Milwaukee Comedy supports the local comedy scene in Milwaukee, WI and surrounding areas with this news blog, offering info on area comedy shows, the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, special offers and ticket giveaways and more. Check out more comedy in Milwaukee with our Comedy Event Calendar!
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Milwaukee is the fourth of five stops in a five-day tour by first-string comedians (from left to right) Eugene Mirman, John Hodgman and Kristen Schaal.
The three friends – whose burgeoning body of work includes “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (Schaal and Hodgman), “Flight of the Conchords” (Mirman and Schaal) and “Bob’s Burgers” (Schaal and Mirman) – perform at the Pabst Theater, 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18. (More info and $32.50 tickets here.)
While riding a “pretty sweet van” with Schaal and Mirman between the first two legs of the tour – Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., Hodgman spoke with Milwaukee Comedy about the Sandwich-To-Go-Tour and how he’s looking forward to the Milwaukee audience and a hookup with a signature Milwaukee sandwich. Here’s a slightly edited transcript of the conversation.
Milwaukee Comedy: Tell me about the show and its genesis.
John Hodgman: We enjoy each other’s company very much and have known each other for a number of years, and it seemed like it would be a good idea to get together and drive around in a van and visit some of the cities of America and perform comedy. So far, that has proven to be true. I hope that by the time we reach Milwaukee, it will be truer than ever.
Us: Tell me about the show itself, how the three of you are working together on this.
Him: We had a couple of different options to work with:
- We considered all going out together on stage and performing our individual sets simultaneously, and people could tune in to specific radio stations so they could hear which ever comedian they wanted to hear using a small AM transmitter. We were going to do that.
- The other possibility that we would all prepare comedy together, and we would memorize it, and then we would all three of us come out and recite the whole comedic routine together in unison – all at the same time. It seemed like that would be a good idea because we would not need microphones. It would be sort of like the people’s microphone from Occupy Wall Street. Everyone would be able to hear us very well.
- But then we decided to do something a little more conventional, which was that we would split up our time in the theater among the three of us and we would each perform our own individual comedy sets linearly, which I gather is how it has been done on the vaudeville stage for many years.
So in effect, it becomes a little bit of a variety show. We three of us go out on stage. We exchange some pleasantries with each other and the audience. And then we have a physical fight as to who gets to go first and be done the quickest.
Last night (Tuesday), Eugene won the fight. He’s a very talented fighter. I think he’s been going to some ultimate fighting gyms, I think, to practice. His ground game is really good these days. I hurt my back, though.
In my opinion, nutmeg is the spice of life.
Variety is not stuff to be sprinkled on food or blended in a batter. It’s another dimension.
Think of how flat your life would be if every hour of every day was exactly the same without change.
Sorry. Does that pretty much describe your existence?
Then add an hour of variety this Friday, Oct. 18, at the Variety Hour Happy Hour. It’s a one-hour show from Milwaukee Comedy, with a variety of entertainment, including live music, live sketch comedy, live interviews with living people, live games and live prize-giving.
It starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Arcade Theatre, the nucleus of the Underground Collaborative, which is located at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
This month, the Variety Hour Happy Hour features guest performers Liza Marie and Jessie Mahne.
Tickets are $10 in advance by clicking here, or $15 at the door – a door to another dimension.
Another Tuesday night Open Improv kicks off a busy week in improvisational comedy in Milwaukee.
The Open Improv welcomes all improvisers at all levels of experience. It runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. The bi-weekly session costs $3. But that’s just the beginning.
- There’s The Improvised Musical (T.I.M.), with its monthly show at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St. Just as it sounds, it’s an entire musical improvised from an audience suggestion. Admission is $5.
- If you go early to T.I.M., peek in on the ComedySportz Rec League’s Game-O-Matic Showcase. That’s at 7 p.m. Thursday, in the auxiliary theater at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St. And it’s free. The Game-O-Matic debuts new improv games created by rec league teams (which otherwise perform free on Sunday afternoons – see below).
- Of course, ComedySportz is the wellspring of Milwaukee improv. So let’s not forget about those family-friendly shows, which run at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday as well as the 3 p.m. Saturday matinee.
- Then there’s the Midnite Show, adult-friendly improv, which starts at 11:59 p.m. each Saturday – also at ComedyzSportz. Tickets are $5.
- And the week ends with the ComedySportz Rec League – three free matches supervised by veteran ComedySportz professional improvisers. The games begin at noon, also at 420 S. 1st St.
