Monday, March 14, 2011

Choice Comedy (week of March 13 to March 19)

Did you get out to see some comedy this past weekend, or were you, like so many, glued to your television as the horrors of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe visited Japan?  Sometimes, getting away for a couple of hours to laugh isn't a bad thing...especially when things all over the world are anything but funny.

I made that choice...and saw Greg Behrendt and Mike Drucker at Laughs AND Jim Short and Eddie Brill at the Comedy Underground, and still had time to be awed, angry, humbled, frightened, frustrated and paranoid by everything going on.

Not that it compares with the trouble in the world, but the Seattle comedy scene has a bit of sad news to report--the closing of the newest comedy club in town, Big City Comedy Club.  Evidently, a plug was pulled--and they've gone and canceled all of their advertised upcoming shows, including this weekend.  Sad news, especially for Tony Daniel & Marcus Absher who, I know, worked very hard for this opportunity--but, perhaps not entirely unexpected...the venue is in an awkward location with very little visibility or awareness, and for that to work, you need to be able to make a big splash to drive people somewhere unfamiliar...and there was no big splash. 

This isn't the last that we've heard from Big City Comedy and, certainly, everyone wishes them the best of luck with what they do in the future...

Meanwhile, there IS comedy happening this, let's take a look!

And please remember that these are merely my own opinions and your mileage may certainly vary.

Shane Mauss & Brian Moote @ Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland
Friday 3/18 & Saturday 3/19  8pm & 10pm shows
Four weeks in a row, Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland has earned our choice as the BEST BET for a stand-up comedy show this week.  Shane Mauss is a hot name in comedy, with a Comedy Central Presents under his belt and a lot of buzz about him.  Originally from Wisconsin, Shane developed his comedy in Boston and broke out after a successful run through the Boston Comedy Festival.  He's played Laughs before and those of you who saw him then should be bringing your friends to see him again--especially as a local favorite is returning to Seattle as his feature:  Brian Moote.  This is the best comedy show in town this week, shining a light on two comedians that you'll be proud to say that you saw them before they truly got huge...   (

Graham Elwood @ Laff*Hole at Chop Suey in Seattle
Wednesday 3/16 9pm
Graham is Doug Benson's "perma-middle"--someone that Doug feels comfortable touring with...  He's a great opener for Doug, because they share so little in their comedic personas, making them quite complimentary.  Graham isn't a stoner, his comedy is active and clear-eyed observational...and Graham seems to tour war zones a great deal.  On this tour, he's the main event--touring behind a new documentary of his overseas comedy tours (titled "Laffghanistan"--it will be shown Tuesday night at NW Film Forum.)  I've had the chance to work with Graham a couple of times and he's a great comic...and any show that he's involved is a GREAT OPTION.  (

Kristin Key @ Comedy Underground in Seattle
Thursday 3/10 8pm and Friday 3/11 shows at 8pm and 10:30pm
You might recognize Kristin from NBC's Last Comic Standing--the year that Ty Barnett was the runner up.  She's a quality headliner and one that does a good job incorporating guitar-based comedy.  Note, she's only here for Thursday and Saturday night at the Comedy Underground is John, if you want to see Kristin...and I think you should, because I think she's a GREAT OPTION for comedy this week, make certain you go on either Thursday or Friday.   (
Sebastian Maniscalco (w/Jennifer Murphy) @ Parlor-Live in Bellevue
Thursday 3/10 at 7:30pm, Friday 3/11 & Saturday 3/12  7:30pm & 10pm shows
Sebastian was one of the comedians on Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy tour.  I'm giving this show some bonus points for bringing Jen Murphy in as the featured performer.  She's a winning performer that I'm happy is coming to Seattle (as I'd wanted to get her into the Seattle International Comedy Competition last year.) ( 

Owen Straw & Nancy Reed @ Comedy Underground, Tacoma
Friday 3/11 & Saturday 3/12 shows at 8pm & 10:30pm
I'm very proud of my good friend Owen Straw.  A local talent who made his way up during the start of the current Seattle alt-comedy scene getting a chance to co-headline (with the wonderful Nancy Reed) a comedy club in the area on the weekend.  He's got a wonderfully laconic style and a delightfully strange way of looking at things...always a good sign for a good night of comedy!  (

Michael Malone (w/Xung Lam) @ Tacoma Comedy Club, Tacoma
Thursday 3/10 8pm, Friday 3/11 & Saturday 3/12 shows at 8pm & 10pm

There are also some interesting midweek items that you might want to take a chance on...with two shows by Children of the Atom at Comedy Underground.

