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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Laughing Stock: We need clones

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 1:00 AM

This is black belt comic Anna Valenzuela who’s performing at The O on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the same time Cristel Alonzo is performing at the Rialto. We need clones. - ANNAVALENZUELA.COM
  • annavalenzuela.com
  • This is black belt comic Anna Valenzuela who’s performing at The O on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the same time Cristel Alonzo is performing at the Rialto. We need clones.
CBCTAC presents Anna Valenzuela

“Latinas make 54 cents to every white male dollar, which is why I have to take a roll of toilet paper from every business I enter for rest of my life.”

So tweeted Anna Valenzuela recently, making us spew our coffee while holding up a mirror to the privilege in our white feminism. We can expect a whole set of such darkly colorful insights, delivered with authentic warmth and much laughter, at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 7 at The O. Tickets are $5 via Eventbrite.

A legit black belt in karate, Valenzuela slayed the field with snaps on a recent Comedy Central Roast Battle. She appears regularly at the Comedy Store and The Improv and was a favorite at Second City’s Los Angeles Diversity in Comedy Festival. She also hosts two podcasts: 12 Questions, an in-depth look at sobriety, and Bruja-ja, where three Latinas dish on all things Latinx.

A Los Angelean, Valenzuela will be the first touring headliner featured in the cheekily titled comedy show series Cunts Being Cunts Taking About Cunts. Organizers Mo Urban and Steena Salido have lately shortened it to CBCTAC in print, presumably for convenience, because: Why else?

The show opens with an improv set by AllReddy, comprising Allana Erickson-Lopez of Unscrewed Theatre and Katherine Morter. The lineup also includes Phoenician Alice Valpey and Tucson comics Andrea Salazar, Chinna Garza, Em Bowen and Kathie Hedrick.

As at every CBCTAC show, feminine hygiene products will be collected for Project Period, a program of the YWCA of Southern Arizona.

Cristela Alonzo visits with her idol, Dolores Huerta - CRISTELAALONZO
  • cristelaalonzo
  • Cristela Alonzo visits with her idol, Dolores Huerta
Cristela Alonzo: My Affordable Care Act

Cristela Alonza performs at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 7, at the Rialto Theatre. Tickets are $19 to $36 at rialtotheatre.com.

Alonzo is comedy’s answer to Dolores Huerta, her idol. Her website, cristelaalonzo.com, devotes as much space to her causes as to her comedy. She writes, “I am a first-generation American born to an undocumented mother that taught me to love this country. I believe it is my duty to give back and fight so that everyone can get the same thing my family got: a chance.”

And then she quotes Huerta. “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”

Alonzo created her own bully pulpit five years ago with Cristela, a network sitcom that she wrote, produced and starred in herself. Soon after, she began guest-hosting the daytime roundtable show, The View. In 2017, she became the first Latina lead in a Pixar film, voicing the part of Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3. Lower Classy, her first standup special, is streaming on Netflix.

Last month a Simon & Shuster imprint published her book, Music to My Years: A Mixtape Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up. The stories reveal her vulnerability and her challenges, like the tap shoes she made for herself with bottle caps, and how standup comedy helped her process her grief when her mother died.

When not doing comedy, Alonzo devotes her time to activism around immigration, universal healthcare, social justice, HIV AIDS awareness and prevention, reproductive rights, Special Olympics and LUPE, La Union del Pueblo Entero, founded by Huerta with César Chávez. She’s on their board.

From the struggles she sees in others and in her own life, Alonzo crafts comedy that welcomes us into her world with the light of her humanity.

Mishka Shubaly at The Wench

Comedy at the Wench breaks its open-mic format at 7 p.m. Monday, December 9, to bring us comedian and pan-genius Mishka Shubaly.

Best known as a writer and musician, Shubaly has the wits and the wit to have turned a self-made disaster of a life into a livelihood. His childhood broke his heart, youth was a struggle and he was an alcoholic by the time he graduated college at 15. Yet at 22, he received the Dean’s Fellowship from the Master’s Writing Program at Columbia.

A dissolute life ensued, yielding six record albums, one with Brooklyn’s goth, post-punk band, Freshkills. Shubaly’s six Kindle Singles all have been best sellers. In 2016, Public Affairs published his memoir, I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You: A Life on the Low Road. He also teaches writing at the Yale Writers Conference. Luckily, he got sober at 32, inspired by marathon running.

The Wench show also features Jake Flores. Not to be reductive but we’re running out of space. Flores’ website URL says it all: feraljokes.com Reservations are $5, or $10 for preferred seating in the show room. These special shows at The Surly Wench have been selling out, so we recommend reservations via donate@wenchcomedy.com on PayPal or @wenchcomedy on Venmo.

