set with adult-oriented teachable moments.
Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 9:30 p.m. $18-$25. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: or 727-360-5653.


Cigar City Comedy at Wicked 'Wiches. This weekly free show (donations accepted) includes a few shorter sets followed by a featured closer, usually delivering adult material. This week's closer is magician Matt Price.
Showtime is Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Free (donation). 223 S. Howard Ave., Tampa. Info:

G. David Howard at Sporty's On The Beach. Howard's weekly residency at Sporty's features the longtime comedian drawing from his decades of stage experience. He mixes his regular material with 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