For those in search of laughter or curious about the goings-on of the comedy scene in St. Louis, we will be making monthly recommendations of shows in (and near) the city. From sure-thing hilarious to fingers crossed, "Oh God! I hope this works," Funny Events is your connection to sketch, standup, improv and everything in between and out of the box.
Back when Bob & Tom could be heard on the morning airwaves, comedian Mark Sweeney was a regular guest. And while Bob & Tom have moved out of the St. Louis range, many of their comic descendants still make regular stops in our city. This month, one of those folks is the aforementioned Mark Sweeney. I hopped onto his website to see what his latest accomplishments were in the funny world and found myself scrolling though gravesite pics, which came with no explanation but "Some have links to Wikipedia. Fun as well as informative, that's my motto."
His comedy, though, is about story-telling, jovial enthusiasm in the Tom Arnold-esque "I just can't sit still" kind of way -- all of which is expressed by his animated facial expressions and body-in-motion elaborations. Sweeney will be at the Dubliner, which continues to prove an excellent room for comedy.
Chris Ward, who wouldn't call himself a comedian but wouldn't disagree if you said he was funny, is teaming up with Jeremy Essig, who certainly calls himself a comedian, to put on a live Game Show at the Heavy Anchor. Loser: A Live Action Game Show will be a test of the knowledge you acquired by sitting too close to the TV. It's a barrage of pop-culture, questioning you on music, video games, comic books and of course television, and unlike typical trivia endeavors it's not necessarily about what you know, but what you can do.
The show combines elements of Don't Forget the Lyrics, Pictionary and Nick Arcade. And they're still looking for contestants, so if you think you have what it takes or just want to have a good time on Thursday night, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the event on Facebook for more information.
A dream team of sorts has assembled in Chicago and is making the trip south down 55 for Bare Knuckle Comedy's June show, which as of last month has moved permanently to The Demo. Mike Lebovitz is headlining and will be backed by Joe McAdam, Marlena Rodriguez and Sam Norton.
Bare Knuckle is one of the more unique comedy outfits in St. Louis, combining elements of sketch, improv and of course standup in every show. It began years back at the Sci-Fi Lounge with an audience that primarily consisted of working comics, and has grown up and out to be the longest-running comedy show in St. Louis (and now even boasts a regular show in Chicago).
But back to the comics, Mike Lebowitz is one of the Comedians You Should Know guys, and is as offbeat as he is on cue. He'll delight you with unorthodox stories and entertain you with his introspective approach on just how absurd we humans can be.
Brennan's is also continuing to book worthwhile comedy and is yet another place for out-of-towners to stop in on their pass through St. Louis. At the end of the month St. Louis native (but warrior of the road) Steve Poggi will be headlining the Purus Entertainment Lounge, with support from some of the funniest and hard-working guys in the city. Frankie Chubb, Charlie Winfrey and Jon Venegoni are also on the bill. This and show will be the first time you can purchase Poggi's latest (and second) album produced by the one and only Doug Stanhope. And it's safe to say if Stanhope supports it, it's not going to suck.
In the past several years Poggi has grown from a staple in the St. Louis scene to a stand out. These days it seems he's on the road as much as he is home, so the opportunity to catch him, especially in an atmosphere like the basement of Brennan's, is one you should not let pass by.
Brennan's is also home to the Falcon Punch Variety Show every other Wednesday; the next show is June 19.
Bill Burr has added a second show at the Pageant, and if you have the 33 bucks to drop on a ticket I strongly suggest doing so. He's one of the best in the business and he's got a brand new hour, and I think that's all you need to know. Oh and yes, he's that guy Kuby in Breaking Bad.