Arroyo Café Radio

David Fitzsimmons is having a busy weekend. Last week we wrote about his project for fellow old folks, Still Standing up. Featuring five comedians over 60, the show makes fun of things only old people know about. Take that, millennial smarty-pantses.

To recap, Still Standing Up is at 6 p.m., Sunday, December 8, at Laffs Comedy Caffe. Reservations are $10 via Eventbrite.com.

On December 7, though, at 1 p.m., Fitzsimmons hosts another epic production of his annual Arroyo Café Holiday Radio Show at the Rialto Theatre. More than 20 local celebrities perform a loosely scripted radio play around musical guests and other entertainments and surprises, Including Wilbur Wildcat.

It’s all staged in an old-time radio show format with an iconic reconstruction of a ‘40s microphone. Comedians in the cast include KXCI’s Bridgitte Thum, Mike Sterner, Josiah Osego, Elliot Glicksman, Jay Taylor, Priscilla Fernandez, David Membrila and Bobby Rich. Tickets are $20 via Eventbrite.com. Proceeds benefit three local organizations that help immigrants and Arizona Public Media, which broadcasts the show on Christmas Eve.

Lots More Comedy

Friday, Dec. 6: Standup with Geoff Asmus featuring Brian Mollica at 7 and 9:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Improv 201 and 301 Student showcases at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox featuring rugby captain Kristin Pope at 9 p.m. at TIM Comedy Theatre (TIM)($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m., Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).
Saturday, Dec. 7: Standup with Michael Carbonara at 7 p.m. at Desert Diamond Casino ($27.50 to $47.50) Geoff Asmus featuring Brian Mollica at 7 and 9:30 p.m., at Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Ugly Sweater Improv and Pilot Season at 7:30 p.m., and the 101 Student Showcase and The Dating Scene at 9 p.m. at TIM ($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. and musical improv with From the Top at 9 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).
Monday, Dec. 9: Standup with John Waters at 8 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre ($33 to $110) and Mishka Shubaly with Jake Flores at The Surly Wench.

Free Open Mics

Sunday, Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m., The O, and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy at The Music Box Lounge.
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m., The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m. at The Mint.
Thursday, Dec.12, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Laughing Stock: O what fun!

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Rod Housley magically turns mystery into comedy at the O. - ROD WAYNE HOUSLEY ON FACEBOOK
  • Rod Wayne Housley on Facebook
  • Rod Housley magically turns mystery into comedy at the O.
Comedy magic for grownups

Forget Houdini. Magic doesn’t have to be about dark and dangerous arts. As Rod Housley tells it, all magic is about fooling people. He believes that fooling people should be fun to watch, and even more fun to be fooled.

Housley has entertained thousands at conventions and special events over the more than 20 years he’s performed as a professional magician around the country. He’s also won more than 20 awards in magic including Arizona’s Close-up Magician of the Year, Arizona’s Stage Magician of the Year, and the People’s Choice Award.

He will treat Tucson comedy fans to two unusually intimate club performances at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22 and 23 at The O. Reservations are $10 and $15 via intimatewonders.wellattended.com.

Housley began creating comedy magic as a child to cope with his sister’s death. “I kind of became the entertainer in my family,” he says. “Magic does the same thing comedy does. Telling a joke, there’s usually a left turn where you don't see it coming. It makes your brain fire in a new place. Magic creates that wonder. When you see something (surprising), people automatically laugh.”

Asked what makes him a magician's magician, Housley says his technique is like that of a standup comedian justifying the payoff to a joke. “I create a ‘why’ for every trick. Most magicians just do a trick and then they do another trick.

“I might do the trick a thousand times and then, suddenly, I'm like, ‘Oh! That's how I should present that. That will resonate with the audience’.

“I try to create magic that leaves the audience in a better place, where anything's possible and things are amazing and you're allowed to laugh. That's the childlike state of wonder that I think magic can create.”

Dreading Thanksgiving dinner?

The O’s Pre-Thanksgiving Extravaganza on Wednesday, Nov. 27 has some potential to stuff you with enough comedy that your uncle’s politics won’t give you indigestion. It’s worth a try.

Stephanie Lyonga lights up the lineup with electric energy and language unfit for reverent family holidays. Bilingual comedians Andrea Salazar and Tony Kanani Bruhn perform in English but make audience members feel at home in either language. Rounding out the show are Daryl Graves and two popular Phoenix comics, Glendon McGee and Derek McFarland.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $5 at the door.

