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.
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).
With the impact ComedySportz has made on training and developing Milwaukee comedytalent over its nearly 30 years, Milwaukee is a hotbed for improv. That’s what makes the weekly Open Improv so unpredictably invigorating. Performers never know who’s going to show up. There can be such a range from novice to pro that everyone learns something from the sessions.
And if you haven’t been in a while, Open Improv has moved from Wednesdays to Tuesdays! It’s only $3 and now runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level (downstairs from TJ Maxx).
Less regularly, you can watch one of Milwaukee’s longest-running improv troupes perform at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14. That’s when Homegrown Electric Circus has its latest show at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St. As the four guys explain on Facebook, their performances have become rarer:
“Homegrown Electric Circus, that Halley’s comet of improv groups, has had quite the difficult time finding themselves in the same room over the summer. With busy schedules filled with weddings, theatre obligations, weddings, road trips to see Paul McCartney, and weddings (seriously are there any single people left after this summer?) pinning down a time when Josh Barto, Scott Heaton, Evan Koepnick, and Mike Walker could perform some improv comedy has proven to be quite difficult.”
If you didn’t see them at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival last month, or if you’ve missed any of them individually at an Open Improv, Saturday is your chance to catch Homegrown. Hey, even if you’ve seen them before, Saturday’s show will be way different. Because it’s improv, that’s why.
Meteorological summer has ended (on Labor Day), but summer-style comedy is still in season in Milwaukee.
In fact, Summerfest is sponsoring a free comedy show at Maier Festival Park. At 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage, you can catch “ComedySportz and Friends.”
From Tap Milwaukee, which is co-sponsoring the event with Miller Lite: “ComedySportz will host an interactive evening of comedy and musical comedy featuring The Improvised Musical with Brian Green. The show is suitable for all ages.”
Parking also is free (Lot G, at Chicago St. and Harbor Drive), plus one free beer for those of drinking age who arrive before 8 p.m.
Also on Tuesday night is the second of three preliminary rounds for the Battle Royale 3 comedy competition sponsored by the Caste of Killers Comedy Collective. That’s happening at the Down and Under Pub, 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
You can see 14 or 15 Milwaukee comedians giving it their all in a contest to determine this year’s funniest standup. Their prizes: cash, bragging rights and special appearances.
For details, including a list of who’s gong to perform, go to http://cokcomedy.com/br3.cfm
The Green Bay Packers start their football season for real on Sunday, Sept. 8. We know some Milwaukee people take that pretty seriously and are ripe for some postgame comedy relief.
Here’s the place: The Dangerously Strong Open Mic, at Rounding Third Sports Bar, 6317 W. Bluemound Ave.
They flip the microphone on about 7 p.m. Some of Milwaukee’s most established comedians (as well as up-and-comers) have been known to deliver jokes here. It’s free. And, if you’ve been drinking all afternoon, it’s on the bus line.
Or, you could option for a delay (Football puns intended.) and go to the Comedy Show Comedy Show Open Mic. That’s at 8:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9, at the Bremen Cafe, 901 E. Clarke St. (Be there at 8 if you want to sign up to participate.) Bring money for refreshments, but admission is free.
Most comedy goers know about open mics. That’s where someone puts a microphone on a bare stage in a club or a bar and stand-up comedians of various proficiency practice their craft. It gives veterans a chance to work on new material and wannabes a chance to just try it out.
Well, Milwaukee also has an open improv, where performers of various proficiency can check and develop their improvisational comedy skills.
It every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. It costs $3 to participate, even less to watch. But why watch when you can join in?
This Wednesday, Sept. 4, the session will be guided by Jared Stepp, who recently directed Robby McGhee‘s original puppet musical “The Burden of Being.” Jared also coaches the Milwaukee improv troupe Tall Boys, and he honchoed MIlwaukee’s 48-hour film project.
It isn’t always comedy, per se, but the local storytelling fostered by Ex Fabula generates its share of laughs and is a growing force in the Milwaukee performing arts community.
On Thursday, Sept. 5, Ex Fabula kicks off its fifth season with food, beverages, raffles, auctions and – of course – stories.
Cocktails start at 6 p.m. at Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, 901 W. Wisconsin Ave. It’s partly a fundraiser, but it’s also a launchpad for Ex Fabula’s coming year.
From Facebook: “Storytellers will take the stage at 7 p.m. to share Ex Fabula Classics – five of our favorite true, personal stories from the past years, retold in an intimate setting. In between stories, we’ll feature UltraShorts submitted during the cocktail hour and introduce our new season memberships, which offer the opportunity to have reserved seating at our popular events.”
The $25 tickets include a drink get them and more information by clicking here.
You might not think it to watch them from the audience, but comedians generally are very collegial. Individually, they work hard crafting and delivering very personal thoughts in a very public setting – something that the vast majority of people dread. But it’s a nonconformist pursuit that they share with fellow comedians, it’s an unconventional passion that binds them together as they see one another night after night at open mics and showcases and clubs.
Still, threaded into that comedic camaraderie stirs a sense of competition – to win more laughs, to be more popular, to garner more kudos from one’s peers. That’s a dynamic to consider in standup contests: Birds of a feather in cage matches.
And so it is with the 3rd Annual Battle Royale Stand-Up Comedy Competition, presented by Milwaukee’s Caste of Killers Comedy Collective.
Dozens of comedians have registered to match wits for cash, exposure and bragging rights. Mark your calendars for the scheduled bouts:
- Saturday, Sept. 7, Arcade Theatre, in the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
- Tuesday, Sept. 10, Down & Over Pub, 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
- Wednesday, Sept. 18, Milwaukee’s Comedy Café, 615 E. Brady St.
- Culminating in the finals, Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Karma Bar & Grill, 600 E. Ogden Ave.
See the lineups here. Murphy Row won the inaugural contest in 2011. Lara Beitz was the 2012 champion, with Ryan Mason (in a Milwaukee Comedy interview below) as runner-up.