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 for 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.
O'Fallon Out Loud July 20 at Rendezvous Café and Wine 8:30PM / $10
It's a good thing Tom Shelton will be hosting O'Fallon Out Loud this month, because the three feature acts have a rambunctious way about them. Veteran Dan O'Sullivan has the prized headliner spot for the night and will likely make you laugh at something you're not so certain you should. Though not as sporadic as "Dan O," JC Sibala and Joe Lenig have a knack for sharing stories of their promiscuous adventures, and in a strange contrast, tales of their parents as well.
This show is definitely a change of pace for the regulars at Rendezvous; typically the bill is filled with clean comics who offer wholehearted chuckles and clever substitutions for curse words. Shelton is a perfect match to act as host. He's seasoned, certainly funny and will smooth the edges of what could be a coarse show.
Jilly's Comedy Showcase July 26 at Jilly's Steakhouse 8PM / $5
It's good to know that Josh Arnold is back in town, even if just for one night. He's a must-see on the St. Louis comedy circuit, and one whose shows in this city are growing few and far between on account of various other projects (like a movie!). Josh is headlining the Jilly's Steakhouse Showcase hosted by Bobby Jaycox, who recently took the cake in the Funny Bone's Standup Competition. Kenny Kinds who opened for Kamau W. Bell a few months back, is yet another staple in the scene; as is Tree Sanchez and Jeremy Hellwig, who too made it to the Funny Bone's final round.
Jilly's is one of those transformer venues that morphs into a comedy haven a very select few days a year. The crowd is as ready to laugh as they are to warn you of the dangers of drinking and driving (Jilly's is in High Ridge). It's a good room for comedy with the added bonus of offering both a steak and cigarette in the same sitting. Harold Night July 11 at The Improv Shop 8PM / Free!
Audience participation is not necessarily (rarely is it ever) or encouraged at what most call a comedy show. However, comedy is not just standup. It could be sketch, it could be improv and within those categories are a mess of other sub-categories. Think "indie rock" and all of its tributaries. And I bring this to your attention because improv is a comedic form that allows the audience to get involved without getting kicked out. Mosey upstairs at Pat's Bar and Grill on a Thursday night , find yourself a seat and a witty word, scenario or noise to contribute and wham! You've made it in the show. This Thursday the teams performing are Harrison Bergeron, Eliot Rosewater and Dresden. And by teams I mean a group of comics who will create a completely original comedy adventure based on audience suggestion.
Marlotti has more years to his comedy career than Mr. Jaycox has to his life. And so it goes in St. Louis comedy -- the young-guns get to rub elbows with the individuals who paved the road ahead of them... or at least left tracks in the grass.
[Disclosure: I am the producer for all Comedy in the Lou shows.]
The Dubliner Open Mic July 12 at The Dubliner 8:30 / $5
Yet another comedy open mic has been added to the St. Louis mix. Unlike the others, though, the Dubliner Open Mic comes with the Mother of All rewards for such a show. The crowd-chosen funniest comic receives more stage time and money. Yes, it's true: an open mic with a purpose and a promise. This truly is a rarity, especially in St. Louis.
The kickoff open mic will be hosted by Erik Anker and as stated just sentences before, the crowd-chosen funniest comedian wins a spot on the Feature Show Saturday, July 13. The open mic will continue to run on select Friday's throughout the summer; check the Dubliner's website for exact dates and announcements.
As an added bonus this month's Best of is offering a Do-Over portion to the post!
Do-Over 2: Bare Knuckle Comedy will again host a slew of comics at the Demo, the Narnia of the Atomic Cowboy, on July 14. Another slew from Chicago, they've got Drew Michael, Bill Cruz, Dan Friesen, Dan Drees and Andrew Smerker on the bill.
And finally, if you prefer keeping your comedians at a distance and spending more than $10 at the door; Jim Jeffries will be at the Pageant on July 13. He's Australian, savagely honest and capitalizes on the comedy trifecta; religion, politics and porn.