We love humpday comedy – those midweek diversions that give us apes in the Milwaukee comedy jungle the momentum to swing from one weekend vine to the next.
This week, Ryan Holman and Nate Seek, dba Inventing Situations, bring us “Because You Deserve It.”
From Facebook: “Because You Deserve It, is a new stand up comedy showcase at The Miramar Theatre that plans to bring you a new crew of high quality, up and coming, comics from near & far each month.”
The show is at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16., and the Miramar is at 2844 N. Oakland Ave. Admission is $5, and material is appropriate for anyone 18 and older.
And here’s the lineup;
- Johnny Beehner
- Sammy Arechar
- Nate Seek
- Ryan Holman
So maybe you don’t have 22 minutes right now to watch a video of broadminded Comedy‘s sketch show from the 2013 Milwaukee Comedy Festival. When you do have time, watch the video. You will thank me.
Speaking of thanks, think about your Thanksgiving plans, and take the time now to order tickets for broadminded‘s next show – “Jerks!” – which runs the last two weekends of November at the Arcade Theatre in downtown Milwaukee.
I have never before considered “broadminded” and “jerks” in the same breath, but the all-female sketch group describes the show as a celebration of “the people you love to hate,” including “know-it-alls, mall girls, and the fine folks at the NSA who are reading your text messages at this very moment.”
Performing since 2006, “the broads” are Stacy Babl, Anne Graff LaDisa, Melissa Kingston and Megan McGee.
Tickets are $12. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. and are aimed at adults 15 and older. For those older than 21, it’s BYOB or SOL.
The Arcade Theatre is part of the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
Most Mondays – including Monday, Oct. 14 – you can find a free comedy show at the Bremen Cafe, 901 E. Clarke St., in Milwaukee’s hip Riverwest neighborhood.
It’s called the Comedy Show Comedy Show Open Mic.
If you’re looking to catch some laughs, the show starts at 8:30 p.m. If you’re looking to try out a new standup routine or practice a set you’ve been working on, sign up for a spot at 8 p.m.
“You can see veteran comedians, as well as first-timers get up on stage and make strangers laugh. Anyone is welcome to sign up and try out their jokes*. New material is encouraged! Bring your friends!”
Plus, it’s free. We said that already.
Outside of a brewery, I can’t think of a more quintessential Milwaukee venue than a bowling alley.
Inside of a brewery, I’d be too busy drinking.
But you can drink and laugh – and carouse with keglers – at the Comedy Show Comedy Show, Saturday, Oct. 12, at Landmark Lanes, 2220 N. Farwell Ave.
Jake Kornely is the kingpin hosting, and scheduled performers include
The show starts at 8:30 p.m., but seats fill up fast, so be there when they open the doors at 8. Admission is $6.
I read this on Facebook:
“Comedy does not exist for laughs. Comedy exists to make you feel and think. It’s the strongest genre and the strongest emotion.”
It was posted by Jacob Bach, co-founder of The Improvised Musical, the Broadway-style song-and-dance shows that are made up right in front of the audience with experienced comedy improvisers and a live band.
T.I.M. has been performing the third Thursday of every month for more than two years, and if you haven’t seen it yet, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, is your chance. It’s only $5 at Milwaukee’s ComedySportz arena, 420 S. 1st St. If you are a regular T.I.M.-goer (Lord knows there are many.), you know that no two shows are ever alike.
Reserve your tickets by calling ahead on weekdays at (414) 272-8888.
As Carrie Antlfinger reports, the federal government shutdown may be flattening some of Milwaukee’s favorite brews. But we’ve got just the medicine.
Free beer! That’s good for what ales you.
The October Comedy Arcade show includes a free cold one with every $7 advance ticket you buy online right here.*
Procrastinators and last-second showgoers pay $10 at the door and have to bring their own beverages.
But here’s the best part: All comers get the Milwaukee comedy stylings of these standup artists:
- Steve Breese
- Greg Bach
- Chastity Washington
The show starts at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12, in the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
*21+ limit one per ticket holder!
Bill Begos is hosting another Papa’s Comedy Tour at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10, at 7712 W. Burleigh St.
Entertainers include Tom Clark, Geoff LaFleur and special guest Mario Robinson.
Tickets are $10 at the door. Advance tickets are $8, or you could get two tickets and two dinners for $30. Click here to order (at the bottom of the page).