What are you doing New Year’s?

Laffs Comedy Caffe is now taking reservations for folks wanting to welcome 2020 with a smile.

Ron Feingold headlines shows at 7 and 10:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 31. Reservations are $30 plus tax and tip. The 7 p.m. show includes dinner, and at the 10:30 show, a dessert buffet sustains revelers in the count down to the new year’s debut. May it give us all something to look forward to.

More Laughs!

Friday, Nov. 22: Politically musical Standup with Randy Rainbow at 7:30 p.m., Fox Tucson Theatre ($41.50 to $87.50). Country musical standup with Rodney Carrington at Desert Diamond Casino ($30 to $45). Standup with Greg Romero Wilson at new winter times, 7 and 9:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Shatfan and The Lobbyists at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox at 9 p.m., Tucson Improv Movement (TIM)($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. and Fourth Friday Free Form Friday at 9 p.m., Unscrewed Theatre ($5 and $8).

Saturday, Nov. 23: Standup with Trevor Noah at 9:30 p.m., Tucson Music Hall ($47 to $93) and Greg Romero Wilson at 7 and 9:30 p.m., at Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Third Beats and Harold Omega at 7:30 p.m., and Pilot Season and Standup 101 at 9 p.m. at TIM ($5). Uncensored improv with NBOJU at 7:30 p.m. and uncensored Tellabration!, a nationwide event hosted in Tucson by Tellers of Tales at 9 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8). High camp Retro Game Show Night, BattleMimes, at 7 p.m. at Club Congress ($12, Eventbrite).

Free Open Mics

Sunday, Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m., The O, and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy at The Music Box Lounge.
Wednesday, Nov 20, 7 p.m., The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m. at The Mint.
Thursday, Nov. 21, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Laughing Stock: New! New! New!

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Sean Finnerty opens up Dillinger Brewing Company to comedy on the Craft Craft Comedy Tour. - COURTESY OF JAKE FROMM
  • courtesy of Jake Fromm
  • Sean Finnerty opens up Dillinger Brewing Company to comedy on the Craft Craft Comedy Tour.

The Screening Room hosts the first Second Saturday comedy show.

With earlier sunsets on the way, Tucson’s most popular monthly downtown event, Second Saturdays, opens up to comedy in the cozy indoors of The Screening Room.

Chris Quinn, host of the weekly Wednesday open mic at the venue, will host The Second Saturday Comedy Showcase at 7 p.m., beginning November 9. The show is $5 and recommended for ages 18 and over.

Ten local comedians perform in the debut. Headlining are Autumn Horvat, Dom DiTolla and Amber Frame. Also featured are Tony Kanani Bruhn, Eli W.T., Paul Fox, Rich Gary, Tim Maggard and Stephanie Lyonga.

Dillinger Brewing Company hosts Sean Finnerty

Is this the first time Dillinger Brewing Company has hosted a comedy show? They’re getting off to a great start with Sean Finnerty and Kevin Casey White on the Craft Comedy Tour. The show is at 8 pm, Tuesday, Nov. 12. Reservations are $15 via Eventbrite.com.

Finnerty considers it his highest honor to have been the first Irish comedian to perform on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. He was selected for Comedy Central’s Up Next competition in 2013, and in 2014 he won a competition to open for WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. Every year since has brought ever more impressive notes to his biography, leading to his current status as the number-one ranked roast comic in NYC.

Kevin Casey White was indelibly pegged in The Chicago Tribune as “a physical expression of an exclamation point.” The Chicago Reader crowned his podcast, Arguments and Grievances, “Best Variety Show.” It could hardly be named more appropriately for our anxiety-bound era. White got his start as founder of Bare Knuckle Comedy, the longest-running indie comedy showcase in St. Louis. He recently moved to NYC.

With comedy shows at Borderlands Brewing Company, Crooked Tooth Brewery, Corbett Brewery and Black Rock Brewery, Tucson, not-surprisingly, is ahead of the curve. The Craft Comedy Tour website says its aim is to “change the comedy landscape” by providing affordable comedy in locally-owned breweries, to celebrate their success as “pillars of their communities.” Hear, hear!

KMKR launches Tucson Comedy Radio

The Clash and Black Flag aside, our personal favorite punk legacy is the DIY ethic. It’s what we love about the whole maker movement. We particularly celebrated Xerocraft, a maker space for artists, in the historic Steinfeld Warehouse.

