We told you this would be quite a week for standup comedy in Milwaukee.
Here are more opportunities to explore and/or contribute to:
- Seriously, Comedy Open Mic, Thursday, Oct. 24, at Fire on Water, 518 N. Water St. Performers sign in at 8:30 p.m. The show, hosted by Jacob E. Miller, starts at 9 p.m.
- The sign-up (8:30 p.m.) and performance times (9 p.m.) are the same Thursday for the bi-weekly Art Bar Open Mic, in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, 722 E. Burleigh St. Your emcee there will be Joshua Balew.
- You can launch your weekend laughing with The Caffeinated Comedy Hour, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at Sherman Perk, 4924 W. Sherman Ave., hosted by Eric Thorson and featuring Sam Barone, Patrick Tomlinson and Darryl Hill.
As much as we evolve and move our lives ahead, there’s comfort in nostalgia. All the better, when you’re laughing too.
That’s the idea and experience behind the monthly Retro Comedy Night.
Besides seeing some fresh entertainment (This time it’s stand-up comedian LIza Marie.), audiences can reconnect with the familiarity of a bygone TV sitcom – as staged line-for-line by some of Milwaukee’s funniest actors.
Which show they’ll perform is a secret, which adds an element of surprise to the occasion.
The next Retro show is at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26, in the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. And it’s BYOB.
Why wait for the weekend? Milwaukee has comedy for you right away to start the week.
For free, you can check out the Mellow Monday Comedy Showcase at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 21, at INdustri Café, 545 S. 2nd St.
Tom Grimm will be the emcee, with performances by
- Ryan Mason
- Ryan Lowe
- Liza Marie
- Sammy Arechar
- Tim Hunter
- Gary Zaj
- Jason Hillman
- Tyler Menz and
- Adam Loeding
And don’t be surprised if you see some of the same comedians developing further material at the Comedy Show Comedy Show Open Mic at 8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 21. That’s also free, and it’s at the Bremen Café, 901 E. Clarke St.
But don’t stay out too late. Pace yourself. It’s only Monday, for Pete’s sake. And a lot of these same comedians will be attending the second bi-weekly workshop known as The Writers Block. They’ll be getting together to share deep discussions on the word choices and other craftwork that help make them funny.
That starts at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
Those rascals at Milwaukee’s Caste of Killers Comedy Collective are at it again. By that, we mean they’re presenting another monthly showcase of standup comedians at the Karma Bar & Grill.
The Milwaukee Stand Up Comedy Showcase begins at 8:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, at 600 E. Ogden Ave.
Our good friend Steve Breese is the scheduled host.
- Goodrich Gevaart
- Jeffry Schultz
- Nate Bjork
- Greg Bach
It’s only $5 ($1 to see each comedian) if you pay in advance (by clicking here). Or you can play the role of big spender and pay $10 at the door, leaving less money available to buy your friends drinks – which is the best way to pose as a big spender.
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.