OK, so the Retro Comedy Night starts at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 14. Let’s say it ends about 9 p.m. What are you going to do?
You’re all giddy from laughing at Damon Millard‘s stand-up comedy, and you’re all goofy from watching a live spoof of a secret nostalgic TV sitcom. And it’s only 9 o’clock on a Saturday night. Where you gonna go?
Tyler Menz and Jake Kornely have the solution: Stay right where you are, at the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
Because immediately following the Retro show, Tyler and Jake, two stand-up standouts in their own right, will inaugurate “The Goodnight Milwaukee Show!” That’s why.
From Facebook: “Ever wonder what would happen if the competing late night TV hosts were forced to come together and host a show together? Of course you have! Join Tyler and Jake as they interview crazy guests, play super-fun games, and tell jokes, lots of jokes!”
And there’s more. “If you go to the Retro Show, you will be able get in to the Goodnight Milwaukee Show for FREE, but making a donation will get a free beer!”
That’s right, you just read “FREE” and “free beer” in the same sentence. Now that’s an invitation to late-night comedy.
You may know him from his prolific standup performances around the Milwaukee area. Or maybe you know that he’s a co-founder of Milwaukee’s Caste of Killers Comedy Collective.
But at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, you’ll be seeing Damon Millard – fresh from New York – as the headliner stand-up for the last Retro Comedy Night of 2013.
So there will be something a little retro in the standup portion of the show. Because Damon will be coming back to the city that launched him to various nether regions of the United States in the past year. That’s why.
The retro show itself, if you haven’t been to one yet, re-enacts a classic TV sitcom live on stage with some of Milwaukee’s funniest performers. It’s a secret which show they’ll pay homage to (A year ago, it was Charlie Brown’s Christmas special, with Robbie McGhee as Snoopy, dressed in white with a pair of black socks for ears.).
It’s all at the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. Click here for $10 tickets. Or pay $15 at the door.
The big weekend at Milwaukee’s Arcade Theatre begins on Thursday with this month’s Comedy Arcade Show. It’s another laugh fest showcasing local standup comedians and some improvised comedy.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
It features stand-ups:
- Josh Balew
- Tom Grimm
- Jason Hillman
It’s $10 at the door, or you can get your tickets online for $7 and a FREE BEER. As always, it’s BYOB – especially if you don’t pre-order your tickets.
And this month’s Comedy Arcade kicks off the latest sketch comedy show from Milwaukee’s broadminded Comedy troupe. Their show, Jerks! starts at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22, also at the Arcade Theatre, and runs Saturday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30. Click here for more information and a link for tickets.
Keep checking back in this space for updates on the latest open mics for standup comedy in the Milwaukee area.
Usually, those open mics are free. And they serve up a good mix of relatively new comics discovering their voice and established pros working out new material.
Don’t believe us?
Check out the Comedy Show Comedy Show open mic every Monday at 8:30 p.m. at the Bremen Cafe, 901 E. Clarke St.
Every Tuesday, you can travel south of downtown for the free 9 p.m. open mic at the Down & Over Pub, 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. This Tuesday, Nov. 5, Christopher Schmidt will be hosting.
That’s just a sampling, but here’s more: The Caste of Killers Comedy Collective is starting a roaming Saturday Night Mics open mic. The first one is at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, at Paulie’s Field Trip, 1430 S. 81st St., West Allis. The emcee will be the incomparable Erik Koconis, whose many contributions to Milwaukee comedy include the month Comedy Conclave, where funny people discuss the craft of making people laugh.
Another group recently started bi-weekly colloquia to advance the writing process of comedy. The next get-together for the Writers Block is at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
And, yes, you may laugh. But they do use words such as conclave and colloquia. They take funny seriously.
Of the chief forms of comedy, the rarest in Milwaukee is sketch.
We’ve got plenty of standup and improv. But sketch shows have been less frequent. There’s been Sketch 22 twice a year, and Broadminded comedy with their latest production, “Jerks!” scheduled for the last two weekends of November.
Of course, sketch comedy is featured in the Milwaukee Comedy Festival and the Variety Hour Happy Hour and Retro Comedy Night.
More recently, Crouch Comedy has emerged, with a debut performance at a Comedy Arcade Show to kick off the 2013 Comedy Fest. Crouch has another show in the works for December.
Earlier this year, Scott Heaton, of Homegrown Electric Circus, better known for its improv, did a sketch show. Now, Sally Arenberg has tapped Scott and his Circus mates Josh Barto and Evan Koepnick as well as broadminded’s Megan McGee to present a whole new show, which Sally is directing, called ”It Was Embarrassing, So Don’t Ask.”
From Facebook: “Are they laughing with you? Or at you? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. You’ll have to find out at an evening of sketch comedy among the talented cast.”
Weeks away from her bachelor’s degree in acting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Sally acknowledges that her show fills a bit of a void for sketch comedy. It also is a change of pace, she says from the acting program’s focus on classical theater.
“Comedy is also a big challenge for actors. I think it takes a really talented actor to have the ability to make an audience laugh,” Sally says, and adds, “It’s way different directing comedy. But it’s cool to have this opportunity for other actors too.”
Those actors include:
- Alissa Kluever
- Derrion Brown
- Courtney Howe
- Erika Kirkstein-Zastrow
- Kris Anton
- Keiandra Honeysucker and
- Jeremy Berson
The performances are at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7 through Saturday, Nov. 9, and 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 10, at 1925 E. Kenilworth Place.
Allison Mcmahon is the assistant director, and the other writers are Dan Perlstein and Joey Sullivan.
General admission is $10. Click here for tickets.
We chuckled recently at a Facebook post by Milwaukee comedian Mario Robinson, in which he asked his father what he would do with a time machine and was answered: I would miss you.
While not exactly a time machine, you’ll get a bonus hour this weekend. Because Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 3, and you have to set your clocks back one hour. That’s why.
So sometime this weekend use that extra 60 minutes like the precious gift it is.
Here’s a suggestion: The Milwaukee Comedy Standup Showcase.
It’s at 8:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1, at the Karma Bar & Lounge, 600 E. Ogden Ave., and is a production of the Milwaukee-based Caste of Killers Comedy Collective
From Facebook: “This comedian-run, independently-produced comedy show that started with a couple of funny guys and a microphone has grown into a full-fledged professional comedy extravaganza. The Caste of Killers showcase only the freshest and brightest comedy acts.”
Among the talent on display will be:
- Tom Grimm
- Liza Marie
- Chastity Washington
Click here for half-price early-bird tickets. Or pay $10 at the door.
It’s time well spent.
- Brian Aldridge
- Chastity Washington
- Eric Thorson and
- Scott Tolaney
Milwaukee has four very vertical comedians adept at putting audiences very horizontal with laughter.
It’s an improvisational group that calls itself Tall Boys. They are Erik Koconis, Robby McGhee, Lee Rowley and James Boland. Individually, they have an embarrassing wealth of comedy experience. Collectively, they’re unpredictably clever. That’s the wonder of improv.
It just so happens that James, by day, is an educator at Milwaukee’s Tamarack Waldorf School, which happens to be starting a high school next year. To help raise awareness and funds for the high school, the Tall Boys are performing at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, at Tamarack Waldorf, 1150 E. Brady St.
Suggested donations are $10 but, of course, we use the word “donation,” which suggests you have discretion to be generous.
Not only will the Tall Boys (coached by imrpov impresario Jared Stepp) perform, but they will feature the standup comedy, the deadpan brilliance of Ryan Lowe.
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.
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.