KMKR radio, housed in a closet-sized space at Xerocraft, allows anyone to broadcast what they create. Its signal covers only the downtown area, but the station is an on-ramp for podcasting, the new must-have techno skill that allows audio artists to be heard around the clock around the globe.

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, KMKR (the MKR stands for maker. Get it?), opened a new frontier for Tucson comedy with the first episode of Tucson Comedy Presents.

Phil Gordon, the show’s founder and director, says it will be broadcast on Wednesdays from 9 to 10 p.m. He hopes to cover the 10 to 11 p.m. hour as well by the first of the year.

A rotating cast of local comedians will host the broadcast. Gordon is the founder of Laughing Liberally. Dave Margolis created and hosts the semi-monthly Casa de Comedy showcase in Marana. Roxy Merrari co-founded and hosts the Comedy the Wench weekly open mic and monthly themed showcase.

The team would like to add more hosts to the rotation. Contact Gordon via Facebook to apply.
All three hosts have local radio experience. Gordon worked as a news reporter at KCTV-TV in Wyoming and as station manager at WXAV-FM in Chicago. According to Gordon, “We’re going to feature news about Tucson’s vibrant comedy scene, interviews with local and touring comedians, and a current performance calendar. It’ll be chock full of laughs from classic comedy bits to live in-studio performances. We’re going focus on Tucson’s rich spoken word culture including stand- up, Improv and storytelling.”

More Laughs!

Continuing through Saturday, Nov. 9: Tucson Comedy Arts Festival featuring improv, standup, improv for kids and improv in Spanish at TIM Comedy Theatre ($5 each show). Visit tucsonimprov.com/tcaf for the complete schedule.

Friday, Nov. 8: Standup with Daniel Tosh, 8 p.m., Tucson Music Hall ($47-$77), and Sid Davis with DJ Sandhu, 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m., and uncensored Freeform Friday at 9 p.m., Unscrewed Theatre.

Saturday, Nov. 9: Standup with Sid Davis, featuring DJ Sandhu, 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50); Carcajadas: Una Noche de Comedia (todo en español), 7:30 p.m., TIM Comedy Theatre ($5) and Kristine Levine and Friends presents Butch Lord, 10 p.m., Circle S Saloon. Improv at 6:00 p.m. with Unscrewed Theater Family Hour featuring Comic Chaos and From the Top followed at 9 p.m. with NBOJU Uncensored at Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8)

Free Open Mics
Sunday, Nov. 10, 6:30 p.m., The O and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy at The Music Box Lounge.
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m., The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m. at The Mint.
Thursday, Nov. 14, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Laughing Stock: All kinds of funny

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2019 at 12:27 PM

Lisa Landry kicks things up a notch at the Surly Wench. - OFFTHEHOOKCOMEDYCLUB.BLOGSPOT.COM
  • offthehookcomedyclub.blogspot.com
  • Lisa Landry kicks things up a notch at the Surly Wench.

Lisa Landry at the Wench

Comedy at the Wench steps up its game with its first booked national act, Lisa Landry, at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 23. The show is also the series’ first for which advance tickets are available. They are $10 on Eventbrite.

Tucson comedy regulars know Landry from her headlining sets at Laffs Comedy Caffe. At the Wench she’ll top the bill of the club’s annual Cat Show, featuring cat-themed outfits and laughs in tribute to the next best pet to a dog.

It seems impossible that the life of a popular comedian with cover-girl looks could be anything like ours, but apparently it is. She nails the nexus of daughterhood, motherhood, the grind in general and the mixed legacy of her Louisiana birthplace with line after line of laugh-makers. It’s pretty much exactly what’s in our own 21st-century-afflicted brains, if we were that funny.

Landry uses swear words like a first language, which is to say deftly and where nothing else will do. She won her stripes at the crucible of New York comedy clubs, but her comedy is as grounded as a Costco. She’s had a Comedy Central special, headlined shows in Las Vegas, appeared on a dozen TV shows and released four CDs.

Comedy at the Wench is now in its fourth year with host Roxy Merrari at the helm. The Cat Show is a favorite in the series of special shows that take place on the fourth or last Monday every month. The club’s weekly Monday open mics are free, and past special shows, featured on the fourth or last Monday of the month, have been funded by audience donations.

Kristine Levine and Friends

Tucson’s most famous comedian Kristine Levine opens a new venue for greater Tucson comedy at 10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21. She’ll headline and host a show at Circle S Saloon in Marana. Tickets are $10 at the door or $5 in advance at (520) 682-5377.

Levine is best-known locally as Frank Brinsley’s partner on KLPX’s popular World -Famous Frank Show. She performed on several episodes of Portlandia and has guested at comedy festivals all over the U.S.