Will Laughs earn a fifth-straight "BEST BET" next week?  Considering they're bringing in Last Comic Standing's "Roy Wood Jr."--it could very well be.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Choice Comedy (week of March 6 to March 12

Had the chance to do a quick guest spot on two shows with last week's BEST BET choice, Myq Kaplan, over at Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland.  Always great to work with someone so dazzlingly smart...and hopefully, you had the chane to catch one of his shows this past weekend.

And, risking sounding like a broken record here, I've got to say that Laughs Comedy Spot is AGAIN bringing in this week's BEST BET.  Not to say there aren't excellent options elsewhere, of, let's just go ahead take a look at what's in store!

And please remember that these are merely my own opinions and your mileage may certainly vary.

Greg Behrendt @ Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland
Friday 3/11 & Saturday 3/12  8pm & 10pm shows
Let me make this clear.  I'm rating Greg Behrendt as a BEST BET of a stand-up comedy show for spending your comedy dollars on this week based on his stand-up comedy.  Yes, you may be more familiar with Greg from that daytime talk show he did...the one he earned by being a co-writer of the whole "He's Just Not That Into You" book (and the somewhat disappointing movie that was based on it.)  But, he's a stand-up through and through...a lion-like man who refuses to stop rocking while being sensitive enough to wear a cardigan sweater without irony.  The fact that he's a genuinely nice guy who is a strong writer and performer makes you wish that HE'D have blown up the way that Dane Cook did...and the fact that he didn't means that NOW you get the chance to see him up close in your comfortable seats at Laughs rather than squeezing yourself into the plastic nosebleeds of Key Arena.  Take advantage of it, bring your significant others and your friends and see Greg this weekend!    (

Bill Bellamy @ Parlor-Live in Bellevue
Thursday 3/10 at 7:30pm, Friday 3/11 & Saturday 3/12  7:30pm & 10pm shows
Bill Bellamy is probably the best host that NBC's Last Comic Standing has ever had.  No offense to Jay Mohr, who helped create the concept...or Craig Robinson, who brought an appealingly odd charisma to the host role in the most recent season...or, even, to Anthony Clark, who was a much better comedian and sitcom actor than he proved to be a host--but Bill Bellamy has a cocksure swagger and energetic presence, learned from hosting shows for years on MTV.  Granted, his own stand-up wasn't always the most forward thinking--but I'd hate to judge Bill based on what NBC was willing to show us.  I think he's easily a GREAT OPTION for this week, as you know he'll give you a rousing good time...and, again, as Parlor seems consistent in presenting, he's a tv and movie star to boot!  ( 

Jim Short @ Comedy Underground in Seattle
Thursday 3/10 8pm, Friday 3/11 & Saturday 3/12 shows at 8pm and 10:30pm
Jim Short is one of those headliners who make regular visits to the Comedy Underground...and sometimes I wonder if we take the best of these headliners, like Jim Short, for granted.  He's a smart, funny man with an interesting perspective on our world--being an Australian who has lived for many years here in the United States.  I'm a big fan, so I think going to see Jim Short is a GREAT OPTION for this week.  It's as simple as that.    (

Michael Showalter @ The Triple Door in Seattle
Tuesday 3/6 9pm
Michael's written a book titled "Mr. Funny Pants" and he's going on tour to both promote his book and to perform his often surreal and theatrical comedy.  If you're not instantly familiar with the name, you should be--as he's definitely a major player in the explosion of alt-comedy in the United States over the past decade.  He was a member of The State, a sketch comedy troupe that had an influential show on MTV.  He's a member of Stella with Michael Ian Black and David Wain, which had an influential show on Comedy Central.  He and Michael Ian Black also had their own show on Comedy Central called "Michael and Michael Have Issues."  Prickly, smart, goofy...worth checking out.  I'd even say that it is a GREAT OPTION.  As a bonus, PRoK head honcho Kevin Hyder is the opening act.  (

