From theaters to comedy clubs to free shows at local bars and tap houses, there are plenty of comedy options for anyone who wants a laugh this week. Just pick your style and head on out for some stand-up. Here are your options this week:
Laugh for the Troops Comedy Tour at The Straz (Ferguson Hall). Consider this humor with its heart in the right place. Tommy Drake, Happy Cole, Thomas Brown, Phil Palisoul and Ralph Harris take the stage to support military personnel and their families who have been affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental issues related to their service. Showtime is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Info: strazcenter.org or 813-229-7827.
Mark Curry at The Mahaffey. Curry, a television staple for years, brings his comedy to The Mahaffey in a support role. Opening for Morris Day & The Time, he'll likely use his animated stage presence to cover race and other topics in a funny way. Showtime is Friday at 8 p.m. 400 1st St. S., St. Petersburg. Info: themahaffey.com or 727-893-7832.
Ian Bagg at Tampa Improv. Bagg's stage presence is somehow both easy-going and deliberate. But his material suits both styles, going from logical to absurd in seconds, with plenty of fast-paced wit and solidly-built premises. 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. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.
Matt Davis at Side Splitters. Davis has a fast-paced set, where he shares plenty of opinions in an unapologetic way. His direct approach keeps the energy high and the laughter steady. 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 , Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.
Al Romas at Snappers. Romas is a local comedian with decades of experience and a knack for drawing the most out of his crowds. Expect plenty of off-the-cuff discussions with audience members that leave them — and everyone else — laughing. 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.
Tom Simmons at Coconuts Comedy Club (at MJ's). Simmons feels very comfortable pointing out inconsistencies in life, sometimes delving into politically-incorrect material to do it. It's a nice mix of wit and logic that keeps audiences laughing. One night only. Showtime is Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.
Jay Hewlett at Coconuts Comedy Club (at MJ's). Hewlett is one of those guys who just looks funny. Not that he's funny-looking, but that he's got plenty of jokes and the experience to deliver them. There should be plenty of punchlines on the beach this weekend. Showtimes are Thursday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 5501 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.
Traci Kanaan at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. The "Princess of Parodies" merges familiar songs with funny, original lyrics. If you love creative, musical comedy, this is the show for you this week. 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
Trish Keating at Niagara Tap (free show) and Oldsmar Tap House. Keating has a sarcastic view of just about everything, from the merits of dating men with good credit to her role as a local teacher. Her laid back-but-deliberate style is a good fit for her witty perspectives. Showtime is Friday at 7 p.m. 11950 Seminole Blvd. in Largo. Info: theniagaratap.com or 727-581-5331. Keating will be at Oldsmar Tap House for a second free show of the weekend (see above) is in Oldsmar, where her comedy goes well with the varied selection of beers on tap. The suds are cold and the show is free.
Showtime is Saturday at 9 p.m. 300 State St. E., Oldsmar. Info: 813-475-5996.