Last Friday, Last Laughs

This popular free monthly comedy series continues at Hotel McCoy on Friday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. In recent months the crowd has regularly overflowed into the patio and an adjacent room so we recommend arriving by 7:30. This month’s lineup includes, among others, Ashley Tappan, Tony Bruhn, Jerry Robin, Leo Skrzypczak, Mo Urban and Jarrod Martin.

Polo Ceniseros and Ryan Talmo at The Screening Room

Los Angeles comedy scene regulars Polo Ceniseros headlines a show at The Screening room with fellow angeleno Ryan Talmo at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27. Tickets are $10 via Eventbrite.com. Rich Gary (Battle at the Roast Room, Keep Tucson Sketchy) hosts the show, which also features Chris Quinn (Open Mic Night at The Screening Room) and Dom DiTolla.

Hot Ticket: Keep Tucson Sketchy

If you were shut out of the first two, standing room only Keep Tucson Sketchy shows, they’ve heard you. The Saturday, Sept. 28 edition offers two showtimes: 7 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $15, but $10 in advance via keep-tucson-sketchy.ticketleap.com/ktsep3/.

Tucson Improv Movement (TIM) cast member Amanda Tennyson hosts the event with includes funny videos as well as hilarious sketches, written, produced and performed by a cast of more than 40 talented Tucsonans. Local musician Amanda Rochelle, also a TIM member, provides a musical break and DJ Sonario plays music for dancing in the aisles.

More Laughs

Friday, Sept. 20: Standup with Ben Roy, feat. Monica Nevi, at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Constable, Three’s Company and Chocolate Wheatie Things at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox at 9 p.m. at Tucson Improv Movement (TIM) ($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. at Unscrewed Theatre ($5 and $7).

Saturday, Sept. 21: Comedia standup en español with Franco Escamilla at Fox Tucson Theatre ($42 to $128). Standup with Joe Koy at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Tucson Music Hall ($40 to $55). Standup with Ben Roy, feat. Monica Nevi, at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with The Openers and Spanish language team Como Se Dice at 7:30 p.m., followed by Round 2 of the 3 v 3 Tournament at 9 p.m. at TIM, ($5). Family-friendly improv with NBOJU at 7:30 p.m. followed by House Team Double Feature at 9 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).

Sunday, Sept. 22: Free open mic at 8 p.m. at Chuckleheads in Bisbee.

Tuesday, Sept. 24: Free open mic at 6 p.m. at The Music Box

Wednesday, Sept. 25: Free open mics at 7 p.m. at The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m. at The Mint.

Thursday, Sept. 26: Standup with Tom Segura at The Fox Tucson Theatre ($43 to $79). Free open mics at 8 p.m. at Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m. at Rockabilly Grill.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Laughing Stock: Funny how food goes with comedy.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 12:01 PM

The Tennessee Tramp visits Laffs for the long weekend. - CINNAMON STUDIOS
  • Cinnamon Studios
  • The Tennessee Tramp visits Laffs for the long weekend.

Oh, that Tennessee Tramp!

National touring comedian Janet Williams has brightened some of my favorite holiday weekends at Laff’s Comedy Caffe. Last year her set tickled me so that I bought an extra LeCave’s donut the next morning.

Like me, Williams is up there in years. But so is Dolly Parton! Their boss attitudes and wicked sense of humor are alike enough they could be cousins. Dolly would wear Williams’ handle, the Tennessee Tramp, with pride, but Williams would laugh at the idea of all of Parton’s cosmetic surgery.

Williams’ comedy is as natural as daily life, spun by a force of nature. Her subject matter encompasses all ages, genders, and ethnic groups, and she’s a USO favorite. She’s performed for dozens of fundraisers and appeared on two seasons of BET Comic View.

She’ll be at Laffs Comedy Caffe at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and at 8 p.m., Sunday. Reservations are $12.50 and $17.50 at laffstucson.com. There’s also a two-item minimum.

Because connections are what Tucson is all about . . .

Tucson downtown’s biggest night of the month will include a sampler of Tucson’s amazing indie comedy scene at The Screening Room starting in November. Producer Chris Quinn says his new Second Saturday series will feature two-hour, booked events with all local comedians. Admission will be $5.

In the way of so many Tucson things, the opportunity arose from serendipitous connection of people and inspiration.