Tommy Savitt @ Big City Comedy Club at Amore Infused in Seattle
Friday 3/11 8pm, Saturday 3/12 at 8pm & 10pm
Last week, we pointed out that our good friend Tommy Savitt, who was headlining at the Tacoma Comedy Club, plays so often in this area that it can be hard to specifically recommend seeing him over other options on any given night.  Truly, you'd enjoy yourself ANY TIME you might go to see Tommy do comedy...but if you miss him this time, you'll have another chance to see him soon.  Sure enough, here's Tommy headlining another set of shows THIS weekend--this time, at the relatively new club on the northern most edge of Belltown.  Again, you'll have a good time if you choose to see Tommy here and now.  Or, the next time...  (

Ty Barnett (w/Richard Bain) @ Tacoma Comedy Club, Tacoma
Thursday 3/10 8pm, Friday 3/11 & Saturday 3/12 shows at 8pm & 10pm
We listed Ty Barnett as a great option when he played at Big City Comedy Club--so, if you live closer to Tacoma than you do to Seattle, I'd STILL consider this show a great option...  But, if you're a Seattle resident, I don't think you should feel obligated to make the trip considering your other options and your other chances to see Ty Barnett, fairly regularly, a little closer to home.  Don't get me wrong, Ty's great...and if you go, you'll have a great time.  A bonus for choosing this show is the chance to also see Portland's Richard Bain--who brings a John (yes, JOHN) Belushi-esque quality to his stand-up.  Nothing wrong with a night of seeing both of these performers, to be sure!     (   

Drew Barth @ Comedy Underground, Tacoma
Friday 3/11 & Saturday 3/12 shows at 8pm & 10:30pm
I'm very proud of my good friend Drew Barth.  He's been a buzzed about young talent for years now, with solid writing and performing skills.  He's been a Giggles Laff Off Champion, the host of ComedyNight (RIP), and both a semi-finalist (in 2008) and finalist (in 2010) in the Seattle International Comedy Competition. Here, he's getting the opportunity to headline the Comedy Underground in Tacoma!  Good job, Drew! (

Adam Carolla @ The Moore, Seattle
Sunday 3/13  7pm
You know him from the best version of "The Man Show", from his radio shows and podcasts, from hosting various programs and even from some movies.  Expect a night of unapologetically caustic opinions and tales of misadventure. 

Rick Kunkler @ Laughs Comedy Spot, Kirkland
Thursday 3/10  8:30pm
Funny, cynical and willing to push buttons--Rick Kunkler should be a more recognizable name...and it looked like he was going to be.  Bursting out of the Seattle scene as a young and promising talent at around the same time that Kyle Cease did, Rick grabbed at the brass ring and got himself an MTV show that few now remember...and he was given a few minutes of poorly edited time on one of the early season's of NBC Last Comic Standing auditions.  For years, he'd return to Seattle for the holidays and create havoc at Giggles.  Now that Giggles is gone, perhaps Rick will bring that same energy to Kirkland.  I've seen Rick be very funny.  I've also seen Duane Goad piledrive Rick headfirst into the tile floor of Giggles.  Your mileage may vary...but, it's Thursday night and I don't know what else you might have planned. 

Next week, the string of great shows at Laughs continues with the return of Shane Mauss (who is being joined by Brian Moote).  Sebastian Maniscalo is coming to the Parlor.  Children of the Atom are presenting Solomon Georgio at the Comedy Underground in Seattle on Tuesday of next week, while Kristin Key is stopping in on Thursday and Friday there.  A Seattle International Comedy Competition finalist is coming to Big City Comedy Club and PRoK is bringing Graham Elwood to Laff*Hole.  All that and more, next week!