Quinn’s best friend, Tyron Engle is a sound engineer and business partner in Cquinn-Ty. Engle owns an eponymous recording studio and handles sound for The Strada Company’s Reel Tucson show at The Screening Room. Reel Tucson, featuring shorts by local filmmakers, is run by drag queens Rew Bee Renard (Andrew Baughman) and Mary Jane (Alexander Robinson). Quinn knows Baughman as his wife’s former co-worker at Bookman’s.

In May, Reel Tucson featured comedy shorts and included a standup comedy show. It was such a success that The Strada Company began looking for other ways to bring comedy into the organization’s orbit. Engle encouraged the leadership to talk to Quinn, who had been thinking along the same lines.

“I've known (Baughman and Robinson) for almost five years,” Quinn says, “and they're like, ‘Hey, we're putting on a comedy show!’ And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I do comedy.’ And they're like, ‘We know! You're the first name on the list.’ I was like, ‘Perfect’.

In June, Quinn, a relative newcomer in Tucson’s comedy scene, launched Open Mic Comedy Wednesdays at The Screening Room. “The first few mics had 12 to 15 people, which we were anticipating because it was brand new,” Quinn Says. “The last three shows we’ve had 20. We’ve gotten the numbers we were hoping for and we've been getting a bunch of great comics out.”
He and Engle believe there will be plenty to keep the Second Saturday crowds laughing between the bands and food trucks.

Let’s do this again! Comedy at Tony’s Deli

This party was so good in July, they ran out of beer. But there was still plenty of all kinds of pasta for the crowd jammed under the striped tent out back. A great time was had by all, like a family reunion with no kids, where everybody’s laughing, and you all get along.

Organizer and host Roy Lee Reynolds promises another big helping of the same at 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31. The lineup will comprise Andrew Scott, Rebecca Tingley, Paul Fox and local superstar Pauly Casillas.

A $15 ticket includes dinner and the show. Tickets are at outlaw-comedy.ticketleap.com/comedy-at-tonys. Reynolds posted on Facebook, “If 25 people pre-order tickets . . . then Rebecca Tingley, Paul Fox, Andrew Scott and I will post a video of us telling our favorite street jokes while eating wings doused in The Last Dab (hot sauce).” You may still get in under the wire.

Last Friday, Last Laughs

Hotel McCoy’s free monthly comedy series continues at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30. The line-up includes Andrea Salazar, Joel Martin, Drake Horner, Chinna Garza, Em Bowen, Mariah Dickson, Jacob Breckenridge, Linda Ray (me) and Pauly Casillas. There’s usually a food truck

More Laughs

Thursday: Free open mics at 8 p.m. at Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m. at Rockabilly Grill.
Friday: Sebastian Maniscalco,(sold out) at Desert Diamond Casino. Improv with The Riveters and Shatfan at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox featuring Kristel Foster at 9 p.m. at Tucson Improv Movement ($5). Improv with NBOJU (Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed) at 7:30 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($8 adults, $5 children).

Saturday: Improv with The Game Show Show and Laugh Tracks at 7:30 p.m. and the Dating Scene and The Family of Things at 9 p.m. at Tucson Improv Movement($5). Improv with family friendly NBOJU at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($8 adults, $5 children).

Sunday: Free Open Mic at 8 p.m. at Chuckleheads in Bisbee.

Monday: Free Open Mic at 7 p.m. at The Surly Wench.

Wednesday: Free open mic at 7 p.m. at The Screening Room.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Laughing Stock: Still More Comedy at The O, Fitzsimmons Spotlights Local Laughs

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2019 at 5:14 PM

Bruce Jingles, here, plus Amy Miller, Caitlin Weierhauser, Steve Hernandez help establish The O as a comedy venue. - BRUCE JINGLES ON FACEBOOK
  • Bruce Jingles on Facebook
  • Bruce Jingles, here, plus Amy Miller, Caitlin Weierhauser, Steve Hernandez help establish The O as a comedy venue.
Andy Andrist redux, Bruce Jingles, Amy Miller, Caitlin Weierhauser at the O

Bruce Jingles brings his smart observations, eloquent storytelling and pitch-perfect comedic timing to The O on June 1. He’s the second half of a weekend double-header doubling down on The O’s commitment to creating an uptown jazz and comedy club.

The Unbookables’s Andy Andrist headlines at 8 p.m. on May 31. Tickets for his show, a free-associative trip through his kaleidoscopic mind with side-trips to the floor, may still be available for $8 via Eventbrite.com, or you can pay $10 at the door.

It’s Jingles’ first visit to Tucson, and he performs at both 7 pm and 9 pm on June 1. Tickets are $10 via Eventbrite and $15 at the door. A favorite in Southern California’s stand-up comedy stomping grounds, Jingles plies relatable tales of everyday life with, for example, law enforcement, stereotyping, and weed. He drives them cheerily home with impersonations of people audience members may recognize from their own lives.

Jingles is a popular podcast guest and a fixture on USO tours. He’s been seen on ABC, VH1, TMZ, NUVOTV, and two Showtime specials, and he appeared in the 2008 dark comedy Driving Bill Crazy. His live comedy album, Bruce Jingles: Comic, released by RBC Records, can be found on iTunes, Pandora and Spotify.

The O keeps rolling on Wednesday, June 5 with Amy Miller, Caitlin Weierhauser and Steve Hernandez. According to her bio, headliner Miller was one of Comedy Central’s Up Next comics for 2018, and was a breakout favorite in Season 9 of Last Comic Standing. She’s also appeared on the Adam Carolla Show, Viceland and the Doug Loves Movies comedy podcast. Most recently she guested on the Stephen Colbert Show.

Miller describes her comedy as “personal, political, and 100 percent authentic.” She earned her comedy stripes in the Bay Area, but began attracting more widespread attention when she moved to Portland’s rich and even more diverse comedy scene.

She won the title Portland’s Funniest in a 2015 competition sponsored by Helium Comedy Club and was voted Portland’s Funniest Comedian in both 2013 and 2015 by readers of the independent Willamette Week. She was the first woman to top either, let alone both, of those contests.

Her album, Solid Gold, is available on the prestigious Kill Rock Stars label. Her podcast, Who’s Your God, with fellow O linep member Steve Hernandez, is at libsyn.com. She’s performed at numerous comedy festivals, including SXSW, Bridgetown, Big Sky and the San Francisco Sketchfest.

L.A.-based Weierhauser describes her comedy as social commentary with “coach vibes and … unhinged enthusiasm, often political, frequently personal and entirely too tantrum-prone.” Naturally she was cast in a Disney movie. It’s Timmy Failure, being readied for the 2020 debut of the new Disney streaming service, Disney +.

Weierhauser was voted one of the top three performers at Big Sky Comedy Fest and has performed for Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot, and the All Jane Comedy Fest.

Also from L.A., Steve Hernandez founded the popular LA bar show, Chatterbox Comedy Night. He was featured as a Field Correspondent on I Love You, America! With Sarah Silverman and appeared in Comedy Central’s Corporate.


Local First Arizona kind of spells LAF

Local businesses, meet local comedy. David Fitzsimmons makes the introductions at Borderlands Brewery June 5. - DAVID FITZSIMMONS ON FACEBOOK
  • David Fitzsimmons on Facebook
  • Local businesses, meet local comedy. David Fitzsimmons makes the introductions at Borderlands Brewery June 5.
Tucson’s favorite cartoonist and raconteur David Fitzsimmons hosts a comedy show at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5 at Borderlands Brewery. Admission is $5 at the door or in advance via squareup.com.

The event wraps up a Local First Arizona Roadshow hosted from 4 to 7 pm by the Rialto Theatre at its offshoot entertainment venue 191 Toole. It’s at the other end of the block from Borderlands.

LFA-member the Comedy Alliance of Tucson (full disclosure: I am its founder) organized the comedy show to include, besides Fitzsimmons: Roxy Merrari, host of Comedy at the (Surly) Wench; Monte Benjamin, known for clean comedy rooted in his experiences as a black American; Matt Ziemak, co-host of the monthly Brew Ha Ha comedy show at Borderlands; Mo Urban, stand-up comedy coach at Tucson Improv Movement, founder of a half-dozen local comedy shows and frequent guest in Arizona comedy festivals; Alex Kack, a leader in CAT, producer of this show and host of several local comedy shows, and Josiah Osego, a popular guest in comedy shows in Phoenix and all over Southern Arizona.

Ever the joker, Borderlands Brewing Company co-owner Michael Mallozzi says, “Running a business is no joke! But that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh! Join us for the Local First Arizona Roadshow to support your local businesses because you can’t spell laugh without LFA.” (Just don’t overthink it.)

Michael Peel, Southern Arizona Director of Local First Arizona, says the LFA Roadshows, which are free to the public, are a new program to get business members out in the community, like farmers’ markets promoting products and services. Peel says, “We create fun and engaging ways to connect local businesses to the community on a regular basis and keep more dollars in our local economy. 

Peel and Mallozzi have been advisers in the formation of the Comedy Alliance of Tucson (CAT), seeing it as a means to expand the local business sector using comedy as a draw. Since it was established last year, CAT has worked with local businesses to create more opportunities for comedy in Tucson, promoting existing shows and venues while encouraging new ones. The organization promoted its first CATcomedy520 LOL crawl last January and currently is networking and pursuing initiatives with FEATS-AZ, the Marana Chamber of Commerce, Visit Tucson and TEN WEST as well as Local First.

Peel says, “Expect different themes and a rotating cast of LFA members and partners each month spotlighting and celebrating what makes our community so unique.” 

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Laughing Stock: Wear your roller skates on Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Gilbert Gottfried's already sold out his early show at Laffs Comedy Cafe on Wednesday, Feb. 20. - ARLENE GOTTFRIED
  • Arlene Gottfried
  • Gilbert Gottfried's already sold out his early show at Laffs Comedy Cafe on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
Congratulations to all involved in the first CATcomedy520 LOL Crawl. Mark your calendars for the next one, Sunday, Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, 2020. Meanwhile, follow CATcomedy520 on Facebook and CATcomedy.org on the web for Tucson comedy shows.

This month, we’re being treated to a string of top national standup comics.

Ali Wong: The Milk and Money Tour comes to the Tucson Convention Center at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16. Wong catapulted to the national scene with her 2016 Netflix feature Baby Cobra. In 2017, she drew record crowds to eight shows at the San Francisco Masonic. In 2018, she voiced and produced Netflix’s animated Tuca and Bertie, starred in a Netflix movie she co-wrote, and wrote a book coming out on Random House this year. Tickets are $37 to $63 via Ticketmaster.

Brian Regan performs at the Fox Tucson Theatre at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16. Vanity Fair is a fan, and Entertainment Weekly calls him “your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian.” In 2018 he delivered the first Netflix special of his 30-year career, tenderly named "Nunchuks and Flamethrowers." Regan is a frequent guest on The Tonight Show and appeared regularly on Letterman.Tickets are $37.50 to $74.50 via Foxtucsontheatre.ticketforce.com

Fried Chicken and Latkes with Rain Pryor features at Leo Rich Theatre at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16. Legendary TV producer Norman Lear is adapting for television this one-woman show created by his casting director, Rain Pryor. The daughter of comedian Richard Pryor, she is half Jewish and all entertainment.Tickets are $10 via SquareUp.com

Brew Haha Comedy Showcase Presents: Black Chicks and Pink D*cks! at 8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 18. This collective of top black female comics promises “A stand-up comedy show featuring open minded strong black women who are coming for your inheritance.” They’ve won top reviews in their travels. Tickets are $10 via SquareUp.com.

Tucsoncomedy.com Presents Gilbert Gottfried at Laffs Comedy Caffe in two Wednesday shows, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Update: the 7 p.m. show is sold out.) This mean, dirty and relentlessly hilarious jokester was the subject of documentary last year that let fans see his softer, more human side. No worries! The mellow Gottfried won’t be showing up at Laff’s. Gottfried’s long-time fans who may have caught his act only on TV or in arenas can enjoy the 360 degree Gottfried experience in the uniquely intimate setting of Laff’s, where even newcomers to comedy can watch the master up close. Tickets are $25 at Eventbrite.com

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Monday, February 11, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Tucson Craft Beer Crawl

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2019 at 11:21 AM

COURTESY TUCSON CRAFT BEER CRAWL
  • Courtesy Tucson Craft Beer Crawl
Here at the Tucson Weekly we are pretty excited that it's Arizona Beer Week. We are so excited that we had a whole special edition dedicated to breweries, brewers and brew! Check out our beer review, our cover story about all the love within the local brewing community, our full beer week calendar and more in this week's issue on stands now.

As you can see by our calendar, there are loads of events happening around town that celebrate all things beer, but we have your chance to attend one special event for free!

Enter for your chance to win two free tickets to the Tucson Craft Beer Crawl on Saturday, Feb. 16. This year is number five for the crawl which organizers describe as a bar-crawl-meets-beer-festival that takes over downtown. Gear up to sample beer from 30 breweries! 


Entrants must be 21+ to participate. 
COURTESY TUCSON CRAFT BEER CRAWL
  • Courtesy Tucson Craft Beer Crawl

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Staff Pick

Reveille Men's Chorus presents Snowed In!

Imagine being Snowed In over the holidays in Tucson. Experience snow on the saguaros through Pop, Jazz,… More

@ Leo Rich Theater Fri., Dec. 6, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sat., Dec. 7, 2-4 & 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 8, 2-4 p.m. 260 S. Church Ave.

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